Types of Desert Experiences: Whose Fault Is It?

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Apr 272016
steps in the desert

How did I get here?

How do we end up in a desert season or experience in our lives? Whose to blame for being stuck in a desert? What desert experiences can be avoided or shortened? How long will these desert seasons last? While there are human factors and choices that contribute to our experiencing or prolonging a desert experience, there is a fair amount of mystery involved. As the common expression goes: “S*#t happens.” What is our part in landing us in a desert? What is just part of living in a broken, messed up world where bad things happen for no apparent reason or Satan trying to harm us? What is God’s part in the journey into the desert. Human nature is to try and figure out who is to blame or scapegoat. What is important is for us to discern what is ours to own, and what do we chalk up to the necessary, normative, and deeply formative experience of our being shaped in character and for our calling in the desert.

From my own experience, and what I have learned from stories of other fellow sojourners is that there are 3 types or causes of desert experiences.

1. Self Induced Deserts. The first is a desert experience that is self-induced, or prolonged by our own sin and foolish choices. After the nation of Israel was freed from the bondage and slavery of Egypt, they had to go through a desert to get to their promised land. It was a necessary part of the terrain they had to pass through. The journey at most would have taken two and half weeks, or approximately 22 days. Instead, the nation of Israel had to wander around and go in circles for 40 years (40 is the number for wilderness in the Bible) in the desert because of their unbelief in God to get them through, and grumbling. (Numbers 14:26-35; Deut. 2:1)

If we are going in circles around the same mountain seeing the same terrain and vegetation, we are stuck in the desert and need to ask the question: Why?

The people of Israel had a choice after the spies came back with a report from the promised land. Would they listen to the 2 spies Joshua and Caleb who gave a faith filled report, and trust God to be their Protector, Provider, and Power source to get them through the desert and into the promised land?

When we are at the end of our rope and fear grips us who and what do we turn to for medication or to flee the pain?

The Israelites chose to listen to the 10 naysayer spies who filled the nation with fear by focusing their report on all the insurmountable obstacles, and challenges in taking their promised land. The people wanted to go back to the slavery of Egypt instead of trusting God to provide for, and protect them as they journeyed through the desert and into their promised land. The result of giving into their fear and unbelief was that those 20 and older would not get to enter into the promised land, but stay stuck for 40 years wandering in the wilderness, and in the end die there!

How many times do we forfeit or delay our destiny by our choices rooted in fear and unbelief?

Gripped by fear many of us stay stuck in the desert, or go back to the slavery and pseudo-security of the Egypt (reverting to false comforts and coping mechanisms to assuage our fears, returning to the shackles of systems/institutions that control us, and holding onto an illusion of being in control to protect ourselves) we know rather than taking the leap of faith into the unknown and embarking on a wild adventure of trusting God to get us through the desert into our promised land. We would rather be enslaved than be free men and women!  

Real freedom is letting go of everything that owns us so that we can fully live!

Another example of a self-induced desert is found in the story of Moses. The life of Moses is a classic case study in how God prepares a person for leadership in His Kingdom. God is more concerned about the character of a leader than He is about pedigree or position.

Moses spent 40 years in the desert of Midian, because he tried to fulfill God’s destiny on his life to rescue theambition-desert Israelites from slavery through his own methods, and through his impatience with timing. He killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew, and as a result had to flee for his life. Moses wasn’t ready in character to steward power and authority from a posture of humility and patience! In the desert, He got busted and purged from his selfish ambition, arrogance, anger, and over inflated view of his importance by serving his father-in-law Jethro in tending his sheep! Forced Downward Mobility!

To steward  power and authority in a safe way a leader must be broken and busted in the desert, so that he or she does not hurt themselves or the people they are called to serve!

The training camp for leading in God’s Kingdom requires one to go down before they go up. When we are weak than we are strong (2 Cor. 12:7-10)!

The greater the responsibility in leadership the deeper and longer the desert experience in the life of a leader to prepare them to steward power and authority in a safe way! 

