hot topic: racism & Donald Sterling

In the last several days, there’s been a massive uproar about the recent racial slurs from the owner of the NBA Clippers,  Donald Sterling .  There is national outrage at Mr Sterling’s comments & he has been banned for life from the NBA.  What Mr Sterling said was totally unacceptable, despite his comments being made in a private setting.

The idea of a private setting is very relevant for those of us who follow Jesus, based on what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5.  Our external actions and words reflect what’s happening in our thoughts & heart.  What we allow our mind to think about & our emotions to dwell on is very important – these are the parts that Jesus totally attacked the religious leaders of His day.  What Mr Sterling said was totally wrong, but let’s be careful about the thoughts & emotions that we allow in our daily living.  Let’s keep our hearts full of Jesus’ love so there’s no place for unforgiveness, bigotry, apathy nor passive hatred.  As a follower of Jesus, our defining characteristic from John 13:35  is our love for one another, so please don’t forget to pray for Mr Sterling   🙂

an outlier father

Watch this a short & really amazing video of a  legendary father

After you watch this, consider that he’s most likely the ONLY single dad that our malnutrition workers have ever met in Angola in more than 15 years of work there.  Moses is totally amazing!!!!

 

 

Open

There are more things that we don’t see & hear than we realize. If you think about it, our eyes & ears are designed to absorb a select range of frequencies. With that being said, we have to understand that there are sights & sounds happening around us of which we are unaware.
So let’s be careful that we don’t put all of our faith only in what we see & hear.
1Cor 2:9 says that there are things that our eyes haven’t seen & our ears haven’t heard, nor has entered into our hearts all the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.
Don’t sink your faith in natural thinking 🙂

some helpful encouragement

YAHOOOO!!!!!  I’m super excited because lots of the hard work that we’ve been doing with Saving Moses is starting to yield some fruit!!!!!  I have so many dreams in my heart for the work that we do with Saving Moses that sometimes I can get discouraged when I’m not making the progress that I’d like.  But today is a really good day for Saving Moses!!!!  We are making some breakthroughs with our nightcare centers, considering expanding to 2 more countries this year, getting some help with our marketing efforts and watching our efforts become increasingly effective!  I can’t give lots of precise details at this time, but it’s just encouraging to see how God is helping us to grow & become more impactful!

If you have some areas in your life that seem discouraging, please don’t give up praying for those things & continuing to trust God.  Gal 6:9 says that we don’t get weary in well doing because we’ll reap a harvest if we don’t faint 🙂

do you need help to forgive?

When I think about forgiveness, you don’t have to convince me that I need to forgive – I’m already on board with that.  The tricky part for me is the actual forgiving.  Here are some tips that might help you:

  • forgiveness isn’t a feeling.  Consider the Corrie Ten Boom quote, “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
  • forgiveness in the greek means “to let go or release”:  when we forgive, we release the hurt, bitterness, judgment & pain
  • proficient forgiveness requires practice
  • forgiveness must be kept fresh – stale forgiveness can grow putrid in our emotions and thoughts
  • Here’s a cool & short video that could be helpful:  forgiveness

hot topic: sherpa people

sherpa-everest-trek-nepal

Sherpas are an ethnic people group in Nepal who are often hired by mountaineers to help with the ascent of various mountains including Mount Everest.  At the end of last week, there was a terrible avalanche in Nepal at the base of Mt Everest & 16 sherpas were killed.  Sherpas are amazing people & are often the unsung heroes of the Himalays (to quote a famous sherpa).  Sherpas do lots of work & help people achieve really amazing & super-human feats.  They’ve been doing this for many decades but are often overlooked or even unheard of.

In some ways, the sherpas kind of remind me of the Holy Spirit, our Helper Whom Jesus said would never leave us & Who helps us, even when we don’t know it.  Perhaps it might be a good idea to take a minute now to thank the Helper for being our constant guide & help in the journey of our life.  Maybe the Holy Spirit is kind of like our supernatural sherpa  ,)

after resurrection

Easter is a wonderful celebration of life, victory and genuine love!!  And it seems to me that there is often a little bit of a “let down” after Easter. – kind of like, “Whew!  Jesus rose from the dead, glad that He conquered death, let’s move on.”  This year, however, is a little different for me.

I’m reminded what Jesus told His disciples in John 16:7 that it was to their advantage for Jesus to go away so that the Helper could come & give us HELP.  When Jesus was raised from the dead, He breathed on His followers in John 20:22 and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit!”

So here’s the overwhelmingly GREAT NEWS about Jesus raising from the dead – not only did Jesus conquer death but we now have the great Helper with us in our daily living!  Let’s never minimize the importance of the Helper being with us!!

too much of a good thing

What’s your favorite food or activity?  Have you ever had too much of something that is your favorite?  We’ve probably all had this experience sometime in our childhood where we kind of overdosed on something that we really liked – teaching us the valuable lesson of moderation.

When it comes to Jesus, however, I don’t think that moderation is the best decision.  In actual truth, I think that our humanity is perfectly designed to absorb & integrate more of Jesus than we can possibly imagine.  We’ve got plenty of humanity but not enough Jesus 🙂

in the middle

Do you have some situations in your life that seem to be unfinished?  Take a minute to consider that the day between Good Friday & Easter (today) seems to often get overlooked in light of the events on the adjacent days.  But this middle day is necessary & very frequently where many of us live at various times & in various situations.  If we think about it, beginnings and endings seem to get lots of attention, but the middle is the bridge & continuity between the beginning & the end.  Here are a few things to help you manage the middle:

  • Rest:  sometimes the middle is about taking a pause –  when Jesus was in the tomb on Sat, His disciples had the Sabbath, which was a day of rest & pause;
  •  Trust:  it’s important to agree that God gives us what we need when we need it, including the middle season;  when Jesus rose from the dead, there was a TREMENDOUS amount of activity so the Saturday pause was essential
  • Be present on this day:  I have no doubt in my mind that Jesus’ disciples were 100% traumatized by what happened on Good Friday & were most likely totally consumed with what had just happened (yesterday) or what was going to happen (tomorrow)
  • Faith:  Jesus told His disciples many times that He would raise from the dead after 3 days;  God’s promises are solid and reliable

hot topic: cross fit

“You can do it!!!!”  I like working out & stretching for new challenges.  As I’ve looked at some of the latest workout trend stuff, crossfit, it looks really cool!!  They say that the crossfit is about high intensity, constantly varied & functional movements.

To my way of thinking, these 3 ideas for crossfit coincide with what Paul said in Gal 2:20 about being crucified with Christ – crossfit:

  • high intensity:  Jesus’ crucifixion was possibly the most high intensity experience any human could endure & He invites us to live a crucified life with Him, surrendered to His leadership
  • constantly varied:  I find that following Jesus has lots of variety – serving, listening, relationships, forgiveness, faith, trust, doing dishes, loving, cooking and LOTS more!!!
  • functional movements:  in crossfit, they want to emphasize movements that we could possibly do everyday and the same is true with being crucified with Jesus, crossfit.  As we lived crucified with Christ, His life affects our daily priorities and how we engage to include His resurrection power through us.

To celebrate this Good Friday, let’s be truly “crossfit” 🙂