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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year! New Year's Eve Night of Worship at Grace!

Come join us for a Night of Worship at Grace, beginning at 7:30-9pm, in the church lobby.  It will be a time of prayer, music,  and looking forward to the new year.  (No childcare provided.)  

Grace Brethren Church, 3601 Linden Ave., Long Beach, CA

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Art and Music at EVOCAL, 12/18 @ 8pm

Monday, November 10, 2008

Congratulations Deebles!

Welcome Graham Clifford Deeble, born 11/3 @ 7lbs, 8oz, and 20" long. The Deebles have a family blog celebrating their family here.

Jana is going to finish up her semester and still has classes Monday through Wednesday. If you are available, they would love to be fed M-F for the next three weeks. Sign up if you can and include your email address or phone #. We’ll send out a confirmation email. Email Jacquie Bryant at if you want to get on this list.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Repost: J. Richard Middleton: A new Heaven and a new Earth...

Click the bold title for a link to the article: A New Heaven and a New Earth: The Case for a Holistic Reading of the Biblical Story of Redemption by J. Richard Middleton.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the comment box below. Pete and Eric check the blog weekly, so you will have an opportunity to continue the discussion here!

Refractions 29 - Makoto Fujimura

I was reading Makoto Fujimura's Refractions 29: The Island of the Misfit Toys, Part II - his thoughts on artist Jasper Johns, and was struck by the 2nd paragraph, where he refers to N.T. Wright's Surprised by Hope - it seems stunningly appropriate as we explore the Middleton article.

N.T. Wright points out that the popular culture’s distortion of the idea of heaven has truncated the true message of the gospel. He notes, for example, Maria Shriver’s version of heaven, written in her book to children – “is somewhere you believe in… It’s a beautiful place where you can sit on soft clouds and talk to other people who are there…If you’re good throughout your life, then you get to go to heaven…” (quoted in pg. 17) He argues that the language of heaven in the New Testament doesn’t work that way.” “’God’s Kingdom’ in the preaching of Jesus refers not to postmortem destiny, not to our escape from this world into another one, but to God’s sovereign rule coming ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’” (Pg. 18) Heaven, in other words, is not our final destination (as in speaking of Life after Death) : but the biblical writers spoke of the New Heavens and the New Earth, a reconciled whole in which we will inhabit, work and create (Life after Life after Death). We are called to assist in the creation of this new reality through our earthly lives, bringing justice, mercy and beauty into our broken realities. Instead of people simply “going to heaven,” The Bible tells us that at a future point in history, Heaven comes to us, and earth will be re-birthed in one glorious fulfillment of hope someday. “Heaven,” Wright continues, “is the place where God’s purposes for the future are stored up. It isn’t where they are meant to stay so that one would need to go to heaven to enjoy them; it is where they are kept safe against the day when they will become a reality on earth.” (Pg. 151)

I considered posting the entire essay here, but he has so many amazing insights, you'll want to continue reading his blog.

Further into the essay, he quotes N.T. Wright, shoring up the emphasis on culture-making and how it can impact the full scope of Time.

This pro-culture stance, based on what theologians call common grace, makes sense because our effort to bring beauty, justice and peace into the world is a universal calling. Theologically, I am not a Universalist, one that believes that all roads lead to heaven. But scriptures points to a universalistic bent of culture making that bring beauty and empathy into the world. After all, don’t we desperately desire to know that our efforts to create, to administer justice and to bring mercy into the world, are not in vain. To this longing, N.T. Wright goes further than mere affirmation. He states;

You are not oiling the wheels of a machine that’s about to roll over a cliff. You are not restoring a great painting that’s shortly going to be thrown on the fire. You are not planting roses in a garden that’s about to be dug up for a building site. You are – strange though it may seem, almost as hard to believe as the resurrection itself – accomplishing something that will become in due course part of God’s new world. (pg. 208)

Let that sink in a little...

As Fujimura explores the works of Jasper Johns, he suggests how good work lasts:

Thus, the art of Johns operates in “constant negation of impulses,” ( pg. 84) and therefore, his art cannot be simply “Pop” imagery, and is not readily digestible in the way Warhol’s paintings are. Johns’ creativity demands more of us, and his exhibits are full of maps (sometimes literally, in his series of American maps) that depict visual riddles swirling deeply in the currents of culture. The journey of a viewer on that river can be full of generative discovery. Good art gives birth, impregnated with meaning for future creative journeys.

Do take some time to visit Fujimura's blog, and take some time to read the Middleton article.

Please do leave your comments and questions here - we can continue our dialogue on the blog.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dinner and Discussion Group...

John Greer will be hosting a Navigator/Discipleship Gathering at his home on Friday evening (10/17/08) at 6:30pm. They will provide dinner and an opportunity for those who have been involved with discipleship ministries to share and discuss their highs and lows -- both the benefits and difficulties they've experienced -- with discipleship oriented ministries.

Contact John if you are interested in attending at -

Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett: Evangelical Politics : three generations

Here is an opportunity to review the video dialogue between Chuck Colson, Greg Boyd, and Shane Claiborne on Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett.

Click the image below to go to the videostream.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

We Love Long Beach BBQ! Saturday, 9/27 1-5pm

Good Times Ahead! Come one and all to the free BBQ, hosted by We Love Long Beach, and City Council members Gary DeLong and Suja Lowenthal!

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Show at Shelter! Surf Shop, Saturday, 9/27 at 7pm

The First 50 people will receive a great DELVE shirt! that looks like this: