My Thoughts on the Deep Shift Conference

23 02 2008

I am a warm, comforting blanket.

 So right now you are probably thinking, “Oh, Joel…what are you talking about?”. I’m also betting that you are not surprised to hear me say something so seemingly silly. (Say that 5 times fast.)

But, I want to challenge you to think about something. How are you living the life of Christ? What are you doing to live that life? Lastly, how do you embody that life? It’s not easy to think about. Maybe to some people it’s a dangerous challenge because they don’t want to think about it. Regardless, it’s so imperative to think about as a Christian because I have believed for some time now that to really live the message of Jesus we have to go and share it, speak it, and live it. If we aren’t doing that, we aren’t meeting the expectations and goals Jesus asked of us. This is what is required from us. It’s not a secret to be kept, but a glorious story to share with everyone.

 This is why I am like a warm, comforting blanket.

My image of Jesus is just like that. Blankets are so special to me. I can’t really explain it. I just love that feeling of being wrapped up in a blanket and on a cold Indiana night with the fire going and reading a book, watching a movie, or something like that. It’s the essence of comfort. The image I get of Jesus’s love is just like that. Jesus is that blanket that surrounds you and loves you no matter what. In the coldest of nights, you are safe and warm because of that blanket. It’s such a special, personal relationship.

So, when I want to embody Christ and be like Him, I tend to think about that blanket. I can be that blanket, or be the one who gives someone that blanket if they want to accept it.

So…I have this blanket or I am this blanket or whatever. Now what?

I get this sick feeling sometimes. It comes from deep in my gut and it compells me to react when I feel it. I get that sick feeling when I see people in pain and suffering. It’s so powerful. Maybe you know what I am talking about. It doesn’t take a lot. It doesn’t even have to be someone I know. When my brother got hurt really bad in August, I felt that pain so much, but I feel just as much pain when I think about the 2.2 Billion people on the planet living in absolute poverty. I have to do something about that. I refuse to sit and do nothing when people are dying of something so preventable. I see these faces on TV or magazines, and it pains me. Literally pains me. Yes, I sponsor a child in Peru named Karla, but I can do so much more to cause a DEEP SHIFT in the world. Admittedly, I can’t do everything, but saving even one life is saving one life. If everyone could save one life, we’d do some much. I want so much to be a blanket for Christ. I want to much to go and just hug those people I see that are in so much pain and tell them how much God loves them. Maybe this isn’t realistic…but it’s some I have to do. I can’t explain it any other way than that.

It’s just this mission I have. I have felt it for so long. Even as a child. But, only recently am I really starting to acknowledge it, and realize that I can go and DO IT. Nothing is holding anyone back from doing what they want to do, and that’s such a brilliant and satisfying revelation! Even disabilities can’t hold you back. Everyone can go and spread the Message. There’s nothing holding any of us back.

 So let’s do it. Go out and proclaim that good news! Go and live it! It’s too precious to keep to yourself, and it’s too powerful to keep silent. Go LIVE and EXPERIENCE what it is to be the hands and feet of Christ in our world.

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