Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We've moved!

Our new blog (featuring media from Faith Alive presentations!) is:


Hope to see you there!

May the Lord bless you.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Become a Future Citizen

When we submit to Jesus’ authority through his word, he does to our “inner person,” what his earthly ministry did to sickness, storms, and demonic possessions.

The Sermon on the Mount ends with the crowds “amazed at his teaching” because he had authority. This authority was not just that he spoke louder voice, but that he spoke as the King into the hearts and lives of all people.

Then, in the next chapters, he proves this authority:

· He heals a leper who says to him, “if you are willing…”

· He heals the centurion’s servant with a word, marveling at how the centurion recognizes his authority

· He rebukes the wind and waves, leaving the disciples astounded, “who is this man that even the wind and waves obey him?”

What is the common denominator to his authority? In every case, Jesus offers a glimpse of the New Creation. The healed sick are roadway signs of what is coming down the road in the future when there will "be no more sickness". The calmed sea gives a foretaste of a sea of glass before the throne. And what is happening in nature – the turning a chaotic storm to glassy serenity—and sickness—the turning writhing pain to humble rejoicing—is also happening whenever disciples submit to the authority of his word in the Sermon on the Mount and obey it.

When we obey we are not just following rules and regulations of Jesus. We are becoming a new creation.

And if you have ever seen Christians model the life described in the Sermon on the Mount, you get a glimpse of the wonder that this new creation holds.

by David Niblack

Monday, December 7, 2009

How Can We Help The World's Poor?

“The number of bleeding hearts has soared exponentially over the last decade. Celebrities embraced Africa, while conservatives went from showing disdain for humanitarian aid (“money down a rat hole”) to displaying leadership in the fight against AIDS and malaria. Compassion became contagious and then it became consensus.”

To read more of this NY Times article, click here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Deerfield History and Civil Rights: A Panel Presentation

The following presentation is happening tonight. Several Trinity students are attending, including the Justice floor. We hope to post reflections soon!

The 1959 Deerfield Integration Case: A Commemoration

Thurs., Dec. 3, 7:15 p.m.

"The efforts to build an open housing development in Deerfield, a development that would make property available to African-Americans, met with massive resistance in a time when fears of integration were high. In this panel discussion and multi-media presentation, residents will share their remembrances of civil rights, the fear of outsiders by community members, faith-based responses to integration, and the progress that Deerfield has made up until the present." (taken from a flyer)

Place: Caruso Middle School Auditorium
1801 Montgomery Road
Deerfield, IL 60015

The event is free and open to the public.

Co-Sponsors: Common Ground Deerfield, Committee on Interfaith Housing in the Northern Suburbs

Here is another link.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Neighborhood

*Note zip code 60064 is North Chicago excluding the Navy Base

Why is this the case? Lord, have mercy.

Some other thoughts:

“Ethnic identity and reconciliation with other people are central to being a citizen of the kingdom of God.” –from The Heart of Racial Justice

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:1-4

Union with Christ. All tribes, united with Christ. All nations, united with Christ. All peoples, united with Christ. May the church, both outwardly and inwardly, reflect this fantastic Kingdom diversity.

How does this call affect ministry in our neighborhood? How does the church, instead of following society, reflect the Kingdom in attitude and action? The road forward will be painful...but glorious. It is the call to die to self and live by faith in the Son of God.

"Unity should not be a goal we strive for but a gift we receive when we listen to the same voice of the same Lord." -Dr. Cha quoting someone (sorry, couldn't remember who it was)

Monday, November 23, 2009

It was good for us to have been here

Two weeks ago, I went to a meeting at Trinity’s student center for those interested in participating in a poverty simulation/homeless weekend experience in Chicago. A girl named Ella was organizing this event to give Trinity students a glimpse of what it may feel like to “walk in the shoes” of someone who is homeless. Hopefully the weekend would promote greater awareness of the struggles of the homeless and develop a better understanding of how to minister to someone in that context. As a part of this introductory meeting Ella brought Qualin (pronounced Quail-lynn), a sixty two year old Christian man, who had lived most of his life on the streets.

