Friday, October 31, 2003

"Barry Bowen,"...

Living in never-change-not-even-your-clocks Indiana sometimes has its drawbacks. Last night I had the opportunity to talk at length with Barry Bowen, editor, and it was cut somewhat short because of our time differential (Oklahoma to Indiana). But more importantly, it was great to get to brainstorm long-distance about the (shhhhh, don't tell anyone) "Innovation Retreat" some of our Christian techs are planning for early next year. It's turning into a invitation-only, winter get-away, work-hard-play-hard collaborative project 'retreat' -- over a Fri/Sat/Sun... bringing in the "driven Christian techs" of the world. Remember, "Mums the word"... especially about Project #2, expediting local Christian news feeds to benefit the Kingdom.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

"Touring Lighthouse Ministries"

Today's feature at, Lighthouse Ministries, is very much based on a recent opportunity I had [arranged by Here's Life Inner City] to tour the Lighthouse's American Hunger Relief operation.

Ya gotta love this ministry and the guys behind it -- they're living their Christianity and getting the job done. Their site speaks for itself as to the main thing, but let me just mention a couple of things that caught my eye from the moment I walked in.

They were sitting around the conference table having a working lunch studying scripture. Here they are, guys 'getting the job done' so to speak on the front lines... yet studying together... and sometimes laughing together as they got into some areas that might finely distinguish (not divide) them.

Secondly, and maybe importantly, I noticed a one-pager they used to help ever-focus them on their segment of the mission at hand. It was a one-pager of metrics -- measurements that symbolized each piece of their objectives... how many people fed, in bible studies, saved, etc. There was little doubt what these guys thought was important, in following Christ.

Btw, did I mention... their metrics are posted on their web site as well, helping them and everyone else know what they are doing, and desire to do. May God continue to bless them mightily.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

"Burden Bearers"...

Jan and I enjoyed a nice evening at a reception given by "Burden Bearers" -- the urban organization of a friend of ours, Marvin Gainer. It's always great to get to meet a good number of other really-driven Christians in our community... together working on the Great Commission and the Cultural Mandate.

Monday, October 27, 2003

"Consuming Potluck"...

This past Saturday afternoon, we had a great little potluck get together in the auditorium of the Old Centrum building (12th x Central Ave -- where our Urban Collaborative Center is). It was largely the "Consuming Fire Events" folks who are all about putting on events here to help bring the body of Christ more closely together in some practical ways. So of course, they're multicultural in make-up, and they well understand the objectives of "Transform Indiana".

I've probably previously mentioned their leader, Merlin Gonzales and their web-guy (of course!) Moses Dwarm. But this gave me an opportunity to also meet their wives and other key people. And they'll be helping us put on the New Year's Eve "Reunion" Party -- so stay tuned.

And the potluck included reps of a couple other significant care-organizations in that area. Scott Crowe was there from Hope International Ministries, and Angela Bollen was there from "We All Care". Both are doing an awesome work for the Lord among those who need it most. It's humbling to be in their midst.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Mel Gibson...

At one of the NYC leadership forum events, Mel Gibson greeted us via a special video greeting, complete with some clips from his upcoming movie, "The Passion". Many of our leaders believe this will be a very special opportunity when the movie comes to our cities in April, to be ready to meet the spiritual inquisitiveness that the movie creates.

Start planning...

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Meeting Long-time Friends for the First Time...

The NYC trip was also a great opportunity to meet some folks for the first time, that I'd met long ago on the internet, and with whom I've been working toward similar goals and passions.

Notably, about 4 years ago, I'd met Rudy Carrasco on the net because he was maintaining the CCDA site. So now, here in the middle of Time Square, we were able to sit down for breakfast at a sidewalk cafe. Too cool. And Rudy is just who he appears to be -- an outside the box, "driven Christian", passionate about bringing the gospel to bear on the lives of young guys in the hood. Oh, and passionate about the internet as a paradigm-changer.

Glenn Barth, Jarvis Ward, Phil Miglioratti, Carolyn O'Brien... the 'front four' of Mission America's city-reaching efforts.... all are people I'd talked to over the past couple of years as we share common goals. Awesome folks.

[Tomorrow... 'Mel Gibson'?]

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

"Blue Heelers: A Modern-Day Parable"...

Just finished 'my' article for the "Transform Indiana" column in November's Crossroads Indiana publication. Fact is, it was the easiest month ever, to 'write' it. I simply obtained permission to print this excerpt from Doug Stringer's book, "Somebody Cares". Doug was one of the guest panelists at the opening evening's "Town Hall" at the National Leadership Forum in NYC. It's an awesome book; and the Blue Heelers illustration may represent the stage that Transform Indiana is at right now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Yesterday's Transform Indiana Meeting -- Awesome...

What a group of 'driven Christians in the Racing Capital of the World' !!!

[Well... and reps from a few other Midwest cities as well. The reps from Campus Crusade's urban coalition-building ministry... "Here's Life Inner City" joined us as well.]

40 of us yesterday on the grounds of Crossroads Bible College. We circulated, we prayed, we ate, we surfed, we heard reports from recent city-coalition-building roundtables, we prayed some more, we brainstormed, and as at all such meetings, many hung out afterwards to speak with new acquaintences that piqued their interest.... and we all left more inspired and better connected to each other for future ministry to Indianapolis and beyond... in the ONE name of Jesus.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

What's a LIVE Agenda?

