Author: Danny Burns

Up, In and Out

Up, In and Out

By Danny Burns

Since the tragic death of George Floyd and the days of protests across the country, there are a wide range of reactions. Fear, outrage, anger, hatred, sadness, frustration to doubt, indifference, and plain apathy.  The issues that are before us are as wide as they are complex and have plagued our country for centuries and our world for even longer.

As such, there aren’t enough pages to write here to provide all the answers we need. There are some answers we won’t ever get. But in this moment as a follower of Jesus who has a responsibility to lead not only my family but assist in the leading of an entire church, I have a duty and calling to serve….to try and be helpful – to point us back to Jesus with the hope and desire to be used by God to be agents of change for as long as He calls us on this earth.

As a white Christian who will never fully know what it’s like to be a minority in the US, what is our posture? How do I respond amidst this pointed time in history? Media outlets and social posts give us long lists of actions we can take, groups we can join, and causes we can take up. Some believe it’s easier to be quiet for fear of saying the wrong thing or offending the wrong person. Others believe the problems we face are too many to solve. Still, others don’t believe the level of response we’ve seen in our streets is even warranted.

Our First Response

Regardless of where you find yourself, as Christians, our first response should be one of brokenness.  At minimum, we should recognize a man lost his life, while pleading for it, while others begged for it at the hands of men who weren’t supposed to take it.  That moment on 38th St in south Minneapolis created a ripple effect that continues to travel like a never-ending ocean current. Families forever changed, communities ravaged and scarred, countless lives that won’t be the same. As my fellow pastor, Will Turner, preached this past Sunday, “It’s not supposed to be like this…”

That posture of brokenness as Christians is one we should have. In Romans 12:15 God says, “weep with those who weep.”  Feel the weight of this command. Then layer in all the history of oppression, unfair and unjust systems, and the realities of what it’s like to be black in this country. I will never know what that’s like, but I can and should still mourn, because it’s not supposed to be like this.

Getting To The Root

God says the human heart is “deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9). While we, as Christians, are redeemed and made new (2 Corinthians 5:17), we are still capable of sinning. I’m personally convinced that because we live in a fractured world, even as followers of Christ we have biases – beliefs that we have about certain people, groups of people, governments, organizations, etc. that aren’t actually true and are unfair. Some of them we may be aware of, and sadly some of them we are not. These biases are the most insidious because we live each day completely unaware of how these beliefs are hurting us and others.  They rob us of our witness, hinder our effectiveness, and cause us to not look anything like the One we say we follow.

While we may not self-identify as racist, we are capable of holding biases of all types and sizes deep in our hearts. We must do the work of seeking the Lord, reading His Word, and asking the Spirit of the Lord to search our hearts to reveal those things we incorrectly believe about someone or something. May Psalm 139 be our cry! “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24 NLT.

I’m confident the Spirit of the Lord will teach us, will train us and will impart wisdom on us to reveal those dark parts of our soul. Work with your pastor, small group leader, mentor, or fellow brother or sister in Christ to get to the root. Then work through the process of repentance. Repentance is a vast topic in itself, but here is a helpful place to start.

No Excuses

After the Holy Spirit has awakened us to our own sin and the biases we have, after we have taken the time to repent, I believe only then are we in a place to truly be the light of the world. Over the last few days, I get the sense there are Christians who are afraid to say the wrong thing so don’t really say anything at all. I’ve seen some who would rather wait it out and just hope it goes away. I’ve had conversations where people believe the challenges are too big.

Be mindful of cynicism. The belief that nothing can change and there is little hope. Cynicism leads to indifference, and indifference leads to inaction, and inaction leads to history repeating itself.

God is going to have to do what only He can do. But the complex challenges of race don’t give us as Christians an excuse to do nothing or to limit our actions to prayer alone.

Our Christian faith has always been one of extensive action. Proverbs 31:8 says “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.”

Jesus himself was a man of action and the New Testament writers give us countless instructions that action is an integral part of our faith. As the writer James told us, without action, we have no faith at all.

Next Steps

I believe once we have been broken by the events around us, that we’ve done the hard work of letting the Holy Spirit reveal the dark places of our own soul and repenting of those things we can put action to our faith.

Prayers of Lament
With a posture of brokenness, we can enter into prayers of lament. This is a powerful, Biblical approach to communing with God. You can learn more about that here and in a recent sermon at Redeemer Fellowship

Get Educated About Our City
Racism has a history in Kansas City that runs deep. Here are a few selected titles that have been recommended to me to give important context about our city.

