An Update On The Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Crisis

watermark-church-Unaccompanied-Immigrant-Children-CrisisYou are undoubtedly aware of the media coverage related to the crisis at the border. Specifically, the stories and reports of unaccompanied immigrant children. As we seek the Lord on how best to love and care for these children, we sent Jeff Ward and Rick Howard from our External Focus team to spend Friday and Saturday at the border with some government officials, leaders from NG0’s (nongovernment organizations) and a few leaders from other faith groups. Before they left, I wrote a few thoughts to them I thought would be helpful in their discussions with others as they lead from a Biblical worldview.  In this blog post, I thought it would be helpful to share those thoughts with you as well as update you on our efforts to serve Christ by actively engaging in the crisis.

  1. Rule of law is essential to a healthy community. (Proverbs 13:13, 1 Timothy 1:8-10, 1 Peter 2:13-15, Romans 13:1-7)
  2. Rule of love is essential if any place is going to be representative of Christ’s community.  (John 13:34-35, Galatians 5:22-23)
  3. Rule of law is never compromised by rule of love. (We serve a God Who is FULL of grace AND truth. FULL of justice AND mercy) (Exodus 34:6-7, John 1:14)
  4. Rule of love has order/law built into it.  (Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Peter 2:15-17)
  5. While we continue to warn others of the grave dangers of ignoring the rule of law, we must model for others the rule of love. (Philippians 4:9, 1 Corinthians 11:1, Matthew 28:20)

(I shared some additional thoughts on my Twitter account  on July 17th as well that I encourage you to check out.)

As the Scripture referenced above makes clear, God’s Word constantly reminds us of our need to humble ourself under governmental rule, even as we continually love others and, first and foremost, honor God’s Word and way. Sadly, America in the 21st century increasingly mocks the idea of morality/ law and perverts the definition of love by confusing love with the approval and celebration of almost any behavior. The mocking of law/morality and redefinition of love is fast eroding the foundation and strength of our nation.

As God’s ambassadors and citizens of the Kingdom of heaven who live in the United States, we should both seek the welfare of our nation while also caring for our neighbors (1 Peter 2:13-17) and speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:25). God’s people are called to respond to every situation with love and wisdom and to step up, speak out and stand firm, without fear, on the challenging issues around us with an uncommon sense and unwavering goodness (1 Peter 2:12).

While there are many opinions about why this crisis continues to grow, there are indisputably some suffering women and children who are now at our doorstep who we have the opportunity to respond to in love, even while we maintain our commitment to law and order. While we firmly believe in the rule of law and the necessity of order and discipline, we cannot ignore the present need to care for those who are suffering while law and order are increasingly compromised around us.

What Watermark Is Doing

Watermark is actively involved in the ongoing conversations with other government and faith leaders. On Tuesday, our External Focus team joined leaders from other local churches to discuss how the faith community of DFW could come together to best love and care for these children. (News coverage of that meeting can be found here.) On Thursday, Watermark Justice hosted a lunch where they shared with Dallas lawyers about opportunities they have to become trained and to serve within this issue. Finally, as mentioned at the beginning of this post, members of our External Focus teams were at the border to assess the situation first hand and serve many of the women and children currently being detained in Mission, Texas.

How You Can Help

At this time, needs are still being assessed and plans are being discussed, but we wanted to give you some specific ways you can best love and care for these children. We will continue to keep the Watermark body informed of any other needs we can help with as they arise.

1. Pray: For our national and state leaders as they make decisions related to the security and welfare of our nation and those who want to enter it. (2 Timothy 2:1-4) For the children being brought to the border, their families and for us as we respond to them.

2. Consider: Be open to anything the Lord might show you. How can my family or my community share our time, resources, or energy to help the hurting around us? Read the Scriptures and tweets I have shared with you and share them with others. Be unafraid to speak up to others about a right response for us as a nation to the border crisis, even as you actively engage with compassion individually with those around you.

3. Stay Tuned: We will continue to gauge the situation and discern ways we can honor Christ in this, as in all situations. Pray for the upcoming “Declaration” series this fall as I share from God’s Word all He has declared about life, liberty and the pursuit of true happiness. I will be sharing with you a Biblical perspective on the role of the church in the public square and how a nation’s view of life, liberty, marriage, immigration and economics determine whether or not it will go well with them or ensure their destruction as a people.

I am thankful and proud to be seeking and serving our Lord with you,

- Todd

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Are You “Just” Spending Time In The Word, Or Is The Word Spending Time In You?

The following clip is from the message “The Secret Place as the Secret to Christlikeness.” You can check out the entire series here.

“You can’t do it if you don’t know whats in it. But not reading it is not even as a big of problem as reading it and not doing anything with it.” – Todd Wagner

I Want To Be An iPhone For Christmas

i want to be an iphone for christmas

We’re in the middle of a series titled inTIMEacy where we’re looking at various spiritual disciplines and how they help us grow in our relationship with Christ. A few weeks ago I talked about the secret place that is the secret to Christlikeness and in it read an article called, “I Want To Be An iPhone For Christmas.”

Hit play on the video below to check out the clip and feel free to use / pass this blog post along as you’d like.

I Want To Be An iPhone For Christmas

I want to be my husband’s iPhone. He’d be drawn to me with magnetic force – always wanting to hold me. I’d be his first thought each morning – the vision in his waking eyes. Nary an hour would pass without his fingertips caressing my face.

My husband would gaze at me and ask me questions, waiting patiently for the answers he knew would come. His evenings would be spent learning more about me and how I could make his life more fulfilling.

I remember, with nostalgia, a trip to England my husband and I took years ago. Before the dawn of iPhones and their competitors, I was in charge of holding the unwieldy maps and verbalizing the directions. From Oxford to Cartmel to York to Rye, my husband and I traveled.

How I would beam each time my husband told friends and family the story of what a competent navigator I was! “The whole week, we never made a wrong turn,” he would brag, squeezing my hand.

The iPhone is the ultimate navigator. We can never be lost. We never have to hold hands and just hope for the best. The iPhone knows where all the gas stations are, all the restaurants. It is a link to everyone we know. We are never alone. We are never adventurers.

Now, at social gatherings, he pulls out the phone. He brags on its abilities, saying, “Have you seen this app?”

The iPhone begins and ends conversations. No question can simply be speculated about, for within minutes the iPhone has answered it – even by a campfire in the middle of the woods.

At home, a tender moment in a movie we are watching echoes one of our own memories. I look at my husband, our son cuddled upon his lap, to give him a knowing smile. He doesn’t notice me. Nor has he noticed the scene. He is entranced by a miniature screen. He’s right here, yet loneliness pervades me.

The iPhone is the preferred entertainment. Holding it, you hold magic – the magic of never having to be fully in the room with another person.

Yes, I want to be my husband’s iPhone, cradled and protected at all times. Oh, the conversations we would have – his lips close to my ear. We would play together. I would sing for him, and he would buy me music and other presents.

A husband and wife should complement one another, like two puzzle pieces made to fit, each filling the other’s weaknesses with his or her strengths.

Now, the iPhone has become my husband’s missing piece. It gives him confidence, boosts his self-esteem. Oh, that I might morph into that rectangular shape that I might, once again, be my beloved’s other half.

As an iPhone, I would be his most valued possession, the object of his attention, his indispensable helpmate. And, being all of that, I wouldn’t have to miss him anymore.

Carol Bullman of Allen is author of “The Christmas House.” She can be contacted through carolbullman.com.