Category

Loving the poor

Proverbs Day Twenty-Eight | Bullies who should know better

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A poor person who oppresses the poor is like a pounding rain that destroys the crops. Proverbs 28v3 (NLT)

I read this Proverb and think it says that anyone who oppresses anyone, going through a similar experience as them, should know better. Rain should be good for the crops. It should not destroy.

In the past year I have seen acts of kindness and acts of selfishness or oppression of others. Some people should know better and some should definitely know better – especially those in the same boat.

There is no excuse for oppressing the poor, and less so if you are poor yourself. This principle applies to any number of circumstances (see the parable in Matthew 18).

We should stand up to bullies and lay firm boundaries in their lives regardless of their background. Background may explain bullying, but it should not excuse it.

A poor man who oppresses the poor is a beating rain that leaves no food. Proverbs 28v3 (ESV)

Proverbs Day Twenty-One | Not missing it!

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The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices. Proverbs 21v3

I am deeply provoked and sobered that I could miss the really important things in following Jesus. In addition I could spend too long and too much effort on the things that matter a whole lot less.

Jesus really was unflattering about those who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. What these folk taught or said might be true, but it needed to be demonstrated not just declared. Failing to do this may make us guilty of “crushing people with unbearable religious demands and never lifting a finger to ease the burden” (Matthew 23v4).

I see more than ever that a relentless pursuit against performance and pretence will be good for me and for others I share life with. God is not fooled. He knows what we do for show and what we do for Him. He knows whether we operate in the Kingdom or out of it. I want to help people discover, follow and serve the Jesus of Matthew 23. He said it as it was, saw it as it is and changes us despite ourselves.

Therefore, I am learning in a new way the high value Jesus places on justice, mercy and faith. These are matters of the heart (Matthew 23v23). That is wisdom!

To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. Proverbs 21v3

Proverbs Day Nineteen | Think outside the box of generosity

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Many seek favours from a ruler; everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts! Proverbs 19v6 (NLT)

I suspect I am not the only one who often reads a Proverb and goes “huh?” What does that mean?

Then I might read another translation and have more questions – is it a ruler (NLT) or a generous man (ESV)? Maybe it doesn’t matter, maybe it does?

So what might be the wisdom here?

Perhaps the ruler is intended as a contrast to the generous man. The ruler is in demand due to his position and authority. His role does not mean he is generous.

However the generous man is liked because of what he gives. It is universal. Whereas the ruler role is limited to one or a few but the generous role, and its benefits, are unlimited.

But is it not limited to means? Only if we read generous as just relating to material possessions. What if I could be generous in words, encouragement, time and service? Surely that kind of generosity will serve me just as well as others.

Many seek the favour of a generous man, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts. Proverbs 19v6 (ESV)

Conversation with Simon and Helen Moores re Street Pastors

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We have just had a really encouraging afternoon together with Simon and Helen Moores from Spring Terrace Church.  They have been involved in the Swansea Street Pastors for a number of years and we were able to chat with them about that work. For the recording of the conversation click here.

They have provided me with a link for a video about the work in Swansea which is well worth a watch.

Swansea Night Shelter 2012/2013

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Last year several people from the Hill got involved in a new initiative by the Swansea churches. This was running a night shelter. It serves the homeless every night from December to February. Normally anybody involved will have a couple of shifts over the 3 months. It was lots of fun and everybody involved is keen to do it again this year. Perhaps others would like to join us? In order to do so, please can you email mandy.harvey@parklandschurch.org.uk to express your interest. If you want to know more details about what is involved feel free to speak to Robin.

You will need to attend one of the following training sessions. These are not challenging evenings and you only need to attend one. Even if you served last year, you will still need to attend a training session.

– Tuesday, 2nd October at 7:00pm OR Thursday, 25th October at 7:00pm
– Parklands Church, Maes y Gollen, Sketty, Swansea. SA2 8HQ

9… They encouraged us to keep preaching… 10 Their only suggestion was that we keep on helping the poor, which I have always been eager to do. Galatians 2