PNG TIME

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4/11/2019

Where You At?

It has come to my attention that various web pages and Facebook groups
have picked up my blog without consulting me, and/or without giving me
credit as the original source or a courtesy link to my blog.

Would you please help me find out who is doing this?  I've had a few
friends shut down their blogs because of this lack of internet etiquette
and it is the primarily reason I have not posted recently.

If you read this.. please email chad@gimpel.tv and with the subject:
YOURBLOG and include the URL or the GROUP name where you found this blog
entry.

Thank you.

-Chad

3/03/2019

12 Year Anniversary

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3/01/2019

Blog Ending

It's time to end this blog.

When it started, gng2png stood for "gimpel and gumby to Papua New
Guinea.'  because those were my wife and my college nicknames. Over the
years it morphed into 'going 2 png' because that's what people called it.

This blog has been going for over 12 years. We get about 500 page views
a month. Most of that is because of facebook links that I didn't setup. 
At this point I have no idea who is following this blog because it's
auto-posted to multiple Facebook pages.

It sounds odd, because you write a blog for people to read, but yet, I
don't necessarily like that I can't see my own stats or know who on
facebook is auto-loading my blog.

Plus blogs are sort of... going out of style.

I remember when I used to think everyone should have a blog.. that was
before Facebook.  Being able to keep in touch with a lot of people is
great! and works two ways.


Anyway.  Our time in PNG is coming to a close.  It being March, it is
our anniversary of when we came to PNG.

So it's time the blog went away.  We'll still post on facebook and send
out email newsletters.


This blog's final post will be coming up soon.  After that time I'll
take it down and all the auto-links will not be able to reach it.

Thank you for your many years of faithful readership. I apologize that
it's been a boring blog for a few years now.  Part of that is simply my
station in life.  I have learned over the years it is much better to be
careful with your words, when and how you spend them.  I have learned it
is actually much more satisfying to say the right words, given from God,
at the right moment.  When that happens it's makes all your other words
seem like filthy rags.


So I've become more quiet over the years, waiting and listening trying
to find that time when God wants me to say something.  It leads to a
pretty unpredictable and dull blog.


It's time to shut 'er down.


Love you all,

thank you

1 more post coming then lights out.

-Chad

2/28/2019

Worried about Returning: Internet Shaming

Our environment is being carefully manipulated and fostered by the enemy
to reduce human connection because that connection is the conduit for us
to express Christ's love.

So earlier in February there was a rash of politicians and celebrities
who had in some time in their past dressed up in 'black face'. Black
face is considered racist because and I quote 'it dehumanizes African
Americans.'

I don't want to debate whether or not black face is racist. I have
always been concerned about the terms 'racist' and 'sexist'. Mostly
because they are very powerful words, that when used accusationally are
really hard to defend against, regardless of what is true.  If you
accuse me of being a sexist, it is hard to defend myself without
reinforcing existing ideas that I'm a sexist.

For example "Hey, You're a sexist!"

me: "no I'm not, I love women, I mean, women are equal in the workplace,
I mean, also at home if that's what they want. Women are great! Some of
my favorite people are women!"

The accusation can easily turn you into a stammering idiot who looks
more guilty than innocent.  Those words as accusations have power, and
always have.  We shouldn't bandy them around as easily as we do.

So in the news early February 2019, several politicians in the SAME WEEK
had to apologize for their youthful experiments with black face.

3 in 1 week!  But it doesn't end there.  The next on the list was a
sweater by Gucci. It resembled black face when worn and so the company
had to remove it from their shelves and apologize.

https://www.pedestrian.tv/style/gucci-blackface-sweater/

That wasn't all.  Katie Perry had a shoe she had to recall because it
resembled black face.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/11/entertainment/katy-perry-blackface-shoes/index.html

February was definitely the month of 'black face in the news'. It seems
like each month there is a new 'reason to be disgraced'. Right or wrong,
I'm not debating that. If people do the crime, they should do the time.

But the issue here isn't actually a legal one. It's a 'court of popular
opinion one.'

Internet Shaming is a very powerful thing.  We teach anti-cyber bullying
in school and yet we engage in it as a nation and a people.

Imagine a small business owner. Trying his best to keep his business
afloat, has a few employees.  He's so busy he isn't paying attention to
the news and doesn't realize that if he wears a certain color shirt to
work that day he's supporting some cause he's unaware of.  As he walks
into his 4 employee building, someone takes a photo of him with their
phone and posts it on Instagram.

