I was just looking up the news & saw that there’s been a school shooting at Reynolds High School in Oregon. The situation at the high school has been stablized but not without bloodshed. Understandably, the parents, students & community is shook up and probably in a state of shock. Because I live in Denver, CO the city where the Columbine HS shooting happened, along with the shooting last fall at Arapahoe HS, my heart & prayers go out to the people at Reynolds HS, just outside of Portland, OR. I understand what it feels like to live in a city that has had its fair share of school shootings and because of this, I want to encourage you to pray for the students, parents, teachers and administration. The journey in front of this community is challenging and Jesus gives us the best hope in these kinds of situations and many more. Let’s be praying for Reynolds HS!!
I met a really incredible woman in Calcutta, named Kali. She is extraordinary in several ways, but let me 1st share a little bit of Indian culture that was explained to me while I was there. Generally, the Indian society is male dominated & females are generally relegated to a strictly domestic role, particularly in the older generations. With this in mind, let me have the privilege of introducing Kali to you: she is probably around 50 years old w a few grown daughters who have several children themselves. I think that Kali’s husband left here many years ago & she lives in a very poor village with no apparent way for any improvement or opportunities to excel. Her village is so poor that Calcutta Mission of Mercy has been delivering food to this village 6 days a week for more than 5-7 years.
Here’s one of the things that makes Kali so marvelous: she made the decision that she didn’t want to see her grandchildren (who are quite small) continue in this seemingly hopeless squalor & crushing poverty. So one day, she asked one of the food delivery men from CMM about the possibility of having someone come to her village consistently to teach the children to read & provide some basic education. She explained about her grandchildren & agreed to provide some space for this requested education. Some space turned into a small dirt floor classroom where now there is daily education for all the children who have agreed w their parents to be a part of the educational program w CMM.
We had the great honor of getting to watch some of this training for the 3-5 year old group (pre-kindergarten & kindergarten ability) & I was really moved to see these little people learning their ABCs, reading, writing & some basic English.
As we were finishing our visit, I was told that because of Kali’s generosity to donate the classroom space, she is now considered to be the village grandmother & is very highly respected.
When the aid workers asked her why she had decided to pursue some education for her grandkids, she explained that just because she & her daughters live destitution, she wanted to give her grandkids a chance for a better life by getting them some education to open more opportunities for their future.
I’ve thought about this in relation to saving Moses & I’ve concluded that it’s extremely important for the kids in the older range of saving Moses to receive some very fundamental education so that they can begin to walk the path of education to not only better themselves but also their community & to extend Jesus’ love to & through them.
Kali, may God richly bless you for your vision, heart & generosity. You are changing the future one child at a time.
Check out this video w the kids learning their ABCs 🙂
The longer I do the Christian adventure, Im becoming increasingly convinced that God is after our hearts & fellowship w us more than anything else. As I consider His goals for my life, I find myself wanting to cooperate & give myself to His desires. I think there are 3 simple ways that I can easily present myself to Him, everyday:
*prayer: whether it’s the quick “HELP!” or giving Him our requests & thanksgivings or going through a prayer pattern, like the Lords Prayer, I find that prayer has become a spiritual adventure for me, unduplicated in any other activity of my life
*Bible: the Bible gives my soul substance to feed on rather than the froth & cotton candy that’s so readily available in pop culture. I’ve found the Bible sustains, chalenges, comforts, corrects, guides, . . . . . me. If you don’t have some Bible in your daily living, try reading a Proverb or a Psalm a day as a starting point 🙂
*community – working out my Christianity into a daily context especially in my relationships makes my experience w Christ deeper, richer & more 3 dimensional than just attemtpting the solo act.
Get a lil prayer, get a little Bible, get a little community in this day & see God where He couldve have been invisible in the past 🙂
He’s deeply in love w you!! Hosea 11:4
what a deadly experience isolation can be. i read a book a few months ago about a Mt Everest climbing expedition in the ’90s that was a DISASTER! About 1/3 of the team died on the mountain they were trying to conquer and many because they got disconnected from their team.
We all need community in alot of different ways: work, friendships, health, Jesus, specific issues, support groups, etc. Community, I believe, is part of God’s plan for redemption. Furthermore, thanks to the input from my friend Chris Hill, i believe that community on earth is just a trial run for the community that already exists in heaven. Consider Revelation 4 – everything around God’s throne is plural (24 elders, 24 thrones, 7 spirits, cherubim, . . . . ).
So given all of this, here are some community principles Jesus discusses in Matt 13 with several parables:
- stay planted: in Jesus’ parable on the wheat & the tares, the whole point of the exercise was to let the wheat keep growing. To do this, it needed to stay planted & not be disturbed by having the weed / tares removed.
- be changed: in Jesus’ parable on the mustard seed, even though this seed is the smallest seed, Jesus says its changed into a large tree. The seed is changed into a tree & community helps us grow & change – becoming who God has made us to be.
- spend yourself: Jesus’ last parable to the mass of people who were listening to Him was about yeast. Simply put, yeast spends itself to become infused w something greater than it is by itself. When bread is made, you can separate out the yeast. Community is about spending one’s self, even being worn out, for something bigger than our selves – the Kingdom of God.
So, let me encourage you to plug into some Jesus communities – they’re an essential ingredient for God’s kingdom to grow in your life. If you go to Orchard Road Christian Center, check out the link to see some community opportunties! 🙂