Tag Archives: justice

Our Birthday Party!

Promise & I both have November Birthdays. This year I turn 29 and Promise turns 25. It’s here Silver Birthday and so she takes the priority in the celebrating this year. 🙂 Truth be told, I hope she always takes the priority!

As we’ve talked further about ‘what we want to do for our birthdays this year’, we’ve decided that we wanted do something with the celebration of life beyond our receiving. Trust me, we will celebrate, but, we want you to help us with the ultimate celebration this year.

We want to give our birthdays away this year. We want our birthdays to bring LIFE to some that may not celebrate another Birthday if we didn’t give it away to them!

We continue to discover the extreme need in the world for sustainable life giving resources. We’ve heard from our friend Scott Harrison and his team at Charity: Water that millions of people don’t live to see their 5th birthday. And why? Because they didn’t have access to clean, safe water. That reality has shaken us to do something. We need to not be okay with this happening while we’re alive.


So, this year, we are celebrating our birthdays like never before!!

We are asking for $25 from everyone we know – and every penny of the money raised will go directly to fund freshwater wells in developing nations through Charity: Water, an organization that we know and trust. Even better, every dollar is “proved” when the projects are complete, and photos and GPS coordinates are posted using Google Earth. How cool is that right?! We’ll get to see our work and giving come alive!! Now THAT is a cool birthday present.

Our goal is to raise $5000 by Promise’s birthday, 11-23-10.

Please consider helping us. We need 200 friends to give $25 to reach our goal. This is so attainable and we want to ask that you wouldn’t wait and consider it, but, that you’d join us now in helping dying people live by giving them clean water this year!! This is a party, this is a celebration, this is our heart…more birthdays for more people!

Click Here for our Charity: Water page.

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Night of Woship & Ryan Axtell CD Release Concert…

For all the Arizona and Cornerstone people…I wanted to let you know that we’ll be doing a couple worship related events coming up here in the next month.

Night of Worship – March 25th, 2010 – 7:30pm – Auditorium @ Cornerstone Chandler – FREE

Ryan Axtell – CD Release Concert w/Special Guests ‘Raining and OK’ – April 15th, 2010 – Auditorium @ Cornerstone Chandler – FREE


Prayer Won’t Be Enough…

This morning I watched a picture montage of the tragedy that is Haiti today. I watched as THOUSANDS of people stood in line in the HOT sun waiting, hoping and fighting over bags of beans, rice and oil. Many of them waited for hours just to be told that there wasn’t enough and the aid group had given out all the food they had. The already hungry people of Haiti are now even hungrier in the aftermath of the earthquake. I was struck with the reality that as Christ followers, when it comes to those in need, prayer alone will not be enough.

I had a couple interesting and diverse comments from people on a Twitter post I put out on the subject. Some agreed, some totally disagreed and said that prayer is sometimes all you can do. Personally, I could not disagree more with that statement. I would love to hear your thoughts on prayer and the needs of the poor. Do you think that it, alone, will be enough from what you know about what Jesus commands us to do?

Below is my response to the person that may disagree with me on this statement. I think Jesus sets the record straight on how we ought to engage those in need. I want to make clear that I am a FIRM advocate that prayer is an essential component to following Jesus, but, on it’s own it will not meet the needs of the poor. Here is my response:

Twitter: Watched a piece on @CNN about the lack of food in #Haiti. It’s not enough just to pray we must mobilize what we have for those in need!

I look at Matthew 25 where Jesus delivers his poignant and final sermon on ‘The Sheep and The Goats’. As you read that passage, NO WHERE, does Jesus mention that if we ‘pray’ for the least of these that it’s somehow serving their needs. Interesting, because I think Jesus (of all people) knew and understood prayer and the power of it. I find it interesting that these were His words in His final sermon:

Matthew 25:34
34″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

When he says those things, the questions come:

44″They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

He makes this next BOLD statement regarding 34-36 to answer the question and it’s interesting that He never ONCE mentions prayer. He mentions physical, tangible ways in which we serve Him when we serve others. The outcome of ‘when’ we do these things comes in this next verse:

45″He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

He then talks about what happens to ‘the goats’ or those that did not live these things out:

46″Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

I’ve heard it said that Matthew 25 is not so much concerned about the ‘ROOT’ of salvation, but, about the ‘FRUIT’ of salvation. It’s almost as if Jesus is saying, you cannot LOVE me and NOT engage in the plight of the less fortunate.

