Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I recently finished reading The Cause Within You: Finding The One Great Thing You Were Created To Do In This World by Matthew Barnett. Barnett is the co-founder of the Dream Center in Los Angeles, CA. The Dream Center reaches more than 30,000 per week through its multiple church services and more than 200 need-centered ministries. It is a beacon of hope for homeless families, addicts, abused women and children, victims of human trafficking, teen runaways, and many others whose lives are filled with brokenness.
Throughout the book Barnett talks about the journey of starting the Dream Center as a 20 year old, how they expanded the ministry, and how they are helping hurting people today. The journey included steps of faith, lots of prayer, and the shedding of tears. He also includes several stories from volunteers and individuals that have been helped by the Dream Center over the years.
Our cause may not be to start a ministry that consists of a huge campus that ministers to tens of thousands of people per week, but we all have a cause that we can be a part of. Whether the leader of the cause, or one of the many volunteers, this book shows the importance of persevering to the cause within you.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
This is a continuing series of posts from recent talks to the student ministry of our church.
The nation of Sweden is very different from the countries that we have talked about in past weeks. Unlike the other countries we have talked about, extreme poverty is not something that many Swedes have to deal with. The purpose of talking about Sweden (which has a literacy rate of 99%, and a high standard of living), is to show that although a nation may be rich in material possessions, they are still in need of a spiritual awakening.
Population: 9.2 million
Life Expectancy: 80.8 years
*Source: Operation World by Jason Mandryk
Challenges for Prayer
(For the prayer challenge I contacted a friend who is missionary to university students in Sweden)
-Pray for a spiritual awakening, and that Christianity would be more than read about in history books in Sweden.
-Pray Against Apathy
-Many Swedes have zero spiritual awareness. Pray for a desire to know God.
-This generation knows almost nothing of biblical truth. Pray for openings to minister to university students.
Sweden is known for its heavy machinery industry. Remember to pray for Sweden when you see heavy machinery.
Friday, February 3, 2012
I recently read 58: Fast Living, How the Church Will End Extreme Poverty. For those interested in becoming part of the solution to end extreme poverty, I highly recommend this book. The book does a great job of showing how the Church, governments, and non-profit organizations can work to see an end to extreme poverty in this generation.
The book has one page that is probably the most powerful page of reading that I have read. The ironic thing is that it is a totally blank page. If you read the book you'll know what I'm talking about.
Many times we do nothing because we feel that we cannot help a large number of people on our own. Through opportunities that I've had to work with Compassion I've learned that we can each make a difference in the life of one child. By making a difference in the life of one child we will play a part in releasing that child from poverty, and this will give future generations the opportunity to live a life free from poverty.
To learn more about the 58: book and the Live58 initiative, visit their website at: http://www.live58.org/