How do you solve poverty?

4 Will evildoers never learn— those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on the LORD?
5 There they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous.
6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the LORD is their refuge.

Isaiah chapter 14, NIV84

Those with money many times prey upon the poor – check cashing charges, fees for “plastic” money and money orders, cash advance charges, ever rising rent when the costs to the owner stay the same, higher prices for those trapped in the inner city without transportation for the same goods that cost less in neighborhoods that have customers that can shop around, lack of the volume discounts the rich enjoy, higher interest rates for loans to those who have the least money to pay for it.

Satan’s kingdom (fear-based, selfishness-based and money-based) is founded on “what can I get out of you?”  Jesus’ kingdom (love-based) is founded on “what can I give to you?”

I believe heaven’s economy will be the opposite of ours.  We will dream of what we can do for others, ask Jesus for the resources to do it, work with those resources in His strength and give away what we make, our only payment is the joy we receive when we give joy to others.

What would happen if we stopped giving hand-outs that are barely enough to survive on, and we made helping the poor become self-sustaining the same priority President John F. Kennedy gave making the United States the first on the moon?  What about asking those who are challenged what they thought we could do to help them?  What if we stopped being prejudice and gave jobs to those who would otherwise end up in jail because they can’t find someone who will hire them for honest work?

What would happen if I actually went about tangibly demonstrating the actions of the love of Jesus instead of just singing about it in my church or car?

I invite you to discover how you and I can allow Jesus to lift our challenged brothers and sisters.  I invite you to discover:  The Open Table  http://www.theopentable.org/

Jesus loves Muslims, free speech, and freedom of religion

(This plea for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and a statement of Jesus’ love for everyone was ironically censored by Google+. I have asked Google+ for a dialogue to learn what they object to and have not received any communication from them. Please read this post and let me know (specifically) how you interpret its ideas and why you think Google+ censored it, thank you).

I couldn’t sleep last night/this morning. So, I was on my computer and I came across a report on Loretta Lynch promising to prosecute any “Anti-Muslim” rhetoric “predicated on violence.” The writer of the report posed the question, “what exactly does that mean?” and answered, “possibly anything she wants it to mean.”

The America I grew up in (back in the day) defended freedom of speech and freedom of religion, though not in ways I always wanted. As an example, pornography, which in my opinion hurts those who make it and those who use it, was defended by the Supreme Court as an expression of free speech. Also, a certain religion that used an illegal drug in its worship was allowed to continue and use the drug legally by the Supreme Court when the court deemed it an exercise of freedom of religion.

I didn’t agree with those decisions but I recognized the need for freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I realized that the preservation of those freedoms for all outweighed my objections to specific applications.  Now back to Loretta Lynch’s vague promise to prosecute. I agree with Loretta Lynch’s end, that is I don’t want a backlash against Muslims.  All Americans (Muslims, Christians, Jews, Atheists… ) deserve to live a life free of fear. But what I fear is the means to this end; as the Obama Administration and this current Supreme Court have proven capable of deliberately over-reaching the law, deliberately under-interpreting the law, and deliberately making-up law. What are they capable of doing to the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech in this instance?

After courageous American Christians lost their lives by standing up to a gunman and proclaiming their faith in Jesus, there was no U.S. government statement about the protection of Christians that would follow, (that I know of). President Obama did not even acknowledge that there had been a “hate-crime” against Christians. But when two Muslims in California “bent on Jihad” (a tenet of Islam that instructs Muslims to kill non-Muslims) kill innocent people, this government threatens to silence any speech critical of Islam and similar followers.

Jesus wants all people (including Muslims “bent on Jihad”) to know that he loves them, forgives them, and wants them to turn from evil and join him in loving God and loving people. That is what I want too.