Little Lights Urban Ministries

2003 Summer Newsletter

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LITTLE LIGHTS TIMES To fully accept the acceptance of God and to spread love to those perishing without it. Volume 3, Issue 1 In This Issue: • "What's on your Heart ?" • Prayer requests • DC Reconcilers • Camp Heaven this summer • A Very Cold Winter • "Changes" • Recent Events • "A life of shame" • Can Drive • "My frustration serving..." • Reading Heroes Make a Difference CAMP HEAVEN Summer Ministry Session 1 Jun 23 - Jul 16 Session 2 Jul 21- Aug 1 Overnight Aug 5-11 STORM Tutoring Program One-on-one tutoring Homework Club Encouraging study habits Tiny Lights Fellowship for 5-8 yr olds Tues next FALL Tu/We/Th next FALL Wed next FALL Choir Practice Wed Learning to praise joyfully next FALL Boys' Night Group devotion Summer 2003 visit: Wed next FALL Reading Heroes Program Thur One-on-one reading next FALL Youth Night Fridays Foundation in fellowship next FALL One Day Friendship Outings Sponsor & host a field trip Kids' Church Periodically hosts service Contact Info: Phone: 202-548-4021 Letter From Steve Executive Director of Little Lights Perhaps it's due to growing up Asian-American, but I tend to be non-confrontational. I do not like making people mad, especially at me. Yet, working with inner city kids and youth, and trying ever so hard to get people to care about kids who are facing hopelessness and poverty, I'm beginning to learn to overcome some of the social pressure to "not make waves." I've caused myself a lot of heartache by not being quicker to learn what "tough love" means. It still does not come naturally. I realize that in order to conform to the image of Christ I need to constantly learn loving confrontation. When, Adam sinned in the garden, God did not look the other way and just say "I forgive you." He confronted Adam and followed through on the consequences on breaking the rules. God has not changed. He does not simply turn away from sin and say, "It's okay." He confronts us when we sin and he tell us to change. We always have to remind kids in our program, "God does not play," meaning God takes your sin very seriously. Or we may say, "God is not a joke," meaning, "Don't think following Christ is all fun and games." I believe God would like to lovingly confront you today and all of us who call on the name of Jesus. He does not take sin as a joke. He understands the difficulties and stresses of life, but still calls us to repent, turn from our selfishness, and to strive toward his likeness. I heard one minister (Mo Everett) preach recently, "The church, whether white, black, brown, or red, has abandoned the poor. We are running away from the poor." We need to understand that God is confronting us on this issue. For many of us, we believe that God judged and condemned the city of Sodom for its sins of sexual immorality and violence (and indeed these sins occurred there). However, if we study Ezekiel, it states different sins as primary reasons for its condemnation. "This was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were proud and had plenty of food and lived in great comfort, but she did not help the poor and needy." God gives us warning after warning about becoming disconnecting from the poor and people in need. "Whoever ignores the poor when they cry for help will also cry for help and not be answered. (Proverbs 21:13) The parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 gives us a picture of Judgment entirely based on if we loved Jesus in the disguise of needy and hurting people. Proverbs 29:7 states, "Good people care about justice for the poor, but the wicked are not concerned." God, in his usual manner, also encourages and uses positive reinforcement and nudging as well. Proverbs 22:9 states, "Generous people will be blessed, because they share their food with the poor." Proverbs 31:8-9 states, "Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves; defend the rights of all those who have nothing. Speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy." James 1:27 states, "Religion God accepts as pure and without fault is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help, and keeping yourself free from the world's evil influence." As middle class and affluent Christians, we have too conveniently taken out passages like these out of our meditations. We have not taken passages like these (and there are many, many more) seriously enough. If we do not change, we will pass on a Christianity to our children without concern for those in need (which according to Matt. 25 is not Christianity at all). God is confronting us. He is asking, "How seriously do you take my Word? Do you tremble at my Word?" He is asking us, "Do you see my Son's nakedness, his hunger, his loneliness, his thirst?" He is asking us, "What will you then do? What will you do?" Steve

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