Again, I observe, PRAYER alone will not be enough to meet the call of what Jesus asks of us to develop as the fruit of our salvation. I’m not saying dismiss prayer, but, I am saying we better do more than just pray according to Jesus. My prayer is that Jesus would give me the courage and heart to serve the way He wants me to serve. I hope it’s your prayer too.

I’d LOVE your thoughts on this post. What do you think?

Justice | Talking and Doing…

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It’s surprising that my previous post could be so silent! I can post a stupid video about us getting In Ear Monitors or smoking a turkey, point people to a free give away from my wife or friend and get a dozen comments in a day on meaningless things, but, when it comes to justice the blog goes COMPLETELY silent.

I’m just curious why we, as a generation/culture, are so good at fronting that we’re about justice, but, when it comes to people actually doing justice we play a different card.

Don’t worry, I’m just as guilty of doing this too. I’m really good at talking about justice and I’m finally giving of myself to actually go and do it. What I find is interesting is that justice is sexy right now. It’s sexy in pop culture, it’s sexy in church culture and in and of itself maybe that’s a God thing. After all the reality of engaging the less fortunate was most revolutionized by the sexiest man in the universe, Jesus. HA! I know that’s a bit provocative, but, I’m just sayin’.

Seriously though…we’re the generation that’s good at talking, blogging, iChatting, leaving churches because they’re not justice driven enough, etc… but I’m just curious how serious we are about bringing the Kingdom of God here and now. The Christian sub-culture has a lot to say on the subject, but, I’m ready to move past hearsay and start doing! I’m having a moment of checking my own heart on how serious I really am on engaging the less fortunate for the sake of the Kingdom. It’s definitely easier to talk about it then to actually do it.

I guess my encouragement for all of us is to engage this on a practical level. Whether it’s you getting mobile and going or it’s just simply supporting people like Promise and I (who are getting read to get mobile) through your resource of encouragement or money. If it’s not money, which is TOTALLY fine, how about just a word to say…go for it, do it, we love this, press on, I’m with you…ANYTHING. HAHAH! It was honestly just a little discouraging to have ZERO support in our comment cues today. I know some of you did give, financially, yesterday and for that Promise and I are super grateful. I think I was just hoping for a bit more encouragement from our blogging communities, but, maybe I set my expectations way to high and I just need to settle down, humble up and shut up. 🙂

I wanted to share a little word from Mama Zipporah. She was the FIRST comment on Promises blog today. Listen to what she writes:

Thanks promise and brian . I do not have enought words to express my gratitude. I did not know that l was beautiful. But now l know l must be beautiful. I look forward for your coming in august. This time my heart is healed and l will really sing and l am telling everyone you are coming. I love you and l care. Mama Zipporah

mama_zippy

Let’s keep lending out our lives to follow Jesus, radically, in these days. Let’s get behind people like Mama Zipporah and the orphans here and around the world.  I definitely want to hear from some of you, my friends, on where you’re at as it relates to engaging the less fortunate. Do you feel lost in your aim? Do you feel, like me, that you’re better at talking about it then doing it?

Two Scriptures to ponder and then leave a comment with your thoughts! Come on now and then don’t forget to go read my previous blog post about the journey Promise and I are about to take to Kenya. ENGAGE US, PRAY FOR US, SEND US!!!

Micah 6:8

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Isaiah 1:17

17learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed. [a]
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.

A Spring Sunday @ Cornerstone – Worship/Audrey Assad

From time to time I want to post some of the music that we’re doing at Cornerstone. I know, for me, since Jarrett Stevens canned 7:22 @ North Point (only kidding jarrett), I’ve been hard pressed to find music online that we (as a team) can go and get creative ideas from week to week. Anyways, yesterday was a special day here at Cornerstone. A really good friend of mine from Nashville name Audrey Assad was here and helped lead music in our gatherings all day. These are a few of the videos from yesterday.

This first video is a new tune Audrey wrote called ‘Love is Moving’. WOW! If you don’t watch anything else on this post…watch and listen to Audrey’s song. Hopefully some of these videos will serve as a resource to inspire and encourage your ministry or life.

