Enough is enough.

Enough is enough.

Twenty months ago, I was on the other side of the world kneeling on a scorching metal roof, hammer in hand, overcome with emotion and asking God lots of questions. I was in Sanyati, Zimbabwe, leading a team that was helping to install a new roof on the HIV/AIDS wing of  Sanyati Baptist Hospital. It was late in the week, and the roof was nearing completion. We’d spent that morning inside the hospital, looking into the eyes of those who we’d spent all week laboring on behalf of. We knelt next to rickety hospital beds and prayed with the HIV positive, most of whom had no idea if they’d live to walk out of their hospital rooms. We begged God for healing:  both for restoration of bodies, and for a revival in  souls. “Jesus, come,” was the cry of our hearts.

But, after a weighty several days, I felt defeated. There was too much to do,  too many dying, not enough doctors,  too few resources. In a few days, I was going to return to my embarrassingly comfortable life in the US. The difference I was making seemed minuscule compared to the reality of the issues I was facing. “It’s not enough” played over and over in my mind. Then came the reassurance of the Gospel itself: it is not up to me. There is something that is relentlessly true both in the poverty of Africa and in the poverty of my own sinful heart: the grace of Christ has nothing to do with me, yet it is mine to enjoy.

So, in spite of my limited resources, my finite knowledge, my self-seeking tendencies, and all my other excuses … God is working.  He is working in Africa, and He is working around the globe. He is restoring communities, healing the sick, growing churches,  mending families, bringing hope.

Yes, there is much to be done. He has called the Church to step forward in the name of the broken, sick, and hurting. So, yes, serve your neighbor. Go to the nations. Support missionaries. Speak out for the oppressed. Pray for revival. Marvel at Jesus’ sacrifice.  Make redemption the theme of your days and the Gospel message the absolute focus of your life. It is the most important thing you could ever do.

But let us not become overwhelmed  by what’s before us. The task is great, but our Savior is greater. Let’s not forget what was already finished on the Cross. Let’s rest in the all-sufficient work of Christ. 

sanyatiroof  sanyatiteam

Rearranging Death

Rearranging Death

 

Too often we settle for rearranging death, while Christ is offering abundant life.”  – Jaime George

The cruise control on my car is broken. In fact, it hasn’t worked since I got the car. At first, this felt very inconvenient. Every few days, I would click the cruise button just in case it suddenly started operating correctly again. But now, after having my car for several years, I don’t even think about cruise control– I’ve gotten accustomed to not relying on it.

I wish the same was true in my spiritual life.

Switching  into cruise mode with Jesus is often easy for me: I spend time with Him only when it’s convenient, I don’t take the time to acknowledge his grace, and my prayer-life is practically non-existent. And as a result, I am less considerate of others, more selfish with my time, and content with stagnancy.  This, friends, is not why Jesus came.

Jesus stepped down from the right hand of the Father NOT so we could casually follow Him. Jesus took on flesh NOT so we could make idols out of cheap imitations. Jesus became sin itself NOT so we could chase the American dream.

Jesus became the defeated to meet the defeated. Jesus became poor to be with the poor. Jesus laid aside his rights to be with the ones who have lost their rights.  Jesus came to raise the dead to life – a life that is abundant.

Like the prodigal son in Luke 15 who squanders his father’s fortune, we often settle for much less than we were created for.  The Savior of the world is calling us to something more; He’s asking us to leave behind our small ideas of what our life should be like and embrace his extravagant plan. Rather than settling for rearranging death, let’s embrace life abundant. It will require great sacrifice, and daily denial of self, but there is no better ambition in life than to follow hard after Jesus.

New at M-Fuge

New at M-Fuge

If you’re attending M-Fuge this summer, you may notice a few pretty cool additions! At several of our locations, we will be offering location-specific ministry tracks based on the particular ministry opportunities in that community.
Here’s whats new for M-Fuge in ’13:

Special Needs Ministry (CHARLESTON, CUMBERLANDS, JACKSON, MOBILE & NASHVILLE): This ministry track is designed to meet the needs of children and adults with special needs. Ministry opportunities will include Bible teaching, crafts, music, sports and recreation, field trips and more. Ministry will take place at community centers, in children’s homes, at nursing homes, etc.

Beach Evangelism Ministry (CHARLESTON & WEST PALM BEACH): This track is designed to show students how to build relationships with people on the beach and will provide students the opportunity to share the love of Christ in a tangible way.  Specific ministry may include handing out refreshments, organizing beach activities or simply engaging people in meaningful conversation.

Evangelism Ministry (GREENVILLE, NEW ORLEANS & RIDGECREST) : This track is designed to give students an opportunity to share their faith with people in the community. The track will work in populated areas and will engage people in conversation through handing out refreshments, organizing activities, playing music, etc. Students may also partner with local churches to pass out flyers and prayer walk as part of church planting efforts.

International Ministry (NASHVILLE):This track is designed to minister to the large population of foreign born residents and refugees in the city of Nashville. Over 7% of Nashville’s population was born somewhere outside of the United States. Many immigrants have fled to America for safety and refuge from both political and religious persecution. Students will have an opportunity to minister to this population through home repairs, children’s ministry, etc.

Peer Ministry (GLORIETA, NASHVILLE & NEW ORLEANS): This ministry track is designed to train students to minister to their peers. This track will focus directly on students’ ministering to other students through opportunities of service and building relationships. Throughout the week students may work in a variety of ministry settings, such as foster homes, teen centers, community centers, etc. Students need to have completed 10th, 11th or 12th grade to participate.

And of course, we will still be offering the old favorites: Children’s, Games & Rec,  Painting/Construction/Yardwork, and Social Ministry.

Constant

Constant

 

The resurrection of Jesus is hard to believe. If I am really honest, it is difficult for me to wrap my mind around the idea that Jesus’ physical heart stopped, and three days later, it started again. How could one go from death to life? Nothing I learned in science class tells me that this is possible. I, like the apostle Thomas, want to see it for myself.  I want to understand the how. I am, by nature, a skeptic.

But this is the beauty and the mystery of the Gospel story: it doesn’t depend on me. Despite my unbelief at times, this story does not fade. Nothing I do or think makes the Great Narrative of God any less true.

In Mark 9, a father brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus. The father pleads with Jesus to heal his son, if He is able. Jesus responds by saying that anything is possible for the one who truly believes. To this the father cries out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief!” He recognizes the deceitfulness of his own heart. Though Jesus himself stands before him in the flesh, this man is still having doubts.

So often, I am just like this doubting father. God has shown me his power time and time again. I can testify to his faithfulness in my life. Scripture reminds me of His character. Creation itself is a daily reminder of the almighty Creator. Yet I still must cry out to my Savior: “I do believe! Help my unbelief!”

Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ is coming again; I know this to be true, even in the moments that I don’t feel it. Today, I rest in the fact that I can lean on the finished work of Christ and not the fickleness of my heart. I am thankful for a resurrection and a Gospel that can never be made untrue.