It’s the American way!

In the last blog post, “Enough is enough,” we talked about a charitable organization that annually sends millions of shoeboxes filled with trinkets, socks, and candy to Third World children with the claim that it was doing immeasurable good for the recipients.

In point of fact, it does far less good that it claims to do. The flood of boxes damages local, indigenous economies, and the American-made goods can be puzzling to their child recipients.

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Enough is enough!

What’s not to love about a smiling child opening a box of Christmas treasures? Especially when the child is poor, Third World, and whose parents are unable to provide such wonders.

Every year millions of these Christmas boxes are sent all over the world. In the year 2016 the sponsor of these boxes was hoping to send 12 million boxes to eager children. But the boxes are most valuable to the rich people who send them out, thus making them feel generous and benevolent in a cheap sort of way. (A typical box only costs about $15-$25.).

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Living As An Exile

BurkaIt was a Farmer’s Market in a large Central Valley city.  A full block of fruits and vegetables, hand made baskets, dog treats, nuts, and cheese.  An adjacent parking lot was completely full of cars on this Saturday morning.  Shorts, tee shirts, jeans, and other casual attire were the dress code.

And there!  She stood out.  You couldn’t see her face or form.  Black burka covering her from head to toe. Continue reading →

Leading versus “lording”

Bad bossJesus was talking to his disciples and he said this.  “You’ve observed how….rulers throw their weight around and how quickly a little power goes to their heads.  It’s not going to be that way with you.”  Matthew 20:25, The Message.

Jesus’ statement came directly after one of his disciples asked for appointment to a seat of power for her sons in what she thought the Kingdom was going to be.  Sound familiar? Continue reading →

No Man Is An Island

JohnDonne

John Donne

Seen through the lens of Western culture, the response of the nation of Israel to a man named Achan seems excessive and Taliban-like.  All Achan did was take a little stash for himself from the victorious battle against the Jericho-ites.

Who would miss a beautiful robe and a little cash?

By the same reasoning, how serious is a measly stolen credit card or iPhone?  Or a stolen test answer?  Or keeping one’s wallet closed when asked to contribute to some good cause?  Or not signing up to help with a project or provide a meal to someone who is hungry?  Continue reading →