Learn About the Unique Challenges of Someone Who Is Different Than You
There is so much power in empathy, and we can increase our capacity for empathy by learning about others even if we will never fully know what their life is like.

Invest In Your Community
Investing in your community will look different for everyone, so be led by the Spirit and be courageous.  Look around your neighborhood, have conversations about the events unfolding, and listen. Pray for genuine friendships with people from other races and ethnic groups. Consider joining different organizations or groups that are pursuing racial equality. Explore serving in a leadership role in school or city government. Learn about all the issues our cities and nation are facing and vote when the time comes.

Be Mindful of Social Media
Social media continues to be a polarizing, at times impersonal, and fractured way to foster real change. Use it as a place to empathize and encourage and a starting point for deeper, in-person, one-on-one conversation.

May we be awakened to the brokenness all around us, to our own depravity, and the call for action to be a part of our faith. May we be encouraged by the fact that we serve a powerful God who will one day return to restore this place to the way He made it.  And until that day comes, may we never stop pursuing all that God has called us to as active followers of Jesus Christ.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Grace, peace, and courage friends.

Photo credit:


The Top Books In 2016 That Helped Me Grow As A Leader

The Top Books In 2016 That Helped Me Grow As A Leader

As I’ve looked back at over 11 years in the workplace, the word “leadership” has been somewhat of an enigma. It’s a word lots of people used – but what does it actually mean in my organization, places I volunteer or even inside my family?

While there are thousands of definitions of leadership, I was able to experience significant growth in 2016 through the help of lots of prayer, a tremendous mentor, amazing teammates, a supportive family, individual assessment tools and these great books.

The common denominator in all of these titles is research. For me, being an authoritative source on leadership requires more than catchy sayings, the latest concepts and good stories. I buy-in when you’ve walked the walk…when your experience drives your teaching. And in most, if not all of these books, research is at the core of their concepts.

2016 brought a lot of personal clarity in the area of leadership. May these titles help you grow in 2017!


My Sister’s Wedding

My Sister’s Wedding

I had the privilege of officiating my sister’s wedding last night. Below is a copy of what I spoke to them and all who attended.

I’ve asked myself many times over the last few weeks – what am I going to say to my sister and soon-to-be brother at their wedding. And something happened that doesn’t happen all that often. I didn’t know what to say.

As I sat in bed one night, Ashley said something that was incredibly wise and incredibly simple. She said…just speak truth.

The God of the Bible created this beautiful, messy, joyful, painful, refining and transforming partnership called marriage. He did so very intentionally and specifically. So as you enter into this promise, each of you bring something to the marriage that your spouse simply cannot. And that’s by design. Colin, as a husband, God’s given you certain responsibilities, gifts and talents that Ali may try to do, but can’t & shouldn’t. Ali, as a wife, God’s given you certain responsibilities, gifts and talents that Colin may try to do, but can’t & shouldn’t. From this day forward, you’ll spend a lifetime learning how to do this dance. Thankfully God didn’t put us down here at take off. He is actively engaged in your life and in your marriage every day. Chase after Him and He will show you how He created you and what He desires for your marriage.

If I had to choose one essential, non-negotiable ingredient that must be found in your marriage, it would be this…Sacrifice.

Now that’s not a nice word, right? It’s at times the opposite of what we see all around us. We’re supposed to get ours, satisfy our wants and desires, pursue them at all costs. But if you want to learn how to get this ingredient into your marriage, look no further than the one who knows the most about sacrifice.

God sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ to come down to earth, live a perfect life and die a horrific death to redeem mankind. To make a way for us to finally know the God who created us.

If you are willing to sacrifice for each other, if you’re willing to put down your own desires, wants and needs and serve each other daily – the dance God has designed will go much smoother & be much closer to what He desires.

My prayer is that you would look to Jesus as the ultimate model of sacrifice. That you would get to a point individually where you are daily asking God to help you serve one another. That the person and work of Jesus would continue to become more real to you, that God would continue to reveal Himself to you and that your marriage and your home would be a place honoring and pleasing to the Lord.

Let me pray for you.

Father, you are so good. You knew Colin and Ali before they were even born. You saw this day before it was even a thought. We ask that you would continue to reveal yourself to Colin and Ali, that you would give them all that they need to serve each other as Christ laid down His life for us. We ask that their life as a husband and wife, their work, their home and their future family will be honoring and pleasing to you. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – bless them. Amen.

