4 Things I Don’t Think God Really Cares About

I know God cares, but I think there are some things He doesn’t really care about at all. When I say ‘care about’, I mean He doesn’t mind.

 

1. What Type Of Music You Play In Church.

Pentecostal churches like it loud, more traditional churches like it, well, traditional. Sometimes they are quick to criticise the way they do worship. I don’t think God really minds at all. He’s more interested in people’s heart attitude and whether they connect with Him or not. Nothing must bore God more than some songs thrown together where people come in and go through the motions of ‘church’. He also doesn’t mind if you sit, stand, wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care or even prostrate yourself. You can have your hands raised and be thinking about the football.

 

2. If You Live In Africa Or America.

Jesus wasn’t blue eyed, blonde nor spoke in English. Actually, I know God is colour-blind. He reacts to people the same wherever they are. He doesn’t go ‘Oh, those poor people in Africa, I think I’ll love them more than the Brits because they’ve got more’. That wouldn’t be fair now would it? God loves everyone, full stop, no doubt. His love is not based on our need, but Him. Therefore, He cares about multimillionaires, those who live on the street and everyone in between.

Homeless in Hawaii

Homeless in Hawaii

 

3. About Your Age.

I’m not sure why people of mature age think that they are ‘more spiritual’ or in a better position to be used by God. God can use whoever He wants, however He wants. If we wait until we’re spiritual enough, old enough, rich enough or knowledgeable enough – we might be dead and in the grave. It’s about being obedient in the small things, regardless of your age. It’s not about how many years you’ve got but about who you serve. I’ve heard amazing things come out of the mouths of little kids and those well advanced in years. We need to get over ourselves and drop the whole generation gap thing.

old

4. Whether You Have Dreadlocks Or Look Like A Goth Or Skinhead.

Yep, God doesn’t care about your hairstyle. People do, but I doubt that’s high on His priority list. We live in a country where those who have dreads are looked at as druggies and ‘from the Coast’ – rebels. Personally, I’m not sure how on earth people with dreadlocks can keep them clean but each to their own. Even Nairobi has a Goth shop – imagine wearing leather pants in 30 degree heat! As humans we are quick to judge by the outward appearance. Once you get to know the person you find out what they are really like and often we are surprised by what we find.

tommy

Tommy Kyllonen – pastor in Florida

brian

Brian Welch – Jesus follower and founding member of Korn

Read THIS quick article about one woman in Adelaide, Australia and what she encountered on a train.

 

What else do you think God doesn’t really care about?

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The Curse of Poverty

At the moment I’m reading two books. One is for prepping to go to Kenya, the other one is just for pleasure.
‘When Helping Hurts’ (Steve Corbett) is about how not to do missions. It’s aimed at the American Church, as if they’re the only ones doing something. It’s taken me about half way through the book before I didn’t want to throw it away.

If you’ve seen The Blindside then you should read ‘I beat the Odds’ (Michael Oher). The Blindside is on my top 10 movies to watch but the book gets inside the life of Michael which isn’t portrayed in the movie.

The thing about both of these books is that they look into poverty and how we think we should ‘fix it’. I’m not going to discuss that as much as what the curse of poverty does.
While we all go through times of not generating enough money, abstract poverty is way more than that.

Here’s some of my thoughts on it, and I look forward to your comments.

1. Poverty gives you no options.

Probably one of the few options it does give you is which child will go to school. Beyond that there isn’t much else to tell. Even though you know that fruit is better for your children, you can’t afford it so you buy something full of sugar. Coke is cheaper than water in Kenya. The quality of what you can buy is low, which actually means you spend more on replacing them. You are forced to work two jobs, leave your children unattended, and can’t ensure they’re actually going to school or doing their homework. If there is one meal a day, regardless of how hungry you are, there will be no more food.

2. Poverty does not allow you to create a future.

When you are stuck in the cycle of poverty, you cannot foresee a future because all you are worried about is surviving today. The thought of going to university or some form of training that will increase your chances of earning more are not even thought of. Your next meal or the next rent payment is all that can consume you.

