Re. David Hansen's column, "Churches try to save themselves," April 13:
While it is true that over the past 10 years attendance has dropped 10% to 20% in mainline denominations, Mr. Hansen fails to mention that other expressions of Christ's church are growing and even exploding in attendance.
Many Independent, Evangelical, Charismatic and Pentecostal churches are seeing numbers increase, certainly here in America, but even more so in other nations, particularly Africa where revival is sweeping many countries.
While appreciating Hansen's analysis of denominational problems, I would respectfully disagree that changing church structure, synchronizing faiths, along with social and cultural adaptation will save Christian churches from dying.
It is not new programs, methods, restructuring, reorganizing or adapting to our culture that breathes "life" into churches. It is a deep commitment and devotion to Christ, a real and heartfelt love for God and others, passionate worship and believing the revealed truths of Scripture that are at the center of growing churches.
This is not an issue of outward change, but inward transformation.
The writer is the pastor at Little Church by the Sea.
Be aware of Lyme disease
"Got Lyme?" reads the staff shirts at a popular Martha's Vineyard Mexican restaurant — a reference to not only the island's best margaritas but also to the proliferation of Lyme disease-infested ticks that reside in the beautiful woods there.
As an annual summer visitor, the shirts always bothered me. Now they bother me more: One of my closest family members contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite here in California last April.
I'm not alone in my recent induction into the Lyme community. Lyme disease is the fastest growing vector-borne disease in the United States.
Lyme is a scary entity. It often comes accompanied by vicious and difficult-to-detect co-infections (some such co-infections resemble malaria, i.e. babesia). It mimics many other conditions and is hard to diagnose, and there is no standard protocol for how to treat it. The CDC and "Lyme literate" medical communities remain at great odds on this issue.
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. I encourage you to take the time to check for ticks when you've been outdoors — and most importantly, check your children. Children are the most susceptible to Lyme.
Be aware that Lyme disease is present in this paradise of Orange County, and familiarize yourself with its symptoms. This season is predicted to be the worst in recent history for new cases of Lyme disease.
Spare yourself sifting through misinformation and visit lymedisease.org for additional information on facts, symptoms and how you can help.
Boyd made bad move with Halliburton vote
One of the most bizarre Laguna Beach City Council meetings in history took place Tuesday.
Four City Council members voted for a stop-work order, to take effect at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, on a permit issued to allow the new owners of the Richard Halliburton house in South Laguna to demolish parts of Laguna's most famous residence. Councilman Kelly Boyd refused to vote for the stop order.
Halliburton, a world-renowned traveler, writer and lecturer, built the all-cement modern house 400 feet above West Street Beach in 1936.
An architect who specializes in historic homes told the City Council the house could easily qualify as a national historic site, and Ann Christoph couldn't believe the city had issued a demolition permit without considering the history of the house.
Boyd is making history too — going down as one of the dumbest City Council members in the history of Laguna Beach city government.
Drunk Rescue inspires a rhyme
Until every car is equipped with a DUI ignition lock
News of DUI mayhem and deaths will continue to shock
Cabs are a financial raid on one's purse
Then what is even worse
Waking up hung over in the early morning dark
How to find where your car you parked
Hoping against all hope it has not been towed away
When you need your car to start another day
Hats off to these two entrepreneurs whose price will break the backs
Of the outrageous gouging of the Orange County hacks
Better yet save a life or career or two
I only hope our transportation agency decides not to sue.
Michael P. Ridley
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