Tag Archives: charity

One of the reasons I’m careful about choosing which charities to support

Once you are on their mailing lists, it is hard to get off!

I donated money to a Campus Crusade guy about 15 years ago.  I was the leader of the Christian Employee Network Group at Compaq (and subsequently HP) and we met on several occasions.  But I eventually stopped the support because I wanted to channel it elsewhere.

But I’m still getting updates from him in the mail!

I contacted him twice to have him remove me from his distribution list.  Nothing happened, so I started just throwing them away unread.  We moved in 2003, but he somehow got the new address (I didn’t give it to him).  Then we moved in 2009 and the mail still kept coming.  We moved this year and I just got an update.  Argh!  What a waste of stamps.

This is why I primarily support our local church and then a handful of other carefully-selected charities.  I’d rather give more to fewer organizations than a little to many of them.  I am good at saying “no” to the little requests (grocery store checkout suggestions, general solicitations, etc.).  I treat it like I do my retirement investments:  I want to diversity a bit but not too much, and I want to ensure that my money is going where it can do the most good.

So my advice is to do the same: Give, because giving is fun*, but do so with discernment.

2 Corinthians 9:6–7 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

*Oh, and give because Jesus promised rewards, and He has the most credibility of anyone in the universe to back up his promises.

Matthew 6:19–21 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Do you use the Amazon Smile program?

If you use Amazon be sure you sign up for Amazon Smile and pick your favorite charity.  I love that every time we buy something from Amazon they give 0.5% to Stand to Reason.

About AmazonSmile

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice.

Every item available for purchase on http://www.amazon.com is also available on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com) at the same price. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages.

If you represent a charitable organization and you would like to learn more about registering your organization to receive AmazonSmile donations, go to org.amazon.com .

For more information about the AmazonSmile program, go to http://smile.amazon.com/about.

King David vs. the theological Left

If you ask the government to take from neighbor A by force to transfer to neighbor B, then that is not charity on your part, and certainly not something Jesus taught. He said to give your own money.  Yet the theological Left and its false teachers do this endlessly.

These people, who claim the name of Christ, should follow the example of King David when he was making an offering to the Lord: 1 Chronicles 21:24 But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

David wouldn’t even take the offerings that were given freely.  He didn’t want to just re-gift something to God.  The theological Left does something far worse than re-gifting: They advocate taking from others by force to “give” in their name.  They are greedy (wanting to keep what they have) and covetous (jealous of what others have), not generous.  Don’t let them fool you, and don’t be a part of it.

Give generously, but give your own money.

2 Corinthians 9:6–7 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

I’m with Bono on this one.

Via Bono: Only Capitalism Can End Poverty.

This is a great day. For years, Bono has been something of a pain, banging on about the need for billions of dollars in Western foreign aid to Africa. I have criticized him for ignoring the real source of African poverty – lack of capitalism – on numerous occasions.

But, unlike many who hate capitalism without reservation, Bono is open to changing his mind. Here is Bono giving capitalism its due recognition during a recent speech at Georgetown University. As the musician put it, when it comes to poverty “free enterprise is a cure.”

Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming.

According to the World Bank, global poverty is declining rapidly. In 1981, 70 percent of people in poor countries lived on less than $2 a day, while 42 percent survived on less than $1 a day. Today, 43 percent live on less than $2 a day, while 14 percent survive on less than $1. “Poverty reduction of this magnitude is unparalleled in history,” wrote Brookings Institution researchers Laurence Chandy and Geoffrey Gertz in a recent paper. “Never before have so many people been lifted out of poverty over such a brief period of time.”

Yes, we should still share with the less fortunate — preferably out of our own wallets.  But we must use good discernment with giving to ensure that it isn’t counter-productive.  Know the charities you support and ensure that they are really making a difference and are run efficiently and effectively.  Use good discernment and pray for wisdom!  But don’t forget that making people more self-sufficient may be the greatest gift.

For example, one of the reasons we love and support the AIDS Orphan mission in Kenya is that it doesn’t just cost effectively (literally $10/child/month) feed, clothe and educate these orphans (and the widows who take care of them), it also gives them life skills.  We met many kids who baked bread, sewed, did hair care, planted trees, etc. and made such good livings that they supported themselves and their siblings.  Their joy was contagious.  We feel blessed to be a small part of that and feel confident in giving to the program because we’ve seen it first hand many times and have gotten to know the leaders well over a number of years.

Roundup

Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell is only $2.99?!  You can’t afford not to buy it!

Get your teenage girls to read it by telling them it is a new book by Stephen(ie) Meyer, author of the Twilight series.  They’ll thank you later.

The Amnesty bill is a farce and one of the single most destructive pieces of legislation ever, even though — or because —  Leftists are drooling over it.  Just the rumors of it have greatly increased the number of illegal immigrants pouring into the U.S. It is the same old vested interests: Republican businessmen who can’t see 15 minutes into the future and think the low wage employees will help them, coupled with Democratic politicians who see decades of committed Democrat voters. You get more of what you reward. In this case, we are rewarding those who broke the law and punishing those who followed it.

