The Squeezings of my Brain Grapes.
I Want To Sing, But Am I Just Being Selfish??

danyaalise asked you:
Hi Jed! First off, I love your blog and the father’s heart that you have! It totally blesses me every time I read one of your posts! Secondly, how do you know when you’re called to something? I really fell like I’m called to sing, like on a worship team in a house of prayer or something like that, and I absolutely love doing it, I love seeing the Lord touch people through music, but how do I know that my desires aren’t just selfish and wrong? How do I know that I’m hearing the Lord?

Jed Brewer replied:

Hi Danya Alise!

Sis, thank so much for your notes and your kind words.  I’m really glad you dig the blog!

So, you love singing, and you want to use that serve Jesus, and you’re wondering if there’s something wrong with that.

Nope.  There isn’t.

But I get why you’d wonder.  We figure some part of what we want has to be wrong.  And the truth is: it is.  You – like me – are a sinful person, and, so, there will always be some element of funky motivations in everything we do.  That will always be true, no matter what.  (Read Romans chapter 7 for a bit more on this.)

But, now, given that we will always have some amount of weird motivations, it also means we can relax a bit.  You’re never going to do anything purely out of selflessness, so, let’s no worry too much about it.

What I’m saying is: rather than asking if we’ve got the wrongness down to 0% (which we can’t do), let’s start asking how we get the rightness up to 100%.

On that front, I’d suggest three things for you to look at.  The first is to recognize that calling is a journey.  So, let’s say that God’s calling and purpose for your life includes music.  Cool.  If we could look at the totality of your life all at once (like God can), what we’d probably see is that music may provide something of a through-line to your life, but what you’re doing with music may vary massively through the years.  So, for now, maybe it’s singing in a praise team at church.  Maybe in a couple years it’s giving music lessons to underprivileged kids.  Maybe a few years after that it’s helping out with a hymn-sing at the local nursing home.  All of that is music, but it’s grown and evolved as you’ve grown and evolved.

The key thing is to be open to that growth and change.  And what will lead you through those changes – most likely – is the second thing to look at.  And that is asking, “How do use this thing to serve other people?”

Ask the Lord to given you a burden for the hurting people around you.  Talk with them.  Sit down and listen to their stories.  I bet that, as you do that, what you want to do with music and singing will change in order to be a part of bringing healing into these folks’ lives.

So, as an example, let’s say that as you talk with people in your life, the struggle you see keep coming up is shame.  They feel dirty for the things they’ve done, and that feeling of dirtiness is crippling their spiritual lives.  Alright.  Well, then that means that when you stand up to lead worship, you’re going after that sense of shame with a chainsaw.  Every word, and every song, becomes a weapon to tear down that stronghold of the Enemy.  You start using that music to set people free, and then you discover you’ve got the coolest job in the Kingdom.

And, lastly, let me know when I can hear some of your stuff!  My wife and I have got your back, and we’d love to hear the music you’re working on.

My Dad Doesn’t Want Me To Go To A Christian College!

drowninginhisgracee asked you:
My dad is atheist. The Lord has placed a calling on my life to be a missionary. Dad FREAKED out when I told him I wanted to go to a Christian college. I KNOW this is what the Lord is calling me to do, but I don’t want to go against my dad either. I just feel like when it comes to parents, you have to choose your battles, and this is one worth fighting for. It’s causing so much stress and strain and I don’t really know how to go about handling this. [Edited for length.]

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey Laura,

Thanks for your message, and I’m really sorry you’re in a tight spot. 

There’s both a human, worldly answer to this question, as well as a spiritual answer to this question.  And, oddly enough, they turn out to be the same thing.  Which is nice.

The human part is that your Dad is concerned about your safety and comfort.  And that makes sense.  He’s your Dad.  But, part of maturing as a person is spreading your wings, leaving your comfort zone, and trying risky things.  Plenty of parents try to keep their kids from doing this, and it’s not a good idea.  To a certain degree, people learn who they are by making mistakes. 

From a human standpoint, you’re a grown woman, it’s time to make your own choices, and that includes making choices your Dad doesn’t like.  But, of course, that means living with the consequences.  If your Dad isn’t willing to support you financially in going to a Christian college, you’ll have to look for loans, grants, and scholarships.  They are out there.

