When you want to make a difference...


For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand,
that we should walk in them..

Ephesians 2.10

Long before I surrendered my life to Christ, my heart was tender to the needs of others. My earliest memories include a desire to find a cure for leukemia {a lofty goal, I know - especially considering my less than stellar academic accomplishments} and the hope of traveling to Africa to care for sick and hungry babies. The closest I came to either of these childhood longings was when I became a registered nurse and years later when I watched my daughter board a plane on a mission trip to Rwanda.

Though I never realize those early ideals, I'm convinced that the goals of my youth were evidence of God's sovereignty in my life - that He fashioned me with extra measures of compassion and mercy, preparing me to walk in the works for which I was created - just not exactly in the way I had envisioned.

My career in professional nursing ended when I chose to stay home with our children, but the opportunities to show compassion have only increased. We've been able to sponsor several children through Compassion and World Vision and other child sponsorship ministries. We've also had the opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and several other local agencies and ministries, but I know that we can do more.

As followers of Jesus, we are compelled - both by scripture and our love for Jesus - to do something to alleviate the suffering of others and share the love of Jesus. Our salvation is the gift of grace by faith alone and not our works, but we were created for the works that bring glory to God (Ephesians 2.8-10), and our faith is manifested in those works (James 2.14-26). 
There is a direct relationship between a person’s grasp and experience of God’s grace, and his or her heart for justice and the poor.  Tim Keller
We do long for justice and to make a difference, that's not the problem - it's knowing what to do when the social justice issues we're confronted with daily can seem overwhelming and insurmountable. The needs and concerns are so great that we don't know where to begin or if there's anything we are capable of doing that could or would make a difference.

Activist Faith: From Him and For Him, by authors Dillon Burroughs, Daniel Darling, and Dan King, perfectly answers many of those questions about what we can do and provides information and links to resources so we can begin doing something now.

Activist Faith: From Him and For Him covers 12 social justice issues of our day: slavery, immigration, poverty, environmentalism, disaster relief, homelessness, abortion, war/terror/genocide, religious freedom, family/sexuality, crime/punishment, and orphans - with a chapter dedicated to each one.  

Each chapter contains detailed and factual information, describes obstacles and difficulties that have been encountered in the past, real-life stories and examples of successful interventions, scriptural support for action, reflection questions for individuals or groups, and a list of tools and resources for research and action. 

Most importantly, each chapter includes a variety of answers to the question, "What can I possibly do to make a difference?" by offering multiple proven, practical and winsome ways each of us can begin to make a difference in how we live as disciples of Jesus.

Activist Faith: From Him and For Him, is an excellent resource for individual, family, and group study. I'm thrilled to have this book in our home. 
There has been a huge need for a book to give the theological background for why Christians should engage in social justice. Activist Faith fits that need perfectly. It provides solid biblical reasons we should care about the poor, immigrants, and modern-day slaves as well as practical steps for how to take action. Sean McDowell, educator; speaker; author of Apologetics for a New Generation