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Christian Conduct in an Ever-Changing World Part 1

Christian Conduct in an Ever-Changing World Part 1

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“The 21st Century has begun as an era of uncertainty, with a heightened focus on security and public safety.” Gavin Newsom, California Lt. Governor

Never more have these words been more true.  Almost everyday our news headlines are peppered with posts of rapid and significant change.  Foreign nations who were once our enemies are now our friends.  Historically friendly nations are taking paths of opposition.  Small militant groups are gaining power and influence through the harshest of tactics.  The world as we know it is altogether different, every day.

Our very understanding and framework of morality is shifting like sand with modern culture. Even in our own neighborhoods, flags are being changed.  Marriage laws and definitions are changed.  Even the general mood towards our police and military are rapidly changing.  Those who we once viewed as protectors are often times shown as aggressors. 

As we wrestle through these ever changing cultural dynamics, I continue to hear many people trying to answer one simple question: How then should I live in this new world?

"Supreme Court Ruling Makes Same-Sex Marriage a Right Nationwide"

Photo Copyright Doug Mills, The New York Times

News reports, blog posts, social media outbursts (all seemingly louder than before) broadcast the myriad of opinions, evaluations and criticisms.  Especially for people of faith, it seems, the outcry of the “new standard or morality” is more apparent than ever.

I, like many of you, have my opinions as a man of faith.  I believe in Jesus the Messiah, I also believe that there are appropriate and inappropriate ways in which we can and, dare I say, should conduct ourselves.  After all, as Christians we do still represent someone else.  

Let us not be too quick to forget that before we are of our family or of this great nation or of our local church, we are indeed of Jesus.  We first and foremost represent Him and His Kingdom.  How would He want our behavior and our responses to culture to be and to sound?  What would He want us to say to the jihadist or the racist or the rebel or the same sex couple?  What would He want to be said to us?

I, like so many others, believe these are both exciting and intimidating times.  The days are full of change and opportunity.  Now, maybe more than ever before, we have a chance of fulfilling our King’s final commission to take His Gospel to the whole world.  How we will carry that Gospel has become a significant question.  I can not say that I agree with many of the answers I’ve recently heard.  Likewise, You may not agree with me.

Over the next several blog posts I will share a few thoughts on these issues.  A few ideas that I find in Scripture and in the lives of those I respect.  I believe we have three primary calls of conduct in an ever-changing world: Diligence, Kindness and Generosity.

Your list may be longer or shorter than mine.  I don’t claim to have an exhaustive list here.  I do believe that most of what needs to be said as Christians in this world can be wrapped up in these three types of actions.  I do believe we can gain greater influence in this world by mastering these three character traits.  I also believe that we can actually reach the whole world with the Gospel of Jesus by living a life full of Diligence, Kindness and Generosity.  After all, the Gospel message itself is marked by these three ideals.

Maybe, together, we will find the answer to the question of appropriate Christian Conduct in an Ever-Changing World.

*Photo Copyright Doug Mills, The New York Times

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goservechange:

Join us as we raise funds for sustainable projects in Haiti, Honduras, & The Amazon.

We are a group of individuals working as a team to Connect people around a simple mission. It is our desire to see thousands of people positively affected by our projects and that we all would have a better outlook on the globe after.

Connect Global Giving Tuesday Partner Page

Check out Connect Global’s #GivingTuesday Partner Page.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

goservechange : 
 
 Spending time in the clinic in  Cusuna , hearing the heartbreaking stories of malnourished children. 
 This is us leaving the clinic with a joy and hope in what God can do for the children with just a little bit of strategy and resourcefulness. We talked about tangible ways that the doctor is educating new mothers on how to best nourish their children by compensating for the lack of a healthy diet for the mom. As a joint effort, the  Cusuna Coalition , pitched in by delivering several “doses" of Formula that will jumpstart the infants health.  
 Please  email us  if you would like to help in any way. 

goservechange:

Spending time in the clinic in Cusuna, hearing the heartbreaking stories of malnourished children.

This is us leaving the clinic with a joy and hope in what God can do for the children with just a little bit of strategy and resourcefulness. We talked about tangible ways that the doctor is educating new mothers on how to best nourish their children by compensating for the lack of a healthy diet for the mom. As a joint effort, the Cusuna Coalition, pitched in by delivering several “doses" of Formula that will jumpstart the infants health. 

