I chose today’s topic because I know a few of the participants in the various Mission Network service opportunities.
As I wrote my greeting to them I remembered the years I have known them and how our lives have intersected.
It’s interesting to me how our paths take us to different places in life and how glad I am that these young people have intersected my path. I’m thankful that their grandparents and parents were people of faith and that tradition has been handed down and accepted as their own. Praise be to God.
APRIL 1 – Count the number of books in your home. Donate a nickel per book to mission, or offer some of the books to a local school library.
Reading is integral in my understanding of the world. Literacy has shaped the way I think, the way I reason, the way I enter into conversations with God. The layout of the book and my simple ability to comprehend meanings from shaped letters influence my views on structure, rationality, masculinity/femininity and more.*
On my desk at work alone, I have 17 books. On my shelves at home, hundreds more, indicating the role of the word in my existence. Read more…
MARCH 31 – Take time today to brainstorm two specific ways your congregation could be more involved with people who live next door. Commit to sharing those ideas at church on Sunday or with your mission committee.
What are your ideas? Can they work for other areas as well? How does this challenge or fulfill you? Leave a comment and tell us more.
MARCH 30 – Turn your heat down 10 degrees this week. Donate 50 cents per degree to mission, or give the extra clothes and blankets you used to stay warm to a local shelter.
The local paper this week told the stories of five men out of work in our area. They found someone who let them stay in a house when the wind was coldest, but likely will be homeless this week. Tents, they said, or cars will likely house most of them for the time being–the same tents and cars that housed them before the winter months arrived.
Their stories shrink my sacrifice. Despite being set in the low-50s, our thermostat within our well-insulated home still reads 62. I notice the cold only slightly. As acts of sacrificial penitence go, this is quite a bit below self-flagellation.
I’ve camped in sub-zero weather; I know I’d survive it, a bit chilly but happy for the adventure and the hot coffee of the next morning. But I have not faced the reality of facing the spring chill each night.
The paper did not examine the men’s beliefs or whether they are part of a faith community. That they found them at all is impressive in its own right. They are the ones who slip through the cracks.
They are the ones, I think, that Jesus would have found.
For a period of time I’ve been praying that God would lead me to some involvement that expands my boundaries, even moving me out of my comfort zone. Sometimes God answers prayers by nudging and then a little self-initiative is required. So I finally signed up to help with the overflow homeless shelter that my church hosts. I started with the easy part – registering guests as they arrived.
It was soon apparent that life goes on outside of the shelters. Everyone has a need for relationships and for some of these folks this is their community. Read more…
Notice where the food you eat today was grown or produced. Pray for those places and the people who produce your food.
I started with a cup of coffee: coffee beans from Honduras, milk from the United States and sweetner. After doing some research I found that much of the sugar in the United States comes from Florida or Hawaii. But then I remembered my friends in Idaho taking me on a farm tour, part of which included introducing me to sugar beets. So I prayed Read more…
Lenten Calendar, March 25: Count the pairs of shoes you own. Donate 50 cents per pair to mission or donate a pair of your best shoes to a local homeless shelter.
Michael Millon, venture capitalist, recently added a two-tone crocodile hiking boot from Bettanin & Venturi to his collection of more than 550 shoes. Price tag: $8500. He loves these boots so much that he’s ordered another pair in a different color.
I read about Mr. Millon and it is easy to be critical of his obsession with shoes and how he spends his money. After all it is his obsession, not mine. Read more…