Thoughts from an Ordinary Guy

This journey through life is never boring......

Why does JK Rowling Matter Anyway? – Apparent Project

If you go to and read the second article, you’ll see a couple of important names. I think it’s worthwhile talking about why they are important. What are those names? JK Rowling and Lumo…

Source: Why does JK Rowling Matter Anyway? – Apparent Project

There is a Better Way

I remember, back when I started working for the orphanage we adopted our children from, having a conversation with a friend about orphanages.   At that point, I contended that a “good” and “well run” orphanage was a good way to care for vulnerable children.

She, my friend, was adamant that there wasn’t such a thing.   That by virtue of the model of care, the way that children are impacted and the lives that are damaged, she said there wasn’t such a thing as a good orphanage or a well run orphanage.   We agreed, at that point, to disagree but respect each other and have remained friends.

A number of years later, I have to admit that I no longer disagree with her.   She was right.

Please take the time to watch Tara Winkler as she explains very eloquently her journey from a tourist to a voluntourist to an orphanage director to the director of an organization that has found a “better way.”

The Apparent Project, who I have the privilege of working with, has found a better way.

Look God in the Eye – Psalm 11:7

Psalm 11:7 “God’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, Setting us straight.  Once we are standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.”   The Message

If God’s business is putting things right, setting the lines straight, what is going on in this world right now?  I think if we all admit, there are a lot more obvious situations where it seems like God isn’t putting things right.  Wouldn’t you agree?

What’s up with that?   I’ll be the first to admit, I have no idea.   I don’t know whether God is using this like he did during the Old Testament times to test and try his people (when they got taken captive by foreign lands).

There are numerous other potential options of what is going on and frankly more of them are grim than they are positive.

But take a look at the second part of the passage.  “Once we are standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.”

Is God talking about preferring tall people to short people?  Ha!

No, I believe that when David wrote the part about standing tall, he wasn’t referring correct posture.  

He was referring to a posture of positive priorities.  Have we set our eyes and our lives in line with the straight lines that God likes?  Do we work towards putting things right or towards setting the path crooked and divisive and filled with hate and distrust?   Are we more like the Good Samaritan or the “good priest who crossed to the other side of the road” and ignored the messiness of setting things straight?

There’s a large part of me that says this could be what the time we live in is all about.  God wants His church to stand up in the battle of good vs. evil and stand straight and stand tall against the wrongs of the world.

God wants his people to put aside their differences (like the Good Samaritan did) and help the wounded and the broken of this world (and I promise, there is no shortage of those).  Is God using or allowing this as a test?  There are people who are way more theologically educated who can’t agree on that question.  I prefer to think of it as a battle between good and evil and God is telling us how he wants us to fight back.

Oh and the joy and the comfort that comes from being able to look him in the eye.  If we, as his people, attempt to straighten the lines and care for the broken, we get to stand before him and look him in the eye.  

Now if you ask me, looking God straight in the eye would be a really awesome and scary thing to do.   But also amazing thing to do – especially when God says, “Well done.”

Tom

How Do We Pay For It? – Apparent Project

In our last article, we took a look at how to pay for caring for children in an orphanage and whether it was a good thing to collect “child care” funds from adoptive parents while their…

Source: How Do We Pay For It? – Apparent Project

Paying for Childcare – The State Department Says No?

Parents pay for their children’s needs, it’s that simple right? Well, not quite.   Let take a look at a couple of things.

Source: Paying for Childcare – The State Department Says No?

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