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A Renewal of Vision

Updated: Mar 3

This past week has been one of those unexpected, yet providential refreshings that comes occasionally by way of disparate events, invigorating and renewing this vision prone Christ follower.

First thing Monday morning, I received an unexpected call from a fellow community developer, leader-friend from thirty years back. He had been principle in my earliest work in the county, just after my early retirement from public education and relocation from a neighboring county.

He asked that we might consider picking back up on some unfinished community initiatives still ripe for harvest. That would lead to a series of short notice inivitations later Monday, culminating in the cabin just yesterday, seeding renewal of the loose ends from previous intiatives dormant now for years. Timing is everything.

Later on Monday, after a weekend of preparation by my wife, we hosted 14 individuals, all college graduates from across the nation, who are taking a year to serve in various internships, learning about true Christ-centric community, all before launching their own varied professional careers.

Our future is in better hands because of the practical mentoring of these future marketplace leaders from across our nation.

Then came an earlier scheduled Tuesday lunch in the cabin with the Executive Director of a Triad initiative that provides churches with food resources, as well as household goods and furnishings. This regional initiative comes by way of a collaborative with Second Harvest, and several large forprofit corporations such as Amazon, WalMart, Costco, etc.

Strategic planning for expanded services which will further strengthen undeserved communities is always both uplifting and challenging.

Then, Wednesday I would spend the morning absorbing the local data gathered by a national consultant group, indexing each zip code* in our county based upon such factors as education level, income stream, and vocational opportunity.

Quite revealing data given the wealth gap that exists cross our county, and frankly eye opening as to the long term well intended results of many of our social justice initiatives, particularly housing. Change is in the air, though the recent political morass would cause some to doubt.

Fortunately there are grassroots boots on the ground, now well organized to execute and strengthen their own neighborhoods. Of course their rate of progress will be in part based upon the engagement of those in zip codes like my own, willing to offer their time, talent and resources. Four hundred dollars a month seems a number per family that could make all the difference in their escape from poverty.

I find it interesting that we readily send money over seas and call it missions, when such a small amount could change the economics of local families, reduce the challenges poverty brings to our classrooms and strengthen our future workforce, all current dire needs across America!

Think about it.

We would then gather again in the cabin on Thursday afternoon with the lead consultant and local neighborhood leadership to strategize next steps.

Doing what one loves, working primarily within their "Genius & Compencies, while working short-term in areas of Frustation" (see Pat Lencioni)* is always refreshing and aligns one relationally with others, enhancing everyone's productivity and assuring sound community.

My morning read, as often it seems was so aligned with my week given Jesus' statements in Mark 14, "The poor you will have with you always."

That was the way of the Christ. He understood the nature of politics, religion and government when it came to economies. That statement was never intended to justify poverty, but a reality to be dealt with by those privileged by abundance, regardless of whether gained by bootstraps ingenuity or generational wealth.

These were words of rebuke to those who recoiled at the use of precious ointment for his prophetic pre-Passover anointing. So much that could be unpacked within these verses, but the bottom line for me this morning, "She has done what she could."

So must we!!

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