Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Love God and Country

When I "liked" the "I love God and country" page on Facebook, I kinda suspected that many of my fellow "likers" meant something different from what I meant. I meant that I love God and I love my country. For me they are separate loves, not a joint-love.

Based on comments from the page, I was right in my suspicions: others see things differently. Some  declare that only those who love God can love their country. Some say explicitly that only those who love the United States of America can love God. Some say that loving the USA is the same as loving God. Many suggest that God of the Bible belongs to America, as if we own the God of the Universe.

But God doesn’t belong to any of us in the US. We didn’t invent God. We didn’t in any way originate God. Truly my Bible tells me that God originated this nation. But it also says that God originated all other nations as well.

So when I say I love God and country, I am hoping that people in Germany and Cote d’Ivoire and Brazil and North Korea and Uzbekistan and Libya will chime in with “I love God and Country too!” And I hope they will mean the same thing I mean: As an American (or a German or a Brazilian) I am proud of my country (despite its imperfections). And as a Christian, I believe there is only one God (though numerous gods) and I love that God of All Nations. 

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Word of God Is Alive and Active!

Rena Peterson woke every morning for two years praying the same prayer, “God you woke me up this morning, and I’m still alive, so you better have something for me to do!” Rena, who is my mom, was grieving the loss of my dad, her husband of 46 years, who died after a prolonged illness. Mom had been his caretaker, and when he was gone, she wanted to be gone too. Day after day she prayed her indignant prayer. And week after week she attended church.

Mom and her Breakfast Club friends
Then one Sunday she heard about a ministry of feeding breakfast burritos to homeless people. She decided to join the group one Saturday. Then she returned the next week. Mom returned every week and began asking the displaced folks what else they would like to eat.

Now nine years later she spends her weeks preparing the Saturday morning meal. The menu has expanded from breakfast burritos to beans and rice, fried chicken, and greens. Mom continues to change the menu according to the needs and desires of new friends. She and the other members of “The Breakfast Club” also offer prayer, friendship and spiritual food to their displaced neighbors.

Mom’s story is featured in my first Bible project, which releases today! The Take Action Bible also introduces 14 other stories of ordinary people who have put God’s Word into action (There are even more stories here). The stories are covered in five full color sections inserted throughout the text of the Bible. Each section (Go, Serve, Give, Teach, Heal) includes three stories, a Scriptural passage and questions for reflection. This Bible also includes a list of 52 simple actions most anyone could take, based in Scripture.

I’m thrilled that my first project at my new employer is this Bible that emphasizes mission and action!