Monday, June 27, 2005

Tour of Long Beach

Well the 15 Intervarsity interns from USC are officially here. Two teams of 7 and 8 are staying at Covenant Presbyterian Church and New Life Church and will be serving at various sites in the city. Brad and I took them on a tour of Long Beach today to give them a broad perspective of the city.

We first started at the top of Signal Hill. Have you ever been up at the top of Signal Hill Park? It's an awesome view. Except for the east side of Long Beach, you can see practically all of Long Beach (and on a clear day - all the way out to LA). We spent some time hearing from them about why they are on this urban mission project. Many of them felt led by the Lord here. Many of them felt like they wanted to develop God's heart for the inner city. Many of them have recognized that they need a new type of lens in which to see the world. One guy was actually from Long Beach and when he decided to go on an urban mission with Intervarsity, he was expecting to be sent to Los Angeles or Santa Ana. He was surprised to be sent here to Long Beach - his own hometown. After asking the Lord, he realized that he doesn't need to go elsewhere to find the "real" problems - his own city has issues of its own in which the Lord can use him. I thought that was awesome!

We took them along the East side around to Naples, through Belmont Shore, through Broadway, the Pike, the rescue mission, and city hall in the downtown area, then over to the West side at Camarillo High School, then up to North Long Beach. At each stop, we shared with them various stats and info about some of the needs, issues, and concerns of the city. We had lunch at a great place called M & M Soul Food on Cherry Ave & Market Street. Great food! The teams are on a tight budget so they ordered just a few plates, shared and ate family style. Of course the Lord provided and multiplied with more than enough because they ended up with leftovers! It was kewl to see them try to plan out how to spend their money. I heard them considering money for gas, food for next week, laundry, etc. During the tour we had given them statistics regarding the amount of people that are considered below the poverty line. These families often have to make decisions about whether to buy food vs. other items. Here these interns were having to do the same thing. It'll be exciting to see these students grow in their understanding of life in the city.

As with any project or mission, it's only a snap shot of what's really going on. It's important for all of us to really consider the things we see, then to be able to apply what God shows us into our every day lifestyles. Living out the Great Commission - living out our faith all the time whether in the inner city or in suburbia - that's the objective!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Thoughts After Long Beach City Watch

I got to connect with the intercessors of City Watch this morning. We began affirming a common sense that the Lord was raising up the next generation - the youth and young adults - to prepare for a generational transition within the Church. What would it look like if young adults felt "called" to Long Beach?

What would it look like for bridges to be built between the seeming segments of our city - the arts district, the homosexual community, the homeless, the marketplace, the gangs, city hall, the Church? What if the Church stopped viewing "outcasts" as the unclean and people to be "changed", and instead began to see a collective city wide community - all unique and gifted - welcome as a valued part of the Body, and able to be transformed by God Himself in His own timing. This generation is highly relational. If God would form bridges to reconcile people to each other - this is the generation primed to do it.

In theory, we all accept that Jesus hung out with the "outcasts" and that he used the foolish to dumbfound the wise and that he uses the lowly to humble those with pride. But can the Church live out this paradigm? What would it look like if God used these very people to minister to those already in the Church? They can surely be used to minister to those not yet in the Church. Would the Church welcome a genuine word from a former gang member? What if God's intent was to raise up future pastors of the city from these fringe groups? We always pray for workers for the harvest. What if God raised up workers for the harvest from within the harvest? Now that would be a city who's Church lived out the Great Commission!