If we just enforced the current laws requiring employers to validate citizenship/immigration status then we would solve much of the problem.

Jesus wants you to help others with your money, not the money of others. Lavishing benefits on illegal immigrants (which goes far beyond what Matthew 25 referred to) and ONLY on those who break the law to get into the country is taking money from other people (via taxes or lost jobs) and giving it to others — all the while telling yourself how nice you are!

We don’t have enough jobs for the people who are here, thanks to Obama’s successful execution of the Cloward-Piven strategy. How will we have jobs for these new people and the money to pay for their schools, welfare, medical care, etc. Has anyone noticed our $16T+ national debt and tens of trillions of unfunded liabilities? How will borrowing more money from China help anyone in the long-term?

A good post-Memorial Day reminder about a way to truly honor those who died for our freedoms: Fight to keep those freedoms alive.

I don’t know if that scene actually happened or if it was the creation of some Hollywood screenwriter, but I think there is some wisdom in Captain Miller’s message. “Earn this!” His statement to Private Ryan was simple – don’t let my sacrifice, my death on this bridge, my dying at the hands of the German army we’re fighting – don’t let that be in vain. He was telling the private to lead a worthwhile life after the war, one which would be worthy of the sacrifice of brave men who fought and died. At least that’s what *I* got out of that scene.

What does that mean to us today – not letting the sacrifice of fallen warriors be in vain? I think it means not only to exercise the freedoms they bought and secured for us, but also to be vigilant against anyone who’d try to take them. “Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel,” warned Patrick Henry. Yeah, the “give me liberty or give me death” guy.

Don’t miss this piece on The Politics of Thought Control.  It analyzes the mindset behind this true story:

Two girls grew up together and were the best of friends. Each married fine young men. One moved far away to another state. Now women, they began to drift apart in other ways, including the way they viewed the world. One became quite liberal; the other quite conservative.

On a visit home, the conservative asked the liberal about her husband’s contracting business. The liberal was comfortable admitting her husband wasn’t paying his taxes. The conservative expressed her shock. The liberal responded, “oh, don’t worry, we’re going to make a contribution to the Democratic Party.”

And it has a great summary of how, by any measure, conservatives are far more generous than Liberals.  And it isn’t just in giving to their churches, as the Liberal defenders like to claim.

• Liberals make more money than conservatives.

• Despite this income gap, conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than liberals.

• Religious conservatives give an average of $2367 per year to charity compared to $1347 for the rest of the country.

• Religious conservatives give more to secular charities than everyone else.

• Conservatives donate more blood, sweat, and tears than everyone else as measured by blood given to blood banks and personal time devoted to directly helping others.

• Brooks looked at attitudes of folks concerning distribution of income and religion. Folks who do not believe in income redistribution schemes and attend church services give away a hundred times more than folks who do believe in income redistribution schemes and don’t attend religious services.

• Secular liberals are the “whitest” and richest of the four groups Mr. Brooks identified. Nonetheless, they give 19% less to charity than religious conservatives.

Additions to the blogroll: Blog Mommas and Stretching My Faith.

Fourteen Ways Your Life Improves When You Get Your Personal Finances Under Control — some good encouragement if you aren’t there yet!

If the LGBTQX lobby really cares about equality, then why not equality for lesbians guilty of statutory rape?  Instead, they reflexively line up to support anyone who holds to their perverted sexual views.

The endless shamelessness of the baby-killers/statutory rape-hiders at Planned Parenthood.  Uh, your baby will thank you for what — having her crushed and dismembered because you didn’t want her?!   It is right up there with the deadly cynicism of their “Care. No Matter what.” slogan.  Gee, that sounds like a bit more like a pro-life slogan, not a pro-abortion slogan.  I mean, if you really cared, wouldn’t you have the baby instead of killing her?

Planned Parenthood ad, baby

Have you heard about this?  Stretched by riots, Swedish police call reinforcements.  The article is part of the problem: These are Muslims who came to their country and are soaking up all sorts of welfare benefits and demanding to be appeased at every turn.  It is rampant in Europe and creeping in the U.S.  But the article just describes them as “youths.”  Not one mention of their origin or religion.  Unlike leaders in the West, the Muslims actually think into the future and they are executing a brilliant but evil plan.  Will we wake up in the U.S., or continue to follow the useful idiots who feed others to the crocodile hoping it will eat them last? — The need for executive leadership in the White House — Obama didn’t have it, and it shows.  He is obviously behind the scandals we know about (and have you wondered about all the things we don’t know about?) — AP, Benghazi, IRS, Fox News, etc.  If he wasn’t then he’d be firing people in all these cases for their lawlessness and for not informing him. But he obviously did know about and approve the illegal actions, and he knows that if he fired them that they might not be silent about his roles. Having said that, the problem still isn’t just Obama.  It is government that is too big.  We need to make the issues about simplifying tax laws, reducing the power of the IRS, etc.

Yep.

The NY Times has come a long way — the wrong way.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.  That movie deserves to be made fun of.

Grumpy Cat and Jack and Rose on Titanic

About that “brother’s keeper” verse . . .

