Posted on June 27, 2008 by ronklabunde
After viewing the following video, God spoke powerfully to me through a conversation with Michael Bayer the Medical Director and Co-Founder of Free Wheelchair Mission. You’ll want to watch this video prior to reading further.
In most countries when parents have a crippled child, the child is viewed as a curse for their parents’ sin. The parents do most anything they can to change their image in the community by hiding or disposing of their child – their curse. As these Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Islamic children age, they pray to their gods for relief from their shame and condition. When seated in their new wheelchair for the first time, their shame is replaced with joy; life fills their body. In this moment, Michael shares that sitting in their new wheelchair is the image of sitting in God’s loving hands. This loved child of God, then asks, “What god sent you?”
Michael responds, “Jesus did. Let me tell you about Him.”
After talking with Michael, I journaled, “Jesus what do you want me to do? I will do it. Figuratively, what wheelchair do you want me to bring to the people of NOVA? What do you want me to bring to the people living in NOVA that so significantly meets their needs that they ask the question, ‘What god sent you?’”
“Jesus did. Let me tell you about Him.”
Filed under: CHURCH PLANTING, community based organization, devotional | Tagged: Jesus' mission | 2 Comments »
Posted on June 27, 2008 by ronklabunde
Yesterday, I attended the White House Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Conference in preparation for starting a new community service organization. This conference was inspirational – climaxing with President Bush speaking to values behind the government’s financial investment in grass root community service organizations.
The following quotes from his talk capture the values behind his faith-based initiatives:
- “We ought to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.”
- “Compassion puts hope in people’s hearts.”
- “Government should never fund faith, but should fund those who are serving others faithfully.”
- “To who much is given much is required. We are to make a difference around the world.”
- “We want to empower people to live lives of love and compassion.”
- “A life almost destroyed by hate is restored by love and compassion.”
The President’s entire speech is posted on the White House website.
It was exciting to be with the President. He came across like a little boy – constantly shrugging his shoulders as if he were communicating – “Yep. Hi. I’m here. Isn’t this fun.” This is the second President I have seen in person. President Clinton was the first. I think I’m going to set a goal to personally see each President over the course of my life.
Filed under: community based organization | Tagged: President George W. Bush, White House Faith-Based and Community Initiatives | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 25, 2008 by ronklabunde
America is positioned for another massive spiritual awakening. Check out these statistics from the June 24, 2008 issue of the Washington Post.
- 92% of Americans believe in God or a universal spirit
- 80% of Americans think miracle’s occur
- 74% of Americans believe in an afterlife
- Even 21% of American atheist’s believe in God (these are really confused people)
Americans are moving away from the spiritual skepticism of modernism and becoming more spiritually aware as the post-modern era takes over. This shift provides the church opportunity to present relationship with God through His son Jesus to a culture that believes “many religions can lead to eternal salvation”, but for the message of Jesus to make a difference we must communicate it in new ways – in ways our culture can understand. When our arrogance makes us think our approach to sharing God’s truth is just fine, Jesus says, “find a new way to fish.”
To reach a spiritually minded America, the church must change. This change will require leaving the church building to live and share Jesus’ revolutionary truth within a culture that is open to God. It’s time to get out of our comfortable auditorium seats and go fishing.
Filed under: church, Uncategorized | Tagged: church, discipleship, evangelism, spiritual awakening | 2 Comments »
Posted on June 24, 2008 by ronklabunde
Ever had one of those moments when you receive unexpected encouragement? This is one of those moments for me. The message this lady is referring to was given two months prior to my receiving this note. God’s is changing people’s lives in NOVA – one life at a time. If you are a prayer and/or financial partner be encouraged with me. God is using your prayers and financial contributions to change people’s worlds.
I have been meaning to take a moment over the last few weeks and say “thank-you”…why? Well, Miffy of course…when you preached the sermon on “Miffy”…at first I didn’t like what I heard, meaning I had to face the reality that my miffy is my mom. Long story short,
we don’t get along…she kinda had a “staged breakdown” when she and my dad divorced 3 years ago and it’s just been kind ugly. All through that sermon her face and name kept screaming in my head. She’s kinda one of the extra grace required people…needless to say, I started praying. I know God wanted me to respect the boundaries I had established with my mom, but I knew I needed to love her too.
I just wanted you to know that I called her shortly thereafter and told her I was sorry we really hadn’t talked in a good while and invited her here for Mother’s Day (HUGE step by the way)…she came, stayed the night, went to church with us and overall it was kinda pleasant. We have had a few moments here and there since…presently I am a “horrible” daughter…but that’s okay. I know she doesn’t know God like I do and I am hoping that through my committment to serve Him, she gets to know him.
Which brings me to my other “thank-you” and that’s for the sermon that was part of the thrive series “Own-Share”…I am in Holy Discontent about my mom and in all honesty the rest of my family (sister, dad and brother-in-law) because they are lost…they don’t get why I choose to get up and serve every Sunday, why I reach out to needy kids through Haymarket’s Grab Your Groceries and SPRING ministries…they honestly believe me to be a Jesus Freak…and
they’re right, I am Passion requires action, right? So, in that sermon I was able to hear that through serving my God wholeheartedly…well, that provides witness to my family. I only hope that I can do it humbly and honor God at all times.
Thanks Ron for your passion in your messages…it does make a difference, people are listening.
Filed under: CHURCH PLANTING, God Stories | Leave a Comment »