2. God Initiated Deserts. The second kind of desert has nothing to do with our choices, but is initiated by God. It says in Luke 4:1 that Jesus full of the Holy Spirit was led by the Spirit into the desert. Jesus had not sinned or made any foolish decisions to land himself in the desert. He was led there by God. Satan takes advantage of this time of weakness and vulnerability in Jesus life to tempt Him in all the constellation of temptations surrounding TRUST. Will we be seduced by Power to be our own God and build our own Kingdom? Who will we trust and give credit to for our Provision in good times and bad times? Who will we trust for Protection in our time of need. This time in the desert was part of Jesus’ training as a Son for His calling, and so he could relate to us when we go through desert experiences.(Hebrews 2:18, 5:8)

He was tested in all the classic trust issues: Who and What do we put our trust in or turn to for our source of Provision, Protection, and Power in seasons of Blessing and Brokenness?

Another case study is the life of Job. God seems to give Satan permission with limitations to sift and test Job. Satan takes from Job his wealth, his family, and even his health. The one line that keeps popping up after each test is Job did not sin in charging God with wrongdoing. His friends tried to find the cause for Job’s afflictions. It must be some sin in your life or something you have done or others have done to make God angry. It’s God’s fault! Job never goes there. In the end, Job chooses to not become bitter and turn his back on God. After this extremely painful time in his life, God gives back to Job twice as much as he had before.

One’s true character is revealed in times of testing, trial, and temptation!

There is a lot of mystery in the story of Job. It raises a lot of questions about the nature of God and who causes what. In the end, Job is not privy to the source of his afflictions. His declaration in Job 13:15 sums up the response of one who though he is stripped of all and completely broken will not turn his back on God: “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in Him…!”

Sometimes things will happen in our life where there is no rhyme or reason. Instead of trying to point the finger or look for who is to blame, we are called to simply let go and throw ourselves on God to get us through when all that we hold near and dear seems to be taken from us.

Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to a rouse a deaf world. C.S. Lewis

3. Mixed and Messy Deserts. The third kind of desert experience is what most of us go through. Most deserts arePics 2015, Brazil, Arizona, Highwood Backpacking 1369 a combination of some of our own dumb choices, inexplicable and painful things happening out of the blue, our adversary coming like a snake or scorpion trying harm us, and God walking with us into a desert. By owning our responsibility for our bad choices or sin, we can to some degree determine the length of our time in the desert. In saying that, my personal experience is that there is a fair bit of mystery when it comes to desert experiences, especially when it comes to the length of time spent in a desert. Sometimes the start and finish is a set of definable moments that are affected by our decisions mixed with God’s sovereign intervention, and sometimes there is no rhyme or reason. All I know is that who we are becoming is far more important to God than what we do. He is not in a rush!

And now, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to start all over again. I’m taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I’ll court her. I’ll give her bouquet of roses, I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope. She’ll respond like she did as a young girl, those days when she was fresh out of Egypt. And then I will marry you for good -forever! I’ll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness. Yes, I’ll marry you and neither leave you or let you go. You’ll know me God for who I really am! (Hosea 2:14,19)

Alone in desertWhen God leads us into a desert it is not because He is mean or cruel. He is a loving, passionate Husband and Father who will woo His bride and wean His bride from abusive lovers we keep going back to. He is a good Dad who is intentional in growing His kids up to be mature in the character and gifts He has given us. The Kingdom Way is descent before ascent. The Desert is all about deepening our trust and dependency in God through letting go. Trust is all about letting go so that we may be free to fully live as friends of God!

Why the desert experience is summed up in Deuteronomy Chapter 8. Read and soak in it. The desert is to humble us and to expose or surface what is really in our hearts. Who and what do we put our trust in? When we are at the end of our resources and limits we have a chance to see God provide, protect, and show His power in the midst of our weakness. This prepares us for those seasons of our lives where there is tremendous blessing and fruit. Our memory of the desert reminds us where we have come from, and that it all comes from God and God alone!

In the next set of blogs, I want to explore in more detail the learnings and lessons of the desert from my experience summed up in this overarching thread that weaves through the desert tapestry:

The desert experience is about letting go so that we may love more deeply and live more freely!”

How My Neighbourhood Saved Me Part 2: Becoming More Humble!

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Jun 212015

Becoming More Humble!

Love My Neighbourhood 3I used to think that to be effective we the Church had to have all the money, all the answers, and be at the center of power in our hood. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe Jesus is the answer to the transformation of my hood and that His Church has a key part to play in that. What has changed in my thinking is the notion that we the Church have the corner on Jesus, and that we own Him and His Kingdom.

