You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. Psalm 91:13

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Forgive My Inconsistency

Lately I’ve been listening to a spoken word poet and rapper who goes by Propaganda, specifically his album Excellent (Which is available legally for free via the link, I highly recommend it) He has a song called “Forgive Me For Asking” in which he calls out American Christianity for hypocritical, agenda-oriented, shallow faith. He then calls out Muslims on their faith, followed by the scientific and agnostic\atheist community. Finally he finishes on a personal level by bringing to light our tendency to a hypocritical works based faith instead of by grace through faith. It’s a deeply thought provoking song. There is one lyric though that has stuck with me for the last few months, its after he has pointed out flaws with Christians, Muslims, and Agnostics, as well as himself:

“Maybe I’m wrong, maybe you’re right.
Maybe we’ll find out the day after the world ends.
Yeah, I guess we’re all a little inconsistent,
So maybe we can just show each other some grace?”

That gets me. I know I’m inconsistent. One day, my sin is so clear to me that all I can do is beg the Lord for grace and forgiveness in that moment. The next day, I’ll some how have convinced myself that I got it all figured out. God gave me a hand up, but I did the hard work. All these sinners need to get their lives together and stop disappointing the Lord. I’m on my own level.  Anyone else ever like this?  Anyone else find it easy to slip into self-righteousness? I do.

The fact is I’m human. I carry the human condition. This means I am innately inconsistent. Some days, I say and do the all the right things. Others, my life looks like a train wreck. This is why we fail to be excellent. Excellence has consistency. We rely on the source of Excellence, the Christ. And that’s a beautiful, relieving moment.

See I feel I’m a generally good person, not by my nature, but only because the Spirit within me is constantly course-correcting my devious bent for wrong. I didn’t earn that Spirit, it was a gift and isn’t something I can brag about. Left to my own devices, I’ll always act on my own selfish ambitions and desires and make no amends for their consequences. With the spirit, while, still not truly consistent, I’m working towards it. Not to be saved, see that’s already been given. I’m working towards this because I’m free to work towards it, to refine myself and better myself without having to “win” anything and I can do it free of arrogance, because it wouldn’t have even been possible without the Cross giving the ability.

This is a great thing. Yet this isn’t my point. I am still so quick to point out other groups failures and issues. Yet I have just as many failures and issues! Don’t lose me here, I’m not making a statement over whose right and wrong. I’m simply saying, instead of all of the bickering (I mean look at the status quo, has it really gotten us anywhere?) why don’t we show each other some grace. Instead of labeling the president a heathen, Muslims as terrorists, Professors and scientists as liars and Christians as bigots, can we just own up to our own inconsistency and share the same grace we bestow ourselves, to others?  There is a really famous thought about all this: “Love thy neighbor as thy self.”

It doesn’t mean you have to agree with someone else, it just means you show respect, and goodwill towards them. It means you stop waiting for them to misstep so you can pounce on that moment to prove your point. It means trying to get along.

Specifically to Christians, I just want to say,  you are called to serve Christ by serving others. Rich, poor, Buddhist, Muslim, Atheist, Republican, Democrat, Anarchist, Communist, Capitalist, Pro-choicer, Pro-lifer, Pro-Guns, Anti-Guns, White, Black, KKK, Westboro. All of them. They do not serve you. You serve them, just as Christ served us (who are a wrong, ignorant and hostile people) It doesn’t matter how wrong or right they may be. The foundation of every word and action is love. Our actions are never reactions, because in all things we love and serve others. This makes life far less complicated for us too, though not necessarily easier. Whatever good or bad some person or group does to you, you already know your response. Love and service. Working that out, isn’t easy, wasn’t for Christ either, but we are called to do it. So maybe instead of spending so much time explaining why the other side is wrong, we can work on this whole love-service fundamental. Alright?

Much Love,

Luke

“It is this lack of love among Christians which today makes the church an insipid, lukewarm institution. People come to find affection and are turned off by our tepidity.”

