Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hope Continues...

Today was pretty swell.

Heard a message on "What to do when you're not with students"...which I'd assumed was going to be about time management, and organizational skills, etc. Areas that I TOTALLY need to work on. That I've been working on lately. As he got into his message, I realized it was more about how to spend time with Jesus, so that when you're with students, you begin to think/act from the same Spirit. At first I was thinking, "shucks, I was hoping to get more training on time management"....but it became more obvious that God was saying "relax....you'll get organized with experience, and because you want to.....what's Truly important is you spending time with me."

Oh. Yeah...I remember that.

Next message was about "Spiritual Parenting", which I assumed was about how to come along-side teenagers as a sort of "surrogate" parent, in a ministry where so few of them have parents who actively participate in....well...parenting. She focused more on realizing the unseen battles in our ministries (and raising our children). About the spiritual warfare taking place, and the power God has given us in His Spirit, and in the power of speaking His Hope in the lives of these youth. Many faces/names from our group came to mind, and it was refreshing to just spend some time in prayer, and look forward to speaking words of Hope into their lives...I hope that is the kind of parent I can move towards becoming also. Not just a blind enthusiasm for anything/everything my daughters do....but actually seeing the potential God has placed in a future for them, and aiming them in that direction by the Words I speak...to them and in prayer.

Now that's fatherhood. (didn't agree with her gender-specific roles, but her heart was in the right place)

Finally, the issue of "Deep Justice in a Broken World". Beyond doing short-term mission trips that we all love doing. Beyond throwing money or food at someone in passing. But being a Church that develops relationships with those being served, and even deeper....confronts the systems that require that service to even be necessary. We've all heard lately about human trafficking, and how it's worse now than it ever was. With about 33% of the worlds' population claiming to know Christ, we should be able to do something....right?

Pretty stoked about each of these areas. Personally. In my family. In our youth ministry. In our church. In our denomination. And in our Church. But we could never even begin to attempt these things on our own....I suppose that would continue the theme of being desperate for God to send us His Spirit in a new way....and enable us towards His Kingdom.

Whatever that looks like....

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