Proverbs related to Poverty & Wealth:
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
Couple of items I’d like to share with you today.
First, I ran across a good article from John Piper on Christianity.com today. In it, John points out four aspects of Jesus’ “bearing witness to the truth:” 1) Speaking the Truth, 2) Being the Truth, 3) Dying to Establish the Truth, and 4) Sending Us to Witness to the Truth. It’s short and worth the read – check it out.
Second, this story made me chuckle today. A priest in England encouraged poor congregants to steal over the holidays. Here’s an excerpt:
Father Jones told the congregation: ‘My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift. I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it is neither.
‘I would ask that they do not steal from small family businesses, but from large national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices.
‘I would ask them not to take any more than they need, for any longer than they need.
‘I offer the advice with a heavy heart and wish society would recognise that bureaucratic ineptitude and systematic delay has created an invitation and incentive to crime for people struggling to cope.’
He added that he felt society had failed the needy, and said it was far better they shoplift than turn to more degrading or violent options such as prostitution, mugging or burglary.
He continued: ‘My advice does not contradict the Bible’s eighth commandment because God’s love for the poor and despised outweighs the property rights of the rich.’
The local police disagreed:
‘First and foremost, shoplifting is a criminal offence and to justify this course of action under any circumstances is highly irresponsible.
‘Turning or returning to crime will only make matters worse, that is a guarantee.’
I see the priest’s point and understand where he’s coming from, but believe this is bad advice.
… but wait a minute – if they end up in jail, they’ll get three squares a day, right?
Hey, maybe this priest is on to something!
Read the full story here.
A note from my friend Anthony Wood – the evangelist for River City Ministry. RCM is a ministry to the poor and homeless in North Little Rock, AR, and my dad has served as executive director there for many years now.
I love these stories:
Carol, Lord, remember him? You know him because he talks to you everyday, all day long. He came into my office to share how You work in his life. He went to River City Church yesterday after rededicating his life back to You last Thursday. He enjoyed himself and appreciated the fellowship. Here’s the good part, Lord.
Carol smiled, “Let me tell you how good God is, Bro. Anthony. I only had three dollars in my pocket when I was at church, and I thought, I’m hungry, so I’ll go to McDonalds and get what I can get for those few dollars. But the Spirit moved me to trust the Lord, and so I gave it all to Him.”
Carol gave all that he had to live on. Seems like I read somewhere about a widow who did that.
Anyway, Carol left church and walked towards the river bridge and came upon a couple of ladies handing out fliers about their church feeding the homeless in the next few weeks. He thanked the kind ladies as his stomach growled. One of the ladies turned and said, “You must be hungry, God is telling me to give you this. Get yourself something good to eat.” It was a ten dollar bill.
“I went to a Chinese Buffet and ate like a king, Bro. Anthony! God always has something for me, everyday. I just have to look for it. I just have to listen for His voice. It may be a good meal or it might be me telling someone about Jesus, but God always has something for me, everyday. So, I listen for Him, and I look for Him, everyday, all day.”
Lord, Carol gave his all and You returned to him 3 times back what he gave to You. He looks for You. He listens for You. And, Carol sees You. He hears You. He follows You. He obeys You.
“It’s just not that hard Bro. Anthony to find God working. He’s all around.”
Lord let me practice Your presence, every moment, of every day, looking for You, listening for Your voice.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matt. 6:3, NIV).
Anthony Wood, Evangelist
River City Ministry
North Little Rock AR
Great stuff 🙂
Anthony regularly sends out updates like this. If you’d like to be added to the email list, send him a note at email@example.com asking to be.
Abilene Christian University is on the cusp of a new faith era.
The school is preparing to host its first student body with a majority of students coming from denominations and faiths other than the Church of Christ — the school’s cornerstone denomination since its founding in 1906.
Last year was the first time the school had a freshman class with a majority of students — about 53 percent — who don’t claim affiliation with the Church of Christ. This fall’s freshmen have the same proportion.
Read the full story: ACU’s religious face taking a change
The article says the reason for this change in the makeup of the student body is because the Church of Christ is losing membership nationwide, and young people are bucking denominational loyalties.
Interesting take, though I wonder if that’s the real reason. I’m curious if other traditionally Church of Christ schools are experiencing the same type of thing … does anyone know?