Why Leadings?

Not to lead, but to be led            -- by the Holy Spirit.

See Leader, Servant, or Slave? in the section below, "Walking the Walk".

Jack in Denali National Park, 2012.

God's Wrath

Why was Sodom destroyed? Ezekiel tells us in chapter 16, verse 49: "This was the sin of your sister, Sodom: Pride, full-ness of bread, and abundance of idleness. Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

That's also why Jerusalem was destroyed.

And now, with greed as our national virtue, what hope is there for the United States of America? We are afflicted by imperialistic pride, obesity, and entertainment addiction, and we are all called to do our part to "strengthen the hand of the poor and needy".

"Strengthen the hand" is the King James wording. Modern translations say "help the poor and needy." And there's a world of difference between the two. Helping the poor = as little as throwing some cash in the Salvation Army bucket at Christmas time. That's charity. It's doing for, not doing with.

My Grandmother was right about charity. On a below-zero day, she went out on the back porch with a skillet to throw hot grease on the back-yard snow. She shivered as she re-entered the kitchen and said, "Wooooh, colder than charity."

Strengthening the hand is much different. We get personally involved with another person who needs help, and we work with her or him to get the needed help. That's risky. You're vulnerable. It takes prayer, time and patience. You need knowledge and wisdom from the LORD. There are great rewards, however. You get a brother or sister.

Strengthening the hand is great work for our churches -- which we ignore far more often than we perform. Why? Because we're afflicted with the Ameri-can curse of individualism. Christians are to be a tribe -- a tribe that takes care of each other. In Galatians 6:16, Paul calls us "the Israel of God" -- the new 13th tribe.

Jesus said, "The poor you shall always have with you." He didn't mean that as a curse -- the notion that the poor are an inevi-table nuisance and expense, to be hidden in the slums. Rather, He was saying, "You shall always be among the poor."

When you strengthen hands, you fulfill Deuteronomy 15:4-5: "However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God . . ." It's a glorious responsibility and promise.

And how do prosperous Americans fulfill that promise? Generally, by making sure they have no contact with people who are poor -- and we have been that way from our beginnings in the 17th century. Early villages in Massachusetts solved the problem by out-lawing poor people. Today, we deal with the same problem by confining the poor in urban reservations, our slums.

As the Supreme Court Bailiff says at the beginning of each session, "God save the United States of America..." 

Monday
Jan142013

GET A PRO!

Writers need to have trusted associates who will read and wisely critique their work.  My daughters sometimes do this well with my plays.  However, I need to be part of a small group that performs this function regularly. Because I usually write Christian plays, I wanted it to be a gathering of Christian playwrights.

During our Alaska adventure this summer, my son urged me to get organize a group with an online announcement.   So, at the beginning of 2013, I drafted the following document – for use both as the initial web site and as a flyer.  I thought the draft was pretty good and proudly showed it to my younger daughter, a graphic artist.

Her reaction?  “Dad, this art is hackneyed.  Don’t you have something modern?”

Modern?  To me, modern is 20th century.  So, I thought, Georges Rouault.  But I don’t much like Rouault. Dali? I was working Dali in my mind, when my daughter was working on her superphone.  In less than a minute, she pulled up the following photo – “Jesus is My Homeboy, #6” by David LaChapelle.

 

I liked the picture, and she sketched a layout that moved the blue text from the bottom to the top.  She also eliminated wordiness.

However, as I laid out the new flyer, I realized that the photo was not shaped right.  Leonardo da Vinci has so shaped our perceptions that we all know that Jesus’ last supper happened in a long, low rectangle.  So, I cut the bottom and top off the photo.  Here’s the final version of the flyer:

Moral:  If you want something done right, check with a pro.

 

____________

Purpose of this blog is to compile a book for my grandchildren to read in 25 years.

Copyright © 2013 by Jack Towe

____________ 

I welcome your reactions.  Please click below on "Post a Comment".