If you find the money to go where you want, your Dad doesn’t have a play to make in this.  And he shouldn’t.  Again, you are a grown woman, and you have to make a grown woman’s choice here.

From a spiritual standpoint, if God’s calling you to do something, then go do it.  People will always get in the way of that.  Kindly invite them to get the heck out of it.  You can be gentle and respectful with your Dad – and you should be – but, at the end of the day, your allegiance is to your savior, not to your Pop.

There’s an old missionary saying: where God guides, he provides.  Laura, that will be true for you as well.  If the Lord is leading you to go to a Christian college, and your Dad won’t financially support it, the Lord will make another way for you.  Knock, and the door will be open to you.

I know this is tough stuff, sis, and, again, I’m sorry for it.  If you can dig it, this is the beginning of your training to be a missionary.  Missionaries are people who do not take “no” for an answer under any circumstances, no matter what, ever.  If God says, “Yes”, then that’s the final word on the topic.  Follow where God’s leading you, take it one day at a time, and you will get where you’re going.  I promise.

I Keep Hitting Closed Doors. What Do I Do?

jhenna asked you:
Hi Jed, I am 27 and have been trying to finish my bachelor’s degree since I finished high school 10 years ago. Life has pulled me in many different directions causing me to have to start and stop more times than I can count. I was saved about a year ago (such an amazing thing!) and am struggling again with a roadblock to finishing school. Is this God’s way of telling me school is not in His plan for me? Or is it a test? How do I know? I feel so lost at times but I just keep praying. – Jenna

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey Jenna,

I can totally relate to what you’re describing.  You’re trying to do something good – I mean, it’s a really positive thing to have a college degree – and everything just sets itself up to oppose you.  And it really does make you wonder: God, are you trying to give me a hint here?

It’s a frustrating, confusing place to be, and I’m sorry that’s where you’re at.

I think one of the things that confuses us in these kind of situations is that people have told us to look for “open doors”.  When everything lines up, that’s a sure sign that God’s directing us in a certain way.  That’s what they told me, anyway.

And that logic makes sense, I guess, but it doesn’t line up with scripture.  Paul was 100% called by God – in the most literal sense – to preach the Gospel.  And here’s a quick overview of the kind of “open doors” that met him in that work:

“Five times I received…the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.  I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” (2 Corinthians 11:24-27, NIV)

Wow.  That is hardcore. 

Now, I don’t mention that to discourage you – I highly doubt that a public flogging is in your future.  But I do mention it to say that, if we’re gonna follow the Lord, the “looking for open doors” approach ain’t gonna work.  We need something else.

The something else is this: we want to get a sense of mission from God, and commit to doing whatever that mission requires.

So, how do we get a sense of mission?  The best way is to get in the motion of serving people.  Right now, today.  Start asking the Lord for a burden, for a heart that breaks for people going through a rough time.  And go find opportunities to serve them.  Then, talk through these experiences with God and your pastor.

It may take a minute, but, out of this, I bet you’ll begin to develop a sense of calling and purpose for your life.  I bet you’ll begin to feel a mission welling up within you.

Well, when that happens, it’s time to figure out what the mission requires.  Maybe we need a college degree; maybe we don’t.  If we need it, we find a way to get one, and we don’t take “no” for an answer.  There are a lot of ways to go to college in the world today.  If you keep pounding on doors, one of them will budge eventually.

But that sense of mission needs to come first.  Otherwise, it’s dang near impossible to keep going in the face of trouble and adversity.  And that makes sense: No one’s willing to suffer for no reason.

I’d start getting in the motion of serving others and seeking that sense of mission in your life.  And as you and the Lord develop that, I think the next steps will become clear.

More on Discerning God’s Will

walkingonmypath asked you:
How can i know my will comes from the God’s will? Recently, i have feelings that God may want me to serve in specific vocation. However, the vacancy in this field is quite few. It means i may have to wait for the vacancy and compete with others. So, how can i know this feeling comes from God? I worry about that If it is not God’s will, my waiting will become a wasting of time. Thanks.

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey Mandy!

Good to hear from you, sis.

