Thursday, December 2, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Good take on Proverbs 30

"Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the LORD?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God."
-Proverbs 30:7-9

1. Keep falsehood and lies far from me
2. Give me neither poverty nor riches

What a dangerous prayer to pray!  'Give us this day our daily bread' is often prayed but it's prayed with the expectation that God will provide what we need plus more.  What Francis Chan is challenging us with is something you will almost NEVER hear in a typical Sunday sermon.

Give me only my daily bread.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

CCDA Reflections & More

1. We need to move beyond one-way relationships.  We need to think creatively on how to move to two-way and ultimately three-way relationships.  It's all about empowerment.  One-way relationships foster dependency and strip away dignity.  Two and three way relationships are all about empowering individuals and restoring dignity.  A Three-Way Partnership

2. Books and resources that have shaped my thinking on God and ministry are great at teaching principles but not necessarily meant for setting the standard.  It was encouraging to hear other people struggle with the same kind of questions and come up with completely different answers.  I've unfortunately begun to think of certain christian community development principles as absolute practices that must be followed strictly.  However, what has worked for one family might not work the same for another family.  And as I came to realize last week.. it's ok.  I shouldn't be discouraged because our (Emily and I) path has looked different to this point.

3. Relationships are so much more important than any bit of knowledge that I expected to gain from the conference.  I missed half of the main sessions because I was engaged in some deep conversations with friends that I know I'll be in ministry partnership with for a long time.  I don't regret it at all.  I think a big reason why I love CCDA, is that it's for people to network with like-minded individuals.  It provides a safe place for these kind of life-giving relationships to be maintained.  I am continually encouraged and spurred on by many of my CCDA friends!

4. The landscape for urban ministries and the inner city is rapidly changing.  For the good and the bad.  NOW is the time to implement different practices to make sure the poor are also beneficiaries to the new norm of our American cities being gentrified and taken over with a new type of urban dweller.

5. It's ultimately about God and his gospel and not us.  God had the vision for CCDA long before it was founded.  He needs to continually get the glory and not us (Matthew 5:16).

6. We need to be about the best thing, Jesus.

7. On a personal note, I miss Chicago!

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Little Leaven

On August 13th we will be hosting a neighborhood block party at the Bragg St. Mini Park.  After brainstorming about ways to continue our outreach to our neighbors in South Park, we have decided to host a block party.  The vision is for this to be a South Park neighborhood block party.  Not to be exclusive (all are really invited!), but to highlight and demonstrate the capacity that South Park has when residents and community partners come together for good.

Little did we know that God has much bigger ideas than we could ever imagine for this event.   Through our network of relationships, BB&T has committed to coming alongside us at n2n and South Park by not only providing volunteers but funding as well!  Hopefully out of this will come not just manpower and funding, but a long lasting relationship between a national branch bank and those who reside in South Park. 

I’ve heard it said one time, that “everything depends on the vision”.  If we take that to be true, then our vision for this event is not just a onetime block party with food, fun and games.  Instead we envision this becoming an annual summer event (if not more) that will only get better as people of resource are bridged to the people of South Park.  Maybe out of this event, we will be able to connect our neighbors with personal finance classes and budgeting workshops.  With the need for affordable housing rising in a neighborhood that is primarily (90+%) renter occupied, maybe we will be able to offer home ownership as an option by making available low/moderate income housing loans.

The property across from n2n, 4 acres of an old city bus depot, is what I like to describe “the key to the neighborhood”.  I truly believe that whatever that becomes, the neighborhood will ultimately reflect.  Maybe out of this we will be able to link people who aren't business savvy with those that are, and with those who want to start a business with those that have already started them before?  In 10 years that property could be filled with businesses, shops, restaurants, etc. that provide goods and services to South Park.  The adjacent streets could be filled with families who now own instead of rent their homes. Instead of disinvestment in the neighborhood there will investment.  Instead of the dollar constantly leaving the neighborhood it will circulate hands multiple times and create an economic machine within South Park.

Does a massive exodus of the residents of South Park need to happen in order for this vision to be fulfilled?  Not at all!  The capacity to do all of this is already here.  The bridge that is being built to those of resource is all that’s needed.

