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GoServeChange

Hopefully Diligent

Hopefully Diligent

“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.” Samuel Johnson

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When I was a boy my father was given a 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk.  It was driveable at the time but in need of repair and restoration.  As soon as he got it home it died.  He ordered the needed part to get the engine running but to no avail.  He and I had talked about fixing it up, and I held out hope for many years that one day we would indeed take the time, order the parts and fix that old car. Over the course of several years this very fine automobile sat in our front yard, deteriorating. We never fixed it.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick.

Diligence is described as the effort towards a particular goal made quickly and often with the hope of completion.  As our world changes around us it is far too often that we fall away from our efforts and goals.  We can easily forget why we are here and lose the diligence needed to fulfill our God-given purpose. Our eyes become fixed on the shifting sands instead of on the prize ahead of us and we quit.

No one would define themselves as quitters.  We may not even admit to having ceased our work.  In fact often times we may even lie to ourselves and others about how much we are doing for God while we fill our days with everything but God.  Our work, our hobbies, even our good deeds can be the very things taking us away from our purpose.  Even things we may define as spiritual endeavors may take us away from what we should be doing.

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There has been a great deal of discussion lately regarding the impending fall of our nation and maybe the end of the world.  Everything is so uncertain that surely this must be the end that was foretold in scripture.  While I recognize the urgency presented to us in the Bible, I wonder if at times we use this expectancy of “the end” as an excuse for complacency.  I know of those who while believing that the end is near chose to spend more time locked away in a sanctuary than sharing the good news of the Gospel with the world around them.  If in fact the world is about to end, shouldn’t we have all the more urgency about sharing the love and opportunity of salvation presented in Jesus?

To be diligent in actions, we must be full of hope.  Hope that the Gospel truly can save people.  Hope that Christ in us truly is the answer for this world.  Hope that our lives lived for the cause of Jesus really can make a difference.  When the world around seems so overwhelming that our efforts seem in vain, we will simply surrender our diligence for expectancy of some form of relief.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m eager to see the return of our Lord with my own eyes, quickly.  When that day comes I want to be found faithfully doing what He has asked us all to be busy doing: Making Disciples of All Nations.  When we spend more time complaining about the changes in our world than we do being an agent of change for good in the lives of those in our world, then we have lost the hope of Glory and the diligence it produces in our lives.

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Be hopefully diligent.  Be a people full of the faith that tomorrow can be better than yesterday.  Remember that you can actually make a difference in this world and then get out there and diligently make that difference.  As Javier Mendoza says, “Be Good and Do Good” every day.

Christian Conduct in an Ever-Changing World Part 2 - The Heart of the Matter

Christian Conduct in an Ever-Changing World Part 2 - The Heart of the Matter

Imagine a barrel full of water.  As long as the barrel is sitting level and stable on some plain surface, the water will stay inside.  Undisturbed, the water can stay inside the barrel indefinitely.  Now take that barrel and begin to tussle it about.  The more you tilt the barrel, or the more violently you shake it, the more water will begin to spill.

So too are our lives.  We are all full of something.  Love, hate, bravery, fear, compassion, apathy.  As long as our lives are stable we can choose to keep what’s in us safe and sound on the inside.  As believers in Jesus we are asked by Him to be filled with good and then to let that good out.  Whether we follow that request or not remains in our own power as long as all is at peace.  Take our lives and tussle them about, and just like the water spilling from the barrel, all that is within us will spill out onto the world around us.

All too often we are quick to measure the morality of the world around us by it’s actions.  We look at the things people do to determine their “goodness” or badness".  We see the water spilling not realizing that these actions are not the true measure but only a result.  A result of the condition of the heart.

The disconnect here is that we are often times far too quick to pass judgement on others without looking at the condition of the water spilling from our own lives.  As we observe change taking place, especially change that we do not agree with, our own lives become more unstable.  Our own water begins to spill out.  At times this water is filled with Diligence, Kindness and Generosity.  Other times the water is full of apathy, anger and selfishness.  We sometimes respond to cultural changes with violence and hate and then call it a moral or righteous or even a Godly standard.  We disapprove of the dirty water we see in others all the while ignoring what is spilling out of our own lives.  And in so doing we ignore our own hearts.

I’ve mentioned three types of actions that I believe can mark our Christian Conduct in an Ever-Changing World.  To change what spills out of us we must first change what we put in.  To change our actions we must first change our hearts.  To allow Diligence to spill out, we must first be full of Hope.  To allow Kindness to spill out, we must first be full of Love.  To allow Generosity to spill out, we must first be full of Gratitude.

Take a look around you.  What is spilling out of your life?  What would you like to spill out?  If the water from your life is refreshing to others, then great.  Share that water.  If your water is toxic then you must take a look at the source.  You must examine your heart.

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

Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’



This is the first and greatest commandment.



And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’



All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

— Matthew‬ ‭22‬:‭37-40‬ NIV

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
— Proverbs 31:8, 9 NIV (via cusuna)

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

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

Go Serve Change Blog: Connect Global's 2nd Annual Date Night

goservechange:

You and your guest are Invited to join us for an evening out with friends.

Join us for Food, Music, Dancing and a beautiful back drop as you learn more about the vision of Connect Global.

Connect Global exists to make a positive and lasting change in our community and the communities…

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.
— Zig Ziglar

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
— Philippians 2:3, 4 NIV

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goservechange:

Enjoying an impromptu dance class is where it’s all at. Danielle Mendoza jumped in and helped lead a fun choreography lesson with special tambourines hand made by each of the kiddos.

This is always one of the most fun things we get to do.

Kids are the best.

Please do not feed the fears

Please do not feed the fears

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
— Proverbs 31:8, 9 NIV (via cusuna)

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goservechange:

It was such an honor to spend time with some of the most Godliest men and women in Haiti. Experiencing their culture, in which, is devoted to God has inspired me.

Initially, I was concerned with being somewhere that I have never been and having no connection to the outside world. There was a huge language barrier; therefore, all I could rely on was God and His mercy and Grace alone. I have never experienced so much peace, joy, comfort, happiness, and faith in my entire life.

For once, I can actually say that I am dying to live and on fire for God. Haiti has been a humbling and emotional experience, my heart is with the entire nation-especially Pastor Julio Jn Gilles, his family, and their church.

I’ve made many good and bad decisions in my life, but this has been the BEST yet. God has truly revealed Himself to me, and exceeded my expectations.

Thanks to the Connect Global team for making this such a great experience. I love you all, and cant wait to do it again! Glory to God!

Our friend and Connect Global team member Devante Robinson.

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. 

Pray for Travis this week

Please pray for Travis as he is traveling this week in Honduras. He will be speaking at the Honduran Fellowship Missionary Retreat. Pray for his safety, his time of sharing, and that God would create an even deeper connection of missionaries in Honduras. 


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