My blinders were that somehow His Kingdom was contained within the Church, and that the Church was the only vehicle through which Jesus would work to change our hood. This translated into an attitude and approach towards my hood whereby we would come charging in like modern day crusaders to save Bowness.  It was a subtle arrogance that needed to crumble.

Throughout history when the Church has had a ‘unholy alliance’ with political or economic power, and perverted or twisted truth to control people, we have been guilty of the sins of ‘colonization by violence’, and abuse of power rather than the Jesus way of letting go of systems of power and serving through love. We are so slow to learn from history, and end up repeating the same sins in the present. The upside down way of the Kingdom is that when we are weak, we are strong!

Here is my confession. Like most leaders, I like to be in a position of strength not weakness. I like that feeling of importance that comes with having all the answers and being the spout through which resources flow one way. I dare say that most leaders are a bit narcissistic. We like to be at the center and feel indispensable. I like having all the resources to dispense to those without. I don’t like to be in the place of need where I become vulnerable, and need help from others.

Especially us leader types need to open ourselves up to receiving, and not always be in a position of giving. When people feel like they have nothing to offer you it is demoralizing, and breeds an unhealthy dependency that constricts the 2 way flow of resources. This is the problem with much of the work to overcome poverty both in the developing world and here at home! When giving is a one way street it weakens and devalues the relationship.

Yet it is in that place of need when others can give to us that we experience true friendship. I call this lateral or sideways giving and receiving versus top down giving. This is the Kingdom way of sharing. It is not that we all have equal resources, but we all have something to give, and we all need to receive.

The last 10 years have been a humbling journey of loss and letting go. I have come to the place where I have as manyHumlity 2 questions as answers. My posture has changed to one of being a fellow seeker of truth who is just beginning to get to know Jesus the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In many ways I feel like I’m in kindergarten again, and discovering Jesus in people I would never have expected Jesus to speak through. This last year I had a profound experience of a person who I didn’t know, and who is not a church goer receive a dream from God for me that was life changing!

I am a broken person needing grace and healing, and a sojourner looking for some friends and a community to go on the journey of life with. We need each other, and we all have been given a little bit to share. As we offer up the little we have, God can multiply it to change a hood. No one agency, church, government program or person can do it on their own. God designed it that way so that we become interdependent!

I have watched God work through all kinds of people and agencies including, but not exclusively through the church to transform our hood. The Good News is that even when I, or we the church make a mess of things God is not flustered or panicking! He is saving our hood, and simply invites us to join Him, and watch what He can do. He doesn’t need me on His dream team, but He really likes to hang with me. When we all offer up the little resources we have amazing things begin to happen. God takes what seems so small, and multiplies it.

After 13 years of coaching some of the same boys and girls in spring soccer and hockey in the winter, I have had the privilege, honor, and invitation to walk with these kids and their families as they have celebrated big and small milestones such as a first goal, or making it up a mountain that they didn’t think they could climb.

Together we have suffered through some hard times like the flood a few years ago, the trauma of a receiving the news of a family members illness, or the tragic break up of a relationship. These children and their families have changed me as we have invited each other into our joy and pain. In the solidarity of suffering and sharing, we have experienced a taste of the Kingdom to come.

Healing 1Coaching kids in sport has brought healing in my life as I’ve re-connected with my love of coaching, and rediscovered the pleasure and sheer joy of carefree play with friends found through sport .

Over the years, I have seen Jesus and experienced His upside down way of forgiveness, generosity, hospitality, and serving through folks inside and outside the church. The humbling part is that we have received as much if not more than anything we have given. For example, one of my neighbourhood friends invites me every winter to his cabin to hunt in prime moose country, and in the spring phones me up to going fishing on his boat for lake trout. I can’t afford to own a cabin, and I don’t have a fishing boat, but my neighbour generously offers me hospitality, friendship, and opportunity to do what I love.

When my wife was diagnosed with cancer last year we were surrounded by friends inside and outside the church who walked with us, supported us, ran for us in cancer charity runs, brought us meals, and loved us through. In our position of weakness when we didn’t have much to offer, we were saved again and again!

I’m slowly getting it. The Jesus way is that we are most powerful when we let go of power! This way is so contrary to our thinking that we need to have it all together, or come in a position of strength to be effective. In our weakness, we realize we need each other, and that we really need Jesus to show up or we’re in trouble!

By Tim Schultz

How My Neighbourhood Saved Me: Becoming More Human!

