I was thinking about writing a series on some topics that I think are important, mentally and theologically challenging, needed and maybe boring. These topics are ones which have affected my life and have been used of God to stretch me into a greater understanding of truths so often avoided. God’s calling Pam and I to Dubai have opened these topics again, at least in my heart and mind.
noun \ˈdi-fərn(t)s, ˈdi-f(ə-)rən(t)s\
: the quality that makes one persons or things unlike another
: something that people do not agree about : a disagreement in opinion
: the degree or amount by which things differ
The idea of things or people being different is real and in many places a hot topic. Here in Dubai, I am fully enjoying the differences I face each day. Let me list a few examples:
|Looking for the invitation|
FOODS – People here eat differently. Not only in the things they eat but in some cases how they eat their food (or specific foods). I admit I am trying to fathom the idea of eating some foods with your hands (we do this in the states with some foods). This is not something wrong but is different. I will admit up front, this may be the most difficult difference I face... maybe. Yet, I am looking forward to the day I experience this first hand…Did I just say that?
|Keeping the streets safe|
|AWESOME GLOBAL TEENS|
It is this difference for which I am most excited but for my homeland, this may be the one difference which hinders the flames of revival in America. I believe the Southern Baptist churches in the states would benefit with a true open door and open arm policy to those who are different. Is it possible, that what may be the greatest danger to the US church is the church itself? The church determining who would make good church members… who fits the mold… who is like us… I continue to pray that God's people will gladly be blinded to color and culture and begin seeing people as God does. A people worth reaching... A people worth embracing.
Please do not get me wrong. I love the church in America. I was privileged to serve churches in several states and consider it an honor. There is a great need for Baptist churches to be strong and to win their world but I pray, if differences are what is holding back the sweeping power of God to usher in revival in the US, that the church would be willing to lay aside their fears… prejudices… differences for the greater cause of Christ.
The people at EBCI are teaching me how to do this better. I am willing and excited to learn. I am excited about the future and walking among and beside those people and experiences those things which are different. Okay, I am trembling about my first finger food dinner consisting of rice / yogurt and other goodies.
My love and appreciation continues to grow towards those who are welcoming Pam and I with open arms and lives. If you could ask them, They (most…some… few) would tell you… “Our new pastor… He is different, real different. and we are glad he is here… We are asking the Lord to help us learn and understand his accent”
Heaven will be filled with all who believe and are different than us. Lord, thank you for this truth and for making us different when you adopted us into your family.
I LOVE MY CHURCH... I LOVE HIS CHURCH… I LOVE JESUS