Sometime late last week I had read on theinternetmonk one of the Saturday Ramblings posts (this one to be specific) that linked to a CNN article (right here) which took offense about something posted on Dave Ramsey’s blog (this is the article … but it referred to statistics provided by a Tom Corley) quoting some statistics about rich and the poor and their differences.
At the time of reading the “Saturday Ramblings” post, I would have said I agree that the stats were taken a little out-of-context, but thankfully since the Ramblings post is linked to the CNN article which is linked to the ACTUAL Ramsey post, I can get to the REAL heart and see that since his original posting, Dave added “A word from Dave…” that probably was double the length of the original article to explain himself more clearly since he received a lot of “feedback”… feel free to read it yourself but the part that stood out to me was this: Continue reading
As usual, it has certainly been awhile since our last trip down to Monroe Park (Feb 21st!), and the weather is getting a little bit nicer so it’s getting time to pull out some lighter clothing for sharing so… Continue reading
In catching up reading some of my blogs in my reader, I read across a lot from Flower Dust and her visit to India with Compassion International. It got me thinking though of places past that I’ve known where situations are similar. Can’t really say a lot of places exist like that in the US and then I remembered the single year I lived in Venezuela. And that one food drive my class did at the American international school I attended.
I remember loading up some trucks and our class (which was only 10-15 teens … that was when I was in 11th grade for the first time) and actually going out to a village. We handed out the food. Continue reading
It’s been a real while since posting, and I almost decided to stop. But… I think I may continue but focus a bit more, but then again, we’ll see how that goes.
I more or less just wanted to put out a list of area organizations dedicated to the homelessness:
- Homeward – planning & coordinating organization for homeless services
- Freedom House – community shelter, transitional housing and “intake”
- Daily Planet -job training and health care center
- Embrace Richmond – working to prevent homelessness by mobilizing people of faith through various programs such as UnityWorks
- The Healing Place – homeless shelter and long-term recovery program
- Home Again – nightly shelter and support services
- CARITAS – area churches providing winter emergency shelter
- Flagler Services – support specifically for homeless women and their families
- Daughters of Zelophehad – transitional housing for women and their children
- Hilliard House – assisting homeless women and their children
- Safe Harbor – shelter and counseling for those experiencing domestic violence
- CARITAS Community Sharehouse – transitional housing support (including furniture, employment and encouragement)
- Virginia Supportive Housing – permanent housing and support services
- Gateway Homes – transitional, residential treatment program for adults with mental illness
- OAR – offender aid and restoration
- CCHASM new! – Chesterfield & Colonial Heights Alliance for Social Ministry
- Chesterfield County Social Services new!
- Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness new!
UPDATE: check out the GTI ‘volunteer training manual’ as well!
NOTE: Apparently my new frequent blogging style is to read some little ‘thing’ from someone else’s posts, and blog about them… like this. Oh well…
Two points stood out for me when I read Creating communities of grace:
(5) Eat and drink with broken people
The Son of Man who receives all authority in Daniel 7 comes eating and drinking (Luke 7:34). Jesus eats and drinks with sinners. It’s a powerful expression of community. We think we are enacting grace if we work among the poor, if we serve them. But we are only half way there. It is not really grace because we still act from a position of superiority. We think we are humble when we serve. But we have missed the dynamic that is going on. What we really proclaim is that we are able and you are unable. I can do something for you, but you can do nothing for me. Think how different the dynamic is when we sit and eat with someone. We meet as equals. We share together. We behave as friends. We affirm one another and enjoy one another.
(7) Focus on the heart
What’s your agenda for change? All too often we focus on behaviour. We can list the behaviours we would like someone to stop or start. But Jesus says our behaviour comes from the heart (Mark 7:20-23). Our focus needs to be on the heart. Our job is to help people love God and treasure Christ. In Philippians 1 Paul says the aim of his ministry among them is their joy (1:25-26). He wants them to find joy in Christ – only then will people turn from the pleasures of sin. I do need to describe a life that pleases God. But my job is not to go round telling people to reform their lives or change their behaviour. My job is help people find joy in Christ.
Jesus – I pray that our adventure in serving with those around Richmond who are without a home or are poor be less about me and more about You. May we all recognize our humble roles and not as superiors. May we get to know those we meet *as friends* not acquaintances. May we not focus on what they ‘need to do’ and instead just love them where they are at … to find joy in Christ.