3371 Chattanooga Valley Road Flintstone GA 30725 706.820.2833

3371 Chattanooga Valley Road Flintstone GA 30725 706.820.2833

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Loneliness (by Hope Chairperson Heather Jones)

Loneliness: Something Both the Rich and Poor Have In Common.

There may have been times in your life where you found yourself wondering- what do I have in common with the poor? On paper, probably not much. But on the inside, we experience many of the same emotions. 
I recently moved into a house and am living by myself for the first time in my life. There are moments where I experience a deep sense of loneliness. I also recently started working at an area homeless shelter and one thing that has really struck me is that people who are poor and homeless are
sometimes really lonely and they have a deep need for community. 
There are elderly men at my agency who check their mail every day just hoping for something, even though they know no one is planning to write them. There are other people who have houses to live in and a roof over their heads and they come down to the shelter just to hang out, check in on their friends, and be around people. This is baffling to me! 
However, I think it’s a great illustration of our need for human relationships. I’ve also encountered people who want to and are trying to change but they keep running with the same crowd that makes bad choices and uses drugs. 
This is not unlike a similar conversation I had with a young girl from my church this week. She told me she was nervous to start middle school because she heard that many of the girls at this one particular school get pregnant. I encouraged her to choose wisely which friends she decides to spend time with. When you visit the poor among you, I challenge you to see yourself in them. What emotions (relational highs and lows, financial struggles, future hopes and dreams) might you share with someone who is poor? I believe that once we start to consider this, we’ll realize that we’re not as different from the poor as we think.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Should I Give?

The following is a quote from Robert Lupton of FCS Urban Ministries:
 Continual heart-responses yield diminishing returns: 
feed a person once and it elicits appreciation (oh, thank you so much);
feed him twice and it creates anticipation (wonder if he’s going to do it again);
feed him three times and it creates expectation (when is he going to do it);
 feed him four times and it becomes an entitlement (I need it now);
feed him five times and it produces dependency (you can’t stop, I’m counting on it).
Given the above, is it right to simply give a hand-out to someone in need? If so, when might it be appropriate? Surely sometimes -maybe most times- it is devastating. Learn more by contacting the Hope office.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Walking Around

I used to run through my neighborhood. Since I ran six days a week, I felt fairly confident that I knew my community quite well. I knew which street connected to which street, which ones were dead ends, and which led me to busy intersections I did not wish to cross. I knew where the dogs lived -those who were chained and those who were not. And after four years of running the same old routes, I grew tired of it. I knew it too well.

Or so I thought. After two years of running, something happened in my life that forced me to walk. I had to slow down. And when I slowed down, a different picture came into view. Homes looked more weathered than I remembered. Certain corners carried more trash than I had seen before. I made eye contact with neighbors. I talked with long-time residents and listened to front porch conversations as I passed by. The same dogs that had loved to bark and chase me were now the dogs that followed me from street to street as I made my daily rounds. I began to see that the place I called home was not the place I thought I knew at all. It had a lot more to say now that I was listening.

Take time to walk through your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors, local business owners, and leaders. Pray the the Lord would open your heart to the lonely and hurting around you and open your eyes to see those who have been right there all along.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Proud to be Here.

Read this article and discover some exciting new reasons to be a proud southerner (or like me, a proud transplant to the South).

How can we take advantage of these new opportunities?