Please email us if you would like to help in any way. 

goservechange : 

  Philippians 2:3, 4 NIV  

 Philippians 2:3, 4 NIV

goservechange:

Philippians 2:3, 4 NIV

Philippians 2:3, 4 NIV

Matthew 28:19, 20 NIV

Matthew 28:19, 20 NIV

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
— James 4:10 NIV

goservechange : 
 
 We will be in Haiti June 18th through the 25th. Please begin to pray for our team now, and check back for trip updates.

goservechange:

We will be in Haiti June 18th through the 25th. Please begin to pray for our team now, and check back for trip updates.

Every sinner has a future.

Every sinner has a future.

You change your life by changing your heart. Max Lucado

You change your life by changing your heart. Max Lucado

Travis has an unofficial goal to be on a Horse, Mule, or other similar animal every trip out of the country. It is my goal to post a picture of him on said animal every time. This photo courtesy of Douglas Torres. 

Travis has an unofficial goal to be on a Horse, Mule, or other similar animal every trip out of the country. It is my goal to post a picture of him on said animal every time. This photo courtesy of Douglas Torres. 

At Home In Haiti

International travel is always an exciting adventure. A new town. A new culture. Often times, a new language. Traveling to Haiti for my first time was no different. Leaving my home here in the US to meet new friends abroad always stirs this excitement inside me.

I was fortunate enough to fly to Haiti with Missionary Flights International. Much like an Indiana Jones’ movie, the cargo laden DC-3 aircraft carried us south over the sea. Along with a total of 24 seats and 22 passengers, our cargo and luggage sat next to us held safe by the canvas strapping. The open cockpit showed the activity of our pilot and co-pilot as we made the three hour journey. The pilot began with safety instructions and prayer and then we were airborne.

Upon arrival in Cap-Haitian, Haiti I was struck by the simplicity of the small airport. A basic concrete runway surrounded by dirt and construction vehicles. A small damaged aircraft welcomed us as we walked to the Haitian customs building.

This structure was obviously too small for the 22 passengers along with the 2 dozen Haitians already inside. After a quick stamp in my passport we began collecting our luggage being passed to us through a hole in the wall. Tight space. Fast paced. New language. Unfamiliar faces. I love this place.

Javier found a handsome man and gave him a big hug. This must be Pastor Julio, our host. After a few minutes our small team was ushered through the crowd to a pick up truck outside. We loaded our bags and ourselves into the back and suddenly … we were in downtown Cap-Haitian in the back of a truck, dodging cars, trucks and motorcycles. Bienvenue du Haiti!

Thirty miles per hour is not very fast unless your avoiding accidents by inches at that speed. The city was packed. The smells rolled by from fresh air to fresh sewage. The people were in a hurry and focused on getting to their destination. You better keep up or have a good driver. I’m grateful we had the latter.

First stop, The Bethesda Church and School in Madeline. This would be our work site for the next week. Down a dirt road (like most of the roads in Haiti), the big gate opened to welcome our truck. I immediately noticed that this place was cleaner than any place else in had seen that day.

The church building sat neatly in front like a beacon of hope. Then a large field and nestled in the back of the property sat the school. Before we got out of the truck we could hear the voices of children chanting their daily memory lesson in unison. I don’t speak Creole but I quickly recognized the sound of learning. Beautiful.

Pastor Julio showed us around like a proud parent describing his children’s art work. We visited each classroom from kindergarten through the 6th grade. Each class greeting us more warmly than the last. Each teacher as proud as could be. Each child with a story in their eyes welcoming us with hope and gratitude.

After the tour, our host invited us into his home. Pastor Julio’s wife greeted us at the door while Julio and his brother Rochnelle helped us with our bags. Our rooms were simple and comfortable. The bathrooms were great. Running water, toilet and shower.

Julio encouraged us to rest a while and then we would share a home cooked meal together. The warmth of this home far exceeded the heat of the day. The love was immediate. The kindness was sincere. I missed my family. I missed my city. I found myself immediately at home in Haiti.

Level 3 Thinking

A missionary friend recently described to me what he defines as three levels of Christian thinking. The first is what he explains as Level 1: Meet my needs. He stated that in the vast majority of churches in America the typical message is how the Gospel will meet your needs. Your need for salvation, food, clothing, comfort, healing, etc.