WORSHIP LEADERS – Input, Ideas….

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If you’re a Worship Leader or Worship type person I have a question for you. I really could use your input.

I’m in the process of dreaming alongside some people about a potential worship conference. It’s in the works and let me just say, IF THIS HAPPENS YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS IT! Here’s the deal though, I desperately want your input on what would make a conference worth your time and what areas you would like to hear more about from Worship Leaders that you respect?

The questions to answer are the following:

1. What are subject matters and topics that would help you in your quest to be a better leader, pastor, songwriter, musician, etc…

2. Are there certain things that you feel like aren’t addressed at ‘other’ conferences that you wish some conference would speak too?

3. What would be a MAJOR reason that you would do ‘whatever it took’ to make sure you got to be at a conference as it relates to worship?

4. What’s the max you would pay for a 3-4 day conference?

5. How many people from your staff or team would you bring with you if it had the components you were looking to grow in?

Help me out…we really want your input and there are some REALLY great things in the talks right now. More later as things develop. Don’t forget to answer the questions. If you want just copy and paste the questions into a ‘comment’ box and answer right underneath each question. Thanks in advance for your input!

A Gift, A Miracle…

ash-wednesday

DISCLAIMER…there is a video at the bottom of this post that YOU HAVE TO WATCH. This post is a good read too!!

Today is Ash Wednesday and it’s been a great day so far. It’s been a full day of reflection, discussion and conversation about this mysterious God that I’ve put my life towards (ash on head and all!). It started by going to Ash Wednesday Mass at my dear friends Parish called Mt. Carmel in Tempe. The homily was confronting. The priest talked about how we are so afraid to be alone. He called us ‘cell phone junkies’ and called us out on the reality of how desperately afraid our culture is of being alone, even those of us in Christ. We don’t know how, we’re scared to, we’re resistant to, we’re afraid of and we fill our lives with so many things that keep us connected to people so that we won’t have to be alone. Introvert or Extrovert we all have ‘things’ that we do that keep even our minds occupied. I was confronted by the Holy Spirit in time of reflection, during church this morning, to prioritize more time to just soak in His presence and commune with Jesus. Is this just me or are you with me on this one?

My fast for lent is going to be from soda/coffee drinks. My resolve is that I will drink water only for 40 days. I’m excited about it because I actually will have to choose water in my day multiple times and it’s in those times that I just want to remember who is my true drink. Jesus. He’s the one I’m after and He’s the one I’m staking it all on! I want to know Him more and I’m thankful for a season of fasting that will lend itself to the gift of knowing Jesus more intimately. I’m amped to have an opportunity, throughout the rhythm of my day, to willingly choose something that will serve as a reminder of Jesus sacrifice for me, for us and for humanity. Thanks be to God (as they say in the Catholic Mass).

I returned back to our church campus here at Cornerstone just to run into beautiful tears. Our amazing Kenyan sister, Caroline, is living here in Chandler, AZ with our Pastor and his wife as she pursues her Masters degree at Arizona State University. What’s never been said very loudly is that Linn and Lisa Winters (our pastor and his wife) live one of the most generous lifestyles that I know. I could make a list of 10+ people (including myself) that they’ve take into there home in times of need and just to be a blessing. Caroline is next on that list of people that they have been gracious to as she lives with them now and for the past 4 weeks Linn and Lisa have been ‘just figuring it out’ with their 2 cars to make sure Caroline has transportation to get to ASU. Relentless giving. Very cool!

That being said, I came back to the church this morning and Caroline came in gasping for breath, filled with tears and, honestly, I couldn’t tell if something bad had happened or what. She then went on to explain what I then made her sit down with me to video record this very special day and what it means to her. So sit back for a minute and listen to this beautiful woman as she talks about a faithful God and tells a story of unique and profound blessing. PRAISE BE TO GOD!! Music courtesy of Robbie Seay Band – Hallelujah, God is Near and Matt Maher – Unwavering.

I’m curious…what would you be willing to give up during Lent?

To learn more about Huruma Childrens Home – CLICK HERE.

To see a previous blog post I did on Mama Zipporah during the time @ the loss of their beloved Papa Isaac – CLICK HERE.