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Posts Tagged ‘Amazing Grace’

END IT MOVEMENT

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Passion launched End it Movement at the end of Passion 2013. #EnditMovement is a movement to raise awareness of the 27 million people that are being held in slavery around the world. There are resources and facts on the site that are there to help educate us on the growing issue of modern-day slavery. It’s an opportunity for this generation to use their voices to fight this injustice through outlets like social media. It’s also a way to donate to the coalition partners that are out there in the world today rescuing those being held in bondage.

END IT MOVEMENT – USA TODAY AD

On February 1, End it Movement will be officially launching nationally with a full-page ad in the USA Today.

DISAPPEAR FOR A DAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA 

February 27

STAND FOR FREEDOM

International Justice Mission’s Stand for Freedom week. Sign up to stand for 27 hours for the 27 million slaves. This started with a group of passionate university students and has grown to a national anti-slavery movement.

SHINE A LIGHT ON SLAVERY DAY

April 9 is Shine a Light on Slavery day. Details of what this is all about will come out as the day approaches. Join in and sign the pledge at  www.enditmovement.com to be a part of this growing movement to make a difference in the world.

georgia dome

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know” – William Wilberforce

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I’ve been hanging around a lot of leaders and wise men lately – just trying to learn and grow from them. I sat at Redemption church tonight with Bob Dunn, a Pastor who trains up youth leaders. He has years in the ministry and has been a family friend since I was little. I appreciate his friendship and the time he takes to invest in me. “Amazing Grace” has been this song that really resonates through me and we sang it tonight at church. The lyrics are powerful and I tear up every time I sing it at church. The message of forgiveness and restoration are just so meaningful to me at this point of my life. I wish the church sang it more.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise,
Than when we first begun.

Everytime I hear this verse of the song, I notice the worship leaders always seem to kick things up a notch. I did a little research and found out it’s a verse that has been passed down through the African-American community and not originally written by John Newton. It’s a verse also featured in the anti-slavery book Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Tom sings this out during his hour of deepest crisis. I personally felt the Spirit move as I sang out this portion of the song.

During communion, I prayed about something that has been weighing on my heart – baptism. I have procrastinated enough about it and I know it’s the next step for me in my walk. I guess I kept envisioning the perfect place and time for it and I need to just step out and be obedient. In fact, my Pastor has been encouraging us to discuss it with our MC’s. All I know is I want to be surrounded my those that have invested their time in me and have been a huge part of my sanctification process. I talked with a friend who has become near and dear to my heart about it tonight. She really encouraged me a lot about this topic and asked to be a part of praying with me about it. I want my life to be an example to others and I know this is a crucial next step for me.

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Judge not, that you be not judged —Matthew 7:1

Jesus’ instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, “Don’t.” The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it. The effect of criticism is the dividing up of the strengths of the one being criticized. The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. Jesus says that as His disciple you should cultivate a temperament that is never critical. This will not happen quickly but must be developed over a span of time. You must constantly beware of anything that causes you to think of yourself as a superior person.

There is no escaping the penetrating search of my life by Jesus. If I see the little speck in your eye, it means that I have a plank of timber in my own (see Matthew 7:3-5). Every wrong thing that I see in you, God finds in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-24). Stop having a measuring stick for other people. There is always at least one more fact, which we know nothing about, in every person’s situation. The first thing God does is to give us a thorough spiritual cleaning. After that, there is no possibility of pride remaining in us. I have never met a person I could despair of, or lose all hope for, after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.  –  Oswald Chambers

I read this devotional the other day and heard a sermon today that tied right into it. This has been one of the most convicting things I personally have learned recently. God has really humbled me lately. I think if we can get to this place of humility, we can better see the places we have made mistakes or the areas in our lives that need improvement. The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. This line from the devotional has to be the saddest part of all. Christians throughout the world are viewed as judgemental. I was on staff at a large mega church for some time and saw this almost daily. I hate that I found myself caught up in this world. It’s almost like a bubble that we lived in at this church and we were constantly finding ourselves engaged in gossip. It isn’t Christ-like at all and I’m glad I see this and can repent of being a part of this world. It is really freeing and refreshing to not be at a place of my life of constantly condemning others or thinking of myself better than others.
It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. Man I’ve been going through this right now. Being on the receiving end of someone like this has also been an experience for me. Yet it has been teaching me grace and how to give it and to love those that constantly judge, criticize and live life as a victim. It’s a sad sight to see and our tendency is to want to response back or defend ourselves. But scripture clearly teaches that Christ is our defender and the ultimate judge.
In John 9 we see an example of this with one of the disciples. One of them says,  Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? This can be perceived as a judgemental statement to many. But I love the teaching moment Jesus uses for this. This particular chapter of scripture has so many uses that can be applied to our lives. In it we see Jesus talk about how the blind was made to see and that this man was to be used for his glory.
This blind man has faith that he can be healed and Jesus allows him to see. He proclaims his healing to the Pharisees and they immediately judge him and throw him out for claiming Jesus is God. Even though you see the excitement of this man’s newfound faith, the Christian walk wasn’t promised to be easy. Since surrendering my life to Christ 7 years ago, it has been rough ride for me. But at the same time, I have learned so much about myself and have grown leaps and bounds in my faith since. I once was a wretch, but now I see. This line from this amazing song talks about how our faith allows us to see more clearly the path to Christ and we can leave our old life behind.
Today I realized just how much God has blessed me and how he has surrounded me with a large loving community to help me navigate through life. The unconditional love I have received has been the biggest part of my moving from judging others to becoming more humble. I currently have some solid guys in my life that I never had before. Even though I am thankful for the men that God has put in my life over the years, these new guys I’ve met are walking humbly before the Lord and living Godly lives. They have pledge 100% support for me and refuse to judge or condemn me. This is such a picture of Christ and their love has changed me.
Last year I left community to navigate life on my own and make mistakes in my decisions and I see that now. I ran away from those that judged me and ended up following my heart idols. I can’t imagine making life decisions without first confiding in my community. It’s these teachable moments that I thank God for always being there and providing what I need to be more Christ-like. I also thank him for his grace so I can exhibit that same grace to others and not judge or criticize.
You are loved – I received this message today. I no longer see or find my worth in the praise of others or look to people for acceptance. It’s a heart issue God has worked most in me to get rid of. So a message like this has different meaning to me. I can now receive it and be encouraged that there are solid Christians out there and enjoy the blessings of good friends. It’s a reminder of how much Jesus loves me unconditionally.

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They had us walk in silence to the Georgia dome. It was wierd seeing crowds of students walk and not say a word. They had us spread out all around a stage in front of the Georgia dome where we were each given a candle. As Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Matt Redman and Charlie Hall led us in worship songs, we each lit our candles one by one. The candles were a representation of the shining lights we are to be to the world. It was an amazing sight to see as we lifted up our heavenly Father’s name in praise.

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