Is this too lofty or ambitious of a vision?  When looking with kingdom eyes, I believe it is not.  It is simply a movement of God’s people and the kingdom of God at work, on earth as it is in heaven.

So we pray that August 13th will be the spark that will start a really big fire.  I mean it only takes a little leaven to make the whole loaf rise, right?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Colorado 14ers

Mt. Huron - Elev. 14,003 ft.

Mt. Oxford - Elev. 14,153 ft.

View from Mt. Belford - Elev. 14,197 ft.  (Mt. Oxford in the distance)
Mt. Massive Golf Course - Highest in America

Monday, July 12, 2010

Conflicting Value Systems

I saw a link to a poll asking if people (presumably Americans) agreed with the new immigration law in Arizona.  95% of the people sadly said they agreed with it.

This is a clear example structural sin that must not be ignored by the faith community.  Structural sin that needs changes to come from the top.

When I say conflicting values systems I'm talking about Kingdom values vs. American values.  Kingdom values recognize that we shouldn't oppress and do wrong to the immigrant among us but instead we should have compassion and love them as ourselves:

"And if a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.  The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord, your God." -Leviticus 19:33-34

American values on the other hand see the immigrant among us as a threat and that they are a "problem".

There might actually be a third and arguably more dangerous value system that is a cross between American and Kingdom values.  Comprised of the fusion between both so that there isn't much distinction.  The kind of value system that will take a stand on something and fight with fervor that it is the will of God or the most God-like.  Most notably, taking a side on a critical issue and deeming it the Christian thing to do and demonizing the other side.

I read this open letter by faith leaders to President Obama and I hope he actually reads these kind of things.  While I enjoyed all of it, I especially liked the phrasing from the Hindu scripture that said, "The guest us a representative of God."  Goes in line with the Christian Bible that whatever we to the "least of these" we do unto Jesus (Matthew 25:40).

With all that said, the issue on immigration is critical, people of faith need to take a stand and recoginize this as a structual sin, we need to work towards change, raise awareness, not stand idle and pray that changes can happen from the top.

Here is the open letter to President Obama by America's faith community leaders: Dear President Obama

Thursday, June 10, 2010

We're Just Selling the Wrong Thing

The following is a write up from when David Spickard, CEO Jobs for Life, came and visited one of our S.O.A.R. Jobs for Life classes.  I remember this particular class very well as it was one of my favorites so far:

We're Just Selling the Wrong Thing 
June 09, 2010 
David Spickard, CEO Jobs for Life
Recently, I visited a Jobs for Life class and listened to the conversation as the students and champions discussed the Parable of the Talents.  In the story, Jesus describes a man who entrusts his servants with talents.  To one, he gives five, another three, and another one.  The story goes on to describe how each servant used the talents he was given.

As the students discussed the story, they began to uncover the talents they've been given and the way they have used those talents.  This particular class is part of a city effort to reduce gang violence and the students are young men mostly 18-25 years old with prison records and a history of gang involvement. 

The discussion became more and more animated until one student raised his hand.  When he began to speak, you could hear a pin drop.

He said, "You know God has given us so many talents.  I bet you everyone in this room knows how to be a great salesperson.  We target our market, know our product, we're great communicators, and we work extremely hard.  After all, we stand out on the street corner selling all day...We're just selling the wrong thing."

The silence was then interrupted by laughter, everyone realizing his point and wondering what it meant for them.

Sitting there listening, I was struck by the laughter.  Why is that funny?  How could standing on the street corner selling drugs all day be something to laugh at?  I then realized what is painfully true...Selling drugs for this group is as ordinary and normal as it is for me to get up and go to work at Jobs for Life each day.  It's the industry of the community, their way to make a living, feel valued, and create a legacy.
The conversation continued.  One after the other began to build on the idea that God created them with unique gifts and talents and He meant for them to use them for good, not evil.  One talked about making a brighter future for his kids, another talked about wanting to be a positive influence in his community, still another talked about the dreams he had to own his own business.  

As they spoke, I thought to myself, "I wish every businessperson in this city could hear this conversation."  These men are gifted, they're talented, and they desire good, not evil.  They would be a tremendous asset to anyone who hired them.