God is stirring, preparing, moving...he's building an infrastructure within the city - a relational infrastructure that will be ready to live out faith and worship as a lifestyle with Christ as a firm foundation. The younger generation can handle this paradigm of being Church. It's time for the current and older generation to invest in them, because relationally, they will stir change and direction in our city regardless.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Connecting with First Foursquare Church of Long Beach

I had an awesome time connecting with Linda from First Foursquare Church of Long Beach this morning. She is a wonderful woman, committed to praying for her family and their community. She has an incredible heart for children too! It was amazing. I got to hear about the cool things that God is doing among them. Their facility is shared by two other congregations - a Cambodian group of believers and a Hispanic group of believers. Linda says that their expressions of worship are very different but they worship the same Lord with passion. First Foursquare's pastor is Art Gray and he is an incredible man of vision. He has a huge community focus and is committed to serving the needs in their community near Junipero Ave and 11th Street, as well as the entire city. They have been faithfully praying for the city and all aspects of it.

We spent time praying and blessing their church, Linda and her family, Pastor Art, the other churches that gather there, their community, and this city. We also prayed for Pastor Larry Mathieson from Destiny's House, lifting up their needs and asking for God's strengthening, encouragement, and support for the local body there.

I know that God will continue to do amazing things through First Foursquare in the community. I will keep in touch with them to coordinate some of their intercessors who will be able to prayer walk North Long Beach with the rest of us in July.

Connecting With LBCF

I had the honor of praying with intercessors from Long Beach Christian Fellowship. They are located on Airport Way just off of Spring Street near the Long Beach Airport. The intercessors there have consistently been praying for the city for the past five years now. It's awesome to know such committed intercessors who have hearts for this city. As I prayed with them, they lifted up members of their local body who had certain needs. We also prayed for individuals who have been sent to South Africa to work with those enduring HIV and AIDS there. We prayed for those here in Long Beach as well. The body at Long Beach Christian Fellowship is very much sensitive to serving the needs of those with HIV and AIDS, as well as supporting the healing process for those experiencing various kinds of brokenness - relational, sexual, emotional. It was a refreshing time of intercession.

It's clear here that the Lord has led them to living out their faith among the brokenhearted - to have compassion for them and to serve them. They share that a shift needs to take place in our paradigms for outreach - perhaps even semantics. In living out our faith, the people around us are not projects but rather relationships that could be formed. I agree with them. What would it look like if the Church lived out their faith by simply building relationships absent of any agenda? What if we came along side people, out of love, supporting and encouraging each other, no matter what the burden was?

We also took some time to lift up the local body and intercessors at The Last Call Christian Outpost. We prayed for their encouragement, support, and strengthening. I will keep in touch with the intercessors here at LBCF to help coordinate with those who will be prayer walking North Long Beach with us.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Intervarsity Students In Town

The two team leaders from Intervarsity arrived tonight to prepare for their team members coming on Sunday. These are students from USC coming to Long Beach for the next six weeks on an urban mission program. We've made arrangements for the two teams to serve at Covenant Presbyterian Church, North Long Beach Community Prayer Center, New Life Church (Community Center), and Christian Outreach Appeal. They'll be working with children and youth in afterschool programs and friday night recreation nights, various church and community work projects like painting, mowing lawns, etc..., helping out with Vacation Bible Schools, serving the homeless, and they'll be helping with the community picnic that we're doing in North Long Beach. The two leaders, Steve and Larissa, are really great people with tremendous hearts. I'm sure the Lord will show them amazing things over the next several weeks. Brad and I will take the teams on a tour of Long Beach this coming Monday. These students have an awesome opportunity this summer to live out their faith through serving those around us. We all ought to be living out our faith by demonstrating God's love. In this process of serving, God refines our love for others - to be real, genuine, and tangible.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

LA City Watch

Doug D. and I went to Hollywood to connect and pray with some other regional prayer intercessors and networkers. It's awesome to see the way God brings people together - people with common vision and common heart. It's evident to us all that we are not out there going about our own business, but rather we are going about our Father's business - to call on His Church to come together as one Body in one accord - with a purpose of raising up the name of Jesus Christ in our communities and living out our faith as we love God and love each other. All of us, in each of our areas and contexts throughout this region of Southern California, affirm that God is stirring and moving. We ought to be sensitive to where the Lord is leading and prompting us so that we can continue to be available to serving His will, His purposes, and His Kingdom. All of the intercessor/networkers that met today will remain connected. LA City Watch meets every third Tuesday in Hollywood to pray over the Los Angeles Basin, the cities, and the world. Doug and I will most likely go again next month.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Raising Up The Next Generation of Leaders

