Monthly Archives: July 2009

Where’s The Shock Factor Gone?

Yesterday I was reminded of the first time I ever visited India. We arrived at Mumbai airport at about 4am. Our driver picked us up and took us to our hotel. During that car ride my life was sent into what I can only describe as shock. I saw thousands of homeless people sleeping on the streets. Men, women and children sharing their cardboard homes with rats and dogs! I saw young children washing their toothbrushes in water running down the street. I watched in horror as thousands lived like animals and nobody seemed to care!

This feeling of shock and horror did not leave me during my two week stay. The feeling of compassion stayed with me for months after and maybe even years. That was back in 2000. In 2006 I made another visit to India. This time as we rode around the streets I realized nothing had changed. There was still thousands of homeless people. It still smelt and the place was still dirty, but the feeling of shock was not there. Yes I had compassion, but this time I was not moved like I was last time. I started to understand why people turned a blind eye! I was starting to go through the same emotions as the locals!the-hood

Yesterday I was hit with the same feeling. I went into Baltimore with my wife for an appointment. The short way to get there was through what can only be described as the “ghetto”! It wasn’t the first time we had travelled through this area and it probably won’t be the last. When most people try to avoid those areas, we take it as a challenge! When I mean “ghetto” I don’t mean people hanging out on their front porch looking like they are up to no good. I mean torn down buildings, crack houses, people lining up outside the liquor store at six in the morning, torched cars, abandoned houses and and place that just looks like a war zone!

The first time I went through this place I had the same feeling as I did on that car ride from Mumbai airport to our hotel. Moved with compassion, shell shocked that Americans in the year 2009 can live like that, asking the question why doesn’t anyone do anything about this! Yesterday though, it was not my first time seeing these sights, neither was it my second or third time. At some point between my first visit and now I had lost that feeling of shock and horror. Instead of wanting to reach out now I wanted to just get through!

I wonder if Jesus was ever like that? The bible says when he saw the sick and the hurting he was moved with compassion. I wonder if the more he met these types of people if his compassion grow less? Before you comment, I know he wasn’t. You see Jesus’ compassion grew the more he reached out to those people. When we reach out our compassion grows, when we look, have compassion but do nothing with that compassion then our shock factor wears off rather quickly.

My pray today is this: ‘Father, when I am moved with compassion let me do something about it. I don’t want to look, be shocked and walk away. Help me to keep the shock factor. This world is dying and the only hope it has is the freedom, liberty and salvation we have in you; so help me show this hope to these people. I may not be able to give them a home or even get them out of the “ghetto’, but I do know I can give them the words of faith, hope and love, which is that you love them and you died that they may be free’.


Inspirers – Jim Elliot

jim elliotLived: 1927-1958

What did he do for a living: Missionary to Ecuador

Inspiration: His life story

The first real book (not children’s books) I read was a biography of a man named Jim Elliot. I was sixteen years old (I hated reading as a kid) and my dad gave me this book and said, ‘this story was the main reason I went into full time ministry’. Not wanting to go into full time ministry myself I read it but tried not to get too involved in the story of the book.

By about the six chapter I was hooked! This was a story about a man who just wanted to do whatever God wanted him to do. To cut a very long story short, Jim Elliot felt God was calling him to be a missionary to Latin or South America. Through various situations Jim Elliot found his life’s calling, to be a missionary to Quichua Indians. While working with the Quichua, Jim discovered a Tribe called the “Aucas’. This was a violent tribe who were known as cannibals. Jim felt led to reach out to them and introduce them to the saving power of Jesus Christ. Jim took three other missionaries with him, and on their first visit he met one of the tribe members who seemed friendly enough. However, on their second visit to the tribe they found themselves surrounded by warriors of the Auca tribe, who attacked and killed all four missionaries.

This story seems so pointless and you may ask the question, ‘where was God in all of this?’ Well the story did not finish at Jim’s death. His wife Elizabeth when she heard of the news did not become bitter, but decided she was going to complete her husbands work. With the help of other missionaries Elizabeth finally reached out to the Auca. Today that tribe is no longer a group of violent cannibals. Today it is a tribe of Christ followers. Jim’s death was not the end, but only the beginning. Jim gave his life so that many could save theirs! Why did Jim have to die? I have no idea, but this story inspired me to realize this life is not about me but about giving people life!

I thought if this man would give his whole life to reach out to a tribe hardly anyone ever knew existed then I am ready to give my life for a cause that is much bigger than me!

Jim Elliot you are an inspirer! You not only inspired your wife to reach out, you inspired my father to do the same; you have inspired me to live my life to be an instrument for God to use and you have inspired the lives of thousands around the world to ‘take up their cross and follow the one you gives life’!

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose”. (Jim Elliot)

The Hardest Commandmant To Keep

This past Saturday I made a pledge to myself to not do anything that has any association with what I do for a living. This meant I didn’t blog, didn’t Twitter, didn’t Facebook, didn’t read, didn’t check my email and didn’t even think about work!42-16939776

The reason I did this was because I have had a couple of intense weeks that have drained me! I realized over the last couple of weeks I have been breaking a commandment of God that had left me tired and worn out! This commandment was to, ‘Keep the Sabbath Holy!’ Growing up I always thought the Sabbath meant going to church, not doing much physical activity, not going shopping and things like that. As I study the bible more and more I realize we have a totally wrong view of the Sabbath. The Sabbath means a period of rest from your labors! Meaning it should be a day set apart where you are not connected to your work life! The more I study this command of God the more I realize God made this day a commandment because us humans find it very hard to rest.

God knew working seven days a week was impossible for us to handle. Even though we may think it is strong and hard working to work seven twelves, in God’s eyes it shows a lack of wisdom. At times we think we can push our bodies, but God knows different. He even went a step further to say, this day shall be kept ‘holy’ (Exodus 20:10), meaning you shall set this day apart above any other.

We need our sabbath. I have heard a lot of people lately say, ‘the sabbath was given for man, not man for the sabbath’. This is so true! We need a day to recharge. It is important, no matter how busy we are to set aside one day out of seven to rest, recharge and step away from what consumes us for the other six days of the week.

As this day is a day to recharge, it is just as important to do things on this day that recharge you! The batteries in your remote may have died, but just taking them out of the remote and giving them ‘rest’ from the remote is no good to the battery or the remote. The battery needs to spend a couple of hours in the charger!

What is your charger? Mine will look very different to yours. This weekend I took my sabbath, I recharged and felt good. The hard thing will be to follow the commandment to do it again in another five days!

Let me know of ways you take a sabbath. What are some of the activites you do to recharge?