Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Harvest Crusade

with Pastor Greg Laurie. August 11-13. Angel Stadium.

Monday, June 26, 2006

A day of City Tours

What a fun day. This morning I met the IV students at 8:00 in the morning to head out on a city tour. I always like to start these conversations by asking what people have heard about and/or know about Long Beach. When you are with youth you always hear about Snoop. Some of the students were from the LA Basin and knew a little bit more. Things like most ethnically diverse city in the nation, known for tourism (Queen Mary, etc...) and has a big sea port were mentioned. After driving around a bit to see the transitioning of neighborhoods we went to Sophy's Cambodian and Thai restaurant for lunch. Great food!

While at lunch we had the Summer Servants team from the East San Gabriel Valley join us. Kingdom Causes partners with the New Hope Network to work in that area. I spent the afternoon hanging with this team as we dialogued about city-reaching, praying for your city, mobilizing the church in a city and how people of "good faith" can come together with people of "good will" to work together for tangible solutions for the good of the whole community.

Great times! I love seeing young people get excited about serving cities. I love being able to encourage them at such a critical stage of their life to give themselves away for the cause of Christ and for the love of their neighbors. I love seeing and hearing about how God stirs hearts to pursue things that He cares about. I too was encouraged by their passion. Fun times.

Side note #1: this muggy weather is ridiculous!
Side note #2: I just got my digital camera back from Best Buy (in for the 3rd time!!) and need to take more photos for this blog.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Intervarsity students arrive today!

In addition to the 48 or so Campus Crusade for Christ students that are here this summer, there are almost 20 IV students here now as well. We worked with them last year as well to assist them in their summer teams. They have a handful of teams working around LA and two of the teams are here in Long Beach. They will primarily be working at Covenant Presbyterian, New Life Nazarene and Christian Outreach in Action (COA). Each team will spend various mornings at COA serving breakfast and working in their warehouse and the rest of their days will be spent at either one of the other two sites working in the youth ministries there. They will be helping kids with homework, hanging out, helping the older kids lead the younger kids, doing work projects and will even help plan or orchestrate a VBS.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Here in Slovakia

Here in Slovakia I am visiting some long time friends Brad and Carla Thiessen and seeing their work with the Gypsies and refugees from other war torn nations. Brad has started a language school to help foierners from countries like Afghanistan and Burundi learn the Slovakia language so they can adapt better to society. He has also helped to plant a gypsy church and is teaching gypsy believers working skills like plastering and wood working. The gypsy are a people group that are despised all throughout Europe, and Brad and Carla are looking to change the culture one life at a time. They have been in Slovakia for 15 years with their 4 boys. I am helping to drywall a guest house and played some music at a pizza Party on Friday where they were able to share with some of the Language students. I will be home on Tuesday morning see you then.
Love you all


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Where in the world is Jim Schorr?

Hey Jim, send us a word about how things are going in your parts! Encourage us about God's Global work! Jim is currently on the other side of the planet. Whether he gets a chance to post while there or if it isn't until he gets back home...I'll encourage him to share!

Hanging out in Bluff Park

Last night I took the family down to hang out at Bluff Park with the 40+ Campus Crusade Students who are here for the Summer. They were gathering for a time of testimony, encouragement and prayer. It was great to hear the stories of how God is using them to be a blessing here in the city! They are here to get jobs, build relationships/friendships around the city with people, initiate spiritual conversations and share about the radical love that Jesus has for people. Along the way we are believing that many will also choose to similarly follow in the ways of Jesus. Our hopes would be that a handful of new churches/missional communities would be birthed this summer as well.

Great to see Thien Doan (new church planter) down there as well to encourage the students!

Next week: 20 some InterVarsity students will be here in the city to start a 5 week stint and we have them connected to Christian Outreach in Action, Covenant Presbyterian Church, North Long Beach Community Prayer Center and New Life Nazarene Church. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Do it again Lord...

One of the things that I have been praying about lately (as I shared on Pentecost Sunday) is that the Spirit would do something in our day that would not only bless the entire city as a whole but would also serve to encourage the hearts of Jesus followers in a hundred years from now. That they would be able to look back and be encouraged about the Lord's faithfulness to His people, to His Word and to our city.