"CEO of Small Business wears Homophobic Shirt!"

It is totally feasible that he loses customers over that if it goes wide
enough.  The only real hope that man has is that he's not popular enough
to warrant the pic going viral.

But if he one day ever is popular enough, that photo will resurface. 
So, he strives to build his business, and one day it becomes national,
affluent, he's at the top of the headlines, and then boom here comes
that photo from 15 years prior.  And he's shamed, and asked to step down
from the board of directors.... because really, how many of us believe
him when he says

"it was 15 years ago, and I didn't know what I was doing?"

Am I defending these black facers?  No. I don't even know their story
and I have no reason to defend or promote anyone involved.

I'm simply saying, right now with the way that the U.S. is spiraling out
of control, I feel as if I'm returning to a different country. One that
does not value free speech any longer.  One that could ruin me with the
smallest accidental misstep.  One where the best strategy for survival,
is to remain silent, and fly under the radar, never strive to be too
successful, or to take any form of public office.

It seems to me we've begun to foster and very negative environment.

And it's hard because yeah, we should be ferreting out corruption and
lies and bigotry and racism and sexism.... but in some ways right now
our country feels like it did under the time of McCarthyism.  People are
scared.

In June, I get on a plane to return to the U.S.  The land of the free. 
And yet in many ways I feel more free where I live now.

I've said that to myself before and I thought 'it sounds like you're
saying 'I'm more free to be racist and sexist here.' '  I'm not a racist
and I'm not a sexist, so I don' t go around saying such things. But I
know that if I said something innocent that could be misconstrued, I'd
be given the benefit of the doubt here. Why? Because I have deeply
authentic relationships with people who know my heart and would
instantly see something innocently misspoken as just that.

Here's the hope part.  I trust God enough, to love people.  In this
environment in the U.S. I think it would be natural to be suspicious of
people. We'd be less likely to simply say 'hi' to a stranger in the U.S.
because we know it could lead to all kinds of trouble we don't want to
deal with.

The enemy wins the moment we're no longer willing to reach out to
someone new.

We're told to love with the love of Christ.  How many of us apply that
to the people we 'ALREADY KNOW.' ? AS time moves on, the list of people
we know only shrinks if we're unwilling to meet new people, make new
relationships.

Our environment is being carefully manipulated and fostered by the enemy
to reduce human connection because that connection is the conduit for us
to express Christ's love.

We have to fight against the shaping of that environment by the enemy. 
There are so many things against the fostering of authentic human
connection these days, nearly everything is shaping up this way.  Talk
to a real human stranger? NO WAY! Don't you realize how dangerous that is?

For me, returning to the U.S. I have very real plans and ideas about how
I will foster human connections and relationships. But I'm also very
aware that there are risks in reaching out to people.  I am sad those
risks are greater today than I remember them being in my lifetime.
Thankfully I follow a God who is strong enough to hold me through those
risks.

2/09/2019

Through my mind...




We depart PNG in 4 and a half months.  We're coming up on 12 years here (in a few weeks).  I have always wondered what goes on in the minds of people as they prepare to do what we here call 'going finish.'
For me, a lot of things.  But I realize everyone's situation is different.

-There's a constant cycle of having a new worry or a new thought and then giving it to God in prayer. They just pop in there like 'what about this?"  Then you remind yourself God is faithful, God is in control, Dear Lord take this one from me, I can't do anything about it anyway.  All yours.  (rinse and repeat the next time it pops up).
-There's the logistics of booking air travel, packing your house, etc.  Different people handle this differently. I love watching how people handle it.  Some folks don't pack until the last few days, some the night before they leave, others dont' get a chance to pack because their 'finish' surprised them as they had to leave in an emergency.  For us, that's not a big deal. We have most all the big logistics covered because we wanted our final days to be spent saying goodbyes.
-There's the mumu's. Traditional goodbye meals with local friendships.  Many tears, stories told, etc.
-There's the real concern about whether or not you're doing the right thing.  Though God put going 'finish' on our hearts for certain, and though He sends us encouragement, there is always the little doubts and jokes about 'you know if you stayed...' and you think 'yeah I could stay here and do a lot of really good work still.'  and then the subtle reminder 'true.. but that's not where I'm calling you next.'
-There's real concern about money and the future.  As we make decisions about where we're going to live, what we're going to do, what we'll drive.  Basically, like starting fresh right out of school again.  Have to get our license, get new credit cards, get new... everything.  We're 45 and starting over with zero assets, no home ownership, nothing.  But at the same time.... it's exhilarating because of the next one:

