Category Archives: Dreams for the Restoration

Attack on poverty:  A page from God’s playbook

By: Steve Holt Sr.

The food was late arriving at my place setting.  And when it finally arrived, it was a salad!

But all that is to be expected when you attend a fundraiser for a nonprofit, especially one aimed at helping the poor.  The five hundred or so of us weren’t there to eat.  The occasion was a fundraiser for a local organization that serves the poor in my home town. The campaign is entitled “Beyond Charity, a Vision for the Future.”

The real food at this luncheon were the insights and information shared by eight speakers from a variety of organizations whose missions intersect with some of this city’s poorest citizens.  Each panelist had his own idea of what the major issues are regarding poverty and how the people of our fair city might come together to address those issues.  A few examples:  the police chief called for a detox facility, the mental health advocate stressed the importance of programs for those suffering more serious mental issues, a doctor who sees a large number of poor women in his practice said sex and contraceptive education would make a big difference, a successful entrepreneur pointed out the importance of hiring people with limited skills and checkered pasts, the city councilman talked about synergy and the importance of working together to address the issues of homelessness and poverty, the representative from the local school district noted that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. There was no doubt that the panel participants care.  The fact that the mayor served as moderator gives you an idea of where this city’s administration is regarding the welfare of all our citizens.  I was impressed and challenged.

The problems of poverty are real, they are deep, and they affect us all as reflected in crime statistics, increase of single parent families, withering neighborhoods, run-away drug abuse, rising costs of goods because of theft, and more.  The most unfortunate result of poverty might be what it does to the human spirit. Poverty destroys hope, happiness, and will.

But the idea that holds the greatest possibility for permanent reversal of poverty—people of means actually moving to impoverished neighborhoods to live among and love the folks who live there—was barely mentioned.  People touching people instead of people throwing money at the issues from safe, well-to-do neighborhoods makes a difference in both long-time and relocated neighbors.

Where this has been practiced, real and lasting changes have begun.  And the changes work both ways—both rich and poor sharing from their respective wealth of experiences, knowledge and gifts, and in the process, simply loving each other, bring blessings beyond measure to all.

Why is this simple concept so often missing in the discussions about what to do about poverty?

The luncheon’s opening invocation, Bible references from several panelists and occasional hearty “amens” from the assembled made the luncheon a decidedly faith-centered event.  Several churches hosted tables for their faithful and friends.  Perhaps, then, you will excuse this paraphrase (with liberties) of Philippians 2:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being able to afford any neighborhood he wished, did not consider himself worthy to live any place he wished.  Instead, he gave himself up and chose to dwell among people who were so unlike himself. And moving to that needy neighborhood, he took on the identity of the poor, isolated, forgotten, abused, maligned people who lived there, thus submitting to his Father’s wishes.  As a result, his Father rewarded him handsomely with new friends, new perspectives, and contentment beyond measure.

 

The point is that God dealt with the dire human condition (far more serious than poverty), not by isolating himself behind the vast expanses of space, but by leaving the safety and comforts of heaven and choosing to dwell among a vastly different neighborhood…a neighborhood so hostile that it eventually cost Jesus his very life.

Perhaps it’s time for we who call ourselves disciples of Jesus to take a page from God’s playbook by moving into neighborhoods that need us, to live with people we desperately need.

And perhaps that’s what neo-restoration is really all about.

(Disclaimer:  I confess that I currently live in a comfortable, safe neighborhood—if, indeed, anyplace is safe—surrounded by giving neighbors who keep their yards up.  But, I’m seriously rethinking all of that. I’ll keep you posted.)

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Steve Holt lives in Texas. His recent book, “Intentional: In Jesus’ name we play,” tells the story of a fictional wealthy professional basketball superstar who moves to one of the poorest neighborhoods in America to connect with the people who live there and the hope and renewal he brought.  Contact him at sholtsr@gmail.com.

Advent Cheer

By: Brent Bailey

I started celebrating Advent when I realized I was pointed in the wrong direction.

