Social Justice Reading

A friend of mine made a comment that got me thinking,  “I wish there was a “list” where I could work my way through the list to learn more about social justice and the various parts of it.”

Hmmmm…….

So, I went through my contact list and reached out to people I know – ministers, missionaries, writers, adoptive parents, adoption speakers, orphan advocates, therapists and others.   I asked them to give me their “recommended” reading list for books on social justice.   It’s a wide range of books and I hope you find something in there that you’d like to read and that will get you thinking about how you can make a difference.

Go to http://tomvanderwell.net/social-justice-books/ and check them out.   If you think I’ve missed some, use the contact form on the right side to let me know.

TJV

A Girl–But More Than That–WAY More Than “Just” a Girl

There’s this girl who goes to the same church we do.

Her name is Naomi.  

A few weeks back, she read a poem she wrote in church.

It moved me.   Moved me to tears.

I asked her if I could run it here and share it with you.

She graciously agreed.   Naomi is in high school and she’s the type of girl that we need to change this world.

I’m going to run her poem in 5 parts – tomorrow, her introduction.   Thursday, a Bible verse that fits with it.   And then the poem broken into sections.

I hope you’re moved by it.   I hope you move after reading it.

Tom

The Day After The Life Before……

It’s Monday.    But not just any Monday.

It’s the Monday after.   After Easter.

So what? 

That’s the question.    Yesterday we celebrated that we have new life.   We are no longer in debt to our life of sin and struggle.   We are free.

But today, we wake up to another day.

It feels like the same old ordinary day, but it’s different.

It’s the day after the life before.

The day after everything changed.

So what?

So, what we thought mattered doesn’t matter any more.

So, what matters is what Jesus said and what He did.

And that changes everything.

Our views on who we are must change.

Our views on what really matters must change.

Our views on those who are “different” from us must change.

Our views on how to show God’s love to the “least of these” must change.

Yesterday was Easter.

Today is the day after the Life “Before.”

Before God rescued us.

Before we truly experienced grace.

Let’s make sure that we live the day after the life before and the life after the life “before” differently.

Care more deeply.

Love more freely.

Speak more kindly.

Help more openly.

Pray more often.

God changed the world when He gave us Easter.

As a token of our gratitude, let’s go change the world for Him.

Tom

Social Justice–The Locust Effect

I read a book that changed my life forever.

I couldn’t finish it.    It was too painful to read.

I’m talking about Gary Haugen’s “The Locust Effect.”   locust_effect

As he describes it on his website:

“Uncover the Hidden Plague the World has Missed.”

What plague is that?   It’s the plague of social injustice.   It’s the plague of so many people in our time and our world who do not have a justice system that protects them.   It’s the plague that keeps so many people in poverty.

It’s the plague that creates more and more poverty orphans.    More and more children who don’t get to live with their parents because their parents can’t keep them safe and care for them.

It’s the plague that sent literally over 50,000 children from Central America on foot to the United States (without their parents) because the violence was so bad that they would have been killed otherwise.

Gary Haugen runs International Justice Mission (www.ijm.org) IJM Logowhich fights against child trafficking, social injustice, slavery and abuse all over the world.    In his book, “The Locust Effect” he tells story after story of how social injustice has devastating effects on the poor.  

He also tells story  after story of what IJM is doing about it.  

The scope of the problem is massive.

The size of the church is massive.

If the church truly wants to respond to the orphan crisis, it needs to be concerned about social justice.   It needs to stand up for the oppressed, it needs to care for the victims.   It needs to be concerned about human trafficking.    It needs to be concerned about violence and genocide that is happening around the world.    It needs to be concerned about issues of social justice.

It needs to support the work of places like IJM.

That’s part of God’s call to care for the widows and the orphans.

Tom

Nothing…….

‘Dear God, my Master, you created earth and sky by your great power—by merely stretching out your arm! There is nothing you can’t do.”  Jeremiah 32:17 (MSG)

So, if there is nothing God  can’t do, then why are there millions of people who are suffering in this world?

If there is nothing God can’t do, then why are thousands of people in Haiti suffering from a nasty mosquito born virus that is making them absolutely miserable?

If there’s nothing God can’t do, then why is there a problem with child trafficking?

If there’s nothing God can’t do, then why is there a problem with governmental corruption?

For me to offer an answer would be extremely presumptuous.

But let me make a suggestion.   Is there a possibility that God has allowed this evil in the world, as part of the battle with the devil, as a way of giving His people the opportunity to put their gratitude into action?

I’m grateful that God sent His Son to die for me, so I’m going to get involved with……..

I’m grateful for the way that God has blessed my business so I’m going to………

I’m grateful for the fact that I have three faucets (two bathrooms and a kitchen sink) that have water that comes from them that is safe to drinks so………

God could obliterate all of the pain and suffering in this world immediately.   Do you think there’s a possibility that He wants to use the fight against evil to deepen the spiritual lives of His people?

Hmmmm…….

Tom