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Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

I don’t change my blog sites often but I did today. No, it wasn’t impetuous. I’ve been thinking about it for quite awhile. But I’m technically challenged enough that I can’t always plan well for these things. I’m not always sure what order everything will happen. So I think I’m live here and have nothing to show you. That’s why I’m writing something so it’s not totally blank. Everything will catch up here soon.

Over the next few months, I expect some colors will change as I adjust to my new home here at I was here a long time ago and now I’ve come back…with my domain name.

We had a great conference at our church this weekend that I’m mulling over for sure. I can’t even writing a lot of details.l I’m still thinking it all over!

The speakers during the weekend were Michael Rhodes who works in Memphis, TN. He lives with the poor and intentionally ministers in ways I was clueless about before I moved here 5 years ago. He also teaches in a Bible college that sounds like it meets in the evenings so pastors and those who work in the church and community can attend after work. He was a student of Dr. Brian Fikkert, a professor at Covenant College and founder of Chalmers Center. Brian was our main speaker.

I know I’ll be talking more about it for sure. For now, I’ll share the Scripture that came from the weekend that was stretching regarding our definitions of the Gospel.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”


 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.  And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Luke 4:18-21 ESV

Brian pushed us in terms of our definition of both what poverty is and what the gospel is. We think of poverty only in terms of material poverty, but poverty affects many areas of life. Often those who are materially poor are relationally rich, for example. So those of us who are materially better off, have much to learn from them. Yes, we have things we can teach them, but the learning is definitely not one-sided.

The more mind blowing part of the talk was around what the gospel is. The part of the Bible Jesus read is from Isaiah 61:1-2. We don’t describe the gospel in these terms, do we? Being saving, inviting Jesus into our lives, and the many ways we describe what it means to be a Christian, would not connect with someone who is living in poverty, is being abused, is chronically experiencing injustice, does it?

As Brian described it, He said we describe the legal aspects of what it means to be a Christian to people but it doesn’t communicate. I’m understanding why our culture doesn’t get what we are talking about. The legal aspect of the gospel is true. It’s just that we leave out a large part of what goes with the gospel. It definitely doesn’t go with our American Christianity…which is very sad. Because that means that we haven’t given a true picture of what the gospel actually is! How sad.

I’m just scratching the surface of what we talked about. I’m looking forward to thinking more about it.