Blog | Hungry For Life

Blog

Disturbing the comfortable & comforting the disturbed.

Staff thoughts and life lessons about poverty, injustice, leadership, religion and other social issues in the world today.

Smashing Rocks

Thoughts by Daniel Mack – 4 minute read

We were in a rural part of Pignon, Haiti. The day was almost done and the team was wrapping up. We went there to get stories and the sight I was about to see would say more to me than anything else we had experienced that day. There was a young man sitting in front of me, on a pile of rocks, making gravel. He wasn’t running a big machine and he wasn’t wearing a hard hat. All he had was a hammer and the strength God gave him. I was taken aback.

Read more

Don't Just Stand There

Thoughts by Daniel Mack – 4 minute read

A few months ago, I wrote a blog called "What Does the Bible Say About Relief & Development?” There I made the claim, “...the Bible is significant and it has a significant amount to say about Relief and Development.” And, I’ll be the first to take the title, “Captain Obvious” on that one. But, looking back now, I feel like I shortchanged part of the conversation. Even though I quoted what probably seemed like half the Bible in that blog, I left out an important element: “Application.”

Read more

What the Church is Not

Thoughts by Daniel Mack – 5 minute read

Every Christian arrives at their beliefs with preconceived notions. We carry fears, opinions and images into our perspective. Early on, these ideas (both positive and negative) shape our interactions. We might push away from Christ, His followers, and their activities based on our past experience. Or, we could feel led to learn more, to draw closer and seek Jesus because of who we understand these people to be. And, while God can bring someone from a harsh negative opinion of the Church (take Paul for example) just as easily as he can bring someone who has seen the warm disposition of Jesus (take Peter for example) to faith, I believe Christians can always do a better job of removing those obstacles. We don’t have to be the source of someone else’s negative opinion of the Church.

Read more

What Does the Bible Say About Relief & Development?

Thoughts by Daniel Mack – 7 minute read

Christians know that the Bible is both a guide to life in this world and a defiant claim against what the world says we should be. Our source is—in my opinion—the most fascinating and, at the same time, challenging work ever written.

Read more

Moments

Thoughts by Daniel Mack – 5 minute read

For most people who find themselves in the world of Relief and Development, they usually ended up there because of a life changing moment. A decision they made based on a culmination of events: They saw some incredible injustice, they were prompted by a move of God’s Spirit, or they were nudged by the gifts others saw in their lives. In that moment, something moved them, something significant happened, it changed them. It changed their direction.

Read more

The Elephant in the Room

Thoughts by Daniel Mack – 3 minute read

Sin is not a popular subject. Traditional teaching on sin has overemphasized its negative aspects to the extreme. Fear has been used as a tactic that has scared people and scarred people. These results—intended or not—have forced the Church to adjust to a more loving approach. Now, we reach out to people with care—hoping to restore broken relationships. The attitude surrounding the intention is definitely more positive in nature. But, where does sin find a place in the “new" world?

Read more

Observations from Haiti

Thoughts by Daniel Mack – 4 minute read

If you’ve ever done any sort of international relief work, you know that a couple of things happen when you get home:

  1. Some people want to know everything about your trip and, 
  2. the other people just can’t wait for you to shut up about it.

Those expectations, either way, will affect how you are processing your experience. And, I would think, most people are unprepared to give an adequate account—short or long—the moment they step off the plane.

That brings me to my last experience. It’s been about a week since I returned from Haiti and I think I’m ready to share a few observations from my time there. And, like I said, these thoughts are still under development, subject to change, and ultimately unable to describe the totality of what God is doing there, or even just what He is doing through me.

Read more

Reverse Inequality

Thoughts by Daniel Mack – 3 minute read

Sometimes I read the Bible and I think, “How is that even possible?!?”

I find myself in the middle of a conversation with God and I actually think I have the right to question His thought process. Sometimes it only takes Him a line to set a standard so high that it sounds ridiculous. Take this one from Philippians for example: 

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

Philippians 2:3 ESV

Do nothing, nothing from a position of ambition or conceit: “Sure God, that sounds easy enough.” When you put it in the context of our culture, it only increases the demand on our already fallen nature. North America thrives on self-centredness. It gets tied up in a bow and presented to us as a never-ending meal of flashing lights. If you want to be someone, be someone successful, be someone great.

Read more

Don't Talk About Religion

Thoughts by Daniel Mack – 3 minute read

Have you ever had someone tell you, “I am not religious?” What does that even mean? They never say, “I have no religion.” And, unless they are a true Atheist or Agnostic—taking notes from Ricky Gervais—they won’t lead with that either. No, it seems like the “non-religious” crowd got their line from the same franchise coffee shop. 

I recently had an interaction where this position was stated… more than once. And, I wasn’t prompting it—except by the pure fact that I was known to be a Christian. It’s as if my unstated belief demanded a statement about non-belief in defence of the off chance that I might try to state my (still unstated, but commonly known) belief. Sorry, that was a mouthful. Maybe next time I should get in front of their preemptive strike with one of my own: “Don’t worry, we aren’t really looking for new ushers at the moment. Sundays are running just fine.”

Read more

Watch Your Language

Thoughts by Daniel Mack – 4 minute read

Words can change your world. They can revive you or crush your spirit. How you interpret them can drastically change their meaning. The message you intend to pass on, by your words, might not be received how you expect it to be. Communication is hard work. 

Whenever we have a message to convey we use the tools we have at hand. An English speaking Canadian might only be expected to have conversations in English—unless she feels led to butcher the minimal French she remembers from elementary school. Sometimes we communicate non-verbally—using our body language, musical gifts, emoticons, or mad skills with a paint brush. Today, however, I am concerned only with words. 

Read more

Pages