Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty's crown will reopen July 4

I last visited NYC in 2003 after the 9/11 attacks. My whole focus during that visit was the World Trace Center site. But, before that, my favorite landmark in NYC was the Stautue of Liberty. I remember years ago climbing to the crown with my father, uncle and cousins. What a thrill!

Well, the Statue of Liberty’s crown was closed after the 9/11 attacks, and now, on July 4th of this eyar, it will be open to the public again. This decision reversed the policy of the Bush administration.

Under President George W. Bush, the Interior Department, which includes the National Park Service, had insisted that visitors could not be permitted because the crown, reachable only by a very narrow, 12-story spiral staircase with a low guardrail, which did not meet modern fire, building and safety codes (seemed OK to me).

So, if you have never had a chance to go and you have a chance, go, go , go...and enjoy one of our best landmarks.

an exodus

I was recently talking to a pastor friend of mine who is leaving pastoral ministry. He is not the first friend or colleague to do...and this got me thinking. Why? Why does this happen so often?

Last year, I read an article that said 1500 pastors leave the church each month. Some do so because of failure (moral, ethical, spiritual) but the vast majority do so because of stress. The article said that the main cause of stress by a two to one margin was the pressure for church growth.

Some pastors feel pressured to adopt a different model that might facililtate growth, even if it does not fit thier personality, capabilites, or values. This leads to depression or burn out. See, pastors feel guilty if thier churches are not showing numerical growth, and most feel they cannot talk to denomination al leaders about thier issues or exhausted spirits. And, most also feel that they cannot talk to other pastors in their denomination.

As I think about this, my desire is to try to discover ways to offer support. How about you? Who can you offer support to?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Local news

The New York Times reports:
Robert Redford, the actor and environmental superhero, is a vocal supporter of renewable power and sustainable growth — but it seems that doesn’t include a proposal for an ecofriendly housing development in his corner of the Napa Valley.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I just picked up a book I am looking forward to starting soon. It's called Indelible Ink. This book was put together by someone who sat down with 22 prominent Christian leaders and asked them which books, other than the Bible, most shaped thier faith.

Some of the leaders in this book include: Joni Aereckson Tada, Charles Colson, Calvin Miller, Michael Card, Dallas Willard, J.I. Packer, Liz Curtis Higgs, John Stott, Josh McDowell, and Larry Crabb. It should be interesting to discover the different avenues God has used to grow these men. My guess is that I will see God in a new way by exploring their experiences with God.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I was watching a talk show on MSNBC. The topic was religion in a religiously diverse America. Around the table was a group of "religious leaders": A Christian pastor, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, and a young man who practiced witchcraft and represented Wicca. And, it struck me...we live in a "Christian" nation? A nation so "Christian" that a Christian pastor can sit beside a witch and both to be considered representatives of a viable religious alternative.

Things have changed. The text that comes to mind is Acts 17:22, "Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said, 'Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious'."

That culture was so diverse, so pluralistic, that there was no one true God, but many gods to choose from. Looks to me like we are in the same place today.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

There is a hymn that has these lyrics:

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him
How I've proved him o'er and o'er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus
O for grace to trust him more...

The writer of this hymn(Louisa Stead) seems to find herself in the place that I believe many of us are in, a place of brokenness. She confesses that she needs to trust in Jesus and that only by grace is such reckless trust possible.

We've been told to trust in Jesus,to confess our sins, receive forgiveness, and become redeemed children of God. And yet, we worry about tomorrow... You are not alone, it is tough to trust, especially when you consider the world we live in(terrorism, the plummeting economies,crime, and all other distractions). Trusting in Jesus is probably the most difficult calling of a Christ-follower. And yet, we're given very little room in God's word to not trust in Jesus.

So, that's what I am going to pray for today... "Lord, increase my faith. Give me the grace to trust you more."