Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How can so many people say they are Christians?

The newest Barna research confirms that cities in the South have the highest proportion of residents who describe themselves as Christian. Ninety-eight percent of those surveyed in Shreveport self-identified as Christian, as did 96 percent of those in Birmingham and Charlotte and over 90 percent of residents of Nashville, Greenville, SC/Asheville, NC, New Orleans, Little Rock and Memphis.
The lowest number of Christians, according to the study, inhabit the coastal states, particularly in San Francisco (68 percent Christians), Portland, OR (71 percent), Portland, ME (72 percent), Seattle (73 percent), Sacramento (73 percent), New York City (73 percent), San Diego (75 percent), Los Angeles (75 percent), Boston (76 percent), and Miami (78 percent). Even in the states with the lowest percentage of Christians, however, nearly three out of four residents call themselves Christians in every city studied. Additionally, weekly church attendance rates were found to be highest in Birmingham, Baton Rouge, and Salt Lake City, while the largest percentage of unchurched adults reside in San Francisco, Portland, ME, Portland, OR, Albany, Boston, Sacramento, and Seattle. Cities with the largest rates of megachurch attendance included Las Vegas, Orlando, Dallas, San Diego, Tampa-St. Petersburg, and Houston.
The Barna Group, 10/12/10

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

66 Love Letters

“66 Love Letters: A conversation with God that invites you into His story” by Dr. Larry Crabb published by Thomas Nelson
I like what the author said in the introduction, “The Bible is a love story that begins with a divorce. Everything from the third chapter of Genesis through the end of Revelation is the story of a betrayed lover wooing us back into His arms…”
From there the author attempts to figure out what God is trying to say to us in each book of the Bible. I enjoyed many of the authors insights, especially from the minor prophets. eg. In Amos the writer brings out the idea that the book is about ‘relational sin’ which ‘destroys relationships and eliminates the source of identity and joy.’
In the NT the writer brings out that the word translated ‘prayer’ in the book of Luke means to ‘wish forward’.
There are a lot of good insights from someone who is not a biblical scholar in this book. I would recommend having it on your nightstand to follow along as you read each of the chapters of the Bible.

Monday, October 04, 2010

"ABOUT YOU" Book Review

“About You” by Dick Staub and published by Jossey-Bass. This book is not just about being a Christian, but it is about what being a Christian will do for you- make you fully human. The author covers the topics from creation, to the fall, to our restoration and how all of them effect our humanness and how Christ has come to fully restore us. I particularly liked chapter 7 where the author gives 8 characteristics of what being fully human may look like.

To be fully human means:
1) to seek God and nurture your soul
2) cultivate your mind
3) creativity and excellence in all you do
4) developing In-person relationships in a virtual age
5) means learning to love, forgive and accept each other
6) means to embrace moral and intellectual certitude in a relativistic age
7) Rediscover the proper rhythm of human life
8) means to see the Image of God, value and worth in everyone you meet.

This is a great book. A nice read and easily to be understood. A good book for new Christians, someone wanting to understand what being a Christian is about and your pastor (there is a lot of good preaching material). I would give this book 5 stars.


10 observations (not in any order of importance) from my recent trip to Mexico

1. Their bigger cities are no different than ours.
2. A wide divide between the rich and the poor. Average person makes $10.00 per day.
3. For the most part the people are content with what they have, though they have nothing of the luxuries that we have.
4. Their churches seem to share some of the same problems that we have eg. What type of music to use in worship.
5. Church location is not a priority. Many churches are in hard to find places.
6. People are very hospitable. Eager and excited to serve visitors.
7. Lots of tortillas and salsa
8. Did not see any overweight people.
9. No toilet seats (Why?)
10. They need a real move of God.