Showing posts from August, 2008

Franciscan prayer

At the Willow Creek Leadership Summit this morning, LifeChurch.TV pastor Craig Groeschel closed with this Franciscan prayer, which summed up a lot of what I've been feeling these past couple of days.

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.


Leadership that matters

Went to the first day of the Willow Creek Leadership Conference today up in Bellingham. Via satellite, about 200 church leaders from our region took in the teaching of (among others) Gary Haugen, founder and CEO of International Justice Mission. The work of IJM centers on freeing victims of injustice in third world countries: children caught in slavery or sex trafficking, people thrown into prison without being formally charged of a crime or because of corrupt justice systems in their country.

Haugen's message was a powerful reminder - a wake up call really - with many strong "take aways".

He opened with the thought: If you want your leadership to matter, lead in the things that matter to God. He went on to remind us from scripture that one of God's passions is JUSTICE for the oppressed. He exhorted us with the thought that God's plan for bringing justice is to use US. That is his plan. We are to be the light of the world. And if we, as Christians, shirk our respon…

What to do with the Psalms

I've recently picked up The Bible Jesus Read by Philip Yancey. Yancey is one of my favorite authors, but for some reason I've had this book for years and never finished it. In his chapter on the Psalms he shares some insights that I've found helpful for dealing with something that has bothered me about the Psalms.

There are places scattered among the 150 Psalms that say things like "God won't let anything bad happen to his chosen people" and "God will always protect you". But it doesn't take long to think of many times in history when incredibly bad things have happened to the Jews (the most recent being the Holocaust), or to Christians (as all over the world Christians are suffering persecution and martyrdom). What are we to do with these seemingly impotent promises that we find throughout the Psalms? How would a Christian arrested under Nazi germany make sense of Psalm 91's "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you …