Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Illegal immigration has become a controversial hot button issue in the United States today. Some argue that the immigration laws are unfair, unjust, and even discriminatory. Others claim that the lack of enforcement of immigration laws give individuals justification to immigrate here illegally.

Some Christian critics of illegal immigration often quote Romans 13:1–7 to justify massive deportation of illegal immigrants. Yes, God expects us to obey the laws of the government, but He also gives us an exception to this is whenever a law of the government forces us to disobey a command of God. (Acts 5:29) Yes, illegal immigration is the breaking of a governmental law, but does God give us an exception to this law?

Leviticus 19:33-34 states: “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”

And in Deuteronomy 10:18 we read: “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.”

Jesus himself said, “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.” (Matthew 25:35-36)

The vast majority of illegal immigrants in the United States have come for the purpose of having a better life, providing for their families, and escaping from poverty and violence.

Why should the immigrant or the “foreigner who resides among you” be such a concern to the Jewish and Christian faiths and what bearing does it have on the current immigration debate in our country?

God didn’t want the ancient Hebrews to forget where they had come from, or how they had gotten where they were. They had come from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. They knew what it was like to be exploited and taken advantage of. Now that they had land and wealth God didn’t want them to forget that that hadn’t always been the case.

Most Americans are the descendants of immigrants.
When European settlers arrived on the North American continent at the end of the fifteenth century, they encountered diverse Native American cultures—as many as 900,000 inhabitants with over 300 different languages. These indigenous people welcomed the new visitors with open arms and were willing to share the bounty of their land. But years later they were virtually destroyed by the subsequent immigration that created the United States. This tragedy is the direct result of ‘governmental laws’ enforced through broken treaties, warfare with the Native Americans, and of through forced assimilation.

For Native Americans, the world after 1492 marked the beginning of the long road of persecution and genocide of Native Americans. Genocide was an important cause of the decline for many tribes. By conservative estimates, the population of the United States prior to European contact was greater than 12 million. Four centuries later, the count was reduced by 95% to 237 thousand! The Removal Act of 1830 set into motion a series of events which led to the “Trail of Tears” in 1838, a forced march of the Cherokees, resulting in the destruction of most of the Cherokee population.

I must confess that until recently I was strongly opposed to allowing illegal immigrants into our country. But God has shown me that as Christians, we have to separate our attitude toward the act of entering the country illegally from our attitude toward the illegals themselves. The first obligation of a Christian is to express godliness in all our thoughts and deeds. There is no room for hatred toward those who come into the country, (Even when it’s done illegally) desperately seeking work, refuge from danger and persecution, or a better life for themselves and their families. We are to show Christian compassion toward those who would risk their lives in a dangerous, and often fatal, attempt to cross a border. Acts of hatred or violence toward illegal aliens is never to be considered or tolerated by those who profess to be followers of Jesus.

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty 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, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Mat 25:37-40)

Prominent Republicans are calling for Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer to veto a controversial bill that would allow businesses to deny service over religious beliefs.

The Arizona Legislature passed a bill last week allowing businesses whose owners cite sincerely held religious beliefs to deny service to gays. It allows any business, church or person to cite the law as a defense in any action brought by the government or individual claiming discrimination. This legislation has caused a national uproar and voices of opposition have grown each day, with the business community and both Republican U.S. senators calling for a veto.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, enacted July 2, 1964 is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public. (Also known as “public accommodations”)The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964 at the White House.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly prohibits public businesses from refusing service to patrons on the basis of race, color, religion, or natural origin. In addition, most courts don’t allow businesses to refuse service to patrons based on the owner’s personal convictions. For example, a man can’t legally be refused service because they enter a business dressed in drag. At the same time, an atheist business owner cannot refuse service to a patron entering the business carrying a Bible.

There a number of legitimate reasons for a business to refuse service, some of which include:
• Patrons who are unreasonably rowdy or causing trouble
• Patrons that may overfill capacity if let in
• Patrons who come in just before closing time or when the kitchen is closed
• Patrons accompanied by large groups of non-customers looking to sit in
• Patrons lacking adequate hygiene (e.g. excess dirt, extreme body odor, etc.)

In most cases, refusal of service is warranted where a customer’s presence detracts from the safety, welfare, and well-being of other patrons and/or the business itself; such as businesses that do not allow guns to be brought onto its premises.

