In two days we will enter 2019, uhhhh, where did the year go? This year, I am not running into the new year with resolutions and start overs, but walking into it with the goal of continuing to be a better husband, dad, friend and follower.

Don’t get me wrong, I have goals, just not ones that are starting January 1st. Instead, I am going to continue being more faithful to the goals I currently have in my life. Goals like being more patient with my children, more kind to my wife, more committed to exercise and diet, and more faithful in my work.

I have noticed over the years that when I set goals that begin January 1, they usually fizzle out quickly. But, when I set goals to stay faithful to a good rhythm of life I usually hit those goals and stay true to them. Why, because I am not adding something that is not already there, but refining something that is already in my life.

I read, but I want to read more. I work out, but I want to be more consistent. I have kids, but I want to be a better dad, I have a wife, but I want to be a more loving husband, etc. I’m not saying that big, new goals are bad, I’m just pointing out that they do not work well for me.

See you in 2019.

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This week I am in Norway, teaching at the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) community. I am teaching on issues of Justice, specifically why, as followers of Jesus, it is necessary for us to care for and live our lives on behalf of the poor and vulnerable. I am asking five questions this week, questions that I heard from Don Millers interview with Andy Stanley. 

The five questions that I am bringing are:

  1. What do the students and staff need to know?
  2. Why do they need to know it?
  3. What do they need to do (application)?
  4. Why do they need to do it? 
  5. How can I help them remember?

I am excited and humbled to guide this community through the above questions, and I am excited to learn myself. My answers are hopefully simple:

  • We need to know why its important and necessary to practice justice as a part of our regular rhythm of life. 
  • We need to know it, because it is crucial to our human flourishing, neccesary as humanity and commanded by God. 
  • We need to open our eyes, stop living in fear and isolation and respond in love and practice to the needs around us, both local and global.
  • We need to do it, because we are a shared humanity, and we need each other. It is the most fulfilling way to live, to love all. 
  • I hope that through stories, media, statistics, and emotion I can help people remember why this is all worth remembering. 

I would appreciate your prayers this week, as I serve and learn from this amazing community. It’s an honor to be invited into this communities journey, and I pray I bring truth, conviction and life. 

Youth With A Mission

Don Miller with Andy Stanley

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Over the past couple of days I have seen incredible generosity from people in response to the migrant caravan we have going on eight miles from my house. I believed that we needed to respond in some way, in a way that is generous and meets some of the immediate needs of the thousands of Honduran men, women and children who are sleeping in tents along the US/Mexican border. I believe this in part because we are human, and humans help each other in times of need, but also because of the words in a children’s song that I learned in church, “the Bible tells me so.” Psalm 146 says:

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.”

Over the past two days people I have known for almost twenty years, and people I have never met are donating to help the situation in Tijuana, Mexico. I am not taking sides, I am not saying that the Hondurans should have come, or shouldn’t have come, I am simple trying to respond, and inspire others to respond to a need. Yesterday I went to the largest migrant camp in the city, It looked similar to the situation that I saw in Haiti after the earthquake, and the Philippines after the typhoon. Tents everywhere, desperation, food lines, security and beautiful people, including the Mexican government helping where they can.

The rains started yesterday too. I know it’s Mexico, but when the temperature drops to 60 degrees (10 for you Canadians and Europeans) and it is pouring rain, it’s cold, especially if you’re sleeping in a tent. In the camp, there are approx. 5200 men, women and children fighting this cold, wet weather. The ask from the workers and pastors in Mexico are for soap, tents, tarps and sleeping bags. Last night, Steps of Justice, the non profit I run purchased some of these items, along with warm socks for men, women and kids. We will also be purchasing colouring books,  and tents. We are compelled to respond, to be the embodiment of Jesus, who made other peoples problems his own problems. We are honored to do it.

Thanks again for your inspiring response to this crisis, to those of you who are posting, praying, giving and sharing. The world is watching this going on, and I want my response to always be one of generosity and and love.

You can give through Steps of Justice, and your gift will go towards this need.

 

 

 

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Last week we messaged people regarding Giving Tuesday and the Syrian refugee party we are helping with on December 8. We are so pleased to let you know that all the money has come in for this event, over $3000.

Even thought the Christmas event is fully funded, we have another ask from you this Giving Tuesday.  #GivingTuesday is the day that America (and Canada) shows our generosity, the day that we support the organizations and volunteers that are working to make a difference around the world.

As Steps of Justice, we have set an ambitious goal to raise $8000 by the end of the day today and we need your help to get us there. Would you consider joining with us today with a one time, or monthly gift in partnership with us?

We need help to continue funding the work we do with Steps of Justice. Your gifts go towards serving the poor and the vulnerable in the USA and internationally. Your support goes towards homes for the poor in Cambodia, kids programs in at risk villages, the youth group events we run with our Syrian refugee friends and projects that we are working on throughout the year. Giving to these things makes the work we do happen. Would you consider making an impact this holiday season by giving $50, $75 or $100 here.

Your gift can and will make a difference today in the lives of the poor and vulnerable right here in the USA and abroad. We see the call of Jesus being to love others out of our love for Him, and this is what we are trying to do each day as a ministry. Learn how, get involved, and partner with Steps of Justice.

Thank you so much for partnering with us on #GivingTuesday 2018!

Phil and Amy Cunningham,

Steps of Justice

Give by midnight at Steps of Justice

 

 

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Nov
23
2018

Our family has a cat, her name is Makana, which means gift in Hawaiian. I am not a cat guy, at least I don’t think I am, but I am a dad and my kids wanted a cat, so that’s what we got one. Makana has been with us for about two years, and we really dig her. She and I have a thing, and it starts are 5:15am, almost every morning. She comes up to the bed, meows and waits till I get up. If I am not up in a few minutes, she meows again. This event continues to repeat itself until I have my feet on the ground.

Makana leads me downstairs to the cupboard where he food is. Even if her bowl is full, she won’t leave me alone until I put something in there. Then, I open the cat door and she goes outside after she is finished first breakfast. I used to find this annoying, but lately I see it as a gift. My cat is a living alarm, with a built in snooze mechanism. She wakes me up like clockwork, and pauses to give me a few more minutes before waking me again. She used to climb on the bed and smack me in the face, but I think I pushed her off me too many times, and so now she just sits across from the bed, meowing till I get up.

The other day she woke me up at 5:29, like 30 seconds before my alarm went off, amazing. So, I guess I am a bit of a cat guy, but only from 5:30am till 5:45.

 

Peace.

 

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