The rest of the story—and a way to share it

Yes.  Of course.  Westboro Baptist church is planning a protest for President Obama’s visit to Joplin, Mo., to inflict a little hate and misery, in Jesus’ name.  That the rapture didn’t happen this past Saturday was in the news as much as if it had happened.  And people are still debating whether Rob Bell is saved.

This is the stuff that generates tweets, blogs, Facebook fodder, debates, ill-will, and the general opinion that people of faith are more interested in their own internal squabbles than doing much that’s meaningful in the world.  It’s the stuff that’s good for readership because everybody loves a scandal, a controversy, a debate.  The cumulative effect of this, though, has been to give our larger culture a caricatured view of Christ followers, painting us as self-absorbed, combative, fearful, arrogant—and painting all of us with these colors, as I shared here.

This not just a terrible pity; it’s a terrible lie.  The truth of the matter is that God is making His good reign visible in some rather remarkable ways these days but, as is usually the case, the real redemptive work doesn’t get much press. It’s hidden, like a mustard seed. It’s there though:  I think of my friend Walter, who’s focused on freeing women from sexual slavery in Ghana. Then there’s Curtis and his band, who make beautiful music and donate some of their profits to International Justice Mission.  Let’s not forget Laura, whose movie has spawned the Rwanda Initiative.  World Relief?  One Day’s Wages? Aurora Commons?  I could go on, and on, and on.

Instead, I’ll ask you to share.  My only interest in writing The Colors of Hope is to encourage our culture away from the meaningless and polarizing debates, focusing instead on our clear calling to be people of hope in this world, intent on making God’s good reign visible through intentional acts of justice, mercy, and love.  We can help create this culture by sharing the stories of groups that are doing this, and I’m happy to provide a way.

If you’ll go to this link, you’ll find a place to share stories, links, videos, of ministries that are imparting justice, mercy, and love in our world in Jesus name.  Share your story, and your link, and then encourage your friends to vote.  At the end of the summer, I’ll interview and highlight two ministries and give some funds to each one.  The point isn’t the money.  The point is sharing stories.  The point is celebrating the truth that lots of people are getting on with real life in Christ—and that, I hope, will encourage more of us to join in!

So please—share a work that embodies God’s good reign on the contest website.  Thanks!

About Richard Dahlstrom

As Pastor of Bethany Community Church in Seattle, Richard teaches with vision of "making the invisible God visible" by calling people to acts of service and blessing. It's working, as a wilderness ministry, homeless shelter, and community meals that serve those living on the margins are all pieces of Bethany's life. "We're being the presence of Christ" he says, "and inviting everyone to join the adventure." Many have, making Bethany one of the fastest growing churches in America in 2009 according to Outreach Magazine.

  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Manasseh-Project/152527231482943 Andy Soper

    Our community is dedicated to ending trafficking in all its forms right here in West Michigan. We’re hoping to attack this systematically, building a community infrastructure as we move toward providing shelter and healing for victims. We do this because we see the face of Christ everywhere. We do because we know the Deceiver seeks to destroy. We do this because we know that greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.

    We’d love the prayer and support of the universal Church while our local community seeks to display light in the darkest places.

  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Manasseh-Project/152527231482943 Andy Soper

    Our community is dedicated to ending trafficking in all its forms right here in West Michigan. We’re hoping to attack this systematically, building a community infrastructure as we move toward providing shelter and healing for victims. We do this because we see the face of Christ everywhere. We do because we know the Deceiver seeks to destroy. We do this because we know that greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.

    We’d love the prayer and support of the universal Church while our local community seeks to display light in the darkest places.

  • raincitypastor

    Thanks Andy… please head over to the Colors of Hope facebook page and post a link to your ministry there so that people can both hear of it, and vote. May your work be blessed.

  • raincitypastor

    Thanks Andy… please head over to the Colors of Hope facebook page and post a link to your ministry there so that people can both hear of it, and vote. May your work be blessed.


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