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August 16, 2010


Doug Nolte

That is a very transparent post. As God works out my salvation, I am confronted with these opposing dynamics in my life.

On one hand I feel completely useless in the worlds eyes, but I claim a false sense of "purpose". On the other hand, I ponder the significance I have in Christ and how I rarely value the true weight of that.

We have taken on several foster kids over the last year. I can identify with the accolades of people saying how noble we are for doing such a "good deed". I can get a strange sense of self importance as I hear them espouse our impact on these young lives.

However, there are days in which I think to myself what in the world was I thinking. This is intrusive, unending and I want out. Of course I don't offer that side of it when people are telling us how special we are to do this. Maybe I should.

But what I can tell you to be true, is this is what I was made to do. I think there is a part of me that needed these kids to complete a process in my life. I have fun with them, I love being with them. I would be heartbroken without them in my life. I would be missing God's opportunity for me.

And so I think it is for you as well my friend. I have followed you the past few years as you have moved in the direction of your heart. You are in God's sweet spot, doing what he made you to do. Really well in fact.

But to bring us down to earth, neither of us is immune to being a good husband, father, worker, neighbor. Perhaps that is where I find myself often times thinking to myself, "if you only knew."

Thankfully, God knows our hearts!


Thanks for these comments, Doug. I appreciate you and the openness you've lived in welcoming these kids. Made me think of this prayer...

Celtic Prayer of Hospitality

We saw a stranger yesterday.
We put food in the eating place,
Drink in the drinking place,
Music in the listening place,
And with the sacred name of the triune God
He blessed us and our house,
Our cattle and our dear ones.
As the lark says in her song:
Often, often, often, goes the Christ
In the stranger’s guise.

True evangelical faith
cannot lie dormant
it clothes the naked
it feeds the hungry
it comforts the sorrowful
it shelters the destitute
it serves those that harm it
it binds up that which is wounded
it has become all things to all creatures.

~ Menno Simmons, 16th century

Blessings, bro.

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Words make Worlds...

  • "It becomes so clear to me as I grow older that people who change, and keep changing, are the only people who grow up." -Richard Rohr
  • “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
  • "Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be." -John Wooden
  • "Receptivity without confrontation leads to a bland neutrality that serves nobody. Confrontation without receptivity leads to an oppressive aggression which hurts everybody." - Henri Nouwen
  • "Spirituality is not a formula; it is not a test. It is a relationship. Spirituality is not about competency; it is about intimacy. Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection. The way of spirituality begins where we are now in the mess of our lives." -Mike Yaconelli
  • "But that doesn’t mean community is easy. For everything in this world tries to pull us away from community, pushes us to choose ourselves over others, to choose independence over interdependence, to choose great things over small things, to choose going fast alone over going far together." -Shane Claiborne
  • "Nothing that we despise in the other man is entirely absent from ourselves. We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or don’t do, and more in light of what they suffer." Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create." Albert Einstein
  • "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman
  • "A nation that continues to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." -Dr. Martin Luther King
  • "Our relationship with each other is the criterion the world uses to judge whether our message is truthful--- Christian community is the final apologetic." -Francis Schaefer
  • "It is not allowable to love the Creation according to the purposes one has for it, any more than it is allowable to love one’s neighbor in order to borrow his tools." Wendell Berry
  • "All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers. Each one owes infinitely more to the human race than the particular country in which he was born." -Francois Fenelon
  • "Ministry cannot be about maintenance, but it is about gathering, about embrace, about welcoming home all sorts of and conditions of people; home is a place for mother tongue, of basic soul food, of old stories told and treasured, of being at ease, known by name, belonging without qualifying for membership." -Walter Brueggemann
  • "Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get round to being the particular poet or particular monk that they are intended to be by God." "In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always thought I wanted to be." -Thomas Merton
  • "God spoke to Balaam through his ass, and God's been speaking through them ever since. So, if God chooses to speak through you don't think to highly of yourself." -Rich Mullins
  • "We must become holy not because we want to feel holy but because Christ must be able to live his life fully in us." Mother Teresa
  • "I am deeply convinced that the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self." Henri Nouwen


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