Sunday, September 30, 2012

john perkins quotes 2013 ccda conference

Our group just returned home from the CCDA conference in Minneapolis, and I thought I'd include a few of John Perkins' Bible Study quotes from this year:

"We are to be the outliving of the inliving Christ."

"We are overindividualizing the it, claim it, prosperity gospel.  We're supposed to live Christianity out in community."

"The reason we're not having much impact because we're thinking individualistically....O say can you see, what's in it for me?"

"We're living beneath what God wants us to live."

"God is so anxious to do for us, that just a little bit of obedience, and He'll get under it, release His power."

"On Christ the solid rock I stand.  Don't put your hope in anything less than Jesus."

"Justice was God's motivation for redemption."

"The nearest I can see of God is when I look at your face."

"Our purpose is to know this wonderful God and make Him known."

"We gotta get past this coffee drinking thing (speaking of surface reconciliation) and get at it."

"We need to have a high sense of calling.  We are called to something bigger than ourselves.  We need a sense of calling.  We gotta go to people with conviction and vision."

"Doing the will of God is everything and if you attempt to do that, you will have God's support."

"The Grace of God is all of God's redemptive power coming together."

"We disciple people so they can be leaders within the society.  That's what Jesus did when he came.  And he gives these gifts to us, each one of us, so that we can perfect the saints so that we can do the discipleship work in the world."

"Our problem today is a leadership crisis.  Whenever God gets ready to solve problems in the world, He finds leaders and then he gives them a vision and those leaders lead under God."

"We gotta give some attention again to the Bible- to the Word of God."

"Equip the saints for the work of the ministry and to raise up indigenous leaders..that's what the Church is about.  The Church is a continuation of Christ's incarnation here on earth."

"God is talking about making a new people. (2 Cor. 5)  This is a new humanity.  What we want to do now with this new humanity is to reach out to the broken and the lost in the world and create a humanity that can confront greed, and injustice and death and sex trafficking.  God wants to raise up some leaders to confront these issues."

"You gotta be found faithful.  The highest Christian virtue in the world is to be faithful."

"We're making people Christians before we're making disciples."

"So as He lived, we are to live in that way."

JP's Scripture Texts this year:  Titus 2:11-15, Galatians 2: 9-21, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, John 1:1-2, Matthew 28:16-18, 2 Timothy 2:1-2

Friday, September 28, 2012

ccda minneapolis "on location"

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at an "on location" workshop.  I visited the Northside of Minneapolis and had the opportunity to learn about Urban Homeworks (  Their mission is to perpetuate the hope of Jesus through innovative community development that produces dignified housing for low-income families, a strategic network of good neighbors, and the redemptive development of real estate.  Their tagline:  rebuilding houses, reconnecting people, reclaiming hope.   More importantly than rehabbing almost 150 properties in the past 15 years or so, is the mission to intentionally and strategically weave a strong relational fabric of neighborhood in the community.

Right next to Urban Homeworks, iss Juxtaposition Arts ( and around the corner is The Cookie Cart (, both youth development programs in the neighborhood.  I was told that the Cookie Cart began when a local nun began to invite youth from the neighborhood into her home to bake with her in the kitchen.

Take a look at a few pictures below from my afternoon on the Northside of Minneapolis yesterday:

ccda mnpls speakers

We're two days in at the Christian Community Development Association's National Conference this year.  My head, heart, and notebook are being filled with thoughts from those who have spoken at the conference so far.  Just some snippets....

Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne came on stage yesterday morning to talk about their new co-authored book, Red Letter Christians.  The term "Evangelicals" no longer has many positive connotations, so they were seeking a new word that would better represent Christ-followers, and they landed on "Red Letter Christians"..people who take the red letters of the Bible (the words of Jesus) and take them seriously.

Campolo: "We've created a god that has made Jesus the god of middle-class American values.  Are we going to make God American or are we going to embrace the Jesus of Scripture?"

Emmanuel Katangole and Chris Rice spoke beautifully about a theology of reconciliation.  They work together at Duke University's Center for Reconciliation.

Rice talked about how we can't have Jesus without Justice or Justice without Jesus.   Katangole and Rice both spoke of New Creation, Lament, and Spirituality for the long haul in the work toward reconciliation.  They followed an outline found in their book Reconciling All Things, one of the most helpful books for me in the past year and a half of my life.

Richard Twiss spoke powerfully our opening night at CCDA.  After watching awesome Native American dance and Aztec dance, Twiss came on stage to talk about Story, both the power of and the need to redeem some of the stories that have taken root in our American society.

Sami Awad, director of Holy Land Trust, spoke so beautifully about his journey in engaging in nonviolence in the Middle East and his revelation about Jesus's command to us to love our enemy.  Awad spoke about the enemy as being fear and lack of trust, not the Israeli, not the soldier, but enemy as presence of fear and absence of trust.

Ray Rivera spoke last night passionately about being a reconciler with contradictions.  He spoke about how being a reconciler will sometimes demand confrontation, sometimes collaboration, sometimes civic engagement, sometimes confronting your own people.  Ray has a book recently published called Liberty to the Captives, and he spoke from a strong captivity theology...our captivity, even as we do the work of reconciliation, in the broken systems and structures of our world.

ccda mnpls our group

Twenty-one Cedar Valley friends traveled to CCDA Minneapolis this year.  Some from Orchard Hill Church, some from Harvest, and a few representing our broader community, including the Peace and Justice Center of the Cedar Valley and the Salvation Army.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

ccda national conference 2012

Heading to Minneapolis/St. Paul tomorrow for the annual Christian Community Development Association National Conference.  Theme this year is RECONCILE.  Looking forward to all God has in mind for our local group of 21 attending this year's conference!   To learn more about the conference and who will be speaking this year, click here

get a life. verse

Orchard Hill Church is currently on a "life verse" campaign, encouraging members and friends to consider a Scripture that God is using in their spiritual development in this current season of life.  Each life verse chosen by our staff and board, along with personal sharing, is being emailed out each morning, and these have been so powerful and encouraging to read!