-There's the concern that we will no longer need God.  Moving to PNG we had to discipline ourselves into a daily habit of total reliance upon God. For provision, safety, finances, guard against spiritual attack, for the grace to get through a day.  moving back to a first world country, I'm truly concerned we'll let those habits decay.  Which is why, having so much uncertainty is actually comfortable for me.  Once you develop habits to cope with an unknown future, a daily 'anything can happen' routine... without it, life seems a little less than. 

-The temptation to speak your mind more freely.  I've seen a some people lose their cool when going finish.  For years you learn how to live together in community and get along. You daily apply grace to those who tend to irk you more than others, because you need to live in Christian community.  But when you're about to leave that community, suddenly the temptation to stop speaking the truth in love and start speaking the truth to EVERYONE as harshly as you can.... gets stronger.  I am one of those people who have bitten my tongue so often in 12 years that it's down to the nub.  The temptation to unload it all and ruin those 12 years of patience and grace is strong.  I keep going back to Christ's model though, and I think about how much restraint He had. I can hold on just a little longer.  But, like anything under pressure, sometimes venting that pressure helps avoid an explosion.
-I have lost most all of my American skills.  I no longer follow NFL or MLB, so I'll have to catch up on that, just to have things in common.  I don't know current terminologies, or events. I'm not heavily invested in politics, I don't know a lot about living in the U.S. I'm sure it'll all come back to me. But it'll be awkward, because the American has been largely stripped out of my Christianity, and I no longer feel the way I once did about a great many things.

-In some ways, I'm more concerned about security in the U.S.  I know what to expect here, I've become used to it. But in the U.S. there are expectations that go unmet. When I sit in people's homes in the U.S. I think 'wow this place is so insecure! How can you sleep at night!'  It's part of the acclimation process, though there are certain habits I've learned here that I'll never unlearn.
-Complexity and cost. Living in the U.S. has a lot of costs I'm unfamiliar with and complexities that I've gotten used to not having to deal with.

-True fellowship. I won't have a mechanic I know and trust, I won't have a doctor I pray with, I won't have a pilot who I talk to when I'm flying places, or a post office worker whose family I know.  I'm not sure I remember how to do small talk, I'm used to long hours of in depth conversation and making life long deep friendships.  Can I survive living on the surface again? Will I have to?

-Time and traffic - this list could just keep going on and on and on... but I remember a huge chunk of my day was taken up by traffic and little things.  The Pace of life will be so much faster in California.


This and so many other things race through my mind, and my wife has her own list.
Along with it are all the good things that race through my mind as well. But I tend to segment emotional processes.
Right now, I'm all about finishing well here, doing my work, leaving no loose ends, and getting my son graduated, then leaving.
As soon as I'm on the plane my mind will turn to the stuff about the U.S.


-Chad









1/20/2019

Python and Millenials

So I have been teaching myself the programming language of Python for some time now. I'm still very much a beginner.  The other night as I slept I had this image in my head.  If you took all the sources of information in your average day, and named them, you would have probably around 14 possibilities:

TV/movies, music, news, friends, parents, extended family, books, radio/podcasts, webpages you read, facebook(social media), teachers, coworkers, and the rules of your groups/organizations.

So I imagined this up.



So many sources of information.  I wondered how much time I spent letting each source of information speak into my life each day.  How much of my story did I allow them to become?

Then I imagined a line... a line of TRUTH.  I mean, it really doesn't matter what you think about truth.  You either believe there is absolute truth or not, but for this exercise it didn't matter what you believed there, because inevitably you decide which of those items spoke more truth to you.  So... I imagined this:


I decided which items were more lies than truth in my life.

But then I wondered,... how much time in each day do I let the lies in?   Now... Facebook isn't all lies, and not all books are truth.  So that made things more difficult.

Which is where my program idea came in.

So I wrote a program, and I got the help of my son to do the math on it... that basically asked 28 questions.

Question 1:

On a scale of 1-5 (5 being very frequent) how much time in an average day do you spend enjoying_____(music/facebook/etc) :?

