Idea Camp: Justice & Compassion

I’m excited about the upcoming Idea Camp this weekend in Washington, DC. I hate that I can’t make it. It looks like it is going to be a great time with a lot of key conversations happening between various leaders.

This camp’s theme is Justice & Compassion. Leaders from organizations like the ones below (and more) will be leading workshops on various justice and compassion issues. Pray for them and pray that the fruit will be greater advancement of gospel-justice in our world!

You can check out the Idea Camp’s social networking site here, follow-us on Twitter, join us on Facebook and watch some previous sessions from Irvine, CA on Vimeo.

[HT: Chris Marlow of Helt End Local Poverty]

Before the Cross There is Only “We”

Great quote by Rick McKinley, pastor of the Imago Dei Community in Portland:

“Before the cross there is no chasm between those with a need and those with a resource. There is no differentiation between “us” and “them.” Before the cross, there is only “we.” (From “Why We Do Justice (It’s not Because We Feel Guilty)” in Leadership Journal)

[HT: The Wonder of the Gospel]

Aaron Ivey: Between the Beauty & Chaos

Adoptive-dad and worship-leader, Aaron Ivey, (along with bandmate, and fellow adoptive-dad, Steven Bush) have just released a new album, “Between the Beauty & Chaos.” I highly recommend it.

The songs center around “God’s faithfulness and beauty, and the church’s response to injustice, poverty, and orphans. The 10 song album reflects a heart for the Kingdom of God here and now, between the beauty and the chaos.”

That is some good stuff to be singing about!

It is hard to pick out a favorite song but a few that I really love are “The Name”, and their versions of “It is Well” and “How Great Thou Art.”  The most powerful song for me is “Amos Story” – about their son they are adopting in Haiti. If you know Haiti you know that not many adoptions are happening. Their son is there waiting for them. They are able to go visit but they are waiting on the government to process paperwork. It has been a long and incredibly difficult process. I know only a small taste of that as we wait to bring our son home from Uganda. I love these lines:

“I’ll find a way to get you here if it takes every breath,
another sunrise hits the ground and its a dark lonely sight.
Light years away, I hope you know there is somebody searching for a way to get you here.
I will get you here!”

You can buy the album on iTunes and Amazon. Be sure to check out Aaron’s website, including the justice section highlighting ABBA Fund and some other great organizations making a difference.

“It seems chaos is everywhere.  Tragedy, hunger, brokenness, and darkness can be found around every corner.  From our backyards to the shores of distant countries, the need for the Light of Christ has never been more apparent.  And with this hope that we have in Christ, chaos becomes beauty.” – Aaron Ivey

From Guilt to Gospel

Picture 6I’ve been there. You’ve probably been there too. I’ve not only had it happen to me, but I’ve done it. I’ve tried to motivate folks to do good and ended up leaving them feeling more guilty than feeling moved by the gospel. The dangers of that are plenty.

Here’s a small list to know if you are being motivated by guilt or by the gospel. I’d love to hear your thoughts and additions to the list.

Guilt may motivate you but often leaves you:

  • Feeling like if I don’t do this God will not love me as much
  • Feeling as though my eternal salvation depends on my good works
  • Feeling tired and worn
  • Feeling like I ought too
  • Feeling anxious
  • Feeling fearful
  • Feeling like God needs me

Guilt happens when we speak more about what we should do than what Christ has already done and promises to do for us and through us.

The Gospel motivates us by:

  • giving us the freedom to do this because God’s acceptance of me is not based on my performance
  • joy in the reality that my salvation is dependent upon Christ’s works and not mine
  • leaving us energized and strengthened
  • the awareness that I am privileged too
  • trust that God will take care of the impossible, the details, and the outcomes
  • faith
  • the truth that God doesn’t need me but loves to use me
  • joy in reflecting the heart of God in our world

The Gospel is communicated when we speak about what Christ has done on our behalf through His death and resurrection and what that means for us today and what that leads us to do. May this be what motivates us to great acts of love and compassion and justice for the good of our fellow man and God’s glory!

Biblical Faith

Biblical faith is the radical abandonment of our whole being in grateful trust and love to the God disclosed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ: so that we become willing agents in a costly confrontation with every form of evil and unjust suffering in the world. This faith involves us in embracing the pain and confusion of others, and in being willing to live with uncertainty ourselves while moving forwards a future that is already at work among us.

– Vinoth Ramachandra, Gods that Fail: Modern Idolatry & Christian Mission, pp. 40-41, quoted in Paul David Tripp’s, A Quest for More, p. 76.