Tag Archives: conversation

Speed Cameras & AZ!

Today, we Arizonans have been released of the Speed Camera cops. The 2 year study is over today and will not continue as of right now. I’m, personally, not a fan of the cameras as it doesn’t have the ability to actually enforce the written law. This is what the ‘Basic Speed Rule’ in Arizona states:

Basic Speed Rule: A person shall not drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent speed under the conditions and actual and potential hazards then existing. §28-701(A) & (D)

My argument is that the last time I checked camera’s don’t have judgment on what is ‘reasonable and prudent’ speed for conditions. I’ve got some friends that disagree. I think it’s a brilliant little scheme to make up for an extreme financial deficit in the State, but, probably not the best way.

What do you think? Have you been caught by the camera’s here in AZ in the last couple years?

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Immigration Reform and SB 1070

As an Arizonan I’ve been asked A LOT, recently, about my perspective on the new law (SB 1070) that will go into effect at the end of July 2010. If you haven’t read the bill, take a minute and actually READ it! It is a very loaded subject and one that merits discussion and diligent thought.

As a Christ follower, I try my best to align my political perspective with the Kingdom of God and not with political party.  Some of you will agree with me and some of you will totally disagree with me in my opinions and honestly that’s okay. Obviously, the issue is heavily loaded, but I think it’s important for us to discuss. I’m certainly not asserting to be an expert on the issue, these are just a few of my thoughts and observations that I’m, somewhat reluctantly, sharing out loud.

My first thought is that we need to use our brains and prayerfully think through what REAL and reasonable reform looks like in our country. As  we look at reform we need to remember, legal or illegal, that these immigrants are people. Whether you want them to leave today or not they are human beings with souls, dreams, desires and families. One of the hardest things for me to watch is the conversations where American citizens so quickly forget that these immigrants aren’t all criminal, tax sucking, lazy, alcoholic, drug trafficking, DUI offending, murdering, adulteress law breakers. If that’s your perspective on the issue, you clearly don’t know these people and you’ve allowed some source of media or political perspective to give you rhetoric rather than reality. I’m not saying there aren’t those people in that demographic, but it’s a far fetch to make the assumption that all of them fall in to those categories.

I recently heard the story of a Mexican woman here in the Southeast Valley. She’s the widowed mother of 5 Children who are all American citizens. She barely makes it but works odd jobs to ensure her children have their basic needs met. She’s here undocumented and doing all that she can to be here legally. The process has not been easy or reasonable to say the least and she’s been diligently trying to get legal status. She’s a hardworking woman who is trying to make a better way of life for her and her kids than the impoverished life she lived in Juarez, Mexico. She’s heavily involved in serving her community through the local church and is a huge part of a lot of people’s lives.

This woman recently came to one of her Pastors distraught over what she should do about the situation with SB 1070. She’s been in America almost 10+ years and this is where life is now. With this new law the choice is dicey. If she stays she gets to be the mom to her kids, contribute to society through her work, she can serve in her local church and keep trying to gain some long term legal status. Her end goal is to become a citizen of the USA as soon as humanly possible. The risk of her staying under SB 1070 is that it’s not just a deportation under the new law. It’s actually criminal and if she was arrested she’d most likely do some jail time to then be deported after serving her time. This then limits her chances of ever becoming a citizen or even gaining long term legal status to be here, because she would now be a criminal offender. She’s also mortified of what ‘jail’ is even like and fears for her well being in the jail system. She’s an upstanding mom trying to make a better way for her family, not a murderer.

Her choice is ‘going home’. Her Dilemma is that she’ll most likely end up leaving her 5 American children here in the States if she went back to Mexico. She would painfully choose this as she knows the life she’ll offer them in Mexico isn’t one that is in the best interest of their future. What does that mean for the kids and for society? Most likely the kids will end up in the Foster care system, will be split up and who knows the life they’ll live in light of that tough decision.

