Monthly Archives: December 2006

Scam Scum

As I journalist, I sometimes get an opportunity to write about unusual things. Over the last two week I have had the opportunity to report on a scam taking place in the pallet industry. The scam artist tried to get companies to pay for transit costs to a fake shipping company. The bait was that the scammer offered to pay via credit card so the company thought it already had its money. When the card went through, the pallet company would be tempted to ship the pallets and possibly even pay the shipping costs.

The scam artist used stolen credit card information. Obviously, any company that bit on the deal would lose out. Any charges on the stolen credit cards would be charged back. Not only does this show the danger of credit cards in the Information Age, it also indicates how many people are conducting fraud across international borders. The bank accounts involved appear to trace back to Africa. At this point, nobody has come forward as having fallen for the scam. This makes me wonder why somebody would go to so much effort for so little profit. That’s a lot of wasted time.

You can read more about the scam at  http://www.palletforum.com/Possible_Scam%3F%3F%3F/m_22678/tm.htm

If you want to read how sometimes the good guys pull one on scammers. Read this link sent to me by a friend. It will make you laugh….a lot.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3887493.stm

http://www.419eater.com/html/joe_eboh.htm

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Chaille’s Annual Christmas Update

Merry Christmas to all my family, friends, church family, co-workers, business associates & even complete strangers!

2006 went by quickly, and I am overjoyed to have shared so many great moments with so many of you. To those friends and family that I have not interacted with over the past year, please know that I hold many precious memories in my heart. And I hope that you are all doing well.

So what’s the latest with me? Well, I finished my second book. Titled Starving for Hunger, the project is in the final editing and production stages. It should be ready for delivery by early 2007. This is my first e-book; it will be available on CD and for download from my Web site www.organicfaith.com. Starving for Hunger explores spiritual hunger and desire. This e-book delves into why it can be so hard to discover God’s best while living in American society. It is a wakeup call to the American church and will be sure to challenge anyone who reads it.

In February, I had the opportunity to go on a business trip that took me to North Eastern Canada. The temperature reached nearly 20 below zero. I have never witnessed such snow or cold temperatures in my life. The mill tour included a full day of snowmobile riding. That was a blast.

This summer marked a season of transition as many of the students that I had grown close to over the last few years graduated from high school and went off to college or other parts of the world. It was weird and a bit sad to say goodbye. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to show so many great young people just a bit of what it means to live like Jesus.

In August, I had the opportunity to teach a short course on Walking Where Jesus Walked. The class was intended to be a primer for those going on a missions trip to Israel in the fall. It became a great opportunity to research details about the life of Jesus and then share what I had learned. The class was a hit, and I enjoyed it a lot.

After the class, came the actual mission trip to Israel. In many ways, this was the highlight of my year. I thought it was going to be primarily a spiritual pilgrimage. But God had others plans as I had the opportunity to minister to those on the team, Christian missionaries in Israel, and even complete strangers. From baptizing a fairly new Christian in the Jordan River to interceeding with thousands of other Christians for Israel to teaching on the Mount of Beatitudes, it was an incredible experience. If you ever have an opportunity to go to Israel, I suggest you take it. The land is full of history and spiritual lessons that we should learn from today. You can find out more about this trip by reading my trip journal, which should be posted online by mid-January 2007.  

On a more recreational note, skiing has become a recent passion for me. I have gone a  number of times this year and am getting ready to head to Mount Tremblant in Canada. There is no place like the mountains to experience God’s majesty and power.

The Lord continues to bring people in my life, and I am learning from each relationship what God wants me to see. I am still believing that God has a wife out there for me, and I pray for her regularly. The Brindley family is all doing well. This includes me, my parents, my brother and his family. 

For many of you, it has been far too long since we talked. I hope to hear from you soon. May God bless and guide you in 2007. May you experience the joy of living for God’s glory and His kingdom.

Shalom,

Chaille Brindley

You Are the Person of the Year!

Time magazine has selected “You” as its person of the year. The magazine is recognizing the power of individuals to shape the world and public opinion through sites likes this blog, YouTube, MySpace, etc. Instead of cover someone famous like President Bush,  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, North Korea’s Kim Jong II, Bono or Brad Pitt,  the magazine hit on the trend of the digital error as the Internet has made the world a smaller place.

Here is how one news article explained it…. 

It’s a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It’s about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people’s network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace.

“You. Me. Everyone. Everyone is who is transforming the information age by creating and consuming content,” Richard Stengel, the magazine’s managing editor told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien. “It’s about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.”

“You know, I felt in a very profound way something in the world change this year, that there was an ebbing of power from the few to the many, and big media companies like ours were, in fact, not in control anymore. It’s a great new digital democracy,” Stengel said.

“We’re looking at an explosion of productivity and innovation, and it’s just getting started, as millions of minds that would otherwise have drowned in obscurity get backhauled into the global intellectual economy,” the magazine says.

Sure, it’s a mistake to romanticize all this any more than is strictly necessary, Time says. Web 2.0 harnesses the stupidity of crowds as well as its wisdom. Some of the comments on YouTube make you weep for the future of humanity just for the spelling alone, never mind the obscenity and the naked hatred.

But that’s what makes all this interesting. Web 2.0 is a massive social experiment, and like any experiment worth trying, it could fail. There’s no road map for how an organism that’s not a bacterium lives and works together on this planet in numbers in excess of 6 billion, the magazine concedes.

