Who Will You Follow? A Response to the events in Kenya, Russia, Lebanon, and France
A Response to the events in Kenya, Russia, Lebanon, and France I was out running errands when I heard about the attacks in France. I was upset. Angry. I shook my head at the Arab world around me and said to myself, “So this is the fruit of Islam?”  Hatred began to bubble up in my heart. Heading home, I jumped in the backseat of a cab, hoping that that Pakistani driver would ignore me. Yet, 30 seconds into the trip, the cab driver realize I spoke his language and my hopes for a silent journey vanished. Feeling argumentative, and wanting to blow off some steam, I asked him if he had heard the news. He had, and like every other Arab I know, he claimed that those men weren’t real muslims. They weren’t following the way of the prophet. I disagreed by quoting some choice verses from the Quran, “kill them [the unbeliever]…Continue Reading
going-through-jared-stump
✈ Southwest Airlines Flight 711 // Dallas → San Antonio Dallas was wrapped in rain as we ascended into the sky. Love Field quickly disappeared beneath the low-hanging clouds. We were speeding through the low-hanging mist, and I was unwillingly oblivious to what was taking place around us. In that moment, I wanted to be back on the ground. I wanted to be home in my bed with Enoch, my five-pound chihuahua, sleeping the morning away. Instead, I reclined in my seat and leaned my head back. Staring at the ceiling of the aircraft, I whispered to myself, “We’re going through.” Often in life, we encounter storms. The kind that make us want to hide away from the elements and wrap ourselves in whatever is familiar. But I have found that these are the times when Jesus takes my hand and calmly says, “Come on, son. We’re going through.” He then…Continue Reading
nepal-01-awaken-mag
Editor's note: Isaac sent this as an update from his recent trip to Nepal. I have adapted it to an article. Be sure and look at the photos in the header by using the right arrow to scroll. Last week I returned from one of my favorite nations, Nepal! Leading up to this trip, it soon became one of my most faith building ventures as I needed to raise a few thousand dollars in such a short amount of time. Through many of your prayers guided by the power of God I actually left with more than I needed that I was able to donate! In just 10 days I raised my goal of just under $3,000 on GoFundMe the crowdfunding platform and was able to join in with the second Kona wave team. Many natural disasters happen all over the world, but with the earthquakes that devastated Nepal it…Continue Reading
The callings of God by Calvin Hanson
A few months back God gave me a revelation on our calling in Christ. I felt God share with me that, as Christians, “we have two callings: a primary calling, and a secondary calling.” Then, just a few weeks ago I was attending a Business and Missions Conference in Egypt and was listening to an Australian businesswoman share how many Christians are stressed and confused about their callings. She said,  “We actually have two callings, a primary calling, and a secondary calling.” She used the exact same wording. I was shocked. The primary calling is to God himself. When we decide to follow Jesus, He calls us to Himself as He did with the disciples saying, “Come, Follow Me.” When we decide, “Yes, I want to follow Jesus,” the Holy Spirit of Adoption gives us a new identity as a son/daughter in Father God’s Kingdom. Even Jesus, after His Baptism,…Continue Reading
fear-photo-dan-baumann
“Fear is real, but God is bigger, and His love is stronger. My story is a testament to that. There is nothing in this world more beautiful or wonderful than God Himself, who invites us into relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. There is no greater hope for our broken humanity than that.” Dan Baumann doesn’t just write a theological, abstract book on fear and how to biblically overcome it but provides simple stories about his experience with fear from his own life. These fears include: Fear of man Fear of loneliness Fear of Failure Fear of lack of finances Fear of lack of control He has lived his life obeying God’s voice and giving his fears over to God and watching as God helps him in his weakness. His training grounds have been living in volatile, dangerous places like Afghanistan and Iran, but also everyday encounters with leaders and…Continue Reading
Ripple Drops - Flickr Gian Luigi Perrella
I never wanted it to be because of my words, my persuasion, my hand, but I wanted the Truth to capsize people, like it capsized us that day. Simon and I had begun our conversations about love, life, dreams, purpose, and Truth two months before. The answer felt near and plain, but it was our eyes— our hearts that held us captive to the dark. We felt blind and numb to the face in front of us then; at least, I did. It was all grey that morning. We sat side by side. We were together but removed, drawn to the same source, but in our minds, miles apart— pelting pebbles into the shallow edges of the reservoir. After what seemed like days, it began to burn inside of me; I could hold it in no longer. It rang out, sore and stinging from my lips, into the frigid air;…Continue Reading
night-billboard-paradox
I was driving across the river into my city the other day when I noticed a billboard. There was a photo of a woman, with text at the top that read “She’s somebody’s daughter.” Below that, it read “Building communities that honor women.” As I took this in, I couldn’t help but notice the billboard that followed it. This one also had a photo of a woman on it, but it was much different, as it advertised a strip club. Taking the next exit into my neighborhood, I began to think about how this fits into my own life. These billboards represent a vast paradox that we often see as we seek to proclaim the Kingdom of God in a broken world. We can build a place where people can connect with God and humanity is restored to its original design; a place where broken relationships become whole, where we…Continue Reading
empty-fields-part-2
Jesus said to His disciples, as He was sending them out to preach the Good News, in Luke 10:2, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (ESV) The word “send,” in the Greek, is “Ekballo” which means to “Drive or cast out . . . with violence” (Strong’s Concordance). Jesus uses this same word when he casts out demons (Matthew 8:16; 9:33) and talks of throwing sinners into utter darkness (Matthew 8:12). He is a King who is willing to violently disrupt each of our lives so that those dwelling in darkness might see His light. Jesus is a King with an agenda: That all might hear and all might know. There are fields without workers, billions without access to the Good News of Jesus Christ and access to the eternal life…Continue Reading
empty-fields-aden-samuel
Studies show that in the United States of America there are 5,110 “Christian Workers” per 1 million people. A Christian Worker is someone whose full time occupation is to, in the name of Christ, serve others and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Under this category are people like pastors, missionaries, youth pastors, etc. Each Christian Worker in the United States of America would have to reach around 200 people for all of America to come to Christ. Other statistics show that nearly one third of the American population would consider themselves “Great Commission Christians”, a Great Commission Christian is someone who believes in Christ, follows Him, and has accepted the command of the preaching the gospel to all creation and discipling nations (Matthew 28:16-20 & Luke 24:44-52). If each one of these believers reached 2 other people, all of America would be saved. The statistics go on to point…Continue Reading
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Today I got my hair cut by a social activist. It’s easy to breathe in New Creation Salon—the turquoise walls, gleaming wooden floors and breezy arched windows make a sanctuary from the restless midday dust of Kathmandu streets. I relax, my hair in expert hands of Tanuja, a short, feisty Nepali mama. Before hairdressing, she was in politics. At 19, she traveled to a village in far western Nepal. There she saw a small empty house where women and girls were shut up for four days without food or water: all for the crime of being on their period. They were forbidden to even look a man in the eyes. Tanuja, heartbroken, resolved to give her life to help the women of her country. At the same time she met Jesus, the man who always looks women in the eyes. Persecuted and misunderstood for her faith, Tanuja never gave up.…Continue Reading