Wednesday, May 11, 2011
But how can we say justice is done by us when it was God that said "vengeance is mine"? Then Jesus comes along and commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves and love our enemies.
Justice is done when one brings an end to an oppressive or repulsive situation. Bin Laden's death does not bring an end to terrorist attacks. In fact it probably will now escalate it. How do we as a 'nation under God' justify putting a bullet to the head of another man? Why do we dance in the city streets over a death of anyone? Was Bin Laden not also made in the image of God? He was human, right? I certainly do not support or advocate what his life stood for and yes what he did was totally wrong, but we can not call it justice if we kill someone for killing others.
I also want to say that I support and appreciate our military when it comes to defending our nation and keeping us safe and I am grateful to be living in this country. So before you older baby boomers call me a Commi-fag or draft dodger or some other antique term, know that I love this country, but we are not the Judge or the world police. And as a follower of Jesus Christ I cannot celebrate a man's death and call it justice.
Psalm 11:5 says, "The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates." Some of the recent events by our own land reminds me of Ezekiel 22:27 when speaking of the sins of Israel, "Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain. They say, 'This is what the Lord says'-when the Lord has not spoken."
I do not have all the answers to this sensitive matter. I am far from being settled but I am seeking the whole council of God concerning this rather than selecting a couple of key verses that support my opinion. And right now this is where God has me in search of more understanding of His will in all of these world concerns.
Where do you stand on this? Can you defend your position or are you merely mimicking what you hear? Do you even care? Are you searching the Word for answers or just being mesmerized by your favorite news channel?
I just know this. In the end times, things are not to get better, but rather more challenging here on earth. So to expect total peace this side of heaven seems like a dream. But if we can learn to live and love one another locally and globally, we can get a glimpse of what it may be like "on earth as it is in heaven."
Sunday, April 3, 2011
New location for Willet / Hunger Strike Offices / Quest Community Church
If you follow us on twitter or facebook you may have seen a status posted about a month ago about some amazing breakthroughs taking place in our ministry that weren't able to be shared just yet. Well, the time has come when we can testify to what God has done in our ministry for His glory.
As many know, some tremendous friends opened up their basement apartment in New Windsor, MD in late 2010 to allow Willet / Hunger Strike offices to operate out of. From the start, this was to be a "temporary location" as we got our organization developed. During the development stages of our organization while WILLET had some time off the road, they have been able to spend quality time at our non-denominational church plant, Quest Community Church, that was currently meeting in a home in Maryland.
Since Jan. 1, I have been praying for “breakthrough” for our church and extended ministries. A few weeks ago, my son, Jeremy and I were having a discussion about where God has brought our ministries from, and the direction we are headed now. Here we sat with a new year, new vision, a music ministry (Willet), a relief/development organization (The Hunger Strike), and a church (Quest Community Church). As we talked, we realized that although these entities carried 3 different titles, our goals were the same and that we could combine our ministry efforts. Our goals: Make Jesus known more in the hearts of people globally, and walk alongside of the poor both locally and abroad!
So, long story short, over the past few months, WILLET has done a complete restructuring of their "business", dissolved their incorporation (Willet, Inc), and have been absorbed as a ministry of the church to work hand-in-hand in ministry, with an increased level of accountability. Quest recently appointed Jeremy Willet as Vice President of the Board of Directors to allow him to work more directly in the business decision-making processes of the church, and oversee the missional branch of our ministry (through Willet / Hunger Strike)
But, the news gets even better!! After months of praying for "breakthrough", a friend unexpectedly took me out to breakfast. Over coffee, a family, that wishes to remain anonymous, handed a contract proposal to our ministries giving us permission to move into their 3-story complex in Pleasant Valley, MD "RENT FREE" for 2 years! This facility has a ground level warehouse for merchandise, meal packing, and storage, a 2nd level room to hold church services, and a 3rd level for 5 office rooms! We are beginning to move in immediately to continue normal office operations, and prepare the 2nd level to hold church services later this year. We will keep you posted when we will re-launch the Sunday service for Quest Community Church.
