Tag Archive: hungry


and coffee…

met some friends for coffee at the BP to celebrate the end of the week which has been interesting – quite a stressful time in terms of packing up the house and finishing off transcription work and trying to organise visas and a bunch of other stuff but i think that’s cool in a way – we don’t get to always choose when life happens to us – and while this live below the line week may have been largely insignificant in the bigger scheme of things i think that good came out of it for us – hopefully we have learnt to appreciate the little things and be more compassionate to people who have this situation thrust upon them as opposed to choosing it for themselves for a time period.

i guess today’s big lesson was that perseverance is easy when the end is in sight – if you know that 00:05 holds a cup of BP coffee for you then skipping the cup or so you would normally have during the day is no big deal at all and so today pretty much rushed by – yes it was quite a busy one on all fronts but we ate pretty well and finished big.

breakfast for me was two eggs on bread crusts [which i happen to dig] cos had to save the two slices for lunch [val didn’t have bread] and half an avo each so i stuck mine under the one fried egg – very yummy…

lunch was leftover noodle mix on snackwiches which was fairly decent…

supper was last two pork sausages well cooked as sausages [been chopped up rest of week] with rice and last of the beans/carrots and was really great – definitely ate enough food and the majority of it was not too bad [altho i think we killed lentils after just one meal – definitely pick rice or pap repeatedly over those]

so ja, with fasting or living below the line for a week it is made easier by the time frame – you choose when you want to do it and pick your structure/boundaries [just skip meals during day, just a daniel fast of fruit and veg only, absolutely nothing, how much money per day etc etc] and then do it for a time period and it’s over. for many people it’s not over.

i’m convinced that giving people a fish is not the answer – teaching them to fish or linking them up with the fisherman or taking down the company that is polluting the water that the fish should be freely available in are all bigger options… however, in the times and moments and busyness when those things are not immediately possible, sometimes giving a man [woman or child] a fish is better than not giving them a fish [especially when your waistline is probly over-fished]

i’m glad we did it, it wasn’t all fun, but it wasn’t all not fun and it certainly was not horrible and i hope we remember and learn and thing and treat and consider…

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listened to an ephesians 3 devotional by john piper who i have heard a lot about but have never heard or read any of his stuff before – really want to go back and watch that clip without sound because he looks a bit like a muppet on steroids – very energetic in movement

anyways i wasn’t overly inspired by most of what he said until right at the end when he basically said there are two tensions in the room and he is going to say something, that if people ‘get’ it or really embrace it, has the power to really change things or shake people up – so he built that up quite a bit and then went on to explain the two truths:

the first truth is that when the love of God takes root in us it sends us out to go and feed the hungry and clothe the naked and visit those in prison and take a stand against trafficking and get involved in the AIDS crisis and all other forms of practical involvement and justice seeking

the second truth is that when the love of God takes root in us it sends us out to save the lost with the power of the gospel message and what Jesus has achieved for us on our behalf

then he went on to say, “For Christ’s sake, can we Christians care about all suffering now, especially eternal suffering. Don’t choose between the two truths..”

[which is a valid statement as a lot of churches preach or live out ‘it’s all about the gospel of Jesus’ with no works of justice or service and the other extreme is all about doing works and justice with no Jesus and it really has to be a combination of both – the gospel is a message of hope both for now and for after we die]

and then went on to say “if either of these truths makes you angry or offends you, then either you have a defective view of hell, or you have a defective heart.”

i liked that.

let’s face it – Christians are not among the most loved and respected people when it comes to those outside of the church and i have often wondered why this is and so i started thinking about some of the core basics of this religion and suddenly it makes a lot of sense. when you look at what Christians intrinsically fundamentally believe (i’m not talking how some of them act or those who claim to be Christians but are living contrary to what being a Christian is meant to be but those who are actively living out what the bible teaches) then it becomes pretty obvious why we are despised and hated and regarded with suspicion

so let me take a couple of notes – purely by looking at the basics of what Christianity is about or meant to be about – to show why it is valid to hate Christianity…

part III – we look after those in need

i know – pretty horrific belief to have – if i say i am a Christian and am actually living out what that means, i have to look after people who are hungry, thirsty, sick, naked, and in prison.

here is Jesus telling the story: ‘When the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left.

Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 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, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me.”

Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed you, or thirst and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?”

The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.”

Then He will say to those on His left, “Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite Me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after Me.”

They will also answer, “Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help You?”

He will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.”

Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.’

[Matthew 25.31-46]

And so Christians are meant to be people who feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty. We are meant to be people who welcome strangers and clothe the naked. And people who visit the sick and those in prison. No wonder they hate us…

for a different other ‘reason to hate Christianity’, click here.

do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good

i really struggle to ‘get’ how people have such issues with Jesus-following when the basics of what it is all about is gems like that – love God, love people, look after orphans and widows, forgive those who wrong you, look after the land you’ve been given, share this love message…

i do sadly understand how people can have issues with christians and a lot of the things they have done in the name of religion or Jesus or the church, but the message itself – reminds me of the statement kleinfrans made – the God i believe in is not the God you don’t believe in – if more people just read the bible and understood the basics of Jesus-following instead of reading christians it might be a completely different story

but i love that verse – it comes from romans 12.21 and was one of the verses that was really meaningful to me when i was doing my dts (discipleship training school) in holland and then outreach in malawi in 2000 – we reduced it to a 1221 code between three of us in the team so that if someone was being dumb or christian (as opposed to Christ-following, oh that there wasn’t a difference!) one of us would mention it or subtly write it into the ground with a stick and the other person would see it and be reminded – fight evil by gooding it to death

i love the concept, but it is one of my biggest struggles to live out consistently – my inherent sense of ‘justice’ (and it’s a warped sinful idea of justice that is fed heavily by pride) makes me want to return evil for evil – tit for tat, eye for eye, tooth for tooth

but as gandhi said ‘an eye for an eye only leaves the whole world blind’ and it’s true – revenge feeds revenge – there is no natural end to it – and so when someone pushes into the line of traffic i’ve been sitting in for twenty minutes, or a unicorn player hacks one of my friends in a hockey match, or or or… my response needs to be good

then, in the same passage, just for me i think, paul sets it out like this, ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ (12.20)

i have often offered to skip the first two steps and go directly to pouring the burning coals on the person’s head, but God has never taken me up on it – it was Jesus’ revolutionary love that disarmed people – when most of us would be shouting curses as the crowd nailed us literally or metaphorically to the cross, Jesus responds with ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’

this is powerful, powerful stuff. i firmly believe that if Christ-followers in south africa could really start living the 1221 we could transform this country cos it would catch on. i also firmly believe that if all christians in South Africa could become Christ-followers… south africa would be unrecognisable in months!

how about it? pick it up for just this week for starters and see how it goes – Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good!

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