A Different Voice September 24, 2006Posted by peterong in Emergent, Uncategorized.
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An interesting article on emergent and another rehash of the emergent church movement as reported in the Washington Post.
A different voice
Evangelical author puts progrssive spin on faith
By CARYLE MURPHY, The Washington Post
Published: Sunday, Sep. 24, 2006
Lyndsay Moseley was no longer inspired by the evangelical Christian faith of her youth. As an environmental activist, she believed that it offered little spiritual support for her work and was overly focused on opposing abortion and gay marriage.
Then the 27-year-old Washington, D.C., resident discovered Brian McLaren of Laurel, Md., one of contemporary Christianity’s hottest authors and founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church. (more…)
Weighty matter: Is religion making us fat? September 20, 2006Posted by peterong in Uncategorized.
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Hmmm….one of the things about Asian American churches is the food…either the pot-lucks with plenty of roast duck (I don’t even want to talk about Korean Churches where they deck the basement with wall to wall food and garbage cans that are larger than most Chinese sanctuaries)…I guess that is part of what is happening here…we are getting fat and this is like the admonishment by Paul…have we become a culture of decadence in the midst of so much poverty?
By Cathleen Falsani
Back in the decadent early 1980s, New Wave rocker Adam Ant mocked clean living in his maddeningly catchy song, “Goody Two Shoes.”
“Don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do ya do?” Ant taunted.
A new Purdue University study may hold the answer to Ant’s question.
If they don’t drink and don’t smoke, what do they do?
Eat, apparently. (more…)
People Who Share a Bed, and the Things They Say About It September 20, 2006Posted by peterong in Marriage, Rants.
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So Jamie and I don’t have the most romantic way of sleeping since I find that I have a hard time being “close” and like my space…but I find that the ritual we have in bed is a sweet one…where we do our evening devotions, pray and then chat a little and pretend to fight for the sheets (Which Jamie ALWAYS wins, leaving me all frigid and cold….). But there is a healing process in being in bed with your spouse…it is a time of just yielding the day into the evening and with anticipation of hope a another new day…this article is a sweet reminder of that…and how precious this is…
by Kate Murphy
New York Times
While researching rural life more than 20 years ago, Paul C. Rosenblatt took his 12-year-old son with him to interview farm families in the Midwest. Father and son stayed in a farmhouse and had to share a bed.
“It was terrible,” said Dr. Rosenblatt, a professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, because his son thrashed and turned so much that “his feet were in my face all night.”
Tired and bedraggled the next day, he recalled thinking about how challenging it can be to adapt to sleeping with another person. (more…)
SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE AND PEACE September 19, 2006Posted by peterong in Food for thought, New York Ministries.
Here is the text from Tim Keller from the 9/11 memorial service. I got this from Tim’s son’s blog. I was moved to tears as I read this and amazed in Keller’s ability to bring to a community ravaged by this gaping absence with a beautiful conviction and hope. Amen. Amen. Amen.
Ground Zero/St Paul’s Chapel Tim Keller
Sep 10, 2006
As a minister, of course, I’ve spent countless hours with people who are struggling and wrestling with the biggest question – the WHY question in the face of relentless tragedies and injustices. And like all ministers or any spiritual guides of any sort, I scramble to try to say something to respond and I always come away feeling inadequate and that’s not going to be any different today. But we can’t shrink from the task of responding to that question. Because the very best way to honor the memories of the ones we’ve lost and love is to live confident, productive lives. And the only way to do that is to actually be able to face that question. We have to have the strength to face a world filled with constant devastation and loss. So where do we get that strength? How do we deal with that question? I would like to propose that, though we won’t get all of what we need, we may get some of what we need 3 ways: by recognizing the problem for what it is, and then by grasping both an empowering hint from the past and an empowering hope from the future.
Finding Roots in China’s Soil September 19, 2006Posted by peterong in Asian American, Food for thought, Uncategorized.
Found this article from 2001 about visits to China that traces geneology that stirred my heart and for our reclamation of our cultural identities as part of our healing. Here is a pic that I found on the net that matched my thoughts on this.
(01-21) 04:00 PDT Guangdong province, China — It floated effortlessly through the air, the dots on its wings creating a white streak. “Look at the butterfly,” Al Cheng said, recognizing the symbolism even before it landed on Eric Joe’s right foot.
In Chinese folk tales, a black butterfly is a reincarnation of someone who has died and come back to see the living. Joe was visiting the ancestral home of his father’s family and the memorial marker of his great-great-grandfather.
“I got chills when it landed on me,” Joe said. “It popped back up and landed on my left foot, and I felt the same chills up my spine again.”