When Colic Is Not A Good Enough Diagnosis

When Colic Is Not A Good Enough Diagnosis

Our Daughter
Photo courtesy of Amy Lee Photography

The birth of our daughter was a beautiful day. The next eight weeks that followed however were not. Incessant crying, a trip to the ER, extreme bloating and a perpetual discontent for life made it a rough introduction into the world. Some could say, “welcome to parenthood” or “sounds like a baby with colic” but our daughter was our second child, she was very different than our first and we wanted to help.

Our firstborn was lactose intolerant so we started there. Our pediatrician recommended an elimination diet so my wife eliminated all potential allergens from her diet. Dairy, wheat, soy, fish, eggs and nuts were out. We also saw signs of infant reflux and began reflux meds (Ratadine) in conjunction with the elimination diet.

Fourteen days later and there was no significant or consistent improvement. Our daughter would wake up 45 minutes following a feeding in a level of screaming you hope never to hear. Gently pressing on her lower abdomen, putting her over your shoulder and repeating 2-3 times sometimes did the trick. Other times, you’d simply have to outlast the crying.

My wife, who was breastfeeding even made sure she pumped prior to every feeding to reduce the strong letdown often experienced by our daughter. This again brought little to no lasting improvement.

This is an x-ray of our daughters digestive system at 2-weeks old. All the dark chambers are pockets of gas.

If your newborn cries for more than three hours a day, doctors will often diagnosis your baby with “colic”. For us, only three hours would have been a blessing. But the potential diagnosis of colic never sat well with us. It seemed like the easy way out. And every challenging day and nightly battle spoke volumes to us. There is simply something not right with this little girl. While researching colic, we came across a reference to a study that found a reduction in “colic” symptoms when coupled with a probiotic supplement. An infant gut without the proper bacteria in it to aid digestion can cause “colic.” This set of bacteria is acquired through breastmilk/formula and improves with age. In other words, our assumption was that maybe, just maybe, the source of her problems were centered around an underdeveloped digestive system.

As we stood in our pediatricians office, our last ditch effort before making an expensive appointment with a pediatric GI specialist was to try 14 days of infant probiotic supplements.  After a bit of research online, we found a well reviewed probiotic powder for infants. Klaire Labs Infant Formula arrived from Amazon three days later. It includes six different bacteria and came shipped with a cold pack to protect potency.

We gave our daughter 1/4 teaspoon, per the bottle’s instructions via two syringes of warm water on a Tuesday morning. That night she went to sleep without any of the usual challenges. Never having two back-to-back nights without hours of crying and writhing, we again gave her another dose Wednesday morning. And again, she went down without issue.

The difference between our daughter before probiotics and after is remarkable. Her entire demeanor has changed. Her awake times include peace, calm and a happy disposition. We have enjoyed new freedoms as we’ve ventured out into restaurants and events as a family, without incident. After spending the first eight weeks of her life in turmoil, our daughters biggest challenge is now finding a consistent sleep rhythm. She’s still got a ways to go, but we are incredibly blessed.

If we had to summarize the factors leading to her improvement, while we believe the probiotic supplement was a significant contributor there were  definitely other factors:

  • General maturing. We have no doubt that as the weeks went by and our daughter grew, all of her internal systems were developing.
  • Great pediatrician. Our doctor and her staff were incredibly aggressive in their treatment and troubleshooting. She was open to the probiotic supplement and recommended it. When your doctor cares about the health of your baby as much as you do, it’s huge. If you’re in the Kansas City metro we highly recommend this practice.
  • Grace of God. Given the wisdom and insight to connect with great doctors and great supplements is truly a blessing. We believe that by His grace we’re where we are today with a healthy, happy daughter, a peaceful home and a strong marriage.

Hopefully our eight to ten week journey through “colic” can be helpful to other parents in a similar season. Our experience has shown us that ultimately you have to be your kids biggest advocate. Ask questions, stick with doctors who fight for your kids as much as you do and research. The side-effects to probiotics were minimal. We were ready for increased bloating and irritability. Thankfully, our daughter had neither. As always, make sure to check with your doctor before giving your infant anything. We’re not doctors and any advice we give shouldn’t be construed as such. We’re simply parents who weren’t satisfied to suffer through colic.