Who knows what they'll be selling then?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why Character Matters

 "Character is a slowly forming thing.  You can no more force character on someone than you can force a tree to produce fruit when it isn't ready to do so.  The person has to choose, again and again, to develop moral muscles and skills which will shape and form the fully flourishing character." -N.T. Wright

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book Review: After You Believe

Another great resource for what happens between the point where we believe and the life on earth after that. Not enough could be said about that middle period in which he believe (and thus are saved) and in the time when we will spend it with God in eternity. N.T. Wright again does a great job of putting the Bible in its original context in order to speak to 21st century listeners.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kingdom Networking / S.O.A.R.

When I reflect upon my personal employment history, I've worked as a busboy, a waiter, a babysitter, a land development intern, a roadway engineer, and as an outreach worker here at Neighbor to Neighbor (n2n). While all those jobs on the surface might be unrelated, there is a key link between all of them. To get my foot in the door, I needed a connection. While they are needed and very helpful, I didn't need a youth employment program or anything else along those lines. I simply needed a connected neighbor that was willing to share their networks with me.

We are about to begin the S.O.A.R. program (more information below). Within our S.O.A.R program we have a 30-hr paid internship available for each participant that completes the 8-week Jobs for Life training curriculum. Upon completion, we will have a graduation and a job fair aimed at placing each participant with a career-based employer.

Below is a list which identifies our participant's work experience and/or key areas of interest. If  you, your employer or someone you know would consider bringing on an intern during the month of July, please have them call or email Cas directly and he will personally meet with them and discuss in detail the program and each participant.

Participants key areas of experience and interest:
  • Truck Driver
  • Moving Company
  • Landscaping
  • Warehouse
  • Painter
  • Computer network/IT
  • Interior Design
  • Light Construction
  • Retail
  • Business (office assistance)
  • Building Maintenance
  • Youth Outreach
  • Restaurant/Cooking/Wait staff
  • Carpenter (licensed)
  • Metal Stud Framing
At n2n we are called to build communities of hope, justice, and compassion. Lack of opportunity and resources is a justice issue. Come partner with us as we aim to provide equal access to the resources of God's kingdom.

your networks and connections are vital to the success of the S.O.A.R. project. Would you consider partnering with us by sharing your networks and connections?

Information on the S.O.A.R. Project:  S.O.A.R. (Southeast Raleigh Pastors Organizing for Action and Results) is a collaborative group of churches and non-profits that desire to see significant change in the gang crisis affecting our city. This project seeks to target 20 young men, 18 and older, who are at-risk of gang involvement, and provide them with job-training, internships, male mentors and various support services. This project has been funded by the Department of Juvenile Justice and will fuse Jobs for Life curriculum, male mentorship and a MAD House Basketball-type league. Upon graduation from the Jobs for Life class each participant in the program will receive a paid 30 hour internship at a place of employment.

To get a hold of Casanova (Cas) Womack, our S.O.A.R. Director, call him directly at 919-389-6301 or email him at

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Misguided Cuts

One of the headlines today in the New York Times read: School Districts Warn of Even Deeper Teacher Cuts

"School districts around the country, forced to resort to drastic money-saving measures, are warning hundreds of thousands of teachers that their jobs may be eliminated in June."

Budget cuts.  Money-saving measures.  What that is, is simply sacrificing the future for the present.

Couple that with the fact that prisons look at 2nd/3rd grade test scores to determine how many prisons they should build to accommodate the future prison population.. and you have a very broken, very twisted link between the present state of education in our country and the future prison population.

Geoffrey Canada says, that right now we are experiencing the "educational equivalent of Hurricane Katrina".  Sadly, I think he may be right.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Our Vegetable Garden

The garden box is 4' x 8'.  Once we prepared the soil we (Emily and I) dug trenches to put in our border.  If you are facing west (or away from the road) the slope in our yard goes to the back left corner of our box.  If you look closely you can see some stones (or riprap for all my civils out there) that will act as erosion control because it drains to that corner (the wood along that edge is purposely not as deep as it should be so there is a gap of about 4 inches at that corner).  You can't see it well, but the rows are diagonal so that the water will flow towards that corner.  My North Carolina State education is going to work!  I usually don't post personal stuff like this on here.. but I was just too excited about how great this thing turned out.