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Jun 122015

Love My Neighbourhood 1I love my hood of Bowness, and there is no other place I would rather live in our city of Calgary. It is a quircky and eclectic place where the rich and the poor live in close proximity to each other. It is a place of beauty, generosity, and diversity. No two houses look alike, and we have verdant green spaces with tall mature spruce and pine trees!

Truth be told my love for my neighbourhood was not a ‘love at first sight’ kind of deal. To be honest when we first felt the nudge to move here, I fought the idea. Bowness was known in our city as one of the rougher hoods, and a place that you would want to move out of as quick as possible to a safer part of the city. When we moved in there was a biker gang called the Grim Reapers based in the hood with a fortified club house to boot. A few years later the notorious Hell’s Angel’s crew swallowed up the Grim Reapers, and set up shop. There were youth gangs including the Indian Posse, grow ops, drug deals, frequent B & E’s, and folks living on the margins because of urban poverty.

Jesus loves to show up in what we think are some of the most dodgy, dangerous, and dark places!

Bowness in many people’s minds was an undesirable place to live compared to the new burbs popping up around the city that had the outward appearance of looking squeaky clean and safe. I wanted to live close to the university and start a church with young college age kids who were cool and trendy, or plant in the suburbs where there were young middle class families with money, and where I was under the illusion we would be safer. 

Somewhat begrudgingly, I moved into the hood with a wheel barrel full of hubris mixed with a smidgen of good intentions. We would swoop in and save this poor and needy place. I had, though I would never vocalize it, some kind of slightly twisted, grandiose Superman complex. I thought God needed me on His dream team to parachute into Bowness like the elite Navy Seals, and rescue it. Instead, my story has been mostly about how my neighbourhood has saved and changed me.

That is not to say that we haven’t had a few things to contribute and offer during our years here, but I can truly say IHumility 3 have received far more from my hood than what I have given back in return. Over the years what we have tripped into is an incredible place to live with hidden beauty, outlandish generosity sometimes from people who have very little, and an ongoing story of redemption where out of the ashes, pain, poverty, and brokenness my neighbourhood is being transformed. God has been at work here long before we ever showed up! I’ve simply been invited to go along for the ride, and in so doing I’m being changed and saved.

Here is how I’m being saved by my neigbourhood. Through my time in the hood I’m becoming more human, more humble, and more hopeful! I will share on this journey in a 3 part series of blogs.

Becoming More Human

Being Human 2Many of us so called Christians, including yours truly, can tend to be so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good! We often come across as weird and abnormal for all the wrong reasons. We get caught up with talking about religious stuff in a lingo that not many understand or relate to. We can be so uptight about ‘evangelizing’ people causing folks to be suspicious about our motives for friendship. Many of us are not comfortable being outside the comfort zone of our church turf and circle of friends. We become anxious or withdrawn in settings where we are not in control.

The amazing thing about Jesus was that He was both God and human. This collision of the divine intersecting with our messy humanity is true spirituality, and what makes Jesus so appealing to me. An example of this from the life of Jesus is that his first miracle was not done in a church meeting, but at the normal, human, everyday event of a wedding where they ran out of wine. He took water and changed it into wine, and I dare say that it was alcoholic, though some may disagree with me. I wonder if some of the folks by this time in the wedding party were not already a bit tipsy! How much more human can you get! When was the last time you were at a wedding, and they ran out of wine or beer and a follower of Jesus turned some water into beer or wine…just sayin!

In my early days of being a pastor, and running the church, I was so busy trying to be Superman saving the world, and running the church that I had no time to do some of things that I love.

My interests and hobbies that people can relate to, and that would connect me to folk inside and outside the churchBeing Human 1 were squeezed out of my life by what I thought were higher priorities. I thought that these normal activities of life were not quite as important, or spiritual as prayer meetings, church services, and organizing programs to keep people coming to church. I had become abnormal.

In the last 10 years, I have gotten back to coaching my son’s hockey and soccer teams, back to hunting and fishing, and back to being normal. Re-connecting with these very earthy and human activities has brought me such joy, fulfillment, new friendships, and a better understanding of who Jesus is, and where He would show up.

Where my thinking and action has changed is that Jesus is present at hockey or soccer game as He is in a church meeting.