A Year In The Journal 2012

A Year In The Journal 2012

Last year I flipped through the pages of my journal to try and pull out the highlights and gathered them in a post called A Year In the Journal. With 2012 in the books, here are again a spattering of entries from the last year.

  • The incomplete joys of this world will never satisfy the human heart.
  • Preach the Gospel to yourself – even Jesus did! (Luke 4:1-13)
  • Courtesy of Brian Key from Redeemer Fellowship, downtown KC
    • God is great so we don’t have to be in control
    • God is glorious so I don’t have to tear others down
    • God is good so we don’t have to look elsewhere
    • God is gracious, so we don’t have to prove ourselves
  • Courtesy of Orion Berridge from the Avenue Church, Independence
    • Repentance and forgiveness is a daily lifestyle. Forgiveness to others in view of the forgiveness given to you at the cross.
    • Jesus is asking us for more than a friendship – He’s asking for Lordship.
    • The faithfulness of Jesus eclipses our failures. (Mark 14:26)
  • We will need His grace to raise our Grace. (this has become increasingly apparent)
  • Our expectations of God are sometimes incompatible with His will.
  • Encountering resistance on mission can be a good indication you’re headed in the right direction.
  • Our first response to our “neighbors” should be compassion because of the compassion we were shown at the cross.
  • The Holy Spirit slows me down. He quiets the rumble of my life. He encourages me, reassures me, directs me and leads me out of the selfishness of my own heart.
  • While I can’t earn the favor of God, I can exert effort in response to the relationship.
  • “Keep pursuing me my son…my relationship with you is specific and unique, just like you. Do you think I made you so special that our relationship would look like everyone else? I’m revealing my plan for your life. Let it unravel and take comfort in knowing your life is mine. Have no fear, doubt or worry – for I have ordained this. Walk in it. Praise Me in it. Don’t forget – you can do nothing without my Spirit. Call on Him to embrace the Father and the Son. He reveals us to you.”
Finding Faith Amidst Fatherhood

Finding Faith Amidst Fatherhood

Finding Faith In Fatherhood
Photo by

Fathers and future fathers beware. There is something that all the books and classes don’t prepare you for when becoming part of this significant club called fatherhood. It’s not the crying, the diapers, the sleeplessness, the frustration or any other gift a newborn brings your way. It’s the simple truth that while much of your life changes, so too does your spiritual life.

Regardless if its your first child, becoming a father changes the way in which you previously encountered and engaged the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I experienced this once, with our first child and now again with the arrival of our second. I’d have to say the second has been more challenging than the first.

Find A New Rhythm

What worked previously for you and God, might not have a chance with a baby in the mix. Waking up early is eclipsed by the fact you’re running on way less sleep, way less brain power and way more stress. Whatever your daily routine, it is no doubt different. I’m currently grasping for my new rhythm and as a new father, you probably will too. But it’s vital. Pursue Father, Son and Holy Spirit and be open to something new. It might be the time you have to and from work, it might be carving out a day or two a week specifically for prayer or study, it might be over lunch or in the evening. There’s no right or wrong, but find it.

Beware of the Lies

Lurking in the shadows of fatherhood are the lies of discouragement and discontentment. As a new father you will be fed volumes of lies about your identity as a Christ follower, your capabilities, your past, present and future. We have to consistently go back to the truth of the Gospel to combat those lies; to remind ourselves of who we are, the love given to us, the power entrusted to us, and the reality that we are never abandoned — even as average, ordinary fathers who fail daily.

Hold Fast to Community

Our natural tendency in times of struggle is to flee; we’ve been doing it since the garden. We’ll tough it out, bunker down, wait it out and hope for the best. But nothing could be more detrimental to fatherhood, to life — than isolation. We were created to commune with God and each other. I’m grateful for the fellow men in my life and the community who has invested in us. Run to Him and run to them. Engage your wife in a conversation not about your kid(s). Invest in weekly “date night” even if it means take-out at home when the kids are asleep. Don’t abandon community.

Enjoy His Grace

God’s grace is most evident in our weakness. Weakness is rampant in fatherhood because so much of fatherhood is out of of our control.  A newborn incessantly screams at your face unaware you have no social, mental or spiritual bandwidth to handle it. By God’s grace you have been given this life to steward over, you have supernatural strength to weather the storm and tomorrow, you might be able to try again. Through the good, the bad and the worse…His grace is often much more evident in fatherhood.

Fathers or those who one day hope to be — may you keep the faith in all the many seasons of fatherhood that are before us.

