Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Am Free


I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet Jay who appears in the video. He is an amazing individual. See his story here:



Then head over to Compassion and set a child free! Thank you.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sewing Up That Curtain

Scripture records that at the time of Jesus' death the curtain in the Temple that separated the Holy of Holies (where God resides) from the rest of the Temple (and world) was torn in two from top to bottom.  The torn curtain signifies that the final sacrifice and atonement for sin has been made in Christ. Furthermore, it showed that the separation that existed between the Holy and the unholy is no longer there.  The torn curtain reveals that the incarnation - God being one with us and one among us - not only did not come to an end with Jesus on the cross but that the incarnation would now find its greatest fulfillment. From this point forward there would no longer be a divide between God and God's people. The torn curtain reveals that the separation of the sacred and and secular, the holy and the profane was no longer applicable. The holy would no longer be confined to the Holy of Holies in a Temple but would be in the world and accessible to all.

Unfortunately, it seems that we Christians are often so fearful of sinning and of sinners that we are constantly at work trying to sew together the curtain that is torn in two. We pray (or arrogantly assume) that as we mend the torn curtain that we are on the side of the Holy. It is as if we constantly strive to ignore the incarnational life that we are now called to live. We justify this action by saying that we are trying to be holy. Ignoring the fact that we are made holy in Christ by his grace. Instead of allowing the holy to come into the world we strive to do all we can to separate ourselves from all that is and all who are unholy. Think about the many ways we do this. We have christian music, christian TV and movies. We have christian resorts, travel tours and christian cruises. We even have our own sports leagues. In our attempts to by culturally relevant we still dress christian (go to Nashville and see how many times you can spot the culturally relevant worship leaders being hip in the coffee shops).

I realize that many will say that as christians we are to live separate from the world. That we are to be set apart. Indeed we are set apart by God and to God. However, God has chosen not be separate from the world. God has chosen to come into the world, to redeem that which had been lost, to restore a relationship that had been broken.

It seems that we often use the idea of being set apart to God as an excuse for placing barriers (like a big heavy, thick curtain) up between us and our neighbors. It is as if we say, "Lord thank you for allowing us into the Holy of Holies to be with you. Now close that thing back up before we become tainted by the outside world." In living this way we reveal that it is our desire is to once again place a separation between that which is clean and that which is unclean. We fail to recognize that what has separated the sacred from the secular has been torn away. The Kingdom is at hand. It is present. It is incarnate. God is with us. The curtain is torn and God has given us all access to the Holy of Holies. The curtain is torn and God has come out of the Holy of Holies to be with his people. The curtain is torn.

Grace.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Creating Change

One of the reasons I am proud to be associated with Compassion International is because of their commitment to always work through local churches. After watching this video be sure to head on over to the Compassion site and sponsor a child whose life will be changed through the ministry of the local church.
Compassion's Commitment to the Church from Compassion International on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

You will Fall in Love with this Child -- Guaranteed!


 I know it's been a while but I thought you just needed to see this. Oh, and when you are done watching it be sure to head over to Compassion and sponsor a child.


   

Thursday, March 06, 2014

It's a lie...

I recently read this quote and just had to share. This is from Dr. Wess Stafford, former Compassion President:

 At its very core, poverty is a mindset that goes far beyond the tragic circumstances. 
It is the cruel,  destructive message that gets whispered into the ears of millions
 by the enemy Satan himself: "Give up! You don't matter. Nobody cares about you.
 Look around you: Things are terrible. Always have been, always will be. Think back.
 Your grandfather was a failure. Your parents couldn't protect or take care of you
. Now it's your turn. You, too, will fail. So just give up!"

Please don't allow this lie to continue to be told to these beautiful children who by no fault of their own find themselves in the grips of the destructive force of extreme poverty.  


These children no longer are listening to the lie that poverty tells them.  They are worthy. Someone does care for them.

What will it take?

Saying goodbye.

By now if you've been reading my blogs then you know that I'm trying desperately to get just 41 new sponsors for children through Compassion International. Yesterday, I tried to convince people to sponsor by pulling out the big gun - Scriptures. I've showed pictures of one of the children we sponsor that I met just a couple of weeks ago in Bangladesh. I've even offered to eat a bowl of broccoli if the goal of 41 new sponsors is reached and I HATE broccoli.

Today though I'm asking for your help. I'm asking what you would do to convince others to sponsor? I'm also asking what would you need in order for you to become a child sponsor? What would you like to know? What would it take to get you to change the life of a child in need?

I'm looking forward to hearing from you.  As always, let me encourage you to SPONSOR A CHILD and to please pass this along. Thank you and God bless.


Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Some People Need a Little Convincing...

I realize that in my efforts to find 41 new sponsors of children through Compassion International that there are some people who need just a little more convincing than others.  So with that thought in mind I turn to a greater authority on the issue than myself in order to inspire those of you who are still wondering why you should sponsor a child
 
Deuteronomy 10:18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.

Deuteronomy 14:28-29 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

Deuteronomy 15:7-8 If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs.

Deuteronomy 15:11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.

Joshua 1:14-15 ...You are to help your brothers until the LORD gives them rest, as he has done for you...

1 Samuel 2:7-8 The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.

Nehemiah 9:27 ...But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.

Psalm 9:18 But the needy will not always be forgotten,  nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.

Psalm 12:5 "Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise," says the LORD. "Then I will protect them from those who malign them."

Psalm 72:12-14 For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death.  He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.

Psalm 82:3-4 Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Psalm 102:17 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.

Psalm 140:12 I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.

Proverbs 3:27-28 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow" — when you now have it with you.

Proverbs 11:24-25 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Proverbs 14:20-21 The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends. He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.

Proverbs 14:31 He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

Proverbs 19:17 He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.

Proverbs 22:9 A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.

Proverbs 22:16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich — both come to poverty.

Proverbs 28:27 He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.

Proverbs 31:8-9 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."

Proverbs 31:20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

Isaiah 1:17 Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

Isaiah 25:4 You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.

Jeremiah 22:16 "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" declares the LORD.

Lamentations 4:4 Because of thirst the infant's tongue sticks to the roof of its mouth; the children beg for bread, but no one gives it to them.

Ezekiel 16:49 "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Matthew 6:3-4 "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Matthew 25:34-40 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"

Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed."

Luke 14:12-14 Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

Acts 20:35 "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

1 Corinthians 10:24 Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 Corinthians 8:2-4, 7 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.But just as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us — see that you also excel in  this grace of giving.

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 2:5 Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

James 2:15-17 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 

Now I suppose you could continue to argue all the reasons you have for not sponsoring a child but do you really want to do that? Go on now and SPONSOR A CHILD!  Please remember to drop me a line and let me know that you are not sponsoring a child AND please pass this along to others.  Thank you and God bless.