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He who gives to the poor shall not lack. . .

proverbs 28:27

Day #5 Reflection

The end of the workweek was a welcomed day, especially since it ended my seasonal session for after school programming and provides me with a bit of a respite for a few week. I will probably get some running and golf in when and where I can during the next two weeks. I have already been tuning up at the driving range, so I think I am ready to hit the course again.

Focus on Faith

I pondered on Proverbs 28:27 for a moment as I prepared to support a shoe drive today. I do not have much to give, but I am giving up a few pairs of running shoes that rarely ever get any action. In the text, the focus is on the act of giving and not on the amount that is given. I had to recognize that. Then, I also had to realize that part of my responsibility includes giving a portion of what I would have spent on snacks and junk if I wasn’t doing this detox challenge right now. Based on some of what was shared in All Things Charity, I will calculate what I normally would spent on unhealthy snacking and donate either the food or the funds to fight food insecurity.

Focus on Fuel

Today I plan on keeping an eye on my portions and spacing out my meals and snacks. No work and plenty of free time makes for a dangerous point in the midst of this challenge. In my preparation, I accounted for my workdays more than I considered my days off. I have to retain my focus on the plan and the purpose to keep going strong through the day and the weekend, especially as I seek to add more physical activity.

Focus on Fitness

Like I said, with no work, I have plenty of time to fill my day with physical activity. After my livestream focused on GYNECOLOGIC CANCER AWARENESS and my guest Mz. Sharifah a cancer survivor and cancer patient advocate, I will drop off my donation for the shoe drive and perhaps stop at the driving range. I might end my daylight hours with a short walk around the block to match my morning routine, but I know that I will definitely get in some deep stretching touching in the hopes of doing a long run tomorrow.

An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

henry david thoreau

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8 Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 31:8-9 (ESV)

Now is not the time to sit silent and watch.

The Bible speaks to it. MLK called fellow clergy out for their silence on the issue of segregation and the atrocities faced by those fighting for freedom in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail. We saw a similar wave of outcries in the wake of Martin, Brown and others who were killed senselessly based on nothing more than race or the color of their skin.

Open your mouth. . .

Open your mouth. . .

The Bible says we are to speak up and speak out about it.

Much of what we see on display with cities spilling over with protests stems from the outrage boiling over from oppression. Some peaceful demonstrations have turned violent. Looting and destruction have occurred. Curfews have been enforced. Yet, the media coverage and social media feeds may divert our attention from the issue at hand.

The emotions that have been suppressed by so many for so long have exploded into widespread discontent expressed through the solidarity of a rainbow of colors parading the streets with signs and chants to speak out against police brutality and social justice.

The mistreatment and disrespect for human lives has been a black eye for the United States historically due to colonialism, imperialism, enslavement, and exploitation. The most recent uproar has erupted due to the bleak picture of police enforcement provided to many via social media and the press of George Floyd dying at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve. The very guardians of our communities who serve to enforce the law are expected to administer tactics and methods that allow for even the accused to have his or her day in court.

From a Native American perspective, could it be considered genocide when you look back at the Western expansion of America and the Trail of Tears, the Indian Wars, and the reservation lifestyle administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs? Is it any wonder that Latino or LatinX question the response to the “browning of America” when much of America west of the Mississippi River was once part of Mexico or occupied by Spain? From a Black or African American perspective, have mass incarcerations and the criminal justice system combined with the major health disparities served as the common obstacles of daily life regardless of economic status or educational attainment? I by no means could speak for everyone, but I am called by God to speak up and speak out against what I see as an utter wrong against my fellow man.

Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.

Those who have no voice need advocates. We are to serve as the voices for the voiceless. We are compelled to speak up “for the rights of all who are destitute.” In other words, speak up for the ones “who cannot speak for themselves” and “defend the rights of all those who have nothing” (NCV).

It is biblical. It is logical. It make sense. It provides us with a means for supporting and loving our neighbor as we are called to do.

Open your mouth, judge righteously,
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

We are called to serve as defenders of “the rights of the poor and needy.” It refrains the previous verse’s point of ” defend the rights of those who have nothing.” It places the responsibility on us, not God. He has empowered us and equipped us to engage on such matters and subjects. In this case, we need to serve as defenders.

The poor and needy are most likely not registered to vote. More than likely, the poor and the needy have not completed the census. In many cases, the poor and the needy might be undocumented, under the radar, and off the grid. Yet, the Bible is clear that we are called as their defenders, particularly when it comes to their rights.

Injustice has spilled over from the boiling pot and has licked the flames to a critical point of time. The issues of social justice and inequality have awakened hearts and minds of many. Solidarity has formed among many people of many colors on a widespread issue that seeks justice ad accountability.

But where are the Christians?

If anyone should speak up, it should be us. If anyone should be sickened by unfair treatment of people of any kind, it should be us. These two verses confirm such a stance.

Do not sit back in silence. Become vigilant and vocal about addressing wrongs that are happening right before your eyes.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

– Proverbs 22:7 (KJV)

I am in bondage.

Well, at least it seems that way.Ben Franklin100

I have a car payment.  At one
point, I finally resolved to never again buy a car on long term credit.  IT IS JUST TOO MUCH.  I am actually going to pay it off early, but I know that the loan company doesn’t mind the extra money but hates losing out on the interest payments.

Did I say feel like I am in bondage?

guess

I have to start paying off my student loans.  These account for enough of a percentage of my debt that I have considered teaching in a low income school or serving as an AmeriCorps member in order to defer some of the payments on the loans.  I think that you can feel in bondage to the federal government because I do.

I feel that I have to make a major decision on the debt, especially as I consider a teaching credential and a MBAprogram within the next year.  Both of these will equate to some amount of incurred debt as well as the possible impact on a home purchase within 3 years.  My debt to income ratio and credit score can make a difference between a mortgage that I can live with or mortgage that I would be living to pay for.

even mickey

Money matters can get you down sometimes.

So, why do I say this on a blog that has Christian principles throughout it time after time?

Spine of a Bible

God does not want us living in bondage.  God has not designed us for this type of lifestyle that depends more on the paycheck than upon God’s providence.  God expects us to lean and depend on Him for our daily sufficiency, not rely upon the economy of the world’s system to so-called “make it.”

burglar

I recommend some of these items to help with financial matters:

bodybuilding

I am getting out of it, but it requires sacrifice.  I have to supplement my income with other sources such as freelance writing online.  I am getting there, but it takes time.

10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?

– Luke 16:10-12 (KJV)

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