Leader: Are you Weary in the Wilderness?

Desert and Camels

God uses the hard realities of life to expose our deepest fears and internal struggles. These experiences make us more self-aware so we can cultivate the spiritual disciplines necessary to lead ourselves and others well. Consider what happened to Moses, the humblest person on earth (Num. 12:3). After the people complained about their misfortunes yet again in the wilderness, Moses was miserable. He cried out to the Lord: “What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised? … If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me” (Num. 11:11–12, 15).

Who would have thought that the humblest man in the world could fall so deep into despair? Have you ever found yourself in such a state of weariness? There are many days in my life when I find myself praying: “God, please don’t let me become weary in doing good, for I know that at the proper time I will reap a harvest if I don’t give up. Help me to press on and do good to all people, especially to those who belong to your family” (see Gal. 6:9–10). This prayer is particularly helpful when I’m going through a wilderness experience or dealing with difficult people. Prayer disciplines us to humble ourselves before God, and it also provides revelation for how to move forward.
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Natasha’s Study: “Just Mercy” book review

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

The death sentence, and the heartbreak and devastation of this miscarriage of justice had created permanent injuries.

– Bryan Stevenson

Why I picked up this book:

just-mercy-book-cover

I have wanted to read this book for some time now. As conversations about mass incarceration continue to increase—even in the church—I find that ignorance about this topic can lead to a poor choice of words, complacency, and the devaluing of lives of too many innocent people.

While I see human trafficking or modern-day slavery as a sin against humanity that needs confrontation both internationally and domestically. Immigration reform and mass incarceration are injustices that we must address at home.

Who Should Read Just Mercy:

Anyone who has a heart and ear to listen and learn.

What’s in Store for You:

This is a book of stories and with great depth. Bryan Stevenson is executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) (on Twitter) in Montgomery, Alabama, and a professor of law at New York University Law School. EJI is a nonprofit law center that is “dedicated to providing free, quality legal services to condemned men and women on death row in Alabama.” I first heard Mr. Stevenson speak a few years ago at the Justice Conference, and have continued to follow his work, interviews, and speeches online.

Just Mercy gives us the motivation behind Stevenson’s passion and his work. He is motivated by the fundamental truth about the value of every human life regardless of skin color or personal wealth. He has been changed by the lives and stories of real people, and compelled that when needed, these broken people didn’t have someone to call on for help.

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#JusticeConfence2014: The Issues & The Questions

I was so thankful to participate in The Justice Conference simulcast a couple weekends ago. Like the previous year, my heart was broken, encouraged, and transformed as I listened to the speakers who shared their stories and the work of justice that God is doing all over the world. Let there be no doubt, pursuing justice is difficult. It often takes long-term commitments, sometimes with very little visible results and that can be discouraging. So why do it? Why pursue justice?

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