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Archive for March 2009

Funny!

I couldn’t resist posting this one, friends. There was no name on the front of this card. Probably a good thing too! Anybody want to venture an answer?

Question:
“Since Eve was created from Adam’s rib, can micro-biology be used to explain why adam’s rib evolved into an all knowing, never wrong, force with power to get man to do stupid things?”

There are a number of things wrong here…but it did give the message planning team a good laugh this morning!

What are People Saying about Cosmic Fingerprints?


Here I sit today wading through a colossal stack of comment cards! I can’t resist sharing the third card I read submitted Friday night. From Heather.

“There was a lot of reservation from many people regarding this event. I was of the understanding that this was a pro-evolution, pro-Darwin type of event, but was totally proven wrong. I think this was a wonderful opportunity and I am glad I attended. It really got me thinking about the science vs. faith debate and reaffirmed my faith in God as the sole Creator.”

Thanks for the encouragement, Heather! I’m sure you’re not alone.

Why?

Why are there events, workshops, and activities at the campuses of Christ Community Church?

I have to admit that growing up in the 70’s I got the impression that what happened inside the church and at the Bible College I attended was to help me to be a better Christian. Yes, there were outreach events, but those were to be hosted by professionals and our responsibility as a good Christian was to invite people to attend and then sit back happy that we had done our job.

I am sad to say that this kind of thinking permeated how I “did” youth ministry over 14 years. You know, teach the saints and host events that students could bring their friends to.

Sadly, there wasn’t much emphasis on developing relationships, how to have conversations with your friends and having the all important follow up.

I am glad to say that this weekend we have a chance to do something different. I want to encourage you to bring a friend to hear Hugh Ross this Sunday at CCC-Sarpy.

Recently I have been thinking of how to summarize why we would want to hear Hugh Ross. It is not for you to gain more knowledge, to have better ability to discuss creation vs. evolution, or to not be nervous when talking to an atheist.

It is….

  • to help others know that there is a God
  • to help others realize that God cares
  • to let others know that God created this world and universe

Be thinking of who you should invite to learn more about God or to realize that there is a God.

Blessings,
Steve Walters
Campus Pastor-Sarpy

#5 Harm No Gorillas in Promoting This Event


Well, I did say send me your creative ideas for publicity. We fed our Gorilla very well after he’d worked up a sweat passing out nearly 800 adverts. Way to go Jarred and Mark!

#4 – Do Some Criminal Investigation!


Trying to get in the ring with a topic as big as creation-evolution can be pretty daunting. Even if you consider yourself a science-type, it’s a conversation that gets pretty deep, pretty fast. How can I break into it without getting slammed? Here are a few pointers that might help.

Think of it as a really huge, really messy crime scene. The universe that is! Evidence everywhere! Science discovers more and more information every second. There’s no shortage of things to look at. The key in any crime investigation is accurately reconstructing what happened by looking for clues that identify the responsible party. How clean was the crime? DNA evidence? Witnesses – lots tougher if there weren’t any. What was the cause of death? Weapons. Ballistics. Criminal psychology. Crime labs, microscopes, chemical tests… the list goes on and on.

In the wake of it all, we’ve got God – the defendant if you will. A defendant who has come forward pleading “guilty” but in the most subtle way. He’s clear enough about admitting it…but he’s going to let the CSI guys figure out the details. Some give no credibility to the guilty plea. Others are pouncing all over it eager to point out his connection to the evidence.

You would figure that a crime this big – that happened a long time ago according to any one’s reckoning – would have a lot of theories about how it happened. So, don’t be dismayed that there are so many voices trying to reconstruct what happened. That’s where your research will have to come in.

Look stuff up. Don’t just keep hitting the link to your favorite site either – spread out a bit. Read some young earth stuff, some old earth stuff and even things from theistic evolution. Find out how people are handling the evidence and what they make of it. Get informed about the various arguments for and against each perspective.

