Monthly Archives: May 2007

Back to reality — but first, the news

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We had a phenomenal time at our church’s Family Camp, held at the Old Oak Ranch in Sonora, CA. About 250 people registered, plus a number of families who came on Saturday and Sunday.

It’s hard to quantify things in numbers. Even the eight baptisms we had, for which I, as the English-language evangelism director, am doing cartwheels, tells only part of the story. Families were restored. Relationships were built. Impromptu Bible studies were held for people who had questions. Overtaxed families and screaming children had a blast as they got away from the grind of life in Stockton. Continue reading


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Stockton Record: Eric Hu posted on “America’s Most Wanted” Web site

Eric Hu, a fugitive who is wanted on charges of attempted murder, has made the big time. His mug has been reported on the “America’s Most Wanted” Web site, according to a Stockton Record report published Wednesday.

I first blogged about Hu on April 27, following a wild manhunt that started in my neighborhood.  We live in a pretty decent neighborhood. Decent is a relative term in Stockton, mind you. One of the joys and challenges of living in such a diverse city is the utter unpredictability of neighborhoods and public spaces. Horrendous crimes have occurred in high end retail centers, while our church, clearly on a slightly shabby part of town, feels very safe to me.

Eric, if you’re reading, please turn yourself in. Violence isn’t the way to go. Your life still has a purpose, and God’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save you.


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Speaking of Faith: the Soul of War


NPR’s Krista Tippett had an excellent rebroadcast highlighting the efforts of Army Chaplain (Maj.) John Morris to reintegrate National Guard soldiers into civilian life after the pressures of war in Iraq. Krista’s nationally syndicated program, Speaking of Faith “probes the myriad ways in which religious impulses inform every aspect of life and culture, nationally and globally,” according to its web site.

Please take a look. It’s especially important during Memorial Day weekend, and with the backdrop of the War in Iraq, to examine what our soldiers go through and to be part of the healing process.

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Parthenogene-WHA?? Today in Science

CNN posted an interesting news item about a female hammerhead shark who fertilized its own egg without sperm from males, according to a joint Northern Ireland-US research published in the Royal Society’s peer-reviewed Biology Letter journal.

The baby was killed within hours of its birth by a stingray in the same tank. Analysis of its DNA found no trace of any chromosomal contribution from a male partner.

Shark experts said this was the first confirmed case in a shark of parthenogenesis, which is derived from Greek and means “virgin birth.”

Asexual reproduction is common in some insect species, rarer in reptiles and fish, and has never been documented in mammals. The list of animals documented as capable of the feat has grown along with the numbers being raised in captivity — but until now, sharks were not considered a likely candidate.

Fascinating. And poor little guy was taken out by The Circle of Life before he even had a chance. Another victim of a single-parent home. Oooooh, Mama tried, mama tried. I wonder if they will campaign for protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act? I wonder … Continue reading

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To my faithful and beloved regulars


I’m returning to my routine now that I’m back from the funeral. I’m heading off to teach at our church’s annual family camp this weekend. Alas, no Internet access but plenty of carne asada, I’m told.

Not to worry, I have the blogging bug and I’ll leave you with a weekend’s worth of material. Just don’t woof it all down at once. Savor it, as my mother used to say.

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The short and long good-bye

I know that my Redeemer lives,

and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;

27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

Job 19:25-27 NIV


Friday found me in Salinas, where I attended the funeral of a dear childhood friend’s grandfather. For those who didn’t know him, Johnny Camera was one cool cat. There was a moving and yet quite funny DVD presentation of him at the funeral chapel.

The pictures showed a man who served in combat in Okinawa and elsewhere in the Pacific Theater as an Army enlisted man during World War II, earning a Purple Heart. The pictures also showed a man who loved his wife, children and grandchildren.

Photo after photo showed him on fishing trips with his family. Another black-and white photo showed a young, muscular Johnny lifting his baby in the air with one hand. Continue reading

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