Someone introduced me to this video yesterday. The video is not simply about DNA testing; it’s about becoming aware that we may just be connected to people groups we may not have imagined — even those we may despise.
Perhaps we should guard against superior and inferior perspectives when it comes to ethnic (and all sorts of) identity. Perhaps we can move toward “others” with hospitality rather than hostility. Continue reading →
For those who have studied the Gospels and the life of Jesus, it is quite easy to recognise that he spent most of his time training up the twelve. Jesus knew the importance of pouring his life into a smaller group, which would then be able to impact thousands of people (as evidenced in the book of Acts).
But, though Jesus spent time giving so much to the twelve, he also regularly interacted with the crowds. Why? Jesus was the great shepherd (John 10) and he cared for people because that is exactly what shepherds do. One of the most detrimental things within church leadership would be those who are ‘untouchable’. One who calls himself or herself ‘pastor’ and yet is never accessible to the people – that person has failed to understand the shepherd heart of God.
I want to point out an important passage about shepherding. Though many might read the passage as a specific message about evangelistic mission, it is possible that we need to rethink what it’s communicating:
I found this short video quite informative in understanding how to best communicate with people in a more public setting (i.e., it could be helpful for those who preach and teach within the local church context).
This past Sunday, my very dear and close friend, Paul Petrie, who works with the European Parliament, joined with us at Cornerstone to share and impart some specific things that were on his heart from the Scripture. He started with Isaiah 51:1-2 as a springboard for considering some things from the life of Abraham, our faith in the faith, bringing these aspects into focus for our own specific journey of faith in God.
You can listen to the message by clicking on the icon below, or you can download from our podcast or iTunes.
But more than that, during his message, Paul shared a specific story that I want to re-transmit below. It’s quite a stirring story.
A few decades ago, Paul was speaking at a specific church in the US. As he looked out into the congregation, he saw a young man not too far back from the platform, one who seemed extremely disinterested in what was going on that morning within the church’s gathering. But, after the meeting ended, Paul sensed the Lord tell him to go talk with the young man. Thus, Paul headed down towards the young man and introduced himself. The young man was named Harmon Parker. Paul asked Harmon if they could get together and, not knowing why, Harmon agreed to the meeting.
Paul came to find out that Harmon’s life was headed down a very deep and dark path, as he led the life of a druggie and dropped out of school at the age of 10. But that morning that they met up together, Paul led Harmon to Jesus. Because of Harmon’s lifestyle, Paul encouraged him to move into their home, knowing he needed to make a clean break from his past. So, in his new life of following Jesus, Harmon agreed. He lived with the Petries for two full years, becoming like an older brother to their two older children.
Not too long after, Paul and Harmon headed to Kenya to start up a training school for pastors. But one unique thing that was also birthed was Harmon’s practical, humanitarian work of building bridges across rivers in the nation of Kenya. He has now built some 45 bridges to date, being well-known by many Kenyans for his work.
Just recently, out of thousands of possible choices, CNN has chosen Harmon Parker as a finalist for their Hero of the Year Award. What an amazing opportunity! As you can imagine, this recent exposure has brought much blessing and support to the work going on in Kenya.
Thus, I ask that you consider voting for Harmon Parker for CNN’s Hero of the Year Award. You can do so by clicking on this link. It is a very simple process on the website. You can actually return regularly and vote as often as you want. So don’t feel you have to be stingy. And below, you can see a brief interview with CNN about the work in Kenya.