I believe that far too often within the Christian community, we (the Church) have become instrumental in causing disunity where none need to exist. The Bible teaches that we need to show love and unity to a lost and hurting world. In our world of so much intolerance, it is even more important to study the Scripture and seek diligently for what it says. However, we also need to be humble when we are faced with decisions that will affect others around us and to err on the side of love and unity whenever possible without disregarding the clear teaching of God’s word.

Consider the following verses:
Colossians 4:5-6 “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.”
Romans 14:4 “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. “
Ephesians 4:2 “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”
John 8:7 “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
1 Peter 3:8-11 “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”

We do not win people to the Lord by condemning them and calling them names or refusing to serve them at our public businesses. This is why God says to speak with wisdom, grace, and love. Instead, we need to let the love of God flow through us so that the world can see what true love is and turn to God instead of fighting against Him.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Researcher George Otis Jr. writes in Charisma Magazine.com: “Of the nearly 800 cases of authentic, transforming revival in the last 15 years, only two were in North America.”

So why has it been so long since the Church has experienced a true spiritual revival like those in the 1800s? Because our need for a true spiritual revival will always be determined by our true condition. The question of whether we will actually experience revival depends on how we perceive our condition. But until there is a conviction of need, there will never be a desire for change.

I find it interesting that so many Christians quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 as a formula for revival in the land. But they totally overlook verse 13: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people…” And then concludes with verse 14.

Why do so many Christians purposely overlook verse 13? Possibly, like Israel of old before they were exiled to Babylon, Christians today refuse to believe that God would purposefully bring adversity to us. (See Jeremiah 29:1-14) If all Christians in America would heed God’s warning and do what this verse says, I believe revival would come, but so far it hasn’t happened–Mainly because most Christians in the land have not repented.

Throughout history nations have fallen because people forgot God and did what was right in their own minds. (Judges 17:6) One only has to examine the fall of the Roman Empire to see that this is true. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet learned from the mistakes of our ancestors. The major causes for the fall of the Roman Empire were:
• Antagonism between the Senate and the Emperor
• Decline in Morals which led to the Gladiatorial Games
• Political Corruption
• Constant Wars and Heavy Military Spending
• Failing Economy
• Unemployment of the Working Classes
• Decline in Ethics and Values

Sound familiar?

There is much talk in Christian circles these days about “taking back our cities for God”. And there is no shortage of books and evangelists who promote strategies for transforming everything from our neighborhoods to Hollywood to Washington, D.C. But God has not called us to win the so-called culture war. He has not called us to change the world, but to overcome it. But how do we overcome the world when we have become so much like it?
I recently read an article that listed U.S. companies that were considered to be religious.
Yahoo Finance

Many of the companies were listed simply because they print Bible verses on their products or claim to begin meetings with prayer. But quoting a Bible verse or starting a meeting with a prayer does not necessarily make you religious. Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” (Matt. 7:15-18)
What are the fruits some of the so called religious companies listed in the article?

• Forever 21 – Sells skimpy clothing for young trendy girls.
• Tyson Foods -The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a complaint against Tyson Foods, Inc. for violating the Federal Trade Commission Act after it was revealed that workers routinely abused animals.
• Jet Blue airlines – Lowest rated airline since they stranded passengers for hours in 2011.
• Carl’s Jr. – Uses racy videos with scantily clad women to sell their unhealthy menu.

An even better Old Testament passage than 2 Chronicles 7:14 concerning revival can be found in Psalms 85:6: “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” King David, who was a man after God’s heart, knew that the purpose of revival was so that people would rejoice in God. Revival is not to be used bring glory to a program or a denomination or a person, but to God.

This verse places the origin of revival in God and not man. It is God who must quicken us that we may be changed to a people that rejoice in the Lord. If God is the one who sends revival, then He is the one we must plead with. We must ask Him to send revival on the land. We must cast ourselves on His mercy and ask that He send what we do not deserve. We deserve judgment as a nation for our sins, but we must intercede with God to have mercy upon us and to turn us around by His mighty power. We need God’s mercy toward us in this hour that He might turn us around that we might be a people who will acknowledge Him and rejoice in Him.