“If I can enjoy a joke at the expense of another; if I can in any way slight another in conversation, or even in thought, then I know nothing of Calvary’s love.”

“Assuredly there is but one way in which to achieve what is not merely difficult but utterly against human nature: to love those who hate us, to repay their evil deeds with benefits, to return blessings for reproaches. It is that we remember not to consider men’s evil intention but to look upon the image of God in them, which cancels and effaces their transgressions, and with its beauty and dignity allures us to love and embrace them.”

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The Struggle

So. I don’t write a whole lot these days. Sorry for the 2.3 people who actually are interested in my thoughts. But I got something now!

For all but 3 hours of 2013, I’ve been sick. Whether its the flu or a cold I’m not sure. I may have had a fever at one point. Now I just have the runny nose, sore throat, congestion, chills, shakiness, all around miserable feeling. It really sucks, but I’ve also been a lot sicker before. But it’s a good opportunity to talk about something… I’m not exactly sure if it’s a common thought or not

I’ve always been thankful for unfortunate, sad, depressing, and even painful events in my life. When I’m dealing with them, i’m usually preoccupied with the existential questions of “Why me???” Almost always afterward, and occasionally while i’m in it, I’ll have this moment where I just kinda see it. It’s this realization of all the things in life and in making life, that work against me existing are innumerable and that fact that I do exist and have done so for 21 years is mind-boggling. And that’s when it hits me. I’m alive. By the grace of God, my heart is doing it’s thing. The fact that I’m sick, shows me, I’m alive right now. My body is fighting and struggling. And that’s the key. Struggle. Challenge.

It’s life’s challenges that remind us what we are after, what we are about. Its when everything is peachy and we stop struggling and stop being challenged that we fade away. It’s like being in space, without the challenge gravity presents, our bones and muscles literally fade away.  Yet when I add struggle to them with say weightlifting, they build and they grow and they become more and more alive.

I love football. Its a sport that highlights this idea really well. You struggle and you challenge and its can be punishing but to those who play the game, they’ll tell you themselves, its worth it. The pain is almost pleasurable. It’s a mark of progress, it just isn’t the same without it.

The best athletes and the greatest minds will tell you: Pain, struggles, challenges aren’t obstacles, they are opportunities. And the reason they are the best is because they’ve embraced that fact.  You can’t have a mountaintop moment until you’ve hiked a mountain.

I truly believe there will be struggle and challenge in heaven. Just not the way we know it. It will always lead somewhere, we will never struggle or challenge in vain. We won’t become weary, or disheartened.

So next time you have a moment or situation that is negative. Thank God for the chance to grow.  Embrace the struggle and realize that against all odds, YOU’RE ALIVE.

Much Love,

Luke

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.” – Frederick Douglass

“There is scarcely any passion without struggle.” – Albert Camus

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow.” – Thomas Paine

Fighting for the Eternal Perspective

We value stuff way too much. We are obsessed with stuff way too much.  I find myself so often getting caught up on little things, iPhones, TV shows, sports, relationships, school, family; the list goes on and on.  And let me be straight all of those things are good and some are even great, but seriously, have you looked at how society values them? If the news decided what was important I would think that whoever wins the election gets to be the messiah and the coming of his kingdom will be Apple, and all who buy their stock will be saved from hellfire and Sandy. Do you get me?  Can I rant? Can you stop me?

This election is important for different reasons, but it is not ultimate. There were great countries before us and likely there will be great ones after us. America is not God’s chosen people. Honestly, it feels like America needs to at large repent. I’m not saying don’t be political. Don’t forget you are a citizen of the Kingdom of God first, and a party affiliate second.  By all means have views, you have that freedom, but don’t let it cover up your true identity as a son or daughter of God and don’t let it shut out His light for this world. The fact is that’s why we are here, to make him known. To make DISCIPLES, not converts of ALL NATIONS (including Palestine, I’m not pulling punches tonight.). Are we doing this?  Or are we living and dying on every vote cast? Is it not God’s hand that raises kings and brings them down? Is it not done for His purpose that His glory might be made known?