One of those stories that does this to me is the story of what happened here in Long Beach back in the 1920's. Of late I have been learning more about happened during this time period. By coincidence (!?) on Pentecost sunday Christine Lu (*hat tip*) happened to give me a Press-Telegram magainze from 2003 that was entitled "100 famous faces of long beach." If you have never heard of a local preacher from those days whose name was George Taubman check this out. Along with the likes of Cameron Diaz (grew up in a house around the corner from me), Nicolas Cage, Denise Austin, Bo Derek, Steven Spielberg, Warren G, he made the top 100 list! Here is how they told the story:

"Dr. George Primrose Taubman found his way to Long Beach in April 1915 when he was already 46. A pastor who tended flocks in Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio and Oklahoma, Taubman became the first pastor of the First Christian Church, then at 4th street and American Ave. The men's Bible group had a membership of 40, with about 25 attending most meetings. Under Taubman, that figure would grow a bit. With the (apperently) charismatic Taubman leading the studies, the group outgrew its room at the church by 1917 and moved to the Laughlin Theater on Pine Ave. Two years later, it moved to the biggest indoor meeting spot available, the Municipal Auditorium, where 2,000 men would gather to hear Taubman's sermons and sing to their God and country. And it still grew. Throughout the 1920's, Taubman had to take his class outdoors in Lincoln Park to accommodate regular turnouts of 4,000 men (women were allowed twice a year - on Easter Sunday and Mother's Day). Occasionally, Taubman would put together a special program that would draw as many os 30,000 men. With the radio audience, the figure would go as high as 100,000 listeners to Taubman's sermons. On June 12, 1938, with his health declining, Taubman gave up the Bible class. The last crowd he drew was the hundreds who showed up for his funeral in Long Beach on March 14, 1947."

I have pictures of these gatherings in my office. It might look different in these days but none-the-less come and do it again Lord...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What else happened on Pentecost Sunday!?!

Millions of Believers from Almost 200 Nations Pray during the Global Day of Prayer
News Staff / Aimee Herd reporting (Jun 5, 2006)

"There are more than 4,000 venues across Africa, where an estimated 40 million Africans are joining the river of prayer that's sweeping the continent, and the world."

According to a report by Mission Network News, 198 nations registered as taking part in yesterday's Global Day of Prayer. Making it even more significant was the fact that it was Pentecost Sunday, when over two thousand years ago, the original outpouring of the Holy Spirit was experienced by Jesus' followers in Jerusalem, and the "Church" was born.

A report from Taiwan stated, "Today, the power of Christian Pentecost was shown clearly in Taiwan. Thousands of Christians have come out of the disputes, and joined together at the Presentation Square in Taipei City, not to make a political statement, but to pray for the country and to praise the Lamb." (Photo: Brian Blanco/The Herald-Attendees sing, dance and worship in the isles during The Global Day of Prayer Sunday afternoon at the Sarasota/Bradenton International Convention Center.)

In Hong Kong: "More than 30,000 Christians flocked to the Honk Kong Stadium, to play their part in a worldwide Global Day of Prayer. They prayed to God to protect the city's health, in particular from the threat of a bird flu epidemic. They also prayed to the Lord to give direction and faith to the youth of Hong Kong, who were a strong presence in the crowd, and to heal fractured relationships between family members."

From Africa, where the Global Day of Prayer movement began, it was reported: "There are more than 4,000 venues across Africa where an estimated 40 million Africans are joining the river of prayer that's sweeping the continent and the world." (Photo: Believers in Africa pray together.)

In Egypt, a reporter for Sat-7 said, "I'm at the Cave Church in Garbage City near Cairo, Egypt where a couple thousand people have gathered today on the Global Day of Prayer. It is such a privilege to be here with these believers. Many have come out and are celebrating in one heart and one spirit as we come together."

In the U.S.: "My name is Graham Wells and I'm calling from Atlanta, Georgia. We had an event right on the steps of the Capitol, and it began thundering and lightning. Although it was cut short, there was a great sense of God's presence and prayers going out to God to work in this great city of Atlanta."

And a report came in from Calgary, Alberta, Canada: "I'm standing just outside the Prengrove Saddledome where even now, thousands of Christians in this city are beginning to rally to celebrate through worship and prayer, Pentecost Sunday and this global day of prayer."

Check out the following sites for more stories:

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Pentecost Sunday

What a glorious day it was! Around 200 people gathered locally here to lift up praises to God Almighty, ask the Lord to move throughout our cities and celebrate the Lord's Supper together. We came expecting the Spirit to move and we were not dissappointed! There is just something very special about being together in the presence of the Spirit with followers of Jesus that represent a diverse cross-section of the Church of the city! Many theological perspectives, many different cultures and backgrounds, many different expressions of Worship and yet one Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! We joined with a concert of millions of voices all around the planet that asked "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in our city as it is in heaven!" Do it Lord! For Your Name sake!

So many people contributed to make this gathering truly something special for all those that were able to make it out. We want to thank ALL OF YOU for doing your part to make this 1 day of gathering an incredible blessing to the Lord and to the collective Church of the city!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Day #10 Prayer Update


How appropriate was it that we ended our 10 days of prayer gathering at a local church that is actually an extension of an African church. This whole 10:1:90 effort has its roots in the Church of Africa. All Saints Anglican Church is part of the Luweero Diocese of Uganda.

