want to try kiva?

i have been intrigued by microloans for quite some time. i have considered and continue to pray about starting some microloans in the work we are a part of with the baltodanos in diriamba.

through a random tweet today i discovered that the microloan site kiva has a pretty cool thing going on at the moment. they will give you $25 free to do a microloan with. i took them up on the offer and loaned my free $25 to group of ladies who have developed a communal bank to help them sell cellphone recharges, make tortillas, make dresses, butcher pigs, and sell curd and ice cream in the roble community. at the moment almost two-thirds of these free trials have been claimed. so if you want to try microloans and kiva for free you need to do it now. go here.

using what you have

the first methodist church of madison has been given a choice – free parking or helping the homeless. here’s an article on the situation. fred mohs, a lawyer and owner of a parking ramp in madison, wisconsin, has given first methodist free parking on his parking ramp for 18 years. this changed recently when mohs decided that the fact that the church operates as an overflow homeless shelter when it is cold is destructive to the wisconsin avenue area of madison. he gave the choice of continuing to have free parking as long as they no longer run the shelter. thankfully the church chose to give up the free parking. mohs has said that the church can regain the free parking whenever it gets rid of the overflow homeless shelter.

while i disagree with mr. mohs i am a firm believer that he has the right to say that first methodist can only use his parking lot if they agree with what he wants. i think what he is doing is stupid but i do think that he has the right to do it. other than governmental situations we should never have to financially support actions that we idealogically disagree with (i’m not even completely sure of governmental demands). of course, this cuts both ways. i don’t think that anyone who values what first methodist is doing should ever consider using the services of or supporting financially what mr. mohs is doing. i don’t plan on using associated with fred mohs.

if you want to email support to the church you can email pastor keith schroerlucke here.

my run for the day
distance – 7.0 miles
time – 1:14:18
pace – 10:37/mile
weather – 45º/sunny

you've got to be kidding

i can’t believe that three of y’all have already contributed to me doing the polar plunge. i posted about it yesterday and i really figured no one would contribute. then low and below jim, jill, and eric have already thrown some money in the till. woohoo!

of course, the said news is that this means i have to go through with it now. i was hoping to talk like was going to do this and then let people forget about it. now, nobody is going to forget about it. thanks guys.

is it irony or hypocrisy?

peta has been nailed for putting to death more than 97% of the companion animals (dogs, cats, etc.) that are brought to their shelters. i was a little surprised when i read this article and was hit by the fact that in 2006 3,061 companion animals were brought to peta shelters and 2,981 of those animals were euthanized . in fact, peta was only able to find actual adoptive homes for 12 of those animals.

at first i thought this might just be the nature of an animal shelter but apparently humane society shelters only euthanize about 35% of the animals that are brought to them. that’s a big difference.

pam and i are strong believers in rescuing animals. our household has two dogs and two cats in it and 3 of these animals were rescues. i think rescuing an animal is the way to go. that’s why i’m a little confused by the actions of peta found within this report.

come on peta. your shelters should be the best instead of the worst. your shelters are a chance for you to make a real difference in an area that most of the general population can actually see. i might be more prone to agree with you on other issues if i actually saw you doing an extraordinary job with the animals i already know and love. if you can’t do it better than the humane society then do all the animals a favor and stay out of the business of running shelters.

of course, the same thing is true for the church. people will be more willing to listen to what we have to say about the “big” things if they see us doing an extraordinary job on the the “little” things. consider what the pliny the younger, the roman governor of pontus/bithynia from 111-113 ad, said concerning the early CHRISTians? in correspondence to emporer trajan he indicated that the CHRISTians not only took care of their own poor but did a better job of taking care of the roman poor than the romans did. no wonder so many started following the early fathers & mothers of the CHRISTian church.

if only, we could follow in those shoes.

if only.

freezin for a reason

february 2nd i’m going to try another winter activity that i have always wanted to do … a polar plunge. i’m going to be joining others in the stevens point polar plunge and jump into the freezing waters of the wisconsin river. oh yeah! i can’t wait. i’m honestly smiling while i am typing this post.

the event is being run by the wisconsin special olympics as a fund raiser so if you would like to shell out a little dough to sponsor me in freezing off my hind quarters you can do so by visiting my polar plunge page. just click here. the money goes to a good cause so you might want to consider it.

one line

i’ve posted before about the one campaign and my belief that you should be a part of it. yet i wanted to post again because the email they sent out today really made sense. it’s a little action but it could make a big difference in the developing world. here’s part of that email:

… in some places in the developing world, there is only one line for one name on property ownership forms. this one line may not seem like a big deal, but it works to systematically deny a woman property rights, blocks her from getting the credit she needs to build a business, and forces her to fight for her home if her husband dies—because that one line is for a man’s name.

the solution is as simple as adding another line so that a husband and wife may both own their family’s land.

the way we in the u.s of a. help encourage adding one line is through the growth act. the act works with property rights. micro loans (a very cool thing), and employment opportunities for women in developing countries. by improving conditions within developing countries we help to make our own country safer.

to learn more and possibly send a letter to your governmental representatives go to www.one.org/growthact.

remember to pray for the austins

i should have posted this yesterday so please forgive me for a little late notice. for all you who know and love the austins (those who don’t know the austins just trust me that you would love the austins if you knew them – they’re just the type of people that you have to love) if you don’t already know then i want to inform you that they are just fine after the earthquakes that hit peru. they are now going through the process of determining how they and the imb (international mission board) can best show the love of JESUS in meeting the needs around them. you can go to their blog (http://hands-n-feet.blogspot.com/) for better updates.

remember to pray for the austins. in fact, it might be a good idea for many of us to commit to praying for them and the people of peru daily over the next month. if you are up for this or just want to drop them a line then email them at (each family member’s first name@reapsouth.org – i.e. arnold (at) reapsouth.org, susie (at) reapsouth.org, alisha …, ben …, and patrich …)

right now one way you can send some help to peru is through world vision’s disaster recovery fund. world vision is an excellent relief agency. the austins will be updating their blog over the next few days with other more specific manners in which we can be of help to the people of peru.