Sunday, March 12, 2017

How to Change Society

"You will be confident, because there is hope." - Job 11:18

Society doesn't want to be changed. 

It spent a long time getting to where it is.  But it's failing to show compassion for the outcast and the orphan. How does it address it's needs?  "We have people for that..."  

That's not a society that embraces change, that's the embedded selfishness of every man's heart. And I'm afraid that is what I think makes up our society.  

But I believe change can happen. It will be when you go for the heart.  Present a shining example of a heart set free in a self-sustaining, compassionate solution for the needs in your world, and you'll win hearts, and change society.

Society will reject your attempt to change it.

Solution 1 - I look at Sierra Club, Greenpeace, you name the organization- they generate outrage at the offense, and try to shame established entities into doing "What is right..."  Is this producing real change?  Maybe... with a hammer... I don't agree with that approach. It's angry and is simply not God's way. It may change a behavior, but it won't change society. It's not a solution. 

Solution 2 - My premise is that as a man or woman of God you have access to heaven on subjects that are near to your heart. You may acquire the eternal solution God has been waiting for you to ask Him for.  Bring that solution to the world at your own expense and at the expense of those who have assaulted heaven with you.  Implement it and watch society love it.  Because it will be the pure heart of God.

I believe if people could see God, they would see what they have always been after.  It is for the people of God to manifest heaven.  Go to heaven, and get some of it, and bring it to earth. It will be irresistible.

Sorry to say this, but if you try to convince anyone of anything, you might be a jerk and ruin everything.  Isn't that the cry of every non-believer against Christianity- the people are jerks?  But discipline yourself for godliness, acquire heaven's solutions, and bring them to the culture that so desperately needs them, and you will watch hearts melt at the goodness of God.

Society might even change a little. Just your little part of it.  But you will have brought Heaven, and that's eternal. Where it lands and what impact it has are in God's hands.  I have a hunch He'll honor it.

Here's a kid who knows how to change the world.

"You will be confident, because there is hope." - Job 11:18

Saturday, March 4, 2017

You Are The Image of God

"If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood, and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

If we want to overcome the lies of the enemy, it is not by countering them.  They are lies in their very context.  No one will win in the argument of right and wrong. That is lesser, and to engage that argument is to agree to a lesser call.  

Instead, let's have a new discussion- the only discussion-
the discussion that God started when he made mankind.

The discussion is, "What was God doing, what IS God doing in making a new being in His own image and likeness?"  Let us have THAT discussion over and over again!  What, O God, did you make when you made mankind? For I am one of them! 

I believe God made us all vessels of honor- made to be overflowed with the abundance of God Himself! 
       His creativity, 
              His compassion, 
                     His solutions that surpass the need, 
                              His miraculous healing that changes the present and the future...  

The needs of our world are where the man of faith has the ability... the calling... to land the kingdom of God.  The resulting expression will be the destruction of lesser arguments- they can only crumble to dust and be blown away in the wind of God's surpassing answers. 

The angry question:  "Look at this injustice, this offensiveness!  What are you going to do about it?"  
Heaven's answer:  "Lift up your eyes, because you are the image of God.  The answer isn't in correcting bad behavior. It is in considering the much greater identity that we all share. Bigger than being American or Russian, man or woman, black or white, Christian, Muslim or Jew. What has been soiled and slandered is not between these lesser identities, what is being soiled and slandered is the image of God, and you are the image of God, and so are your supposed enemies. This fight is a fake."

Access Heaven, O man of God. You are the image of God on the earth. Understand that more and more, and you will overcome the lies and reveal the true nature of God. This is what you were made for. Let's have that discussion over and over again- often with each other, and more often with God- your creator- the one who is expressing Himself to the earth and to the heavens. You are His choice vessel.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A New Conversation - part II

"I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate My righteousness."  Is 42:6

The world is full of partial answers to the needs of our day.  It's full of broken systems that fall short of meeting those needs. You can feel that, even without understanding it. I believe it is only the kingdom of God that has complete answers, and it is for the people of God to understand His completeness, and acquire His answers.

This is my second post on this subject- I'm addressing one topic, but I think you can see the greater subject here.  Prepare yourself to have a new hope as you read this.

I believe Jesus is taking over the conversation about providing a place in the world for those with special needs.  By going straight to a solution born in heaven, Jesus passes through the crowd of noise and despair, and brings compassion in the way it's needed.  

