HOPE…

25 01 2013

hope graphic

…the difference between life and death.

I just finished reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. It is a tale of the almost unbelievable ordeals of POW Louie Zamperini. I was fascinated by the contrast of Louie who had hope, and survivd, and others who did not, and death quickly came. It was a real life example of the power of hope. I was challenged to consider how Christians speak of hope. Often it seems that our use carries connotations of wishful thinking, or wispy desires. But that is not Christian hope! No. Our hope is grounded in Christ, giving us certainty! Hope grounded in Christ truly can be the difference between life and death.

 

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What is “ministry?”

22 04 2011

Perhaps there are many answers depending on the emphasis or perspective. Life has forced me to move beyond the traditional-official roles usually considered (despite moving into one of these myself), and here is what I see…

…a guy who forestalls “vocational ministry” so he can love on and grow with his family

…a community of people loving on a family through the unthinkable – death

…a guy hanging out in a coffee shop just so he can meet people and form redemptive relationships

…a couple going through a rough time yet committing to working through the pain and insecurity and frustration with no easy roads out

…a girl & a guy, married, who purposely adopted a couple of children with reactive attachment disorder (RAD) and love them with all the love they can muster as they are grounded in Christ’s amazing never-let-go-though-you-reject-me love

…a guy loving on heart-broken and desperate people finding solace in the drink in front of them

…a family who adopts an ethnically-different baby because he is worth loving…and they find he changes their lives more than they his

MINISTRY is not just what the “professionals” do…it is not just what takes place in a church or organized “Jesus group”…it is not just the description of the duties of a religious leader.

MINISTRY is people loving God and neighbor…taking faith steps as a result of radical Christ-centered thinking…these are “everyday” people yet they are anything but every day people…these are steps outside the traditional Christian ways and they are paths within the Traditional ways…it is love, mercy, grace, kindness, and sacrifice poured out, day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute…when you have to force yourself because all that is returned is contempt and pain and rejection…it is painful and messy and expensive…and it is the conscious decision that it is worth it because of the shed blood of the One, who did not stay dead (for he was more than just “mostly dead”), but rose from the grave…without this hope I have nothing for ministry, in whatever form or role!!

What do you think ministry is?