All posts for the month May, 2011

20110531-085230.jpgRecently I saw Glenn Beck being interviewed by O’Reilly. I don’t know what you think of Beck, but what jumped out at me was how arrogant he was. He had this pompous attitude that his views were obviously right and everyone else’s were wrong.

I usually don’t write on politics. Dicey topic among Christians. But this morning I was reading Romans 13 and verse 1 jumped out at me: Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.”

Most Christians are Republican or Independent. So when a more conservative President or Congress are in power, we have no problem living out this verse. But what about now? Are we submitted to our governing authorities?

The word that Paul uses for “submit” was a Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.

The tone of many people, not just Beck, but even many Christians is not one of voluntary cooperation. “Well, when the other side starts cooperating…” I am so glad Jesus didn’t have this attitude. Paul, speaking about Jesus, tells us that we should have the same attitude as Christ and not think of ourselves more highly than we should.

Why do Christ followers get so beleaguered by our current President or current political system? What are we worried about? Arguably, Christianity had a more positive impact on society when the Church was being persecuted in the first century. What are we afraid of with President Obama? According to Romans, God put him there.

Take a moment and evaluate how cooperative you are towards your government officials. Start praying for our government officials. I will and I will start praying for Beck and O’Reilly too. It might change our attitude and approach to those in authority.

1 Kings 10 – How happy your people must be! What a privilege for your officials to stand here day after day, listening to your (Solomon’s) wisdom!

Is there anyone out there whose wisdom is so incredible, that people want to stand by you day after day and listen to it? Doesn’t that sound strange? I don’t like listening to myself talk, why would anyone pay any attention to what I say?

Here is the deal: Solomon’s wisdom came from God. He asked for wisdom and God gave it to him. And as a result people wanted to hear him talk.

I actually believe that if Christians would speak God’s wisdom, people might want to listen. But there are two very different ways to say it. One way comes across as having this wisdom from yourself, and the other way is speaking as if they are someone else’s words. One can come across as arrogant, the other as humble.

The Bible tells us that we are truth carriers. And that the truth about Jesus Christ is a treasure that we hold inside of us. It also says that this same truth is wisdom from God. It is not our truth. We did not come up with it. It is something that we carry and communicate.

My hope is that we communicate this wisdom with humility and grace, and treat it as the gift it really is.

How did Christianity survive the crucifixion of Jesus? In Matthew 28:15 it says, “So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today.”

Jesus died and the Romans spread the rumor that his followers stole the body of Jesus. Wouldn’t that have been enough to squash this insignificant following that, just a couple days prior, fled the scene during Jesus’ arrest? Jesus is killed in front of everyone, His followers have no clear leader to replace Jesus, and now the word on the street is that the disciples took His body.

So how did this new faith survive? How did it go from 120 followers to over 3,000 on one day, a month after the crucifixion?

Two reasons: the resurrection and love. Jesus reappeared on the scene after his death. He proved that He came from God, by raising Himself from the dead. He promised to give His followers the same power. And then He did leave. But His followers were filled with power and they loved everyone, even their enemies.

Christianity, for all of its shortcomings (which are directly linked to our own misinterpretations of Christ’s teaching), is head and shoulder above all other religions because of its leader. Jesus is incomparable: His teachings, His sacrifice, His identity, His sending of the Holy Spirit to us, His ressurection. Regardless of how distorted the message has gotten, this one truth remains constant and trumps all others: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died and rose again for me and for you! What you do with Jesus, will determine everything about this life and the one to come.

{Check out this post by our missionaries in Australia – Ryan and Adriel Booker – great opportunity to reach out this weekend –}

Every minute a women dies of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Ninety-nine percent of these deaths occur in developing nations.  For every woman who dies in childbirth, another 30 women incur injuries and infections, which are often preventable. (Source: World Health Organization.)

Chances are if you’re a mother reading this blog, you are not one of them. Most likely you delivered your baby safely and hygienically in a hospital, birth center, or possibly even at home under the expertise of an experienced midwife. (Unless you are Amy who delivered hers on the side of the road!)

No doubt you had access to doctors, nurses, midwives, and other medical professionals throughout your pregnancy, delivery, and postnatal care, as well as access to drugs and medication and surgical procedures when necessary.

But hundreds of thousands of mothers around the world aren’t as lucky as you.

The organization that my husband and I volunteer for (YWAM Medical Ships) regularly sends teams of volunteer doctors, dentists, optometrists, ophthalmologists, nurses, midwives, educators, and other volunteers to address the needs of the poor in Papua New Guinea. (This is where Ryan is now.) We provide dental services, eyeglasses, cataract surgeries, vaccines, primary health care, education, and other crucial services to those who most need it.