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Archive for the ‘Making A Difference’ Category

do you have an agenda?

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agenda-1
The other day I was writing and was thinking about a book that changed my life.
One of the first books that came to mind was FEEL by Matthew Elliott. It’s an incredible read that challenges a lot of the beliefs pushed by church’s that have mentored and helped develop my faith.
However, looking deeper I remember a book that not only challenged me and pushed me, but I remember in that book there was one page that completely transformed me as a person, a christian, a sinner, etc.

If the gospel isn’t good news for everybody, then it isn’t good news for anybody.

And this is because the most powerful things happen when the church surrenders its desire to convert people and convince them to join. It is when the church gives itself away in radical acts of service and compassion, expecting nothing in return, that the way of Jesus is most vividly put on display. To do this, the church must stop thinking about everybody primarily in categories of in or out, saved or not, believer or nonbeliever. Besides the fact that these terms are offensive to those who are the “un” and “non”, they work against Jesus’ teachings and how we are to treat each other. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor, and our neighbor can be anybody. We are all created in the image of God, and we are all sacred, valuable creations of God. Everybody matters. To treat people differently based on who believes what is to fail to respect the image of God in everyone. As the book of James says, “God shows no favortism.” So we don’t either.

Oftentimes the Christian community has sent the message that we love people and build relationship in order to convert them to the Christian faith. So there is an agenda. And when there is an agenda, it isn’t really love, is it? It’s something else. We have to rediscover love, period. Love that loves because it is what Jesus teaches us to do. We have to surrender our agendas. Because some people aren’t going to become Christians like us no mater how hard we push. They just aren’t. And at some point we have to commit them to God, trusting that God loves them more than we ever could. I obviously love to talk to people about Jesus and my faith. I’ll take every opportunity I can get. But I have learned that when I toss out my agenda and simply love as Jesus teaches me to, I often end up learning more about God then I could have imagined.

Wow.
Powerful stuff.
That is page 167 in the book Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell.
It completely changed the way I lived as a missionary in my every day life.
The line that really did it for me was this one:

when there is an agenda, it isn’t really love

So simple, yet every-time I read it, it’s just as gut-wrenching as the first time.
This line still finds ways to run through my head at least a hand full times daily.
In 2009 I hope to not suck so bad.
To put away my agenda even more-so than I did in 2008, and push to be more like Jesus.
To quit being superficial and arrogant to what I want for everyone, and just love them with the core definition of love defined in 1John; “God is Love”.
Just a little bit of that in 2009 and everyone will benefit.

It’s just too bad I’ll still suck.

Written by vagabondrunn

January 1, 2009 at 1:00 pm

A, “we truly suck”, CHALLENGE…

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“You are not here merely to make a living…You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget that errand.”

-Woodrow Wilson

Too often we get so caught up in doing things for ourselves.
We get a job with good pay. We pay our bills. We purchase tickets for a game. We take family vacations. We go through the local fast food joint daily. We throw old books out just to buy new ones.
We do these things because we enjoy them. Because we have learned that an “American” family does these things. The average American family throws out their old shoes when they buy new ones. I mean, who really wants old shoes, right?
Don’t get me wrong, we have to pay our bills, and feed ourselves and our kids. Sure, sometimes the latest electronics will help us accomplish more of “our” goals.
But really, why are we truly doing these thing? For the status? Is it really for the need and for the good of God’s Kingdom? Or is it more for our own selves?
How much more are we truly capable of doing, yet sit on our hands and not do?
How much more are we expected to be doing?
While we are spending our money on new computers, iPhones, HD tv’s, cars, books, our 10th pair of shoes, another shirt from another high end store, there are many people who are struggling to feed themselves and their children. There are people who have no car, no house, can’t read because they can’t afford the cost of schooling. There are people who need treatment, whether it’s medical, emotional, or spiritual, and cannot afford it.
What are our responsibilities to them?
Don’t take this as one of those blogs postings where I’m calling everyone out, minus me.
No, take this as me calling EVERYONE out, including, and especially, me.
I’m tired of wanting more, when I have more.
I’m tired of always just praying for my needs, when God has more than blessed my needs.
I desire so much more.
He desire’s so much more.
It can start with simply praying on behalf for those who are hurting or less off. However it cannot stop there. If we intercede for those who hurt, for those who are struggling, yet do nothing in our actions to help those, then we are simply doing nothing at all, but recognizing the issue.
The issue has already been recognized for years by many christians who have the ability to solve these issues, yet the issues continue to be present.
The true change will start when we REACT in a physical manner towards these happenings
It’s time we start to take a stand for the true injustice’s happening by ourselves.
We are the CAUSE, and it’s time we finally stop saying, and start doing.
It’s time for us to not be the cause, but to finally stary being part of the cure.

How can/will you start being part of the cure?

Below is a list of organizations that you can either donate to, or get involved with, that have dedicated themselves to making a difference. By partnering with them financially, or just actively engaging in what they have going on, you can make a difference.

50,000 Shoes in 50 Days
Toms Shoes
Compassion International
Interpression Ministries
(Red) Campaign
TWLOHA
Mercy Ministries
Soles4Souls

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Written by vagabondrunn

December 1, 2008 at 7:21 pm