We need to pray as the prophet Daniel did: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land…Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” (Read Daniel 9:1-19)

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” (Ezek. 16:49)

Bangladesh’s Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith downplayed the impact of last week’s factory building collapse on his country’s garment industry, saying Friday he didn’t think it was “really serious” just hours after the 500th body was pulled from the debris. The government has recently suspended the mayor there and arrested an engineer who had called for the building’s evacuation last week, but was also accused of helping the owner add three illegal floors to the eight-story structure. The building owner was arrested earlier. The official death toll from the April 24 collapse reached 512 Friday and was expected to climb, making it likely the deadliest garment-factory accident in world history.

The minimum wage for a garment worker there is only $38.00 a month! And that is only after being nearly doubled this year following violent protests by workers! According to the World Bank, the per capita income in Bangladesh was only about $64.00 a month in 2011!

According to data from Bangladesh’s commerce ministry and industry sources, Bangladesh ships about $15.6 billion of ready-made garments each year – about 80 percent of its total exports. Sixty percent of its garment exports go to Europe, the United States takes 23 percent, and Canada takes 5 percent. About 18 months before this tragedy in Bangladesh a fire killed 112 people in a textile factory in Tazreen in which locked doors prevented workers from fleeing to safety.

Shareholders at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had the opportunity to weigh in on the safety question. By a nearly 50-to-1 margin, they rejected a proposal to require suppliers to report annually on safety issues at their factories. In arguing against the proposal, Wal-Mart’s management made its reasoning clear: “Having suppliers compile such reports could ultimately lead to higher costs for Walmart and higher prices for our customers. This would not be in the best interests of Walmart’s shareholders and customers and would place Walmart at a competitive disadvantage.”

Wal-Mart and Sears’ shares have moved higher since the Tazreen fire last November. That disaster did not appear to have any measurable impact on sales at Wal-Mart and Sears after both acknowledged their products were made there.

The larger tragedy I see is that consumers will continue to purchase products from brands like Wal-Mart’s Faded Glory and Loblaw’s Joe Fresh found in the ruins of the factory building this week. Many people justify it by saying, “I go there because it’s cheap.” Or, “I’m on a limited income and I can’t afford to shop anywhere else.”

The unemployment rate is down to 7.5 percent and we gained 16,000 non-farm jobs last month, but according to the Wall Street Journal, the Morgan Stanley report said “the current investment in U.S. manufacturing remains at depressed levels.” With the loss of 5.5 million manufacturing jobs this decade, and the residual impact (for every one manufacturing job there are five others created – truck drivers, accountants, research & development, clerical, etc.), the U.S. has seen a loss of over 30 million jobs.

While many who read this will try to blame this problem on Democrats or Republicans, this is NOT a political problem! This is a spiritual problem!

I am reminded of James 5:4-6 that says, “Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.”

We have lost our moral compass and have become like Sodom–arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; refusing to help the poor and needy.

But what can we do?

Repent of our selfishness and arrogance! Then refuse to purchase goods that are sold on the backs of slave labor with the wages covered in the blood of the poor!

This has had a huge impact on not only our economy and national security but also on our very survival! Since government has not provided a solution, it is time for us to take action before it’s too late.

American Made Products Directory:  http://www.americansworking.com/

Situated between Omaha’s Old Market and the downtown business district on the corner of 13th and Farnam Streets, Café 110 has long been a favorite venue of many of Omaha’s talented musicians.

Offering a variety of delicious foods and specialized drinks, Café 110 is the entrepreneurial enterprise of Allan Zeeck, former owner of the Benson Grind coffee shop. Allan has always been a big supporter of local talent and has given Omaha’s most talented musicians the opportunity to get on stage and burn it up with their own original music.

ASCAP and BMI seem to think Café 110 is some huge concert hall promoting national touring acts and is trying to charge them accordingly without ever even seeing the venue! Café 110 cannot afford these exorbitant fees. So until ASCAP and BMI understand that Café 110 is a 30-seat coffee shop for local original acts only, Café 110 will not be able to have live music or even be open during the evenings.

If you are or know someone that can help with dealing with these ridiculous performing rights organizations; like a lawyer, or member of one of these organizations, PLEASE get in touch with Café 110 by either calling the shop at: 402- 932-4040 or by email at: allan.zeeck@cafe110omaha.com

You can also leave me a message and I will be sure to pass the information on to Allan.
You can follow Café 110 on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/cafe110omaha or like them on Face Book at: https://www.facebook.com/Cafe110

I recently read an article that immediately filled me anger. The article, in the Spokesman-Review in Washington State, reported that about 30 homeless people have died during 2012 and at least four were 17 and two others were between 18 and 20!

