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WE GET TO SHAPE WHERE WE LIVE

WHAT KIND OF NEIGHBOURHOOD DO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN?

Cris Rogers

In recent years we have seen gay hate shootings, terrorism, Political leaders murdered and the racist outbursts post the EU referendum. The clinical psychologist Dr. Robert Lusson says thatFear is a bigoted master compelling us to behaviours and actions we would never choose were we free from its incessant calling.” I liked this; fear is an intolerant master that drives us.

 

IDEAS vs PEOPLE.

The reality is, communities are not made up of ideas, but of people. We may want and talk of peace but until we become peaceful we will never see what we dream of. In other words we have to lead the way in peacemaking and community love.

Think back to the witch-hunts of days gone by. People didn't wake up bitter, they wanted and looked for peaceful communities but rather than being lead by peace they were lead by fear for this goal. So they hunted down anyone different from them and burnt them. They believed you created peace by getting rid of those unlike themselves. This belief never leads to real peace, but a fear of stepping out of line.

Our society now does the same with the media and social media. We are able to run people out of town by publicly shaming and naming them because of fear.

The reality is communities become what they see others doing. We mimic those we think are in power. If those in power behave as people of fear then those they lead will follow suit. The reality is we as people can be naturally driven by fear. To be driven by love is a choice and takes hard work.

Fear will always drive us to tribalism, tribalism will lead us to closing down our boarders, and closing our borders will lead us to conflict.

We must not ask ourselves "why do ‘they’ behave like that (tribalism), but why do I behave like that (humility)".

AN ALTERNATE ROUTE.
Jesus presents us with alternative routes to fear: Awareness, forgiveness, understanding and love in any order are our tools for creating a new road. A road where we are driven not by our fears, but by faith and hope in people; neighbourhoods; and communities, and drive to believe forgiveness and reconciliation is always a better way.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peace makers for they shall inherit the earth”.

The war makers and hate broadcasters inherit hell and create a hell on earth. But those who practice peace-making; reconciliation; and love sharing, inherit the kingdom of God because as we do these things God is present and real. Jesus also said “those who fight by the sword die by the sword”, we don't have swords but we do have tongues and we have social media. If we create a culture of back stabbing and anger we will ultimately be consumed by it and finally die by it.

BOOM {My exciting main point.}

When we are driven by fear we are driven to suspicion, distrust and disgrace; which means lack of forgiveness. But when we are driven by love we are accepting, trusting and graceful; meaning bountiful forgiveness.

Which do we want to see the world live by?

So be it for us too.

SOMETHING NEW.

I want to challenge us to live by another song, a better song to violence, public humiliation and anger.

Let's be slow to judge, quick to listen.

Let's not be people of self-preservation and protection.

Let's be willing to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Let's believe the best for people.

Let's hold people up to what they can be, not what they seem to be or have been.

Let's have greater hope for people than they have for themselves.

Let's not fuel anger or disunity but create community and harmony.

 

It's worth asking ourselves regularly…

What kind of neighbourhood do you dream of?

 

Don't just dream of it, you have the ability to create it by being the first to lay the paving stone of hope, love and peace. What do you do today that will start this in your own community?

Cris is married to Beki and together they lead All Hallows Bow in East London.

Making Disciples Interview with Andy Frost

How to raise faith in the family.

Andy Frost

Andy Frost heads up Share Jesus International. Working with Care for the family and Katherine Hill, Andy has been apart of creating Raising Faith. In this conversation, we talk about kids and how to disciple your family. We talk about the five helpful hits to disciple your children. 1. Praying with your kids 2. Reading the Bible with them and them seeing you read 3. Being intentional in asking questions about faith 4. Committing to a church family and playing your part 5. Looking to point faith outwards towards others. wearemakingdisciples.com

Lent is for the training of disciples

Lent is more important to your discipleship than you think. Its origins are about 1800 years ago in the Egyptian desert where they would baptise new disciples at Easter. Each disciple would go through 40 days of serious prayer and preparation as they approached their public declaration of faith and their renunciation of any other way other than the way of Jesus.

Rev Mark Bishop

Lent in a Bag

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Rev Wendy Bray

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