My part seems to be releasing these special ones from their bonus rooms and group homes, into the marketplace as producers and bread-winners.  Running a kingdom business based around their capabilities is providing fun work for them, and hope for a community.

Our only hope
When I discovered the community of families with adult children with autism and other special needs, I was discovering a community of people awash in questions with no good answers.  There is simply no place in the world for their family members, and they are searching for someone to take up their cause.  I'm sad to say that no one in the normal channels is going to have a satisfying answer for them.  But happily, there IS hope to be found in the Love of God.  Inside the Love of God is every abundance, and every answer they are so in need of. There is no limit to His Loving answers.

If I may digress for one moment... It's like Ghana. Look at how protestant missionaries understood the Love of God, and went in and taught the people to read... so they could have the word of God, and receive eternal life, and hear God's voice, and find true hope for their souls- and their families, and their nation.  Today, look at every measure of societal success in Ghana versus it's next door neighbor Burkina Faso. Night and day. Why?  The Love of God was demonstrated in Ghana a generation ago.

Today I believe it's time for this generation to demonstrate the Love of God- 
to a community of people, in our own society, who don't have a place.  Who will go?  Who will make a place for them?  Who will change the conversation for these?

Can you see it?
I see, a generation from now, a people like the people of Ghana.  Today they have no place in the world and they're looking for crumbs that fall from the table.  But the people of God will take the love of God to them and form compassionate kingdom businesses based around the capabilities of these people who are special to God's heart.  And a new economy will emerge.

And in a generation we will see flourishing communities with special needs adults filling happy places in society. A society that has become more compassionate because someone has navigated this difficult question:  

"How can we fit these into our society?"  

The answer is by changing society, and it is only the people of God who can do this. 

No one else knows the unstoppable Love of God toward these special ones.  And who else can access heaven, and out of thin air, create the new loving infrastructure that includes them?  Even the families who are looking for answers, and who care the most, will not be the ones to lead this change.  

It is for the people of God to bring His kingdom to earth.

It is for the people of God to bring His kingdom to earth.  This is not a good work, and good people cannot accomplish it. This is a move of the Holy Spirit, and spiritual people can see it. Can you see it? Because if you can see it, you are the answer. You are the one to bring it to earth.  It is something that will change the conversation because it is from the Love of God.  

Bring Heaven
Now its time for you, man of God, woman of God.  Access heaven.  Nurture your solutions in the atmosphere of God's abundant provision and Love, and bring that thing to earth.  It will arrive saturated with eternal value and significance that you never even thought of.  There isn't anyone else ordained for this work. This is how the conversation will be changed.


Monday, February 20, 2017

A New Conversation

"God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of gifts. 
Use them well to serve one another."  - 1Peter 4:10

I'm watching something take shape that I believe is God's making, and I like the way it looks.  A lot of people do.  It has the simple power to change the conversation.  The conversation we're talking about is on the integration of adults with special needs - people who God loves dearly - into our world.  God appears to have a strong case in this conversation. 

The old conversation was about convincing businesses to hire our people - "they're not that bad" or, "we're ALL kind of quirky, really..."  It was about finding some little thing that our people could do.  It was small ball, pleading for table scraps.

I think Jesus is taking over this conversation.

The new conversation is about building profitable (ie, market-supported) businesses around the capabilities of those with special needs.  It puts our friends- God's friends- in the center of the conversation.  Its about WHICH businesses will work for our people, in various industries or crafts. 

And by 'work' I mean things like what product manufacturing can be built around the abilities of our friends.  What other kinds of businesses can we build around our friends capabilities?  From a Thrift Store, Car Wash, or Software Testing, to regaining our manufacturing sector that's been lost offshore, we now have a new conversation about viable, special-worker-centric businesses.

Am I all alone in this new industry sector?  What social entrepreneurs will join me?  Who wants to change the world?  Who wants to demonstrate God's Love?  Who wants to bring the kingdom of God to earth?

This is compassionate business.  God's special people at the center.  Or really, Christ at the center, putting generous treatment of special people at the center of the business- at the center of the conversation.  Taking those who society didn't know what to do with, and turning them into producers and bread-winners.  That sounds like the kingdom of God to me.

This sounds like the kingdom of God to me too!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

America's Mustard Seed

The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, which although it is the smallest seed in the garden, it grows into a tree. Matt 13:32

The enduring strength of America is the tree that has grown from a seed.  The seed?  It is is found in the initial declarations of the founders- the Pilgrims in the Mayflower Compact, the authors of the Declaration of Independence- these founders carried with them a powerful seed, born of the kingdom of God.  

