Urbana Day 3 - Life as illustrated by grains of rice

And once again, I introduce to you: fantastic but oh-so-tiring day.

Keynotes on today's workshops:

Christians Called to Journalism
  • very direct, very to-the-point perspective on the world of mainstream print journalism (Manny Garcia is a managing editor with the Miami Herald)
  • there IS a place for Christian journalists in the mainstream media... the trouble is trying to find how to make a difference
  • journalistic ethics are not Christian ethics = dilemmas ahoy!
  • we ARE the voice for the voiceless; people cannot help unless they know (Romans 10:14)
Multicultural Worship
  • love is NOT colourblind; Jesus doesn't ask us to give up our identity just because we are part of a new family
  • in order to realize true worship, we MUST experience different styles of worship (read: not necessarily enjoy them, but experience)
  • I, as an Asian-Canadian, have unique worship styles to offer other races (where I used to believe that I simply belonged to the most unoriginal worship culture known to man)
  • Other races APPRECIATE and STRIVE to emulate many aspects of the Asian worship culture
Tonight's night session was incredible, with talks given by Shane Claiborne and Oscar Muriu. While I strive not to put people (especially faith leaders) on a pedestal, those of you who know me fairly well know that I absolutely LOVE the teachings and philosophy of Shane Claiborne. He did not disappoint.

Two things from Shane's talk that remain:
  • if you can't give your ipod away, then it's time to take the hammer to it
  • Mother Teresa had deformed feet

What is astounding is that Muriu's message was perhaps even more powerful. He embodied what I imagined from a charismatic African preacher - loud, proud, and full of righteous anger. However, what struck me most was his heart, a heart genuinely broken for the pain and suffering felt by the so many around the world. His talk can be summed up simply: be always humble, be always simple, and at all times, love. This is the only way that followers of Christ can hope to change the world. Muriu suggested that we give it a try - it is clear that our short-term missions and our small "faith offerings" are not getting the job done.

Family group meeting was once again epic. With a borrowed guitar, we shared our own songs with each other before embarking on a two song-turned-four song jam/worship session that truly hearkened back to the days of the early church. We followed with a powerful prayer session (because really, what else can you do after music?) before beginning the night's main event, our heavyweight discussion. Honestly, no room for trivial banter here...

When are we called to judge? Is there a time to judge, ever? Paul offers some insight on the matter in 1 Corinthians 5 when he says, "What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside." Can we rebuke in love with the right motives? Can we rebuke in love to fit our ideals, even when they may not be that of others? Consider this: a youth worker who loves his teens and walks with them on their journeys. He is passionate, full of the spirit, and loving. He also dresses in American Apparel, needs a daily Starbucks, makes calls on his new iPhone, and drives to church in his Mazda3. Who is he? Is he not one of us? Who are we? Are we not one of him? Perhaps the idea was hard for us to grasp precisely because all members of our group are idealistically simplistic. Either way, we need to examine our motives at all times. To rebuke in love can lead to judgment so easily. Jenna mentioned that all we should strive to do is FORGET judgment - simply love. The rest will follow.

Dear God, you are big. Speak louder please.


  1. It sounds like you are really experiencing a lot there. I just finished Jesus for President this morning. Definitely many things to think about there. Being a Canadian I don't have to deal with as many of them though:). I'm glad I don't own an ipod ;-)

  2. Great thoughts here, Chris! Like your good thoughts. Would be curious to learn more about what is it about Asian North American worship culture that's appreciated and emulated by other cultures, when there doesn't seem to be a specific music style that's attributed to Asian North American songwriters and worship leaders. I also heard there was "Asian American worship" at Urbana 09, and I think I missed it. What did they do there?

    Aside: bummed I didn't get to meet you in person during Urbana; you've got good thoughts and glad you're blogging them to share with the world.

  3. Tom: You only JUST finished it? Come on, brother!

    DJ: Thanks for reading! Out of curiousity, how did you find my blog? I will answer your questions more fully in a post to follow. Stay tuned!

  4. Chris, don't think I can answer that question, of how I found you. I keep an open posture and look for the conversations on the interwebs, be it on blogs or twitter, and join the conversations I find. Probably a good mix of search engines and following links, but couldn't tell you which one got me to you.

  5. way to throw out the mazda 3 as the example. Hidden message much?
    but, in all seriousness, good summary of an extremely complex discussion and questions.