March 15, 2011

Excerpt from LUCKY, Chap. 5: "Those Whose Best Life Isn't Now" [The following is an excerpt from Chapter 5 of LUCKY: How the Kingdom Comes to Unlikely People.] Six bags. Six bags were all they had to fit their life in. They were leaving in the morning for Cambodia, and Jacob and Noelle had to make some difficult decisions about what to take with them and what to leave behind. The most difficult decision, though, had been made over a year ago when they decided they were going to move to Cambodia. But the truth is the journey began years before even that. Noelle had been going on short-term mission trips since she was fourteen but had always been glad to return to America. But in 2005, in her mid-twenties, she took a trip to Nepal with theMILL, New Life Church’s college/twentysomething ministry, and everything began to change. I could live overseas, she thought to herself. Still she returned, took a job as pastoral counselor to the young women in theMILL, and wondered when the day would come. Jacob, in a similar way, had developed a heart for ministry overseas through several short-term trips but never envisioned himself living anywhere but America. I could support missionaries, he thought. I’ll have a big house and provide a haven for missionaries on furlough. As the IT manager for Compassion International, Jacob was content to facilitate someone else’s work overseas. But the more trips he took with theMILL, particularly in the summers of ’05 and ’06, the more he began to consider actually becoming a missionary. When Jacob and Noelle started an unlikely dating relationship, neither spoke initially of their desire to do ministry overseas. At times it might even have seemed that they had different visions of their future. Yet quietly the burden for long-term missions work—particularly in Asia—began to grow in each...
Excerpt from "LUCKY", Chap. 6: "Those Whom the World Rejects" [The following is an excerpt from Chapter 6 of LUCKY: How the Kingdom Comes to Unlikely People.] There’s a lot of talk these days about starting a revolution. Christians want to “revolutionize church” or start a “love revolution.” It’s exciting talk. It’s the stuff that sounds good ringing through the speakers of a massive arena, especially when spoken by a dude with skinny jeans and messy hair, with strains of an electric guitar vamping over pulsing drums. And maybe in a cool accent. It’s inspiring. Songs become anthems, sermons become sound bites, and phrases become rallying cries… In the frenzy of youthful optimism, the most overlooked, underasked question is, Against whom are we revolting? And furthermore, what does it look like to revolt against it? Then finally, what is the price of such a revolt? It may not look like Joel Salatin rejecting corporate greed and the violation of ecology by running a small local farm, but it may mean thinking more carefully about where the food we eat comes from and at what expense to the worker and the earth. I recently finished doing premarital counseling for a young couple who chose not to use a diamond in the girl’s engagement ring just to ensure that they wouldn’t inadvertently support conflict diamonds. I know a young banker who refuses to depersonalize his clients by rushing them through the system just so he can meet a quota. What do all these things have to do with faith in Christ? The great Swiss theologian Karl Barth once wrote: “To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.” Many Christians get the sense of this in the way they rally to oppose abortion or same-sex marriage or teenage immorality. And certainly, all that...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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