That seed was the knowledge that mankind is loved and valued by God- that each man is given value by God.  And if that was true, then it would look like something- first of all, like freedom to worship God according to each man's conscience.  This led to freedom from the oppressive English monarchy.  And having won the freedom that was held, deeply, as having been given by God, the same men went on to define how free men, valued men, would live.   

Men valued by God would be honored individually by their government. And that government would be subject to those free men.  The governors would be subject to the consent of the governed.  The free men of the land would further be valued by having property rights, access to finances without usury, and many other fine inventions of the new world.  The Christian World.*

The seed, nurtured in the hearts of men who received the idea that human value is from their Maker, has grown into the largest tree in the garden.  What a powerful seed. Perhaps it will find fertile soil in my own heart.

Happy Thanksgiving Day America!  It's God who values you!

*This view went on to lead the world in the ending of slavery.  The seed of God - expressing His value of individuals - still leads the world into understanding His design and intention - that the destiny of all is freedom.  Slavery continues horribly today in regions where there is no seed of the kingdom of God.  Regret not that America once had slaves. Thank God for the seed He spoke into hearts- the seed of human value- that ended slavery in America and wherever God is loved.  

Monday, June 30, 2014

How to Fail Miserably and Wonderfully

So, I started a company.  One based on my Christian faith.  Wanna know how that went?  

Thought I'd give you the backstory on this ongoing startup.  

Step one was to ask this: 
What would my company look like- in its practices- if everything I did was an expression of what my faith is? 

I'd have to ask what do I actually believe about God, and man, and everything, and process through that, to come up with business practices that have a direct connection to what I believe.

This is different from living from your "heart".  It's living from an assessment of your actual faith. That's a challenging exercise in itself!  I have to tell you it was fun and enlightening to actively look at what I believe, with the purpose of making an implementation of that as a business plan.  I have a pretty high view of who God is and what he wants to do in the world, and as the Director of this company's practices.  

I can say that the result was crushing.  I immediately found that there is a massive gap between what I actually believe and what I'm capable of living out.  I've been brought to tears over this- crying, "I'm not that man!"  

This was a difficult thing to realize about myself.  But here's an amazing reality.  There is a lot in the bible about faith and perseverance together.  

The bouy to all my grief over my shortfalls was when someone said "this just proves you have something worth persevering for."  Huh?!  I can honestly say that I've never had that before!  But the business model I came up with from that assessment is nothing less than my highest aspiration and faith; and from what little I've done so far, I'm convinced this is what the world needs.  It's worth persevering for.

The fact that I fall far short of being able to deliver that is just the truth about what God made when He made man- the weakest and most dependent of all creatures he's ever made!  Of course I'm weak!   

Working through that, and delivering the goodness of God in spite of it, is the exercise of the life of faith!  I believe in demonstrating the righteousness of God on earth- His compassion, His courage, His generosity, His deliverance... Realizing the failings of myself as a man to deliver that, well that is a call of God to me to find HIS ability to make Himself known, even through my weakness... and possibly, especially in my weakness!  

Well, that's just the bible in real life!  I've come to accept my inability to be that guy, and really ask God to somehow use this mess to bring His kingdom wherever I set my feet.  It's gloriously ridiculous and laughable and wonderful!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Social Responsibility

I'm finally reading a book on the subject of "corporate social responsibility" - it's a really big deal in business.  Corporate giving back.  Well, I'm just not impressed.  And besides, it already has a name.

I call it the Love of God.

Chapters and volumes are spent describing and defining this revolutionary practice of Corporate Social Responsibility.  It just falls short with me.  It's like putting Josh Hamilton to the plate and telling him to bunt. It's just such a waste of horsepower, and not what he could accomplish at all.

Here's my version of corporate social responsibility, set free:

Get radicalized for Jesus and then go demonstrate the righteousness of God in the marketplace.  Spend your life and your means and your business goals on showing the world what the Love of God looks like.  In fact, use every resource and every tool devised by man, and demonstrate every aspect of the true nature of God.  And if there is not a business practice, or technical achievement, or invention, or a form of government adequate to fully express everything that you have to say about what God looks like, then invent a new one.  The world will benefit.

Somehow, hearing God's own vast answers to my biggest questions, has radicalized my life.

