Just over a week ago, I shared some reflections around the whole ‘socialist legend’ floating around on Facebook. I don’t know if it is still making its rounds, but I am glad I have not continued to see it re-posted over the past week or so.
One thought I shared in my article was how we think it quite easy to overcome poverty just by simply pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps and trying harder. Laziness is the problem and so people simply need to work harder. But, as a friend of mine suggested, poverty comes more at a systemic, foundational level than through simple laziness. Now, laziness might exist, but it might just be present because of the greater underlying, systemic problems. For example, many in the developing world are hard working people. Rather they are born into such a life and need specific assistance and education in helping them understand how to take steps forward out of deep-seated poverty.
To help us ponder the situation more, I encourage you to view this short CNN video below. Continue reading →
This past Sunday, my very dear and close friend, Paul Petrie, who works with the European Parliament, joined with us at Cornerstone to share and impart some specific things that were on his heart from the Scripture. He started with Isaiah 51:1-2 as a springboard for considering some things from the life of Abraham, our faith in the faith, bringing these aspects into focus for our own specific journey of faith in God.
You can listen to the message by clicking on the icon below, or you can download from our podcast or iTunes.
But more than that, during his message, Paul shared a specific story that I want to re-transmit below. It’s quite a stirring story.
A few decades ago, Paul was speaking at a specific church in the US. As he looked out into the congregation, he saw a young man not too far back from the platform, one who seemed extremely disinterested in what was going on that morning within the church’s gathering. But, after the meeting ended, Paul sensed the Lord tell him to go talk with the young man. Thus, Paul headed down towards the young man and introduced himself. The young man was named Harmon Parker. Paul asked Harmon if they could get together and, not knowing why, Harmon agreed to the meeting.
Paul came to find out that Harmon’s life was headed down a very deep and dark path, as he led the life of a druggie and dropped out of school at the age of 10. But that morning that they met up together, Paul led Harmon to Jesus. Because of Harmon’s lifestyle, Paul encouraged him to move into their home, knowing he needed to make a clean break from his past. So, in his new life of following Jesus, Harmon agreed. He lived with the Petries for two full years, becoming like an older brother to their two older children.
Not too long after, Paul and Harmon headed to Kenya to start up a training school for pastors. But one unique thing that was also birthed was Harmon’s practical, humanitarian work of building bridges across rivers in the nation of Kenya. He has now built some 45 bridges to date, being well-known by many Kenyans for his work.
Just recently, out of thousands of possible choices, CNN has chosen Harmon Parker as a finalist for their Hero of the Year Award. What an amazing opportunity! As you can imagine, this recent exposure has brought much blessing and support to the work going on in Kenya.
Thus, I ask that you consider voting for Harmon Parker for CNN’s Hero of the Year Award. You can do so by clicking on this link. It is a very simple process on the website. You can actually return regularly and vote as often as you want. So don’t feel you have to be stingy. And below, you can see a brief interview with CNN about the work in Kenya.