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Thoughts from a Great Book, Part 2

October 28, 2010

A special thanks to Shane Coffman for connecting me with the book Bridges Out of Poverty by Ruby K. Payne. Memorial Drive Church of Christ is doing a Wednesday night study event based on this work and since I am busy those nights Shane hooked me out. Memorial Drive is a great place with great people making a difference in the Kingdom. That doesn’t even include the Tulsa Workshop, can’t say enough good things.

Helping people in need. I see it all of the time. People make requests all of the time. What is truly help though? Better yet, how do we truly help people who are in need. Is it acceptable to work in a way that only helps them continue in their current situation?

Help me out, what do you think? If what I am doing only insures that the status quo continues is it really help?

One of the best indicators for someone moving out of poverty is someone willing to walk with the person making the move. Someone who is already in the middle class reaches down and gives someone a hand up. They help them navigate all of the unwritten rules of the group.

This is a great area of information in the book. The book shows that each area has life skills that are needed to survive and fit in. If you don’t know them it is hard to make it. Let me share just a few.

Do you know which churches and sections of town have the best rummage sales?

Do you know how to get someone out of jail?

Do you know how to live without a checking account?

Could you move in half a day?

Could you get by without a car?

Are you very good at trading and bartering?

Every group of people have unwritten rules, ways of getting by, that are developed. Now some of you may be saying why would I need to know any of that? Well guess what, people in a different place not only do know all of them, they also may think the same about your unwritten rules. They may not know them as well and may have similar feelings about knowing them.

Do you know how to get your children into Little League?

Do you know how to set a table properly?

Do you know which stores carry the brands you can afford and like?

Do you talk to your children about going to college?

Do you know how to shop for a low interest rate when buying a car?

I could go on but hopefully you get the point. You probably don’t recognize how many unwritten rules you have in your life. How many things you do without thinking, but guess what, a group of people don’t understand any of this. They don’t know how to navigate by these rules and can we see how they might not even want to?

If we take Jesus words to heart won’t we want to help people out of poverty? Can we see how they would need a guide? Someone who cares enough to say I want to help? I will walk with you as you become more self-sufficient?

It certainly challenges me.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. brian permalink
    October 28, 2010 5:57 pm

    had this this recommended to me recently and plan to read it, thanks

  2. October 28, 2010 6:54 pm

    I’m Shanxi from Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA), a sponsorship organization based in Kansas City, Kansas. Thanks for your blog post – I’ll put “Bridges Out of Poverty” on my reading list!

    One sentence that struck me: “One of the best indicators for someone moving out of poverty is someone willing to walk with the person making the move.” CFCA’s president and co-founder, Bob Hentzen, is literally walking with people living in poverty in an 8,000-mile trek through 12 countries. It’s called “Walk2gether.” It’s an amazing story, and one of the reasons why I’m working here.

    Thanks again for posting!

    God bless,
    Shanxi from CFCA

  3. October 28, 2010 7:07 pm

    Shanxi, went and looked at the site. Thanks for stopping in.

  4. October 28, 2010 7:07 pm

    Brian, the author does several books that I am reading. Hope the book is a blessing.

  5. November 22, 2010 8:15 am

    struggle…muddle…grumble…desire to do more… keep bumping into those who just want to take advantage, not make any differences… guess I don’t know the rules … I have another book by Payne in that infamous ‘to read’ stack. Thanks.

  6. November 22, 2010 9:04 pm

    What is the book that you have?

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