Once again it was a blessing to be joined in prayer for our city with believers from around the city. Tonight we prayed that Christians both locally and abrod would live with the expectancy of the ancient promises of God's blessing to be fulfilled in our days. The result would be nothing short of the transformation of our communities, nations and countries.

Thanks to the All Saints family for hosting us!!

Another perspective from the 10 day journey...

I just received an email from Carol OConnell. She is one of the many great people that I have met for the first time over the past few days that are equally committed to praying for the city. I and many others stand with you Carol! Here is what she sent:

"I have been honored and incredibly blessed to be a part of the Kingdom Causes-led intercession and prayer storm for Long Beach, our nation and the world over the last 10 days. We have cried out to God for mercy, grace and compassion and that He would pour out His spirit over this city and bring radical transformation. Our sense has been that repentance and unity are the keys. Early on, I had a vision of the walls of the individual Long Beach churches just collapsing and, when the dust settled, there were no denominations or isolation - it had become the Church of Long Beach - precious, shared and powerful. As we have traveled to different wonderful congregations throughout this journey, as we have been welcomed in as family, and as we have seen the power of joining hands across cultural and denominational boundaries, I have seen the absolute truth in that vision. If we were each to mobilize - to get out into the communities - to visit other churches just to bless them - then I believe revival would hasten as we stand shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart with all eyes on Jesus. As Mother Teresa said, "All for Jesus. All for Jesus. All for Jesus. All for Jesus." "

Day #9 Prayer Update


What a treat last night at Covenant Presbyterian Church! Another great evening of the Spirit guiding the Church into a focused time of intercession for the city. Each of our morning and evening prayer times over the past few days has been unique and different and last night was no excetion to this. Pastors Rob and Adelle Langworthy prepared a special prayer time for us that involved a contemplative environment by displaying revolving slides of creation images, having us sit still in rows quietly before the Lord and by adorning the cross area at the front of the chapel with numerous candles. The ambiance of the room alerted our senses to the presence of the Lord in our midst.

In addition, our prayer time was punctuated with Taize chanting in Latin. A young woman named Michelle from their local church joined us and she served as our Cantor (soloist). She would use her "angelic" opera voice to affirm our prayers throughout the evening. After each of us offered up prayers she would sing in Latin the following phrase: "Ex-au-di-nos, ex-au-di-nos" ("Lord, hear our prayers; Lord, hear our prayers").

At other times during the hour we as the "assembly" would be taught a phrase in latin to sing (the "ostinato" chant) and while we would sing that repetively she would sing other Sciptural texts in Latin over our chanting. The journey over the hour of prayer was nothing short of amazing.

In the midst of our prayers for the healing touch of Christ to be felt I was specifically struck with some of the things that we were praying for: worldwide over 250,000 young people are infected every month with HIV and over 30,000 children die daily from preventable diseases. Lord, have mercy... How can we (I) sit still any longer?

Off to All Saint's Anglican Church facilities tonight!! Can't wait!!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Day #8 Prayer Update

What you see in the above picture is the reason I was late in getting to the evening prayer gathering last night at Glad Tidings Church in North Long Beach. Our Kingdom Causes Bellflower crew was hosting a Ministry Advancement Dinner and I wanted to be there to help them kick off the night. Well over 200 people showed up! Good work team! May the Lord continue to radically bless your local work there as you take responsibility for your city and may the resources (people, skills and finances) abound!

There is a 10:1:90 effort also going on in Bellflower over these past few days and the will be joining us on Pentecost Sunday as well :)

Now about the prayer time.


I showed up late to see a large circle of people in the "upper room" at Glad Tidings Tabernacle full of many young adults. Turns out that a handful of them were CSULB students who have been asking God to do great things on their campus locally here and some were part of a Campus Crusade for Christ team that are here for the entire Summer (partnering with Kingdom Causes and the Crossroads network of house-churches) to plant simple (house) churches in and around our city.

How great it was to pray for followers of Jesus to be courageous in their faith and in their love. After spending day #6 praying for "the coming generation" it only made these prayers seem all the more on point since they were coming from the hearts of younger people. We prayed at length for the labors of all of the young people this Summer who are living in this city and will be extending the Kingdom of God in various ways. I was thoroughly encouraged last evening!

Pastor Barbara, thanks for hosting an evening of prayer for the city! Lord, move in and through the family of faith that gathers there! Continue to make yourself famous in this part of our city!

*(I forgot to take a picture. Darn.)