Saturday, January 21, 2006

ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY

This Sunday marks our one year anniversary for this
unique church in the Inland Empire. Last week we
tackled the Theology of Martin Luther King Jr. and
his "beloved community". Next week we will tackle
Affirmative Action, A Spiriual Pregotative.

The big project on the horizon is Joseph, a full length
motion picture. Joseph is set during the high tech
boom in the Nineties in California. This modern
day retelling of the Joseph story will be a powerful look
at the spiritual message of Joseph within modern
cinema. Come help us with this project. We welcome
you.

I have a new year resolution to try to make this blog
more active. Take care. Join us for year two.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

New Update

I haven't updated this in a long time. Our church is now
seven months old. We have gathered a diverse group
of different viewpoints and beliefs. The teachings of
the scriptures and Jesus are routinely discussed with
regard to our modern world and existence. Everyone is
welcome without regard to belief. All we ask is that
you respect each other.

We have boldly examined issues and questions that
many churches have not been able to review: racial
reparations, sweatshops and labor, homelessness, poverty,
the current wars, practically loving enemies, civil religion, real freedom
of conscience, the American empire and its moral
consequences, and family values.

We look forward to future topics, such as the death
penalty, immigration, conflict reconciliation, and many
other current topics in the light of biblical and
scriptural teachings. We leave time for ample discussion
and comments. Also, we have dinners after our worship.
We'd love to see you. If you want a church that is unique and
relevant, this is your place. A Real Jesus for a Real World.
Come join us.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Re: April Update

Sorry. I never seem to update this. Our church is off and
running. I've been encouraged to see the open response
we've seen from many people. We are intending to form
a genuine Christian community that is guided by teaching of
Jesus and the Holy Spirit, not just our own biases. This means
we must listen to each other. Listen is more than hearing but
hearing is a start. We are trying to create as many opportunities
that we can to hear each other and the word of God. My prayer
is that this will morph into listening. That will be tougher
sledding but it is essential to unity and peacemaking. Also,
listening is crucial to any person's spiritual journey. Belief is
a life not just a set of logical propositions. Some people embrace
a way and posture of life that will result in faith, while some embrace
propositions that will result in a life of faith. At Manna we will
try to encourage both paths that can result in a life of faith. From
lives of faith will be formed a people of faith.

ANNOUNCEMENT: HEY YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS OUR SERIES
JUSTICE JESUS OR JUST US JESUS. IT HAS BEEN GREAT.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Running Start

January 23rd is the first official day that our church will start
meeting at the International Lounge on the UCR Campus.
We have had a number of people expressing serious interest
and a good group of people who will be helping launch Manna.
A big thank you to all of you.

However, we are getting a running start. We have had two radio
shows on Radio KPRO, 1570 AM. The show airs on Saturdays at
6:00 PM. If you want a CD with a sample show, let me know.
Also, you can download a sample show on the Manna Radio
page on this website. Go to the Focused Ministry list.

We are having an organizational meeting and dinner at our house,
16775 Secretariat Drive, Moreno Valley, CA. Call 243-2293 if
you wish to go. We have made many good contacts and people with
possible ministries that God has placed on their heart.

On a more sober note, I have two prayer requests for people. First,
the powerful tsunami and the many deaths, destructions, injuries,
and destroyed lives reminds us that we live in a fallen world. We
are naive to think that this is their problem over there. Prayer and
action is needed. These people are our neighbors. I would encourage
people to give money or aid to the many organized efforts that are underway.

Secondly, I talked with a man named James, last Friday. He is returning from
Iraq and will return in 90 days with his unit. He is a 25 year Marine veteran, an NCO,
who leads a recon unit. He has seen plenty of action in his life. It has left
its mark. He is haunted. He freely admits long-term drug and alcohol addiction
even during assignments to allow him to live his life and sleep nights. Yet, he shows an
intense love and care for those he commands even to the point of death. Whether you support the war or
not, it is important to remember that people in our armed forces are real
people. We ask a terrible thing from them in our name. We owe a duty
in return. War is an admission that we have failed. Even if we have to
engage in war, we must admit failure and deal with the consequences. The life of James and others is our duty. We demanded a horrible duty from him. As Christians and Americans, we have a duty in return.
James 4:17 makes it clear that if we know something good that we ought to do
and we don't do it, we sin. What has God placed on our hearts to do?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Moving On

I will try to blog more often. I haven't lived up
to my promise to this point. Things are
progressing. I have met many interesting
people, People who care and people with
passsion. God is alive and working.

Just some announcements. We will start
January 23rd at 5:00 PM with Manna
Seminary and worship. Our radio program
on KPRO 1570 AM will start on January 1.
Our ads are running on the UCR basketball
games. Also, we have a small ad in the
Christian Examiner and the UCR student
newspaper. In early March we will be
at the Missions Conference at Biola.
On Dec. 2, we will have a table at
University of Redlands.