We had our strategic intercessors meeting this morning and it was an awesome time of connecting and sharing what the Lord has been doing in each of our contexts. The awesome thing is that we found consistently a stirring regarding young adults and the next generation of leaders. We talked about ways that young adults on college campuses can begin to see this city as "their" city. We also talked about how many pastors and intercessors are sensing that transition that is taking place where seasoned pastors are preparing, equipping, and training up young leaders who will be the next pastors of the city over the next 20-30 years.

One important thing that will assist this process is to cast vision. We should all be casting vision in these young adults and begin to instill this idea that they can do more - they can transform their campus, their city, their world. We can help them to see what can be done by telling them stories of what God has done in the past - both in Scripture and among the Church in the city. We can inspire them. We can help them connect with the needs in the city beyond the boundaries of the campus. Young adults want adventure and if they see the journey of reaching their city, God can raise them up to be the next influencers of the city.

Another important thing will be discipleship. We need to make sure that these young adults are fully equipped and trained as followers of Christ - keeping a strong connection to Him. Pastors and seasoned leaders of the city will need to invest in these young adults. Campus ministry staff will also be training them up as well. It will be interesting to see what this will actually look like to have these young adults mentored.

Among us were some individuals whom God has already strategically placed on campus and they will be working towards connecting student leaders and staff of the different college ministries to get together once over the summer. Hopefully, the leaders can get together regularly so that they can communicate, coordinate, and mobilize so that they can function as One Body on the campus even though they are all from varying local campus ministries. God is doing much the same thing among the pastors of the city who have been regularly connecting every month.

We also talked about the mobilizing of intercessors who will be prayer walking North Long Beach on July 16th. We'll continue to connect with prayer ministries throughout the city so that we can coordinate.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Local Advisory Team Meeting

Brad and I met with our local advisory team to discuss catalytic activity for Long Beach. Our advisory team is made up of pastors, strategic city intercessors, business owners, and a leader in a para-church (college) organization. As everyone shared about what each of them has been seeing God do in the city in each of their contexts, we saw similar themes - that God is stirring and preparing for the transition of young leaders. These young leaders will be ones who are called to stay here in Long Beach. They will have longevity and will be the next pastors of the city over the next 20-30 years. There will need to be a building up of relationships so that the trusting process can take place between the seasoned pastors and the young adult leaders. It will be exciting to see a multigenerational community working together to reach the city.

There will need to be ongoing training. They will need to know that they are not alone and that they can have a sense of accountability with more mature leaders who are willing to invest in them. They will need to be given a sense of hope and purpose so that they can know that they can significantly impact the city for Christ together. Many young adults, whether in college or not, have a difficult time affording life in the city. What would it look like if churches rallied together in support of key young leaders and financially supported them to serve the city? What if churches pooled resources together for community and economic development? What if churches collaborated towards mutual efforts?

It will be interesting to see what the Lord does with all of this and to see who else He's stirring about these things.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Connecting with Last Call Christian Outpost

I had an awesome opportunity to connect with Ila from Last Call Christian Outpost. She is a wonderful prayer warrior there and does much to serve the King and the community through their ministry. They are located on Pacific Avenue near Hill Street. She told me about some of the ministry activities that are happening and about some of the ways in which they've seen God moving. They can attest that the Lord indeed is moving among His people in this city. I can attest that their local church really loves God. Their worship of Him is so refreshing! We talked about how the Lord is rebuilding the spiritual wall of Long Beach (see Nehemiah 1-4). They are committed to maintaining intercession for the city and their neighborhood. They will also be having intercessors from their church prayer walk North Long Beach with the rest of the intercessors on July 16th. On that day, we will mobilize intercessors from numerous churches throughout Long Beach and we will prayer walk the neighborhoods there. I'm excited that Last Call will help to stand in the gap and intercede with us!

