I recently began reading the book “When Helping Hurts,” by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. I’ve heard about this book in the context of reflecting on attitudes and methods used in “Christian Outreach” that are…less than helpful. I’m reading it to increase my capacity to engage a conversation about the attitudes and methods of ‘mission’ in my local context and in other environments.
A few chapters in, the authors are offering a ‘theological framework for poverty.’ I’m not sure I agree with everything they’re saying, but much of what they say is not untrue: poverty is not just material, poverty is spiritual, relational, emotional, etc…and any ‘help’ that’s given that only addresses material poverty ignores the other dimensions. And “until we embrace our mutual brokenness, our work with low-income people is likely to do far more harm than good.” I don’t disagree.
But then here’s the question posed at the end of the chapter:
Continue reading Worthiness and Poverty
This past Sunday I preached. People have been encouraging me to preach without a manuscript, but I couldn’t quite do it. Prep time. Confidence in what I was saying. Overall enthusiasm. Yeah…I needed the manuscript.
Continue reading Encountering the Holy
I would claim that I’m not one for the more ‘spiritual’ spiritual practices–like yoga, contemplative prayer, holy stretching, etc. I can remember snickering and scoffing at such practices in college and as a younger adult.
Inevitably, when I found myself in a context where we were invited to sit straight in our chairs, breathe deeply, place palms gently on legs, focus on your breath, etc… I would get nervous. Surely someone is watching me try to do this, I would think. I wonder what they think of me? I wouldn’t be able to silence the voice(s) in my head running through a plethora of headline-esque thoughts that would make the CNN news ticker look calm.
And then I went to the Taize monestery in France. Taize worship/prayer is all about silence and repetitious singing. One simple chorus over and over, followed by long periods of silence. Continue reading Deep Breathing and such