The National Runaway Switchboard estimates that on any given night there are approximately 1.3 million homeless youth living unsupervised on the streets, in abandoned buildings, with friends or with strangers.  Homeless youth are at a higher risk for physical abuse, sexual exploitation, mental health disabilities, substance abuse, and death.  It is estimated that 5,000 unaccompanied youth die each year as a result of assault, illness, or suicide!

The death of any young person is tragic. Kevin M. Ryan wrote in his blog that he had attended the funeral of a young man he’s known most of his life, who died unexpectedly in his sleep at the age of 21 a few days after Christmas.  He relates how, at the funeral, the church was packed with hundreds of family and friends.

While reading these sad and tragic stories I couldn’t help but think of what might have happened; how these precious lives could have been saved and changed for the better, if only someone who attended one of these funerals would have stepped up and helped them. Maybe they too, would be alive today and be following their dreams.

Over the past five years my wife and I have opened our home to a dozen men, women and children who were in need of a home. I’m happy to report that today they all have homes of their own and doing well.

Reading articles like this should cause a righteous rage to well up inside of every Christian’s heart and spur them to action.  I pray that more people will step up and help more of these vulnerable people instead of attending their funerals.

“I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.” (Matthew 25:45)

 

This is what love thy neighbor really means. You may not have a spare house, but how about a spare room?

Click here

Across the country, tens of thousands of underemployed and jobless young people, many with college degrees, are struggling to house themselves in the wake of the recession, which has left workers between the ages of 18 and 24 with the highest unemployment rate of all adults. Click HERE for labor stats 

Some can move back home with their parents, but that’s not an option for those whose families have been hit hard by the economy. Without a stable home address, they are part of an elusive group that hope to avoid the stigma of public homelessness and are missed by many yearly homeless counts. They are mostly couch surfers or sleep hidden away in cars or other private places, during what they hope will be a temporary predicament.
These young adults have joined the new face of a national homeless population; one that poverty experts and case workers say is growing. Yet the problem remains mostly invisible. Most cities and states, that focus on the chronically homeless have not made special efforts to identify and help young adults and homeless families with children, who tend to shy away from ordinary shelters out of fear of being victimized by the chronically homeless who may have criminal backgrounds or who are mentally unstable.

$20.5-million complex for the chronically homeless?
The Skid Row Housing Trust in Los Angeles is building a 102-unit, $20.5-million complex by stacking pre-outfitted apartments atop one another in a Lego-like fashion to save time and money. The residents will pay 30% of their monthly job or government assistance income as rent but are not required to seek on-site medical treatment, psychiatric counseling, drug or alcohol treatment or therapy as a condition of residency.

“The thought is, how do we help people make the choice that is best for them,” said Mike Alvidrez, executive director of the Skid Row Housing Trust, who stressed the trust’s Housing First model — a philosophy that has caught fire nationwide. Alvidrez said, “The first step to helping someone recover from a chronic drug or alcohol problem is to give them a home and sense of community.”
But will someone who has a permanent residence they can afford seek out psychiatric counseling, drug or alcohol treatment on their own? Most likely, they will not. But thankfully, the problem can be hidden from the people of Los Angeles now. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-skid-row-housing-20121216,0,1039440.story

Not all shelters agree with this “Housing First” philosophy.
Founded in 1975, the Siena/Francis House is Nebraska’s largest shelter, providing food, emergency shelter & clothing, along with outreach/case management to homeless families and individuals from Omaha and surrounding communities. The Siena/Francis House also houses a residential chemical addictions treatment center, a day services center, an employment training program, and a medical clinic. The Siena/Francis House has a policy that tries to never turn away any person or family who comes to them in need, regardless of their circumstances.

In 2011 the Siena/Francis House served 418,107 meals and provided 156,258 nights of shelter to approximately 4,000 homeless men, women and children. In pursuing the ultimate goal of breaking the cycle of homelessness – one person at a time – the Siena/Francis House provides a residential addiction recovery program, aptly named “Miracles Treatment Center”. Any person who desires to participate in the Miracles Treatment Center must be willing to commit to stay at least 120 days in the Siena/Francis House’s residential program, enter its job training program, and provide 40 service hours per week at the shelter.