I don't have it all verbalized yet, but I can feel a sufficiency inside me now for every challenge.  I'm not looking for a fight, though it feels like that. Like a kid who is pretty sure he can hit the ball out of the park if he had to.  I was like that when I came to bat. The coach would say "just singles" but when I went for just singles I'd fly out.  I knew I could hit that ball far.  It took a while but I finally stopped listening to the coach and did what I felt I could do.  I turned out to be a pretty good power hitter.  I caused outfielders to do exploits to run down my hits.   My gospel says be released into the display of God's joy that He made you to display on the earth.

That's what I'm trying to say here, and it's just one of so many ways I am hearing the same message from God.  You were made for things as vast as Heaven, made to manifest them on the earth.   So go after it, son!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Proving What's Possible

And looking at them Jesus said to them, 
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  
Matthew 19:26

At one point I felt compelled to make the move, meaning that there was no way I could NOT do it.  I was meant for more.  I pulled the plug, and jumped.

If I hadn't made the jump out of my meaningful, but soul-numbing career path, and into the purpose-filled vision I held of my future:

I'd never have seen myself as someone who could actually have impact
I'd never have given meaningful work to people with special needs
I'd never have given opportunities to homeless men
I'd never have funded an orphanage and medical clinic in Guatemala
I'd never have proven that it's possible for business to be a powerful mechanism for expressing compassion in a community
I'd never have my own platform upon which to play out the substance of my faith and the desires of my heart
I'd never have seen how good I am, and how bad I am
I'd never have stared my naked failures in the face, and gone forward anyway
I'd never have something worth persevering for
I'd never have set an unattainable goal, and surpassed it
I'd never have known how far I could go
I'd never have a tool to embody every noble aspiration of mankind: to earnestly reflect the image of God on earth.

I can't tell you how stinking empowering this is.

I've started something.  These are all things I've begun in my first 9 months after leaving my career, and launching out into the life of applied faith and self-determination.  You can't say you're not a person of faith, either.  Maybe you believe in yourself.  Maybe you don't believe in yourself.  I believe in God, and that He made me for this.

The rest of my life will now be a grand experiment in whether my faith is meaningful in the world.  Because if it is, it will result in exceeding goodness for others.  

Here are some things I believe the world will see because I have jumped:

  • Compassionate employment for people with special needs and for the hurting and broken (read: homeless). Development of new models for this.
  • Recidivism among felons in Raleigh replaced by envisioned men owning businesses and leading their communities out of hopelessness
  • Real reduction in infant mortality in Guatemala (the country with the highest infant mortality rate in Central America- but not for long.)

And here is something that is completely out of reach for me to accomplish, but I cannot help but lay it out here: 
To start a movement.
To go first, prove what's possible, and encourage anyone who will listen, to lay hold of that for which they were laid hold of.

This is for people with faith in God. Who believe that God has a purpose for them, and who would race to that purpose if they knew what in the world that looked like.  I believe it looks like this. Like what I've done. Like what I'm doing.  What I'm doing is everything that comes into my path to do, and do it with a bare conscience before God.  Doing everything that is in my heart to do- all of it.  It looks like seeing with eyes of faith who God made you to be, and racing to become that with acts of that faith.  Risky, jumping from the nest, acts of faith.  

I define faith as believing in the goodness and trustworthiness of God's nature- that he is mighty to save those who jump from the nest and look to Him to bear them up.  Not for their own purposes, but for His.  A person of faith lives not for himself, but for God.  And God is Love.  What does that look like?  This is what it looks like to me.  How you have come to see that, and display it, is your calling in this life.  So join this movement, jump from the nest, and cast yourself upon the faithfulness and promises and nature of God.  You will never be the same.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Mediocracy of Normal

We trade our dreams and our lives for something that keeps us from suffering- a job that pays the bills and gets the kids through school.  You make a compromise with the devil when you do that. I won't go after my dreams and you won't kill me.

We live in the middle of a raging war. We are all it's victims, but we can be it's victors.

The evidence of this war is the broken lives and broken dreams scattered all around us- if not in our very own experience. We see it in generations of lies, and greed and selfishness that takes and takes, and leaves behind pain and ruin.  In America, why is there cancer, and obesity, and heart disease? Why is there poverty and prison injustice?

The call on my life is to step into the ruin and make it beautiful.  

