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 is healing my racism

What is “race”?  Is it possible to define one race from another?  What attributes would you use?  Are the attributes of one race possible to be found in a different race?  If those of different races can have children then aren’t we all part of the same gene pool?  If we are all part of the same gene pool then aren’t the attributes that define race arbitrary?  For example why is it that skin color is used to define different races but eye color is not?

I am guilty of prejudging people, of prejudice.  I have looked at people with mental illness labels as if they were less than me somehow.  I have believed that those with a developmental disability are less than me somehow.  I have looked at people with different skin color, language, height, weight, culture as less than me somehow.  I have even believed that some people with different attributes than me were better than me somehow.  I have allowed my fears and ignorance about others different from me to influence my perception and conclusions about them.  Fortunately there is help for me, and His Name is Jesus.

Jesus said to me in the Bible to love God with all that I am, and love all people in the same way I love myself.  I couldn’t do that until I received God’s love for me.  I have hated myself much of my life.  I have also loved myself, but in a self-serving way.  Trying to feel better about myself I despised others.  This was not a reflection on them.  This was the result of my rejecting Jesus’ love for me.  It wasn’t until I humbled myself, asked forgiveness, and actually believed what God said, that God loved me, that I experienced His love and healing.  And now I can love God and other people, not perfectly, but hopefully in increasing measure each day.