RootedAnother aspect of becoming more human is to be rooted in a place. As a missionary kid who gets wander lust every 3 months, to stay put in one place for so long is really foreign. Living out the daily, and at times overwhelming, mundane routines of driving kids to school, owning a house, paying a mortgage, mowing a lawn, and shuttling kids to sporting events on week nights and weekends is where most people are living. Walking out the reality of Jesus showing up in these daily experiences makes me more relatable, and gives me more credibility than all the grand stories of my international travels.

If I don’t live and experience hospitality, vulnerability, sharing, conflict resolution, pain through loss, hope, forgiveness, reconciliation, and redemption in my hood on a regular basis in the rhythms of normal life, then my message has no meaning for life in the now. I end up telling 10 year old stories of my encounter with Jesus and His Kingdom breaking in, but have no fresh stories of how Jesus has shown up in my life and neighbourhood in the last week.

I have the privilege of traveling and speaking a little bit in different places about neighbouring, community, and mission. The temptation is to get on the circuit and not be present and involved at home. Thus I have to say no to some really good things and opportunities so that I stay grounded and real. It’s a juggle sometimes. I don’t want to be a disconnected itinerant speaker with an intergalactic vision traveling the world, yet to busy zooming in and out to walk out these ideas in my own backyard! I don’t want to wait till after I die to experience life to the full in the here and now!

Today I’m a more rooted, healthy, and real person for all the hours of simply being present with these friends in the hood doing the things that I love!

Stayed tuned for part 2 as I share on how my neighbourhood as helped me become more humble.

By Tim Schultz


Hope: Living Good News in the Midst of Bad News

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Jan 092015

Hope 2The economy of fear is big business in our world. Fear is what sells news, books, horror and apocalyptic movies about the end of the world, insurance, and is a key driver behind much of the health/pharmaceutical industry. Whether it is the Ebola crisis, the stock market and oil prices plummeting, the war against terrorism both in the Middle East and on our shores, global warming and the extinction of species, we are being bombarded with bad news that preys on our worst fears. 

This unhealthy diet of bad news is fueling a pandemic of either resigned fatalism on the one hand or radical fanaticism and unrealized triumphalism on the other hand. 

Fatalism born out of despair is like a fog or darkness choking out theFear 2 light. It seeps into our brains, and our emotions convincing us that it doesn’t matter what we do because this world is going to hell in a hand basket. So we cover our eyes, and hope this is all a bad dream that will go away. We are numbed into inaction. We lose hope and give up. We start to see the world as grey rather as a world full of colour!

Proverbs 13:12 describes it this way: “Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around.”

Sinking ship 1Even some of our theology, reflected in the recent end times movie, Left Behind starring Nicolas Cage, feeds into a doom and gloom worldview in which this world is like a sinking, burning ship.  Our only hope is to put on the life jacket of personal salvation to give us hell insurance, and to be our ticket into heaven in the afterlife. The best we can do is huddle in our life boat with a few other chosen folks – the church – waiting for Jesus to come airlift us out of this mess.

Now I am not suggesting that we live in despair, or buyPlanet of the Apes into the debunked and dying Enlightenment doctrine of truimphalism that promised through science, technology, and the power of humanism everything would get better and better until we reached utopia. Our experiment in hoping that the evolved human race could reach the heights of replacing God and fix all that ails us has not produced the end result we had hoped for. The movie The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is an interesting commentary on the consequences of our hubris as a human race.

With all of our intellect and innovations, we have not been able to eradicate the heinous evils of genocide and ethnic cleansing, or stop the exploitation of children and women. Our progress and rampant greed has led to the raping and destruction of the natural resources and environment for profit. With all our advances we still have not been able to wipe out diseases such as cancer. These stark realities are humbling.

Fanaticism in religion has not fared any better. We can see daily the ugly fruit of  its various iterations such as: Dominion theology – the belief that we are to rule over all the earth by taking over the power structures of every sector (politics, religion, education, business, entertainment, ect.) of our society and setting up a prototype of God’s physical kingdom on earth …kinda like what Constantine the Roman emperor did in the 4th century when he made Christianity the state religion, or what Calvin tried by being a spiritual dictator and trying to set up a theocracy in Geneva in the 16th century, or ISIS in Iraq and Syria today.

