Monthly Archives: January 2013

The sad reality of gunned down youth in urban America

Multiply Justice

Lee Habeeb writes at

chicago-crimeThe date was January 12, 2013. You probably didn’t hear about this tragedy involving guns and two teenage boys. But this was the headline in the Chicago Tribune: “Boys, 14 and 15, killed in separate shootings Friday.” You didn’t hear about it because such events aren’t news in Chicago. They’re ordinary daily occurrences. As we continue to hear calls for ever-tightening gun laws from the Obama administration, and from states such as New York, it is worth thinking about those headlines in Chicago. And in inner cities all around America, places where strict gun laws are already in place. Places where the weapon of choice isn’t an AR-15 but a semiautomatic handgun — the same kind of weapon most Americans use reasonably, and safely, to secure their most precious assets: their loved ones and their property.

So let’s go back to that wretched January 12…

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last generation

Seven Fields of Great Commission Movements

Seven Fields of Great Commission Movements

Many of you are familiar with the Four Fields of Multiplication disciple-making tool:

Four Fields

This tool has been developed and used all over the world and in countless contexts for helping uneducated, indigenous missionaries and church planters see the process of how Christian ambassadors enter a community, evangelize the people, disciple the converts, and gather the disciples into covenant communities.

When we received the “Endvision” and “Four Fields” training documents, we were very excited; however, there is another training document called the “CPM Continuum” that explains the process of movements of church plants and disciple making. These two documents are separate, and all last year we were praying for wisdom in how to bring the two training documents together. We believe the answer is the “Seven Fields.”

This diagram incorporates the two “missing pieces,” at least for us, in the Four Fields…

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I was hoping he’d actually UPDATE this one!

Do the Word

WLO_Blog_WheelPost by Pastor Foley. I’m so excited as I write this post because–oh wait. Let me do this in correct catechetical format:

Q1. Why are you so excited as you write this post?

A1. I’m so excited as I write this post because after six months of searching along with Pastor Tim we have discovered one of the few extant Wesleyan/Methodist catechisms. And it’s really well done.

Q2. What is it called, and where can it be found?

A2. It’s called The catechism of the Methodist Episcopal church. Numbers 1, 2, and 3, in one volume, designed for consecutive study in Sunday schools and families. Published in 1855, it’s in the public domain and thus available for free or for a few bucks in print form from

Q3. If I am Wesleyan/Methodist, why should I care?

A3. Teddy Ray explains why in his excellent post, Why United Methodists…

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Some excellent insights on moving beyond entertainment to getting down to basics.

Do the Word

WLO_Blog_WheelPost by Pastor Tim. I’ll cut right to the chase . . . the church is failing miserably at discipleship.  Thankfully, this doesn’t apply to all churches, but I’m afraid it may paint a pretty accurate picture of many churches within North America.

I was struck by this truth as I attended a recent service at a large, well-known church in our area this past year.   As we walked into the church, we were whisked away to a large room with snacks for the adults and crafts for the kids.  This was where we were greeted by friendly volunteers, and where we received the welcome packet to end all welcome packets.

Once in the sanctuary, I was struck by the beauty of the décor, the grandeur of the large choir, and I was intrigued by the artist stationed at the front of the sanctuary with a large canvas.  Ultimately, the…

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For Disciples of Christ There Are No Random Acts Of Kindness, Only Acts Of Greater and Greater Preparation Leading To The Cross

If our acts of kindness are “random” we are nothing less than accidental Christians…

Do the Word

WLO_Blog_WheelI am hoping against hope that the California megachurch that “decided to shower its community with gifts of love and service for 25 days” this Christmas is spending January helping each participant debrief the experience and think individually about what they learned and how the Holy Spirit may build upon each experience in the year to come.

My experience has been that we churches are not so much inclined to reflect on and learn from our efforts to do good, however, which explains why we may not be so great at doing good well.

We have a tendency to think that doing good is relatively easy when we get around to it, and the challenge is really just making the time. But in a training I did this past month of missionaries serving in some of the toughest places on earth, I led a seemingly simple “do the Word” exercise…

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An Abortionist …

An Abortionist confesses…
You have to become a bit schizophrenic. In one room, you encourage the patient that the slight irregularity in the fetal heart is not important, that she is going to have a fine, healthy baby. Then, in the next room you assure another woman, on whom you just did a saline abortion, that it is a good thing that the heartbeat is already irregular… she has nothing to worry about, she will NOT have a live baby… All of a sudden one noticed that at the time of the saline infusion there was a lot of activity in the uterus. That’s not fluid currents. That’s obviously the fetus being distressed by swallowing the concentrated salt solution and kicking violently and that’s to all intents and purposes, the death trauma… somebody has to do it, and unfortunately we are the executioners in this instance[.] -Dr. Szenes, abortionist

10 surprising quotes from abortionists.

Good post on how tapping into people’s idealism can motivate action, but it can backfire when we do not tell the full story. Some people don’t want to be rescued and sometimes the good works we do like building clean water wells are stolen by the same oppressive individuals keeping the people in poverty anyway. A balanced approach does the most long term good. Eric Foley’s articles on “ransoming captives” are worth reading in this regard.

Multiply Justice

end it movementBy Mark Kelly

I’ve always been an idealist. As a young believer, one of the first passages to capture my imagination was Luke 4:13-23, Jesus declaring his mission “to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors.” (NLT) One of my favorite T-shirts has a slogan boldly emblazoned on the front: “We can stop injustice now.” My heart thrills to see so many people take up the vision of a campaign to end slavery all over the world — especially 60,000 enthusiastic young believers at the Passion 2013 conference held here in Atlanta this past weekend.

I love the idealistic vision: We can stop injustice now! We can eliminate poverty! We can end slavery! Eradicate malaria! Clean water for everyone!

If only reality cooperated.

Slaves are set free when one brick factory closes, and two more open…

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