She also faces the struggle of really having little to no connection with people in the city where she’s from which is Juarez, Mexico. This is because she’s been in the States for so long now. She fears for her life because she’ll be ‘coming back’ to this city with a perception of being rich and American in a money hungry culture. Unfortunately, Juarez has one of the highest murder rates of any city in the WORLD right now and that is where she’s from in Mexico (in 2007 it had the highest murder rate in the world). She’s heard about the loss of close friends and family in her city due to ruthless bloodshed in the last few years. She’s just at her whits end trying to figure out what decision to make in light of SB 1070. Distraught, afraid and with the clock ticking her decision still weighs in the balance. Time will only tell.

What would you do if put in her situation?!

In some ways I think Gov. Brewers stealth operation to go out in the middle of nowhere to sign a bill that came out of nowhere is a wake up call to our country. I’m not sure it’s the wake up call everyone was hoping for, but, certainly, for some of you it couldn’t have been more timely. The subject of our borders and immigration needs to be addressed and needs reform.

It’s been interesting to talk to people who are being directly effected by the enforcement of this law. We’re talking about people who have been in the states undocumented for decades now. Many of these people like this woman I mentioned have children who are American citizens and have little to no connection with the place where they came from in Mexico. If you’re saying to them ‘go home’ because they’re illegal, I would contend that you’re not really thinking about what you’re saying and the ramifications of what that does to a family unit. If ‘the law’ had been consistently enforced on the Federal, State and Local level this conversation would be very different. Unfortunately, the law has not been effectively enforced in our nation for a long time and so we find ourselves with an issue that needs addressing with that understanding in mind. We have to consider these stories as we reform our process and we also have to consider the stories that aren’t as ideal as the one I told. The story of the illegal that was DUI who killed that innocent American family has to be considered too. There needs to be reasonable reform in this issue and it I believe it needs to include equitable amnesty in the reform.

There are sooo many stemming reasons that make me think SB 1070 isn’t the answer for reform. In my opinion, I believe Gov. Brewer found an amazing way to get another term as the Arizona Governor and to wake the Federal Government to a pressing issue called Immigration Reform.  What I don’t think is a good idea is a Federal lawsuit on Arizona or this bill coming into law at the end of this month. Neither are good answers to reasonable change in our great country.

I hope we can talk about reasonable Immigration Reform? My opinion is that ‘Cold Gavel-ing’ and enforcing a new law like SB 1070 at the end of the month can’t be the best answer we have when we haven’t enforced Immigration Laws or our borders properly in decades. We need to own, at all level of Government, what we haven’t done well in regards to this law. The process for people to get a work visa, obtain citizenship and to actually be here legally, while better than most countries, still needs a 21st Century face-lift. Our Federal, State and Local Governments needs to address this unreliable process and figure out a way to streamline people through the process with efficiency. For some the answer will be YES for obtaining legal status and for others, based on the criteria, the answer will be NO. There has to be lines drawn for who can and can’t be here legally, but, every person should have the right to go through that process in a timely manner with efficiency. We’ve got to lay down the right to politics and start taking up the rights of people once again. Political rhetoric on either side doesn’t get stuff done and I pray that we would find some unified grounds on reform within our great country. It has to be done.

I recently was talking with a friend about The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 from Reagan’s day. I think he really got the idea of what equitable amnesty meant while also beginning to really address legitimate and reasonable reform. I haven’t studied all of the reasons why Immigration has continued to be a lack luster issue in our Government, but, I do know that it’s been over decades of bi-partisan leadership in which it’s slipped through the cracks.

Check out the basics of what this Act provided:

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), Pub.L. 99-603, 100 Stat. 3359, enacted November 6, 1986, also Simpson-Mazzoli Act, is an Act of Congress which reformed United States immigration law.

In brief the act:[1]

  • required employers to attest to their employees’ immigration status, and granted amnesty to certain illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously
  • made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit illegal immigrants (immigrants who do not possess lawful work authorization)
  • granted a path towards legalization to certain agricultural seasonal workers and immigrants who had been continuously and illegally present in the United States since January 1, 1982

Do you think this kind of an Act should be put back on the table with updated dates and a better plan to secure the borders? What do you think about the situation? Sound off and be kind to one another when you do it! Opinions are fine, just don’t be hating on each other as you fire off your opinions. Respect makes you credible in conversations like this one. Remember we’re talking about human beings and not animals. Ready, Set, Go….