Fear 1Another expression is the Manifest Destiny theology. We see this especially in the the political and religious right wing camps in North America. This is the belief that we are God’s favourites with His backing to promote and spread our brand of politics and religion. The extremes of the above are found in Fundamentalist theologies that use God to rationalize and justify the use of fear, force, and even violence to enforce their worldview, doctrine, and morality.

These doctrines have not worked, and have even back fired to create more Bad News!

Much of the bad stuff happening out there we can try to hold at arms length. What happens when it hits close to home? This last year we as a family had to live through the sudden bad news that Esther, my wife and mother of our 3 boys, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. When I heard the news it was like someone had punched me in the stomach. Why Esther? Esther is one of the nicest people I know. She eats healthy, has no history of breast cancer in her family, and doesn’t smoke or drink at all. Haven’t we had our fair share of hard stuff happen to us?

The question is not whether we will face bad news, but how do we face the reality of bad news in our lives, and not succumb to negativity, fear, despair, or a fatalistic resignation to simply circle the wagons and hope bad stuff doesn’t happen to us?

Hope 1The answer is found in the word Hope. What is Hope? How does hope help us walk out being Good News when we experience bad news in our lives? How does hope motivate us to do our part to make this world a better place in the here and now?

My two Heroes of Hope are my wife Esther and Jesus who have been examples of how to live Good News in the midst of bad news. Below are the ways that they have showed me what walking out hope looks like.

1. Hope is letting go of the notion that life is fair. Bad things happen to good people and it simply doesn’t make sense. The sooner we stop trying to figure out all the answers to the ‘Why’ questions the sooner we get on with living life. Esther has not let bitterness creep in to her heart by becoming angry and blaming God. She has not let herself get stuck in the muck of self-pity by focusing on the ‘Why me?’ question. Instead she has accepted the fact that life is full of mystery, and that she wants something beautiful to come out of her journey. She has been honest with the fact that cancer sucks, but she will not let this awful disease rob her of living life with joy.

2. Hope is a posture of alert expectancy for good to come out of the bad! (from the Message Rom 5:5). It is believing for the best and not giving into fear. Hope is first and foremost a choice to be postive even when things look bleak.

My wife Esther has been a living example of this unfailing optimism in how she has walked through the last year of battling cancer. Instead of feeling sorry for herself she has lived every day to the full with an expectancy that she will be healed. Her joy and peace through it all lifted the anxiety and fear that could have settled over our boys. 

The Good News is that we believe God has healed her from the cancer through both the health care she received and through the prayers of so many! Today she feels great and the past year seem surreal. Her perspective is that it could have been much worse. She sees her scars as a mark of grace…kinda like a tatoo she didn’t have to pay for! She has a story of hope to share with others of how God can turn the bad around for good. 

3. Hope is an attitude of being thankful for every good gift even when you face the bad stuff. Right from the get go Esther has modeled being grateful for the fact that the cancer was caught early (Stage 1), that she had one of the best surgeons in the city, that she didn’t have to have a mastectomy, that she came through radiation with little side effects, and that she is deeply loved by so many. Esther doesn’t seek attention and shies away from the limelight, so it was cool to see her become the center of so much attention and pampering!

4. Hope is an action! We live hope when we do something to makeHope 3 this world a better place. Every act of service like shoveling your neighbour’s side walk, every smile, every time we recycle, every time we forgive an offence, every moment spent creating something beautiful like a poem, painting, or song, we live hope in action. It is doing our part to be an answer to the problems plaguing our world. 

Let’s be advocates for justice by supporting a child from a needy community through World Vision or Compassion, or lobbying our government for tougher laws against child exploitation! Let’s be peace keepers by mediating between two parties in conflict, or by becoming a friend of a person from another part of the world or religion than our own.

Let’s encourage the Next Generation that they have a purpose for being on planet earth. Through their talents and gifts they can make this world a better place by discovering cures to cancer or Ebola, by finding and inventing renewable sources of energy, and by working to eradicate poverty through education, health, food and water, well paying jobs being available for all!

5. Hope is found in the person of Jesus and His promise of a coming Kingdom. The Grand Dream that I wait for, live for, and work for is a day that is coming where every wrong will be made right, where the earth will be renewed in all its beauty and harmony, where there will be peace and reconciliation in every relationship and between every race and religion! A day where there will be no more poverty, sickness, death or tears!  Jesus promises to come and complete His restoration plan for this world. Let it be so and let us live so no matter what we face.


Tim Schultz