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up
kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have
understanding Daniel 2:21

The Lord is my strength and my shield my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7

Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. Isaiah 40:15

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

I love my family and I deeply love my girlfriend. And yet I keep finding myself worrying about both of them.  I stress over their words and their actions and I’m trying so hard to be a good son and brother and boyfriend. All of this while trying to make sure I represent Christ and speak life into both.  It’s easy to be obsessed with it and tell ourselves it’s alright because it’s for a noble and good thing. It’s not. It’s pride and idolatry folks.  A regenerated heart, one that is being fed by the Word and the Spirit, aims to do good. It does so freely, not because of moral expectations or God-given commands but because of that is the natural inclination of the heart and soul working as it was originally intended to.  So here is the thing, when I stress and worry and micromanage my relationships, I try to take control and make the Spirit ride shotgun. My pride tells me I can handle this and I know better. I don’t though. In addition to all of this, I can’t control or change my relationships. It’s God who does those things. I can’t even change myself, why would I think I could do it to someone else? All I can be is open to how God moves in me and let him reflect that to others.

The Lord is my strength and my shield my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7

For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

I enjoy my iPhone. Granted, it’s a dusty, outdated, dinosaur that you probably never heard of called the 4s. I enjoy my Xbox and I enjoy my laptop and my car too. The thing is, if I lost those things, say in a fire, I’d be pretty upset… for about a month. Then besides an occasional thought back, I’ll have already adapted and moved on. Life will mostly be the same.  Why then do I and so many others obsess over these items? They are trinkets.  They are shiny, and they have value. But beyond skin-deep purposes they hold nothing.  We put these things up on a pedestal and they never satisfy us. We are so desperate for the next thing. It’s fleeting. We never even actually get the satisfaction of them, because the moment we get what we want, we are already deeply aware that its beginning the progress of becoming old to us. Do we not have a God who when see Him as the true value, becomes to us infinite, eternal satisfaction? Yes, we do. His Son came that we might have life in abundance. That requires seeing him as the true value though.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:19-24

Here is where it gets real though.  One day, this country will be gone; along with Romney, Obama, Arkansas, you, me, and everyone else. We won’t even be remembered. My girlfriend and my family will be gone. All of my stuff, it’ll have broken, rusted, and be gone too. The bible says that both heaven and earth will pass away, Christ’s words will not however. The clock is ticking down second by second. All things are coming to an end.  When it ends, I don’t know, that’s why it’s so important. The Son is coming back like a thief in the night. It horrifies me to think at that time I could be more concerned with things that I cannot change, things I cannot keep, and things that have no eternal value. All the while, the invitation has been given to reap eternal rewards and treasures and invest in souls that won’t perish. Enjoy the things he gives you but pleases don’t lose sight of what matters. Lord, increase our faith. Break our hands to remove the things we needlessly hold on to so tightly and help us to fix our eyes on you and eternity.

As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

Much Love,

Luke

‘He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.’ – Jim Elliot, martyred missionary to Ecuador

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Lost in Society

I have a feeling people might tune out the minute they realize this is a rant, so for their sake, I’m letting you know right now. It’s a rant. I want to be transparent for a minute. Something we don’t see too often anymore. I’m tired. Physically, yeah, but I mean wholly tired. As in, mentally, emotionally, socially etc. That’s nothing alarming or new for anyone really. I feel safe saying that all of us are feeling this to some degree or another. We are speeding things up faster and faster, while trying to multitask more and more. We are trying to take in more information and become experts in every field while still trying to have a life. Then because of this we are filling out minds with more and more cotton candy (information that is sweet to our minds but ultimately has no substance) and rather than filling or furthering us, it makes us sick. This is in addition to a society that’s foundation is based on individualism, which is now in crisis due to globalization turning individuals into nameless faces in the collective, it is terrifying us. This is why we are an insanely polarized country. Every avenue of communication has become a megaphone to shout at the top of lungs. It’s not that we have anything to say, because let’s be honest, very few of us have something that needs to be heard. Instead it’s solely about being heard, we are desperate to know that someone is hearing us, so we shout, often at one another. We very rarely know anything about the other person\party\group’s standpoint, background, history or purpose and we will yell as loud as we can at them just so we can be heard. More and more everyone is doing it.