He went to China as part of “In Search of Roots,” a genealogy program for Chinese Americans in the Bay Area that includes a three-week trip, led by Cheng, to visit the ancestral homes of its 10 participants.
Joe, 25, is the first in his immediate family to return to the village in Kaiping (pronounced hoi-ping in Cantonese) county since 1950.
Some Roots participants, like Joe, want to know their family history. Others are also drawn to the program by gnawing questions about their place in America’s “melting pot.” Who am I and where do I fit in? Am I Chinese, American or both? What does it mean to be American if your ancestors didn’t cross the Atlantic Ocean? (more…)
GenerASIAN Next: The Power of 1 Million New Asian American Votes September 19, 2006Posted by peterong in Asian American, Asian American Church, Food for thought, Politics, Rants, Uncategorized.
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Can you imagine if Asian Americans were active in politics? What would mainstream media look like if there was an acknowledgement of an Asian American voter block? What if government had to contend with issues that are important to the Asian American population. Like the Asian American church, it is hard to pinpoint a distintictive based on our culture. We are often acculturated or assimilated to the certain stratas of economic and music culture(look at our worship sets…Chris Tomlin and Hillsongs…etc.). We have a reputation of adaptability…yet, I am often confronted with the fact that Chinese people watch TV shows that are set 500 + years ago. There is a historical imagination that contiues to haunt in Asian sensibilities. There is a yearning for a distinctiveness that we often ignore or defy because of our some of the confrontations of this country’s legacy of colonialism, racism and America’s ambivalent relationship with Asia. I wonder if there are Asian distinctives that are in other parts of the world that doesn’t have this stigma and how does their worship or church becomes a freedom to worship in our own tongues.
September 14, 2006
On September 10, 2006, activists across the nation pledged to recruit 1 million Latino voters. Some say impossible. But I say it can be done, because it has been done.
2000-2004 marks a new awakening in American politics. In just one presidential cycle, our nation experienced an exponential increase in Asian American civic participation by registering 1 million Asian American newly registered voters nationwide.
In California, 1 million registered Asian American Californians voted, but 1.5 million Asian Americans who were eligible to vote, did not. In other words, California is missing out on the votes of 0.3 million Asian American registered voters, and 1.2 million eligible Asian American Californians who still need to be registered, and turned out, to vote.
On November 7, Asian Americans have the opportunity of a lifetime to change the face of California politics. For the first time in California’s history, an unprecedented number of Asian American & Saudi American candidates will be on the California ballot: 27 overall. (more…)
Blue Like Jazz mirrors debate about direction of Christianity September 15, 2006Posted by peterong in Emergent.
An interesting article talking about Blue Like Jazz…from the American Baptist News.
Blue Like Jazz mirrors debate about direction of Christianity
Published: September 14, 2006
DALLAS (ABP) — Reactions among evangelical Christians to Donald Miller’s best-selling book Blue Like Jazz are about as diverse as reactions to the idea of postmodern Christianity itself.
Although the book debuted three years ago, its steadily growing popularity has made it a bona fide phenomenon in evangelical circles and spurred debates about the direction of Christianity as a whole.
Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, Miller’s second book, uses the medium of a spiritual memoir to deconstruct and analyze much of what many evangelicals take for granted about the Christian lifestyle. A 30-something ex-Texan who grew up Southern Baptist, Miller uses the book to chart his own spiritual journey alongside Texas Baptists, Oregon hippies, atheists, folk singers, liberal college students and even penguins. (more…)
Cao Boi…Apply Directly to the Forehead… September 15, 2006Posted by peterong in Asian American, Rants.
So many of you may not know this but I am a fast becoming a Jeopardy Game Show fanatic with my wife and I watching and playing (we even have a borrowed copy of the PlayStation video-game of the TV show) and there is this weird commercial for a headache ointment stick called Head On. The only time I see the commercial is when we watch Jeopardy. So last night I happen to watch the first episode of CBS’s Survivor: Cook Island where the experiment of having ethnic specific tribes compete with one another. The character of Cao Boi really made me think of the commerical when he applied this mystical head massage on one of the Asian American teammates which left a “bad air” mark…and for the next three hours I was reciting “Cao Boi…apply directy to the forehead…”
I didn’t have any profound feelings about this show as some of the critics out there, some calling the show’s theme as exploitative or racist but I thought that it is representative of our perceived realities of what role our ethnicity plays out in our daily lives. We live in a culture where we have to collide with other cultures and where we have our biases. In our PC’ed world we don’t like talking about it in a way that is authentic and instead we have these forced acceptance that leads to silence because of the taboo subject of race. So instead of deepening our ethnic roots, we often deny or superficially acknowledge it (eating dim sum, having bubble tea or listening to Canto doesn’t make you Asian) it because it is more important not to touch this gaping wound. But we patch it with these comical statements, like the cliche…”we are part of one race, the ‘human race’.”
