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    A Guiding Ethic

    February 18, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    I have thoroughly appreciated the discussion stemming from the ProLife series. And I do anticipate much thinking in the next few days. I am trying not to say too much until I have more thoroughly studied the issue, as I have no desire to be caught speaking the words of a fool. But don’t worry…we will continue “putting the pieces together.”

    I didn’t want to chase the Dominion Mandate rabbit trail without first reiterating a couple points from the When a Church Embraces Life post. I began the post with this statistical summary, which I think is very important to remember:


    In the U.S., 137 Million people claim to be Christians. If only 1% of U.S. Christians made a choice to adopt one child, there would be no more children waiting to be adopted in the U.S. foster care system, and a million orphaned children from other countries would join an American family. {Families of Promise, emphasis mine}


    When I began my research into public adoptions, I became somewhat overwhelmed by the number of children in need of homes. Sometimes, in desiring to save the whole world, I forget that it is enough to simply do my part. And doing our part is always a great thing.

    Within what some call “Contemporary Christian Culture,” there are a number of celebrities. And these celebrities seem to make huge dents in eliminating the world’s major difficulties, and still have time remaining to rear children and write books about it all.

    I may feed a tired family with a brand new baby, but one of these celebrities will feed 40,000 tsunami or hurricane victims in a day. I may visit a friend who is sick, but one of these celebrities will start a ministry where every sick person in an entire city is visited every Wednesday and Saturday. If a celebrity is a guiding example of greatness, then I am very, very small.

    Remember this verse?


    Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. {Proverbs 3:27}


    I think this is a much better guiding ethic than the example of any celebrity I can think of. The measure of greatness is not determined by the number of people who know what you have done {which is what celebrity is all about, whether those being celebrated desire the fame or not}. Jesus taught us that greatness was found in the small, daily acts of service that were prepared for us to do.

    Each of us have our own “good works” that are in our power to do. I cannot rescue every child in California from foster care, and if I try to, I will be greatly discouraged. But I can try to get able families in my church to adopt one. And as we learned before, if 1% of Christians in the US adopt one child, the US problem is solved, and there is a great impact internationally as well.

    We do not need one person to rise up and do something huge and great while the rest of us applaud him. We need all of us to do the small things, and then no one person need carry the bulk of the burdens in this world.


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  • Reply Brandy February 20, 2006 at 9:24 pm

    Kimbrah! I just realized who you are. Welcome to Afterthoughts. I am about to check out your blog…

  • Reply Brandy February 20, 2006 at 4:36 pm

    Kris–I had never heard that statistic before, but it really makes perfect sense. I’ll have to remember that.

    There seems to be a lot of work out there that isn’t done because “the workers are few.” =(

  • Reply kris February 20, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    Another startling statistic:
    If all the Christians would simply tithe (which they should be doing anyway!) world hunger could be eliminated. Less than ten percent of people who call themselves Believers even tithe. This comes from “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.” (I can’t recall the author’s name.)

    Yes, we all must do our part; we should begin by doing what’s required and go from there.

  • Reply Kimbrah February 20, 2006 at 1:36 am

    I agree with you here, and it reminded me of Esther a little bit.

    When she started out she was only a girl living under her uncle’s supervision. In the end she was a queen who saved her people. All she did was make herself available to be used by God. I think any one of us can at least manage that.

    Love your blog by the way!

  • Reply Rachel Ramey February 18, 2006 at 7:39 pm

    A hearty “Amen!”

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