Tag Archives: vision

audacious dreams

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Live large. Dream big. Everything was once impossible.

If our vision doesn’t exceed our current possibilities it’s not large enough. True visionaries always expand the realm of what’s real and what is possible.

Life is too short for small dreams. Our dreams need to frighten us with their breadth and their scope They need to be audacious. Only then will we know the true joy of achievement.

Greetings from Guangzhou

Yesterday I had to leave Kuala Lumpur to continue my trip. I arrived here at my hotel in Guangzhou about midnight, on my way to Dawson’s Creek, Canada.

I wasn’t ready to leave Malaysia. Before I had to leave for the airport I had the opportunity to join my Stop Hunger Now colleagues from around the world in helping at a 300,000 meal packaging event hosted by HP. What a powerful testimony that almost a thousand HP employees joined together to help end the scourge of hunger.

It’s yet another sign pointing toward the growing global movement that will create a hunger-free world in our lifetime. What a true joy it was to be a part of the excitement and sense of accomplishment that was present during the event.

But, even though I wasn’t ready to leave Kuala Lumpur and all my friends and colleagues at our International Summit, I am pleased to be headed toward Canada. I will be addressing a Rotary District Conference that has already committed to packaging 1,000,000 Stop Hunger Now meals before next August. That’s no small thing.

During my time at the conference in Dawson’s Creek, we are scheduled to package a full 40 foot container which is 285,000 meals. It will be much cooler there, but we will be taking part in changing the world just as the employees have done in Kuala Lumpur.

Every day I see us drawing closer to ending hunger in our lifetime. You are a leader in that effort. Thanks for all you do to turn that vision into a reality.

 

exciting stuff

Our entire United Methodist VIM team has now made it safely back home with one exception…me. I am still in Raleigh for meetings, but I hope to be home in Virginia by early evening.

The trip home from South Sudan was uneventful (brutally long, totally exhausting and sleepless, but uneventful). And that is about all that can be said for it. For future reference, however, having an 11 hour layover in Entebbe after our first flight really makes the remainder of the trip seem much longer. And having a middle seat for the 19 hours of flights afterward doesn’t help much either.

But after a long hot shower and a night’s rest I cannot wait to begin working on the next steps on all the possible projects we discovered. The need is so great. But the need is matched with tremendous opportunities to make a positive difference in the lives of thousands.

We can help transform the future of those living in poverty and hunger in South Sudan. We can help change the history of a nation. That’s exciting stuff.

Our trip is now officially over. Now the hard work begins: translating the vision of what is possible into a reality that is reflected in a transformed world.

I cannot wait to begin.

saved by hope

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. — Reinhold Niebuhr

In yesterday’s post, saved by faith, I shared some of why Reinhold Niebuhr is one of my favorite theologians. I want to continue that this morning.

Niebuhr’s Christian idealism was forged on the anvil of of modern industry. Serving a 13 year pastorate in Detroit taught him firsthand the perils of a pious unreality disconnected from the everyday world of real life. That led him to a passionate concern with the practical bearing of Christianity on the ever present political and economic problems of his day.

The value of Niebuhr’s theology for me is that he shows that no matter how important the church’s work is in saving men and women from the sins of the world, the church still must function in the world. It is a social institution. That means its achievements and its limitations needs the same critical examination as other social institutions.

The church should provide the indispensable resources necessary for the building of a good and moral society. Without the moral foundation provided by the gospel (which has to be a social gospel) we can never hope to achieve the vision of an ideal society where love and justice is fully realized. But, when the church is successful in providing those resources there is real hope.

Whenever religion concerns itself with the problems of society, it always gives birth to some kind of millennial hope, from the perspective of which present social realities are convicted of inadequacy, and courage is maintained to continue the effort to redeem society of injustice.

 

not just a dreamer

I’m not just a dreamer. I am a hopeaholic.” — Gloria Steinem

What a great quote. My first thought on seeing it was that someone has been reading my mail. I freely admit that I too am a proud charter member of hopeaholics anonymous.

I believe in hope. I live in hope. Hope is a way of life that makes the difficult easier and the impossible possible.

I am a hopeaholic because hope is so closely connected to faith, and to be totally honest, I am also a card-carrying faithaholic, as well.

Like Ms Steinem, I am not just a dreamer. I have an unshakable hope in the possibility of good, and an even deeper faith in the grace and mercy of a loving Creator.

I have experienced God’s faithfulness enough to know I can depend on it. That’s why I know we can end hunger in our lifetime.

God ‘s love and mercy is everlasting, and I have the faith to believe that love and mercy will bring us to a day where there will be true justice. There will come a day when no child will have to cry themselves to sleep from the pain of an empty belly, or live stunted lives from lack of proper nourishment.

I live for that day.

But, I am not just a dreamer. I will not stop working to achieve that  day. What keeps me going is the hope and the faith that we can turn that vision into a reality.

a dream of authentic community

“I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God’s creational intentions.”
John Wesley, How To Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer     

Holiness is not a word we use much in contemporary society. Webster says it means the state of being holy–no surprise there. But there’s many of us that have only the vaguest notion of what that implies.

Again, Mr. Webster states that the best definition of the word “holy” is “Belonging to, derived from, or associated with divine power; sacred.”  Other definitions of the word include: “worthy of worship or high esteem” or “living according to a religious or spiritual system.” There are several other lesser used meanings as well.

So what Wesley was dreaming of, what he was praying for, was a renewal of divine power, a return to a spiritual lifestyle of true community. And even though that 18th century dream might seem quaint to us today, what Wesley yearned for is the answer to many of our world’s greatest and most challenging problems.

No one goes hungry in an authentic community based on living a spiritual lifestyle centered on loving one another more than we love ourselves.

I share Wesley’s dream. And I continue to pray for the day when we have an authentic global community, a community where God’s creational intentions are fulfilled for the entire human family and all of creation.