3. Poverty is a cycle that goes around and around.

Just when you think you might get a break, something else happens to steal away an opportunity. When you’re in this cycle there is no option for saving for a rainy day, the present consumes all resources. For those whose income is derived from agriculture all it takes is for the rains not to come or be delayed for months. This may go on for years. A sick child may take all the money you have, and because in places like East Africa you must pay all before they are discharged, you have to borrow the money from other family members.

4. Poverty steals your dreams.

While you may want to follow a certain profession, the reality is you will never get there. Not an if, but or maybe, just a never. That’s because the education system culls students who don’t make the grade, or your parents have to pay a bribe to the teach to let you through. Even if you get qualified there aren’t enough positions. There are many taxi drivers across Africa who are qualified engineers. Unemployment rate in such countries is often 50% or more.

5. Poverty is a curse.

There is nothing good to come from poverty, there’s no upside to it. It keeps children from attending school, is a cause of death for unborn babies, creates an environment that encourages corruption and makes people desperate enough to do things that are morally wrong. There are desperate parents who watch their family members die off because they don’t have a way to get to the hospital nor the money for medication.

I am so looking forward to getting my hands into training young people to help them get themselves out of poverty. As Michael Oher states in his book, the odds even though they may be stacked against you, can be beaten.

Go the supporters!

Yesterday we joined 85,000 people running in the City2Surf. Actually we didn’t run, Pete and I waited for our team of 6 to get past the finish line with food and goodies to help them recuperate. It was well below 10 degrees and there was a howling onshore wind. When I say howling, I meant screaming.

We had all of our gear on that we wore up Mt Kilimanjaro and we were still cold. That wind was wicked.

We had 2 jobs, one to find the crew (no phones work there) and the other was to cheer them on if we saw them running. Well, no one turned up at the assigned spot, probably because as soon as they finished they jumped on the buses to go somewhere warmer. But one of us couldn’t leave just in case someone did arrive. In the end Pete stood around talking with people about our work in Africa.

I couldn’t stand the wind coming off the ocean so decided to wait it out at the finish line seeing if I could spot any of our guys. Some came in at 65 minutes, the last at 2 hours. It was a very long morning.
It did get me thinking about the people who are committing to support us while we work in Kenya this coming year. It aligned a lot with what I experienced yesterday.

1. You don’t always know what’s going on but hope they’re okay.

All we knew was the team was starting at a few different times and were making their way to Bondi Beach.

People sort of understand what we’re going to be doing in Kenya but no matter how much we explain it, until you go there, you don’t really get it.

 

2. Sometimes technology lets you down.

Mobile phones generally didn’t work at Bondi Beach, there were way too many people.

In Kenya the power will go off when it feels like it or will be incredibly slow. This may mean a delay in us getting back to people. We’re lucky though. We know some people in Mozambique who’ve only just got the internet!

 

3. At some stage someone has to pay to help someone else to make it.

We got out of bed really early, travelled over an hour to get to a place that was freezing for no one else to turn up. That was after going out to buy all the food that no one came to eat.

People who partner with us are actually putting a meal on our table and a roof over our head. It’s very humbling to know your reliance is on other people who are giving up their personal money for you.

 

4. There’s real joy in knowing they’ve reached their goal and you were a part of it.

It was great to be able to message and talk with some of our team who ran in the race. Their times were outstanding and I am always amazed and how we can push our bodies. I was super elated to be able to watch our daughter Lizzie get to the finish line and cheer her on.

When supporters hear about our work they know it’s happening because of them. Some look at their donation as a very small part but to us it’s huge. Any prayer, kind thought or encouraging word goes a long way.

5. It’s nice to get home and enjoy your life.

Pete decided that it would be a good idea to walk the 26km’s back home as part of our training to climb Mt Kilimanjaro again, just like we did last year. We made it to the city which is about 10km’s and then called it quits. We were tired. It was so nice to come home to eat food and watch a DVD.

I’ve always told people that they should never apologise for their TV, living conditions, number of cars or the house they live in. Everyone works extremely hard and if you live in Sydney, you live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Battling poverty at a grass roots level is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s ours. So enjoy your life, it’s the only one you’re going to get!