Monday, April 11, 2011

GeneJennings.com has moved!

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced my new website Quest For A New Perspective. I've been putting most of my efforts there over the past few months and allowed this site to sit quietly. This blog will remain here for now. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet. It will still be here as timelywords.blogspot.com. I may post things that do not fit the theme of Q4NP, but, honestly, I'm not sure that I can maintain two sites.

www.genejennings.com will now forward to my new site. If you haven't been there yet, please drop in and check it out. It's about faith, simple living, and worldview. For a better idea of what Q4NP seeks to accomplish, check out the About page. Or, even better, look for my upcoming eBook release titled Quest For A New Perspective.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Introducing a New Website!

I'd like to introduce you to my new blog/website QuestForANewPerspective.com.

I've been working on it since late last year. It's a work in progress. I've added enough content over the past few months to give it some substance so I'm ready to go "public" with it.

Primarily, it is a blog, but it's different from this one. Instead of random stuff, Q4NP specifically addresses faith issues, simple living, and how to combine those two things to make a difference in the world. It also includes a free ebook you can download plus ebooks from other authors.

If you want to know exactly what QuestForANewPerspective.com is all about, check out the "About Q4NP" page for a fuller explanation.

I'd love for you to subscribe via email, RSS feed, or just come by often. And if you like it, please share it with your friends.

Thanks,

Gene

Saturday, March 12, 2011

How to Change a Post-Christian Nation

The following quotes are from the book The Great Evangelical Disaster:

(The United States) is a post-Christian world in which Christianity, not only in the number of Christians but in cultural emphasis and cultural result, is no longer the consensus or ethos of our society. (p. 29)

Christianity is no longer providing the consensus for our society. And Christianity is no longer providing the consensus upon which our law is based. That is not to say that the United States ever was a "Christian nation" in the sense that all or most of our citizens were Christians, nor in the sense that the nation, its laws, and social life were ever a full and complete expression of Christian truth. There is no golden age in the past which we can idealize - whether it is early America, the Reformation, or the early church. But until recent decades something did exist which can rightly be called a Christian consensus or ethos which gave a distinctive shape to Western society and to the United States in a definite way. Now that consensus is all but gone, and the freedoms that it brought are being destroyed before our eyes. We are at a time when humanism is coming to its natural conclusion in morals, in values, and in law. All that society has today are relativistic values based upon statistical averages, or the arbitrary decisions of those who hold legal and political power. (p. 47)

Not only do I find these quotes interesting but I also find the timing of these quotes interesting. They were written by Dr. Francis Schaeffer, a widely recognized Christian author, speaker, and thinker. Dr. Schaeffer wrote this in the same year in which he died - 1984.

I find this interesting because almost 30 years ago Schaeffer declared America a "post-Christian" nation, yet so many have yet to hear it. I believe that when American Christians realize that we are missionaries in a dark land our expansion efforts will improve greatly. Too many believers are interested in changing laws instead of hearts. Too many believers are focused on the White House instead of God's House. Too many believers want to protest instead of pray. Too many believers want to complain about taxes instead of tithe. Too many believers want to legislate morality instead of demonstrate morality.

We are missionaries here. Think about it. Missionaries don't go into foreign lands to change the government. They change nations by demonstrating the love of Christ one person at a time. This is not to say that citizens shouldn't exercise their right to vote and partake in the political process. It IS to say that there is much more to be done besides engaging in the political process.

I'm proud of my church - TrueNorth Church - who stepped up to the plate this morning during our monthly Second Saturday and covered our city with simple acts of kindness and love. From feeding the homeless to painting an inner city school and dozens of other projects in between, TNC is learning how to change lives - from the inside out. Nearly 400 people came out today to show Christ's love in simple ways!

We will see cultural change when Christians get out of the pews and into the streets. We will see laws change when Christian love prevails. We will see Christ change lives when the world around us sees Christ in us.

Monday, March 07, 2011

"That's tragic. What's for lunch?"

The other day I was standing in line at a restaurant when I heard two men ahead of me talking about a brutal murder that was in the news. The first guy was telling the second one all about it since he had not seen the news. It was a gruesome and sad tale. Unfortunately, Guy 1 told the gory details of the crime while Guy 2 and those of us around him were staring at the menu above the fast-food counter quickly losing our appetites.

As Guy 1 continued with the story, Guy 2 was disturbed at what he heard and responded as his friend shared the news with listening cues like, "That's awful," "Oh, my goodness," or "What a shame."

Finally, as Guy 1 completed his story, Guy 2 said, in the same breath, "That's tragic. What's for lunch?"

It took a few seconds for it to register in my brain. What an odd reply. Are we so used to bad news that it rolls off of us like water on a duck's back? Are we so accustomed to hearing about tragedies, calamities, murders, wars, and crises that our response is, "That's tragic. What's for lunch?"

I'm afraid we are - and I am as guilty as anyone. How many times do I scroll through all of the bad news that I see online? How many times do I read the headlines in the newspaper and flip over to the next page with little or no concern? (Yes, I still get a newspaper.)

Our generation receives so much news so fast that genocide in Libya is just another headline and brutal murders are a dime a dozen. We've become numb to tragedy.

Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision, once wrote, "Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God." We may be numb to the bad news around us but I know that these terrible things break God's heart. I know that I can't prevent some of these things from happening. I cannot give enough money to solve all of the world's crises. I am not in a position of power to stop the fighting around the world. I don't have enough time to give to all of the needs around me.

But I can do something. I can pray and I can give what I can. I can't change the world for everyone but I can change the world for someone.

I cannot control the wave after wave after wave of bad news that comes before me each week but I can control my response to it. So I must pray on a regular basis what Bob Pierce prayed, "Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God." May I be sensitive to the needs around me. May I be prayerful as I hear of tragedy around the world. May I be generous when I can be generous. May I empathize with those who need empathy. May I be a bit of positive news in a world full of bad news.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The American Nightmare


Here's a small snippet from an e-book that I hope to make available soon.

In America, we are encouraged to acquire more things in order to achieve happiness. Don't believe it? Watch a few hours of TV commercials and get back to me. We are encouraged to live for the day and spend money today – whether we have it or not. We are led to believe that "charging" our blues away will bring joy and fulfillment.

The culture tells us to buy more stuff, spend time watching mindless entertainment, and worship celebrities. Don't believe that? Eavesdrop on a few conversations the next time you're in a restaurant or standing in line at the DMV.

"Did you watch (enter name of meaningless TV show here) last night?"

"Did you hear about (enter the name of the latest flash-in-the-pan celebrity here)?"

"I got this blouse on sale at (enter the name of the latest clothing store here) last Saturday. It was only $80."

The culture says that we should have a miserable job where we work 50+ hours per week, buy a house, drive late model cars, live for the weekends, take two weeks of vacation per year, and contribute fully to our 401(k) so that we can retire before we turn 70 and buy an RV to travel the country for a few years before our poor health brings us home.

Then you die.

It's called the American Dream.

Or is it a nightmare?

What will you think when you are on your deathbed and you realize that everything the culture said you should do to make yourself happy was wrong? What if you follow the media's prescription for the American Dream only to discover the concoction you've swallowed led to nowhere?

I don't want to die with regrets. I don't think you do either.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Missional Frugality by Craig Ford

Craig Ford is a missionary and blogger in Papua New Guinea. He created a new term called "Missional Frugality." What if American Christians embraced this idea rather than the American Dream?

http://www.moneyhelpforchristians.com/embracing-missional-frugality/


Let me know what you think.