Hope Rising

I usually avoid books on alleviating poverty as I find that many are either unrealistic in their approach or the author heaps on so much condemnation you want to just give out of guilt or give up out of frustration.

What drew me to this book was the fact that it was written by Compassion International's Senior VP of Global Advocacy.  Though I was not familiar with the author, Scott Todd, I was very familiar with Compassion.  My wife and I have sponsored children via Compassion since 2001 and we love the organization and the work they do.

So, with that out of the way, I wasn't sure what to expect from Hope Rising.  What I found was a book that definitely fits the title.  I found that hope truly was rising within me.  The basic premise is that EXTREME poverty can be eradicated.  Scott Todd speaks about our low expectations that extreme poverty can dealt with and then goes about showing how much has truly changed even in the last 20 years.  I did not know so many inroads have been made in the war of poverty.  I found myself encouraged to do my part.

I really enjoyed Scott Todd's look at Matthew 26:11.  This oft-quoted verse on poverty has just as often been misquoted and Scott looks at the entire passage in context.  If anything else, this chapter should be required reading for anyone who feels nothing can be done re. poverty!

I highly recommend this book for every believer who believes God can make the impossible possible and wants to do their part in seeing lives forever changed!

I received a free copy of this book via the Booksneeze review program


He Is Risen!

But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. (Matthew 28:5-6)

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you." So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." (Matthew 28:1-10)

This is a week of celebration.

Yes Jesus died on the cross for our sins.  He also came back from the dead, left an empty tomb behind and completed the victory achieved on the cross!

We have the opportunity to reconnect with the Father through the death and resurrection of His Son!

He Has Risen!

He Has Risen Indeed!


Eyes to See

"As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him."  (Matthew 20:29-34)

This was the passage of Scripture I was reading as part of my devotion time this past week.  I had to go back and read it a few times because it really resonated with me.  Though unplanned, it made it's way into my sermon on Sunday. It became an appropriate reference in conversation today with someone needing encouragement.

I think God was trying to get my attention.

Jesus certainly got the attention of the 2 blind men.

These guys were not about to let Jesus pass by without making some noise.  I can just picture a large crowd, the normal crowd noise, and 2 guys shouting to be heard!  "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"

They were obviously loud because the crowd told them to shush!

Obviously they were not to be deterred because they cried out all the more.  They had no way of knowing if Jesus heard them but they were going to give it their best shot.

Jesus stops and asks what they want Him to do for them.  I like what they ask for....they asked for their eyes to be opened.  Think about that for a moment.  Let it sink in.  They asked for their eyes to be opened and Jesus touched their eyes.

It says they regained their site AND followed Him.

I believe their eyes were opened literally and also spiritually.  They saw Jesus and they SAW Jesus.  Jesus healed people but not everyone followed Him.  However these 2 guys FOLLOWED Jesus.  They had eyes to see, not just the world around them, but the King of Kings. 

I want to see what God wants me to see, who He wants me to see and how He wants me to see!

After reading this passage, my prayer is Lord, I want my eyes to be opened!