Hopefully we'll be able to grow romaine lettuce, jalapenos, green peppers, basil, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Welcoming "Reform"

"Let's look at the word "reform."  In essence, it is an attempt to fix what is broken.  The health care system was working for some and not working for others.  All this unnecessary drama over something that was broken and needed fixing.  Let's have some civility here and stop the name calling.  This is not socialism, Marxism, or Fascism, or whatever -ism is your favorite hate-filled word.  The best of what government can do is to look out for the well being of all people, not just the privileged few.  It won't always get it right, but I like to see the government at least try." (taken from a blog post by Dr. Soong-Chan Rah)

Too often we emphasize individual sin and neglect systematic/structural sins in our society.  If we ourselves as individuals are sinful, the systems we create are by default sinful as well.  It seems then that "reform" (aka 'an attempt to fix what is broken') should be something that we welcome instead of resist.  Whether it's reform to our education, immigration, criminal justice, or health care systems (etc.).

As Christ followers, instead of reacting with hostility and angst when the word "reform" gets tagged alongside anything, let's welcome it recognizing that the sinful systems we've created will always need to be reformed.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Fresh Take

I posted this on another blog site that my bible study on Wednesday nights keeps up with.  It's primarily talking about the passage in Luke 10:25-37 about the Good Samaritan.  Thought I'd share it on here as well, especially since I've been slack recently about keeping this updated:

The main point of this story growing up has always been about how to be like the Good Samaritan.  With our task being to try to live a more compassionate life and extending mercy to those in need.  There are obviously more things you can draw out from this passage, but for the most part this is the main message that is communicated.

I think the fact that the focal point of the story is an interaction between a Jew and a Samaritan can’t be overlooked.  We know from Sunday school and from sermons that there was hostility between the two but it’s not something that truly resonates with us.  Here are a few real life examples that I wrote down that help me (and hopefully you too) put it into perspective:
  • Native Americans (oppressed) and early European colonialists (oppressors)
  • Jews (oppressed) and Nazis (oppressors)
  • African slaves (oppressed) and White slave owners (oppressors)
  • Undocumented immigrants (oppressed) and “Americans" (oppressors)
You could take any of those instances and plug them into the story and it gives the same effect.  For example, if Jesus was living in Nazi Germany and was talking to an audience of Nazis and explained that it was a Jew who was the neighbor to the wounded Nazi on the side of the road imagine the uproar.  It most definitely would not be a footnote.  Or if Jesus lived during the time when there was slavery in America.  Imagine Jesus telling this story to a bunch of White slave owning southerners and it was an African slave (who to them was 3/5 of a person at best) who was the neighbor to the wounded white slave owner imagine the uproar. Again, it would definitely not be a footnote.

Luke doesn't necessarily capture the scene that I'm almost certain ensued but that shouldn't take away from the fact that it is central to the story.

Last night I suggested that the story of the Good Samaritan is all about Reconciliation.  Not just racial reconciliation as it might come off, but Reconciliation.  Reconciliation is not just about race.  Though race is a huge part of it, the Reconciliation that God calls us to be about includes every system in the human world (socioeconomic, family, gender, etc.).

The Gospel simply doesn't reconcile us to God but it also reconciles us to others.  That's why this story is to key.  Two people, polar opposites, and the neighbor (the oppressed one) helps the wounded man (oppressor) and they are reconciled to one another.

I really hope that doesn't come off as harsh.  We are no where near that point.  I just happened to use extreme examples (Jews and Nazis for example) to drive my point home.

Maybe you know the feeling of getting home from a mission trip, service project, or something like that and we have this overwhelming feeling like 
we've been the ones changed.  Showing that in more cases then we want to admit, we need these kind of relationships that are living giving both ways (reciprocal relationships).

Examining our own lives, where are situations where we can let others love, encourage, and teach us?  Especially from people we would least likely expect to receive love, encouragement, and learn from.  Like Kyle said, we're almost taught to have this Christian mindset where we need to be going out and sharing our faith and living out the Gospel to be a light to others.  But what if being in that mindset causes us to not see our need for others.  Maybe we need someone who fits that 'Good Samaritan' mold in our lives and are incomplete and lacking when we don't allow those kind of reciprocal relationships to form.

