Archives for category: justice

The Idea Camp tribe has been so life-giving to me over the last couple of years.  This amazing group of compassionaries has inspired, challenged, and partnered with me in ways that have changed me and compelled me towards concrete action for good — to demonstrate the reality that God has not given up on the world by becoming better expressions of God’s love for the world.

I loved being a part of #Ideation11, even if it was only for a day. While the Ideation Conference is not strictly faith-based, this gathering of amazing idea-makers, creatives, and doers from both the nonprofit and business worlds moves powerfully together for good. A huge thanks to Charles Lee and the team for bringing together such an incredible gathering.

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As Eugene Cho commented recently, it’s altogether too easy to act like a jerk in the name of “contending” for the Gospel.

I think Rob Bell’s characterization of broader American culture is unfortunately true of the church many times as well: “There is this low-grade boiling rage that many people carry around with them everywhere they go.”

[Ironic edit: The aforementioned Rob Bell has become a trending topic on Twitter because of a group of people who are adamantly opposed to him, filled with the typical name-calling, gnashing of teeth, and end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it hysterics typical to such trending topics.]

Apologies for sounding like a stereotypical, institution-suspicious Xer when I say this (but totally not apologizing for still nerding out over The Breakfast Club, as seen in the photo above!), but I am growing weary of the infighting in my denomination. I think we could play a pretty mean game of church insider-bingo with the vocab being thrown around: tall steeple churches, white papers, open letters, angry responses, clarification letters… BINGO!

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As part of the Booksneeze program from Thomas Nelson, I received a copy of Richard Stearns’ book, The Hole in Our Gospel, for review.

In The Hole in Our Gospel, Richard Stearns describes his journey from corporate CEO to following Jesus into the poorest corners of the world. Stearns currently serves as president of World Vision US.

In the introduction, Stearns writes:

Being a follower of Jesus Christ requires much more than just having a personal and transforming relationship with God. It also entails a public and transforming relationship with the world. If your personal faith in Christ has no positive outward expression, then your faith – and mine – has a hole in it.

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July 12, 2010 marked the six-month anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti that killed over 200,000 people, leveled countless buildings, and caused billions of dollars worth of damage.

In March, I wrote a review about Tending to Eden: Environmental Stewardship for God’s People by Scott Sabin, executive director of Plant With Purpose. PWP is a nonprofit working to alleviate poverty by addressing deforestation. From their website:

By reversing deforestation, Plant With Purpose helps the poor restore productivity to their land to create economic opportunity out of environmental restoration. Since 1984 we have helped more than 100,000 people in some 230 villages lift themselves out of poverty through our holistic approach to sustainable development.

PWP has worked in Haiti for thirteen years, and continues to help in the rebuilding process after the devastating earthquake.  From The New York Times:

(PWP) has so far hired some 2,200 workers to plant more than 170,000 trees to protect communities. The extra available labor has allowed him to scale up Plant With Purpose’s operations, constructing more than 260 miles of soil erosion barriers to protect farmland from hurricanes and tropical storms.

There is still much work to be done.  Visit the Plant With Purpose Haiti Relief page to contribute towards rebuilding hope for Haiti.

Recently, I have seen an increasing amount of discussion about “story.” Not just fictional tales, but the unfolding narrative of our lives.  For followers of Jesus, understanding the big story of what God is doing in the world can change everything.

Faith becomes more than just a “ticket to heaven” but becomes an invitation into a compelling way of life — an eternal kind of life that begins today and continues on into eternity. Jesus rescues us and — amazing grace! — invites us to join Him in His work of redemption in the world.

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From June 28th through July 31st, a team of riders will be cycling down the 1800 miles of the historic Underground Railroad route in order to raise awareness of and bring an end to modern-day slavery on the Stop Injustice: 5 Weeks for Freedom tour.

5 Weeks for Freedom supports the work of International Justice Mission, a human rights agency doing incredible work around the world to fight injustice and bring hope to many people trapped in slavery and other forms of injustice. The cycling tour will be led by Venture Expeditions, who have sponsored cross-country ride:well tours with blood: water mission in the past.

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I just posted the first of a two-part interview with Daniel DK Kim over at Next Gener.Asian Church.  DK is the worship leader at Newsong Church in Irvine, California; he and his family are moving to Mexico City this month for the next two years to fight human trafficking.

We all need stories of courage and redemption to push us further along the path to which God has called us.  You can support DK and his family in their journey by purchasing his album thefirst over at his site.