This is a guest post by a brand new nonprofit organization called the HOPE Association. This organization debuted last Sunday at STSA. You can read more about them by visiting their website and by following them on Twitter, @AssociationHOPE. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
A few generations back, before the world of Twitter, Facebook, or cool blogs on the Internet (subscribe to us here!), there was Popeye the Sailor man: the short, balding, mischievous cartoon character on television.
For those not familiar with the character, he was a sailor by trade but more than that to millions of kids who tuned in faithfully every weekend. He also had a special lady friend named Olive Oil, a dashing young lady with a pickle-shaped nose and spaghetti-thin arms (every young boy’s fantasy!). And most of the time, Popeye and Olive Oil went about life enjoying their days and taking things in stride as they happened.
But when things took a more serious turn, and if it looked like Olive Oil might be in some danger, Popeye would race to her side and utter those famous words of an entire generation: “That’s all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more!” (Popeye was never known for his impeccable grammar however)
The reason I bring up Popeye’s story in the initial blog of the HOPE Association is because Popeye’s story (or at least that part of it) is HOPE’s story, as well. The creation of HOPE as a nonprofit organization was brought about because of the burning desire to change this world and impact it for the glory of God.
Simply put, we at the HOPE Association have also experienced our own firestorm of frustration moment when we grow so completely incensed by the present state of affairs in our world that we throw up our hands and shout, “That’s all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more!”
There is too much hurt, too much suffering, too much pain, and too much sorrow in this world to sit idly by and watch on the sidelines. We don’t pretend to have all the answers but our HOPE is in a connection to the God who’s working to fix everything and restore and heal our city and country.
But enough about us, let’s talk about you. What is your one thing? Your one “That’s all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more!” thing?
Which one of society’s ills breaks your heart when you see it and prompts you to action of some sort? It’s there and it’s crying out from your soul. And the reason we know it’s there is because God Himself placed it inside of you.
Ephesians 2:10 says that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” So there you go. You have a thing that you can’t stand and it’s time to find it and act on it.
The reason why it is so critical for you to dig in and discover what it is that wrecks you is because you may be the one person God is looking for in order to reverse some ugly and destructive trends in your generation. God is looking, and waiting, for someone just like you – someone who gets wrecked on planet Earth by the things that wreck Him up in heaven.
Over the next few weeks, you’ll hear all about the HOPE Association’s “one thing’ and what we’re all about. You’ll understand more about our mission and vision and what we believe our purpose as an organization is to be. We’ll announce plans and initiatives and exciting events coming up that meet the mission and vision we have set as an organization.
But that’s for another day. Today is a day to determine YOUR “one thing” and do something about it. If the people of God are content sitting on the sidelines, who will fight the battles and wage the wars that our society and country are so desperate in need of being fought.
So how do you know your “one thing?”
Well, let me share what Pastor Bill Hybels of Willow Creek church explained about how he determined his “one thing,” which led him to start an Acts 2 church in suburban Chicago that is impacting millions of people all over the world. He said,
For starters, it was the pesky preoccupation that vied for my undivided attention during the day and kept me wide-eyed at night as it captured my heart and ignited my imagination. It was the thing to force me to the floor, heaving sorrowful tears the whole way down. It was the thing kicking and screaming inside of me, squawking for all it’s worth to be addressed. My one thing had no effect on other people, yet at the same time, devastated me at my core level.”
Discussion – What is your “one thing” that burns you on the inside and that you wish to see changed in our world?