Tripping Out On Beauty!

I sent this to a few people today and I thought it was hilarious. This guy was straight tripping out on beauty! HAHAH. There was a part of me that thought to myself…is this guy serious?! I then had a moment and wondered if I’ve ever tripped out on beauty. I can’t say that I’ve ever gone to that level, this guy charts the top of the trippin’. HAHAH.

What is the most BEAUTIFUL thing you have ever seen and have you EVER tripped out on beauty like this guy?!

Worship Leaders Network :: ONE DAY SEMINAR :: April 17th

This coming Saturday, April 17th 2010 the Phoenix area Worship Leaders Network is hosting a ONE DAY SEMINAR at Phoenix Seminary. This will be incredible day for Muscians, Worship Leaders, Worship Teams, Pastors, the Theologically Curious, Music Lovers, Christ Followers, etc… I really hope to see you at Phoenix Seminary for a time full of incredible Theology, conversation and community. Help me get the word out to other Worship minded people in the Phoenix area. If you know a musicians or Pastors that should be at this event…shoot them a link to this post for all of the info! See you there on Saturday.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER BY WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14th, 2010!

Worship Leaders Network – ONE DAY SEMINAR
“RETURNING TO TRUE WORSHIP…IT’S ABOUT TIME!”

The teaching ministry of John Hubley, TH.D.
and the Mindheart Foundation
For Biblical Studies

Saturday, April 17, 2010 from 8:30AM – 2:45PM
Phoenix Seminary

4222 East Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(www.phoenixseminary.edu)

PLEASE REGISTER BY WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14TH, 2010!!

Seminar objectives:
(1) To present the true worship of the triune God though the study of keystone passages of Scripture relating to the five major themes.
(2) To apply these truths to the ministries of pastors and worship leaders in the practice of corporate worship, whatever their organizational associations.

The biblical concepts and principles of worship covered in the seminar integrate into whatever traditional or contemporary forms or styles of corporate worship pastors and worship leaders embrace. It’s the view of this seminar that the Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God and therefore the sola Scriptura of wisdom about true worship.

It is also the view of this seminar that the culture of worship services in the churches of Christ, from the ancient past to the present moment, are the product of the Holy Spirit when they lift up Jesus Christ as the risen, crucified and ascended LORD. The seminar focuses wholly upon biblical passages and principles of worship.

SEMINAR AGENDA

8:30 AM         Registration
(Coffee, Continental Breakfast provided)

Session I:     Worship As Obeisance To Christ

Session II:    Worship As Participation With Christ

Session III:   Worship With Mercy & Justice

Session IV: Christ, Our True Worship Leader

Lunch and Fellowship.     (LUNCH PROVIDED)

Session V:   Embracing An Overall Gospel Praxis
.
The seminar utilizes five general sessions presenting a biblical theme and text followed by participant interaction. Each thematic session is taught by John Hubley, and each interactive session is facilitated by Gary Bloomquist.

Cost:   $40 per person, $35 for 2 or more from the same
church/organization.   (Cost includes all sessions, a notebook of all resource & summary papers, breakfast & lunch.)
Full and Partial Scholarships available

Registration: rbloomquist@cox.net

For more information: Gary Bloomquist:   602-568-2075

http://www.worshipleadersnetwork.org

gary@worshipleadersnetwork.org

Michael Jackson – The Death of A Legend

t1home.michael.jackson.06.gi

I’m a pretty big Michael Jackson fan. The reports today of his cardiac arrest and his death are heartbreaking. He’s an entertainer like no other and has a songwriting ability that only a few have and a voice like no one in history. I know some people that have worked with him and they say he was an unbelievable musician and quite a guy.

Whether you think he’s weird or great, he was an epic talent and that’s undeniable. Truly this historic day is a sad one for those of us that appreciate great artistry!