For most of my life, even now, the rhythm orienting my life has been the school calendar. The way I define my place in time usually follows a certain pattern from “The semester’s just starting” to “Things are starting to pick up” to “It’s hectic midterm time” to “It’s like the calm before the storm” to “Don’t talk to me, it’s finals week” to “School’s out, and I’m free!” If you ask me how I’m doing, I’ll usually start my answer with one of those time markers. Describing myself in those terms forms my identity: Because the rhythm of my life is the rhythm of school, the label of “student” is closer to the center of how I perceive myself than many other labels.

In Desiring the Kingdom, James Smith describes how we’re constantly surrounded by different influences trying to form us and orient us and, ultimately, “determine what we love.” He calls those influences liturgies—collections of stories, images, ideals, practices, etc. that are powerful enough to determine for us what we dedicate our time, energy, and attention to. Smith describes a few different liturgies in United States culture, like the shopping mall or the stadium, that have been particularly effective. (The amount of time Americans spend over Thanksgiving shopping and watching football suggests he may be on to something.) Smith argues churches need to offer liturgy so robust it can counteract the pressures of those competing liturgies. The end result is that we’ll love God (and dedicate our time, energy, and attention to God) more than we love material possessions or a football team or anything else.

I don’t remember who it was that described the liturgical calendar to me as a rhythm orienting the lives of Christians. (The longer I stay in Bible college, the more all the books, lectures, and conversations blend together.) Having grown up in a Christian tradition that didn’t use the liturgical calendar, its language was mostly unfamiliar to me, but I started noticing how certain friends seemed to define their places in time by those Christian seasons: “I’m so ready for Advent to arrive.” “This season of Lent has been really rich for me.” I started to wonder whether planting myself on the Christian calendar could form my identity in the same way the school calendar had, whether it might help me to move that “Christian” label closer to the core of my identity.

A couple years ago, I started participating in the rhythm of Advent. Let me be honest: I’m still an Advent baby, and that means I’m still really bad at it—listening to Christmas music before Christmas, accidentally starting a Sunday early last year (Seriously, how hard is it to check a calendar?), that sort of stumbling. But I’ve noticed it’s already beginning to change the aroma of December for me, such that the culmination of Christmas isn’t the post-finals nap or the gift exchange or the viewing of A Christmas Story (Precious as those moments are!). It’s the arrival of Jesus, the one who comes to us where we are and gives us a new identity.

That’s the direction in which I want to move.

The Absence of Love

By: Christiana Cha

We live in a society obsessed with the idea of love – not obsessed with love so much as obsessed with the idea of love. We love love. It’s why we watch romantic comedies that show unrealistic “love” stories of infatuation; I’m hot, you’re hot, let’s be together for the duration of this movie. Meanwhile, marriages continue to end in divorce and more and more children are growing up angry, afraid, not knowing their place in their world. I have been blessed with parents who continue to uphold the commitment they made to one another in the witness of God and man, but I have friends whose hearts are broken as their parents’ marriages are broken, and in turn my heart breaks for them.

It makes me wonder…do we know how to love? Have we seen it? Do we have love in our lives?

There is a reason we are obsessed with the idea of love; we love love because we need love. We need it to survive and to thrive. We need to know that someone cares that we exist, that our existence holds some significance.

Remember with me for a moment the scandalous research by Harry Harlow on love and the effects of deprivation of love on young rhesus monkeys. (Here’s a link: http://psychology.about.com/od/historyofpsychology/p/harlow_love.htm ) The comfort of another fuzzy body nearby (not even their real mothers) was enough for the monkeys to cling to, but when that small comfort was taken away, they suffered pitifully. Let me say that I certainly do not think Harlow’s experiment was kind, but it illustrated a point and contradicted the popular opinion at the time. These are only monkeys, but move on to human psychology and you will find that love and affection are just as crucial in the growth and development of humans as well. We can feel that we need love to thrive, but science will confirm that feeling as being valid.

So what happens when we don’t have the love we need? In the 1950s Harlow would have told us that the deprivation of love would lead to fear, suffering, and stunted development.

What about today?

Today we have people like Dr. Brené Brown, author of “Daring Greatly” and “The Gifts of Imperfection” who have done research on vulnerability and love. Dr. Brown writes, “In the absence of love and belonging, there will always be suffering.” (Daring Greatly) So it would seem that this statement has only held and collected evidence again over 60 years later.

In the absence of love and belonging, there will always be suffering.

