Posts Tagged ‘justice’

Today protesters in Ferguson, St. Louis, Chicago and other cities protested Black Friday and the shopping craze that it has become. Some protested against people shopping like mad immediately following the trial of Darren Wilson, while others protested against the commercialism that this day brings, and only a day after Thanksgiving.

Man, I wish I could have been there. I wish I could have laid down on the shopping mall floor or stood outside with a sign peacefully sharing against commercialism. We have a voice, and we need to use it. We cannot just sit idly by as injustice goes on around us. We have to speak up, regardless of what others around us are doing.

I wish I could have been there during the civil rights marches. I wish I could have stood on that bus next to Rosa Parks as she refused to move to the back. I wish I could have marched with Dr. King as he peacefully demonstrated agains racism. We have the freedom and the right to stand for what we believe is true and just, what are we doing with that freedom?

I am not dogging shopping, nor am I against shopping the day after thanksgiving for a sale, but at what cost? Lets not live out lives based on sales, bargains and culture, lets live our lives based on the word of truth, Gods word. Lets live our lives out of a conviction to make the world a better place and set the example for the generation coming up after us.

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churchToday I went to worship at Birch Hills Lutheran Church. When I got into the building there were only 7 people there, including the pastor. Needless to say I was a bit nervous and anxious to get out of there as I thought it was going to be super awkward and boring. This church is my wife’s mom and dads home church, so we come here each time we are back in Canada. A few minutes before the service began 3 more people walked in, so with our family there was a total of 15 people there.

To clarify, I am writing this post because my anxiety about the service being boring was way off. Actually, I was super moved by this small group of Christ followers who gathered together for 1 hour today. I was moved because they didn’t care that there were only 15 people, they were there because they were committed to the church and to Jesus.

At one point during the service, I believe it was just before communion, I felt fully overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed as Jesus showed me that It doesn’t matter how many people come to your service, it doesn’t matter how flashy it is, it only matters that Jesus is worshiped. This my friends is life changing. I am thankful for my time this morning with the few. God really did use it to change my life.

Cheers.

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brunchToday is Palm Sunday. I remember this day as a kid growing up. Our mom and dad would take us to a hotel restaurant before church. It would be one of those hotel’s with a pool and water-slide so it was warm, humid and had artificial palm trees and sometimes even real ones. I remember having toast, eggs, bacon and watching kids slide and swim. Then we would head back outside in the freezing temperatures and drive to Church where there were even more fake palm trees, but no water-slides. I am not sure why this memory sticks out to me so much, but its like I am still there in my mind. I can smell the smells, feel the humidity and imaging sitting around the table with my mom, dad and sister. It is beautiful.

Today is a day where we celebrate our savior, Jesus. Its a day where we look at Matthew 21 and see people worshipping Jesus as he rolled into town on an ass. Typical of Jesus to come in the most unlikely way to show what the kingdom of God was like. Its a day of remembering, and a day of coming together as family/friends/community to worship him together. Today we had one of those days.

In 11 days we are running a Justice focussed DTS with a YWAM Ships and Steps of Justice partnership. 12 students and 6 staff from 7 countries will be journeying together for the next 5 months to learn what it looks like to be a disciple of Jesus and to walk in His call to ‘do justice.’ This morning our staff all gathered for brunch. It was an amazing time where we read the Palm Sunday story, had good food together and hung out after and talked. This is what community looks like. Caring for one another, learning and growing in the word and good food. I am excited about journeying with these staff/friends over the next few months. I pray for many more gatherings where we can eat, pray, read, cry, laugh, love and care for each other.

Happy Palm Sunday friends.

excuse the spelling and punctuation, just writing my thoughts here. 

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I (Phil Cunningham) have worked with Mission Adventures for the past 15+ years and it has played a huge roll in my life. Mission Adventures has seen ten’s of thousands of students falling in love with Jesus and going on Missions around the world. It is a program that I would recommend to any youth worker/college worker to take their students on. Lives are transformed, not only the lives of the people we are serving, but also the lives of the students participating in the program. Below is a video that some of my friends put together, take a minute or 5 and check it out.

Mission Adventures Promo from YWAM Salem on Vimeo.

Mission Adventures Promo from YWAM Salem on Vimeo.

 

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WOW, this Kony initiative with the Invisible Children people has gone crazy. When I look on Facebook and Twitter it is flooding my feed. I was super excited about it at first because I love what the Invisible Children are doing and I love that it has gone crazy in the sense that it is everywhere. Then, I started to see criticism on it, people talking about their money spending and the fact that they are mostly bringing awareness and not doing much to bring Kony to Justice. I was confused as I was seeing both sides from people who I respect and am very close to.

As the day has gone on I am going to go with my gut and my head on how I see the Kony initiative. My thoughts, I am psyched that it is happening. Seriously, they may only be spending 30% or so on initiatives on the ground in Uganda, but they are at least doing that. I see organizations like Charity Water and One Days Wages and even our organization Steps of Justice who give 100% (minus credit card fees for the later 2) to causes. This is not the normal way to do things, but I see that many people now want the same from organizations that they give to. The Invisible Children staff get paid. It costs money to do the video, promo, and all the other things they put out. It costs money to fly to Africa and across the world to talk and share about what they are doing, I will give to that. In addition, they are giving their lives to this, I would happily give them money to support themselves and their families and apprehend Kony.

The critics are right, awareness doesn’t do justice in any way. That is where we come in, we have to do more. What sacrifices or hard decisions will we make to see this apprehension of Kony happen? Or even more, what will we do with our passion and excitement of this whole Justice thing that is more than just clicking Like or Share on Facebook? We can vote with our fingers on a computer/phone in our bedrooms, but what would it look like to get out of our rooms, go outside and do something, instead of just clicking the Like button? Let this inspire you to do something. Yes give to Kony 2012, and also figure out what you are passionate about and start your own initiative to see change happen out of an unjust sitiation.

Cheers

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