Month: July 2011

Popularity Was Not a Promise

We all want to be loved and appreciated. We all want to be treated fairly, and given the benefit of the doubt when our motives or methods are misunderstood. However, if we have chosen to be followers of Jesus, we have another reality.

Jesus told his followers, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” (John 15:18) That is a chilling reminder that popularity was not something Christ promised any of us, even in today’s marketing savvy church world. No matter how many orphans we rescue; no matter how many widows we help; no matter how many people we dignify with basic medical care; no matter how many water wells we fund and drill for the parched populations, we will always be misunderstood or even vilified.

Have “Christians” earned some of this scorn. Most definitely. We have been angry when we should have been prayerful. We have cursed the darkness, when we should have been the light of the world and we have focused on politics when we should have been planting life giving churches. We have pointed out the failures of others while hiding the sins of our own soul. Hypocrisy and misguided zeal deserve the rebukes of our culture. For these things, we should repent and commit to being better at reflecting the Christ who guides us daily.

But, even if we get it all right and Jesus is purely reflected in our words, thoughts and deeds, we will not be popular with everyone. We have to get over the need to be adored and, instead, cherish the love of a few. Jesus got it right, every time, but we know how that ended. Instead of being aggravated, he forgave them and even took a repentant thief with him to paradise that very day.

Let our words be marinated with grace and our hearts saturated in worship. May we follow the ways of Jesus, who did not retaliate when he was falsely accused, but instead, left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. May we love one another sincerely, serve routinely and bless others at every opportunity, without any desire for applause.

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Stories from the Dream Center

We are still a few weeks away from the public grand opening of our first Dream Center, but we are already hearing amazing stories from the women who are coming to the clinic. Our medical team began seeing a few patients about a month ago to get ready for the hundreds of women who will come once the public is made aware.

One of the first patients was a young lady who was out of work, sick, and really needed a miracle. A New Lifer told her mom about the medical clinic and she went there for help. She said afterwards, “I have hope, they really cared about me, they made me feel special. I had no idea there was such a place. The people were wonderful.”

A young, spanish-speaking lady showed up at the clinic and told us that she had never been to a doctor, ever. She had been sexually assaulted last year, but had never gone to a doctor for treatment. We were able to help her with blood work, annual exams, and gave her treatment for severe acid reflux.

Another young lady came to the clinic suffering from high blood pressure and was unable to get her prescriptions because she had been laid off from work. She was supposed to take her meds twice a day, but was only taking them a few times a week because she could not afford the refills. We were able to get her prescriptions filled for $4 a month.
All three of these ladies either wrote down additional prayer requests or asked for one of our volunteers to pray with them at the clinic. What a great opportunity to not only meet the practical needs of women in our city who would otherwise go untreated, but to also be a reflection of Jesus.
Thanks for all your prayers and support for this first Dream Center. I am so proud of the hundreds of volunteers who have made this happen. If you have not seen the clinic, join me for the grand opening on Sunday, July 31st from 3pm to 6pm. We will have more details later this month.
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