Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes, and General Mental Mayhem


Lent 2015

464613430It’s hard to believe, but we are about halfway through the Lenten season already. I’ve participated in Lent for a number of years now, and always feel that it’s an encouraging and challenging (in a good way) experience.

The New Year begins and we resolve to read our Bibles more, or pray more, or give more, but as we know, most resolutions are short-lived. And that is one reason I really like Lent. If I start the New Year off strong, but wane a few weeks or a month later, Lent is there to kick me in the pants and get me motivated again.

I didn’t really have a plan for what I was going to read this year. But I came across Margaret Feinberg’s 40-day plan via Twitter, and decided to give it a go. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Old Testament, so I thought it would be a good idea to focus on Jesus’ life while looking toward Easter. (I’m actually reading it through YouVersion if you prefer to read it digitally. Plus, I really like those little check marks that it gives me. 😉 Another reason I really liked her plan was the post she wrote about her #LentChallenge, stating that she wanted us to start each day’s reading with this prayer, “As I read today, Lord, reveal that which I most need to read but least want to hear.” Wow. That’s asking to be challenged for sure!

Another thing that’s greatly influenced Lent for me this year is this article on Relevant Magazine’s website by Ken Wystma. I definitely tend to go into Lent each year with my own questions, my own agenda. Sometimes I get an answer, and sometimes I don’t. It doesn’t make the season any less valuable, but yep, I’d rather have the answers on my schedule. So this was a fantastic article for centering myself, and for my approach to prayer at any time of the year. I particularly resonated with this part, “We often start our prayers with: ‘God, what is your will for my life?’ when we should be asking, ‘God, how can I serve you with my life?’” Um, guilty as charged.

Both of these items have given me a strong foundation for Lent 2015. It’s not been particularly unique or life-changing so far, and that’s ok. I’m learning to slow down, focus and listen. Those are always valuable lessons, and I have no doubt that I’ll have to learn them again later. For now, I’ll take them and the time I’m spending with my Creator. And I’ll look to April 5, when we all get to celebrate together.


Curious about Lent but don’t really know much about it? I read this post recently on Ken Wytsma’s blog, and thought this writer did a really good job of explaining it.

We’re halfway there, but it’s not too late for you to join! Why not make this your first Lent. If you do, I don’t think it’ll be your last.




The Justice Conference: Highlights

Justice Conference logoTwo weeks ago I headed to LA for The Justice Conference. Any excuse to head to SoCal is a good one, but this event on social justice issues was extra special to me, and at the top of my vacation list this year. So, it made for a great trip!

I posted my Pre-Conference Highlights last week, and now I’ll move on to the main event, held at the beautiful Orpheum Theater. It was a really great day, full of fantastic information, inspiring speakers and like-minded camaraderie.


Ken Wytsma, President of Kilns College and Founder of The Justice Conference

  • When everyone speaks in a prophetic time, we can’t hear the prophetic voice.
  • Remember the poor with deep respect.


Donald Miller, Founder of Storyline Conference, speaker and author

  • It’s hard not to filter your theology through advertising, which says you’re lacking something.
  • Jesus wants us to experience a deep sense of meaning, not necessarily to be comfortable and happy.
  • God is in the business of redeeming hard things.


Nicole Baker Fulgham, founder and President of The Expectations Project

  • Education is a pathway out of poverty.
  • Educated creates engaged citizens.
  • Education gives kids purpose.


Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Director of Equal Justice Initiative

  • 1. We need to commit ourselves to proximity. We must get close to those we want to serve. It will show you things you’ll never otherwise see.
  • 2. Change the narrative. Behind every un-truth, there is a narrative saying it must be this way.
  • 3. Be hopeful to create justice. Sometimes it’s easier to be faithful than hopeful.
  • 4. We have to choose to be uncomfortable.
  • I do what I do because I’m broken too. God is there for the broken. I understand the broken because I am one. God’s grace and mercy fills the broken places.
  • We will not achieve justice with just the thoughts in our minds.


Lynne Hybels, Author of Nice Girls Don’t Change the World

Sami Awad, Executive Director of Holy Land Trust

Marcel Serubungo, Church Mobilization at World Relief Org

  • There is nothing that works in the Congo but the local church.
  • What makes our work different? Jesus.
  • You achieve greater results through love.
  • You can’t give away what you don’t have.
  • Don’t try to do something. Do something.


Justin Dillon, Founder/CEO of Made in a Free World

  • Justice is it’s own art form.
  • Embrace your vulnerability.
  • The world doesn’t need more information, it needs an invitation.
  • Make a world you want to live in.
  • Strive toward the better version of yourself.
  • We’re “shoulding” all over everyone. Stop the should and do.
  • Don’t think problems, think solutions.


Rich Sterns, President of World Vision

Jim Wallis, President and Founder of Sojourners

Noel Castellanos, CEO of CCDA

  • Our faith is connected to the issue of injustice.
  • Immigration reform may be the next Civil Rights movement.


Eugene Cho, Founder of One Day’s Wages, Lead Pastor of Quest Church

  • John 1, Woman at the Well
  • What we do isn’t in isolation. We are representatives of the Kingdom of God.
  • Justice must also do us, not just us doing justice. Otherwise, we just commercialize and commoditize it.
  • People aren’t projects; they are equals.
  • We must learn from those we serve. Place yourself in their narrative to catch a glimpse of who they are.


Stephen Bauman, President and CEO of World Relief

  • Your calling begins with a complaint. There is something you can’t stand for anymore.
  • Our faith will live by justice.
  • We need another reformation. God’s reformation is done through His people.
  • Reformation: a recovery of Truth from the periphery with sacrificial love.
  • What we consider the edges, God considers the center.


Gabriel Salguero, President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (and wife)

  • We cannot romanticize the work of justice.
  • 1 Kings 19 (Fire down from heaven)
  • Too many times we think justice work is calling fire down from heaven. But the reality is much more mundane that than. There are small, daily jobs to do.
  • Motivation matters. Check yourself.
  • To stay grounded, stay connected to people.
  • We must fight giants: ego, exhaustion and emotional toxicity.
  • Too often we think justice is talking AT people. Our justice work has become disembodied. It should be incarnational and not third-party.


Bernice King, American Baptist Minister and World-Renowned Speaker, Daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Conflict is a weapon of growth.
  • True peace is not the absence of tension, but the presence of justice. – MLK
  • Never forget God is on the side of justice. Start there and keep it in sight.
  • God made from one brotherhood all nations.
  • MLK’s strategy of nonviolence will always work because it’s based on Jesus.
  • Courageous people are nonviolent.
  • Nonviolence shouldn’t seek to defeat people, only injustice.


Bethany Hoang, Director of the Institute for Biblical Justice for International Justice Mission

  • Justice begins in the heart of God.
  • We must stop and pray. We are often too busy or in a rush to action to do it, but it will best equip us.


N.T. Wright, Professor at University of St. Andrews, Retired Bishop of Durham, UK, Author

  • Justice is what love looks like.
  • We need discernment because when we think we’ve got justice down, we become arrogant. (Tower of Babel)


Lynne Hybels, Author of Nice Girls Don’t Change the World

  • Ask, “What is mine to do?” and let God help you figure it out. Otherwise you may be overwhelmed by all the causes and issues that need us.
  • God will empower you to do what is yours.
  • God created all the beauty in this world. Fight for it and help it flourish.


That’s all I got! Hope you enjoyed my notes. Fingers crossed that I’ll be able to attend The Justice Conference again next year. It’s a great event, and I recommend going!