The Siena/Francis House’s belief is that, by finding value and untapped abilities in people that society has overlooked, they help them find value in themselves. By providing persons in the Miracles Treatment Center with counseling, education, job training, and life and independent living skills, they furnish them the tools that will help them recover from, and successfully manage the problems that brought them to the doors of the Siena/Francis House in the first place. It is through programs like this that people receive a vision for a new future; one that is positive; because without vision people are destroyed.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Proverbs 29:18)

William Booth was born in Sneinton, Nottingham, the only son of four surviving children born to Samuel Booth and Mary Moss. William’s father was wealthy by the standards of the time, but during William’s childhood, as a result of bad investments, the family descended into poverty and his father became an alcoholic. In 1842, Samuel Booth, who by then was bankrupt, could no longer afford his son’s school fees, and 13-year-old William was apprenticed to a pawnbroker. Samuel Booth died later that same year.

William Booth did not enjoy his job in the pawnbroker’s shop, but it made him only too aware of the poverty in which people lived and how they suffered humiliation and degradation because of it. Two years into his apprenticeship William Booth was converted and later became an evangelist. One day in 1865 he found himself in the East End of London, preaching to crowds of people in the streets outside the ‘Blind Beggar Pub’.

Slowly the mission began to grow but the work was hard and William would stumble home night after night haggard with fatigue, often with his clothes torn and bloody bandages wrapped on his head where a stone had struck him. Evening meetings were held in an old warehouse where urchins threw stones and fireworks through the window. It was not until 1878 when ‘The Christian Mission’ changed its name to ‘The Salvation Army’ that things began to happen. The idea of an Army fighting sin caught the imagination of the people and the Army began to grow rapidly. Booth’s fiery sermons and sharp imagery drove the message home and more and more people found themselves willing to leave their past behind and start a new life as a soldier in The Salvation Army.

Jesus commands us to go and make disciples of all nations. Sadly, many organizations like the Salvation Army, whose primary purpose began with winning souls and discipling new converts, have either become not much more than another social service program or have altogether dissolved.  Where are the William Booths–the Keith Greens–or the Leonard Ravenhills of today?

I fear they have been replaced with televangelists, computers, and iPhones. Our technology today gives us the ability to reach millions of people at once but it seems we don’t take the time to reach out to our neighbors right next door! And with all of our technology we’re no different today than we were during William Booth’s day:

In William Booth’s own words:

I pray that we all become more serious about the souls of mankind and Stand By The Door…

I Stand at the Door by Sam Shoemaker (from the Oxford Group)

I stand by the door.
I neither go to far in, nor stay to far out.
The door is the most important door in the world –
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There is no use my going way inside and staying there,
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where the door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men,
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it.
So I stand by the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for men to find that door – the door to God.
The most important thing that any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands
And put it on the latch – the latch that only clicks
And opens to the man’s own touch.

Men die outside the door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter.
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live on the other side of it – live because they have not found it.

Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him.
So I stand by the door.

Go in great saints; go all the way in –
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics.
It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements,
Of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms
And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.
Sometimes I take a deeper look in.
Sometimes venture in a little farther,
But my place seems closer to the opening.
So I stand by the door.

There is another reason why I stand there.
Some people get part way in and become afraid
Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them;
For God is so very great and asks all of us.
And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia
And want to get out. ‘Let me out!’ they cry.
And the people way inside only terrify them more.
Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled.
For the old life, they have seen too much:
One taste of God and nothing but God will do any more.
Somebody must be watching for the frightened
Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,
To tell them how much better it is inside.
The people too far in do not see how near these are
To leaving – preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door
But would like to run away. So for them too,
I stand by the door.

I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help
The people who have not yet even found the door.
Or the people who want to run away again from God.
You can go in too deeply and stay in too long
And forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him and know He is there,
But not so far from men as not to hear them,
And remember they are there too.

Where? Outside the door –
Thousands of them. Millions of them.
But – more important for me –
One of them, two of them, ten of them.
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
So I shall stand by the door and wait
For those who seek it.

I had rather be a door-keeper… So I stand by the door.

 

I came across this article of a police officer giving boots to barefoot homeless man in New York. Had it not been for a tourist from Arizona who snapped a picture of this officer’s generous good deed no one may have ever known about it. Although there have been many complaints about the police, (and many might be well founded) I wonder how many of those who complain about the police walked by this poor man oblivious to his condition? It reminds me of the parable Jesus told in  Luke 10:25-37

Photo of police officer giving boots to barefoot man warms hearts online.