We have such a need for purpose; to have our lives matter.
I’ve wondered lately if that need comes from ourselves or from God. We grow up being told we must amount to something. Our resumes list our accomplishments and state what our purposes have been so that we might find a new purpose. Author and Pastor Rick Warren has seized on the word “purpose” as his mantra. In his book “Purpose Driven Life” he points out that real meaning and significance comes from understanding and fulfilling God’s purposes for putting us on earth. He then lists his understanding of what those purposes are: (a) offer real worship, (b) enjoy real fellowship, (c) learn real discipleship, (d) practise real ministry, (e) live out real evangelism. His book is intended to help others understand God’s incredible plan for their lives; to see the big picture of what life is all about and begin to live the life God created for them.
As a creature of God am I that much different from the other species that He created? I’m told the real difference in the animal and human species is my ability to choose. Each morning my dog stretches as I open the door where his bed is kept and then he walks outside to take care of business, eats his first meal of the day, and then simply enjoys being right where he’s at. He is always thrilled to see me, tries hard not to get up on the furniture or puddle in the house, and he feels secure in my presence when there is a thunder and lightning storm. He models for me what it is like to offer real worship, enjoy real fellowship, and to learn real discipleship.
When I take my dog for a walk he’s seems a little more excited than when he’s in the house, but he really doesn’t seem to care as long as he is with me. Is this “practicing real ministry”; going where your master takes you and just enjoying the experience?
As a follower of Jesus, I’m mystified, amused, and grateful all at the same time as I enjoy the serenity of doing nothing; a stage in my journey that I’ve experienced before but never quite as surreal as this time around. I fight the inner urge that offering real worship, enjoying real fellowship, and learning real discipleship isn’t enough. I know that loving God and others is “practising real ministry” and “living out real evangelism” but without an income, high gas prices, etc., for the most part I’m simply staying put and trying to learn what God has to tell me in this stage of my journey…that’s my purpose.
Having figured that out by putting it on paper, I think I’ll walk the dog 🙂
Posted in General/Administration
Tagged Christian, Christianity, Church, Clergy, community, DC, God, Greater Washington Catalogue for Philanthropy, holy spirit, humility, Jesus, Love, Pastor, Prayer, Purpose, Purpose Driven, Religion and Spirituality, Rick Warren, Washington DC, What Matters Now
The statistics of DC high school dropout rates, illiteracy, crime etc. have just been numbers that I’ve either read about or others have told me about. Recently I began setting time aside to meet some of the residents in both SE and NE DC with an expectation that while chatting and praying both with and for them God would reveal to me those things He wants me to see and know. Some of the mental pictures that have now been formed are ones of despair and hopelessness. I see it in the eyes of children that should be thrilled to play on the streets. It’s in the eyes of elderly people who should be enjoying retirement and I see it in the eyes of men and women who should be hard at work at some job that they enjoy. My heart is broken over what I’ve learned.
An item caught my eye as I was reading What Matters Now. Dave Ramsey wrote about his formula called “Momentum Theorem”. The formula is Fi/T(G)=M which is Focused Intensity Over Time. Through prayer God has multiplied my understanding and has revealed an army of folks who share my broken heart over what we see in DC. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are developing an unstoppable momentum of partnership. It’s God’s plan that we don’t know the end result; it’s just great to watch it unfold. If you would like to join me as we pray both for and in DC please contact me (Tom – see contact above). The first cup of coffee is on me.
One of the issues that has caught my attention is obesity and malnutrition. Anne Jackson has published statistics about overweight pastors and our 1st Lady Mrs. Obama has begun a campaign (Let’s Move) focused on anti-childhood obesity. I couldn’t find any published statistics about obesity and malnutrition in DC, but I have observed families that either have little to eat or can only afford cheap, belly filling starch products.
Here are just a couple of the folks I’ve met who are praying and making a difference in the obesity and malnutrition arena:
Erin Mulhern is a wellness specialist who recognizes the enormous problems associated with childhood obesity. Erin works with Just Fitness, LLC and offers various programs that help those looking to shed a few pounds. One of those programs is an after-school program that picks up kids from school and takes them back to their facility for a workout as well as an education on nutrition. Erin offers metabolic testing, personal training, circumference measurements etc., all aimed at providing a wholistic tune up program. She wants to explore the possibility of finding one or more host churches that might agree to sponsor various children through a scholarship program and/or provide space so she might offer services to the children in the communities where the need is greatest. Church volunteers acting as mentors would be able to participate in the wellness program.
Chef Paul and Chef David love to cook. They have developed a culinary art cooking/nutrition program that offers flexible, adaptable age appropriate courses that are fun and teach cooking/nutrition and life skills. They want to explore the possibility of finding one or more host churches that might agree to offer their kitchens so that they can help others learn to cook nutritious meals.