For me this feels like a daunting statement because I know that we as humans are not perfect at loving the people around us. I know that I have felt an absence of love before, and I am certain that someone else has probably felt that absence of love from me as well. (I’m sorry.) But when we feel the absence of love, do we suffer and leave it at that, or is there another way we react?

You are free to disagree with me, but I would say that in the midst of our suffering we seek out sources of love and belonging because those are two of the things for which our souls are hungriest. We thirst, we strive, we pine, and we fight for love. It is that which we desire above all things. And if we do not find it in the traditional places – with our parents, with our significant others, with friends and brothers and sisters – we will most certainly look for it elsewhere.
In our society we see this in many ways: addiction to drugs and pornography, gangs, clubs, fraternities and sororities, peer pressure, fashion trends and brand names, workplace humor, bullying, and unhealthy relationships that we know we shouldn’t be in but that we can’t give up because it gives us that little kick of feeling like we belong somewhere. I would say most if not all of us have been at that last place. Some of those things are in the grand scheme are fairly harmless, but others only create more suffering and hurt in our hearts.

I think you follow me – I don’t think I need to explain further to you why some of those things are harmful for you to understand that love and belonging are important, and if we don’t find it in healthy ways, we will find it some way or another because we do not want to suffer through the absence of love.

What’s my point? My point is this: LOVE those around you. Hold close the ones dearest to you. Choose to curb your frustration and say something kind instead. Don’t make fun of that coworker behind his/her back just to feel like another one likes you a little more. Instead, stand up for that person when someone ridicules him/her. Strive to be a safe place for your friends so that they know they are welcome and loved. See the beauty in the man and the woman’s soul, not in their outfits. Put down the bottle and call a friend. Choose to hang out with someone who is not part of your clique.

We have all felt the sting of love absent, and we know the suffering it brings. Give someone else a chance to feel relief from suffering, and may you also find that relief.

Adventures Toward Delight

By: Laura Callarman

You and I, my friends, are on a journey. For some of us it began long, long ago. For others, not quite as far back. For some of us it’s entailed a lot of love, excitement, joy, and possibility. And for some of us it’s entailed heartbreak beyond words, pain, disillusionment, wondering, and lots of wandering. It’s probably safe to say that each of us has experienced some of both sides on this journey. And it’s probably also safe to say that no two experiences of the journey are the same. But the one thing that is the same is that it’s a journey toward God, in one way or another.

I have a good friend who likes to put it this way: “In the beginning, there was delight. In the end, there will be deeper delight. And in the middle is the amazing story in which we now live.” That’s the journey I’m talking about. The amazing story in which we now live, the one that leads us eventually, even if by a very winding path, to deeper delight—both our delight in God and God’s delight in us. You’ve heard me talk about this journey in terms of “a thoroughly gospeled life” before, but even if the terminology’s a little different, the idea’s the same. It’s all about everything we are being permeated by everything that God desires for us. And let me tell you, that can be quite an adventure!

You see, God isn’t content to leave us the way we are. Even those of us who’ve know more gladness than heartache in our lives still aren’t experiencing the deepest delight of God and still aren’t fully permeated by God’s good news. There’s so much more room for fullness and abundance in all of our lives! And God desires that for us!

But the path that leads us further into God’s delight and good news is always a challenging one simply because God asks of us everything that we are and everything that we have. There are no half measures. Now it’s not that this isn’t a wonderful path to be on, for an adventure like this with God is the most marvelous experience you could hope for. And it’s certainly not that this journey requires perfection. No, as I’ve said before, one beautiful aspect of God’s good news is that it emphasizes redemption over and above perfection. And even the redemption that’s at the center of it is something that God does, something we simply benefit from and participate in. Yet this journey is still an adventure, because it entails submitting to God’s love and learning to love God back with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:28-34) — essentially with your whole being. And that, my friends, is not for the faint of heart.

So with all that in mind, my question for you today is this: how will you choose to live as you continue on this journey that we call life? Knowing God’s desire of an abundant, delight-filled, gospeled existence for you, both now and in the end, what will you do? Who will you be? Will you surrender your heart, soul, mind, and body to God’s transforming power and endless love, to be formed and used as God knows best? Will you dive unreservedly into what God is asking of you, acting on your conviction that God is worthy of your trust?  I certainly do hope so. Because while I can safely say that it will surely be challenging, I can also promise you that it will be the most amazing and blessed adventure you’ve ever been on!