Today people are certain of things they don’t or can’t know, and of the things they should be certain of they find themselves bullied into uncertainty. Critics and scoffers will tell you, you are a fool to be certain of this or of that. Here’s my problem though, you are being so certain of something’s unknowability (is that a word? I’m claiming it if not), yet you are attacking another person’s certainty. You are certain of your uncertainty. There have been two reasons I hardly blog anymore. One I’m afraid to be wrong. To say something out of context or in ignorance and two and most importantly, because if I don’t have something to say worth saying, then why waste everyone’s time and inadvertently contribute to the information pollution we deal with?

I think it’s time as individuals we start learning to:

  1. Stop instantly criticizing everything we see and hear. I’m guilty of this too and it drives me insane, we are so quick to call anything in to question, without the slightest understanding of the subject. My point is, don’t speak in ignorance, know and understand (objectively, from all sides possible) the subject before you criticize it.
  2. Stop being an expert on things beyond your expertise. If someone asks your opinion, then give it, to the extent of your understanding and knowledge; don’t be afraid to say I don’t know. When did it become such a terrible thing to admit we simply don’t know? It’s treated like it’s some sort of incurable plague.  There are too many people going out and speaking without being asked, on things that they have little to know understanding about. Google (even if you spent a whole day on it) is hardly all the necessary things needed to be an expert.
  3. Stop labeling and making broad generalizations about people, groups etc. Do Republicans say/do some really ridiculous things? Yes they do. Do all of them? No. This goes back to being informed. Just because things appear the way they do at first glance, doesn’t necessarily make them so.  Making broad generalizations shows ignorance and arrogance.  (Disclosure, I wasn’t trying to protect Republicans, they are just a useful example. I think the same could be said for Democrats and\or every other group\culture\people etc.

This far from all my thoughts on the subject, but for the moment I think this will do. I hope beyond anything, you beyond to ask yourself, if society stays on this course it’s on, will it one, make us honestly any happier? And two, where will it end up leading us? That’s a tough question. I appreciate (really, I do) those who invest their time in listening to what I have to say, I promise I try to say something with more purpose than simply being heard. Until next time…

 

Much Love,

 

Luke

Finding God in the Midst of Horrors

On Wednesday, April 6th, 1994, Rwanda began a series of actions that stained and darkened its history in a way nothing else could. Families turned on one another and friends betrayed each other. Arbitrary definitions of people and class deceived a nation into forgetting that they are all humans and they are all made in the image of our Creator. On that Wednesday began the Rwandan Genocide. It would continue for 100 days and by the end of it 1 million Rwandans were murdered.  Women being raped, children being murdered in churches. Parents losing children and vice versa.  All by people like you and me. For 18 years since, a mixture of humility and shame has been part of the mood of this country. Reconciliation has been the driving motivation. Wounds like that don’t heal quickly though, sometimes not for generations. And for many, it’s still fresh upon their minds.

God’s love isn’t easy to talk about in context with these events. Not to those who were there and those who lost people. Those who lost everything. Those whose scars still haunt them. God’s love isn’t even easy for us to talk about while watching documentaries and movies about it. Still something can, and should be said.

Christ’s death bore the sins of all humanity. God came down and took upon himself the sin of the world so that there could be rebirth. Sin is in nature, sin is our very humanity now. No part of creation was untouched. We see where nature has been touched and affected by our sinfulness in Genesis. We all know that Christ bore the grief and suffering of the entire world. That means not only our sin, but all suffering, all sorrow, all disasters, all genocides and wars. He felt and took on all that grief.  He wept over every lost pet, every illness, every burned home, every dead relative and every soul on its way to hell. It nearly crushed him, but by grace he took it and conquered  the grave. Can you imagine that? No you can’t, nor can I. But mediate on it long enough and you will cry, and you will hurt and you will have an understanding that God bore something that is just intangible to us; something words just can’t say.

