Today we released our second album to the Russian & Ukrainian speaking world. A mix of artists, friends, styles and languages! Most the music in this part of the world is pirated, and ‘free’ so we don’t really try and make any money over here – but if you were able to to support us by purchasing on iTunes we’d really appreciate it! All proceeds go towards our next project.
Deb & I ask you to pray with us this week as we just arrived in sunny Sloviansk, Eastern Ukraine. This is my third trip to this weary, war-torn area of Ukraine called “The Front”, first time with Deb and the kids. It’s a 500 mile trek by car, through some beautiful country side and historic cities. The purpose of our trip is to further explore the open doors and relationships forming for a possible new youth discipleship platform.
This morning has been much needed rest. We’ve been going for weeks and really sense the need to take a breath, and deepen my trust in God. When we feel we need to stay busy, we’re probably struggling with trusting God. Sabbath was for reminding us that while we sleep, the dew gathers, we can trust in the provisions of God. Nothing in this life sustains us but the Word who holds all things together. Strip us that we may hear your voice. Bring rest that we may work the true works which will stand in the end.
Deb playing monopoly with the 4 we have with us. Laughter and strategy. We have been blessed with an amazing house, WITH air conditioning -it’s +30C this week. Dinner tonight with Oleg & Joana, their mom and dad, pastors of the “Good News” church here in the city.
Coffee Shop in Sloviansk has been offered to us to re-open, with the vision of creating youth platform much like Lighthouse.
Orphan ministry is something we’ve not pursued but believe God may be leading us to bring Christ in some new ways in this sphere.
Church leaders in this area have been super gracious, we need wisdom to represent the Kingdom and all believers.
Mission Team will need to be raised among our core group if we’re going to plant something here – pray for laborers! I feel there’s a western family or individual that will be important for this to work.
Posted inBruce Posts|Comments Off on Explore & Prayer Week – Pt.1
In Andy Crouch’s book, “Culture Makers” he suggests four basic postures the Church historically, especially recently, has towards the dominant culture around it.
Is there a better attitude or posture we believers should have towards culture? I think there is, and Crouch makes this observation.
We could, if we took some time, come up with many different topics, cultural themes which would fit into each of these categories. One of the difficulties is that when we focus on these often divisive topics, not every believer agrees with our own agreed posture. We may each hold to the authority of Scripture, even belong to the same church, and yet understand a cultural trend or topic differently. One condemns, another open to a different interpretation and still others adopting a christian version for their own consumption within their christian sub-culture.
What if all four postures towards culture are less than what we are truly called to be and do in our world? What if our response towards culture should come from a place of creativity as we’re restored in Christ to expressive, gifted, story-telling, and authentic selves?
“The only way to change culture is to create more of it.”
What if we were designed to co-create with God. What if embedded in our divine image bearing selves, is the ability to create cultural, visible, felt, tasted, heard expressions that reflect the world that should be. The Kingdom, Christ said, has come. We do, and should have a story to tell. What if, instead of condemning or critiquing as our primary postures (defensive as they are), we are Kingdom culture makers in a broken world desperately in need of repair.
During the first four centuries of the Church, it was the radical Kingdom expressions of equality, service, love, sacrifice which propelled this revolution of Christianity throughout Rome, despite often strict opposition of the dominant culture. Without this vision, we’re relegated as the body of Christ to the sidelines, incubated, even secularized in a corner of culturally permitted Christendom. It’s sad that our posture too often as Christians is that of a people ‘opposed?’ Opposed to what, the world? The world in need of a Savior? The world for whom the Father sent His most loved Son to suffer for? We need a new posture than that of a condemning, criticizing, copying, and consuming Christian culture. This is far, far less than what the Father intended us to be as salt, light, and Kingdom culture makers in this world.
“Christian faith malfunctions when it is practiced as a mystical religion in which assent is followed by a barren rather than creative return, a return that has no positive results for the world.”
In the next blog, I will share some really interesting concepts that comprise our worldview. If you haven’t a vision for how the world should be, under the reign of Christ, it will be very difficult to embark on culture creation. The places and spaces we create, the reflections of our worldview through all kinds of artistic expression, should inspire, attract, convict, and be shared with our world.
You are already creating cultural expressions, things that you deeply value. Perhaps you just don’t realize it. From the wafting aroma of the baked cookies, to the smile you give someone that you don’t know. We are communicating, expressing in so many ways.
What is your vision of the way the world should be?
Posted inBruce Posts|Comments Off on What is Your Relationship With Culture? – Part 1.
Solidarity. That deep unifying connection which reminds us we are not all that different. We set out in life in discovery, we are broken, and this world reminds us things are not as they should be. During our journey, we find hints of what should be, residue of a what could be, but it eludes. In Christ, all our fears displaced, hope renewed. In this life we have troubles, we take heart, God has overcome the world in Jesus.