I have loved this city

It was over 20 years ago I picked up a book that helped me understand how I was wired. The realization in my life at the time was I was wired for urban life. It wasn’t about “gentrification” or some nirvana feel of high end coffee shops and five star restaurants in proximity to billion dollar sports stadiums.

Continue reading “I have loved this city”

When things go WELL in a city

It’s easy to get caught up in the stories of Baltimore, Ferguson, and so many more places and possibly think, “Wow… NOTHING seems to be going right.”

What we don’t get to hear enough of is when things go WELL in a city. My city, where I pastor, is an inner ring suburb of the Twin Cities. In my time as pastor the demographic has flipped from mainly white and older to plurality of cultures and younger. It has one of the lowest median price ranges for homes in the metro. Over 80 percent of our kids in the schools qualify for free or reduced lunch. The high school 15 years ago was 73 percent white and 27 percent all other groups. Today it’s completely flipped.

And things go WELL in my city. Last night I was privileged to give away scholarships for my Kiwanis group. I love this night and insist I be the one to give this scholarship away. I would actually go to this night if I wasn’t giving any money away just to watch.

In a city with these so-called issues, our community comes together to give away a massive amount of money in scholarships. Last night it was just shy of $225,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors. No other school in the metro touches that goal. Rich school districts, like school districts… there just isn’t a close comparison.

One young lady who received our Kiwanis scholarship is going to the University of Minnesota. She received over $10,000 in scholarships last night from various donors. Her family is a new American family. She is making a way in this country her parents have worked hard to give her. She gets to plow new territory for her family and bring hope to the next generation of Americans.

Please remember, media won’t focus on when things go WELL. You have to get out and see these stories for themselves. And they are stories worth hearing… and telling.

I love my city and love telling others how WELL it can be in the city.

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Seeking the Welfare of the City

The more I learn about Tim Keller as a pastor, the more I am impressed. I really want to know more about this guy. I’ve watched several videos where he engages the skeptics and agnostics. His style is so incredibly well formed to his setting.

Some thoughts here on ministry in the city.

In an urban setting like my own (just a few million less than New York City), I think these three proposals are good ones:

1. We should develop appreciative attitudes toward the city.
2. We should become a dynamic counterculture where we live.
3. We should be a community radically committed to the good of our city as a whole.

We are here to live a dynamic faith in a dynamic world. We are not here to curse the darkness. We are here to bless the city.