Saturday, July 31, 2010

Announcement (change of plans)

Hola amigos! Well, if you're reading this, you might be aware that I've been in the habit of posting a minimum of two blogs every month to keep you up to speed on my life and thoughts. Long in short, I will be keeping this blog active. However, I will no longer be keeping to any required minimum number of postings per month/year/lifetime/etc. Bottom line, I'd been doing the two-per-month-minimum deal in addition to a regular monthly e-mail update, a quarterly newsletter, and a boatload of other things while working a part/full-time job and being involved in YWAM. If I continue my regular communications at that rate, there's a lot that I should be accomplishing that won't come to fruition. So, when I have enough $ raised so that I can do the YWAM thing full-time, I'll likely get back into the 2-per-month groove. Until then, I'm just gonna let it go as it flows, and in the words of Forrest Gump, "That's all I've got to say about that." Hasta luego!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Science in Missions: An Inconceivable Feat?

The memory remains with me almost as fresh as the string cheese I was holding that September Friday night back in '89. I stood by the refrigerator door w/ my snack in hand, a spy movie from the late '60's playing on the tv two rooms away. Though I don't know what prompted it, a thought just suddenly occurred to me. If a lightning strike can cause a power outage b/c of an electrical overload, what if somebody could have some sort of metallic ball in their backyard that could act like a lightning rod, which, if struck, could then kick the power back on inside their house?

Of course if you know your science, you know that this idea is wholly laughable (I was only 9 at the time, mind you). Even the very idea of harnessing energy from a lightning bolt is quickly dismissed due to the excessive amount of energy that you're dealing with, and the rapidity with which it is delivered. However, is that to say that the idea is unattainable, or at least unprofitable? "You could probably do it through the use of superconductors," a friend of mine told me. I like that, it sounds pretty cool, and the only question I have is...what's a superconductor? In any event, it's an idea I'm working with (sapping energy from a lightning bolt, that is; the ball-in-the-backyard idea was discarded a long time ago).

What of science in missions, though? Are there any possibilities, and what did all of that stuff I just said have to do w/ it? It is commonly understood that the work of a missionary is the communication of the Gospel, but one thing that's sometimes overlooked is that the communication of the Gospel must be accompanied by deeds: "If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?" - James 2:15-16

There are many needs in the world today, and the solutions to them can often be answered by science. One such need is for newer (and preferrably renewable) sources of energy, and along w/ that, the effective implementation, maintenance, and distribution of energy systems in underdeveloped areas around the world. Will I find a way someday to tap into the power of a lightning bolt? It's doubtful, but it's worth the try. The worst thing that can happen is that nothing I try turns out to be successful, in which case I've succeeded in helping others figure out what won't work so they can spend their time and energy on other approaches which might work, instead. The bottom line is I'm following this path b/c, to make a long story short, I see the arrows of God pointing in this direction, and if that's the case, the most intelligent thing I can do is to keep walking this path.

So, that's just one idea that comes to mind in terms of how science can play a role in missions. Think you might have any others? I'd be interested to hear what you have to say.

Youth Ministry!

So I have some exciting news to share. You might know that I have a real strong heart for working in youth ministry, and for that matter, that this is something I haven't done for a while. Having settled well into my new life in PA, I started attending a church nearby last January (the first time in nearly a decade that my home congregation is a Sunday church and not a messianic congregation). It turns out one of the areas where they've had a need for more volunteers is in their youth ministry!

I started joining them a few weeks ago in the classes they have during the Sunday morning service. I also got to go to a pool party they had this past Sunday. I'm talking w/ the youth pastor to see what service opportunities are available (teaching, planning activities, etc.). It's definitely a different feel than the last youth group I was involved with, carrying with it a new set of challenges. I'm enjoying it, though, looking forward to what lies ahead, and thankful that God is, once again, giving me the desires of my heart.