Let us pray that God would give us the eyes to see and the heart to receive love and encouragement from co-workers, non-believers, those on the margins of society, and those who we would least likely expect.  And pray that God would reveal to us our need to cross all barriers for the Gospel.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Creative Capitalism

"Progress means not changing, but changing for the better." -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I say that because as I read Creative Capitalism I was encouraged that these big successful business men were coming to the conclusion that the current way that we do things (the 'system') doesn't work for all (the poor in particular) and needs to be amended.  Not to say we need to have a complete overhaul, but that change (progress) needs to happen because it would be for the better.

At the same time I was reading about Creative Capitalism, these words, spoken by Christian community developers, continued to ring loudly: "How can we harness market forces so that the poor are also beneficiaries."

The following is an exerpt from the book (an executive summary of Creative Capitalism).  Whether or not it will come to fruition is debateable.  But I'm thankful that God is bringing business/economic savvy people to the table, regardless if they recognize that it's Him changing their hearts or not!  (disclaimer: I don't necessarily agree with all of the wording or reasoning but I think it's still a good step in the right direction.)

1. Today's miracles of technology benefit only those who can afford them.  Markets respond only to "demand", not to "need".

2. This is a systematic flaw in the free-market system.  Further technological innovation is less important than systematic innovation to mend this flaw.

3. The world is getting better, but not fast enough and not for everyone.  Great advances in technology therefore make inequity worse.  About a billion people are left out.  For example, climate change will impose the worst effects on those least responsible for it.

4. Why?  Because in "a system of pure capitalism," the incentive to serve people rises as their wealth rises and falls as their wealth falls.  This system needs to be changed so that there is incentive to serve poor people too.

5. Self-interest is just one or two forces in human nature.  The other is "caring for others."  The genius of capitalism is that it makes self-interest serve the general interest.  Philanthropy and government are supposed to address our "caring for others," but there isn't enough philanthropic or government money to solve the world's problems.

6. A revised capitalist system would both make a profit and improve the lives of the have-nots.

7. A revised system should use profit incentives where possible.  But even where profits are not possible, there is a market-based incentive that can be used: recognition.  Positive recognition is good for a company's reputation, good for attracting customers, and good for attracting employees.

8. Creative capitalism is a system where incentives for both profit and recognition motivate both self-interest and caring for others.

9. Under creative capitalism governments, businesses, and non-profits work together.

10. "This hybrid engine of self-interest and concern for others serves a much wider circle of people that can be reached by self-interest or caring alone."

11. Example: Corporation donating money or products.  Or, even better, corporations spending money or using technology to find new markets in poor countries.

12. Example: "tiered pricing."  A drug company has a valuable patent and charges full monopoly price in the developed world, but lets poor-world manufacturers produce less than one dollar a dose.

13. Sometimes there is a "direct role for government": creating market incentives for companies to help the poor.  For example, the FDA rules that if you develop a new treatment for a neglected disease, you get priority review by the FDA for some other drug.

14. Another approach: Help poor-world businesses do business in developed world.

15. Another example: the Bono ("RED" campaign) model.  Sell products with a small percentage of the profits going to worthy causes in the poor world.  People will pay more for products associated with these causes.

16. "What unifies all forms of creative capitalism is that they are market-driven efforts to bring solutions we take for granted to people who can't get them."

17. Corporations should allow "top innovators" to spend part of their time on issues facing people too poor to be customers.  This "takes the brainpower that makes life better for the richest, and dedicates it to improving the lives of everyone else."

Now that is and would be progress.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


"Ancient Hebrew wisdom describes four levels of charity.  The highest level is to provide a job for one in need without his knowledge that you provided it.  The next, lower level is to produce work that the needy one knows you provided.  The third level is to give an anonymous gift to meet an immediate need.  The lowest level of charity, to be avoided if at all possible, is to give a poor person a gift with his full knowledge that you are the donor." -Bob Lupton, Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life

Levels of Charity:

1. Providing a job without the recipient knowing who provided it
2. Providing work and the recipient knows it was you that provided it
3. Giving a gift anonymously to meet an immediate need
4. Giving a gift and the recipient knows it was you that provided it

This is interesting.  I'm sure the most frequently practiced levels of charity go from numbers 4 through 1.  It's also true that it's easier to perform level 4 charity and subsequently harder to perform three than it is two and one.