Answers In Genesis (Young Earth Creationism)
Reasons To Believe (Old Earth Creationism – Hugh Ross)
American Scientific Association (Theistic Evolution)
National Center for Science Education (Naturalism’s response to Creationism in Education)

Read some great books that will help you into the discussion… or take you deeper than you currently are. Find books that start at your level of understanding. If something seems really over your head, put it down. Look for something more basic. Some books assume a level of scientific understanding that may be beyond you. If you come to Cosmic Fingerprints, I recommend grabbing up a book or two. Books are so good because you get to hear the person out. All the way. No interruptions.

Discuss what you’re reading with others. We’ll spend time in discussion groups at Cosmic Fingerprints as well as offer the chance to sign up for follow-up reading groups. Discussion groups can help you make more mileage out of your learning.

Hold your convictions with grace. Some things you learn about will make you want to slam your lappy shut and look for the nearest adversary to pick a fight with. You might find yourself flinging a book across the room in disagreement. That’s normal! But when you’re in dialogue with others, keep it respectful and constructive. Be willing to develop your view over time instead of feeling the pressure to know it all.

Each piece of evidence you put together will help you toward a bigger view of the world, the universe and just maybe God himself. Jump in and give him your best shot!

#3 Get Some Publicity Up!


Hey Christians, you can’t let being public freak you out! Check out this bulletin board at a coffee shop near my home. It’s plastered with every sort of community event imaginable. Why not Cosmic Fingerprints? Grab some publicity for the event by stopping in at the Cosmic booth in the Atrium at CCC any time you’re around this week. Snap up a poster and several invitations for starters.

Let’s get this Cosmic thing out there and visible to our community! What happened to all that “No-Shame” talk from Pastor Mark a couple of weeks ago? Here’s a perfect opportunity to squeeze into the marketplace of ideas all around town with a visual representation of your faith. Go for it!

Hey, Tim, I hear you can’t just post anything you like… anywhere you like. Didn’t CCC get in trouble for all those Defining Moment Plastic Ravens we put everywhere last fall? Not exactly… And this is way less edgy than a Corvid invasion. Here’s how you do it.

Get a handful of pieces from CCC. Look around you everywhere you go this week, over the weekend and next week. If it looks like a public posting place that’s packed with all manner of other postings of all kinds… just cram it in there among the options. 99% of the time that’s all there is to it!

Some shops and bulletin boards do require that you approve the posting before putting it up. How can you tell? Often times there will be a approved stamp marked on the pieces that are already up on the location.

Other creative ideas include:
-a small stack of them nestled in with all the other promotional postcards that appear on some shelves and counters.
-think of places where people who might be interested in this kind of event might hang out. How about the public libraries? Might want to check to get it approved.
-coffee shops are natural collecting points for all manner thoughtful people.
-check with your boss to see if your workplace will let you post stuff.
-NO BRAINER HERE: your door at work! Nobody will mess with your door – you can put what you want on your door.
-Schools might have public posting locations for community events.
-at the university, you can jot the details up in the corner of the whiteboards in every classroom three days before the event.

Get creative. Get visible. Get bold! Its a cause at least as important as lost fluffy, tear off my cell number and call me about my used car, Sudoku tournaments, or that lecture at the university on psychological phantom limb amputation!

Oh, by the way. Let’s dispell two myths. Myth one: people come to events primarily because they see publicity. Myth two: it doesn’t matter whether or not you even post publicity in the first place. It is true that people are mostly inclined to go to something someone they know invites them to. It is also true that attractive print media helps create interest and validates a public event. Suppose you invite your friend this week. Then that same friend hears our spot on the radio on his way to Starbucks… then sees a postcard for it on the table he sits down at! Need I say more? So I won’t…

If you find a really sweet, smart place around town to put a piece, grab a picture with your cell phone and e-mail it to me! You know it will make my blog…

Just Call Him Fuz


Hugh Ross is not a one man show. In fact he’s recruited a whole network of scientists and scholars who write books, give lectures, and travel all over the place helping spread his Cosmic message. As an astrophysicist, though, Hugh is just … well … Huge. He’s into stuff that’s so big it blows your mind. But big stuff isn’t the only thing that convincingly points to an intelligent creator. In fact small stuff does as well. That’s where Fuz comes in.

