Kingdom Dialogue

Kingdom theology invites us to think about what it’s like to be in the family of the King of Kings. So let’s think about it. When the king — your Dad — says, “I need you to go out and do something for me,” you go out and do it!

I want to go out there. I want to leave the Kingdom walls. I want to bring the aroma of Christ to everybody. If God asks me to go out and provide clean water for people, I want to go! I want to go so that I can bring clean water. I want to love my neighbor as myself. Love connects, and I want to connect with people. I want to talk with them. I want dialogue.

I want to say, “Look, I see you need water. I want to give it to you.” That starts the conversation. That opens the door to dialogue. And when they ask me why I’m helping them, I’ll get to say, “Because I love you.” They’ll ask me,”Why do you love me? You don’t even know me!” And that’s when I’ll get to say, “I love you because of God. The one I call my Dad. He loves you! He loves everybody! He loves humanity. So here I am. I’m here for you, and I’m going to love on you.”

When I see people who can’t eat, I’m going to help provide food. They might ask me, ”How are you going to feed us?” And that’s when I’ll get to say, ”I’m going to ask God, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He commands everything, and He will help me get food to you. He will give me the right food program. He will help me involve people — hundreds of people — in making packages of food for you. They love you too! And even if He doesn’t give me a program, He will still help me feed you. He’s going to allow me to take two loaves and a fish and feed all of you with it. He does all of this because He loves you, and I love you because He loves you.

“And when you’ve eaten, and your children are healthy because their water doesn’t make them sick, then I’m going to tell you why He loves you. When you can trust my voice, I’m going to tell you what it means that He loves you. And I’m going to invite you to come and be a part of His family, in His Kingdom.”

When I get sent out from the Kingdom of Heaven, to enter the world in order to serve, and to heal, and to dialogue, that’s joy, man. That’s joy, even though it’s not always easy. More on this next time. See you Monday.

Give Them Something to Eat

Generation Alive stages Something to Eat events 2-3 times a month. They are so fulfilling. They give kids a chance to say, “We’re going to help someone who needs to be helped.” That’s the greatest thing. These kids show completely selfless love.

Our first one, in 2011, changed my life. It was an all-day event in January and several hundred people showed up for it. Everyone worked together in teams to package kits for complete meals. Each kid who came was directly involved. One kid would hold a bag under a funnel. Another would pour some protein powder in. The next kid would pour in some dried vegetables, and then the next one would pour in some vitamin powder. The last thing to get poured in was rice.

Next, someone would check the weight of the bag, because it had to weigh a certain amount for shipping. If it weighed too much, they took a little rice out, and if it weighed too little, they added a little rice in. Then the next kid would take the bag and hold it under a heat sealer, and the next one would seal it. Then they’d stack the bags for boxing.

You add this meal kit to boiling water and you get all the nutrients you need for the day. Hungry kids in places like Haiti eat these meals and their health really improves. Their hair and nails grow back, their eyesight improves, and they do better in school because they can think properly. These meals are helping their bodies do what they need to do.

From start to finish, it takes two minutes to make a meal kit that restores life to someone dealing with hunger. Each kid in a group took part in preparing each bag, and each bag held six meals. Twelve kids would touch the same bag, and know that they were a part of all six meals.

We told the kids, “Write whatever you want on the box. Write a positive message.” And these boxes were covered in messages. “God loves you,” they wrote. “We pray for you.” “We love you.” “We care about you.” They drew pictures! It was awesome, just to see them waiting for their turn. They worked hard, enjoyed the work, and wanted to do more.

You just can’t imagine how fulfilling and uplifting it is to spend a day with kids who are willing to work hard to help strangers! A lot of them shared that they want to do this all their lives, and even do it for a living. That makes me think about God’s call and our response. Next time, I want to share some thoughts about that. See you Thursday.

A Little Child Shall Lead Us

Children are natural leaders. How about the one in this video? He heard that other children were hungry and promptly said, “I’m going to raise some money so they can get something to eat.” Then he went out and danced to support my youth movement, Generation Alive. He’s an inspiration!

The Division Series continues tomorrow. I’m focused! See you Thursday.

