The Only Way We Will Ever Embrace Our Diversity

Our culture overuses the word diversity. It is forced upon us in the workplace, in our conversations, and everywhere we do life. I bet you just focused on the wrong part of that statement. Diversity isn’t a bad thing. Having it forced upon  us will never work though.

External pressure on anything that requires a heart change will always fail. Oh it might work for a short while, but then we always drift back to our default way of thinking.

The problem is our hearts. We will never embrace people who are different from we are when we have hearts of stone. Left to our own, our hearts will always treat others selfishly. We will always gravitate to those who think and act like we do. We will always shun, or do worse, those different from we are. Even man-made religion divides people into monogamous groups where everyone looks the same, has a similar economic status, and even thinks the same.

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5 Sure Signs that You Have Forgotten Your Purpose

What happens to a tool or a piece of equipment when we no longer use it for its intended purpose?It begins to rust and decay. Or if we use the tool in a way contrary to its created purpose, we end up damaging it, sometimes beyond repair. However, when we keep using that tool or equipment the way the creator or manufacturer intended, it remains useful for many years.

Our lives have an intended purpose just like a manufactured tool. A Creator made us with a purpose in mind, and when we don’t fulfill that purpose, we too, just like a tool, become useless over time. Of course we don’t rust, but I guess decay is inevitable for us all. We can become damaged though if we don’t adhere to our original design and purpose. Here are 5 things that happen to me when I forget my purpose or mission:

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Life Transformational Bible Study: Interview with Carey Camp [Podcast 027]

Yes, if you caught the last name, Carey is my brother. Over the past few years, he shared several cool stories about a small group of guys that began meeting in his home about five years ago to study God’s word. That grew into three different groups meeting in different homes on different nights.

I asked Carey to share the stories with me on this podcast episode, because I think you will enjoy hearing how and why a group of four guys grew into over 30 without any publicity except word of mouth.

As I say at the beginning of the podcast, our voices sound similar, but I promise you, it is my brother on the interview with me!

In the episode you will hear the following:

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You Are Probably A Worthless Vessel Unless You’re Broken

That is a paradox when you first read it, but it’s true. If you need to carry water, then yes an unbroken vessel is best. But I am talking about you and me. The falsehood that we believe is that we need to be perfect and whole to be of any use to anyone or anything.

The real tragedy happens when we quit or feel unqualified only because we come face to face with our own brokenness. I can’t count the times I felt this over my lifetime.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I limped into the kitchen from my office to announce to my wife that I quit. I went on to bemoan how I wondered why I ever thought that I could be a writer and a podcaster. Nobody wants to hear what I have to say! I am too broken and messed up.

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Do You See Value in the Vulnerable and Broken?

You place value on someone when you consider them to be important and have worth. Intellectually you might place value on someone, but do your actions back that up?

Willing to explore this with me?

First of all, do you notice those who are vulnerable and broken? Do they have a name or are they just a group of people who need something.

I am going to get real with you for a few minutes if you will let me.

One reason we don’t bring the vulnerable and broken into our lives is that we don’t see the value in it. In other words, we don’t see how by doing so it will bring additional value to us. We are more concerned about how a relationship with them will put a drain on us. Well, there is a good chance it won’t add any value to your life.

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Do We Get to Choose Our Neighbors? Interview with Dave Runyon [Podcast 022]

Co-author of The Art of Neighboring

Are you like me and most other people? You kind of know your neighbors, well, at least you wave at them as you come and go. I might know their first names, but don’t ask me the names of their kids.

If we aren’t intentional about not just meeting our neighbors, but getting to know them, it probably won’t ever happen.

In today’s podcast episode, I interview Dave Runyon, co-author of The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door.

I appreciate Dave’s authentic way of sharing his journey to embracing one of Jesus’ basic commands, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Below you can get a glimpse of what you will hear in our interview.

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Where Does Generosity Come From?

How often do you not give to help another person because you don’t have any “extra”? I put that in quotes because for most of us what we consider extra is subjective.

Several years ago I was with a small team from our church doing some work in the Texas valley. The little town of Progreso sits about 1 mile from the border of Texas and Mexico. A family’s house had burned down months before and stood vacant. No one had worked on the house. I imagine the emotional pain cut deep paralyzing them. They also didn’t have the money to do the work. So our team helped them tear down the burnt out house so at least they could remove the hazard.

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You Don’t Have to Go Across Town or the World: An Interview with Matt Peacock [Podcast Episode 011]

Partners in Hope Lake Travis Executive Director

My path has crossed many times with Matt Peacock over the past several years. One of those times happened in 2011. As Matt and I drove back from a conference in South Texas, he began sharing a vision he had about a non profit ministry that went out and found those in need in his community instead of waiting for them to reach out for help.

Matt Peacock, executive director of Partners in Hope Lake Travis

Then he invited me to join the inaugural board. Sneaky. I liked what I heard and wanted to help get this off the ground, so I agreed.

In today’s podcast interview, you get to hear some of the back story, the mission of Partners in Hope, stories of hope, and how you can be a part of this ministry. Even if you don’t live in the Austin area, you will benefit from what Matt shares, because you can do the same thing in your community.

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The Biggest Obstacle to Christians Living a Life On Mission

How God calls a Christian to live is clear and simple. You can phrase it any way you choose—engage others, share the story, live a missional life—it boils down to His call for us to live a life on mission. His mission.

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The question is why don’t more Christians choose to live this way?

I don’t just mean going to another country as a missionary, either short or long-term. I mean living life in such a way that it drives every decision you make. But what does that even look like?

How does living a life on mission impact the way you spend your money; parent your children; spend your time; who you hang out with?

Maybe you have never given that much thought. Instead you make those decisions with no consideration how they impact your ability to live a missional life. In fact, if you ever think about living a life on mission it’s only a few times a year—like the end of the year when you consider making a donation to a “good cause” for a tax break.

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5 Mistakes We Make When We “Help” The Poor

You volunteer along with many others to help make some repairs at a family’s home one Saturday. You end up sitting on the front porch listening to the mother’s story. She shares her stress over mounting medical bills that keeps her awake at night.

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You decide to spend several hundred dollars to fly to the other side of the world to spend a week working with a mission organization. You get to know a few of the local people who work along the missionaries. At a meal, you sit by one local who shares with you their passion for the work they are doing among their own people. Within the conversation you learn that they need more financial support.

You have a compassionate heart. That is why you invest your time, money and energy into helping others. And their stories tug at your heart-strings. We look at our financial means, and we want to help. We “know” we can help out of our abundance.

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