Mad World: Part Five
Creating Safe Spaces • May 28, 2017 • Mike Ashcraft
We’re surrounded by people who look, think, live and act differently than us. These deep differences push us towards isolation. By setting up our opposing camps that don’t interact, we are hoping to find a place free from bias, conflict and criticism as well as threatening ideas and conversations. Fear drives us to our safe spaces. These encampments never lead to unity but rather keep us dug in to our differences. While we remain in our safe spaces, the mad world continues to spiral out of control. As believers in Christ, we must move first and get our hands dirty. We reflect Christ’s heart the most when we’re willing to enter the mess of someone else’s life. The best way to understand an issue is by understanding someone on the other side of the issue.
Mad World: Part Four
At The Center Of Our Issues • May 21, 2017 • Mike Ashcraft
Trying to get God “on our side” often brings out the worst in us. Pride yields superiority. It’s us vs. them, right vs. wrong, enlightened vs. naive and morally superior vs. everyone else. In our mind, the only way for this mad world to become sane is for everyone to see things from our perspective. Without us even realizing it, unity around the issues becomes idolatry and the thing we truly worship. We need to bring our issues to Christ rather than Christ to our issues. This begins by reflecting on our interaction with authority. The more passionate we are about an issue, the more submissive we need to be. We must look within ourselves and be honest about what drives our behavior and our response to others.
Mad World: Part Three
What Keeps You Centered • May 14, 2017 • Mike Ashcraft
You can win an argument while losing the relationship at the same time. This is what happens when the issues on the table matter more to us than the people around the table. The need for control and our desire to simply be right can drastically influence our approach to how we address the critical issues this world faces. Far too often, we’ve taken things that are true and made them about us. As long as we continue to focus on the issues and ignore what’s at the center, nothing will ever change. The madness of this world isn’t going to be solved because we simply won an argument. We’ve got to carve out a time and space where we can silence the noise and reflect on God’s truth and the impact it should have on our life and relationships. We must surrender what we know to be true to Him who is the Truth.
Mad World: Part Two
The Easy Way • May 7, 2017 • Mike Ashcraft
It is challenging to reject the pull of what we think and feel. Staying true to what is true takes perseverance and steadiness, especially when we face adversity, when we want to indulge and when we want to escape. We’re terrified of slowing down and being still because we don’t want to come face-to-face with the condition of our heart. Submission goes against the grain of our “me first” culture. The narrow road requires us to slow down, merge and submit everything to Him. We must give up the allure of what is easy and live in submission to what is true. Rather than reacting to what we see and feel, we are able to respond and act on what we believe.
Mad World: Part One
A World Gone Mad • April 30, 2017 • Mike Ashcraft
All it takes is turning on the television to realize we live in a crazy world. We are bombarded with news about political unrest, racial disunity, an uneasy economy and many other unsettling tidbits. Overreaction has become the new reaction. How did we get into this mess? Contrary to what we are told, this world didn’t become crazy overnight. The madness we are experiencing is a result of a broken foundation and broken trust. We live in a culture that applauds independence which only provides a breeding ground for chaos to reign. When the world is all about us, we demand the rest of the world to revolve around our orbit. The root cause of the chaos is envy and selfish ambition. Trusting ourselves drives self-sufficiency. Trust is a gravitational force. When chaos occurs we are pulled in the direction of that which we trust. Wherever we find our sufficiency is where we will find what is at the center of our heart. We locate our center by pinpointing who we trust. If madness stems from distrust, then sanity comes from trust.