The Royal Law, Part 1

Whitworth University came to Generation Alive and said, “We want to package a ton of meals. We want to make a million meals for Spokane!” And I said, “Alright! Tell them to work on raising the funds.” And those students did something incredible. On May 3, they packaged over 600,000 meals for hungry people in Spokane!

I trust God. I live in a mentality of trust. When we show our love for our neighbor, we’re trying to meet a need. And we’re reflecting God’s Kingdom while we do it, because our motives are pure: we simply trust God. We’re not going to do something like this because we want to say, “Oh, I feel like a better Christian for doing this.” If you think about it, that doesn’t even make sense. I already am a Christian. I am a holy and blameless, righteous person. I’m just living in that identity.

Whitworth students didn’t take on this challenge because they wanted to make God look on them with favor. They were just trying to feed somebody! In fact, I think that for a lot of the young people who got involved, that was all they wanted. They might not even know who God is. Their mission was simply to get food, up to a million meals, into an area that really needs food. One in six people in Spokane are hungry! So they said, “We need to figure out a way to give our hungry neighbors something to eat.”

photo credit: KREM Spokane

photo credit: KREM Spokane

When you tackle the job of loving your neighbor as yourself, trust God. Trust Him to provide you with what you need. If you’re coming up short on donations, just say, “Hey God, we need more money.” Send word to the King. “We need more of something.” Then trust Him to provide it. If He says, “No, my provision is sufficient for you,” then use whatever you have. The Whitworth students made as many meals as they could. Use what you have, even if it’s a couple of loaves and a few fish, and get started. You might get to watch Him do a miracle.

Jesus said, “You need to help those who are hurting.” Well, everybody’s hurting. Your ability to meet a need doesn’t necessarily mean an actual physical need. It could be a mental need. It could be an emotional need. Figure out what is wrong with your neighbors, and love on them. Whether they need food, water, or clothing, emotional support, a friend, or someone who can love without judging, trust God and get started! That’s all you have to do. And if you need help, send word to the King. Let Him know, and He’ll provide what He needs to provide.

More on this next time. See you Thursday.

Feeding the Hungry and Figuring It Out

But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God. Acts 5:39

In the Book of Acts we read about numerous efforts to kill the Christians off. In Chapter 5, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, who the Bible tells us was an honored teacher, advised the Sanhedrin not to kill the Apostles. He said, “Hey, if this is not of God it’s going to go away. Things not of God will die. They will perish. They don’t work. But if it is of God, then you cannot stop it. You can do whatever you want, but you will not stop it.”

I think that’s what our young people are saying too. I think it’s what they said by working so hard to package meals last Saturday. They are saying, “We love our neighbors like Jesus did, and you’re not going to stop us.” And there’s no reason they should be stopped. What they are doing is a fulfillment of true love. It’s unconditional.

Unconditional love.

Unconditional love.

Those kids did not know one person that would be fed through their hard work. And yet they loved them enough to put meal kits together for them. That’s unconditional love. And when you love someone just to love them, there’s no greater love than that. That’s the love of Jesus. That’s why it’s so important.

Some kids told me, “If we could do this for a living, we would.” It took my breath away! That is just an amazing, amazing deal.

We’re not trying to get these kids to commit to doing this for a living. Our message is, “Do what you’re gifted to do for a living, so that you can do these things as well.” To put it another way, we want to encourage these kids to become successful by using their God-given gifts. That way, they can use that success to serve the least among us. We tell them, “Become successful so you can continue to help build orphanages. Become successful so you can help dig water wells. Become successful so you can help rescue kids from trafficking. Become successful so you can sponsor these meals to help people who are hurting.”

And I guarantee they lay in bed Saturday night and said, “I feel good about myself.” I guarantee you some kids who came on Saturday said, “For the first time in my life, I feel good about myself and what I did. I can sleep soundly tonight and know that I didn’t cause any pain and frustration. I didn’t mess up.” I’m sure some of those kids get told all the time how much they mess up. Well that day, they didn’t mess up. That day, they were fulfilling the dreams of other people. That day, they thought about people who feel like they mess up, and took care of them.

These kids have figured it out. Whether they believe in Jesus or not, they’ve figured it out. Their souls are satisfied.

Young Leaders Fighting Hunger

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

Timothy was a very young person, and someone encouraged him saying, “Don’t let them look down on you because you’re young. You have good leadership skills.”