I prayed for Ila and their church and for the needs she expressed. Together we prayed for God's blessing upon another church in the city - First Foursquare Church of Long Beach for their pastor and their prayer ministry. I'll be connecting with Linda from that church sometime next week, just to connect with them and see what wonderful things God is doing among them. We both also prayed for the school Superintendent and councilmember Val Lerch and for the prayer requests they gave me last Friday. We asked for God's blessing upon their families.

I'll keep you all posted with further connections I make with other intercessors and prayer ministries throughout the city. Let's all together continue to rebuild the spiritual wall of Long Beach, to worship the Lord here, and to welcome His Kingdom here in Long Beach as it is in Heaven!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Fundraising Kick Off

We once again had an exciting opportunity this Monday evening to share with a group of about 35 people the exciting vision that God has given to us to see our cities here around the LA Basin and beyond transformed. This gathering also was the kick off for our 90 day fundraising campaign that ends with a "golf marathon" on August 29th. More information about this campaign can be found under the "CONTRIBUTE" link on our website. We are currently living month to month as an organization and we are hopeful that this season of fundraising will not only help us raise the needed ministry funds but that it will provide for many more opportunities for us to intentionally share the work that God has laid out for us to do.

One of the most exciting things about this night for me was seeing people talking about and taking responsibility for their cities not only as the place where they lay their head at night and store their stuff but seeing them as places that God has called them to be good news as well. My prayer is that in some small ways (and maybe even some larger ways) God would use this ministry called Kindom Causes to inspire people to be open to what the Lord might have them do there in loving service to Him and to their neighbor!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Prayers for North Long Beach

Susy, Louise, Jana, Doug and I spent a couple of hours today praying for North Long Beach. We decided to pray at four locations to cover the community in prayer. We started at DeForest Park on the West side of North Long Beach (facing Locust Street and a breeze behind us) and took communion. We spent time in prayer and symbolic/representative confession/repentance/forgiveness between different races and genders since each of us were of varying ethnicities. Much of the gang tension and violence that has been escalating in North Long Beach has been between those of different races. As we took communion and prayed, we asked for God's blessing on the land and the neighborhoods. We know that this symbolic act is representative of what needs to happen within the community - whether gang members or not. We ask for peace and reconciliation. We proceeded to the North side of North Long Beach at Artesia Blvd and Cherry Avenue and prayed for the city council, administration, pastors of local churches, schools, and businesses. As we drove around we noticed that there were numerous vacancies for businesses. There is room for businesses to come in to North Long Beach! We moved on to the East side of North Long Beach in front of Light & Life Christian Fellowship. We spent time in prayer for that local church, its pastor and wife, and other local churches in North Long Beach. We prayed for life and light to revitalize the community. We went to the South side of North Long Beach near Del Amo Blvd and Orange Avenue. We concluded our prayers for the city and proclaimed the Lord's sovereignty there.

Afterwards we went to the North Long Beach Community Prayer Center to hear from Michael Rutledge McCall. I referred to him last week - he's the journalist that spent 18 months in South Central Los Angeles getting to know Black and Latino gang members to understand the subculture. Intriguing testimony! He wrote a book called "Slipping Into Darkness" and it's currently in production for a movie set for sometime in 2006. His message is typically for men and relates it with scripture and his experience with the gangs. He believes that there is a fundamental need for men to step up in their own families and in the community. [On a side note, i've been speaking to several people recently that feel the same way - that men need to rise up with integrity and character and need to be solid intercessors for their families and neighborhoods. Prayer intercessors are typically women and more men need to realize that prayer is not a "women's" thing. Men need to stand in the gap as well. Men need to have that spiritual strength in order to guard over their families and to raise up their children in the ways of the Lord.]