Though he was asked to share a brief testimony, Qualin spoke for 50 minutes about his life. His thoughts were jumbled and his timeline wasn’t linear, but his words were filled with grace and passion for God. He told stories of seeing friends beat to death (literally) in front of his eyes, a kind pastor who let him live with his family in their basement, learning how to read after becoming a Christian as an adult and a difficult cycle of alcohol and drug abuse/addiction. His honest stories kept coming and coming... and I realized that was part of the homeless culture. He had no strict sense that the meeting was only supposed to go from 7-8 and he was only alloted 20 minutes.

After Qualin’s life story, as Ella was explaining the format of the evening, Qualin interrupted her, saying that he felt God telling him to do something. Saying that he saw her doing mighty things for God, he pulled out a hundred dollar bill from his pocket and gave it to this college Senior for her ministries. She tried to refuse, but he said, “You need to say yes. It is from God.”

After the meeting, I thanked Qualin for coming and sharing his story with us. Though he did not know the exact wording or reference he replied, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Cor 1:27) I left the meeting saying to my friend Danny, “It was good for us to have been here.”

A few observations/questions:

Though his grammar was poor, he stuttered, he was missing a few front teeth, he misquoted Scripture passages, he went deep on rabbit trails, and spoke slowly...
I never heard someone testify to God’s goodness so much in a short period than Qualin.

Have I ever seen a man or women like Qualin (i.e. homeless person) speak in a Sunday morning church service or Christian college/seminary chapel service? In my 24 years of going to church and my 7 years of attending Christian chapel... No.

All of the other speakers I have heard have been very polished, articulate, clean, dressed up, well-groomed, and intelligent. Is it bad or wrong that I have never seen anyone even close to Qualin’s caliber in these services? Why do we not have people like Qualin speak to our churches and ministries? I agree, it may be a bit awkward for the audience, but what in fact may we be depriving ourselves of in ignoring the input from the community of homeless and poor?

by Mark Hershey

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gospel Servanthood

The following is an excerpt from Reverend Pflegor’s 2004 commencement address at Northpark University. For the whole address, click here (highly recommended).

“See, that’s what true servanthood is all about – that’s what gospel servanthood is all about – that’s what discipleship is all about. It’s about caring and sacrificing and serving, without asking, “What am I going to get out of it?” or “How will I get paid back?”. But it’s a willingness to pay the cost because I understand I have been saved by grace, but saved for service. And discipleship will cost.

Charles Spurgeon said, “A church which does not exist to do good in the heart of the city has no reason to justify its existence and a church that doesn’t exist to fight evil, take the side of the poor, denounce injustice and hold up righteousness is a church that has no right to be.”


Finally, as we leave here to live our faith, let me close with the words of a simple woman who was of little stature but of great significance - Mother Teresa:

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Love them anyway. When you do good, they will accuse you of egoism and ulterior motives. Do good anyway. If you are successful, you will make false friends and real enemies. Be successful anyway. The good that you do will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Sincerity and openness make you vulnerable. Be sincere and open anyway. What you build up over years of work can be destroyed. Build anyway. Your help is really needed, but people may attack you if you help them. Help them anyway. Give the world your best, and it will knock your teeth out. Give the world your best anyway.”

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:19-20

Monday, November 16, 2009

Exciting New Program at Trinity

The following is taken from the Trinity Graduate School.

"Today's student is very aware of social issues on both a local and global level: trafficking, poverty, HIV/AIDS, malaria to name a few. Christian students in particular have a greater awareness that their responsibility includes care for the marginalized. Trinity Graduate School is on the forefront of equipping students to address such needs by developing programs that empower students to tackle issues with a biblical worldview.

The new emphasis at TGS focuses specifically on social entrepreneur ventures that create opportunities for solutions to some of these local and global social concerns. A social entrepreneur addresses issues by catalyzing enterprises that create sustainable change for improvement of the social conditions and quality of life of people. The social entrepreneurship emphasis equips students with the skill set to launch ventures that address these concerns."