I’m looking forward to being with Generation Alive and Youthfront at our Something to Eat event this Saturday in East Palo Alto. I remember our first Something to Eat event, in Spokane in 2011. (Back then it was called “Feed the Hunger.”) The event was a direct experience of the leadership skills of the young. Our young people have really good leadership skills. At these Something to Eat events, they step out in front and they lead entire communities of people.

SomethingToEatAdults follow their lead because they see these young people getting excited about doing something that means selflessness, not selfishness. These young people say, “We want to serve. We want to serve people who are hurting. We want to get outside of our own selfish needs. We want to help other people, because we have and they don’t. We want to help with that.” At any age, fifteen years or thirty-three years, that’s pretty exciting.

The effects of the leadership of the young aren’t limited to just one day or just one event. In 2011, the event inspired a Spokane church to call and say, “Our fourth graders have challenged our high school youth group to a Something to Eat meal kit challenge. Who can package the most meals?” The public schools volunteered to host an event. A guy that worked at a bank stopped in to see what we were doing and said, “What if we got together and did this as a bank?” Well, that’s no problem! We’re mobile. We can go to all these places: churches, schools, banks, and more!

And there’s even more to what these young leaders accomplished. You see, now any time there’s a crisis, they’re going to be able to unite a community. They built faith within their community, and now, if a crisis like the one in Haiti or the Philippines hits and we launch a Something to Eat campaign, the whole community is going to know what we’re doing. They’ll know who we are, and they’ll join together to help.

Those kids back in 2011 really got excited about how good they felt. They brought the money, because they went from house to house. They did whatever they could. Their parents didn’t do it, they did. And now they can say, “We did it. We put 75,000 meals into the food banks. And people were fed.”

It really feels good to see people getting excited about feeding the hungry. The Gospel of Jesus Christ feels good. Our community is finding fulfillment because with every meal we package, we feed Jesus Christ Himself. In January 2011, we packaged 75,000 meals. We fed Jesus Christ 75,000 times! Think about that!

When you feed the Son of the Most High God, you can’t not be fulfilled. The love and compassion that goes into that is your ultimate fulfillment. It’s why you’re here!

Know It All

People have said they think I’m a know-it-all. Even my own teammates! They’ll say, “It seems like you have an answer for everything.”

I don’t feel like I have an answer for everything! But I pray for wisdom, and I pray for perception and insight. If someone asks me a question about my faith or my work, I don’t want my answer to be, “I don’t know.” It doesn’t make sense to me that anyone would answer a question that way. When you ask me a question and I don’t know the answer, I’m going to find out. I’ll tell you, “I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.”

People ask me a lot of questions! As a result, I have done a lot of research. I’ve learned that when you do enough research and answer enough questions, you will accumulate quite a lot of knowledge. Now when you ask me a question, I just might know the answer.

I’m trying to gain wisdom. I’m trying to gain insight. I’m looking for understanding. And I’m doing it because I believe this is what Jesus has asked us to do. When Jesus said that He wanted believers to go into the world to preach the Gospel, I really don’t think He wanted us to sound like idiots. I don’t think He wanted us to be dumb. I think He wanted us to be intelligent, and to show perception and insight. That doesn’t mean He expects us to sound like a bunch of know-it-alls. It means He wants us to have wisdom.

You have to use wisdom in all areas of your life. You need wisdom in your marriage, and you need it to raise your children. Yet I think people forget about wisdom. They forget about perception and insight. They don’t want to read, they don’t want to research, and they don’t want to understand. They’re too content with, “I don’t know.”

I’ve signed on with charitable organizations only to find out that what they do is not right. When that happens, I leave. I’m out. I can’t be associated with organizations that lack wisdom. This isn’t because I can’t forgive, because I can. It’s because there are ramifications to what we do. When you lack wisdom, you might find yourself going down the wrong path. I believe Jesus has called us to something better.

I want wisdom for my organization, Generation Alive. I want a reputation as an organization that uses wisdom to do things. That’s why I partner with groups that show a lot of wisdom, like Not For Sale, Something to Eat, Living Water International, and the Global Orphan Project. I think it’s because of their wisdom that God has led me to them.

You know what else? They have clear reasons for doing what they do, and I think that’s important too. That’s something we all need to have. More on this next time. See you Thursday.