But it says 2006 gave us some ideas. “This is an opportunity to build a new kind of international understanding, not politician to politician, great man to great man, but citizen to citizen, person to person.”

Soulish Church…I’m Not Dead Yet

The more that I encounter church life, the more soulish baggage I see and even collect. I really believe that the biggest enemy of most Christians is our own souls. Maybe we should have been held under the water longer during the baptism service, because many believers, including me, tend to operate out of our own will, emotion, intellect and desires. The old man was supposed to be dead. But he keeps on coming back to life.

The Apostle Paul wrote extensively in Romans and Galatians about the death of the old man as the beginning of a new life in Christ. Realistically, this means Christians live by God’s power not their own abilities. We can never be righteous on our own. Once we come to really see the old man as dead, we are able to walk in freedom . Then we see ourselves as God sees us. We recognize that we are dead to sin and its grip on our life, and we are alive to righteousness. We see ourselves as saints perfected by God’s grace not sinners bound to sin and death.

Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Sonf of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”

The beginning of the Christian life is faith in the completed work of Jesus on our behalf. He is the one who does what we cannot do. Jesus said that unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and the scribes, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven. This appears to impossible for any sinful man to obtain. And that is the whole point of Jesus’ life and ministry.

God doesn’t lower His holy standard so that we can achieve it. Instead, He provided a way for us to obtain it through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. This is the mystery of the Gospel. This is what angels longed to see – people taking the life of God into their hearts and living as free men by the Spirit. God gives us the power to become the sons of God and live for His glory. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.  

All you need is the faith of a child to accept it. So what do you really believe about Jesus? What do you really believe about you?

Soul-less Campaign

If most people were to hear that someone ran a soul-less campaign for public office, they would like think that is a bad thing. I would have likely thought the same thing until I saw a good friend run for the Richmond City Public School Board. One of my spiritual fathers, Rev. Don Coleman, ran for the School Board because he believed the Holy Spirit told Him to enter the race. Don narrowly lost in a race that he probably could have won if the circumstances had been different.

Most people would think that Don must not have heard from God since he did not win the election. But Don never felt that way, and I agree. His measure of success was not the election results but his obedience to God’s call.

By his presence in the community and participation in the community debates, Don brought a different tone to the election. He refused to get into a negative campaign. He focused on uniting various factions and working together to solve citywide problems. Born in the projects, Don is a man who has dedicated himself to serving the city.

Just as the campaign was really kicking off, Don suffered a foot problem that caused him pain and almost cost him part of his foot. Throughout the campign he was limited to how much he could walk on his leg. For any aspiring politician not being able to go out in public could be a tremendous drag on his campaign. Don continued his campaign even though his wife had to do a lot more of the door to door work than anyone had originally anticipated.

Doctors were close to removing part of his foot until he told them to wait just a little longer. Then miraculously his foot completely healed after the election. I asked Don if he planned on pulling out after his foot problems. He said, “No” because God had called him to run and had allowed his foot to be infected at the same time.

When doctors come and tell you that you might lose a large part of your foot, that can cause some intense emotions not to mention being in a tough fight for public office. But Don kept on.

It was the strangest thing. A couple of weeks before the election, he had such peace. Even just talking with him about the race, I could feel my soul starting to get entangled with it. But he seemed to be completely free to trust God no matter the results. Although he wanted to win and tried his best during the campaign despite his foot problems, Don’s identity and sense of worth was not tied into the race. His soul was not running things. His spirit was.

I learned a lot talking with him and watching how he reacted to the various situations. Even if he ran just to show me some important lessons, the whole thing may have been worth it. I finally found a candidate that I could trust. The only problem is that I do not live in his school district. Don showed me how you can strive to do a good job despite tough circumstances and not get too much of yourself wrapped up in the results. His soul was not wrapped up in the campaign. His emotions and intellect were under the control of his spirit, which was being led by the Holy Spirit.

Now, I am sure that there were moments when his soul took over. But for the most part, Don appeared to be at peace with the entire thing even though many outsiders might consider it a disaster. Who ever heard of not being able to walk around a lot while trying to campaing for political office?

Don told me that one reason God had allowed his illness to come at that time was to protect Don from getting too personally involved in the campaign. His soul was kept somewhat at bay because he couldn’t do more than his body would allow.

Pastor Don, thanks for showing me that there is a godly way to run a campaign. Your soul-less approach to politics shows me that our emotions and intellectual schemes may be one of the big reasons why many government and education problems don’t get solved. Three cheers for soul-less politics!!!

My Restless Soul

The following is from a prayer on Sacred Space (www.sacredspace.ie). May it encourage you as it has me today. 

The Presence of God               

When I am invited into the presence of a friend,I look forward to the event and feel honoured.When God invites me to spend time in His presence,He desires me to know and feel His love.With faith and hope I turn my heart and mind to God,and ask Him to help me become more aware of His loving presence. 

Freedom                                                                                                  If God were trying to tell me something, would I know?If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice?I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations and open to what God may be saying to me.

Conversation                                                                                     Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels.May I respond to your call today. Teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily living.

4 Key ?: Do we have anything to prove?

Movies are full of stories where people do things to prove something to another person. Life tends to be the same way. Even the best man tends to worry too much about what others think.

Arnie asked the above question. Then he asked a few more. These are deep, probing questions that can disturb illusions of peace. Arnie asked – Do we live for the praise of men? Do we feel overlooked? Do we care more about what people think then what God says about us?