Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Is It Personal Yet?

A youth pastor friend of mine just returned from an amazing trip to Africa and has been doing a series of posts on his blog entitled "It Just God Personal". Skip on over and read them at http://derryprenkert.blogspot.com/ you will be impacted by the pictures, words and meaning of these posts. His posts have gotten me thinking about the issues surrounding me and the nearly overwhelming burdens I have concerning these needs. I have been trying to communicate these burdens through my sermons and conversations as God is directing me.

This stuff has become very personal to me. As my buddy Derry wrote there are faces and names to the issues in my community. Not only do I have names and faces to match those names, I see them regularly and know exactly where they live. So it is very personal. Many of these needs I see most weeks at church among the children and youth who attend one of our ministries. This is not limited to children and youth, there are adults who are hurting and in need as well.

My burden is increased with the realization that the stories I know are only a small percentage of the needs that are all around me. My wife and I have spent countless hours talking about the people and needs. We have reached out and helped, or are helping some of them but there are so many more that we haven't reached yet. So it has become very personal. You see I don't believe it is really personal to you until you get involved. Involved with your time, your abilities, your stuff and your influence. So let me ask you again, is it personal yet?

I am bothered by what I have not been able to do in meeting many of the needs around me. I am bothered that I don't know what to do to meet some of the needs. I am bothered that too often I have rationalized my lack of involvement. It is very personal.

One of my greatest burdens is trying to make it personal for other people. Then I realize that I cannot make it personal for anyone else. However, I can make people aware of the needs. I can help people see how they can help. I can pray a lot more than I often do about these needs and for people to get involved. I can attempt to influence people toward making it personal. I can be an example of someone for whom it has become personal.

So, is it personal for you? Are the needs: hunger, addictions, abuse, unemployment, illiteracy, poor health, homelessness, prejudice, broken homes, orphans, human trafficking, (just to name a few) personal to you yet?

If they are, what are you going to do help? If not, why not?

For me, it has become very personal.


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