Restless Discontent

Restless Discontent

Photo by Richard Elzey

Fellow Christian,

The time has come to hit the reset button.

You’re tired of the same ol’, same ol’. What happened when you used to be adventurous? You used to dream?
Then life happened. Life happens…everyday.

Discontentment & restlessness are a regular occurrence and you’re not sure why.

You seem stuck.
Spinning your wheels to get the day-to-day done
But like the tenacious summer heat – discontentment & restlessness pursue you.

How do you shake it? How do you fight it?

We will try new things.
We will break routine.
We will search for new relationships.
We will search for new jobs.
We will try anything we can to plug the hole that spews unrest and frustration from our soul.

I have been here before.

And I have learned that my discontentment and restlessness are tied to Jesus.
Try to roll your eyes back forward.
Resist the temptation to chalk this up to “you’ve heard it before”,
That this is somehow below you.
Because for all your searching, you – like me – often never get to the root.
And the root of our discontentment and our restlessness depends greatly on our relationship to Jesus.

Quit running, hiding, kicking and screaming.
If He truly holds all things together – start with Him.
Before you try anything – exhaust your relationship with Him.

Hold fast to the community you are in,
Reach out to the relationships you have,
Then, listen some more.

Countless times throughout his short ministry, Jesus healed people. For some reason we don’t believe we need healing or don’t believe that same healing is available to us today. Jesus wants to give you rest amongst the restlessness. God does have a hope and a future for you. He will determine your steps. He can do way more than we ask for imagine according to the power working in you. All the verses, on all the “trinkets and trash”, in every Christian bookstore are actually true. We’re just naturally, increasingly, skeptical.

May we start with the author and perfector of our faith.
May we not wander.
May His Word truly be a lamp unto our feet in this journey of life.
May our experience with Jesus be more consistent and more deep today
And may we relinquish the pursuit of satisfying our restless discontent.

A Healthy and Holy Harbor

A Healthy and Holy Harbor

In almost every stage of life there seems to be things people tell us that we’re supposed to remember. From  the introductory “look both ways,” and “don’t talk to strangers,” to the later in life, “look out for your brother or sister,” and “finish your homework.” Regardless of the age, we are always given things we are to remember and apply. But for all the advice there are some things we inevitably overlook, minimize or flat-out forget. We prioritize some, apply a few and discard many.

Almost six years ago a wise man told me something that’s resurfaced in my brain hundreds of times since. In fact, it has been so amazingly true in my own life, so textbook in the lives of others that I’ve shared this bit of wisdom in several conversations. But what I’ve slowly learned six years later is that this truth would have to be continually, relentlessly pursued. It’s not something one “just gets.” It’s not effortless nor is it something you can tuck away in the back of your brain and recall when the moment strikes. In some senses, I wish it was as easy as “look both ways.”

So what was it? It was advice given to a young engaged man, who loved Jesus and was about to embark on the second most significant commitment of his life. It sounded simple at the time…as it was simply this…”Your closeness to Him determines how close you are to her.”

I remember hearing it and liking it immediately, so simple, so good. In some churches whole congregations would of yelled, “AMEN!” But like wisdom we prioritize, apply and discard…I would have to learn that while I agreed with it and believed it, I will spend a lifetime trying to apply it. It was not simple but complex. And if I let up in the pursuit of Him, even temporarily, my purusit of her would be directly effected.

Six years later it rings more true now than when I first heard it. It’s a lighthouse on the coastline reminding me the way to a healthy, holy harbor of marriage.

The crazy thing about this simple yet complex truth is, I often overlook it. Life gets busy, my schedule changes, something new always pops up. Amidst everything in life I try to hold together, I end up miles off shore desperately in need of that healthy, holy harbor. So is she.

The devotionals, sermons, books and tweets are “spiritual fast-food” to the irreplaceable time needed with the Creator and His love story. The “dollar-menu” will get you by in the short term but like a tiny leak in the hull of a ship, eventually the ship will fill with water and sink. I don’t want my marriage to capsize.

In the greatest love story ever written, we’re to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Later, husbands are urged to love their wives, like Christ loves the church.

Fellow Christian men, may we be men who follow Jesus, love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and as a result, truly love our wives. May we lavish in the power of His words and experience a closeness to our Creator so we can truly be close to our wives.

My closeness to Him determines how close I am to her. May my marriage be a healthy and holy harbor.