We trade the idea of going after our highest imaginations for something mediocre that's attainable and will feed and shelter us.  In doing this we give up something that would be beautiful, for something normal.  Its the mediocrity of normal, and it's killing us. It holds many captive, while others it takes down into chains. Its a mediocracy. A government of don't make waves. And we are ruled by it.

But ours is a gospel of taking the broken lives and un-pursued dreams into the care of God, and resurrecting them, breathing life into them... making them beautiful.  He's the one who put them in you at the start. They are creative, because He's a creator- and you are a co-creator. They are noble because He is noble and good, and you were made for that too.  This is the life that God brings into this war. In the midst of battle, He is Love- unafraid and steadfast - He is not going away.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Where are the Next-Level believers?

My question now is - where are the songs?  Where are the believers of my generation, any generation, who are experiencing the life of loving and being loved by God, and who become something because of that?  Where are the bringers of the kingdom?

God is spoken of in hushed tones- leaving people untouched, unloved, unemployed
Why isn't there more knowledge of God out in the wild?  Why are we repeating the same lessons some 30 years after we all learned them the first time- where are the next level believers? Are they hiding? Why aren't they exhibiting the dominion of God in every place and in every way? Why is God spoken of in hushed tones- leaving people untouched, unloved, unemployed?  Where are those who are experiencing the love and power of God?  And why aren't they showing themselves and making God known on the earth for all His goodness and loving-kindness?  Where is the demonstration, and where is the discussion and the volumes written of what happens through a mature believer's life? Where are the books about the eternal life of knowing our God, and taking ground from the devil, making him look bad in the process, and transforming the culture with the Love of God?  Where is the revelation that what we're doing with the rest of our lives is expressing the overwhelming power of Jesus that always leads us into victory over the schemes of the devil? Go ahead son or daughter of God.  Hear and declare the will of God over your next challenge. Watch Jesus crush satan's head for you. Tell me that's not a kick ass life. You are God's weapon in eternity.

The expression being given was failing men.
I realize that the discontent in my heart is driving me to become the answer to my own question. In the same way Isaac Watts wrote new songs because he saw that the pure magnificence of Jesus Christ demanded a new expression. The songs of his day, the psalms, came from one man's heart, but he had songs in his own heart that needed expression.  And Luther, the closer he got to God, the more he saw the crying need for everyone to have this word. Watts "rebelled" against the constraints of a form that had grown stale - by writing new songs that refreshed and inspired hearts with faith. Luther rebelled against the church that misrepresented the true God by making Him known in all His loving-kindness. These two men were compelled to give a greater expression of God because the expression being given was failing men.  God is so much more than what I'm seeing and hearing - what passes for the knowledge of God out there in my culture. I feel the expression of God in America is failing man, and I'm about to rebel.

There's no escaping the fire in Jesus' eyes
For one thing, if we really read and believed the Bible, we would talk about Satan more. Because Jesus was in the world to tear down his works and schemes. The schemes he has spent all of time constructing to misrepresent God.  Well, I have the inside intel on those plans, and I believe God has a direct answer to all those "questions" Satan raises against God.  There's no escaping the fire in Jesus' eyes or the sword in His mouth or the blood dripping from His robes as He gives God's answers to all those so-called questions. I pray for THAT Spirit to fill me as I contend for my faith, and bring the truth about God's overwhelmingly loving nature. It's overwhelming.

He's the enemy of man,  the enemy of your baby,  and the enemy of God.  
Here's one example of what I mean.
"We prayed and things finally worked out, thank God" Thing's did not "work out"! You called on the One who has authority over your enemy, and He crushed Satan's head!!  You're not getting a nice life, you're taking ground away from your enemy. He's the enemy of man, the enemy of your baby, and the enemy of God.  You just called him out on his schemes, and the right man for the job stepped in and slayed your enemy.

Being awesome.
I'm rewriting American Christianity because it is wrong.  Its failing the culture it is meant to transform. It stops way before it makes any impact. Who's writing THAT script?  It's not biblical, I know that. Rewriting the songs, and the verbiage we all use to express God in our lives. I only want to use language of faith that I implement. Express faith that I see. And what I see is that God made us to declare and pray down the dominion of Christ on the earth.  Jesus is in the world, speaking to our spirits and giving us life. Through us then, He is expressing His dominion in a world currently run by satan, man's enemy, God's enemy.   Not being nice.  Being overwhelming.  Being awesome. Being Love...  Consuming the enemy, putting him on public display, and taking what he ruined and making it beautiful. That's the Love and Power of God, and it's what we were made for.