Stars in the skyDr. Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. His acceptance speech at the awards ceremony in Oslo on December 10 of that year included the following:

I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the “isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “oughtness” that forever confronts him.

That quote preaches a whole sermon. I loved it the first time I read it because it reminds me that I should not be happy with who I am but I must strive to be who I should be, who God created me to be. I have to admit that I all too frequently fall short of who I ought to be as a believer, as a husband and as a dad. But I can’t be happy with my “isness” (where I am) I must strive for my “oughtness” (who I should be).

I was recently asked why Empowered to Connect was gaining so much traction in churches around the country. I believe that churches are full of people who realized that their way of doing things has led them nowhere and that their need to change (repent) was very real. Parents sometimes have that realization too. It is often easier for adoptive parents to have that realization as “traditional” parenting or what we know fails us frequently.

Do I get it right everyday? Of course not but this stuff is real and it works. And by God’s grace I can strive for who I ought to be.

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