The ministries of Willet, The Hunger Strike, and now Quest Community Church have been given fresh vision, and we move forward with God's direction, trusting Him all the way. We will make the announcement as soon as church services are launched, and we hope that you'll join us in worship. Below is a photo of our new facility. All the credit and glory to You O God!!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
In 2 Peter 3:18, Peter emphasizes that we "grow in grace". There are many things written about how to grow spiritually, but I want to point out a few obvious things that spiritual growth is not.
1. It has nothing to do with our position in Christ. We don't grow into being a Christian. We become a new creation at the very moment that we accept the gift of salvation by faith. 2 Peter 1:3 says we have been given everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him.
2. It is not a matter of God's favor or God's love. Romans 5 is clear that God loved us when we were lost sinners. And as a believer, God still loves us immeasurably and unconditionally.
3. It has nothing to do with time. Some believers go through their entire life with very little growth. Others have known Christ for a short period of time and have grown in huge proportions.
4. It is not a matter of knowledge alone. It is not about what we know, rather it is what we do with what we know that matters. Knowledge alone puffs us up. It is only when the facts contribute to transformation that knowledge has anything to do with growth.
5. It has nothing to do with busyness. Being active in the church does not equal spiritual growth, it just makes you tired and can burn you out emotionally and physically.
6. It definitely has nothing to do with prosperity. Sorry health and wealth preachers! You are wrong! A rich American is no more spiritually mature than the the little orphan believer in Haiti or Africa. So stop going to these countries and spreading your false teachings. One's economic status does not gain you favor with God or a promotion on the spiritual growth ladder. God may have blessed you financially, but that is not a yardstick for spiritual growth. And if He has, I pray you are blessing others with your abundance to His glory.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Since my return to the states from a recent trip to Mozambique with my sons and a local youth pastor, I am still reflecting on how different the rest of the world lives.
This year and next in the US, there will be hundreds of conferences and a many conversations over coffee revolving around the topic of justice and the church. Some of these exchanges will actually be worth the effort. But some will be mere talk. I’m concerned about the latter group.It is not okay to spend the equivalent of an at risk child’s livelihood for a year on a conference about poverty… and then do nothing. It is not okay to drink a $4 espresso drink, while chatting with friends about “how bad” we feel about “those poor people”, and then do nothing.
It is unacceptable that 27 million people in the world are living in slavery. Then there's over a billion living on less than $1 a day. It's hard to fathom that over 800 million do not have access to clean drinking water. There is no question that the Church ought to be light in a world so dark. The question is will the Church be the light that is needed?
It will take more than slapping on our wrist a ONE Campaign bracelet, or going without food for a day. Especially when $32/month can rescue a child from poverty and help transform an entire community where he/she lives.
Sounds pretty simple. Love mercy. Do justice. Walk humbly. I didn't say easy, but it is simple.
I recently returned from a drought-parched community called Gorongosa, Mozambique. It had not rained there since March! They had many crops planted in very rich soil, yet the harvest would be small because of lack of rain. We took the Light of Jesus to a land that was dark from the evils and traditions of witchcraft and and ancestral spirits. We prayed for rain, we prayed for healing, we added input to community leaders about malaria prevention, we trained and encouraged pastors, and we walked for miles in the bush of Africa to visit over 24 sponsored children in their homes. We built relationships with new friends and leaders halfway around the globe that we intend to continue to pray and fast for.
Like I said, not easy, but it is simple. the Church must arise to be the light in the darkness!
To get personally involved in stamping out global poverty by sponsoring a child, check out www.willetonline.com or www.questcc.org.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I recently returned from 10 days in country in Haiti. We sensed God's presence there among those living in extreme poverty. We had great, intimate worship and communion at night in an open-air church with bats flying over our heads, 1 cheap guitar, no electricity or running water, 2 solar powered camping lanterns and I felt closer to God than I have for a long time.
So it's not about the country, the location and definitely not what your church building looks like or how you dress for church. So what is it that brings God's blessings? And how can God bless America again?
First of all, we are not a covenant nation like Israel. God has never promised to guarantee our super power status forever.
Secondly, God has promised us as believers that salvation, mercy, forgiveness and spiritual maturity are ours as we remain faithful to God.
The answer to God's blessings for America is not going to come from presidential candidates promising us change or big business bailouts. The answer is not going to come from oil profits, from oppression of the poor, or from building up massive warheads and killing one another for dominance. The answer is not positive thinking messages from the pulpit, or Glenn Beck rallies and Sarah Palin tea parties.