Maybe you have to start at number four before you can move to other higher forms of charity.  Number four then being the bottom or base of compassion.. an entry way so to speak.  If anybody is interested in reading more about how to go from betterment to development, or to go deeper into development.  I'd suggest reading Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life.  This book and others have helped to shape my thinking when it comes to ministry to the poor.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I'm not sure the background of the author, but the book is not in the Christian mainstream by any means (Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell).  Not to say he doesn't have a faith background (?), but I love the conclusions that he makes.

A professor that specialized in intelligence testing, set out to do a unique study.  The professor in charge of this experiment ran all of the necessary tests over and over on California school children in the 1920's.  He ran them until he had found literal child geniuses, 730 total.  He and a team of people followed them all through their lives and some of them lived up to the billing of being a genius and made a name for themselves (Group A).  Some of them kind of did, but definitely not to the level you'd expect (Group B).  And others not at all (Group C).

It was essentially billed as a failed social experiment because it was thought that with the right IQ, it would be almost impossible to not 'succeed'.  However, as life played itself out among these 730 children, results were varied.


If you know the story of Bill Gates, Bill Joy, or even the Beatles then you know that they had immense amount of intelligence and talent.  If you take a close look at their lives and their career, you'll see that coupled with this immense amount of intelligence and talent was extraordinary opportunities, timing, and let's face it.. luck.  (To get the details of their story and more read the book).  In other word's forces outside themselves were arguably the biggest catalyst for their success.


Back to the children now.  So if these children (the C's, who are now adults) didn't make a name for themselves and weren't able to leverage their intelligence and talent to its full potential, then what happened?  Or better yet, what didn't happen?

Here is the first half of the author's conclusion:

"The results were deeply distressing.  Let's not forget how highly gifted the C's were.  If you had met them at five or six years of age, you would have been overwhelmed by their curiosity and mental agility and sparkle.  They were true outliers.  The plain truth of the study, however, is that in the end almost none of the genius children from the lowest social and economic class ended up making a name for themselves."

This is the first half, and if you stopped there what kind of conclusions would you make?  If you were asked to pinpoint the problem or figure out who is to blame, you would undoubtedly blame the parents for lack of support or the individual person because it must have been something that they did to squander all of their God-given gifts.

But if anything can be learned from the story of Bill Gates, Bill Joy, or the Beatles, (again saving the details.. just read the book trust me) they each required something far more than just themselves to help propel them to reach their full potential.

Here is the second half of the author's conclusion:

"What did the C's lack, though?  Not something expensive or impossible to find; not something encoded in DNA or hardwired into the circuits of their brains.  They lacked something that we could have been given to them if we'd only known they needed it:  a community around them that prepared them properly for the world.  The C's were squandered talent.  But they didn't need to be."  (emphasis added)

The C's lacked opportunities, they lacked a caring network of adults, they lacked a way to the mainstream, they were isolated, they were cut off.

If we take an honest look at our lives, we'll see that our achievement is less about our talent than it is about the opportunities that we've been given.  I mean seriously, how any times have I said, heard, or seen it in practice about how "it's all about connections."  Whether it pertains to getting an interview, a job, into college, etc.

We are all about building communities of hope, justice, and compassion at n2n.  Built into that, is creating networks that result in communities of hope, justice and compassion.  Bridging people and connecting people together that otherwise would never have had any interaction and contact.  The HOSTS mentoring program at n2n is a great example of that.  Pairing caring adults with youth.  And like I've said before, the relationships that form in HOSTS go both ways.  The mentor and the mentee need each other and they are not complete without one another. (read: A Lasting Picture)

Because like Malcolm Gladwell said, they (the C's) lacked something we could have been giving to them if we'd only known they needed it.  All youth need to be surrounded by a network of caring adults.  Adults that choose to leverage their gifts and talents for others because there is not equal access to the resources of God's creation.

How God's kingdom works though, is that when we look at these youth and see that they need something that we have.. God flips the script.  And says, no it's actually you that's lacking and needs to be changed too.  Reciprocity.

People aren't granted with equal access to God's creation (that's a justice issue).  In terms of what it means to be Christian, what kind of emotions does this evoke in us?  And what are some practical ways that we can move beyond and into action?