Archive for July, 2008

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Intersection Intercession 7/30/08

July 29, 2008

Last week we featured the corner of Truxel and San Juan as our focus for prayer and intercession. As far as I could determine from the police blotter and several crime-related blogs in town, there were no major crimes of any sort this last week at that corner. Considering it is one of the two crime centers of Natomas, we can assume that our prayers affected this locale. If God leads you to continue praying for that intersection, be my guest.

In our quest to cover the entire town and not just focus on one end, we will be moving now to North Natomas to one of the most influential intersections. Most people in Natomas Park and Regency Park go through this intersection daily, or at least several times a week. It is the site of the Clubhouse and two new apartment blocks as well as a new shopping center. Just 500 feet away is a major park and soon, the first new church building in Natomas. Yes, it is the corner of Natomas Blvd. and Club Center Drive.

Here are the crime stats within 1500 ft. of that intersection:

Club Center and Natomas Crime stats

Club Center and Natomas Crime stats

Also, here is a picture of that intersection so you can pray with understanding.

Club Center and Natomas

Club Center and Natomas

As you pray for this intersection, you might want to walk down there and get on location. God often seems to speak louder when you’re there. Also, if the Lord shows you specific things to pray for, come back here and let everyone know what He showed you.

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Some Pictures Say it All

July 27, 2008

Peace is a rare commodity to be sure. And you can describe it until your breath is gone and people still might not catch it. But when a picture of peacefulness comes along, it is worth studying.

This man is sleeping on a bench in a park in Lahore, Pakistan as the waters from a monsoon continue to rise. I can only assume from his demeanor that he is slurping up peace like a thirsty man. Enjoy.

Man laying on a bench in a flooded park

Man laying on a bench in a flooded park

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Summer Sing Half Hour Concert

July 25, 2008

The music camp sponsored by Gateway Fellowship this week was a huge success, as you can tell by the pictures below. Heron School teacher, Rebekah Cyr directed this incredible camp all week and the kids came away with a phenomenal appreciation for music. Tonight’s concert is a half hour event with music and cake. It begins at 7 but the kids should be there at 6:45 p.m. Bring the whole famil

Summer Sing 2

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Summer Sing

Summer SingSummer Sing 2

Summer Sing 3

Summer Sing 3

Summer Sing 4

Summer Sing 4

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Intersection Intercession Natomas

July 23, 2008

If you’ve been reading “The Gates are Open” for a long time, you’ll know that two things grip my heart: The reality of how much prayer can change things and how much I love Natomas, the neighborhood of Sacramento we live in. Recently, our area of town is experiencing a mini-crime wave unlike what we have seen in the past. Several bloggers have done a better job than I at chronicling this and the Sacramento Bee just picked up the story from them yesterday (tip of the hat to Joe Sacramento for his diligent reporting).

But I’m all about solutions, both practical and spiritual. And here is the new feature we’re including here every Wednesday at “The Gates are Open”. We are going to highlight an intersection of Natomas so we can intercede and see God change things at that corner.

Why an intersection? I was reading several years ago this book by a pastor in Colorado Springs. That city was known at the time for its crime, occult activity and degrading neighborhoods. This one church began to pray for the intersections (the places where people cross paths the most) that God’s presence and protection would flourish. In the next ten years, they saw miraculous changes in their city. So much so that it is now known as one of the cities with the lowest crime rates and highest rankings in places to live.

So, today’s intersection will be obvious to many who live here: The corner of Truxel Rd. and San Juan Rd. Yes, the place of so much controversy. The home of Natomas High School, several “affordable-living” apartment complexes. The site of the much-harangued shopping center. What can we say about this corner as you begin to pray?

Click on this picture below to see what crime has taken place within a 1500 feet of that corner in the last four months: (Note: The multiple exclamation marks means multiple crimes of multiple types took place at that location)

Truxel and San Juan

Truxel and San Juan

If you are willing, here is what I would like you to do. Either pray in your home or prayer walk near or at that intersection. Ask God what He wants you to pray. Pray about the particular crimes that have been taking place there and pray that God will seal that area with His protection. Then, pray whatever else God leads you to pray. Then come back here and let others know what God was showing you in the comments section.

We will see Natomas changed through prayer and hard work.

Just so you can get a mental picture of the intersection, here is a real picture of it taken this evening.

Intersection of Truxel and San Juan

Intersection of Truxel and San Juan

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A Theology of Disaster

July 15, 2008

In this season of wildfire-based disasters, it would be good to visit the biblical understanding of what place God takes during disaster and how we can survive shattering events. In order to do that, I want to remind us of one disaster that opens itself up easily as a classroom.

In 1988, the Northwest corner of the United States and the Southwest corner of Canada experienced the worst drought since the mid-1800s. By the time we came to the summer fire season, all hell broke loose in the forests of British Columbia, Montana and Wyoming. I was living in B.C. at the time and I remember distinctly four separate fires joining together to form a so-called “supercell” fire, similar in devastation to low pressure cells joining to form tornadoes. But what I was observing was pittance compared to what was going on in Yellowstone. Read the rest of this entry ?

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4th of July Rose Parade

July 4, 2008
4th of July Roses from my garden

4th of July Roses from my garden

Here is a parade of the roses currently in bloom in my garden. A gardener’s pride and joy is the collection of roses on the 4th. Have a great time today one and all.

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Friendly Fire: Bombs from 29,000 feet

July 3, 2008

In one of my favorite lines from a Vietnam era movie, the pilots are sitting around the circle in a bar in the Philippines enjoying some of the local brew. One of them leans back and says “Nothing beats high altitude bombing, does it”. They all laugh and go back to ogling the girls in the bar. Their conversation revolves around their job: To go up above the 20,000 foot level and using precision targeting drop their entire load and head on back to relative safety. Actually, unless they had a plane malfunction, they were safe the entire time. No artillery was going to hit them up there, let alone a non-existent Viet Cong Air Force. They never once saw a single victim of their bombing attacks. They never had to face the damage they were inflicting.

Here is what this looks like in today’s church culture. People are sitting in a Bible study decrying the state of marriages today. The happily married co-leaders of the group tell story after story of wretched people they know who Read the rest of this entry ?

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