Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving is on its wouldn't know it based on all of the Christmas commercials already on t.v. Too soon? I think so. Anyway, my wife found this Latin American prayer in last month's Real Simple magazine, and I think it's a fantastic prayer to be recited around our Thanksgiving tables when we gather with family and friends in a few weeks:

To those who hunger, give bread;

to those who have bread,
give a hunger for justice.

I created a desktop wallpaper based on this prayer. See it at just wallpaper.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Soles 4 Souls

The 50,000 Pairs in 50 Days Challenge

Soles 4 Soles' goal is simple – to use social media (blogging, other social network tools) to raise awareness and have 50,000 pairs of shoes donated in 50 days. For just $5, you can donate two pairs of shoes to people who are hurting around the world.

What a great way to live out Matthew 25:35-36: "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."

To keep up with this great cause, you can check out S4S' blog here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dangerous Benediction

Craig Groeschel shared this benediction at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit this past summer. I think it was originally a Franciscan benediction:

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Being Nice Freaks People Out

by Curtis

Why do acts of kindness freak people out? Why is it that people think they're getting Punk'd when a stranger offers to help them?

Watch this video from This guy offers to pay for gas for total strangers. Their reactions are hilarious. What a great idea. My favorite part is that there were no strings attached; the guy buying the gas didn't say, "Oh, and by the way, here's a tract that proves that dinosaurs were on the Ark...all Bible references KJV".

No. He didn't pull the bait and switch. His only instructions are, "Pay it forward. Do something nice for somebody else."

If this video compels you to commit some random acts of kindness, here are a few ideas of things to do:

--Offer to help an elderly person with their groceries in the Wal-Mart parking lot
--At the drive thru, pay for the person's order behind you
--Go buy some inexpensive flowers. Walk around and hand them out in a busy public place.

These are just the first few ideas that I could think of. What random acts of kindness do you like to do? Leave a comment with your favorites.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Review: Same Kind of Different as Me

by Curtis

I honestly thought it would take me a week or two to finish Same Kind of Different as Me, but I just couldn't put it down.

Last night around 2:00a.m., I finished reading this true story of two men's unlikely friendship. Ron Hall, one of the authors of this book, is a high-end art dealer in Fort Worth, Texas. Denver Moore, who also authored the story, is a rough and tumble homeless man. Making friends is the last thing he wants, especially with some rich white guy. These guys end up meeting each other and a strange and exciting friendship begins. You really won't believe it unless you read it yourself.

I picked up Same Kind of Different as Me on recommendation from several people who have great tastes in books. S.K.O.D.A.M. is a story of injustice, hope, suffering, and trust that will hook you from the first few pages. Each brief segment of the story is narrated by Ron or Denver, each in his own voice. These two come to realize how the rich and poor need each other and that everyone has value. After all, aren't we all made in the image of God?

At the risk of sounding like James Lipton, host of Inside the Actors' Studio, I'll keep my praise brief and to the point: this book is phenomenal. If you are interested in issues related to social justice or if you just like a heartwarming true story to read over the weekend, go out and buy this book immediately. I promise as soon as you read it, you'll be recommending it to someone else.

***Important Note: When you read this book, DO NOT--DO NOT--DO NOT--look at the pictures in the middle section of the book until you have finished the entire book...they will ruin the ending if you look at them before you're done. Thanks, Aaron for giving me the heads up.***