I rarely see Genesis 4:9 used properly, where Cain kills his brother and then cynically answers God:

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”

That’s the only place it appears in the Bible, yet President Obama and many false teachers* use it as a trump card to justify wealth redistribution.  Dinesh D’Souza exposes this hypocrisy in How I became George Obama’s ‘brother’, where he actually helps the impoverish literal brother of our rich and powerful leader.

As D’Souza notes, the argument — if true — that George has exhibited some bad behavior would not let the President off the hook for helping him.  After all, it is a Liberal mantra that George’s social conditions are the real culprit.

George’s brother is a multimillionaire and the most powerful man in the world.  Moreover, George’s brother has framed his re-election campaign around the “fair share” theme that we owe obligations to those who are less fortunate.

One of Obama’s favorite phrases comes right out of the Bible: “We are our brother’s keeper.”  Yet he has not contributed a penny to help his own brother. And evidently George does not believe, even in times of emergency, that he can turn to his brother in the White House for help.

. . .

Obama’s refusal to help George is especially surprising because George doesn’t just live in American-style poverty but rather in Third World poverty.  He lives in a shanty in the Huruma slum in Nairobi.  He gets by on a few dollars a month.  Obama also has an aunt named Hawa Auma, his father’s sister, who ekes out a living selling coal on the streets of a small village in Kenya.  She says she would like to have her teeth fixed, but she cannot afford it.  Obama hasn’t offered to help her either.

What’s going on here?  Why is President Obama so hesitant to help family members in need?

A couple of years ago, George teamed up with a British journalist Damien Lewis and the two of them published George’s story in a book called “Homeland.” Yet according to Lewis, shortly before the book’s publication in America, the publisher Simon & Schuster decided to shred the entire print run, more than 20,000 copies.  Lewis tried unsuccessfully to get an explanation from Simon & Schuster but to no avail.  He now suspects that the White House convinced Simon & Schuster that George’s story might prove embarrassing to the president.

In 2010, George also applied for a visa to come to the United States and was refused.   While George confesses that in his younger years he was a delinquent, he has never been convicted of any crime.  Moreover, he has a very good reason to visit the United States: his mother Jael Otieno lives in Atlanta.  So why would the U. S. embassy in Nairobi refuse a tourist visa to the brother of the president who just wants to spend time with his mother?

. . . So what’s the real story here?  Where’s George Obama’s “fair share”?  George’s tragic situation exposes President Obama as a hypocrite.  Here is a man who demands that others pay higher taxes to help the poor—even poor people who are not related to them—while Obama himself refuses to help a close relative like George.

Yet I believe there is a deeper explanation that goes beyond hypocrisy for why Obama wants nothing to do with George.   After all, it would cost Obama so little to raise George out of poverty, and yet he won’t do it.  This isn’t mere negligence; it suggests an active animus.   . . .

No wonder President Obama despises George, doesn’t want him around, doesn’t care to hear George’s views circulated in America, and won’t lift a finger to help him even when George’s son is in the hospital.

 

Christians love to give their own money to help the truly needy.  But the Bible is clear: If you can work but don’t, then you don’t eat.  And it isn’t charity to ask “Caesar” to take from neighbor A by force to “give” to neighbor B.

Even if that verse meant that we are to be our “brother’s keeper” in the sense that they use it, then we’d be obliged to do that with our money, not our neighbor’s.  And those using that line should start with their literal brothers.

*False teachers include people like Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis and race-baiting Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie, who reflexively take the “brother’s keeper” line out of context.  

Discernment in giving

It isn’t enough just to donate money.  We need to be good stewards of what God gave us and ensure we are donating to trustworthy and effective organizations.  I was encouraged by this article by Kevin DeYoung on Help for the Poor that Really Helps.  The ministries we’ve supported in Kenya, Honduras and elsewhere do these things well.

Note how low fair-trade coffee is relative to other endeavors.  Oh, and note how clicking the “Like” button on Facebook isn’t on the list.

Christians can too easily settle for good intentions. We usually support programs that make us feel good without considering whether they actually do good. We need to be smarter about actually thinking through which poverty strategies are most effective. “To answer this question” Wydick writes, “I polled top development economists who specialize in analyzing development programs. I asked them to rate, from 0 to 10, some of the most common poverty interventions to which ordinary people donate their money, in terms of impact and cost-effectiveness per donated dollar.”

These were the results:

1. Get clean water to rural villages (Rating: 8.3)

2. Fund de-worming treatments for children (Rating: 7.8)

3. Provide mosquito nets (Rating: 7.3)

4. Sponsor a child (Rating: 6.9)

5. Give wood-burning stoves (Rating: 6.0)

6. Give a micro-finance loan (Rating 4.2)

7. Fund reparative surgeries (Rating: 3.9)

8. Donate a farm animal (Rating 3.8)

9. Drink fair-trade coffee (Rating. 1.9)

10. Give a kid a laptop (1.8)

Of course, we want to ensure that these ministries are sharing the Gospel with people as well.  Poor people without Jesus go to Hell just like rich people without Jesus do.