Thursday, April 17, 2008

Back from a conference.

Well, I'm not back from the conference Dave is at right now in Louisville, KY. The Together for the Gospel one... I was at a work conference in Vancouver talking about outcome measurements and so forth. Very compelling stuff. I was able to ride the train in which was really nice the first time but yesterday was a bit of a drag as it was filled up with high schoolers headed to the big city on a field trip. They have no concept of train etiquette! They were talkative and excited. Alas, I was not able to immerse myself in crowded seclusion with my iPod and book. To think, I used to be a youth pastor...?

There are no really interesting observations from my conference to share, well maybe one... There were lots of different human service agencies there including womens shelters, teen justice centers, community living agencies, rehab centers. The conference was about measuring the success rates of our programs. A lady who runs a food bank kind of broke down yesterday frustratingly admitting that she didn't really see how they were having success in the food bank when no one seems to be improving. There is no real measure of successes she explained, when all you are doing is feeding someones belly temporarily and helping them continue in the cycle of poverty by giving them handouts. The rest of the group chimed in with advice and agreement to her points. The general consensus was that she was correct, but it was a still necessity. All this to say the different world view believers have than others is highlighted a bit here. Acting benevolent isn't confined to Christianity. This said, as believers we recognize an eternal value and purpose of God's love that propels us to good deeds. Obviously frustration with poverty isn't ignored by Christ followers, but I rejoice in the hope of the gospel that replaces it.

John 6

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."

Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"

Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

So they asked him, "What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

"Sir," they said, "from now on give us this bread."

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

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