While I must strive toward a destination and goals, I, at the same time, need to live as though the journey is its own reward. To journey today means I live the next step, lean into the upcoming turn, and love those in front of me. My greatest temptation is to live too far in the past or to look too far into the future.
I am making an effort to read Scripture daily so that I might remember. It is so easy to forget the content of faith, commitments I have made, experiences that have shaped me, and the places where hope can be found. It is easy to forget Jesus. Reading Scripture jolts me back to ultimate realities, moves me beyond the numbing effects of daily work and activities, and reconnects me to Jesus.
Growing up I learned via various mediums (church, movies, books) that good and evil existed in separate realms and were color-coded. The good guys had white hats and said certain words and phrases, and the bad guys wore black hats and said the exact opposite of the good guys. And yet, I have since discovered that the world is not so clear and simple. Read more…
As I begin 2010, I am overwhelmed by God’s grace and compassion.
I may at times think myself as wholly good, kind, and benevolent, but I know who I really am. Many times I justify or defend my actions and responses, but my motives are quite clear to me. I am capable of lies and thus at times seek to deceive, but the truth seems to find me out. While I may be a man who tries to do good, love others, and live the truth, I fall short and thus must continually look to and rely upon the grace and compassion of God.
For the majority of Christians, church and missions operate in separate and distinct realms. The church nurtures and instructs the ‘saved’, and missionaries cross cultures and evangelize the ‘heathen’. Church is here and familiar, missions is over there and foreign. The points at which church and missions usually connect are money and recruitment. Because the work of missions requires money and fresh recruits and since the church is where both can be found, mission organizations and agencies find it necessary to relate to the church. Likewise, since people within the church have full-time, secular jobs, they ‘do missions’ by providing finances for those who do the work of ‘fulltime’ missions.
Everyday, in large and small ways, each of us are making decisions – real decisions with real consequences. No matter how hard we might try to rationalize choices, blame others, see ourselves as victim, or fain ignorance, we make these decisions ourselves and our choices impact the lives of people around us in either cruel or kind ways.
A revolution is taking place right before our eyes – a mission revolution. Some might mistake it to be a rebellion against power and authority, but such a characterization would be wrong. A rebellion is an attempt to overthrow and unseat, while a revolution is the act of re-creating or re-forming from the bottom up. Rebellion takes place in the halls of power, revolution takes to the streets. Over coffee at Starbuck, on airplanes returning from Niger, in church offices, and at small gatherings, ‘like-hearted’ pastors and church folk are joining passions and resources into mission collectives.