Question 2:

Rate (this item : Facebook/Books/music, etc)  on the following scale:

-1           -2       -3       0       +1       +2             +3 

full of lies    neither lying nor truthful      full of truth


And once you answered those questions, the program would tell you exactly how many lies you were allowing into your head each day, and what percentage of truth you were engaging with each day.

At the same time, I began watching a video explaining the difference in culture between Millenials and Gen X (me).

When we got to the point of the idea that there is no absolute truth, that your experience is what dictates decisions... I thought about that.

See.... it's really not that far from what Gen X believes, though our generation likes to pretend we're very very different.  The truth is, if you're a Gen X'er, and you believe in absolute truth, and your personal experience contradicts that absolute truth, you're perfectly okay believing contradictory things.  It's a hallmark of our generation.  So... in that respect our experience does in fact have a lot of weight.

Regardless, I realized asking the question 'how much truth do you feel Facebook has to offer you?' while allowing you to respond with whatever your views on the relativitity of truth is... and therefore allow for multiple cultural perspectives... maybe much harder for a millenial to answer.

Why oh WHY did I have to get education in the middle of writing  this program?

I mean, wouldn't you answer 'DEPENDS?'  to that question?  But then answer it yourself based on what it depended on?


The bottom line is... I wanted to create a visual representation to make people aware of this.

1 - The Devil seeks to kill you, steal from you and destroy you.

2 - His chief tactics involve lieing to you so completely you begin to think it is true.

3 - You can most easily detect a lie when you spend a lot of time in the truth.

4 - Therefore you should determine what your sources of truth are, and enhance your time with those, while decreasing your time surrounded by lies.


For me, my profound source of truth is reading the Bible. But not just reading it.  Reading it, understanding it, thinking about it all day, and applying what I read that day to at least 1 moment of my day... making it real, applying it.  Not just theory but doing it.  That is the most profound source of truth.

Other sources of truth are good, wise, godly people, who speak truth to me in love and hold me accountable. (this includes friends, co-workers, family, teachers, etc).

But I don't blindly trust all books, nor do I blindly trust all people.  Only people who all agree on the basics.

So what are the basics?

Well, the last few books of the Bible really boils it down for us.  1,2,3 John and Jude ALL warn us heavily against false teachings.  HRM... why do you think that was some of the final words in the Bible?  Maybe because God knew that we'd be surrounded by lies everywhere we turn?

LIES EVERYWHERE!  Layers of lies upon lies such that if you see through the first layer, you may still believe the lie of the second layer, because the enemy has been building this onion of lies for so long it's so hard to see truth.   It's exhausting to fight constantly, but we have to.  Because he is.

The Basics:

-anyone who does not profess that Jesus Christ is the son of God is a false teacher.

The current rule of our culture is:

-tolerance always unless you come across someone intolerant, and then you do not need to tolerate them.

It's a very similar rule to what Peter and John taught us with a few changes:

-love everyone, but do not allow false teachers to be among you, cast them out of your churches and homes.

I tend to feel love is better than tolerance.  I'd rather you give me a hug than cast me a glance that said 'I can tolerate you.'

Well now I'm blabbering.

The point is....

We need to diminish the lies we allow into our lives... and enhance the amount of truth.. Change your personal formula.





1/04/2019

Unchurched

So I just read a scary statistic.  The Bay Area is considered 97% unchurched.  That means that people are not affiliated with, nor consider themselves to be a part of, a church.  Some are saying it is the largest unchurched area in the U.S.

So I decided to look up why a place becomes 'unchurched'.  In missions the terms 'unreached vs unchurched' come up a lot.  But I've always considered the Bay Area either 'churched' or 'post churched' in that, they've been given the opportunities, and have just passed them up.

Then I read this, and it really has me thinking, because so many of the points seem to be very true to me.  And if true, that makes the Silicon Valley, a mission field, and our next stop.

---------------
I am often amused when I hear myself identified as an expert in any area. If I am a perceived expert, it is because I have had the wonderful opportunity to listen to thousands of people over the past few decades. They are the experts; I am little more than an interested reporter.

Though much of this information could be regarded as dismal, my ultimate assessment is not that pessimistic. I believe in the God of miracles. If my conclusions focused on human ability and goodness, I would have little hope. But my conclusions presume the God of creation is on His throne.