Are you a fan? What is it about M.J. that you really dig? Seriously, how big of a bummer would it be to have lost the King of Pop today?

Justice | Talking and Doing…

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It’s surprising that my previous post could be so silent! I can post a stupid video about us getting In Ear Monitors or smoking a turkey, point people to a free give away from my wife or friend and get a dozen comments in a day on meaningless things, but, when it comes to justice the blog goes COMPLETELY silent.

I’m just curious why we, as a generation/culture, are so good at fronting that we’re about justice, but, when it comes to people actually doing justice we play a different card.

Don’t worry, I’m just as guilty of doing this too. I’m really good at talking about justice and I’m finally giving of myself to actually go and do it. What I find is interesting is that justice is sexy right now. It’s sexy in pop culture, it’s sexy in church culture and in and of itself maybe that’s a God thing. After all the reality of engaging the less fortunate was most revolutionized by the sexiest man in the universe, Jesus. HA! I know that’s a bit provocative, but, I’m just sayin’.

Seriously though…we’re the generation that’s good at talking, blogging, iChatting, leaving churches because they’re not justice driven enough, etc… but I’m just curious how serious we are about bringing the Kingdom of God here and now. The Christian sub-culture has a lot to say on the subject, but, I’m ready to move past hearsay and start doing! I’m having a moment of checking my own heart on how serious I really am on engaging the less fortunate for the sake of the Kingdom. It’s definitely easier to talk about it then to actually do it.

I guess my encouragement for all of us is to engage this on a practical level. Whether it’s you getting mobile and going or it’s just simply supporting people like Promise and I (who are getting read to get mobile) through your resource of encouragement or money. If it’s not money, which is TOTALLY fine, how about just a word to say…go for it, do it, we love this, press on, I’m with you…ANYTHING. HAHAH! It was honestly just a little discouraging to have ZERO support in our comment cues today. I know some of you did give, financially, yesterday and for that Promise and I are super grateful. I think I was just hoping for a bit more encouragement from our blogging communities, but, maybe I set my expectations way to high and I just need to settle down, humble up and shut up. 🙂

I wanted to share a little word from Mama Zipporah. She was the FIRST comment on Promises blog today. Listen to what she writes:

Thanks promise and brian . I do not have enought words to express my gratitude. I did not know that l was beautiful. But now l know l must be beautiful. I look forward for your coming in august. This time my heart is healed and l will really sing and l am telling everyone you are coming. I love you and l care. Mama Zipporah

mama_zippy

Let’s keep lending out our lives to follow Jesus, radically, in these days. Let’s get behind people like Mama Zipporah and the orphans here and around the world.  I definitely want to hear from some of you, my friends, on where you’re at as it relates to engaging the less fortunate. Do you feel lost in your aim? Do you feel, like me, that you’re better at talking about it then doing it?

Two Scriptures to ponder and then leave a comment with your thoughts! Come on now and then don’t forget to go read my previous blog post about the journey Promise and I are about to take to Kenya. ENGAGE US, PRAY FOR US, SEND US!!!

Micah 6:8

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Isaiah 1:17

17learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed. [a]
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.

Limits…

We’ve been dialoguing with high school students all weekend up here at the State Youth Convention in Flagstaff, AZ. It’s been a great weekend and we’ve been doing a break out session with the students on Arts, Justice and the Local Church. We’ve had fascinating dialogue with the students and they drew out some great realities.

My question for you is this:

1. Do you feel like the local church unleashes the Arts to their potential?

2. What are ways you, personally, feel limited in your local church as it relates to the art in you?

3. What do you dream about seeing the local church doing with the arts?

Come on now, let’s be bold, answer the questions and let’s dialogue on this thing and dream together on how the arts can effect our influence in the world.

All of us Brayline guys were encouraged to hear students talk about how the Arts and how they could be unleashed in a whole new way in the church. I love the idea that the Arts could, possibly, be one of the most untapped evangelistic tools in the box. What would it look like if our local communities encouraged the Arts at the highest level. I contend that our influence and effect in our society for the Kingdom of God would have profound and fresh results.
SOUND OFF!!