“Ongoing Forgiveness is key to the Development of a Nation, Overcoming Horrors of the Past.”

I recently spent some time in Rwanda. Both Rwanda and my home nation of South Africa had history altering events happen twenty years ago.

The Rwandan genocide saw two tribes kill over one million people in just a few short months.

South Africa saw Nelson Mandela released, the end of apartheid, and a new democracy established. The media predicted a war which never came.

  • Both nations experienced historical events.
  • Both nations used forgiveness as a tool to move forward.

Rwanda enacted many laws and engaged in forgiveness-based exercises. They outlawed the use of any “tribe” or “ethnicity” on public documents. Many of the genocide participants reconcile through revealing the location of bodies of their victims to the surviving family members.

Servanthood is a buzzword in churches and leadership circles today.

We need servant leaders, we want to serve our spouse and our families, and we are always asked to be a cheerful servant in various areas in our local place of worship.

Why?

Here are 3 reasons to practice servanthood.

1. We serve cause Jesus served

The Jews expected their savior to be a conquering king who would return them to their glory days experienced under David and Solomon.

Instead they got a suffering servant.

“It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26–28

“The gospel frees us to speak honestly about the reality of pain, confident that nothing rides on our ability to cope with or fend off suffering.”

Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free by Tullian Tchividjian is a book which tackles the difficult topic of suffering. I was really challenged by this offering, so much so I read it twice.

Tullian contrasts two “theologies”.

The Theology of Glory
These are approaches to Christianity and life that try to minimize difficult and painful things, moving past them rather than looking them in the face with acceptance.

  • This tries to make something bad sound good.
  • It causes us to not acknowledge ongoing sin and lack of transformation.
  • Makes us “avoid acknowledging we wish life were different, but are powerless to change it.”

He calls this the Oprah-fication of suffering – how we, not God, with the strength of the human spirit, turn these things into triumph.

Christ is Risen Indeed

April 2, 2015

When we speak of Christ’s work on the cross, most of our emphasis is on his sacrifice which became the basis for our forgiveness.

But we have a dual problem. Genesis 3 instituted sin and death as consequences for Adam and Eve “breaking the planet.”

The prediction of the Messiah coming to break the curse must include the reversal of BOTH sin and death.

Jesus living the perfect life (Hebrews 4:15) took care of the sin issue.

But death?

No other sacrifice for sin in the Old Testament overcame the power of death. We never saw an animal come back to life after it was offered for sin.

By rising from the dead, Christ fully broke the curse of sin AND death.

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The resurrection is key to our salvation and our hope in a future resurrection of eternal life with Christ.

Sport Builds Bridges

March 26, 2015

Language study is one of the hardest and most time-consuming efforts missionaries make.

There is, however, a language which is common to the world and far easier to learn.

This is the language of sport.

When my family arrived in South Africa as lovers of sport, we missed a trip to the Super Bowl by my wife’s hometown team. At the time, we just did not know how to watch the game. Now I could tell you many ways.

Instead of watching the Super Bowl, in the early days our TV was tuned to cricket. I attempted to understand this game and its rules. Especially difficult was the idea of playing to a tie over five days.

I’ve seen how learning, watching, attending, and playing the local sports of a nation can build bridges and bond you to a culture.

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