A simple phrase from Summit 9

Earlier this month I was honored to be the host and lead some worship for Summit 9. It’s a two-day conference presented by the Christian Alliance For Orphans. Ministries that specialize in adoption, orphan care, foster care, and advocacy for children in need are all part of the event. People associated with these ministries along with families who are considering adoption, foster care, or being a part of orphan ministries all attend. 2500 people from 49 states and 25 countries all descended on Brentwood Baptist in Brentwood, TN.

"That's What Family Does" at Summit

Leading worship at Summit
Elvis Guay copyright 2013 used with permission

It was an amazing, overwhelming, emotional, fun, and heart-filling two days. So much passion, dedication, and commitment to reaching and serving those cannot help themselves.

It affirmed and reignited the fire Sherri and I have burning inside us for ministries like Compassion and the blessing of our adoption. Even more so an ever-clarifying focus on helping son and daughters, moms and dads become more deeply connected through worship.

So why am I giving you an update on the event and our experience? It probably is sounding like a state of Peder Eide address.

With Nicole C. Mullen

Chatting with Nicole C. Mullen
Elvis Guay copyright 2013 used with permission

It’s because of simple phrase Jedd Medefind, President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, said a couple times. It’s not profound nor a fancy lyric. It wasn’t a little, unknown verse that is rarely recited but a phrase is deeply rooted in scripture.

The phrase that came up each time Jedd would speak was: “we need to act.”

That’s it.

No big ooohs and awwwws. Just that phrase.

“We need to act.”

It strikes me because it seems so much of ministry time is spent in having more conversations, discussions, online get-togethers, and so on. Not only does time get wasted but our heart fire and desire starts to fade.

Hear me clearly: being planned, focused, and organized are right and I am not advocating we become reckless in our actions with no sense of outcome or consequence.
I am however believing that we can become so caught up in studying needs, discussing understandings, and seeking more information that we could actually become emotionally convinced we’ve done enough without ever acting.

Thats What family Does at Summit 1

Singing “That’s What Family Does”
Elvis Guay copyright 2013 used with permission

The following verses seem pretty clear to me:

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. I John 3:17-18 NIV

It’s why we advocate for Compassion children. It’s why we adopted. It’s why we try to be rescuers as best as we can with what we have.

Acting doesn’t make you more righteous than someone who does not. No. Never.
It does, however, take you from an observer to a participant.

Remember: life is better caught than taught.

I needed to hear this, Jedd.

Thanks, Summit 9. Thanks, CAFO. Thank you to all who act.

It works.

What do you need to act on?
If you were at Summit 9, what was your one take away?

Goodbye to a Ragamuffin of a Teacher

On April 12 the earth said goodbye to author/speaker/teacher Brennan Manning. He wrote books like Abba’s Child, Ruthless Trust, and most notably The Ragamuffin Gospel.

Photo from BrennanManning.com

Photo from BrennanManning.com

I actually got to take in Brennan’s teaching in person at a Compassion Artist’s Retreat in Nashville in 2001. It was one the first times I got be a participant rather than a presenter. It was also unique because the participants were all musicians, speakers, and communicators who spend their life traveling the road using their gifts, skills, and art to help people connect with Jesus and at the same be time an advocate to rescue children who can’t rescue themselves.

I remember being a bit intimated. It was a room filled with my musical role models and people whose mark on Christian music and ministry made a path for me to do what I do. I had feelings of being out of my league, a ministry misfit, unworthy to even sit with them. Wrong? Probably but I was so amazed at the wealth of talent in the room I was giving in to my insecurities of “not good enough” and I prayed “Please, God, help me not miss You.”

When Brennan came out for the first session, he wandered to the front in his white hair, kind of abrasive demeanor and started by saying “I want to put a sign in the entry of my house that says, ‘Don’t come in here and should on me!’”

He then proceeded to spew out words about we need to stop treating each other, and more so ourselves, like we need to try harder, be better, and live with guilt of “if only I would have, should have, or could have, then God would be more pleased with me.”

I was hit with a fire hose of Gospel.

I thought I was there for fellowship and some sweet candy inspiration when I actually experienced two days of a life-changing truth I never trusted: the God creator of all calls me His son and I get to call Him Abba.

It was that retreat where God would start a new work in me through Jesus that would change my songwriting, worship leading, and teaching.

It was where Father’s love would taste like it never had before. Healing started and, to be honest, still continues.

One of my favorite fruits came the weeks after that time with Brennan, a song I am so glad I got to write: “Abba I Belong To You.”

Yep, that’s where it started. Brennan actually taught me the phrase. It has changed me forever, and I have never tired of singing and leading the song.

I never got to see Brennan Manning after that weekend. I wish I could have. I would have loved play the song for him.

Brennan’s life has been recorded as hard with lots of bumps, frustrations, and falls. I get it.

I am also grateful for that window God opened in my heart those spring days in Tennessee and that He used a ragamuffin to get my attention.

I am forever grateful Brennan.

I belong to my Abba Father God. Not matter how many times I “should” on me.

Have you been influenced by the life of Brennan Manning? Have you found the song “Abba I Belong to You” to be helpful?

In memory of Brennan, you can download “Abba I Belong to You” for free at PederEide.com. Feel free to share this with anyone who you think would be blessed by it.

Abba adores you.