Justice, Mercy, Humility and Ferguson

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Dustin Nickerson is a former children’s pastor who is bursting on to the standup comedy scene. He is a great friend, deep thinker and keen observer of life. For more about Dustin check out his site http://www.dustinnickerson.com/

Ferguson reminds me (maybe us, are we officially an us yet?) of our great desires for both peace and justice. We want this for ourselves and in our best moments, we want it for others even more so.

But we are broken people living amongst brokenness. We see this now as tragedy leads to more tragedy. We see this now as we rush to make our conclusions on the events that happened and how exactly we think others should respond.

People riot, some out of desperation and some for selfish gain. People protest, some out of a desire to bring others down, and some out of the righteous desire to pursue justice.

Simultaneously, some people will dismiss these events, blaming the media for an over inflation of tragic narrative. Some will look to the protesters and rioters and call them fools, disregarding that perhaps their actions are the best way they know how to pursue justice in a trying time. Some people will make these events about something they are not, meanwhile, others will oversimplify.

The Spiritual Discipline of Gratitude  

There are many disciplines in the Christian life. When you start to quantify them you usually get into trouble. Of all the disciplines that can be practiced and demonstrated in the Christian life I believe Gratitude is the singe most important discipline. Gratitude is the byproduct of something we can’t produce ourselves. Gratitude is something we feel when we have been given what we don’t deserve. Gratitude happens when we experience grace and it happens with regularity when we understand grace. Gratitude strikes at the heart of the gospel. If you have ever been to a sporting even in the past 40 years you would have seen the large happy fan of any given team holding up a sign that says John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he Gave….” Gratitude is us understanding what we have been given and receiving it with joy.

Will you go to hell for smoking marijuana?

We like to put things in boxes. We like tidy answers. Will you go to hell for smoking weed? No. Should you smoke weed? No. Many parents are going to have to start figuring out what they believe about marijuana. Most states that have legalized it have set the legal age at 21 which is wise.

Here is why I think legalizing marijuana is a bad idea.

  1. Wider use and acceptance. The legal age is 21 but so is alcohol and go to any High School party, college campus alcohol is everywhere. Is weed in these places now? Yes. But legalization will make it far worse believe me.
  2. People typically smoke it to get high to alter conscience
  3. I believe that the “drunk with alcohol” scriptures apply to “getting high on drugs”

The Elements of Decision-making

To lead in any capacity you need to make decisions in an efficient manor. You need to assess a situation and make a determination as to what needs to be done often with little information. One of the key distinctive of leadership is the willingness to make a decision even under adverse conditions.

 

Only executives make decisions. Indeed, to be expected—by virtue of position or knowledge—to make decisions that have significant impact on the entire organization, its performance, and results defines the executive. Effective executives, therefore, make effective decisions.

 

Drucker, Peter F.

Youth Culture and the New Relevance

christianity_orthodoxy_1920x1080Having served in kids ministry for 15 years and working in youth ministry for much of that time, it seems there has come a shift.  There has been a shift is our country as well as the Christian subculture.

You will often hear cultural experts talking about kids leaving their faith and how these kids need to be reached. We need to stem the rising tide. In our eagerness to solve this dilemma, we are making the wrong conclusions. We think the problem is a lack of relevance. We think our faith is not “hip” enough for the kids. So we create these algorithms of success that sounds like this: cool music + awesome lights + the perfect amount of fog = Jesus might be ok after all. Lights and music aren’t the problem it’s that we have prescribed the wrong medication. We have misapplied relevance and have actually given kids more of what they don’t need and less of what they are actually looking for.