Vulnerability is Contagious

By: Brent Bailey
October 11 marks the observation of National Coming Out Day, an annual celebration of those who have chosen to acknowledge their nontraditional sexual orientation or gender identity publicly. It’s always a profoundly tender day for me, because I’ve shared literally dozens of conversations over the last few years with friends and family in which I opened up about my own experiences of being attracted to men, and I’m familiar with the variety of emotions that particular self-disclosure has evoked in me: fear, insecurity, anticipation, relief, pride, delight, and, yes, tenderness. Telling someone else your experience of sexuality or gender is different from the norm is intimidating in the way transparency and vulnerability are always intimidating.

What initially surprised me throughout those conversations, and then stopped surprising me, was how often my self-disclosure about my sexual orientation would elicit self-disclosure from the person on the other side of the table. Sometimes they’d open up about their own sexuality, but often they’d open up about something unrelated. I came to realize vulnerability is contagious: So many of us are craving the opportunity to share something intensely personal about ourselves, and often all we need is some indication it’s safe for us to do so. Whenever I’d stumble through the words of telling someone I was gay and what that had meant for my life and my faith development, it set the tone for a sort of unguarded intimacy that was altogether refreshing for both of us.

Once I had encountered that kind of intimacy, though, a crisis emerged. I had tasted something sweet and rich and satisfying, and soon other contexts in which intimacy was unavailable began to taste less satisfying. Much to my dismay, I came to realize many of the communities that had functioned as church for me throughout my life would no longer quench my thirst for openness and sincerity. This wasn’t some sort of exhibitionist narcissism, a need to tell everyone everything about me and my sexuality; it was simply the realization that the church was better at doing what church was meant to do for me when I didn’t feel a concern or obligation to hide parts of myself from it. In some churches, my particular brand of vulnerability wasn’t welcome—the way people talked and whispered and joked made it clear they weren’t prepared to respond to my orientation with compassion and sensitivity. In other churches, it seemed as though no vulnerability at all was welcome, regardless of the content—members would move about with shallow chats and superficial prayers, leaving the impression candor was inappropriate and out of place.

When National Coming Out Day arrives this year, my hope is that Christians will be able to see through all the political and social noise about same-sex relationships to recognize how beautiful and affecting it is when someone takes the risk of inviting others into closer, more intimate relationship by demonstrating transparency. Perhaps in those churches in which vulnerability seems inappropriate, that example could challenge people to live into a new reality in which members share deeper intimacy. In the very best cases, one person’s vulnerability prompts vulnerability from others, and taking that risk of knowing each other better empowers us to love each other better.

Jesus Can Lead His Own Church

deacon

By: Jordan Bunch

Hello Mr. Reverend-Deacon-Doctor.

Did you know Jesus doesn’t need you to head up HIS Church.  He is fully capable of doing that himself.  In fact, if He’s not the one leading it I have to ask, “Who’s church is that, yours or His?”

“And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”  ~Colossians 1:18

And yet you claim it is your church.  Your name is carved in stone on the building and on the sign facing the highway.  I’ve seen it there hundreds of times all over the country.

Why do you insist on putting your name on His church?

And another thing… Why do you insist on adding these prefix titles to your name?

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers and sisters.  And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.  Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.”  ~ Matthew 23:8-10

Do you not know that He is the one who leads all of his people.

Do you not know that he is the one who gives life to the church?

And do you not know that it is him, not you who transforms His people?

Yet you continue to puff yourself up as the one who has built a church and transforms a people, all the while couching everything in a language of humility.  Newsflash: You’re not fooling me, or anyone else my age.

“Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.”  ~Colossians 2:18-19

So please Mr. Reverend-Deacon-Doctor.  If you want to continue what you are doing, at least stop calling it the church.  Call it what it is.  A social club centered around your puffed up personality.

Leave the Church to Jesus.  He can do just fine on his own.

Sincerely,

Audacious in Austin

Breaking the Silence

godhateslust

By: Christiana Cha

For a moment, I was stunned; I had expected to hear some profound thoughts, but somehow I had not expected to get hit by such a small phrase.

