I have lived in Conway for five years now. My entire time here has been tied to ministry in a community that is under-resourced, under-valued and misunderstood. At the same time, I have fought to be voice for that community and specifically the people who make up the community because they get a bad rap at times. If you are involved in similar work, then you understand that stereotypes are created, caricatures are drawn and conclusions are arrived at that upon further inspection are lacking appropriate information.
Living in Conway, planting a church and starting a nonprofit has also taught me that I can’t do it all and should not do it all. I understand (and I am thankful for the time as Army Officer for this lesson) that different groups are organized and equipped to accomplish specific tasks, communicate a certain way and possess specific skills. In the nonprofit and local church environment it is no different. There are groups that excel in dealing with the homeless, addressing abuse, creating homes, providing counseling, and offering food baskets.
In the same city,
Ultimately having a purpose...
Improve the quality of life of an individual and by extension the city.
Why should you attend United For The City next Saturday August 25, 2012? You should attend because in my city and your city, you will meet and hear from men and women who work in different parts of our city to improve the quality of life of people. They possess the experience, communication and skills to address specific social needs.
It is an opportunity,
To be in one place,
At one time,
Learning to harness all that God has in our city, to seek the peace of the city.
So come and join me at Conway Mosaic, uniting around the Gospel and for the peace of our city.
Telling people good news excites the imagination of those who hear and believe it. The prophets of the Old Testament received the good news of the God who was bringing in his kingdom and the way they communicated that news was through a plethora of creative words and dynamic images. They communicated the news and accompanying power of God by giving us a window into the imagination of their minds.
David writes, seeing God riding “swiftly on the wings of the wind.”
Isaiah exhorting Zion to put on “beautiful garments” because she will be set free from captivity and rise
It is Ezekiel conveying the awesome sight of four living creatures.
These men received good news and wrote that news down in words that captured the might and splendor of God.
The good news excites our imagination because we trust the source of the news. There is nothing remotely life giving about the words that come from an untrustworthy source. There words are poison not nurturing. Their words are a vacuum, suctioning the very air of possibility from our lives. These words are such because the source itself is not in pursuit of renewal or life. Its very nature is absent the holy. Our good news excites the imagination because its origin is from the holy. In fact he is holy, holy and holy. And because of his purity, his words accomplish every plan that he has purposed and this has profound effect on those who hear and believe his good news. His words are spirit and his words are life. Why? Because he is both Spirit (Jn 4:24) and he is life (John 1:4).
It was a very rash and uneducated fisherman who summed up the trustworthiness of the giver of good news. When all were walking away, Peter heard in Jesus, the words that changed everything.
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.
We have heard the news and we believe the news, all because God is trustworthy.
Good news excites our imaginations because we hear information that radically alters our reality. The current patterns of thinking, speaking and activity are no longer applicable. We think ourselves strange and others will as well, when we live in such a way that continues to embrace the old realities when it fact, that reality no longer is relevant. So our new patterns of thinking, speaking and acting are energized by the new information we have. We speak about what is and what will be. We have the good news applied to what is going on in us and around us. We prepare ourselves to fully embrace what the good news proclaims.
It is as Paul the apostle said in Phil 3 regarding the resurrection. His old realities of claiming circumcision, tribal identity and knowledge gave way to the reality that is found in the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ.
And what was his pattern of thinking because of the good news that brought about this new reality?
“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
The good news of the kingdom of God leads believers to communicate in new ways because they trust in a holy God who has brought into this world a new and everlasting reality in Jesus Christ.
That is good news.