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Thursday, 24 June 2010
tags: ezekiel azonwu almost lyrics words p4cm lyricist lounge
Monday, 21 June 2010
I don’t mean to make light of the current economic crisis in the United States, but there’s a part of me that wonders if we don’t deserve this.
As a country, we have been getting fat and lazy while two thirds of the world struggles just to stay alive. Not all of us, mind you, but collectively — as a country — we’re complaining not because we can’t survive but because our luxuries cost us more than we want to spend.
We want cheap gas and “affordable” four-bedroom homes. We want 200 channels on television and to be able to go out to eat two or three times a week.
As Americans, many of us believe we deserve those things. There’s a sense of entitlement. Meanwhile, on the other side of this tiny little planet of ours, someone is praying, pleading to God for a slice of bread.
So our government is working on a bailout plan. How can we maintain the “American way of life” without suffering the consequences of our decisions? A loan. We’ll loan ourselves money and turn a blind eye to the root causes of greed and selfishness.
We do that so well, don’t we? We attack problems by trying to change the circumstances, instead of battling the root causes. I know I’ve done it in my own life, so this is as much an indictment on me as it is on anyone else.
Then I start to think about the poor.
What is the bailout plan for that family living on less than $2 a day in a developing country? The family who struggles not with wants for luxury but needs for survival. Who will bail them out?
The answer, oddly enough, is us. Yes, the same “us” that’s struggling in the midst of this economic downturn. When our economy is bad, it trickles down to the poorest of the poor.
Higher food costs and fuel prices mean their $2 a day doesn’t go nearly as far. We have to look beyond ourselves, now more than ever, to be the church God intended us to be.
The Church is God’s bailout plan for the poor.
I’m not saying we should throw money at poverty and turn a blind eye to its root causes. I understand why Bono is frustrated over the lack of funds, I really do. But money alone won’t stop poverty.
It goes deeper than that. Besides, I think the Church can do better than any government. We understand the spiritual implications that despair and hopelessness cause. And no one can meet those needs better than the Church. If we’ll just be the Church.
This is a time to pray. Not just for the economic crisis in our country, but also for the ones hit hardest — the poor. And, there’s something else we can do: give more.
That’s right . . . more. I know it sounds odd, but what if, instead of hording our money during this time of economic struggle, we decided to be more giving? Wouldn’t that be something?
Imagine the headlines: GIVING TO THE POOR IS UP — EVEN AS STOCKS DECLINE. At the very least, we can’t afford to cut back on our giving. The poor simply cannot survive if we do.
I don’t know what giving more means to you. It could be sponsoring a child. It could be giving to a fund that feeds the hungry.
Maybe it means going on a mission trip and getting your hands dirty. But this is the time to do it. Now. Not tomorrow. Not to change circumstances . . . but to attack the roots.
Click the title to see the original post on the Compassion Blog
Friday, 4 June 2010
These are not in any particular order
1) Relationships: with the Child Sponsorship Program, I am not just giving money to an organisation. I sponsor an individual child. I am able to foster a relationship with the child I sponsor. The great thing about this is I can see the results personally. I do not just hear about how over a million children are being sponsored. I can hear about the child I sponsor, Tamirat, and how he is personally affected. I like such relationships.
2) I am commanded to: In at least five places in the Bible (NKJV), it explicitly says to aid the poor. Yes, I am going to list them.
Lev 25:35 If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty
among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that
he may live with you.
Deut 15: 7-8 If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within
any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you
shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother,
but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him
sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.
Deut 15:11 For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I
command you, saying, 'You shall open your hand wide to your brother,
to your poor and your needy, in your land.'
Psalm 82: 3-4 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the
afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the
hand of the wicked.
Proverbs 31:9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause
of the poor and needy.
3) method: Compassion works through local churches, that are already established and who demonstrate sound doctrine. They also look for long-term situations. Poverty cannot be fixed overnight. I believe stability is very important for children. Change is good, instability is not. To me, the most important facet of their long-term changes is the fact that they are not just releasing children from poverty, but they are "Releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name." To give a child food to eat and clean water to drink, but to leave their soul hungering for the Word and thirsting for Living Water is to accomplish nothing of great consequence.
4) integrity: Compassion has demonstrated great financial efficiency. Check them out on Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance.
5) the people of Compassion: one thing I can say about Compassion that a lot of sponsors cannot is that I have been to their offices, and I have met many of their employees. I worked full time for two employees and occasionally for another. I even lived with one of the people I worked for. They are different. They are so passionate about children, and it is apparent. Is that not important, considering what Compassion does?
6) the value given to children: I believe investing in people is the best investment one can make. Of everything around us, the only things eternal are people and the word of God. Children are the future, and the effects we have on them now will be present in eternity. Think about it--some of the people that will be in heaven are going to be Compassion kids that would not have heard the gospel if it was not for Compassion.
(I will post sources later-this is being sent from my mobile phone)
I have also worked with Samaritan's Purse and fundraised for World Vision. These are also great charities too, but I have chosen Compassion as the one I regularly give to. Remember that SP and WV work in different ways. Within the church, it is great to have unity in diversity.