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Shaking the System

Here at Grace Community Church we just finished a four week series entitled Shaking the System. If you missed any of these -- you can listen online at

How did this weekend series stir you?

What questions or concerns did it raise in your heart and mind?

This past week Dave Rod gave us some ideas for personal engagement -- have you or are you planning to take any steps to personally get engaged in social justice issues?


  1. I know for us as a couple we were rewarded with the knowledge that our decision to adopt our third child (second is coming in four weeks) is a way of helping social injustice. The problem I still struggle with is that it is a one time thing. Dave really talked about fighting social injustice as a daily part of our lives. I can't adopt everyday!

  2. I've been thinking about what it means to give sacrificially. Does that look for us like giving in a way that consistently alters our lifestyle or in a way that we "feel strapped"? Praying through this...

  3. I was a bit stunned when asked to stand during sermon because we had adopted internationally. I have never thought of that act as a way of fighting injustice (altough I understand that our child has more advantages now than if he would have stay in Guatemala) but he has always seemed like a gift TO us, not something we were doing to serve...

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  5. I've always been overwhelmed by the enormous need in our world. this series helped me get over that feeling and move on to thinking about really taking action. I have always felt like what I could offer is so small. but hearing the testimonies each week helped me see that doing something is important, no matter how grand or how small.

  6. There's a couple things that will stick with me through this series: 1)being engaged in "social justice" isn't an option for believers in Christ, its in fact a mandate; not out of a heart of obligation, but out of one overflowing with thankfulness and gratitude for who He is and what He's done for each of us. 2) reading Gary Haugen's "Good News About Injustice" I've been challenged by his belief that its not enough to tend to the physical needs of the oppressed without addressing the causes for that oppression; i.e., young children captured as sex slaves -- its not enough to rescue them from their captors, the task isn't complete until the oppressors are brought to justice and are prevented from violating another child, which truly fulfills our Father's heart of justice.

  7. After the first week of the series, I left in tears- tears of relief, that someone else was finally acknowledging what I had insisted to family members, small group members, and Christian friends in the past- that there were systemic social justice issues we should address as Christians. I am that "poverty girl" that brings it up at every chance, who listens to NPR "religiously" and gets labeled "liberal" for wanting to be informed & caring deeply about the bigger issues. Sigh. So, this series was a relief- in a way, it gave me permission to keep caring as deeply as I have been, even when brushed aside or ignored or argued with by fellow Christians.

  8. I have to be honest....I have felt a pull in my heart to reach out and serve others through our outreach opportunities at Grace. And this series has only strenghten my desire and inner push to do so. I know God is speaking to me to act, and I was hoping to do that as a family. I am also praying to God will put teachable moments in the paths of myself, my husband, and my children. I hope that our desire to serve others far exceeds our desire to serve ourselves. I hope that our hearts are bursting with compassion, and that we will creatively explore new areas to serve and help others in need. I feel that we have so much to give, and right now our time is the best thing we have. However, my husband does not share in that desire. He does not want to give his time, nor does he feel the same pull. And I am having a hard to stepping out and doing it on my own without his support or his desire to join us. I will continue to pray for my strength to act on the nudgings of God and his softening of heart. This world needs all of us in any form that we are willing to give.

  9. kristi -
    you are fighting injustice everyday because you are raising those children everyday - being Jesus to them everyday. That is a beautiful thing.

  10. The marginalized folks that God pricks my heart for are the elderly and disabled. I worked in a rehab setting for 14 years before staying home and have meant to check out an adult day care facility to volunteer at for the last 5 years. Sadly, I never took action. This series and then this blog spurred me to action. I just sent an email off to see if I can volunteer some time at Joy's House and my heart feels so alive already.

  11. Melinda - Thanks for your post. I was encouraged by your statements. As mentioned previously, I have not yet acted on my desire to serve. After reading your post and reflecting on the messages over the last 4 weeks, I just signed up for the Justice Seminar and emailed Grace for someone to call and discuss more opportunities that would be a good fit.

  12. Staci- That is awesome. I was praying for you this afternoon. What God laid on my heart is that maybe by you taking some steps and your husband seeing your involvement/life change, he will be compelled and convicted in his own way. I'll be praying that God will make clear to you the path for serving. Press on, sister!

  13. GKCteacher29/5/08 3:40 AM

    I think in a way, I have been "fighting social injustice" without realizing it. We have two internationally adopted children. (I was surprised to be asked to stand, also.) I am trying to do the yellow bags once-a-month. My husband has helped in Habitat for Humanity projects in the past. I just finished teaching an elective class for Elem. age children, and we collected money for people in South Asia, who experienced devastation after a monsoon. In the past, both my husband and I, at different times, have volunteered for Agape Therapeutic Riding, in Cicero. A ministry to the handicapped, using horses.
    So, this sermon series has shown me what we have already done, and challenged me to keep it up.

  14. I think the term "social justice" can mean treating people fairly, justly and with compassion in spite of our prejudices and judgements about their behaviors. Our family watched the movie "Bella" (recommended earlier at Grace) and decided that the way the chef treated the waitress was "acting justly" by the Biblical definition. Maybe we can participate in social justice by being who we are...Christ we go through our days.

  15. Way to go girls. I love the thinking and hearts behind all that you are saying and doing. This series has helped me see countless ways to be about and bring justice to our world right now. As I look around I see more than I could imagine. Sometimes it is hard to determine what, where, and who. What I am learning (re-learning) is I must stay connected to God and spend time listening to his promptings and love others from the overflow.

  16. Melinda - Thank you for your prayers. I REALLY appreciate it. This is not the first time that my husband and I did not meet equally on spiritual issues. In the first years of our marriage, he was not a believer and did not attend church. I went by myself. I did not pressure him or ask him to come every week. I just told him how much I loved him, then went to church alone. This went on for years. One Sunday, I was getting the kids and myself ready for church, and he said he would drive. He has gone with us ever since. This was about 7 years ago. We will celebrate our 17-year wedding anniversary on Sunday. Anyway...I digress. There was a verse that I held fast to during those years. It talk about leading by quiet example and not pressuring with words. Does anyone remember the verse? I have forgotten, but I want to reclaim it for this situation again. I believe God will touch his heart again. I will walk the Walk until he is ready to join me. Thanks!

  17. GKCteacher31/5/08 5:36 AM

    You may be thinking of I Peter 3:1

  18. YES, Gkcteacher!! That is the one! Thank you.


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