Friday, August 15, 2008

A Fresh approach to the 2008 campaign...

I am excited about the upcoming event hosted by Rick Warren & Saddleback Church. Barack Obama & John McCain will each be interviewed by Pastor Warren over a variety of subjects, including those that aren’t usually mentioned: poverty, HIV/ AIDS, climate concerns, and human rights. Most intriguing to me was what Rick Warren said about the focus: ““While debates typically focus primarily on the candidates’ positions and only secondarily on how they’d lead and make decisions, this Saddleback Civil Forum will reverse that ratio.”

While this forum being hosted by Christians is a personal bonus for me, it’s the idea that they are trying a different approach that’s gotten me enthused.

It will be LIVE on CNN this Saturday , starting at 7pm (CST), as well as MSNBC (Curious that FOX isn’t interested in broadcasting an event at a church)

I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up too much, but I am looking forward to a fresh look at the candidates. I would have liked to see some of the alternate candidates, like Green Party & Libertarian Party involved. But I think this will be helpful (and there is high probability that one of these two will be the next president)

I think the process of how they come to decisions is vital, and can help predict the out come of events, even if we don’t know what those events will be. After all, who would have know during the 2000 presidential election that we would have to deal with the aftermath of terrorists. And in the 2004 election, who would have guessed that the US would have to address a catastrophic natural disaster, which we are still feeling the effects of?

Would people have voted differently, had they known how the candidates come to their decisions?

I encourage you to watch…and if the format is good, communicate it to the world, especially the media. Let’s change the way politics is usually done, starting from our end.

To find out more info, check out this news article à

or the official website form Saddleback à

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mia's 3! It's a miracle

Today is Good Friday. It's good because Jesus died for us and what we have done, and made it "all good" with God.

It's also a good Friday because it's our daughter Mia's birthday, born 3 years ago today... and my daughter Mia is a miracle!

A quick summary: my wife was fine at our last doctor's visit. Then the next week, she started getting these headaches that wouldn't go away. So we called the hospital, who told us to come to the emergency room. Just a few minutes afyer we got settled at the hospital, they saw her blood pressure was off the charts, and Sythera went into at least 2 seizures (that i saw!). Our doctor came and let me know that she had to deliver the baby, or both could die!
As soon as those things took place, we called our church secretary, who prayed & spread the word to not only our local church, but to friends as far as Washington, Thailand, Russia, India. A friend later told me "People you don't know are praying for you."

Mia was 10 inches long and 15 1/2 ounces when she was born. As a friend enlightened me, she was smaller than a pack of Twizlers when she was born!

A lot of her story is detailed on an old web page .

Since those early days, Mia has changed a lot. She came home on oxygen. She had four therapists, covering speech, occuational, physical & developmental therapies. The therapies she still had until age 3 (when the state of Illinois' Early Intervention program for preemies runs out) were more for us parents, to help us make sure Mia was on track.

Today Mia is a healthy girl who now is fighting mommy & daddy so she can have more sweets instead of fighting for her life.

Some of her recent phrases:

I want to wash my hands.

Let's go to gymnastics!

I like the money, daddy!

MY (fill in the blank of whatever we're trying to pry out of her hands) !!!!!

In the midst of this, we had several other life changes:
  • moved out of our Rogers Park condo and settled in the South Side fo Chicago, in the Chatham neighborhood
  • Sythera got a new job!
  • Recently, JP got a job with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, utlizing many of the skills & experiences he gained from previous work & volunteering

Thanks to all who have prayed for Mia & supported my family.

We can't wait to see what the future brings!

If you've been through this, or know someone who has...God CAN bring you through. He won't give us what we can't handle.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Learn how to start Bible Clubs

Some information from a friend. For more information , contact Brian Dye at

Join the movement to spark Bible Clubs in public schools throughout

This one day training will have two tracks- one for youth
ministers and one for high school youth.

Being brought to you by:
Urban Youth Network, Brothers & Sisters United for Christ, The Fusion,
Exodus 20:13 and the Save Your Sex Movement.

Saturday, January
19th 9:30am-1:00pm.

Network with other youth and youth workers
over lunch. Bring $5 for lunch or be one of the first 100 attendees to
register and eat for free.

Hosted at District Office of the Church of the Nazarene- 1111 N.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

JP's New Year's Resolution -- write some blogs!

A New Year's resolution i've made is to actually write some blog entries, not just comment on them (see my blog list). It's been 6 months since the last entry -- i hope to make it more frequent!

In addition to writing for Levois at , i want to occasionally write here as well

Some of the topics i will cover...

  • urban ministry
  • Family (immediate)
  • Family (extended)
  • Media
  • neighborhoods of Chicago (such as Chatham & Uptown)
  • city living
  • politics

Some of the particlualr subjects i plan on writing about include

  • how to shop at Aldi's
  • Korean historical dramas
  • analysis of the 46th ward Aldermanic elections
  • Uptown fundementalism