This is a great question.  I wrote a post a little bit ago directly on this topic, and you can check it out here:

http://jedbrewer.tumblr.com/post/12382456450/how-do-i-know-if-its-gods-will-or-just-my-desires

Take a second to go read that, and then come back here.  I’ll wait for you.

Ok.  Now, given everything you just read, I think the thing we want to add here is that part of discerning God’s voice is getting yourself – and your fears – out of the way.

I think what I hear you describing in your question is that you’ve found something you’re excited about, but daunted and intimidated by at the same time.  For what it’s worth, that’s normal.

First, congratulations on finding something you’re excited about!  That’s fantastic!

Second, most things worth doing are hard and daunting.  Christian talk about “waiting for an open door”, but, in truth, when you read the Bible, you see a lot of stories about Godly men and women kicking the dang door down, and walking on through.

That said, a difficult path doesn’t in any way mean it’s not what God wants for you.  But, what we can be sure of is that God has wisdom to give you on the subject.  And you clearly want that wisdom, which is awesome!

As I said, the challenge is to get your fears out of the way.  The reason you need to do that is that God speaks in a gentle whisper.  And fear, anxiety, and insecurity scream really loud.

So, how do we do that?  Good question.  Some people think best when they’re writing.  Some people think best when they’re talking.  So, grab either your journal or a trusted friend, and do the following: get it all out.

To start, pour out everything you’re afraid of about this new job prospect.  Fear of failure.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of success.  Fear of leaving.  Fear of staying.  Get it all out on the table.

Next, get your hopes out on the table.  What you want it to look like.  What you’re excited about.  What it would be if all of your wildest dreams came true.

After that, get out what you’re afraid God’s will would be.  If God was mean and didn’t like you and agreed with all the terrible things you think about yourself, get out in the open what he would say about this.  (It’s ok to admit it, God already knows.)

Good.  Now you’ve gotten all of your thoughts, fears and concerns out in the open.  So, go for a walk, clear your head, drink a cup of coffee.

Then sit down, just you and the Lord, and ask for wisdom in Jesus’ name.  Be still before the Lord, and expect him to speak.  Repeat this process as many times as you like, and I think you’ll be shocked how, when you get everything out of your system, and quiet yourself before the Lord, that the things that come to mind in that moment are shockingly consistent.  Compare them with the truth of scripture, and then boldly walk forward.

I’m Having A Hard Time Figuring Out What God Wants Me To Do WIth My Life - Help!

Anonymous asked:
I feel as if i’m doing something wrong. i pray to God about how he wants to use me as an instrument to help others, and what he wants from me to serve him in my life. i’m seeking but feel like he answers all my questions, besides this one. could you pray for me pretty pease maybe I’m not doing it right.

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey my friend,

The crazy thing about the voice of God is that he speaks in a whisper.

Here’s a really cool Bible passage:

“The LORD said [to the prophet Elijah], “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”
   Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.” (1 Kings 19:11-13, NIV)

Elijah covered his face because it was said that no man could see God and live.  And it was when he heard the “gentle whisper” that Elijah knew God was in the house.

This is important because, often, we want God to bowl us over, to give us a huge and miraculous, undeniable sign to guide our way.  But God doesn’t work this way, and part of why he doesn’t work this way is that there’s no such thing as an undeniable sign.  A person who refuses to see is irretrievably blind.  (This theme comes up often in the Bible.)

No, God whispers, and gently.  Paul says that God doesn’t push us around, but that, instead, he moves gently and deeply within us (Ephesians 3:20, MSG).  So, my question to you, my friend, is: what moves you?

I’d encourage you to try a variety of means of serving other people, and see what resonates with you.  You may find that what stirs you is fighting for justice for the oppressed.  Or that it’s providing for the physical needs of people who are doing without.  It may be offering the comfort of God’s love to the downtrodden and discouraged that moves you. 

But I’m betting that you’ll find something that does move you.  Pursue it.  Find out where they do that thing, and go there, and do it with them.  (So, if it’s fighting for justice for the oppressed, find the free legal clinic in your city, and go volunteer.)

A smart man once said that it’s easier to steer a ship in motion.  When we think about discovering our calling, this is great advice.  It’s nigh on to impossible to figure out your calling while sitting still.  But, as you get into the motion of serving others in Jesus’ name, and combine that with Godly counsel and listening to the Lord in prayer, I think you’ll find, step by step, the path starts to become more clear.

