Monday, August 8, 2011

Unknowingly Sidetracked! Dang It!

It dawned on me a couple days ago the truth of the saying,

If Satan can't make you sin, he'll make you busy.

I've been so wrapped up in what's been going on here in our lives that I've neglected some rather important things and I hadn't even realized it.  I've had a crochet project I was working on before our whole mess started that I've not been doing.  I've had a letter to respond to for a month that hasn't been done yet, and many more besides that I usually write that I haven't.  I also started a kind of soup supper tradition with my friends that has become a hit.  None of these things have happened since "the last Monday in April."  What I have done since that dread date is no less noble, but all I have been doing is trying to find something else to get angry about so that I don't think about what's bothering me.  What I have failed to do is those things that make me who I am to those around me who love me.  In my efforts to quit thinking about what was making me so mad, I allowed myself to become so sidetracked that I let some things slip that I am good at and that bring me joy!  DUH!!!!  Dang it!

So, I tried to reschedule a soup supper, but everyone I invited was busy.  No big deal.  The effort to be obedient is what is rewarded and I will not be judged for other people's busy schedules not allowing them to show up to a supper.  That's fine!  The point is:  I'm back!  The letter that is overdue will be started (& probably finished) today and mailed tomorrow.  And as for the crochet, one shawl has been finished in the past week, and I've got the original foundation chain started for another one and it will be finished this week - because what else can I do while I am watching our spectacular summer television line-up.

That being said, what has drawn my attention this summer is no less noble just because it took my attention away from other things.  One thing that has drawn my attention has been getting stuff ready to home-school my daughter for her 10th grade year (and probably 11th & 12th grade years as well).  Lots of worksheets found, lots of awesome lesson plan ideas. Can't wait to get started, even though it means I'll be teaching and going to school at the same time.

When Helping Hurts:
How to Alleviate Poverty Without
Hurting the Poor and Yourself
by:  Steve Corbett & Brian Pikkert
And then, there are the books I've read.  The next book I have to talk about is:

Here's an excerpt:
"A helpful first step in thinking about working with the poor in any context
is to discern whether the situation calls for relief, rehabilitation, or development.  In fact, the failure to distinguish among these situations is one of the most common reasons that poverty-alleviate efforts often to harm."

"One of the biggest mistakes that North American churches make--by far--is in applying relief in situations in which rehabilitation or development is the appropriate intervention."

Relief, according to the book, is the throwing of money at the problem.  Rehabilitation involves the restoration of the people and their communities to their "pre-crisis conditions" and "working with people as they participate in their own recovery."  Finally, development is the "process of ongoing change that moves all people involved (helpers & helped) closer to being in right relationship with God, self, others & the rest of creation."

Finally, "(I)n summary, poor people in North America could benefit form all of the following:  (1) the capability to work at jobs with living wages, (2) the capacity to manage their money, (3) the opportunity to accumulate wealth, and (4) a greater supply of quality education, housing, and health care at affordable rates. Moreover, like all of us, poor people need highly relational ministries--delivered through the body of Jesus Christ--that help them to overcome the effects of the fall on their individual hearts, minds and behaviors."

This book was published in collaboration with the Chalmers Center for Economic Development.  If you'd like to learn more about them, you can check them out on the web at or you can find them on Facebook at

I would encourage you, the next time you are in the middle of a town and you are confronted by a homeless person, how about, instead of just throwing money at them and hoping they'll move along, why not have a conversation with them and find out why they are on the street.  You may feel a little uncomfortable, but how do you think they feel having to ask for hand-outs.  Everyone has a story.  You do run the risk of being duped, that's for sure.  But, you run a risk every time you take a chance on a person.  Every time.  Someone IS going to break your heart.  I guarantee it!!!  But you'll never regret the time you took the risk, only those times you let fear stand in the way!

Rabbit's Bunny

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