Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008 : Increasing Poverty Awareness

See: A Noggin' Full Of Noodles: Below The Line, Blog Action Day 2008 Round-up and Blog Action Day: Poverty and Biblical Economics and rlp's blog for starters.

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.---thanks, Justin for the link to this video---I found it on your Blog post.

-Appropriate Scripture Verses To Read Over:

Matthew 6:24-34-NRSV

24“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

And: Mark 14:7
7For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me

And: Luke 18:22
22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."

And here are some of my earlier posts on poverty:
TheoPoetic Musings: Relationships needed to break poverty cycle

TheoPoetic Musings: Justice of jubilee in Luke

TheoPoetic Musings: Thousands turn to online prayer during economic crisis

TheoPoetic Musings: Increase In Homeless Families

Here are some more of my offerings for Blog Action Day 2008:

Here is an article about the CBF's contribution to poverty relief.

Anyways, I like Dr. Queen and the New Baptist Covenant believe that relationships are needed to break the poverty cycle. Secondly, education is key as in:

Mentors, who build relationships with and help guide those seeking to improve their lives, are an essential part of the decade-old Christian Women's Job Corps and its counterpart, Christian Men's Job Corps, said Cara Lynn Vogel of Woman's Missionary Union of North Carolina.

The job-training ministry sites are separate by gender and vary in emphasis by location, Vogel said of the WMU ministry efforts in which "women mentor women and men mentor men."

"The issue of poverty can be overwhelming," said Vogel. "But more importantly, we need to talk about solutions."

The solutions found in the Christian Jobs Corps efforts are built on mentors encouraging and enabling participants to develop through spiritual nurture, health and nutrition, education and job skills training. (See my post: Relationships needed to break poverty cycle---for full context).

Another thing that is needed is farming/gardening/technical agricultural skills need to be taught as a way of self-providing food. Affordable land for growing goes along with that.

Here are some thoughts from an interesting article:


With the saying in the Bible that the love of money is the root of all evil…and many strong words against the rich and powerful, it may seem strange to some that God would be concerned about economics.

But the evil is not in the money or wealth itself. As with many other things, it is the way that money is used that causes it to be productive or destructive. One writer said it this way:

When we choose the Lord as our sole master, He does not remove our money. In fact, He takes the money and transforms it into an ally. The same dollar that places a bet, pays a prostitute, or purchases "crack" cocaine also buys a Bible, digs a well, or supports a missionary. The same dollar the shrewd manager uses to pave his way into a golden future, a shrewd disciple uses to invest in eternal friendships. But the difference is the product of a choice of masters.

I have written in my e-mail list some about the extreme unfair trade policies among nations currently and issues that are similar. I said economic principles are an integral part of the Bible. This article shows in some detail some of the Biblical principals of economics and why they are critically relevant for us here and now today. They are NOT just ancient ideas that were a nice idea at one time. They are the ONLY way to solve many of the serious problems that our world has today!!

Unfortunately, many people and even some Christians and Christian leaders don’t think that these principles can work today. To answer this doubt, I have collected quotes and thoughts from philosophers and thinkers of many persuasions ranging from the Bible and Christians, to atheists to people like Confucius to show as clearly as possible why the Bible’s economic principles are part of the most basic human rights that each person on this planet deserves and why they will resolve the problems that we face. There are very few other concepts that have such wide acceptance among people of such differing philosophies. This makes it all the more critical to understand and implement these principles.

When God’s principles are ignored the serious problems that we have today such as terrorism, crime, starvation and others are inevitable. After you read these, you will no longer be ignorant about the main cause (but by no means the only cause) of some of the most serious problems in our world.

Today, poverty is at one of the worst points in history. There are a very few extremely rich people and millions of extremely poor. And some of us who are the privileged wrongly in a way live in a “matrix” of our own way of life and we cannot or do not wish to see the extreme suffering that is going on worldwide to the majority of the world’s people. This little thought is illuminating:

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep ... you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish some place ... you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation... you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death ... you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore ... you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.

It is doubtful if the gap between the rich and poor in the world has ever been larger than it is now on a world wide scale. And this is not at all by accident. It is inevitable because of the rejection of God’s economic principles outlined in the Bible and practiced to some extant by many ancient cultures which did not have the destitute poverty like we see so commonly today.

Here are some songs which speak to the issue of poverty:

---This Land Is Your Land-Bruce Springsteen

---Only A Pawn In Their Game-Bob Dylan

---The Boxer-Simon And Garfunkel

---Badlands-Bruce Springsteen

---The Ghost Of Tom Joad-Bruce Springsteen

---I Wish We'd All Been Ready-Larry Norman

---Camel Through A Needle's Eye-Larry Norman

---Letter to the Church-Larry Norman

---The Great American Novel-Larry Norman

---Where The Street Have No Name-U2

Continued in next post: TheoPoetic Musings: Together We Can Make A Difference: Song Lyrics About Poverty#links#links.

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