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photo: iStock 11604039

photo: iStock 11604039

Wow!  31 solid days of writing has worn me out.  I have missed a lot of you during the series too.  So in many ways, I feel like I haven’t talked to many of you for a month…now you’re back…welcome!

Want to change your life?  Start with this book… A Praying Life

Thirty-one straight days of writing was a great exercise, but I’m not going to be doing it again right away!  It has been a busy month.  I’ve been in a writing frenzy.  Layered on top of it, I have been leading a small group that is studying A PRAYING LIFE.  The book is by Paul E. Miller.

I recommended it during the 31 days and I continue to recommend it.  One of the emphases of the book is on realizing how weak I am and how dependent I am on my heavenly Father to do anything worthwhile for the kingdom apart from Him.  That is not a natural inclination of mine for sure!  I struggle and struggle to do things until I get backed into a corner and then…I realize I need to pray!  Awful I know, but that is the natural bent of my life…and personality!

Next book for changing your life? When Helping Hurts

The other book I’ve been studying this past month is the book I recommended during the series: WHEN HELPING HURTS!  by Corbett and Fikkert.  It is a must-read book for anyone wanting to be involved in mercy ministry, community development, or work with the underprivileged.  It is a punch in the gut of paternalism…and points out ways we tend to be paternalistic and thus hurt the very people we want to help!

The more I read it however, the more I realize it describes a world-view and lifestyle that is needed for all of us.  If we look around us at others who appear to be less fortunate and broken, we also need to look at what is broken in us!

Our goal in ministering to the poor is not to make them into people like us, many of whom border on workaholism…maybe don’t even border on it!  We need to see ourselves as broken too…only in different ways!  It tends to wipe out a lot of the paternalistic, sinful and broken attitudes that live in our hearts.

In any poor community, there are many things happening that are positive and good.  It is often difficult for us to see what they are because of the way we think…about our way of doing things being “better”?!  Yes, a lot is broken, but if we look closely, there is a lot that is working well and we don’t want to mess it up when we come with “solutions” that don’t help them long term.

Life in Jamaica taught me one of many things.  It was this: different is neither inferior nor superior.  It is just different.  When we can look at a culture/sub-culture that is different from our own and find a way to value the good and positive things about it, it is a growth experience that is extremely valuable…for all of us!  I’m glad I had the opportunity to enjoy it early in my life.

What is coming in November?

Ahead for November?  We will be sorting and cleaning house.  I’m getting the nerve to get back to it since our move.  We need to clear away a lot of excess and sort through what we really need and what we can toss.

Our youngest grandchildren…and their parents too, of course, are coming to visit for Thanksgiving.  It has been awhile since we saw them because they have been living in Ukraine.  When they settle in to their new town in January, it will only be about 7 hours away.  Talk about exciting!

So today is just a welcome back day.  I’m not writing anything really profound except that I’m glad you’re here.  I’m glad we’ll be back to writing about 3 times a week.  That way I can actually have a life again…and hear from you!

How are you doing?

What are your plans this month?

How was your October?  Please comment!

Blessings on you all.