It's something we'll be trying out today during our monthly Transform Indiana meeting. So those of you coming to the meeting, bring your laptops & wireless card. Let's see if it truly enhances our time together... and the month to follow. Here's a sneak preview.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Dr. John Perkins came to Christ... How?

At the NYC "National Leadership Forum" last week, the final keynote speaker, Dr. John Perkins, came to the podium and started with...

"In such & such a year, my son Spencer came to know the Lord through Child Evangelism Fellowship.... and as a result, I came to know Christ Jesus as Lord.... "

John Perkins. And so many others collected there that day (and will be collected in New Orleans shortly at the CCDA conference) have been so mightily impacted by him. Because God used CEF.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Overheard around the City-Impact Roundtable, NYC:
"Uniting Christians for holistic evangelism & revival".
"2,600 cities with populations of 10,000 or more..... our first targets for networking."
"When it comes to citywide coalitions across denominational, racial and generational lines... how do you quickly overcome a lack of trust?"
"When a pastor or other leader says they're too busy to work with others, they may more likely be expressing a lack of trust."
"When the deal goes down, white folks are going to be with white folks."
[How embarrassing to the kingdom of God, is that?]
"Gangs know how to network toward their common goal.... selling drugs."
"How does our lack of repentance affect our unity?"
"Take inventory of self -- Is Jesus really central?"
"In God's mind, what is holding back transformation in your city?"

Stay tuned... more from NYC coming up... [And btw, this Tuesday's luncheon should prove very interesting as several will be reporting from NYC and other city-impact roundtables they've attended recently.... not to mention those representing upcoming Indiana transformational events. Come pray, plan and build together with us.]

Friday, October 10, 2003


Commuting 2 hours a day into Manhattan -- this is nuts. LOL. How do people do it?

It's taken all my blogging time, but I'll catch up now that I'm back home in Indiana! Stay tuned....

Luis Palau, John Perkins, Mel Gibson, Rudy Carassco, Julio Hernandez, World Trader Center.... and...

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Dr. Bright's Replacement as Co-chair of Mission America Coalition? Vonette !

Big announcement tonight. Who would replace Dr. Bright among the 3 co-chairs (the others being Dr. Billy Graham and Dr. John Perkins).... It was unanimous... Mrs. Vonette Bright !

So many other great parts of this evening's session, but let's leave some things for tomorrow's blog. Stay tuned for Luis Palau, John Perkins, Paul Cedar, Wayne Pederson and... Mel Gibson.


Christian News Linkage?

Hmmm. Joe Walsh (California Christian News) is here, cross-pollinated with Ted Baehr (Hollywood MoviesGuide), and Christian technologists from Faith Highway and Or what about Phil Olson (Network 9:35). And where's Rudy Carassco, anyway? LOL.

What on earth will God do by connecting these driven brothers of faith?

Monday, October 06, 2003

"Community Coalition Track"

The particular "track" of worshops I'm attending is focused on building city-based coalitions. Recognize this guy from our past features of his article... "10 Paradigms Shifts Toward Community Transformation"?

National Leadership Forum -- Awesome:
Let me start with a disclaimer: Getting the opportunity to be at such an event has nothing to do with anything special about me. [I count myself just very fortunate to get to be here this week... and I'd like to specially thank Crossroads Bible College and Here's Life Inner City for helping this to come about.]

Last night was opening night. It started with a "city reaching roundtable"... 2 hrs worth of brainstorming with others in your city. Hmmm. Hoosiers -- we're behind the curve. We're not well represented here this time. Chicagoland had 20 people here... and other cities represented totaled about 500 here for the conference. Let's pray for an accelerated insight for the future. But how? Talk to me. How?

So last night was "Town Hall" format, entitled "The Gospel in the City". (with an audio feed to 3 radio networks). It featured 6 notable Christian panelists and 4 notable journalists asking the questions.

But for as exciting as all this is, yesterday's most notable experience was found simply as I was sitting, waiting in the lobby of the New York Hilton. An endearing elderly lady asked to sit beside me. We immediately began to talk -- she was just passing through, walking from her Manhattan apartment to the New York Library. I was sitting at her daily rest stop. Peggy. Perhaps somewhat a stereotype of the world traveling, self-made Manhattanite who had enjoyed the good life, now finds herself widowed, without children, and her only local friend is 'the lady down the hall who I really don't like very much'. But she's still upbeat. You couldn't help but like her. But although Jewish by heritage, she had no faith community. No real family. I listened at length. An hour later, because I'd listened, I earned a hearing as we parted. Trying not to presumptuously 'tell' my new elderly friend anything, I was allowed to quickly share my personal story -- a lifetime of the 'comfort of just following God around'. I'd had my ups & downs, wasn't at all perfect or someone who had followed Him particularly well, or a person to be envied... except that I had come to know God's peace early in life and after 40 years of following Him, I'd never regretted it. She accepted a "Free Gift" tract and promised me she'd be sure to read it. Pray for Peggy. She knows it wasn't a 'chance encounter' at her daily resting place.