One thing I know for certain: God has a plan for you, and it’s awesome.  He’s honored by the fact that you are pursuing Him and your calling, and he’s not going to waste that.  Start walking, and let Him guide the direction.

I Can’t Find My Purpose In Life. What Do I Do?

walkingonmypath asked you:
Hi, Jed. I am getting lost with my life. I am a graduate. Can i ask God what job he would assign for me? I have asked him for months, but, he doesnt answer my prayer. The sense of laziness and depression attack me so strong. My peers said God would not answer this kin of question and they deem i am a rare. So, should i wait for his answer?

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey Mandy,

Sis, I’m sorry you’re having a rough time.  For what it’s worth, I know exactly what it’s like to feel totally adrift and purposeless in life.  And it sucks.  Badly.

I think that one of the things that often gets overlooked in the Christian life is that there is a priority to areas of our discipleship.  In other words, we have to deal with some issues before we are prepared to deal with others.

As it turns out, this is exactly what the Bible says.  Both Paul and the author of Hebrews talk about needing to start with milk before we can move onto “solid food” (see 1 Cor  3:1-2 and Heb 5:13-14).  And both James and Paul talk about how growing as a Christian (also known as “sanctification”) is a process where we first master some things and later master others.  Here’s an example:

“There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.” (Romans 5:3-5, MSG)

See how first we develop patience, and then we develop virtue?  And this makes sense when we think about how growth in Jesus mirrors the way that children grow.  If you had a child, you’d need to help them master tying their shoes before helping them learn how to file their taxes.  Both are necessary at some point, but the sequence of learning matters.

Here’s why this is important.  Before we are prepared to hear God’s answers to certain questions, we need to be rock solid on his answers to more basic, foundational questions.

I hear you describing trying to find your calling.  That is a worthy quest, and I’m proud of you for approaching it diligently.  But, I think it’s worth considering that, before you can figure out your purpose, you need to figure out your identity.

You mentioned struggling with depression.  Mandy, I’m gonna take a wild guess that you struggle with a certain amount of self-loathing.  That you beat up on yourself and tear yourself down.  And, sometimes, you think maybe God agrees with that.

Well, sis, if that’s the case, that self-loathing is what we need to work on first.  The truth, Mandy, is that God is desperately in love with you, exactly as you are today.  He adores you, and that would still be true if you did nothing of any consequence whatsoever with your life.

God loves you not because of the things you can do in the world, but simply because you’re his daughter.  He made you.  You are his.  And he’s crazy about you.

As you begin to take a hold of that reality more fully, you’ll find yourself more able to relax.  And I have a strong suspicion that you’ll be able to hear God way more easily on the subject of calling as a result.

I’m praying for you, sis.  Take some time to work on how you see yourself and how God sees you.  Talk openly with God about this struggle.  Find a spiritual mentor to help you through this process.  I promise that there’s an amazing calling and an incredible life waiting on the other side.

The Holidays Are Over. What Now?

January 2nd can be one of the most confusing days of the year.  See, you had all the magic and wonder of Christmas, with a lot of good thoughts about “the reason for the season”.  And then you had New Year’s, with it’s built-in cause for reflection on the last year and our hopes for the future.

But now it’s January 2nd, and you wake up, and you’re still…you.  (I have the same issue.)  The problems that we set aside for December so we could have a nice Christmas are still here, and, as much as we’d like to change, and see 2012 be different from 2011, we’re still the same people.

So what now?  How do we take all of the goodwill of Christmas, and the good intentions of New Year’s, and keep it from becoming a part of an annual self-deception?

I think you need a mission.  And your mission should be about hooking other people up.

See, here’s what happens with New Years Resolutions.  You say, “Dang, I’m out of shape.  I’m gonna go for a 20 minute run every morning.  Yeah.”  And you do, for about three days.  And then a funny realization hits you…”I was unhappy about being out of shape, but now I have more unhappiness about making myself go running than I did about being out of shape in the first place.  Forget this!”  And you stop.  The major problem here is that – top to bottom – your decisions were all about you, and your comfort-and-happiness in any given moment.  And that tends not to work well.  (Just ask any celebrity.)

