James instructed and pleaded with the early church to not show favoritism. He shared a story about a wealthy person and a poor person being treated quite differently when they entered the meeting. The rich was given special treatment and given a good seat. On the other hand the poor was asked to stand or to sit on the floor.
Unfortunately the church of our day still needs to improve on this. I pray our church leaders are not swayed by the ones who write the bigger checks, or who dress with the latest, greatest fashions. I pray we do not overlook the needs of the common, hard-working man/woman or snub our noses at the poor.
It took a Barnabas to break down barriers in the church to allow Saul to be part of the early church when he became Paul after conversion. Thank God the church did not close their door to him. But I wonder how many Pauls' are out there that are still not welcome in some churches-what do they look like today?
Are they wearing leather and riding Harleys? Perhaps it is the Gothic teen that no one pays attention to? Maybe it's the lonely widow who fights off depression or suicidal thoughts? Is it the small contractor that has no work right now or the carpenter next door that just lost his job?
Or is it the homeless man you pass every day while going to Starbucks? Or perhaps its the tattooed 'wanna be a rock star' that lives in your neighborhood?
Lev. 19:15, says "Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly."
God has no favorites-what does that mean to us?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Since returning from our recent mission trip to Ethiopia, I was really affirmed that we can all make a difference-for some it may be making one huge impact on society by inventing a new gadget to save us time, or discovering a cure that affects thousands. But for most of us common people, we can make a difference one life at a time.
How have you invested into lives of others? How much do you give or sacrifice for others? Are they things that glorify God and add to the Kingdom?
For years we have sponsored children in Brazil and Ethiopia on a monthly basis. But getting to actually meet those children, sit in their humble homes, meet their families, share their coffee, embrace them, play ball with them, and hold their hands in yours as you walk thru their villages, I was convicted that these orphans are no longer a statistic. They are a life that matters to God and therefore matters to me.
We also saw firsthand progress being made-roads being constructed, others being blacktopped, buildings being constructed, schools getting desks and libraries supplied, churches being multiplied and filled with people hungry for the things of God. We saw hope in the eyes of the children, the social workers, the pastors. We toured a brand new hospital offering 140 beds to treat patients whether they can pay or not.
It's amazing what $32 month can do to make a difference. By saving one life from Aids, starvation, and oppression, we will never know just how many other lives will be impacted . By bringing one child to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, we will never know this side of heaven how many more will be reached.
Want to make a difference one life at a time? What American can not afford $32 month to sponsor a child and make a difference "the least of these" that have no means to speak for themselves?
You can begin making a difference at fh.org/willetonline.com.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Since coming back from our trip to Ethiopia, I sense an even greater need to speak for the children who are not heard. While trying to be cautious to not sound judgmental, some things I just cannot remain silent about.
Yesterday while listening to an Orioles preseason game, the broadcasters began to share some personal things about Yankee slugger Alex "Aroid" Rodriguez. They said he got a real sweet deal on a condo in Manhatten because of the economic slump we are in. The sweet deal he got came in the form of $30,000 a month rent for this condo! How sweet indeed. SIKE!!
Don't get me wrong, I am still pro-American. I am still pro-free enterprise and the American dream, etc. My point in this blog is this. $30,000 a month would support 1,000 orphan children fighting for survival in Ethiopia. 1,000! I just hope there is a place in the heart of the "Aroids" of this world to go beyond themselves and their extravagant lifestyles to make a difference in cultures where they have very little hope to succeed or survive.
If you want a real sweet deal and want to make a difference in the life of a child for just $32/month, check out www.fh.org/willet