If you'd like to learn more about discerning and choosing your own life verse in this season of your life, click here for more information.

Here's the life verse I chose:

Mark 1:15
"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"

God has been directing me to this verse repeatedly over the past three months. He seems to be reminding me lately that the gospel Jesus preached was in fact the kingdom of God, and that Jesus himself came to earth embodying and bringing the kingdom, and making the kingdom kind of life accessible now, on this earth, through his life, death, and resurrection.

The greatest good news for me is to see, experience, live in, and be on mission in the kingdom of God, through Jesus, for an eternity that starts right here, right now. I believe Jesus is reminding me these days that "Laura, the time is now," and he's revealing to me what the needed repenting, or turning, continues to look like for my life, so that I might live more fully in the kingdom of God.

Monday, September 24, 2012

book recommendation

I'm reading The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church by Greg Boyd.  The book does a great job contrasting the Kingdom of God to the kingdoms of this world, and it lays out the negative effects of politicizing our Christian faith.  It was written around the 2004 election but is very timely to read in this 2012 presidential election year!

"The kingdom of God is not a Christian version of the kingdom of the world.  It is, rather, a holy alternative to all versions of the kingdom of the world."  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

random thoughts for the day

1.  "You haven't learned it until you're living it."  (Joyce Meyer quote)

2.  I am thinking about writing down John Perkins quotes at the 2012 CCDA conference next week and writing them into a rap that I want to try out with John and Brion in their new recording studio.  Yes?

3.  I've thought about something I heard yesterday that confirms for me the hard road of local "missions" compared to that of global missions.  A church member shared that she heard a person tell her that she wouldn't go to Crossroads Mall to shop because it was in Waterloo.  This same person who wouldn't go to the local mall signed up to go to Mozambique on a global mission trip.  Reminded me to refer to a past post on why local missions is so here.

Monday, September 17, 2012

the finishing touches!

                 The Peacock Mural was completed Sunday, September 16, 2012, around 5:20 p.m.!  There was a nice article in the Waterloo Courier yesterday morning that you can read here.
Isaiah puts finishing touches on the wall

Nathan adds some spots and feathers on the top level

Finished at 5:19 p.m. Sunday, September 16, 2012!

Jayda  T.added a little note  on the white board to Orchard's kitchen crews  as she helped prepared snacks one day for Youth Art Team.

Megan was Sara's personal assistant through much of the mural work

Rebekah admires Jayda H's fine brush skills 

Hannah steadies the letter for Sanaiah

Stop in the Plaid Peacock Gift Shop!  Awesome handmade gifts and art! 

Heidi, the team's director, coaches artists on the jobs in front of them.

Alizae and Bradley teaming up

Snack break!

Alex sits alongside Jayda as she paints

We love Tank, the Plaid Peacock beloved pup!

picnic in the park..a place for young people to serve!

As  I walked around Picnic in the Park yesterday, I loved seeing all of the young people serving others.  From wiping tables to rolling napkins around silverware, to serving the food and drink, to playing with the youngest, it was awesome to see young people practicing hospitality and expressing faith in action as we worshiped and served together.

Friday, September 14, 2012

reconciling all things

I'm getting excited to attend CCDA's National Conference Sept. 26-29 in Minneapolis (click here if you want to learn more).

Two speakers this year in Thursday's morning large session are Emmanuel Katongole and Chris Rice.  I read their book Reconciling All Things last year, and it was probably my favorite book I read last year. Loved it. It was rich and soul-deep; kind of like a Henry Nouwen type of book.  Felt grief and longing, peace and hope wash over me as I read it.  Just a brief bit of it below...

"...pilgrims are slowly confronted by a different world that begins to interrupt their own.  Pilgrimage is a posture very different from mission.  The goal of a pilgrim is not  to solve but to search, not so much to help as to be present.  Pilgrims do not rush to a goal, but slow down to hear the crying.  They are not as interested  in making a difference as they are in making new friends.  The pace is slower, more reflective.

Pilgrims set out not so much to assist strangers but to eat with them.  They journey in the wisdom about transformation held in the Rwandan proverb, "If you cannot hear the mouth eating, you cannot hear the mouth crying."  There are so many efforts to make a difference that do not make us different.  It is not the people who paint a house in a strange place but rather the people who make friends and are transformed who make the deeper difference over the long haul.  Pilgrims return home as new people.  Changed by their journeys, they change the world where they live."

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Monday, September 10, 2012


gettin' there!

Helen went to Sherwin Williams, CF, to get our  paint for  the day.  She  met Cherylyn, the Sherwin Williams employee, and she even got to help mix the paint!

Hannah, a UNI friend, supported JR in his painting on Saturday morning.

Kasius paints while Morgan cheers him on.

Alizae the tall.

Josh worked all day at the mural.

Morgan traced Lance in order to add his silhoutte profile to the peacock spots!

Go Corin!  Thanks for your support, Alex!

Isaiah paints on feathers.

The mural got new colors today!  "Exuberant" pink and  mustardy yellow!  Awesome!

The scaffolding will soon move to the left!

Sanaiah gets her profile traced for painting


Saturday's work crew was amazing!  We had many students and grown ups helping throughout the nine hour day, and  great progress was made.  As I watch this wall transform, I think about how Jesus can transform people's heart and lives, and he can also transform spaces and places!  He makes all things new!