In lieu of that, let’s get the focus off of us, and onto other people.

I think you should start 2012 by praying this:

“God, in 2012, I want to serve others.  Would you give me a burden for that?  Help me to see what other people are going through.  And, as I see their suffering, and see the needs that they have, would you break my heart for them?  Lord, would you bother me in a way where I simply can’t turn a blind eye to their distress, where I simply have to do something about it?  I want to serve you by serving others.”

And then, open your eyes and start looking around your community – your job, your school, your church – and search for people that are left-out, neglected, and in need. 

Now, pick one.  You don’t need to wait for a burning bush.  Seriously.  Just pick one.  And ask yourself, “How can I practically alleviate this person’s suffering?”  That may be hanging out with them. That may be cooking them a meal.  That me be leading worship music for their nursing home or drug rehab or prison chapel service.

Then, you simply do that thing.  And I have a bet that, after you’ve done it, you’ll feel this still small voice inside of you saying, “That was pretty awesome.  I think we should do that again.”

Listen to that voice.

You should listen to that voice, because, the next time you do it, it’ll actually be a little bit more awesome.  And even more-so the time after that.

You’ll begin to see that person or group of people change.  Which is incredible.  But, perhaps even more, you’ll note a change in yourself.  A lot of stuff you were hung up on before you just don’t care about anymore.  You’re on a mission, and you have better things to think about.

In fact, if you invest yourself in serving others, I bet you’ll hardly notice how quickly 2012 goes by.  And in December, when people are talking about how they’re gonna lose weight or read more books or whatever, and they ask you, “What’s your resolution for 2013?” you can smile and say, “I’m just gonna keep on changing the world.”

Life is a Circus, Charlie Brown …

This is a fantastic post from Hallie about pushing past the expectations that have been put on you by others, and finding what really brings you to life.  A definite must-read!

hbrewer:

I used to wish I could run away with the circus.  When I was younger, I remember being aware that I didn’t really fit in with anyone I knew – including my family.  I wanted so much to find a place I belonged… a place where I was special, and had ‘something’ I could do that was amazing – like flipping around on a trapeze or walking a tightrope.

But I lived in a small town.  And I had an ultraconservative family that went after anything they thought was ‘weird’ or ‘different’ with the same ferocity that sharks respond to blood in the water.  So it was clear: there were neither pink feather head-dresses nor spinning on a trapeze in my future.

No, instead, my life consisted of activities from a small, family-sanctioned list.  And I was expected to be hardcore about those activities.  What was on the list, you ask?  That would be martial arts (which I started at 8 years old – I’m a second degree black-belt today), studying hard (I speak four languages), intensive physical fitness training…  Heck, even ‘playing’ only applied to certain activities – 5-mile runs, water skiing, wakeboarding.  And while I had to be hardcore, I couldn’t be happy.   If you had too much fun, you were certain to be made fun of. Because displaying joy and happiness is weakness, right? (NOT!)

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How Do I Trust God?

joywarden asked you:
Hi Jed. I was raised a pk, but I’ve been struggling with my faith at college.  I have this nagging feeling that this life is supposed to mean something. I guess what I’m asking, because it sounds too awful to ask someone in person, is if it’s possible to be a Christian and not be able to love or trust God. He just keeps taking and He seems cruel. [edited for length]

Jed Brewer replied:

Hmmm.  “Is it possible to be a Christian and not love or trust God?”  Well, if you really, truly didn’t love God, and if you really, truly didn’t trust God, then I’m betting you probably wouldn’t have anything to do with Him.  At the very least, that’d make it pretty hard to have a healthy walk.

But, Joy, what I think I hear you describing is a situation where you want to love God, and you want to trust God, and something is trying to stand in the way of that.

So, then, let’s ask this: What’s standing in the way of you loving and trusting God?

My sense from what you’re describing is that you’ve got a lot of hurt in your life, and you’re not sure what box to put it in.  I mean, if God is just freely allowing you to suffer for no reason, then he can’t be a very nice guy.  And, on the other hand, if you deserve to suffer, then you must suck pretty bad, and probably God isn’t terribly interested in you anyway.  And since those are the two explanations that most honest folks turn to when life is tough, that all puts us in a pretty crappy, and untenable, position.

