Be The Change You Want To See
Be The Change, Become Aware and Change the World One Person at a Time!
As I write this blog at 12:45 AM, I have a burden on my heart tonight. There is a song called Hosanna. There are two verses in the song that sum up my feeling about the burden I feel and it is
"Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart from what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdoms cause
As I go from earth to
Tonight we did a prayer walk around North Everett where we are helping to plant a church in a hurting community. The Church is called "Refuge", As we walked around the neighborhood, I was thinking about how broken our world is and how overwhelming the brokenness is. Then we attended a Celebrate Recovery meeting and there was a man who just came back from South Africa. He was telling us a story about a little girl with no parents. The poverty was everywhere. He said he couldn't even see his dog living in conditions like this. The little girl was singing "Jesus loves me, this I know" and the relevance of these words never hit him like they did watching this innocent child sing with hope of love and grace. We then listened to a testimony from one of our cherished friends who is a walking miracle out of addiction.
I came home thinking about the kids who don't even have clean water, the poverty that most of us could not imagine and how we can make a difference. I felt a burden to write about being the change we want to see. I thought about the book I read recently called "A Hole In Our Gospel" written by the president of World Vision, Richard Stearns and how deeply this book affected me and thought about doing a charity lens with information from this book and other resources. With practical ways we can all help. With songs of hope and with a prayer that this would touch someones heart to help. There are so many areas of concern and I know we can not change the whole world on our own. But if we can talk about real issues, sometimes, take a step somewhere and take action. If we can be the hands and feet of Jesus and serve the world in our own ways, maybe we can start to chip away at these problems. If we all just do something, we can help change the world. Richard Stearns talks about Social Justice. I think his message is true social justice. What the word was meant to be.
After watching the world debate on the crisis in Egypt and all the ramifications of what this could mean, I thought about Glen Beck. How does he fit in to my story? Well whatever you think about him, he is carrying the message of the 4E'S as this years theme. Enlightenment, Education, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship. These all make sense to me about being the change we want to see. We have to be enlightened to the facts. The reason there is brokenness is because of darkness and ignorance on subjects. Education is about getting the facts and on this lens in will be on how we can make a positive change. Empowerment is taking loving action. Love being the key. Finally, entrepreneurship is having the resources to help. Innovation, ideas, boldness to bring resources to the table to give to the world. Not greed. We can't take it all with us but we can help when we expand into new horizons. We will walk this journey through this lens together. A lens is a way of looking at something and I hope a shift in perception happens in the journey of this lens.
Thank you and God Bless You All!
Hosanna - My Prayer!
With Lyrics....Read the words.
A Review Of "A Hole In Our Gospel"
Be The Hands And Feet... Be The Change!
Before I start to tell you about this book. Please understand there is no way to describe it. I read it and cried the whole way through. I could not expand on it or try to paraphrase it in any way. It is too comprehensive and the story is a must read for all of humanity. I can't read it for you but I will explain what it is about. It is about a man who was called by God to be the president of World Vision and how he miraculously came to this position. He fought the call the whole way and finally listened to the call from the almighty himself and took up his cross and led World Vision. His name is Richard Stearns'. After his initial call was answered, the book goes into detail of just some of the details of what he saw in the third world countries. Then it gives the facts and statistics and then gives remedies on how we can take up our cross to fill that hole in the Gospel. You do not have to be a Christian to read the book. It is for all humanity to read. There is a hole and it needs to be filled. I will go over some of the statistics in the book and then you can decide whether to read it for yourselves.
Here we go...
"One death is a tragedy, a million a statistic" Josef Stalin and according to "A Hole In Our Gospel", the statistics are:
The average income in America is $38,611 per person which is about $105.00 per day. Compare that to the rest of the world where 206 billion people live on less than $2.00 per day (40 percent of the world population), 1 billion people live on less than $1.00 per day (15 percent of the world population) and compare it to people making about $105.00 per day in the world which is only 4.5 percent of the population and is about .03 percent of the population. That means 65% of the world is living in unfathomable poverty.
Today's 1125 billionaires hold more wealth than 40% of the worlds population
The wealthiest 7 people on earth control more wealth than the combined GDP of the 41 most heavily impoverished countries.
The top 20 percent of the world population consumes 86 percent of the worlds goods.
Roughly 1 out of every 4 children in developing countries is underweight.
350 to 400 million children are hungry
1 out of 7 people in the world do not have enough food to sustain them. (854 million people).