After his talk, I spoke to Michael and found him to be a real down to earth kind of guy. An interesting thing he pointed out was that in his experience with the gang members, the gang leaders are actually pretty brilliant. They are smart individuals and have much potential. They are leaders for a reason. What if we can invest in these gang leaders so that they can influence the younger generation not to get trapped in the "dead"-end lifestyle of gang banging? Many of these young people don't have much of an alternative - with no positive family context and no one else willing to nurture them - a gang satisfies a need for community. Something significant that Michael continued to talk about is that we need to be able to love one another unconditionally - not because we know the person and not because we are Christians and not because God says so. He says that we need to be able to love someone - regardless of who that person is and regardless of who we are - and that's when we know it's sincere. That's what God is wanting for us. Love. That's the mindset that we need to adopt and apply. The racial divide can begin to close when we can look past the surface of what we look like and love for the sake of being loving - whether its deserved or not. I think programs and community strategies may be necessary to get things rolling so that we can see tangible change, but without genunine and sincere love for one another - the root causes of community tension won't subside.

I also met the Long Beach School Superintendent who is also very concerned about the escalating gang violence in our schools. I offered the prayers of the intercessors of Long Beach. He asked us to pray for the family structure, peace, and for people to make right choices. I met the 9th District Councilmember for North Long Beach, Val Lerch, and offered the prayers of the intercessors of Long Beach. He asked us to pray for his colleagues - fellow councilmembers - in the decisions they make for the city. He also asked us to pray for change in the city.

What will it take for more and more people in the city of Long Beach to see that the tensions in the inner city are real and effect us all? I overheard Pastor Wood in conversation with someone else saying that "it's going to take all of us to stimulate this". I think he's right. If we are going to catalyze our community for positive change, all of us are going to need to be involved and committed. What would it look like if an entire community made a covenant with each other? Business owners, pastors, youth leaders, community leaders, fathers and mothers, teenagers, police officers, judges, council members, teachers and principals and school superintendents, and even the gang leaders - what if we all made a covenant with each other to revitalize the city with life rather than death, light rather than darkness, hope rather than despair. A community united and revitalized - that's a cause worth rallying around!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Some prayer requests from a local church

Calling all prayer intercessors! I was just emailed the following email from Chris Fukunaga whose is the leader of a new church plant in Long Beach. The local pastors network will be meeting at their place later this summer for our monthly prayer meeting as well and we are excited about the assignments that the Lord has given them. Would you join with me by prayerfully standing in the gap for them!

Here is what he sent...

...was wondering if you and your crew would be willing to offer up a prayer for some outreach stuff we have coming up. It's an intense, but tremendous opportunites to reach people for Christ...thanks guys. You have been a big time encouragement. We thank God for you!

* ART WALK / JUNE 11th - This is the biggest Art Walk (the "Tour Des Artiste") of the year. Our theme is "Creativity and Spirituality". Please pray for the unbelievers (Annette, Julia, Adam) who we've meet that will be helping us. Please also pray God would lead us to "persons of peace" through our interactive art canopies.

* NEW IN TOWN / JUNE 12th - Please pray God's work would be used to open up spiritual conversations at the BBQ and the service project. Please pray for Enrique, Mark, Ricardo, and Ramon especially (the owners of The Creative Design Lab)

* SE'S (owner of The Open Bookstore across the street from us in the East Village) BIRTHDAY PARTY / JUNE 12th - Se is on the board of the EVA and a major player in the future shaping of the East Village Arts District. She invited us to her birthday party Sunday night. Please pray we would represent Christ well at the party.

* BOOKCLUB / JUNE 21st - Please pray for the hearts of Mark, Aaron, & Jason especially that we have been developing a relationship with. the powerful name of Jesus we pray, Amen!