Fazale Rana is a PhD. in Chemistry whose totally psyched about small things. DNA in particular. I’m reading his book “Who was Adam?” and finding it fascinating. The complexity of DNA as an informational code of life is to me one of the most compelling fingerprints of God. The incredibly complicated sequence of chemical data contained in every cell of every living organism might as well be an entire universe of evidence to be studied and pondered.

Come on over to the Cosmic Coffeehouse March 27th and check our Fuz yourself. While you’re at it enjoy some coffee and some David Potter. Music will be at 6:15, presentation will start at 7:00pm. We’ll get huge, get small, and get musical… all in the same night! Come on out to this free event and bring a friend.

#2 Get The Word Out To Your Group

Everyone is a part of a group. Multiple groups! Think of how many groups you belong to. Here’s a peek at my group world: The House I Live In (8 total, 2 of which I’ve yet to invite). The Block I Live On (6 couples and 2 singles I know a little better than the rest, I’ll start with them). Ministry Teams at Church (are all those groups making invitations…hmmm) My Seeker Group (we invited them at last night’s discussion).

You get the point. What groups are you a part of? Asking a group sometimes is just as fun as inviting an individual – there can be less intimidation for any one person. Consider inviting your sports team, your study group, your team at work, your lunch buddies, your scrap-book friends, your extended family, your Journey Group, Recovery Group, your volunteer team. Make it a group thing and see what happens!

The Cosmic Fingerprints coffee-house event on Friday night, March 27th would be a great event for a group to attend together. Our seeker group decided last night this would be the best event for us to attend. We could sit together and continue the conversation in the weeks that follow.

#1 Invite Your Friends – Let Them Decide

Christians can be the biggest chickens when it comes to engaging others. Get over it! Most of us worry far too much about ourselves when it comes to asking someone to consider attending an event. Rule number one about invitations is this: Do not make up someone else’s mind for them! Give people options. People generally like to know what makes you tick. If what you’re into is interesting, being asked is a way to build your friendship even if the person can’t attend.

Once you’ve decided that it’s your friend’s choice to go, then you’ve got to give the option to them. NOT TO INVITE IS TO MAKE UP THEIR MIND. Soooo exactly how do you make a good invitation?

1-Get a postcard invitation in your hands (this weekend at the booth in the atrium) or go to the web page and grab an e-invite. E-mail Invite
2-Send them a note or hand them the invitation. “Here’s a cool event I think you might find interesting.” If you send an e-mail invite. Follow it up with another short e-mail telling them why you’re inviting them.
3-Let them look at it and figure it out first.
4-They may ask about it. Be ready to explain it. “Dr. Hugh Ross is an Astrophysicist coming to Omaha to talk about God, Science and the Origin of the Universe.”
5-Offer to help them get to the event (a ride or registration cost if workshop).
6-Ask them one last time. “So, think you’d like to come?”
7-Don’t say anything till they speak up. Let them tell you what to do next.

They may want to think about it (that’s why you need to invite people NOW not the day before). Ask permission to contact them again in a couple of days. Let it go! Walk away. Give them space. Pray.

Go for it! Go for it today… When I finish this post, I’m going to e-mail four of my neighbors and I’ll swing by their place today with a printed invite too.

Cosmic Fingerprints – 10 Tips


Cosmic Fingerprints is a great opportunity to reach people – how can we make the most of it in our community? Here comes a list of posts you and your group will find helpful. Use what grabs you and go for it! Let’s get the word out.