Approximately 25,000 people DIE each day from hunger or it's related causes. That is 9 million people each year.
As many as 5 million people each year die because of water related illness.
Women and children in developing countries invest 200 million hours per day fetching water; that is equivalent to a full time workforce of twenty five million people, fetching water eight hours a day. The water is so dirty that people get parasites, guinea worms, bacterial diseases, etc...
1/2 of the worlds hospitals are filled with people sick with water related disease.
In America about 2 out of every 1000 children die before age 5. In Africa 165 die before age 5.
In the United States our average life expectancy is 78, In Sub-Saharan Africa it is 35-40 years of age.
Diseases like Malaria and Tuberculosis are common in these countries and HIV infects about 33 million people and 70% are in Africa.
There are about 15 million orphans due to the AIDS epidemic.
There are 9.9 million refugees who have left war torn countries. They have lost everything due to this.
Those are just a few statistics. When we read them we seem to get numb. When you read "A Hole in Our Gospel" the personal stories take the numbness out of the picture because Stearns did such a great job of making each "statistic" human. Each person is real. The families, the children and the people who live through this hell are real people.
The good news is there are solutions. Here are just a few out recommended from "A Hole in Our Gospel:
Volunteer in your own backyard.
Get something started in your church.
Do your best to work "Pro-Bono"
Take a short mission trip.
Raise Funds for your favorite charity. (Like Squidoo does!)
Look for on-the-job ways to serve.
Use your athleticism. Like fund raising for a cause in a marathon.
Join an assembly line.
Go Hungry and ask others to support with pledges.
Start a new giving goal.
Give beyond the grave.
Give at the office.
Start a Squidoo lens. Not in the book but here we are.
Sell your time and give to charity.
Tax yourself, little luxuries.
There are more ways to do this but you get the point. We all can be the change!
Books On Being The Change
Until The Whole World Hears - Casting Crowns for World Vision
A powerful song. A powerful message. I want to be the hands and feet!
Every Eight Seconds Someone Dies From Drinking Dirty Water!
Life Outreach International
"And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward." (Matthew 10:42)
Everyday people all over the world don't even have the clean water needed to survive. I already stated the statistics and that does not even cover the numbers of people who live ill from drinking this sewage water. It is hard to even look at when you see what they have to drink. Imagine walking all day just to fetch water and then it being so contaminated it makes you sick and smells.
Life Outreach has a project and I thought I would mention it because it transforms lives and is obtainable. They are buying wells and bringing these people clean water. Simple as that. It is a huge worthy cause so I am sharing it here.
I will put the link in the list or you can go to: http://lifetoday.org/outreaches/water-for-life/
Human Trafficking - A Unheard Cry - The Core Issue - Christine Caine and the A21 Campaign
Christine Caine is a true hero! There is a campaign called the A21 Campaign and it saves peoples lives. Here are some facts but go to the website that I will put in a link and check it out for yourself.
Human Trafficking is a journey that is usually unbearable. The people are deceived, raped, beaten, they are threatened with the death of there loved ones and forced to live in conditions that are unsanitary and confining. Sometimes they can be forced to give service to over 100 customers per day. They are sleep deprived, put through mass psychological and emotional abuse, taken from there families and are even forced to have abortions. They get diseases like AIDS, STD'S, Hepatitis and are scarred for life.
These statistics are taken from the website and are focused in Europe. There is human trafficking world wide and it is broader than most people know. Here are the statistics from http://www.thea21campaign.org/index.php?option=com...
* Trafficking in women is the second largest global organized crime today, generating approximately US$12 billion a year.
* There are 1.39 million victims of commercial sexual servitude worldwide.
* Over 25 percent of sex trafficked victims are trafficked from Southern and Eastern Europe.
* 90% of victims trafficked into EU member states end up in the sex industry.
* There is an estimated 20,000 women and girls trafficked into the Greek sex industry, earning Greece the title: "the center of trafficking in Europe."
* One study reveals that one in every 10 Ukrainian persons knows someone in their community who has been trafficked.
* Tragically, only 1-2 percent of victims are rescued, and only 1 in 100,000 Europeans involved in trafficking are convicted.
Think about a family member of yours being taken and sold into this trade. How can this happen today? What can we do to be the change?
Resources - Some Steps to Change
- Our Mission Here
Help Us Grow and Serve!
