Sunday, November 29, 2009

On Turning 30 and Savoring the Present Part 1

Today I'm starting a three part series on turning 30...even though I'm only 29.

I just entered my last year as a twenty something. There are aspects of my late twenties that are notably different than my early twenties. My early twenties were plagued by insecurity, marital growing pains, an unquenchable thirst for adventure, and an inexplicable discontentedness with the present. As I move into this new season I must say that I am much more grounded in who I am as a child of God, as a human, as a lover, as a husband, and as a dad. While I still love an adventure now and again I am much more concerned about listening well, being aware of those who surround me, working through conflict, and living well in the moment. In marriage I find my self both excited about each conversation I have with my wife and excited about who we will continue to grow into as we grow old together. Alas, I'm finally able to sit still, "plant gardens," and be where I am.

p.s. Check next Sunday for part 2.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

On Missions and Evangelism

"Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial." - MLK Jr.

In my limited observation I have noticed that many in the Evangelical church have focused energy on either saving somebody’s soul or giving them food to eat. While spiritual salvation is important and meals are essential, neither aspect works to break the cycle of injustice and poverty. If missions in the United States are going to be effective the church is going to have to deeply identify with hurting people and work towards salvation in heaven and on earth. We are going to need to learn lessons of empowering the poor from organizations like Habitat for Humanity. We are going to have to treat people with more dignity and respect. We are going to have to learn how to listen. Our love must be solely based upon another person being a child of God and not upon what they can do for us or whether or not they will become a Christian.