Friday, April 27, 2012

WIP: Missional - Things Often Collide

1. "You must not want for others what they do not want for themselves." Principle #1 form the Biblical Rescue class I am taking by Dan Rogers of the Cherry Street Mission.

2. "Ask the people you are serving to identify their needs and dreams, rather than assuming you know what they need." From our staff book study of "The Externally Focused Church".

3. "Fikkert makes a compelling point in this chapter that many of us miss: poor people tend to describe their condition in more psychological and social terms. That is, most of us see poverty as lack of food, money, medicine, or housing. The poor talk about their poverty in terms of shame, inferiority, fear, hopelessness, isolation, and voicelessness (53). This has profound implications for how we help the poor. “One of the biggest problems in many poverty-alleviation efforts is that their design and implementation exacerbates the poverty of being of the economically rich–their god-complexes–and the poverty of being of the economically poor–their feelings of inferiority and shame” (65). In other words, when we march in and give the poor the stuff we think they need, we are only making them feel poorer, as they understand poverty." From a book review by Kevin DeYoung of "When Helping Hurts" by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert.

So, I am reading the book mentioned in #3 while attending the class mentioned in #1. And the principle mentioned in #2 has been a defining principle as we have shaped our ministry to the school and community we serve. It always amazes me how I can get involved in multiple things and hear the same message being expressed in all of them. Things often "collide" like that for me.

I think what is common to all three of the above statements is that in serving people and loving them as God does, we must slow down and build relationships with them. Get to know THEM. Violating any of the above principles is really about our own expectations. It's about us - our needs, our stuff, our pride, our self-image. In order to really serve and love people we need to work at releasing all of our stuff and move ahead in God's power, seeking His heart and His purpose. When we are able to do this then we truly serve people, we truly love people, we truly serve God's purpose, and God receives the glory due His name.

So much in life for me lately keeps coming back to expectations.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Use Your Own Voice

I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman... a Proverbs 31:8-9 woman.

8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

When I think of speaking up, I think of God's call on me to use the voice He has given me. Use your own voice is a phrase that came to me a few years ago and that God has used to help me look at the talents, abilities, passions and personality he has created in me as tools for His glory. He has used my own close brush with poverty, my years as a single parent, and many other events in my life to bring me to this place where I feel called to be a voice for those who have no voice. For children living in dysfunction or poverty, for single moms, for those living in generational poverty. Many of these people have no voice or have had their voices silenced by our culture and systems that serve more to oppress than bring freedom. Being a voice by definition means speaking up for someone; making their plight known. Being a voice is also about helping people in these situations see that there are other ways in life and to begin to help them see themselves and life through a perspective of hope. After all ,this is what we have in Christ, new eyes to see through a perspective of His hope.
My prayer: May He continue to help me figure out how to use my own voice and speak up for those He has called me to. And may I, and those I serve, be continually impacted by His hope.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Just Art

Altered book art journal of quotes. Just having fun playing with art.

"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules,
making mistakes, & HAVING FUN." ~Mary Lou Cook

I found this piece of art from my Advent Art Journal on this blog:
How cool! Good blog post as well.