Level 2: Use my gifts. He explained that in the vast majority of minister’s conferences in America we will hear teaching around how to maximize ones gifts and calling. We will hear teaching on how to build a bigger budget, a bigger board, a bigger ministry and a bigger church. In essence an answer to the question, How can I be all that I was created to be?

Level 3: Build the Kingdom. Level 3 thinking, he described as Kingdom thinking. Basically answering this question: “What is it going to take to fully evangelize the ______________ people group?” In other words, there is no cost too great, no sacrifice beyond measure, no limit to what we may be willing to give or do to reach a particular people.

You see if our goal as ministers is to build our big ministry (even for the hope of reaching many) then we are unable to die for a few or even one. If I must grow a ministry then I must be here to grow it.

If, however, my purpose is to reach a people group with the Gospel of Jesus Christ then I am able to set aside theological differences, denominational boundaries, racial divides, economic barriers, and worship practices. I am able to reach across a country border, a church pew and a diner table to give to someone else. I am even able to lay down my life if that is what is required.

The Apostle Paul describe several individuals who were preaching the Gospel out of selfish motives. These folks were interested in making a name for themselves. Their intentions were to move Paul out of the way and take his place and credibility.

Paul’s response to this situation is amazing to me. Instead of finding ways to bolster his name or undercut his “opponents,” he simply rejoices in the Gospel being preached.

It’s true that some here preach Christ because with me out of the way, they think they’ll step right into the spotlight. But the others do it with the best heart in the world. One group is motivated by pure love, knowing that I am here defending the Message, wanting to help. The others, now that I’m out of the picture, are merely greedy, hoping to get something out of it for themselves. Their motives are bad. They see me as their competition, and so the worse it goes for me, the better-they think-for them. So how am I to respond? I’ve decided that I really don’t care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on! (Philippians 1:15-18 MSG)

I pray that my heart be turned from my kingdom to the building of His so that not even those with whom I may disagree can keep from rejoicing in the Gospel.

My Dad, My Hero

I’ve heard it said before that PK’s (preacher’s kids) are the worst. I certainly hope I never live down to that standard.

That’s right, I’m a PK. My dad, Johnny Moffitt is a preacher extraordinaire. If you’ve never heard him deliver a message then you’re really missing out. He has a way of moving an audience from tears to cheers in seconds. He can have you laughing and crying at the same time. And once he’s done you’ll be ready to “take on hell with a water pistol.” (One of his quotes)

Not only can he preach, he can work; for the Lord. He’s traveled the world over, walking into some of the worst prisons known to man to reach a single soul. He’s been in prisons in the US, Canada, England, Mexico, Africa, Jamaica and Russia. Places no man should live and no missionary should neglect.

I’ve known my father to not only go to these places himself, but take others alongside. In an effort to make disciples wherever he goes, he will recruit the most stoic of saints, take them to prison, then deliver them back to their pews, never to be the same again.

This year he celebrated 40 years of marriage to the same woman, my mother. With 3 children who love him, dozens of people in ministry because of him, and countless souls heaven bound through him, his legacy is impressive.

Yup, I’m a PK and I’m darn proud of it.

Thanks dad. Happy Father’s Day.

First Dance

This past weekend, I had the privilege of spending 29 hours in the Stringfellow Prison south of Houston, TX.  The 15 inmates and their wives were such a treat to serve.  One special couple, Anthony & Aleatha, seemed to really connect with the message and volunteers. 
On Saturday we had a little free time so we offered a song for the couples to dance to.  Our pianist/vocalist sang out Unchained Melody with heart and passion.  All the couples had a great dance. 

Later in our small group time Anthony & Arleatha shared that this was their First Dance.  
They had been married for several years and this was the first time they had been able to dance together.  I was honored to have been a part. 

I’ve often shared in prison that while I don’t know what it’s like to be incarcerated, I do know what it’s like to be guilty.  Sin and legal violations can cause us to loose rights and privileges.  These losses can often times remind us of our failures.  Our “prison bars” keep our bad decisions and short comings ever in our face. 
In our society, and many others around the world, this is part of the punitive purpose of prison.  In the society of mankind however we are given opportunities to value others through grace.  The grace of a First Dance.  A simple dance to remind men and women that they are more than the sum of their sins. 

I thank God for the privilege to serve.  I thank God for all my First Dances. 
If you would like to be a part of a First Dance Marriage Seminar in a prison visit www.WVIW.com for more information. 

Travis Moffitt
Connect Global
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