Reminder: We are and will be encouraging other local pastors to be posting their personal and/or local church family prayer requests in the PRAYER AND DISCUSSION FORUMS. They may not always make the blog like this so be sure to head over to that part of the site often as well. Any feedback that you could give them (yours or the Lord's) there would not only encourage them but also help them see the value of taking the time to post these requests! They may also post their events on the calendar so that might give you another way to pray as well!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

An Externally Focused Church

I spent last Sunday morning visiting with Long Beach Grace Brethren. They are one of the local churches here that are partnering together in various ways for the good of the city. Check this out. They make it a priority each month to break up into small prayer groups of 3-4 people during their morning service to specifically pray for the city that God has placed them in. What an awesome thing to see and to be a part of! I was there to help lead into that prayer time by sharing about Kingdom Causes and our broader city reaching efforts. I encouraged them with the testimony of how many local churches, including Grace Long Beach, are intentionally coming together in these days to take responsibility for their city by praying for and lovingly serving it. I have been working ever more closely with their community outreach pastor named Eric Marsh who leads a ministry there called Hope For Long Beach. This ministry has a heart much similar to ours and we are excited about how we might partner all the more in the days ahead. Press on brothers and sisters!!

Monday, June 06, 2005

New Web Site Launched!

The Web site is finally ready to go live. I enabled the new pages and so now everything we've been working on is now up for people to see. The kewl thing about this site compared to the old one is that the new KC Catalysts got a chance to really have their input into what the site should have. Hopefully, people will find it simple and easy to navigate. Soh did alot of good work on it. He's the graphic artist who has been volunteering as an intern from DeVry University. He's also an old classmate of mine (i graduated last February). He'll be graduating this month. I've been impressed with his work for us. The new site is of course at our usual address and can be seen at It's not completely done...there are still a few miscellaneous things to do but for the most part it's good to go. Yay!

Next Strategic Intercessors Mtg

Our next gathering of strategic intercessors will be Saturday, June 18th from 9am - 11am in the Greater Long Beach area at 1965 E. 21st Street, Signal Hill, CA 90755 (the corner of Cherry Ave and 21st Street). We will worship the Lord together, intercede on behalf of the city, and engage in strategic dialogue regarding how we can coordinate our prayers for the city.

There will be a multi-church picnic on Saturday, July 16th at 1:30pm - 4pm for the purpose of bringing life into North Long Beach. There has been a great deal of escalating gang violence in North Long Beach (as well as other parts of LB) and several churches in that area are calling for help. We will be sending out prayer walking teams at noon to specific sections of North Long Beach to worship and pray and also to welcome neighbors to Scherer Park at Del Amo Blvd. and Atlantic Ave. for free food. One of our strategies will be to enlist people who live in North Long Beach and to train them up to prayer walk their own neighborhoods.

We haven't forgotten about the Port of Long Beach! We are still in dialogue with the Longshoremen and we are waiting for an open door and the timing. In the mean time, i have sensed the Lord calling us out of our prayer closets and out to where the King's presence is needed. Wherever we go, the King is there - so let us resolve to welcome His Kingdom to come here in Long Beach. I encourage you - these are the times that we have been praying for for so long. Let's mobilize together so that we can not only witness the Lord's move here but also be a part of it! If you and/or your prayer team will step up and prayer walk with us in North Long Beach in July, please let me know so that we can coordinate.

The city has been vulnerable. The ground has been desolate. It is time to rebuild the spiritual wall of Long Beach (Nehemiah 1-4) and to ask the King to breathe life here (Ezekiel 37)!

Friday, June 03, 2005

A Journalist in the Hood

I went to a lecture series at the North Long Beach Community Prayer Center to hear Michael Rutledge McCall talk about what he's learned from God and the gangsters in some of the harshest areas of South Central Los Angeles. For 18 months, Michael - a tall skinny white guy (no offense), immersed himself in the subculture of the black and latino gang life. He's both a believer and a journalist and he speaks about his experiences on a national stage. He's written a book called "Slipping into Darkness" and a movie is currently in production based on it. Michael has an awesome call coming out of it - the call to men to stand up and take responsibility over their families. Awesome time hearing and meeting him. Definitely a relevant talk since the gang violence in North Long Beach continues to escalate.

