Do for the one… A lesson from Baltimore

Crazy stuff… kids looting, rioting, and out of control in a major US City.

Baltimore burning.

Rage and Frustration literally igniting a city as millions watched and took sides.

As a pastor a thousand miles away…my heart ached. 

Such fear and confusion, politics and posturing. Agenda’s seen and unseen pushing from behind the scenes to move us in calculated ways. It’s so messed up, it makes me want to throw my ‘hands up’ in a completely different way.

But way down deep in my heart is the sadness of knowing, this explosion of emotion is based on more than a rage at the machine or the ‘man’ in charge… it’s deeper than any political movement or social injustice. This is a symptom of darker and simpler things. 

channelnewsasia.com - Baltimore MD Riots

channelnewsasia.com – Baltimore MD Riots

The foundations are falling and the family is the first to go.

Baltimore is burning, lead by its dis-enfranchised youth. Where are the fathers and mothers to lead their family’s home ?

Are they absent for the decades of unresolved social injustices in their city, is it generational poverty, education erosion, violent gangs, drugs, a culture of open promiscuity… or is it the overall lack of faith or hope in the future that’s fueling this growing lack of respect for authority?

Take your pick. 

In the end, it’s about the home… or the absence of home for our youth.

America, it’s time “we” (Christians /you and I) do something about this, and stop allowing the media to push us into one camp or the other. We must see the outrage of our heavenly “Father” at the widows and orphans of our land. To ignore this is to be asleep or worse… apathetic to our selfish bones.

The words of a great sermon still echo through my heart’s halls... “Do for ‘one” what you wish you could do for all” (Andy Stanley) 

Ask God to show you ‘who’ and where and when, but it’s time we move from the sidelines to the front-lines of this modern american tragedy. It’s past time for God’s people to make a tangible difference. To risk being uncomfortable.

It’s as simple as looking for a life to invest in.

Find a young man or woman who isn’t in a healthy home or family. Adopt them. Take them in. Love them, teach them… learn from them. Grow. Become the hands and feet we sing about on Sundays.

Newsweek.com - Baltimore Riots April 27, 2015

Newsweek.com – Baltimore Riots April 27, 2015

Do for the one… and change the world. 

Pastor B

Simple Solutions to Crazy Complex Problems

Listening to news about the Australian Baseball player – gunned down by three teens for being “Bored” in Oklahoma… feeling the crazy push of a worldwide media storm, pundits weighing in on its’ cause and offering advice on how to fix things…

Christopher Lane - Australian (CNN)

Christopher Lane – Australian (CNN)

debating if this is a “racial” or “gun-control” or the “breakdown of the family” problem or simply crying over the fact that our culture’s going to “hell” etc.. .

So… after 48 hours of stewing, and pausing to take my daughters to college – I’m speaking up. Gonna do a brief “soapbox” blog today. Picture me getting up on my soapbox and not “quite” shouting this out at the world!

“HEY EVERYONE –  LISTEN TO ME”  – I KNOW WHAT TO DO ! I HAVE AN ANSWER !

It’s simple, time – tested and true. It works for any one who reads this. Rich or Poor, big or small… influential or forgotten… doesn’t matter, every single reader can join in. You don’t have to “buy “anything, join a church a club or protest at the courthouse. You don’t have to donate, get a tattoo or dress in a special outfit. In fact this works best if you continue to just be “you”.

ANSWER: ” What if we simply did for “one” what we wish we could do for all ?

Andy Stanley has been preaching this sermon for several years now ( He got it from the Bible), I could feel the power of this idea immediately.  I have a 4 kids now instead of 3 because of this idea.  DO FOR THE ONE !  Reach out, look for a special family, person or project that you know GOD is drawing you towards.. and take a risk, a small risk… a tiny itsy bitsy twinge of uncomfortable and offer to help. Ask if they would come over for lunch after church or watch a movie, grill out… grab one extra concert ticket or stop by to fix a leaky gutter.

It DOESN’T matter WHAT you decide to do for someone else, it’s just important that you DO!

Our communities, our families our lives are so fractured, so inwardly narcissistic that we rush by and MISS the needs and opportunities to be Jesus to those we brush shoulders with every day. A neighbor and friend of a friend, a teacher or a coach… all of us can see who and where and how to act if we look !

Do for the One... (pic credit - www.chiefrabbi.org

Do for the One… (pic credit – http://www.chiefrabbi.org

I get the push back on the relentless barrage of commercials asking us to help end world hunger, animal cruelty and AID’s. I feel the sting of the guilt everyone else does when a starving African orphan is staring back at me when I switch through the cable channels on TV.

I check out mentally when that happens… it’s all TOO BIG, TOO HUGE for me to consider. I’m just one person… we’re only one family… what could we do?

Turns out… when you reach out to “ONE” … a lot starts to happen, orphans find homes. Widows are comforted and single mom’s get their “to-do” list’s done. Yards get mowed, mouths fed and hope renewed.

Instead of groaning about the tragic world we live in… we could change it.

Pastor b.