“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27, ESV)


Claire’s Bath

I snapped a few photos during Claire’s bath time. Here’s a photo of her cute little foot. You can see in the background the many folds she has started to develop! She’s our pretty little butterball.  smile
See all the photos of bath time, Click Here.


Extreme Makeover an Extreme Curse?

You might have heard of lotto winnings becoming more of a curse for a family when it tore relationship apart and created burdens where there were none before. In this same case, the man’s wife left him and his daughter eventually died from drug abuse. Well the Extreme Makeover television show is popular for changing a families home into an amazing castle, but there are some problems with that.

At lunch the other day a co-worker had questioned how it is that these people can afford their property tax and utilities after these extreme modifications. That’s a good question, so I Googled a bit and found some forums describing the problems that winners have experienced. Check out this forum topic, Click Here. One woman had to take up 2 jobs to pay for the increased utilities and property taxes. Another woman is now being sued over an old car accident because now the victim knows they have money. One family had adopted a bunch of orphans to win Extreme Makeover’s attention, only to send all those kids packing after the show. Locally, Bay Area residents talk about how Extreme Makeover promised some things to the city that never came to fruition. In another case, Extreme Makeover turned a rundown house in a rundown neighborhood into a mansion. But it’s still a rundown neighborhood. Who’s going to pay the premium price tag for a house that’s in the wrong location?

When you think about it, the people who are really doing the honest, charitable work are those that do it for no public recognition. Behind the scenes, under the radar of the popular public. And when we help people in need, we don’t do them any good by getting them hooked and burdened by luxury. Extreme Makeover’s strategy is to lavish excessive supplies to one person and neglect the others. The bottom line for the show is that it must gain public approval and ratings for their show and their sponsors (e.g. Sears).

Jenn and I really enjoy giving through Compassion International and World Vision. They do excellent work and distribute the resources wisely to help and effect a community of people rather than just one or two people a week. It’s amazing how a few dollars here and there can make a big difference in the lives of others. And in the case of child sponsorship, you can actually become personally touched by the warm response of a child overseas. I sponsor a child in India who refers to herself as my “loving daughter” and calls me her father. I just recently learned that her real father is a alcoholic. It’s not uncommon for me to read her letters and get choked up. If you currently don’t sponsor a child, I highly recommend it. A small amount of your money can make a world of difference to someone else.

Compassion International for child sponsorship.
World Vision for child sponsorship, emergency relief, and community development.

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