I was sitting in a room filled mostly with people in their forties and older but a few other twenty-somethings like myself listening to an acquaintance, Sally Gary (founder of CenterPeace and author of “Loves God, Likes Girls”) talking about how stigmatized homosexuality/same sex attraction was and in many cases still is. But that wasn’t what caught my attention. It was what she said next:

“Would that some of the other things we struggle with had been so socially unacceptable.”

A million thoughts flooded my mind – things like uncontrolled tempers, lust, jealousy, making fun of others to make ourselves feel better, excluding others because they somehow don’t “fit in” to the narrow definitions we set for our tiny elitist cliques, and so on…. Those are things about which we don’t talk. We hold our silence, and we paste on a fake smile and pretend to be nice whilst waiting for someone to pass just to turn and say, “What a dork,” or some other derogatory name-calling.

Why do we do it?  And more importantly, why do we not point that out more as something that needs to be “fixed”? Why do we put other “issues” under the microscope instead?

A young boy is being verbally abused at home, but no one breathes a word or tells his father that he needs to change his stance toward his son or his son will have a world of baggage that will cripple him as an adult and make him continually believe the lie that he is inadequate, incapable, and worthless.

Men and women young and not-so-young lust after one another, sometimes having affairs, sleeping around, or becoming addicted to pornography. But we don’t talk about that, either. We almost seem to condone it, in fact.

We encourage exclusivity and cliques, we make fun of those who are different from us (let’s face it, we’re all different from one another), and we laugh when others trip and fall whether it’s physically or socially.  (Don’t tell me you’ve never laughed at playground fails or Scarlett taking a tumble on Youtube – I have).

And, don’t tell me you’ve never had road rage. I’d be lying to you if I said I never have road rage. But beyond road rage, what about a general lack of control of one’s temper? That is something that can be very hurtful, especially to family members, who generally bear the brunt of a person’s rage.

And yet…we focus on topics like same-sex attraction. Why? Why don’t we talk more about the other topics I listed and so many more that are ultimately so much more hurtful to us? I almost stopped listening to the rest of what Sally had to say after she said that one line, “Would that some of the other things we struggle with had been so socially unacceptable.” Indeed! I wish they were, and I wish we talked about those things more and brought them to light so children did not have to grow up being verbally abused with no one to be their advocates! I wish that we didn’t make fun of each other so viciously just to get a laugh and feel good about ourselves. I wish bedding someone wasn’t such a conquest and a game to so many people. I wish, I wish, I wish. But how do we change it?

Well for starters, let’s talk about it.

The Life We’ve Been Called Into

File_PassionMovie_Whipped2

This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.

He never did one thing wrong,
Not once said anything amiss.

They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls.

1 Peter 2:21-25

A Thoroughly Gospeled Life

By: Laura Callarman

A few short months ago I sort of haphazardly stumbled upon what I might venture to call a sketch of my life’s mission and purpose statement. I remember the moment clearly. I was sitting in the school cafeteria (five dollar all-you-can-eat lunches being the staple of a grad student, after all), weighed down by the multitude of assignments demanding my attention as my master’s degree drew to its long-awaited close, and I was vehemently bemoaning the severe case of writer’s block that seemed to have settled into my life for what I could only imagine would be at least through the end of my graduate career if not longer. Yet knowing that I had dozens of pages to write in the immediate future, even if I had no earthly idea of what the content of those pages would be, I settled into a solution: I would stop caring about the quality of my writing and I would simply write. Get it done. Be finished, once and for all. (This attempt at apathy was, as you can probably guess, essentially a delusion on my part. An impossibility. But that’s a subject better left for another time.)

So I began to write, or rather, I began to rant. This was a reflection on my ministerial identity that I was so frustratedly trying to compose. And in this meandering tirade of a reflection somehow one worthwhile sentence emerged. (The rant was seven pages long, mind you.) In venting my bewilderment about a path forward and whether or not that might include doctoral studies, I wrote that “choosing a program and an academic focus proves a bit difficult, for there’s not exactly a box to check on PhD applications for ‘garden-growing, bread-baking, sustainable-food-eating theologically trained thinker, writer, and conversation partner who believes her passionate, balanced, God-inspired life is her witness and therefore is her ministry.’”

