Saturday, July 30, 2011

Even till the End

Sharing with family through Kelly's mom, Reba Clark's  final days, celebrating the life of this amazing woman of faith. As I listened to music this morning & new Matt Redman song, O This God shuffled on in my playlist. I was captured by these lyrics that describe her life and her Savior.

Lyrics include: We won't fear the night, We are looking straight ahead, Never turning back, Counting on Your faithfulness. Chorus: O this God is our God even till the end, Standing strong over us, time and time again, Even till the end. (And also:) Jesus, You will always be our God, And we won't take our eyes off You

May all our lives declare that this God is our God, even till the end.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Poverty simply compounds every problem - and how you can help.

In our staff meeting on Wednesday, I showed our staff team this light-hearted but pointed video about 1st world problems and then showed this video about the possibilities of eliminating global poverty. In casting the vision that we can eliminate poverty within our generation, Dr. Scott Todd paints the picture of how poverty multiplies other challenges and disasters. As our temperature and humidity soared in greater Baltimore (101 today with a heat index of 125), most of us could stay inside in AC or find a place with AC. In East Africa, as the worst drought in 60 years continues, it's impact is multiplied by poverty. I just read that Somali Islamic extremists are banning foreign aid agencies, believing they are spies or Christian crusaders.

Want to help? You can make a difference in this crisis through World Vision's Horn of Africa Food Crisis fund, or by sponsoring a child in Nairobi, Kenya through Christian Missionary Fellowship (CMF) and Missions of Hope International (MOHI), or by giving to the Big Dent which provides microfinance loans through CMF and MOHI to help people make their way out of poverty.

$35 per month is one less meal out for my family and I still can escape to my AC. But it may save a child's life or help a family begin the journey out of poverty.

Monday, July 18, 2011

First World Problems

Ever stop to think about how many of your problems are only problems that the 1st world faces?  Watch this video and then consider how to address some 2/3 world problems.

BTW, the term "First World" and "Third World" are still used, but the "system" has lost its meaning because, well, there is no real "Second World" today. Here is some context.

First World: The developed world (like the U.S., Japan, France, etc.).
Second World: The communist world (think the Soviet Union, etc. back in the day).
Third World: The developing world (think most of Africa, for example).

For what it is worth, many now refer to the Third World as the Two Thirds World, which is more reflective of the reality today. Two thirds of the world lives there.

Finally, be sure to check out the Global Rich List to see how you fit in the world of global economics. It will make you think.

Sponsor a child, change a life - and more!

If you already sponsor a child, here's a great article to encourage you in your efforts and to challenge you in your communication with your child. If you don't already sponsor a child, read this and consider the impact of just $1 per day. 

Is it possible to end poverty in our generation?

Many of us at Mountain have been captured by the needs of the poor around the world. With our recent trip to Nairobi, Kenya and reports back from that team, God has wrecked our hearts anew. God, please continue to break our hearts for what breaks yours. 

With that in mind, here is a great, thought provoking post and link by Jon Acuff: 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

God is more interested in who I am becoming as a leader than what I do

At a great staff meeting yesterday, one of our staff shared this quote with our team as the statement that captivated her at a recent conference. It captivated me as well and brought to mind an article that I had just read in NavPress's online Discipleship Journal. It helps shape us to become the people God wants us to be as we lead.

Whether you and I are paid or unpaid staff, this article by Scott Morton confronts us and challenges us to raise the integrity of our leadership. Here are his eight questions:
1) Does my behavior match my teaching?
2) Do I lay heavy loads on my followers?
3) Am I trying to impress people?
4) Do I delight when my pupils surpass me?
5) Am I molding people in my image or Christ's?

6) Am I majoring on the majors?
7) Am I keeping up appearances to cover indulgence?
8) Do I consider myself superior to others?

Here is the complete article.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden's death and conflicting emotions

Since the news broke last night about Osama bin Laden's death, I've experienced conflicting emotions. Thrilled an evil man's terror has ended but celebrating his death feels more like him than like Jesus.  

MLK, Jr. said, "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy." 

Or Ezekiel 18:23 which says, "Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?"  

Then a friend linked to this blog post that I found especially insightful. See Eric Epperson's post on his blog.