- A Hole In Our Gospel
- Helping the Dominican Republic
Check out how they are helping the whole village. One church takes on one village.
- Being the hands and feet of Jesus
Our new Church we are planting
- How we see it!
The way it should be.
- Water For Life
A simple thing such as water.
- Human Trafficking
Help them please
- Help for our society
hurts, habits and hangups...Got any?
Where the Streets Have no Name - U2
Our Own Back Yard - Have a Dream and Take Refuge
So now we have talked about some issues in the world and where there is a hole that needs to be filled. I can't think of a bigger hole than the one in my back yard. It is a hole of addiction, of homelessness, of abuse. There are people walking the streets not knowing where to sleep or where to turn. There are staggering numbers of unemployeed people who are not showing up when the government states figures because there unemployement ran out. There are the silent mentally ill who I worked with as a program director in Indio with. When Reagan (who I liked, but I did not agree with this) took away the funds for the mentally ill, many were put out in the streets and are now homeless. There are children in our own cities going hungry tonight. We keep shopping. We have to be the change.
When we decided to join our pastor and help plant a new church, we did it on the premise of being the hands and feet of Jesus. We get out in the community and serve. We have missional groups that get together and help Simple. We love people. Simple. Not preach. Love. Love. Love. The gospel is about love. That is our great commission and as far as I can see it is the only worthy cause. That is it. Simple. We make things too complicated, or at least I do. We need to achieve, become something great, worry about what we still need. We just need to get out and love on people and we would all be feeling a lot better. Yes there are huge divisions is society. Huge gaps in perceptions. Huge political problems and it can feel overwhelming. All it really comes down to is building relationships. One night we went out and set up a table and chairs and served Chili and cornbread. We gave away hand warmers and talked to people walking by. It was awesome. Simple.
One day we served with our church New Life in Everett. We did a thing called City Fest and gave away over 1000 backpacks, did face painting, haircuts, had hot dogs and water and gave away bags of food. It was better than Disneyland. Really.
The Dream Center in LA. is a huge facility that helps the community. They have housing and help people grow. We can all be the change we want to see. We can!
The Monster Of Addiction and Other Hurts, Habits and Hangups - There is help for us all - Be tthe change!
He Comes to Kill, Steal and Destroy - The Ugly Face of Addiction
I can't put every social or target problem on here. It would take me a lifetime but here is a problem that touches us all in one way or another and it is effecting our families and our countries. Just watch TV and you will see how pervasive it is and how we as a society glorify this and then condemn the people who we glorified it to. It is addiction. Here are some facts to leave you with and then I will put resources in the link.
* A study of 11 and 12 year old school kids, showed that those who demonstrated an awareness of beer ads, held more positive beliefs about drinking and intended to drink more frequently when they grow up
* By the time most teenagers get to 15-16 years old, around 80% have already used alcohol and 65% of those have been drunk
* In the US it was reported that about 2.6 million binge drinkers were between the ages of 12-17 in 2002. In the U.K alcohol consumption has doubled in the last 10 years in young women
* Hospital admissions linked to alcohol use have more than doubled in the UK over the last 10 years, to over 200,000 in the last year, and there has been a 20% increase in GP’s making prescriptions for alcohol dependency in the last 4 years
* Around 95% of alcoholics die from their disease and approximately 26 years earlier than their normal life expectancy
* The cost of untreated drug and alcohol abuse in the U.S. is estimated at $276 Billion a year in lost productivity, law enforcement costs, health care, and welfare programs
* The annual cost of drug abuse in the UK is around Â£19 billion
* Drunk driving is responsible for approximately 50% of motorway deaths
* Close on 20 million people over the age of 12 use drugs in the US and around 20,000 people a year die from their addiction
* In the UK, around 10% of adults aged 16-59 had used illicit drugs in the last year and for only 15 year olds, 29% reported taking drugs in the last year
* Around 180,000 people in the UK have in the past year been in a structured drug treatment program. Heroin was the main drug for which adults over age 18 were receiving treatment, while for those under the age of 18, it was marijuana/cannabis
* Kids at school who say they have been taunted or excluded were more likely to have taken drugs in the last month compared to those who had not taunted or been excluded (11 per cent compared to 1 per cent)
* The annual value of the global illegal drugs trade is around $400 billion
BE THE CHANGE!
Get Out Of The Boat! - Take a Step...You will be OK
Celebrate Recovery...It is for all families and covers all Issues. We all have some...Really.