Stewardship Series

This month we have been working through a stewardship series.  We have talked about how we need to be stewards of ourselves, our relationship, our time and (this coming Sunday) our money.

All of these thing are in all of our lives.

All of these things come from God.

How we steward all of these things show us how well we understand the Gospel.

That’s really what stewardship as a follower of Jesus is all about: the Gospel.

Jesus has rescued us, and he wants us to tell that good news to others.  If we look at all the things in our lives as just our things, and not opportunities to move the Gospel forward then we are missing the point.

It’s all about the Gospel.

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I Actually like the Star Wars Prequels

I don’t know about you but the farther I get from the original release of Star Wars eps. I, II, III the more I appreciate them.  The acting is not great, and Jar-Jar Binks is still a painful experience, but the story arc is still good.

Yes I do believe that eps IV, V, & VI stand-alone and they are amazing.  In the original trilogy Luke Skywalker is the hero, Han gets the girl, and the Rebellion defeats the evil Empire.  It’s great.

What George Lucas was trying to do with the prequels is important though.  I think he was trying to show us why Luke matters so much.  Using Anakin Skywalker’s journey from an innocent and gifted child, to an accomplished yet troubled hero, to a man who is willing to do anything to save the woman he loves and ultimately the person who destroyed the Jedis and fell to the Dark Side, George Lucas gave us a character who is troubled and conflicted.  Darth Vader is no longer just the face of evil.  He’s a person who tried to do what he thought was right and he was ultimately decieved.

Star Wars then becomes about the redemption of Anakin Skywalker.  Luke’s mission is not about overthrowing the empire it is about rescuing his father from darkness.  In the process the Emperor is defeated but in the process Luke saves his father.  I find the saga of Anakin Skywalker to be compelling.  I find Luke’s journey to be very interesting.  And I wonder how long we should wait until we reboot eps. I, II, & III and see if we can do it right.  that or just edit out Jar-Jar and replace the actors for Anakin.

God In A Brothel

Part of my responsibilities at Creekside is to learn how Creekside can engaging in meeting the needs of our community and of the world (Serving and Missions).  I have been overwhelmed by the amount of attention that has been given to human trafficking.  So overwhelmed that I didn’t really have the courage to investigate how to help.  I’m ashamed of that fact.  It’s so easy to see all the big issues in the world and feel like you can’t do anything about it.

I have been personally challenged lately as a follower of Jesus to be doing the things that Jesus said he was all about.  Particularly I have been drawn to Luke 4 where Jesus declares what he is going to do at the outset of his ministry:

14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

I’ve been challenged by the notion of proclaiming freedom to the prisoner and setting the oppressed free.  Human Trafficking is modern slavery.  Much of this trafficking is in the sex trade.  Being challenged with this information I decided to finally begin to do some research into how to rescue people from this oppression.  So I ordered God in A Brothel by Daniel Walker.

In this book Walker tells of his own journey in rescuing people from the sex trade.  This book challenges the assumption that one person can’t make a difference.  While I would not recommend that people address this issue the way Walker does, I would recommend that people read this book because it will open your eyes to just how devastating this issue truly is.  Walker is far from perfect but he

It could also be easy to say that Human Trafficking is not an issue in America, but it is.  This is an issue that the church cannot afford to ignore.  I am being challenged in how to help Creekside address this issue and how to set people free.  We have been engaged in building homes which helps give families security and changes their future.  We have begun partnering with WorldVision and their Clean Water Fund, another of the major issues facing the world is the availability of clean water.  Now is the time to set people free and to give those who are stuck in the devastating sex trade hope.