But the reality is that we all carry a lingering unspoken suspicion that we are different. We do come from different stories and it echoes our past in ways that are deep and profound. I grew up in a predominately black neighborhood and we often joked about our races and we also had dialogue on some of the ugly parts of our cultural identities. The challenges of being a black male, violence towards asians, mutually unhealthy perceptions of women, etc…We have plenty of incidents in our recent history to remind us of that. LA riots, O.J. Simpson, and 9/11 that pitted our most deepest notions of racial convictions.
Last night the pseudo-neo hippy Cao Boi (pronounced COW BOY not to be mistaken for the WWE’s Asian American Redneck Jimmy Wang Yang) of the Puka Puka (who came up with this busted tribe names?) had a mystical way of dealing with one of his tribe member’s migraine but getting rid of his “bad air.” He made jokes about being Asian (“we are short and we eat rice”) and he diagnosed the gap due to generational issues and his pronounced history as a refugee from Vietnam. He was a bit of a character but I appreciated his honesty and they way we made fun of the other Asian teammates being “out of touch” with their ethnic heritage. (more…)
Prayer Update 9/15 September 15, 2006Posted by peterong in Prayer Update.
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Dear friends and family,
This week of the 5th anniversary of 9/11 caught me off guard…as the nation returned to this tragic event I found that the memories of this day haunted me with a renewed verve. On the days following the anniversary have been particularly somber as I remember the details of each of the moments that marked my heart since….
At the very worst I remember the relentless fear and paranoia that pandered to the most unreasonable and general violence. Some regarded their pain by spilling out their hearts in senseless hedonism, grabs for numbing pleasures. illicit sexuality. At the best, I saw a city surging with compassion and love. The moment that defines so much was when I arrived in Chinatown on September 13th…to prepared to counsel the teens at the youth center, but I discovered that there were hitting the streets bringing donated items to the rescue workers. One of the youth told me, “Peter, there is time to be sad and there is time for hope…remember that the people need us and they need to hear about God…” I sat in silence and prayer for this moment to see how the words of this young teen stirred this vision of holy hope. Beauty for Ashes.
There was a song that stayed with me during this time by Lifehouse called “Somewhere in Between” that verbalized my heart as I wrestled through this collision of grief with doubt, insomnia, escapism, and the worse distraction…the busyness of ministry.
Asian American Laity Project:
I had several meetings with local pastors and it was very encouraging to share our hearts and their insights about the Laity Project. One of the ideas that came from the meetings was the development of a lecture series featuring local and national Asian American leaders for the laity to gain some insight and counsel.
As part of my fund development, I am following up with the attendees of the Paul Tokunaga special luncheon and some people who attended the Asian American Leadership Roundtable at ECBC. I am also working with some local church leaders to discuss forming a committee that will help fundraise and coordinate with me for the project. Please pray for provision according to His timing for this important project. Pray for God to raise up a discerning group of leaders to help serve on this committee.
I went to Dentist office for the first time in ___ years and it turns out that I have periodontal disease and have to have some extensive work done on my teeth. The cost is close to $2,500 and we are trusting that th is my first step towards having healthy teeth.
Last week in our trip back to NYC, Jamie and I had a pretty bad flat but we were blessed to be near a mechanic and we had to get our tires changed. This week I am going to get our car fixed and we are hoping to take care of an existing problem. Pray that it will not cost too much and these unexpected costs are taking its toll.
Please pray for Jamie as she is starting her first semester at Maxwell School where she will get a dual degree with her College of Environmental Science and Forestry studies. She is working hard to finish the degree so we can get our lives started on our next stage. Pray for her as she seeks counsel and that I would be a good support to her efforts.
thank you for reading and praying.
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The New “Sleeping Giant” in California Politics:
|Sept. 7, 2006
Click Here for Press Release
Los Angeles, CA (September 6, 2006) – In the 1980s and 1990s, Hispanics were considered the “sleeping giant” in California politics because of their growing numbers. Asian Americans are now the new “sleeping giant” and are at a point where Hispanics were about two decades ago.(1) They have significantly increased their potential power at the polls in California, according to an analysis conducted by researchers affiliated with the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and with the UC AAPI (Asian American & Pacific Islander) Policy Initiative. The analysis uses data from the 2005 American Community Survey (ACS) released on August 15 and 29, 2006 by the U.S. Census Bureau, along with previously released data from the Census Bureau.(2) (more…)