The City I Love?

The City I Love?

Do I really care about my city?

In a couple years I will have lived in this city for 10 years. When I moved here right out of college the jokes about Independence were about as abundant as traffic on Noland Rd. Everything from the quality of our schools, to crime, to the people, to the general consensus that Independence was simply a city not as good as its neighbors. Economic development, commercialization, housing — the glory days had come and they were now most definitely gone.

I’ll admit that since living here I’ve delivered just as many cheap shots towards the city of Independence as the next person. For awhile I felt I could, after all, I do live here. But for all the jokes, all the put downs, the snide “under your breath” remarks, I began to feel uneasy. Over the last year or so as the comments rolled on, I’ve had this odd, unexpected feeling. As best as I can describe it, a simultaneous sense of anger and hurt. What is this all about? I mean…really?

It turns out that Independence is the city I’ve begun to love. And the simultaneous anger and hurt I occasionally feel is because I care about my city. The rich, the poor, the somewhere in the middle. The schools, the businesses, the neighborhoods. My neighborhood. My neighbors. The ones we do know and ones we don’t know. The guy who police chased through our streets a few weeks ago and the Liberty Tax guy who shares a corner with the T-Mobile guy. These are my people. This is my city.

Somewhere along the way, we’ve lost the importance of caring for our cities, let alone our neighborhoods. The very people who should care the most, the people who live in a city, throw rocks and condemn it. When Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” He wasn’t giving you the right to be selective. Your neighbor isn’t just the people you know, the people you go to church with, the people you work with. Your neighbor is your literal neighbor, the girl at the checkout counter, the guy who cut you off, the family with the crazy kids at Pizza Street and the elderly woman who is unfamiliar with the 35mph flow of traffic. Everyone in your city is your neighbor.

There is too much need in this city, too many opportunities, too many people that have never experienced true unconditional love to have one of their own toss another rock on the pile of insults, put-downs and mockery. If the people in a city don’t care about it, no one else will.

So if you don’t love the city you live in — begin the process of searching out how to love it. If you can’t or don’t want to, move to a city you can. Regardless of your property taxes, your shopping districts, your home value, or schools no city is exempt from its challenges. And every city needs the people within it to love unconditionally.

Drunk In My Own Comfort

Drunk In My Own Comfort

Photo by Flickr Community

There was something there, but I couldn’t quite place it. In fact, I hadn’t been able to put my finger on it for months. Something that tugs at you repeatedly and you can’t give it a name or a place. I tried to shake it and had shrugged it off several times; blaming it on tiredness, boredom or the pace of life. Then, earlier this week, like a full throttle freight train, it came screaming into view.

I have a holy discontent, a holy frustration for being a comfortable Christian. And the distain I have for it in my own life, spills over as it plays out in the lives of others.

I find myself content struggling through the same things, doing the same things, living my life day-in and day-out, drunk in my comfort, when it’s not even my life to live.  Even though I died years ago I often live as if this life is my own, as if the price paid wasn’t truely priceless.

The reality is I have but meir seconds when stacked next to eternity. My time on earth is a vapor and there is much to be done for the sake of the Gospel. People who need to know Jesus, families to be restored, communities to be renewed, legacies to leave and my mission is passing me by. What I do with the vapor of a life I have been given is up to me, yet many times my stupor blinds me to the urgency at hand. The severity of what’s at stake, life, death, victory, defeat – every single day.

The sobering truth is that for all the “effort”, the studying, the papers, the knowledge, the statements of faith, the theology, the journey – the cause of my holy discontent is that the Gospel has not really gone deep enough in me. If the Gospel truly penetrated the depths of my soul – aspects of my life would look undeniably different. I would think differently, maybe act differently. Certain parts of life wouldn’t matter while others would. The overwhelming perspective in life wouldn’t be of my own affairs, but of His.

And out of His perspective, from a soul made anew by the Gospel, my motivation changes. The inebreiation diminishes. Clarity descends.  Bring Him glory, speak of the good news and make my vapor count for the Kingdom.

How long have I been out? How long have I been oblivious to the urgency of the most important mission in the history of the world? How long has my attention been on my to-do’s, my schedule, my plans and my world?

The deep-dive of my soul must be done…and I think it has already begun.

Fellow Christians, how truly deep has the Gospel gone within you? How long will we slumber in the drunkenness of our own comfort, while this vapor called life drifts away against the backdrop of the greatest mission the world has ever known?