September 11th is about relationships. It has brought out the worst and the best in them. How could one group of people hate another group so much that they would plan and scheme for years and ultimately throw away their own lives to create as much havoc and destruction as possible? The answer is relationships, or rather the lack of them. What causes a nation to rally around 4,000 victims and their families, whom they have never met, to contribute time, money, blood, supplies, letters and prayers? The answer is relationships. God intends for hard times to bring out the best in us. Paul wrote in Romans 5:3-4, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” The worst kind of suffering is suffering alone. God created us to be community; that is why he said that it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). He has put into us a sense of community, an intuitive drive to care for the needs of one another. Satan and his demons devote themselves to destroying that sense and putting hate and mistrust in its place. Thus we saw the fruits of both God and Satan on September 11th.
Tag: Kip McKean
The world was a very different place in 1979. Communism was very much alive. We were caught up in the Nuclear Arms Race. The Iron Curtain totally closed off the former USSR and Eastern European nations. The Bamboo Curtain isolated Southeast Asia. Countless wars raged in Africa. Apartheid isolated the blacks from the whites and South Africa from everyone else. The Arabs and Jews were trying to destroy each other in the Middle East. Central America was locked in civil war. If someone had told me that in 21 years a church would be planted in every one of the 171 nations of the world that had a city of at least 100,000 inhabitants, I would have been among the first to say this was impossible. But God likes a Mission Impossible.
July 2000 is a date for the history books. That is when God finished another of his episodes of Mission Impossible. What we have called the Six-Year Plan or the Evangelization Proclamation
was completed. A church of disciples now meets in every one of these 171 nations. You may wonder about Africa. Yes, even there. Even in China? Yes, even there. Every nation in the Middle East? Yes, even there.
I like hugs. I never get enough of them. I like to fellowship other disciples – partly because of the many hugs. There is some- thing about another person putting his/her arm(s) around me that makes me feel good. It is not sexual; it is an expression of specialness. Touch is a very special human sense. It can communicate a tremendous range of emotions, from the anger of a slap to the elation of a “high-five” to the compassion of a pat to the love of a caress. A hug is different than a handshake. A handshake is a polite courtesy that preserves one’s personal space. A hug is a communication of warmth, openness and caring where the barriers are let down. I like hugs
Twenty years ago, seeing godly women powerfully influencing other women through biblical teaching and training drew me to the Kingdom of God. Those examples gave me a new vision not only for my life’s purpose but also for the lives of our three daughters and other women’s lives as well. In my background, the view of “women’s ministry” was limited to hospitality and teaching Sunday school. I am eternally grateful for women like Elena García-McKean, Pat Gempel, Lisa Johnson and many others who have set the pace in forcefully advancing the Kingdom
in the hearts of women around the world. This issue of LA Story presents many examples of women in God’s Kingdom today who are committed, like Mary, to choosing what is better rather than being distracted like Martha (Luke 10:41-42).
One of the highlights of our Women’s Ministry is the annual Women’s Day. The women in the LA Church have chosen to celebrate our Women’s Day during March, Women’s History Month. Women’s events were held at 42 separate venues throughout the LA Church during the first weekend of March, each focusing on the theme “Secrets of the Heart.” With God’s power and guidance we had a history-making attendance of 14,217.