For now, let us focus on what is wrong. Let us look with stark honesty and candor at the ineffectiveness of most American believers when it comes to sharing their faith. And let us look at reversing the trend through God's power.

1. Spiritual Lethargy - One of the main reasons many Christians do not share their faith is simply explained by the word disobedience. Spiritual lethargy takes place when we fail to obey Him. The problem for many Christians is that they are not growing spiritually, and lack of spiritual growth inevitably leads to a diminished desire to share Christ with others.

2. Growing Inclusivism - One of the faster-growing belief systems today is pluralism (all religions lead to God). A variation of pluralism called inclusivism is a dangerous doctrine that is gaining momentum in many American seminaries, Christian colleges, and churches. This view affirms that Jesus is the only way of salvation, but he can be found in other "good" religions. There is a subtle but growing belief among many Christians that somehow "good" followers will make it to heaven outside of a true Christian conversion. Our message will fall on deaf ears if this belief persists and grows.

3. Growing Disbelief in Hell - At one time, this was a view held almost entirely by unbelievers. However recent books by those claiming to be evangelicals have brought this discussion front and center. Those who truly have a desire to reach the unchurched have a burden to see people in the eternity of heaven, but they also desire to see them escape the wrath of an eternal hell. Denying the existence of hell undermines the urgency of placing one's faith in Christ.

4. Busyness - Perhaps one of Satan's most effective strategies is to get us so busy that we fail to do that which is such a high biblical priority. We can be deluded into complacency about the lostness of humanity around us. The unchurched are waiting for you to tell them about Jesus. They need to be on your to-do list. What priority do you give to reaching the lost?

5. Fear of Rejection - In research on this subject, I found that only one in four unchurched persons we be resistant to faith discussions. But nearly four out of ten of the unchurched will be receptive to your concern for their eternity, and more than one out three will simply be neutral to your attempts. Simply stated, fear of rejection is unfounded. The few with an antagonistic attitude are not rejecting your personally; their anger is merely a reflection of something in their past. Fear of rejection is an often-used excuse by Christians for their failure to witness. And it is just that: an excuse.

6. A Desire to Be Tolerant - The message of the gospel, in some senses, is intolerant. The one true God insists there can be no other gods. He is a jealous God and leaves no room for other gods. In the post-modern culture of 21st century America, Christians should know the criticisms of intolerance will come. The great concern is that many Christians are unwilling to take a narrow view because they do not want to be labeled as intolerant. But Jesus never waivered in His insistence that He is the only way to the one and only true God.

7. Losing the Habit of Witnessing - Some Christians have been very active in sharing their faith with the lost and the unchurched. But, for a myriad of reasons, they get out of the habit, and it no longer becomes a priority. Witnessing, like prayer and Bible study, is a discipine. It is a habit to learn, to retain, and, if lost, to regain.

8. Lack of Accountability - Programmatic evangelism in local churches is sometimes denigrated because it is seen as a "canned" approach to witnessing. But one of the strengths of many of these programs is that some inherent system of accountability is built into the program itself. Accountability is likely to engender more witnessing attempts to the unchurched. Attempting more evangelistic encounters creates a habit of witnessing that then increases our zeal for evangelism.

9. Failure to Invite - When is the last time you invited an unchurched person to church? When is the last time you offered to take a person to church, or, at the very least, meet him or her at church? It's a simple gesture, yet so few Christians do it.

10. We Go to Churches That Do Not Reach the Unchurched - We only reach one person for Christ each year for every 85 church members in the United States. That is a frightening and terrible ratio. One of the key reasons we do not reach the unchurched is that most Christians in America are members of churches that do not reach the unchurched.

I've now covered ten of the most common reasons Christians fail to obey the Great Commission. This list is not exhaustive though. In God's power, however, we can reverse this trend and reach the unchurched in America.

Dr. Thom Rainer is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
(https://www.christianpost.com/news/10-reasons-we-have-not-reached-the-unchurched.html)
---------------

the ones that really stand out to me, (Chad) for the Silicon Valley is #4,  #5, and #6.
So if I were a resolution making man, I'd resolve to make sure #4 #5 and #6 were not true of me next year.
I can tell you this, being a support staff for missions means I work with believers a lot of the time. I have really missed the opportunity to talk to people who do not know my Savior about Him.  I'm excited about the fact that I'll have that chance a lot.  I know 'freedom of speech' is limited these days, and that I can't proselytize in the work place, etc.

-chad