Fortunately, there is a third option. 

The third option is that you are special.  Precious.  Unique.  That God handcrafted you to be the exact right person for something of extraordinary importance.  And that He’s allowed difficult circumstances in your life precisely to shape you into the person you need to be in order to fulfill your destiny.

Now, what I’ve just described is either a cruel joke – a terrible, pie-in-the-sky scenario made-up to make a wounded person feel better – or it is absolutely true.  There isn’t much middle ground.

I can promise you, Joy, that it is, in fact, true.  I know it is true because I have lived it out.

There was a point where I couldn’t bring myself to trust God, either.  And the sticking point for me was this: why did you allow all of this awful crap to happen in my life?

Well, now, you may know my friend Unka Glen.  Years ago, he totally coerced me into helping him do some ministry with folks at the bottom of life.  I was just helping out.  But I discovered that I was able to relate to these men and women, and they to me, in a way that shouldn’t have worked.  We totally got each other.  And I started trying to figure out why that might be.

What I began to realize was that the difficult experiences in my life – the aforementioned awful crap – had given me a perspective and a viewpoint that made it easy for me to understand and relate to folks coming out of drug addiction and incarceration.

And then I realized that, if I was willing to let God do it, he could use that ability to bring about enormous changes in peoples’ lives.  It turned out that he had allowed some rough stuff to happen in my life, precisely so that I could be the right guy for him to do something incredible through.

This situation is not unique to me.  If you’re willing, God wants to take the pain and suffering you’ve been through, and turn it into something amazing.  The first step on that journey is to go to him and begin to tell him – honestly – how you feel about what you’ve been through.  And when you get it all out there, be still for a minute, and let him respond.  You may just hear him say, “Darling, I totally understand.”

How Do I Stand Up For My Christian Beliefs?

This question was posed to me recently – how do I stand up for my Christian beliefs?  It’s a great question, and a pertinent question, and an easy one to get wrong.

If you want to stand up for your Christian beliefs, start by sitting down.

If you want to be a great lion of the faith, start by sitting down with a hurting person and asking, “Tell me your story.”

If you want to be a celebrated defender of God’s truth, start by sitting down with a hungry person over a generous meal that you have paid for.

If you want to be a champion for orthodoxy, start with orthopraxy.  Sit down with a woman in a nursing home, a man at a homeless shelter, or a young person at the juvenile lockup.  Sit down with them and love on them.  Make sacrifices to live that love out.

And why should you do that?  Why does standing up for faith start by sitting down?  Because the world is watching.

We have all, I suspect, heard stories about a Christian who’s life was on the line, and their aggressor demanded: “Do you believe in God?”  What few of us contemplate is that the world at large is constantly demanding that same question of you and I. 

Every day when you wake up, your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers and classmates are looking at you and asking, “Do you believe in God?”  Your life is the answer that question.  Your words don’t actually get a say.

We live in a world of professional pundits and talking points.  Whether your political persuasion is left, right, or center, when you turn on your news channel of choice, you hear commentators saying things that we all know they don’t mean.  The words they say have ceased to count for anything.

But action matters.  Your actions matter.  This world – our world – is not looking for and does not need another great talking head.  But we do need men and women of action, men and women who will sacrifice and put it all on the line in order to love people the way Jesus did.

A number of years ago now, when President Clinton was still in office here in the U.S., Mother Teresa was invited to give a speech for a religious gathering in Washington D.C.  She used the opportunity to deliver a scathing rebuke about abortion, and a particularly stern reprimand to the policies of Bill Clinton, who was sitting in the audience.

After the program, a reporter asked President Clinton what he had thought of Mother Teresa’s address.

His reply?  “It is very hard to argue with a life so well lived.”

See, before Mother Teresa had tried to stand up for her faith, she’d started by sitting down, for decades, with the lepers and outcasts of Calcutta.  And her sacrifice and service were her credibility.

So it is with us.  We are called to always be prepared to give a defense for the hope that we have – to be able to stand up for our faith (1 Peter 3:15).  And the start of that preparation, the beginning of that standing up, is as simple as sitting down.