One might ask, where was God when the terrified boy or girl watched his family be struck down with a machete?

The honest answer is, He was on the cross. He was bringing the child’s anguish upon himself. The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual affliction. He accepted its horrors on the cross. He took it to buy a way out.

Jesus wasn’t the only one crucified, it’s not miraculous to be crucified in itself. What made the crucifixion unique, what made it beyond measure, was that he while upon the cross, he consumed the suffering of all, ever.

We brought this world upon ourselves, and God paid the price for what we had made. Our sin we accepted, demanded a price for it, and that price was death. And yes, Jesus paid it!  He didn’t have to, but he did. That doesn’t rid the world of pain. It doesn’t make it any easier. It brings hope.

Where was God while that child’s family was dying?

He was making a way for him and others, to come through the shadow of death and into abundant life. Life everlasting. He opened the door to the exact opposite of the incomprehensible misery Christ took on the Cross.

We deserve genocides, murder and betrayal, but that’s the amazing thing.

The suffering and horrors we see every single day are outrageous, that’s why Jesus did the most outrageous thing.

Just like that moment on Calvary, the darkest point, when it feels like all is lost, that’s the moment hope can be found.

There is hope for Rwanda. Turn your eyes to it. His name is Jesus.

Much Love,

Luke

“One son God hath without sin, but none without sorrow.”

Full disclosure: This might seem eerily familiar, that’s because it’s an edited version of my post on the Tsunami\Earthquake that hit Japan. Still just as relevant, only a new context. The reason for the new context, is this summer I’m going to Rwanda and I’m raising support. I’m needing to raise 3400. To be honest, it’s really really hard and I know that literally, I personally can not raise that much. However, I know with Christ all things are possible and I know it’s extremely easy for him to bring that money forth. So if this post moves you in any way, I ask that maybe you would take a moment to give to help me get to Rwanda, so that I and others might be able to help make these truths a reality for many hurting people. Thank you.

Click for my Donation Page

Freedom from the Slavery of Ordinary

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream in the dark recesses of the night awake in the day to find all was vanity. But the dreamers of day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, and make it possible.”

Did you ever have fantasies about Disney movies as a kid? What about Star Wars?  Worlds of  knights, princesses and dragons? Cowboys and Indians? I think at some point growing up, we all have. My name being Luke instantly made me think I was in fact Luke Skywalker. We wanted to fight evil. Save the day. Be the hero. It was a matter of living significantly and acting boldly.

Then we start to grow up. You are told to quit being childish, and sure you can love those old stories, but you better not believe in them. Take whatever morals from them you need not to kill people and then put them up on a shelf to be forgotten. That is a serious problem.

I don’t believe that virtues and ideals are just philosophical banter. I believe they are real tangible ways of living, with real visible reactions. They usually aren’t easy to live by, and you can’t live by them alone. Life isn’t the same without them though. Just look at society to see what a lack of them leads to, and then look to your real life heroes and notice the reasons you are drawn to them. Virtues aren’t just fairy tales.

We  are meant for more in this life. We are given a short amount of time to live, and it seems that this is meant to make us live with intention.  Life isn’t meant to be lived quiet and slow and we aren’t built for it. Judging by life we  are meant to live bright and fast (eternally at least). So why do we kill our souls? In our teenage years, we begin to try to bury ourselves in an early grave. We allow awful burdens to be heaped upon us bit by bit. All of our hopes and ambitions we begin with slowly fade away until we are just shuffling day to day using whatever will help distract us as time passes. Nobody wants to live like that, yet so often…too often, we choose just that!

It’s here you might be wanting to say, “Look I admire your enthusiasm Luke, but you clearly haven’t lived enough of life yet, just wait a bit and you’ll see and then that eagerness will dampen.” Truth is though, I’ve seen quite a bit of life. I silently dealt with unbelievable emotional trauma for 10 years of childhood. I’ve seen my share of disappointment. Make no mistake, I understand why people become jaded, I just see that it isn’t meant to be that way, nor does it have to be.