And there it was—my ministerial identity in a nutshell. A little rough around the edges, perhaps, and far from exhaustive, to be sure, but the fundamentals were suddenly there right in front of me. “Garden-growing, bread-baking, sustainable-food-eating theologically trained thinker, writer, and conversation partner who believes her passionate, balanced, God-inspired life is her witness and therefore is her ministry.” No wonder I couldn’t easily name my own path forward. Granted, my brain badly needed rest from a four-year journey through grad school, but at the moment all the respectable options I could conceive of felt far too constrained. Too narrowly defined. They would allow part of me to flourish but not all of me, for, they implied, I was too scattered in my focus.

Yet as I lay here in my front porch swing, letting the cool breeze (okay, coolish breeze —I am in Texas in the summer, after all) and the sound of rustling leaves roll over me, as I breathe deeply of the tantalizing scent of chicken stock bubbling away in the crockpot inside, I can’t help but wonder… Perhaps there is a path forward for me that will allow me to be all of these things at once and in somewhat equal measure. If not a position to fill, then perhaps a life to lead. A thoroughly gospeled life. A life in which my chicken stock and my squash plants and my reflections on identity, vocation, and the good news of God are all inextricably intertwined. And if not a box to check, then perhaps blog posts to write.

And that is where you, my friends, come in. You here at Neo-Restorationists are some of my fellow journeyers. You have your own ways of pursuing a thoroughly gospeled life, just as I have mine. And what better way to experience the gospel than to share that? Over the course of our time together, then, you will hear me share from my own stumbling attempts to pursue a life that is permeated by the good news of God. I am not perfect, that is the one thing I can promise you. But I will share with you my successes and failures, my insights and intuitions, and, above all, the work that God is doing in and around me, at least as I can perceive it with imperfect vision. You are welcome to share the same with me. I pray that God blesses our journey together and that we are more thoroughly gospeled as a result of it.

[Husband’s note:  Wife wrote this Thursday night.  It is now Saturday night.  After a couple of days of cooking down all of the chicken stock, wife just walked through our bedroom and said, “I’m tired of our house smelling like chicken.”] Like I said, I’m not perfect.

A Conversation Re-Awakes

Old Church

By: Jordan Bunch

If you are a student of Sociology, or if you haven’t been living under a rock for the past decade, then you are very well aware of the fact that the world is changing.  Not just your typical generational change either.  This is the kind of change that marks a new era.

This change is what Sociologists call the “Postmodern Shift.”  Meaning, we were once in an age known as “Modernity” or “The Modern Age” and now we are in a whole new age altogether.  However, since we are just at the beginning of this new age, we don’t exactly know what it will be like.  Thus we simply call it “Post-modernity.”

The impact of this shift on the world, and thus the Church cannot be over emphasized.

If you are a part of any church, you have no doubt felt this shift in a significant way.  It may have looked something like the following:

1) Sunday School attendance dwindling.
2) Styles of worship being drastically altered.
3) Worship service attendance shrinking.
4) The average age of church members skyrocketing.
5) Very few church members in their 20’s.
6) Emphasis on small groups over the larger assembly.
7) Teens leaving the Church after high school graduation.
8) Churches dying or merging due to financial constraints.

Many of you are highly concerned.  You should be.  If the Church does not adapt to this Post-Modern shift, it will die.

However, there is Good News.  The Church will NOT die.  God always has a plan for his people and in this new age, He is re-awakening the restorers of Christ’s Bride.

They are young and they are old.

They are fearless.

They do not care about the status-quo.

They do not care about the American Dream.

They could care less about your protocol or your policies.

They are passionately in love with Jesus.  They would follow Him to the depths of the earth.

They dream BIG.

They fight hard, but not with their fists, because they turn the other cheek.

They fight against individualism and lean deep into community.

They shake off the shackles of the traditions that are stale and meaningless,

Yet they grab hold of the ancient ones that give them life, because they are birthed out of the One who gives all life.

Have you seen them?

Can you hear them?

You won’t find them in a suit and tie

and neither will they stand by

While people are hated against for the color of the skin,

or for any other way that God made them.

There is a re-awakening of the dreamers, the non-violent fighters, the doers, the prayers, the story tellers, the world changers.

They are the Neo-Restorationists.

This is their story.