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Disturbing the comfortable & comforting the disturbed.

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

Shame and Religion's Role

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 4 minute read

Guilt is, “I did something bad;" shame is, “I am bad;” a devastating distinction if we don’t know the difference.

I can’t talk about shame without acknowledging the work of Dr. Brene Brown. She has brought a message of hope and healing with her research about shame and I’d more than suggest you read whatever she writes. Anyone who influences anyone should be keenly aware of what shame is and when we do it, even inadvertently.

What kicks me in the gut, as a Christian Leader, is the role that religion plays in shaming people. The very force that should give life, often kills someone's soul.

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The One Certainty for All Uncertainty

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 4 minute read

The US election results. The war with ISIS and terror. Helplessly watching the disaster in Syria. Global insecurity. Closer to home? My kids. My marriage. My job. My finances. Feel out of control?

We in the West have this addition to certainty. We franticly scramble to ensure predictability and security in our lives. Most of us don’t like change, and all of us hate unwelcomed change. The resourced global West has been built on the value of being in control of our own lives; the result is a life distanced from God. The reality is we would rather In sha have certainty than intimacy with God.

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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.”

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Top Ten

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 2 minute read

I’ve consumed my fair share of leadership books, and there are many. So many…that we can easily get lost in the sea of what to spend hours of our precious time reading. If we are going to make that kind of a time investment, where should we spend it?

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If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say...

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 3 minute read

I was struck recently by the satirical and cynical nature of our society and how the Church has swallowed this hook in many ways. It’s almost impossible to live in a culture and not wear it’s clothes. 

I wonder why it is that we so quickly can become critical or judgmental of other people? Next time you are in a conversation with someone, about someone else, try and notice the tone or content of your words. How much of the conversation is praise about other people instead of what you don’t like about them?

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Overdone Strengths

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 3 minute read

One of the most profoundly freeing truths to understand about relationships is that our weaknesses are simply our strengths overdone and on display. When people are inconveniently not like me, they can become really frustrating. Unfortunately, I have no choice but to see everyone through my filter and value system; and it takes real discipline not to judge people using my values as the most valuable.

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Movements, Organizations, or Institutions?

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 3 minute read

We’ve always done it that way.

Saying “no” until we have a good reason to say yes.

A preoccupation with policies.

Overly-managed and under-led.

Most people have forgotten about the “why”?

Characterized by bureaucracy and control.

If these statements describe your organization’s default in decision making…you might be leading an institution not a movement.

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fear . less

Thoughts by Charlene Stinson – 3 minute read

If I were to be completely honest with my thoughts about the state of the Church in North America, (of which I am part), I think I would say that, to a significant degree, the Church seems to be controlled by fear. We easily welcome, accept, and even recommend a risk-free life. We teach caution to our children (not always a bad idea!), and build walls of protection around our lives and ministries.

Yet, nothing in scripture gives even a hint of approval to this way of thinking for the Jesus follower.

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Never Enough

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 3 minute read

Are you ever overwhelmed by the unrelenting and exhausting feeling that it’s never enough? And by “it," I mean everything. It seems that in almost every area of our lives, I need to be doing more of something. The list feels endless. 

I should exercise more. I need to get to those unfinished projects in the house. I should spend more time with the kids. I should be spending more time with my spouse. I should visit my grandparents more. I really should be connecting with extended family more. I should take baking to the neighbors. I should read that book that my friend recommended to me last year. I should get together with those friends who are hurting. I should really go to the hospital to visit my uncle. I should be making more money. I should call that person back and respond to a bunch of emails. We should have those friends over.

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Does God exist for you?

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 2 minute read

Does God exist for you or do you exist for Him?

I don’t think there is a more critical question for us to answer. The way you answer orients the direction of your life and also sets foundational expectations upon which you will evaluate the quality of your life. Our secular culture has convinced us that our life is only about us, and that happiness comes from a greater focus on self, which has actually led us to greater emptiness.

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