He's going to continue the lecture series for two more Fridays - June 10th and 17th from 7pm - 9pm. I'm planning on going next week too. I spoke to Susy and some of us will be meeting before the meeting to prayer drive North Long Beach and to pray over the church and for Michael and Pastor Wood.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Mtg About North Long Beach

A group of us met with Pastor Leon Wood today to hear more of his heart for North Long Beach and what we could do. It was me, Brad, Susy, Louise, and of course Pastor Wood. It's clear that a broad strategy covering many fronts will be necessary to address lasting and sustaining impact in North Long Beach. It will also take a long term approach since we will need to work with multiple generations. In a nutshell, we will be working towards:

*the equipping, training, and enrichment of families
*the connecting of churches and pastors in North Long Beach
*the training up of young leaders to be youth pastors (trained by existing youth pastors from throughout the city)
*the training up of new prayer intercessors by seasoned prayer intercessors - possibly establishing neighborhood prayer watch teams who will prayer walk their neighborhoods
*connecting with existing city-wide gang task forces and coalitions to address the violence
*the physical renovation of North Long Beach by both the city and the Church

Let's keep these things in prayer!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Connecting with Doug and Jana

I got to meet with Jana and Doug this afternoon to talk about the early days of Long Beach. Jana is kind of a historian in the sense that she tracks Long Beach trends. Doug and I looked through old newspaper clippings and books that told the history of Long Beach. Interesting stuff. One of the things that was pretty awesome was reading about a bible teacher named George Taubman back in 1923 who led Bible studies here in an auditorium in Long Beach. We looked at an old photograph that was taken of thousands of people who regularly attended it. Doug thinks there's something significant about the "prior church" here in Long Beach. What was it back then that attracted so many people to the Lord and what has happened since then? Wouldn't it be awesome to see that happening again here in Long Beach?

Another interesting thing we noted was that Long Beach was a "first" for many things. Some include being the first city in California to utilize school uniforms, the place of the first commercial venture in California, the first nuclear warship was called the USS Long Beach, Dr. Kevorkian first started here in Long Beach, the first female mayor in California was in Long Beach, this was the place where new fire fighting techniques were developed and also a place where new methods of making cheese were developed, and Long Beach was the location where the first steam ship was launched. All these examples came from old newspaper articles that Jana had collected. Talking to many intercessors over the past several months, many have been getting the sense that the Lord will use Long Beach to launch or start new and fresh things. Interesting stuff!

Pastors Prayer Gathering at The ROCK

Pastors from around the Greater Long Beach Area gathered together this month at The ROCK Christian Fellowship for worship, fellowship, prayer and support. We spent time hearing from Pastor Gregory Sanders' heart for Long Beach and responding in prayer to how we could all support them. They are located right off the PCH traffic circle so be sure to say a prayer as you drive by!

Here are their prayer requests:

Pray for Pastor Gregory Sanders:
To have servants heart.
To maintain his own sanity in the busyness.
To maintain his integrity as a man and as a leader.

Pray for leaders of The ROCK Christian Fellowship:
Enabled and empowered to do the work.

Pray for spiritual leaders of the city:
There have been several storefront churches that have been evicted.
There are a number of existing churches and new church plants still looking for worship facilities.

Pray for peace in our city:
Escalating violence in our cities.
When men lose their identities, the city changes. Pray for restoration and healing of men and women.

Words of Encouragement from the pastors:
We must continue to build bridges.
We must be watchmen. Be silent and observe, then speak when the Lord directs.
We must speak truth to power.
Pastors must covenant together.