Category: challenging thorts


As we continue to seek out A Carefree Attitude Towards Possessions through the lens of Ron Sider’s challenging book, ‘Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger’ let me go back a paragraph to remind us where we are and then continue with words i hope you will wrestle with and share with your friends:

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Matthew, Mark and Luke all recall the terrible warning: “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!”(Luke 18.24, Mark 10.23, Matthew 19.23). The context of this saying shows why possessions are dangerous. Jesus spoke these words to His disciples immediately after the rich young man had decided to cling to his wealth rather than follow Jesus (Luke 18.18-23). Riches are dangerous because their seductive power very frequently persuades us to reject Jesus and His kingdom. Continue reading

rich

Continuing the passage i am sharing from the Ron Sider book, ‘Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger’, i’ll back up one paragraph just to remind us where we were:

= = = = =

If there are poor people who need assistance, Jesus’ carefree disciple will help – even if that means selling possessions. People are vastly more important than property. “Laying up treasure in heaven” means exactly the same thing. “In Jewish literature, the good deeds of a religious person are often described as treasures stored up in heaven.” Continue reading

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By now you may know the drill, Trevor Swart from the Positive Thoughts and Conversations blog, Swart Donkey, have a five comment, 100ish word each, conversation around a particular topic one of us brings up and then we share the back and forth with you. This one is all about Listening Better and has a lot to make you think:

Continue reading

cry

Sometimes well-meaning people do bad things. Let’s work together to not be one of those…

i have two good friends who have recently faced different kinds of grief – one is desperately sick at the moment and the other lost his mom a couple of weeks back. They are surrounded by a lot of well-meaning people. Which sounds like a good thing. But sometimes it’s not. Here are a few things i’ve learnt/observed: Continue reading

Dom Helder Cavara quote

The past two weeks have been an incredible time.

Yes, some of the conversations on Social Media got a little aggro, but there were also some really incredible interactions, both online and off and it feels like the #FeesMustFall movement and events really got a lot of people thinking. And introduced many new people to some of the conversations we have been having on Privilege and Restitution and Racism and more.

There were a number of exciting “AHA!” moments i got to witness. Someone posted on my Facebook wall, “I finally get what white privilege is all about. Thanks for persevering.” and there were also a couple of moments within back and forth arguments where suddenly the light seemed to go on. I get it. Which is really encouraging for those of us who have been bravely soldiering on [And it is bravely sometimes as people who don’t yet ‘get it’ when it comes to privilege and race conversations tend to for the most part respond quite defensively and at times personally] calling on our white friends and acquaintances in particular to take a step towards Being a More Effective Ally and realising that as long as one suffers we all suffer.

BEFORE YOU RUSH IN

i attended a workshop run by Caroline Powell from the Warehouse the other day and found it extremely helpful.

She spoke about how we tend to rush towards formulas and yet where people and complicated situations are involved, formulas don’t often cut it.

She also pointed out that whenever there is an AWAKENING [that Aha! i finally get it moment] we usually want to jump to IMPLEMENTATION [What can i do? i need to do something. Let me do something. Surely doing anything is better than doing nothing? On that, no, doing something bad, hurtful, oppressive, damaging is not as good as doing nothing]. Then shared this chart, not as a formula that is always going to work neatly and comfortably from one space to the next, but that gives a helpful idea of some other steps that might be really helpful once the AWAKENING has occurred.

AWAKENING – AHA! moment – i finally get white privilege, see the racism in me, etc

LISTENING – before jumping to action, let me listen, to really try and hear what is being said

DISCERNMENT – i’ve noticed something, i’ve listened, let me try and understand the bigger picture of what is happening and what is necessary and perhaps what my place and role in this can be – this process will often happen with other people who better understand the context and situation and have more wisdom to offer

PLANNING – Instead of rushing in with some action, let me come up with a plan, and do the necessary and important groundwork to that will lead towards that plan being effectively achieved

IMPLEMENTATION – Do you see the difference? All of those steps between AWAKENING and IMPLEMENTATION which all increase the likelihood of my IMPLEMENTATION being effective and sustainable and relevant

REFLECTING – Follow IMPLEMENTATION with REFLECTION to ensure that what you did actually achieved the hope for results or was what was needed or helpful. This step may lead you towards more:

AWAKENING

As Caroline said to us, this is not necessarily a smooth one leads to two leads to three cycle. But the different steps there can be really powerful in terms of making sure that any involvement you have, is a positive and hopefully powerful thing.

If you were someone that had an AHA! moment in the last two weeks or so in terms of this conversation, please share it with us and give us a glimpse into what you think helped lead you to that point. Which of the steps above would you say is a current weakness of yours which you need to work a little harder at?

[For some Practical Suggestions on getting hands on involved in Restitution, click here] 

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Oscar Romero

With great Social Media activity, comes great Responsibility. Or something like that.

A short while ago i wrote this piece urging you to take a moment to fact check before sharing something newsworthy on Facebook. Especially if something is particularly dramatic or inflammatory or involves the supposed death of some celebrity. There is a lot of rubbish that goes around on the internet and when we share a hoax or a scam that we could have verified [quick visit to Snopes.com or even a basic google check is often enough to quickly determine if something is true or not] we become part of the problem. Continue reading

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So much good stuff happening all over the internet the last two weeks in terms of helping us understand some of the challenges we are facing.

i stumbled upon this in the Warehouse’s most recent newsletter and wanted to share it with you as some really practical steps for moving forwards together. These steps apparently emerged from a conversation between Linda Martindale, Caroline Powell and my wife, tbV [the beautiful Val]. We have heard a lot about Reconciliation [making relationships right] but not nearly enough about Restitution [making situations/contexts right] so this feels really helpful. Continue reading

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