Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I found this on PreachingToday.com's Series about money. There is more research out there suggesting similar conclusions. We should tithe out of both obedience and love.
Tithing Christians Would Meet Global Need
A husband and wife team of researchers, the founders of Empty Tomb, Inc., in Champaign, Illinois, have tracked American and American Christian expenditures as well as global needs. John and Sylvia Ronsvalle have estimated that $70-$80 billion a year could meet the most essential human needs around the world. "Projects for clean water and sanitation, prenatal and infant/maternal care, basic education, immunizations, and long-term development efforts are among the activities that could help overcome the poverty conditions that now kill and maim so many children and adults."
The Ronsvalles go on to write: "That figure of $70-$80 billion may sound like anything but good news. God may be generous, you may agree, but has he been that generous? Consider this: If church members in the United States would increase their giving to 10 percent of their income, there could be an additional $94 billion available for overseas missions."
In addition to providing the $80 billion a year needed to eliminate world poverty, tithing Christians would also provide the $7 billion needed to provide primary education for all children, and the $5 billion needed to end the preventable deaths of children under 5.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
A Selection of Dr. King's words from "I Have a Dream" August 28, 1963:
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
WE ARE not free. Yet. Last week my class stayed at the International Teams guest house in inner-city Lawndale, Chicago. Our host Mark Soderquist and his friend and fellow churchman Derrick joined us for a discussion about their story. I cannot tell it well, but basically these two men of faith in our Lord have learned to trust each other and love each other although they did not when they started their relationship nearly twenty years ago. They have now realized fuller that they are both created in the image of the Holy God, although their skin had different tones of beauty.
Later that week our class had the privilege of invading a sacred gathering of men that have become the Chicago Urban Reconciliation Enterprise (CURE). They showed us about how being dedicated to spending time with people who are different than you can help you to love and understand them. They even showed us how that can help to understand Scripture in new ways, bringing a more full understanding of how the Word is alive.
Surely this group is one that believes that the "banks of justice" and "vaults of opportunity" are not empty.
The Lord is saying "Love one another," as He always has. Dr. King is right when he says that our freedoms are inextricably bound. "We cannot walk alone"
Mr. Mandela reminds us that freedom requires steady and unrelenting passion, and Dr. King reminds us that we must do it together. For everyone who is sick of the talk, hates it when they hear a man say "they have gotten what they wanted", and who has yet to feel like they can trust and be trusted by their character alone....keep going.
"Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children." To the Glory of God.