Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Quickblog: Tweets and Links for Processing Minneapolis, Baton Rouge, Dallas

For those thinking, grieving, or wondering how to do either, I share some soundbites, a few lengthier articles and a video as well. I have tried to share from diverse perspectives within the Christian faith.

Tweets

Profoundly grieved over the tragedies of the last 3 days. Sound bites won’t help. Praying for God to bring justice & comfort to all of us.

Just to be clear: We need laws & procedures that protect the lives of officers and civilians. Both and, not either or.

It will only perpetuate our present issues. Please, pray that this does not become a new reality. It is NOT the way. Help us, Lord.

If I can hardly bear to watch it, how can my brothers bear to live it? Have mercy.

When will the madness stop? How long, O Lord?

It’s to our shame that we have allowed terms like “justice” and “mercy”–biblical terms and commands–to be associated only with “liberals.”

Articles

What shootings and racial justice mean for the Body of Christ. – Russell Moore

Is racial unity a gospel issue? – Duke Kwon (multi-ethnic church leader)

What’s going on? – Tony Carter, “The Front Porch”

Video

Note:I have not listened to this entire video, but I have been challenged in the past by listening to this podcast.

Quickblog: Stop The Violence Rally: What I Learned Yesterday

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It’s Monday. I probably won’t have time to develop this until later in the week so I thought I’d dump some thoughts into a quickblog post this morning.

The third annual Stop the Violence rally was yesterday.

You can read the Beacon Journal’s summary here.

You can read WAKR’s summary here.

Taking on the theme of the damage drugs are doing to our community, the name was extended to: “Stop the Violence, End the Silence”. Here are a few things I learned:

1. People are grieving.

The effects of crime and illegal drugs have incredibly damaging effects on people. Grief doesn’t go away after a funeral is over, or after a rally and a few candles.

It’s a process that stirs the rawest of human emotion.

2. Grief is communal.

As a community member and a community leader, I grieve. I don’t like funerals. I’m sorry for those who have lost close friends and relatives to violence and drugs.

Everyone at the rally, in some way shape or form, grieves injustice and the loss of human life. We grieve directly or we weep with those who weep. Or both.

People in our communities need support and encouragement. This is brought to the forefront when public gatherings give opportunities for these realities to come to the surface.

3. It is possible to express raw emotion in a healthy way.

Terri, Susie, Amy, Mark and others who did such a great job with the rally all experience difficult grief. It’s what they’re doing with their grief that should speak.

I was very encouraged by the healthy expression of emotion at the rally. Calls for justice? Yes. Calls to rid our community of drugs and make drug dealers accountable? Yes. Calls for responsible gun ownership? Yes. Calls on city leaders to take the problems seriously and interact with the public? Yes.

But, none of these calls got out of control or teetered into the realm of disrespect. The consistent theme in the expression of emotion was to use it for good.

4. You never know when God is going to show up.

I’m not sure anyone planned on God showing up and doing work in people’s lives yesterday (can we ever really plan for it?). But that’s what happened. Jesus was glorified yesterday as the only way to peace and eternal life. Many responded, confessing sin publicly and trusting Christ.

For many who gathered, God’s movement encouraged our hearts greatly.

5. Believers struggle.

I am very comfortable around believers who can confidently point to Jesus as their daily need. The danger (especially the longer you are a believer) lies in hiding our struggles and stifling opportunities you have to share your struggles.

Putting up walls and never moving through difficulty in healthy ways destroys the possibility of trusted friends and community using their gifts and abilities to support us.

Think. Are you glad people speak out about difficult issues, or would you rather they just keep quiet and keep things buried?

Act. How could you bring appropriate action in your community to address needs or problems?

Quickblog: 50 Shades, Abuse, and Reality

Here are two articles about the 50 Shades of Grey movie premiering. Do some thinking about what this movie represents in our attitudes toward women, sex, culture, and the church.

I think both articles bring some challenging thoughts. Believer or not, this is terrible for our culture. It’s good to know why.

Tim Challies writes about seven lessons from the books and movie. These speak to both culture and the church.

J. Lee Grady calls this what it is: perversion. He challenges us to think of the cultural results of this type of fiction.

Think. What in these articles most challenges you?

Act. Work to protect your mind by avoiding this kind of stuff. Bible models of relationships are God’s way: know them and seek to live them out!

Quickblog: Human Life Is Important

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If you’re bored tonight or Monday, and don’t care about football, think about human life. Human life is devalued in so many ways in our culture.

Every year I preach about human life. I want this year to stay full of drive to promote life and support those on the front lines of the battle.

To help our church congregation learn, I put together a round-up on human life. I encourage you to click through to the link and read an article or two.

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the snow, the game, and be glad for life!

Quickblog: Read and React to Nine Reactions from African American Leaders

Great post by Jonathan Merritt suggesting white Christians should listen to African American leaders on current issues. The article includes nine well known leaders’ reactions to the latest non-indictment.

I couldn’t agree more that we need to listen, think, and act.

I welcome your comments. Please interact with respect. Ignorance can’t be deleted from society, but it will be deleted from comments!