I have spent some time connecting with
Christian groups on campus, as well as
community justice groups. It has been
a blessing to see people who are passionate
and committed to loving their neighbors.
When you talk with people from all
perspectives, you see that Jesus's name
is honored despite the more frequent use
of Jesus to push political and social causes--
most often (but not exclusively) by the Religious
Right. Most people appreciate prayer and
want to know about what the Bible and Jesus
taught. Most people would rather evangelicals
leave the politics behind.

Christians need to come out and reach out.
Rarely, have I encountered hostility. Also, the great
majority of hostility that I have encountered comes
from church people. The reasons seem to be
twofold: competition and hostility to our mission.
As far as competition, we have tried to be cooperative
with all those who we have been allowed to cooperate
with. However, the competitive spirit is strong. Unfortunately,
fellow Christians need to understand that we are all
on the same team. This is actually a biblical principles.
Secondly, too many evangelicals have swallowed whole
a false religion of American and Theocratic Nationalism.
Our mission is not to make America "Christians" but introduce
Americans to Christ. Our national and cultural fate is
in God's hand. We are to coperate with God's mission, not dictate
to God what our mission is and invite God to share it with us.


Also, too many Christians have become hostile to
the poor and the oppressed. We have a Christian duty.
Read the Bible cover to cover. You might find it interesting.
Short version. Read Deutoronomy 15 and Matthew 25: 31-46 and
on. You might find it interesting. Justice issues are frequently addressed
in Scriptures. Quite frankly, Jesus wouldn't want to spend too much
time in many of our churches. I hope He wants to spend time
in ours.

Have a Good Christmas. I hope to be seeing and working
with many of you in January and beyond.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Psalm 46

"Be still and know that I am God"

These words ring out to us from the Psalms (Psa. 46: 10).
Elections come and elections go. Presidents come and presidents
go. But, God remains and God reigns. Jesus told Pilate that His kingdom
was not of this world. If it were, His disciples would fight for it.

In the Sixties, I was pained to see those on the liberal left who
felt they owned God. I am no less pained to see those on the
Religious Right who now believe they have the deed to God.
The demographers tell us that both abortions and poverty
have increased. God is not pleased with either. Remember,
Republicans controlled the court when Roe v. Wade created the
"right" to abortion and widened it far beyond its original
language. The Religous Right has ruled the political landscape
while gay marriage has swept into our view faster than I thought
possible. In our website, we have posted the Barna study that
shows that divorce is higher among the church population than
the non-church population. So much for our "family values".

Remember, the Democrats ruled the political landscape
while the War of Poverty was fought and lost. Under the
Democrats universal healthcare never happened. The
Democrats never resisted the Republican march from
Roe v. Wade until today to widen the abortion holocaust.
In fact, the "right to choose" has become a Democratic
mantra, while Republicans have hypocritically been shedding tears
over the holocaust hoping to cover the fact that they've increased
the "right to abortion" through their courts ever since the Seventies.
(These are the facts like them or not)

War. Both parties agree. 'Nuff said. The dogs of war roam
free. Terrorism is on the march. The Four Horsemen of the
Apocalypse roam our landscape.

What we have been left with is a more divided American than
I've ever seen. We as a church are weak and pitiful. We can
not reach out to our neighbor, because we view them as
"heathen" to conquer. Not surprisingly, the "heathen" don't
seem to appreciate us.

The culture wars will be stoked by this shameful period in our
history. Manna Church stands for peace within the culture wars.
However, we stand for higher ground, not common ground. Only
when we repent, can we begin to come together. To repent we
need to understand that none of us are righteous. Our country is
in trouble, because we are troubled. Our sin haunts us. No party
owns God. Unfortunately, God has no ownership of the hearts of
our parties, and He owns far too few of our hearts.

It is time we are still and know that God is God.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Moving On

This has been a busy two weeks. When God moves, you have to
get moving. We will have our Manna On the Air show on KPRO
1570 AM starting on January 1, 2005. Yeah, New Years Day.
This is a real answer to prayer. We will be coming on before the
UCR basketball games, which we will be sponsoring. So check out
the games and listen for our spot.

Also, we will have a small ad in the Christian Examiner for the next
six months. We have been putting flyers on the UCR campus and
surrounding campuses. We will be handing out brochures from
our table we hope to have in various venues, including UCR and the
Farmer's Market.

We are looking for a site to begin regular worship and house the
Winter Quarter of Manna Seminary. We have two classes ready to go
thanks to the help and ministry of Jack and Marilyn Gibson. Super
People. I hope you get to meet them. Pray for us as we continue with
that effort.

We have been busy contacting ministries on the UCR campus to lay the
groundwork for the Millenium 3.0 ministry. There are a number of
ministries working hard to spread the gospel to the campus. They
need your prayers. I will try to update people on a more regular basis.
In the meantime, continue to pray for us. God has been providing, oftentimes
faster than we can handle it.