I love the story about how Peter walked on the water to Jesus, nevermind that he almost sank because Peter walked on water, unaided, more than any human in all history. Eleven of Jesus’ followers stayed in the boat at the same time that Peter walked on the water in the middle of a storm. Here are a few things to consider about walking on water:
in order to get out of the boat, Peter needed his fellow disciples to hold the boat steady – let’s hold the boat for the people in our lives who are trying to do the impossible (rather than taking cheap shots & shouting out disparaging & discouraging remarks from the sidelines).
keep Jesus front & center: life has enough waves, winds, storms, setbacks & discouragements to make us sink & even tell us not to try & walk on the water; stay on target
if you want to walk with Jesus, being as close as possible, sometimes you have to get out of the boat (what’s known, safe, familiar & comfortable); do what you’ve never done to get what you’ve never had
walking is something very common & mundane; walking on water is miraculous, combining the mundane with the miraculous is exactly Who Jesus is – the incarnate God; consider that at some point in your walk with God, you’ll have to get out of the boat & take a stroll ,)
Christian for profit corporations in America have been holding their breath, waiting for the Supreme Court ruling on the Hobby Lobby case related to the Affordable Care Act & contraception. This topic has been hotly contested saying that women’s reproductive rights have been infringed upon and others advocating that the government should not have the power to govern decisions of for profit organizations pertaining to the corporations religious beliefs, specifically related to contraception.
This is an interesting topic for me as I just returned from India to look at expanding nightcare with Saving Moses to our 2nd country. I visited a few red light districts and learned that even though some sex workers have unionized and are putting pressure on the clients to use condoms, the individual sex worker is still largely at the mercy of her economic condition, being able to earn more money through unprotected sex rather than requiring her clients to wear this protection. On the heels of trying to wrap my head around the daily survival efforts of sex workers in India, I’m home in the US and we are grappling with forcing private businesses to comply with government regulations that oppose their religious convictions. We live in an interesting world and my take away on this, at this point isn’t very sophisticated nor intellectually engaging – my take away is that I want to genuinely love well 🙂
Today, we walked through a few red light districts in India, doing some research for our nightcare program with Saving Moses. We’re coming to the end of our day & I find myself having some very mixed emotions. The women in these red light districts ranged in age from very young to very old, some with a seemingly sweet innocence & some very hardened, detached & icy cold. We happened upon a preschool community centre that looks after toddlers & preschoolers for a few hours a day – sweet, rambunctious & vivacious kids.
Exploring these red light areas is a very eye opening experience & I find myself needing to process some of the days sights, experiences & feelings. More to follow
I’m back in India having been here about 3 years ago & I’m looking forward to another adventure. Three years ago (maybe 4), I came here for the purpose of starting nightcare with saving Moses. My first attempt was almost comical now that I have some hindsight. I had some very grandiose plans in my thinking & they quickly evaporated into thin but very humid air.
Now that I’m back, I still have it in my heart to start nightcare here & I’m praying for God to direct our steps, relationships & the time we have here.
For the ideas & dreams that God has put in your heart, here is some encouragement (feel free to forward to anyone discouraged):
*dont quit – it’s easy to be discouraged with set backs, but make the decision not to quit
*let God help you grow in the process of achieving these dreams – be a better & not bitter person through the process
*trust God – lets fully embrace the truth that God is good & loving, causing all things to work together for our good as we stay in love with God 🙂
It seems like we all want the “extra” perk – we buy the shampoo that has 25%more for the same price, we look for the value meal, we look for the guy who serves ice cream with a little extra on his scoops, . . . . extra time, more roi, . . . . extra.
Let’s also look at the little ways that we can add some “extra”:
extra patience with the person learning to use the new computer system,
extra grace for the phone agent with the heavy accent,
extra forgiveness for our mate who unknowingly said something hurtful,
extra time on the parking meter for the person who will take our spot,
extra friendly to the cranky check out person at the grocery store
When I look at Jesus’ life & words, it seems to me that He made folk either super happy or super ticked. He frequently made the religious establishment of His day really upset with how He confronted their hypocrisy & double standards. On the flip side, He readily embraced & accepted those who were marginalized, unpopular & even semi-rogue-ish. Jesus was known as a friend of sinners. So in my thinking as it relates to our modern living, it seems to me that if I’m going to follow Jesus, then it’s important to authentically connect with people who have been marginalized, those who are less popular and even some folk who could be considered renegades. Maybe this is one of the reasons why I love what Saving Moses does with our nightcare program, where we take care of the babies of sex workers while their moms work. Some people think of this kind of help in terms of fostering prostitution, empowering fornication or enabling seedy living. I prefer to see nightcare as a way to genuinely love these babies, who are easily the least of the least in our modern world 🙂
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 🙂
Being comfortable conjures up different things for different people. For some people, being comfortable can be the experience of sitting by a fireplace in a cozy blanket & reading a book. For other people, being comfortable is best described as being at a really fun and vibrant party. For me, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be comfortable and I’ve learned some interesting things to pass along to you:
being comfortable can sometimes be an impediment to a deeper relationship with God – discomfort usually makes me do something different
I never want my comfort zones to exclude God – indeed, life with God is a more accurate expression of who I really am
I’ve learned that I can be extremely comfortable in a variety of external situations because of an internal contentment that comes from some very sweet & rich communion with God
when I’m uncomfortable, I tend to lean into God better
When I was in high school, I used to like some of the Robbie Nevil songs that praised the glories of apathy & indifference (Wot’s It To Ya’, C’est La Vie). I think I liked these songs at the time because I didn’t know how to handle my deep feelings of care, concern and connection for people and the world around me. Sometimes I still feel this way & can get overwhelmed when I think about various situations, Saving Moses, people and events – I’m deeply concerned about what’s happening in Egypt with the instability there.
But just because my feelings can be overwhelming from these various situations, relationships and experiences, I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot become apathetic. In my mind, apathy is just a socially acceptable word for passive violence. So what do I do with these things that can easily overwhelm me? Pray.
Prayer is the best immunization against apathy. Pray often, pray quickly, pray fervently and pray all the time.