Thursday, March 27, 2008

Who Really Cares?

The book, Who Really Cares by Arthur Brooks has been on my "to read list" for about six months. It is not diffucult to decipher the bent of the book based on it's subtitle, "The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism: America's Charity Divide, Who Gives, Who Doesn't and Why It Matters," but I hope to learn a lot even though I feel from the outset there is a biased ideology at work.

Brooks' work has my attention for a number of reasons:

1) I work for a non-profit dependent on people giving us money.

2) I dislike labels, but if I think "compassionate conservative" describes me well.

3) All things wealth, generosity and greed related have fascinated me for about three years. I continually grapple with the ideas of standard of living, charity, poverty and human duty to care for one another.

Conveniently, a copy made its way home with me from my parents' house last weekend. I'll keep you posted on what I learn and leave you with this nugget from the book jacket:
"But beyond showing us who the givers and non-givers in America really are today, Brooks shows why charity matters -- not just to givers and recipients but to the nation as a whole. He shows that giving is crucial to our economic prosperity, as well as to our happiness, health, and our ability to govern ourselves as a free people."

Love, Marriage and Babies

A few weeks ago, my darling roommate sent me this article by Emily Yoffe on marriage and child bearing.

Yoffe declares, for all the world to hear, that children should be raised in a home with two parents married to one another. I know that this worldview is generally accepted by most of my friends and those who read this blog, but I found it interesting that a columnist from a non-traditional media outelt would espouse the same view.

What are your thoughts on the article and on why this view is regaining ground?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Two friends hit the nail on the head ...

If you know me then you know why the linked blog and the video below are so very funny.

An essay on dinner parties sent by Gavin.

And a reminder of an old memory sent by Casey.

Happy Easter one and all.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Glass is Half Full

Most of the things that I think about posting are pretty heavy, sobering and, well, depressing. I came across this gem from the crew at Cool People Care and thought that I would share it. Enjoy ... and spread the love.

Get Positive
by Sam Davidson

Put a spin on what you're talking about.
News is news and sometimes, no news is good news. But, good news is usually the best kind of news. Therefore, spend a moment today finding some good news and then spread it. Certainly there are stories that need telling no matter the spin, but there are many great stories that rarely get told. We all know that it's easy to spread celebrity gossip or the latest political scandal, but imagine the sound of our own conversations if we began to spread the wonderful news of the good that people are doing. Be a messenger of good news today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Quote of the Day

"And the thing that's hard for us to imagine is a whole generation between 18 and 40 years old dying off, and when you think about it, that's the economic core of a society – that's your doctors, your nurses, your teachers. It's just beyond our comprehension."

Benedict Schwartz

Referring to the fact 43 % of Namibia's adultpopulation is HIV positive

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Today's Question

Christianity Today's Vision Project posed this question in 2007:

"What must we learn, and unlearn, to be agents of God's mission in the world?"

What is your answer?

See some other answers here.

Back to Blogging

I have decided to be a regular blogger again. Most of the posts will revolve around my work in life-affirming Christian ministry, non-profit management, orphan care and adoption. My favorite dog might sneak his way into a few posts as well.

The goal is to post a few times a week with an article written by me, a link to another blog or snippets of whatever I am reading.

Enjoy friends!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Terrify No More

Tonight, I have been enjoying a rare, quiet evening at home. I have been catching up on blogs and getting some admin work done for the trip to Mexico. I posted a list of ways to prepare for our trip on the team blog and was reading through Scripture regarding the fatherless. I was taken by Psalm 10.

It would be safe to say that I fancy myself as a budding social activist. I boycott stores if I disapprove of business tactics, I buy organic to save the soil from agri-business, I support orphan care ministries, I spend leisure time reading about human trafficking and I work at an agency that hopes to end the needs and the want for abortion in our city.

I am passionate about making a difference in this world and especially passionate about ending abortion since it is a topic I am entrenched in for most of my waking hours. My dear roommate has listened to dozens of ranting monologues about the statistics and horrors of abortion and STDs when a dinner guest asks me a simple question about work. Oftentimes, I feel like a "Debbie Downer" because the things that I think about and talk about are, frankly, depressing. Yet, I read Psalm 10 tonight and it uplifted my heart. It reminded me that, as Christians, we are told to love what God loves and hate what He hates. He loves justice and He hates oppression, so we are called to be the same. So, I pray that as long as I have strength that our great God will allow me to do work that touches His heart.

Psalm 10
1 Why, O Lord, do you stand far away?Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor;let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised.
3 For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.
4 In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
5 His ways prosper at all times;your judgments are on high, out of his sight;as for all his foes, he puffs at them.
6 He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved;throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.”
7 His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
8 He sits in ambush in the villages;in hiding places he murders the innocent.His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
9 he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket;he lurks that he may seize the poor;he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.
10 The helpless are crushed, sink down,and fall by his might.
11 He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”
12 Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;forget not the afflicted.
13 Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,that you may take it into your hands;to you the helpless commits himself;you have been the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;call his wickedness to account till you find none.
16 The Lord is king forever and ever;the nations perish from his land.
17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more. (emphasis mine)