Archive for December, 2009

HERE WE GO…

Posted in Uncategorized on December 14, 2009 by joshbronleewe

So, by now you know that I’m blogging. Thanks for dropping by! Let me go ahead and tell you why I’m joining the blogging world and broadcasting my words to the masses. God has moved my heart toward something recently that I just can’t keep to myself. I have to share it with others. Those of you who know me well, know that I am usually a guy of few words. WARNING: I might use a few more than normal 🙂

Here we go.

God has broken my heart for something. Over the past few weeks many thoughts and promptings have been swirling around in my heart and mind, and on Saturday morning they all came to fruition in a puddle of tears on my pillow. That morning I woke up and started weeping. Not crying, weeping. My first instinct was to shut it off. So I tried. And then I wept a little more. It’s been a long time since I’ve wept like that. Now, this is a bit embarrassing to share in my first blog post because I rarely cry, let alone admit it! But it’s all good because I know it’s from God, and this is why I wept: God has broken my heart for Africa.

Before we go there, let me jump into your world for a second and then we’ll make our way back. So, whether we’ll admit it or not, most of us have bought into the philosophy that what we need to finally make us happy is just more of what we already possess. More things, more success, more whatever. Those of you reading this on an Apple computer know exactly what I’m talking about (yes, I have a macbook). In annual fashion, Apple will unleash a new line of sleeker, cooler, savvier gadgets that will wow the masses. Mouths will salivate, eyes will sparkle, and wallets will become lighter. It’s just understood that the gadget you bought last year is now archaic, inefficient, and lame. This attitude pervades our culture, and it’s madness. I believe it’s why Christmas has become so commercialized – acquisition pumps through our veins. Over the next few weeks we will make our way through stores buying things to give to people we love, all the while knowing we’ll get something back in return, we’ll have something under the tree with OUR name on it. Something NEWER. Something BIGGER. Something BETTER than the thing we had before. “Maybe THIS will make me happy,” our hearts say. This makes me very sad. There are tremendous and staggering needs in Africa (thousands, mostly children, dying of starvation every day) while we observe the wonderful Christmas traditions of trading ipods for tv’s in our comfortable, padded lives. Some would respond to that by saying, “That’s just the way things are.” You’re right. But they don’t have to be! Somewhere along the way, we decided to close our fists tight and began to hoard. Self preservation runs our lives.

But when Jesus said, “Love the Lord God with all Your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself,” he wasn’t just referring to people with the same skin color, economic status, or ability to give us something in return. You might say, “Africa is 8000 miles away, how are they our neighbor?” Sorry to burst your bubble, but guess what? Africa is not a stranger. We are all too aware of the struggle, conflict, and extreme poverty that ravages that continent every day. They are our neighbor in a global community that is becoming larger and larger as we are becoming more and more aware. Just because we are separated by an ocean does not mean we’re exempt from loving them. And because we know, we are responsible. This has become very real to me. And if you don’t think you’re rich, visit this webite: www.globalrichlist.com. Enter your annual income and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Instead of closed fists, I believe we need open hands that are willing to give to those in need even if they can do nothing for us in return. James 1:27 describes true religion as this: “To look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Was James just kidding when he wrote that? Isaiah 61:1 says this: “…because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…” Could God be calling us in same way He called Isaiah? In Matthew 18:4-5 Jesus says, “Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” Do we truly believe in the power of Jesus’ words? 

God has a heart for the broken.

God has a heart for the needy.

God has a heart for AFRICA.

This leads me back to where we started. It’s funny, this isn’t something I asked for or expected in any way. But I am thankful God has placed this in my heart! For me, the past year has consisted of pursuing something completely unrelated  – a music publishing contract here in Nashville, Tennessee. All the while, I have not blinked an eye to the huge needs in Africa. I feel like a brick wall has hit me in the face, and God has said, “Do I have Your attention now?” A few weeks ago my pastor, Brad, told me about a blog I needed to read. It’s by a girl named Katie Davis who’s 21 and moved from Nashville to Uganda to care for the needy. She has adopted 14 (you read that right) little girls who either had no mother, or their mothers had to give them away. Could you imagine having to give your daughter away because you can’t even put food in her belly to keep her alive? Katie also feeds hundreds of other children while providing funding for them to go to school, all through a non-profit she started called Amazima Ministries International. She’s caring for orphans and widows in their distress. She’s binding up the broken hearted. She’s welcoming children in Jesus’ name. And BOOM, that’s when my face met the unyielding brick wall. “THAT is the heart of God,” I thought. And it blew me away. Her story may sound extreme and over the top to you. I believe it is normal Christianity. And now that I know, I am responsible. This isn’t a burden however, far from it! It’s an adventure. I can’t wait to find the path God is calling me to, and I think He can do the same for you. We just have to be willing to be interrupted. Why don’t you take a minute and check out these websites:

www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com

www.globalsupportmission.com

www.bloodwatermission.com

www.147millionorphans.com

So friends, during this Christmas season have peace in your hearts, but don’t be at peace with this world, because it’s not a happy place for most people who live in it. We are very blessed, but we need to be a blessing to the world.

-Josh

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