it’s fall break & I am so thankful to be home! I love my family. we are definitely different. even this morning, we had pumpkin bread & coffee over a deep theological discussion… on theology. & that was pretty normal.
my sister’s homecoming dance was this weekend. of course, neither of us are efficient in make-up & hair, but a few google searches gave us a good look. the best part was when her date showed up & didn’t know how to tie his bow tie. poor guy. meeting the family is awkward enough (especially the harts!). but no worries! google saved us again with a nice video tutorial on bow ties.
much of this break is focused on uganda. support raising is moving slowly. world harvest wants me to have half of my support in by the end of this month. that’s around $4,000. it’s so easy to fall into the trap of just thinking about the money & all the preparations. but today my attention was brought back to the children & families I will be working with in the local school & through the nutrition program.
my pastor preached on isaiah 58 this week. (I linked the Message version. it’s good. read it.) isaiah talks about the people who are busy at worship. but the worship is not from true devotion to God. they do good so that good will come to them. that’s not intimacy. that’s not a relationship with God. & we definitely cannot win God’s favor. God’s love is unconditional. nothing we do can make us worthy enough for it. we can only receive favor & love in the midst of our unworthiness. that’s called grace.
isaiah then talks about God’s passion for mercy & justice. God is passionate for the renewal of the whole world. Luke 4:18 says to proclaim the good news to the poor. but He is not only concerned with people’s souls. God is concerned about blessing the entire cosmos. & if we are His hands and feet, we must be helping the least of these. Jesus says in Matthew 25:40, “‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me.’” here is a quote from Bob Flayhart’s, pastor at Oak Mountian Church, blog (HIGHLY recommend reading the whole article):
“The Bible knows nothing of a church that is only focused on the so-called spiritual needs of the soul while neglecting the “real life” needs of the body. As James points out: ‘If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for body, what use is that?’ (James 2:15-16)”
often I fall into the mindset that only the gospel must be preached. yes. that’s important but how can we say we are sharing the love of Christ if we look over the pain & suffering of people? am I slowing down & being still before the Lord each day to hear His shouts for mercy?
please pray about supporting me as I obey God’s call of justice & mercy & go to love the poor of Bundibugyo, Uganda.