Active Faith

Encountering the Homeless

People frequently ask me, “How should I respond to the homeless I encounter?” If you live in or around South Florida, interacting with a homeless person is almost unavoidable. Gas stations, grocery stores, street corners and medians — just to name a few — are all common places many of us encounter persons experiencing homelessness. Some hold up signs asking for work, money, or food; others appear at park benches, bus stops or outside the doors of your church or business — all looking for some type of help. Do I talk with them? Do I lock my doors? Should […]

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Loving the Wounded

The grief and trauma of abortion surrounds us daily—one out of every three women in the United States has experienced an abortion, and some have experienced repeat abortions. According to the British Journal of Psychiatry, “Women who have undergone an abortion experience 81% increased risk of mental health problems and nearly 10% of the incidence of mental health problems was shown to be attributable to abortion.” The great calling for Christians is to bring the presence of Christ to those with wounded hearts. How glorious it is to help women and men speak the unspeakable and voice what they have […]

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The Isaiah 61 Christian

Are you an evangelist? Evangelism means sharing the euangélion—the gospel or the good news. When Jesus began his public ministry, he referred to the call in Isaiah 61 to preach the good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, and renew our cities. There is power within each of us who call ourselves Christ-followers to be Isaiah 61 Christians. It is up to each of us to find our calling or pathway to serve, renew, bind up, and proclaim freedom. Below is a sample of organizations and initiatives promoting compassion and service in our […]

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A People of Peace

In a recent exit survey, Asia, a 5-month pregnant mother with one child, had this to say about her time in HOPE South Florida’s crisis-housing program as she graduated into more permanent housing: “I would like to say a special thank you to the staff, volunteers and supporters of HOPE South Florida! After finding crisis housing in your Faith-In-Action program, I now know I am loved, not alone, and have hope for a brighter future. Thank you for taking such great care of my daughter and I during our time of need.” Believe it or not, Asia’s words are meant […]

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Do One Hard Thing in 2014

I don’t know about you, but the pressure and pace of life seems to be increasing every year. When you add the constant bombardment of information and technology to our already full schedules, slowing life down seems as unlikely as stopping a runaway freight train. On top of that, add twenty-seven New Year’s resolutions, and it is no wonder most of us give them up by February. The simple truth is that it’s hard to add one more thing to our lives; but maybe that is what we really need. Maybe in 2014, we need to add one hard thing. […]

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Homosexuality and the Gospel

Until recently, Christian ministry Exodus International spent decades both performing and heralding the benefits of reparative therapy, a controversial process that helps a homosexual person to change their sexual orientation to a heterosexual one via therapy. Earlier this year, Exodus International’s director Alan Chambers announced that the ministry was closing its doors and issued an apology to the gay community. An apology means a person feels they have done something wrong. If he felt this ministry was wrong, one could ask: “Is there a right way to minister to the homosexual community or a need to minister at all?” All […]

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Tattooed By Iniquity No Longer

What comes to mind when you see a person covered in tattoos? A person that has had a rough life; someone that has taken the road of hard knock and a path of pain and agony? Or perhaps someone who has been rebellious and possibly pushed aside by society? If we are not careful, we may judge a book by its cover while failing to understand what the content inside the book really reveals. The Bible says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things […]

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I’m Gonna Let it Shine

If you attended Sunday school as a young child, it was an easy environment in which to proclaim your love for Christ. Your teachers, friends and parents all talked about Jesus, and identifying yourself as a Christian was easy and comfortable. Remember the lyrics to the children’s song, “This Little Light of Mine?” Your light was going to shine for him. And no one and nothing was going to blow it out. But as you grew up, shouting your love for Jesus from the rooftops may not have been as easy. There were other things to worry about, like fitting […]

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21st Century Peacemakers

  “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). Every day, most of us are bombarded with new opportunities to take care of widows and orphans (James 1:27), feed the hungry (Isaiah 58:10), care for the poor (Psalm 82:3, Proverbs 14:31, Proverbs 21:13, Proverbs 22:9, Proverbs 28:27, Matthew 25:34-46, James 2:14) , defend the oppressed (Psalm 10:18, Psalm 146:7, Psalm 103:6, Psalm 9:9), and reach beyond stereotypes and divisions (Luke 10:25-37). Although it is important to be aware of what is happening around us and of opportunities to serve, it […]

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When God Gives Vision

  Has God ever given you a vision? If he has, it probably started with a burden – something you saw that was terribly wrong with the world. The kind of overwhelming problem that made you think, “we could never solve this.” Fifteen years ago, South Florida news headlines often covered a story about the broken foster care system. Children were removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect and abandonment, and then they experienced more abuse by the very system that was supposed to help them. The stories kept getting worse, and then, in the late 1990s, God brought […]

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