I’ve finally started burning through my summer reading list at the pace I know I’m capable of. 🙂 To see the list, posted at the beginning of June May (man, this summer is flying by!), click here.
Yesterday I finished Mercy Rising: Simple Ways to Practice Justice and Compassion by Amber Robinson. As I said in yesterday’s post, I highly recommend this book. It’s a quick, easy read and full of useful, practical, every day ways to help others in the midst of our already busy lives. She gives dozens and dozens of websites and information to facilitate the reader in her desire to serve those in need.
This little book review is mostly bullet points of what stood out to me in the book. Hopefully it will be enough to entice you to pick up a copy and find your own way live the gospel. (quotes are in bold italics)
Love is always a choice of will that impacts my feelings over time. This would be true in my personal relationships and in loving those I am called to serve.
Just as the loaves increased when they were broken, the Lord has granted those things necessary to the beginning of this work and when they (are) given out, they will be multiplied by His inspiration, so that in this task of mine I shall not only suffer no poverty of ideas but shall rejoice in wonderful abundance. – Augustine
Daily bread. I’m empty, but security will not fill me. Daily bread – not what He gives, but Him.
The list of websites in the book is not comprehensive, but it is abundant. Here are just a few:
www.goodsearch.com – shopping
www.freerice.com – vocabulary fun
www.freepoverty.com – geography game
www.betterworldbooks.com – buy and sell used books; profits help fund world literacy
www.warmwoolies.org – knitting group (as the girls and I get better at knitting, I think we’ll check into one of these)
www.projectlinus.org – knitting group
www.kidsofcourage.com – activity sheets, coloring pages, etc
www.questforcompassion.org – interactive game for kids; characters explore foreign countries and collect information
www.servlife.org – take a family missions trip
www.worldorphans.org – help an orphan stay off the streets
www.nationalsharedhousing.org – share your home
www.artistshelpingchildren.org – take your children to visit, and share their art work with sick kids.
www.slaverymap.org – see where human trafficking has been found around you; watch for signs of it and report offenders
Mother Teresa said people should begin in their own homes to remedy poverty. Her prescription to love grates against the culture of grand gestures that tells us to serve where we’ll be seen.
All of chapter 5 is on shopping. How to shop ethically, to make sure you are not (unknowingly) supporting human trafficking/slavery, how to shop in abundance so you can give your extra to others. A whole chapter on how to be a justice-minded consumer. As women, we spend much of our time shopping – either for pleasure or necessity. What an ordinary, but important, area where we can make an impact.
Don’t reach for your billfold; it is not close enough to your heart. Don’t raise your hand to volunteer for another committee in the ecclesiastical bureaucracy; tokenism is an unfit gift. Rather, look within. What invigorates you? What causes you to wake up before dawn with a new idea spinning in your mind? What fuels your imagination, even when you are fatigued? Here is where you will find your most valued treasure. Here is where you will find a gift worthy of your Lord. – Robert Lupton
The Greek word for “hospitality” meant “the love of strangers” and “generosity to guests”. (emphasis mine)
The true end of education is not only to make the young learned,
But to make them love learning,
Not only to make them industrious,
But to make them love industry,
Not only to make them virtuous,
But to make them love virtue…
Not only to make them just,
But to make them hunger and thirst after justice.
– John Ruskin
Loving the poor can be very messy.
Pick a corner and work your way out. (This quote is mostly for me…..it is from a story in the book and is relevant, but I’m not going to go into that here. I think it’s just a pretty good philosophy on the messiness of life. )
Organize a baby shower for low income moms. – What a great, simple idea!
The impact God has planned for us does not occur when we’re pursuing impact – it occurs when we’re pursuing God. – Phil Vischer
This next section astounded me:
Christian Smith and Michael O. Emerson, authors of Passing the Plate, compiled a list that challenges our thinking. They tally $46 billion in lost revenue each year just from regular church attendees who don’t practice biblical tithing, which is ten percent of their income. Money isn’t’ all that’s lost. With this amount of lost revenue we could –
– Complete the funding needed to eradicate polio within the next year.
– Build 1,000,000 wells.
– Send livestock to 4,000,000 needy families.
– Give food, clothes, and shelter to all 6,500,000 refugees in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
– Triple the resources being spent on translation work to provide Bibles to the 2,737 people groups lacking Bibles in their own languages.
– Raise the salaries of the 50,000 lowest paid pastors in the United States by $15,000 each.
– Quadruple the amount spent on global evangelism.
Only 27 percent of United States Evangelicals are tithing, and 36 percent gave away less than two percent of their income according to a December 2008 article from Christianity Today.
I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. – CS Lewis