The key to God's blessings begins with the spiritual state of THE CHURCH. Not your church or my church but THE CHURCH. If God is going to ever bless America again, it will not be for the sake of the nation itself. He is not partial to just the red, white, and blue as many may believe. But He is a jealous God who demands holiness from His people because He alone is holy and cannot tolerate sin.
God blesses a nation and has always blessed nations for the sake of His people. If we as the Church are not fulfilling the conditions for divine blessing, there is no hope for the rest of the nation, regardless of what country you live in.
But when The Church is healthy and living fit to receive God's blessings, when we are on our knees in prayer and worship and striving to live a set apart life, the whole nation reaps the benefits of His blessings. Why? Because the truth of the Word of God will be preached with power and with no apology. It will not be to tickle the ears of the complacent and lukewarm. When the Word is proclaimed with power, God will add to His Church and more spiritual blessings are poured out on His people and nations.
In 1 Peter 4:17 we read, "Judgment must begin at the house of God." God is watching his people.
So can God bless America again? I say Yes, but we have a long way to go because The Church must first repent and get back on track before the rest of our nation can reap the benefits of God's blessings.
Are you up to the challenge or are you going to just go for the ride to glory? Are you willing to serve Him with reckless abandon and surrendered hearts, or are you going to coast across the finish line on the draft of those running the race? Are you going to be with and serve the poor and broken or are you satisfied with dropping an occasional dollar in the plate for missions? Are you going to be a witness in word and deed for the Almighty, or do you remain silent because your ticket to heaven is already punched?
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I also want to honor my wife who has been a fantastic mother to our 3 sons. Her care, her prayers, and her constant encouragement is a blessing to us all at the Willet household.
And I also send out a thank you to my daughter-in-law in Haiti who is a "mother" to the orphans of Haiti.
Happy Mother's Day to all. I love you Mom!
Monday, May 3, 2010
On a spiritual level, we also have the choice to make. We can either follow the Master's plan for spiritual growth and maturity, or we can choose to ignore it even when we know about it.
I would like to propose that the Western Church consider a fat-free faith. One that cuts away all the excess, all the fatty things that bog our churches down.
We have had steady a diet for years in America of books, tapes, dvds, conferences, seminars, seminaries. We build bigger and better buildings onto the ones we already have, but are we sending out any to the fields for the harvest/ Or are we merely fixing up and painting our fences to keep them all in the yard?
Yet with all of that knowledge and all of these resources, Christianity and the impact of the local church is losing grounds it seems.
A fat-free faith is one that asks us to internalize the mind of Christ. It causes us to lay aside our selfish ways and take up the cross. Your new lifestyle should you choose the fat-free faith, will be one marked by submission to the Father's will, not man's demands. Fat-free faith is a life of sacrifice, service and suffering for the Lord's sake. It will cause you to love the ones that are not loved, walk where others will not walk, interact with sinners and walk in the shoes of others instead of passing judgment upon them.
The Western Church is full of students of Christianity. But where are the disciples? Sooner or later, the medical student and intern must step out of the classroom and open his own practice and perform his own surgery. Where are the disciples who are stepping out? We are so busy learning about Christ that we forget to follow Christ. We soak in the Bible studies, but never squeeze ourselves out on anybody. We attend prayer meetings to have our needs prayed for rather praying to tear down the spiritual barriers that exist in our nation. We even have gotten comfortable with learning about unreached people groups and learning about missions rather than preparing and sending missionaries to the field.
How can a country like ours that has such rich, deep-rooted Christian culture, fail to pass on what we know as the truth to an audience that is desperately searching for truth today? This
mentality of feed-me-first and health and wealth preaching over the last 50 years has produced a generation of fat Christians who appear to know all the answers and are quick to tell them to you, but they won't go across the street to help a neighbor in distress. They are first in line at the Christian potluck so they can get seconds, but they refuse to skip a meal to feed those who have nothing to eat.
Fat-free faith will strip and detox that out of your system. You and your ministry can become a lean machine that is quite healthy. Get rid of the excess and feed on what is good. I highly recommend you give it a try. Better yet, don't just try it. Make it your life.