Category Archives: Relevant Rants

An Event For Our Grieving Neighbors

When people know Jesus, follow Jesus, respond to Jesus, and listen to the voice of Jesus, life change happens. I am so encouraged by a team at Venture Church who are changing lives by putting on a Lost and Found Dinner.

This is a dinner where people who are experiencing grief, who have lost a loved one and who are in the process of healing from a tragedy and/or loss, can come be loved and be encouraged.

The Lost & Found Dinner is for people to be comforted and cared for, and this entire thing sounds to me like something Jesus would do in 2017.

He would call upon people who are hurting inside, because of a loss, and just say, “Come, come we want to provide a dinner for you. We want to pray with you, we want to connect with you.” And I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen at this dinner, but I do know that on Nov. 3rd there are going to be people who will see that it is safe for them to come around followers of Jesus to be heard, to be loved on, and to be cared for.

Way to go, Care & Support Team! And may we all look at those who may not believe like we believe, may not think like we think, may not go to church where we go to church, but who, nonetheless, deserve the love that God desires for them.

Everyone wins when that kind of indiscriminate love is displayed.

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Regarding #MeToo

Every single day brings us stuff in culture and in the media that just blows my mind.

Last week there was this whole saga of horrible sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. As a result, women are responding with #metoo statuses to say that yes, me too, I have also been victim to sexual assault and harassment. Over 100k women have indicated that in some way they have been propositioned, touched, manipulated, coerced or approached in an inappropriate way. As a man, how do I respond to this?

I say my heart is grieved that anybody has been violated. It is nauseating. It’s incredibly sad that creations of God, individuals made in the image of God, are treated as objects vs. the creations of God being treated as they were intended.

There’s no license for anyone to be abused mentally or physically. What we’re talking about here is habitual behavior that would never be condoned or acceptable to Jesus Christ himself.

Christ honored women.

Christ respected women. Christ treated women with love, dignity, and respect.

And there’s no little girl, there’s no young woman, there’s no mature woman, there’s no senior citizen woman who doesn’t deserve the love and care that Christ desires for them.

Why does this happen? Because we live in a sick world, in which pornography is so readily available. It destroys the way people think and, as a result, it destroys people.

We need to get back to Philippians 4:8 and think on those things that are true, that are right that are pure, and that are lovely. God help us to think like you think and help us to treat your creations with respect and love.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

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Looking Back on the Run

I don’t know if I’ve recovered yet. Over the weekend, I participated in the Detroit Free Press Marathon, running the half-marathon. But, it’s not a physical recovery that I’m talking about.

The morning of the race, I was up at 3:15, running by 7:15 and crossing the finish line by 9:20. But, I didn’t leave that finish line until 4 hours later as I greeted my team members as they came through and was struck again and again by how many personal accomplishments were reached that day.

I put in over 500 miles in preparation and ran a solid race, but for me it wasn’t about the race, it was about the sweat, the smiles, the pains and the victories of other people that just encouraged me beyond belief.

When you train with people for 26 weeks, you pray together, you cry together, you sweat together, and you ask the question together: Is this all worth it?

And you find that, yes, it really is worth it.

Some people ran, some people walked, but either way they were raising money so that people they don’t even know can have clean water. They ran so that people in Uganda and Kenya don’t have to be as concerned about diseases, birth defects, or abnormalities caused by dirty water brought from sources miles from their home.

Here’s what’s been accomplished so far (as of Oct. 18th):

  • $340,000 raised
  • 16 wells funded in Kenya and Sierra Leone
  • More than 18,250 people will receive clean drinking water
    • 5 wells will be drilled in Kenya bringing clean water to 10,000 Pokot, and 11 wells will be drilled in Sierra Leone bringing clean water to 8,250 people.

And, the wells being built are providing opportunities for people to be in those communities who know Christ and to establish churches.

So, yes, they are being given literal water, but also spiritual water.

This is an Emotional Recovery

To see the people who have made all of this possible by being disciplined, by working out, by being faithful, by raising funds and to stand at the finish line and watch them come across, I am still recovering from THAT emotional journey.

I cried, I hugged, I said, “well done,” and I am still reeling from being part of the team that is making an impact that we may never see the fruit of, but God calls us to do something out of our comfort zone and make a difference.

That difference is impacting people in Kenya and Uganda, but it has also impacted our team too. People lost weight, people are eating differently, people are more disciplined and the list goes on.

It was a hot, holy, special day I’ll never forget and I never want to forget, because I was with an unbelievable group of people committed to Christ, committed to a cause, committed to making a difference, and their lives changed my life. I am a blessed man.

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