Life is nothing but tension. It’s that tension that allows all of our hopes and dreams to have meaning! Our choices are one of our shining attributes as humans, it is part of being the image of God. When we choose to stand up and act in opposition to the weight of tension upon us, we do something remarkable.

The fact of the matter is God doesn’t want you to be part of the status quo.  He knew of the the great and big things you could do before you were even in existence. He has plans to give you a future and a hope. For a God who is infinite and who’s ways are higher than our ways, that means it’s safe to assume He has something huge for us all, something audacious and bold.

So my hope for you is this: that you come to understand God for who He is. That your view of how infinite He is will grow. Because once you see that, you’ll realize that in Him you can do anything. I hope that you will dare to do unthinkable things, even reckless things for His glory. I hope that you’ll pray for discernment and a spirit of selflessness, so as to avoid being misled and allowing dreams to be corrupted.

And don’t just dream. Do. Act. Be waking dreamers. Inspire others! Live life in liberation. You only get one opportunity at this life, do something with it. With Christ, no obstacle truly stands in front of you, no goal is out of reach, no hope is ever really lost. In Christ, the greatest Hero, we can be the hero we grew up thinking we would be.

Dream big. Live big.

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16

Faithful Are the Wounds of Friends

Kony 2012. You all know it. Some of you get psyched hearing about it, many of you wish they’d just shut up about it. I’ll go ahead and say I’m a supporter, if you’ve read any of my blog, you know my heart for Africa. I’ve shared the video, I’ve donated to the cause, and I plan to take part in a Cover The Night rally. This isn’t about picking sides or even the campaign at all really. This is about Jason Russell and what needs to be understood from his tragedy. 

If you don’t know Jason Russell is the guy from the Kony 2012 video. He’s a co-founder of Invisible Children. Two weeks after the video had gone viral, Jason was detained after apparently suffering a breakdown. He was found in the street, in his underwear screaming and pounding the ground. He was malnourished, dehydrated, and hadn’t slept in over a week. The cause of all this was from the backlash to his campaign.

Much of the criticism to the campaign wasn’t logical or beneficial to the discussion of the topic. Instead they were hateful, personal attacks on Jason himself. It wasn’t just secular cynics throwing insults his way, it was also Christians who took part. Worst of all, after his breakdown, again both Christians and secularists alike took to mocking him again.

As I saw the hatefulness being brought on Jason, I began to feel the pain of it myself. Many of you know I have a vision for Africa and specifically Somalia. Since I was 15 years old, child soldiers and those regions of Africa have been monumentally important to me. I plan to spend my life in service to these areas trying to aid in fixing the brokenness there. I also plan to inspire and persuade as many others as  I can to use their talents and training in whatever career they are pursuing in service to these areas to give them a better tomorrow.  Jason’s vision isn’t that far off from my vision, so when I see my friends and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ insult not only his attempt to shine light in this world but Jason himself, it’s not hard for me to see myself facing something similar one day. That’s incredibly discouraging.

There is no place in the Christian life for mockery, insults or crude jokes. I don’t care how funny and cool it seems and I don’t care how much you dislike a person or what they stand for. We are all made in the image of Christ himself, and take part in or allow any of those things is to insult the One who created us.

We wonder why Christians are so often called hypocrites, yet we need look no further to see it.

I ask that we all stop for a time and meditate on these:

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 1 John 3:17

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”  John 8:7

I hope and pray that we the church can rise above this mob mentality we have grown accustomed to using. We must look into our own hearts, and find the bitterness, hatefulness and cynicism we harbor. We all have it, I’m no different. Then we must make it right before the Lord and by His grace leave it behind us. Secondly, pray for Jason and his family, they need love and support. You don’t have to agree with him, but you do still have to love him.

Much Love,
Luke

“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always,” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-16

for more info:

Effects of the Criticism on Russell

Support for Russell

http://www.kony2012.com/