Do This

One thing I especially like about the Asbury Reader is the “Do This” feature. Each day a new suggestion is given. Here are those from so far this semester.

  • Connect with a group of migrant workers or farmers who grow your food and visit their farm. Maybe even pick some veggies with them. Ask what they get paid.
  • Write to one social justice organizer or leader each month just to encourage them.
  • Grow your own tomatoes — and share them.
  • Cook a meal once a week for an elderly person in your church or the single mother/father and her/his children you work with.
  • Use your vacation time to volunteer at a summer camp for kids or doing disaster relief here or abroad.
  • Learn the language of the new ethnic community forming in your city. Then go do your shopping in a grocery store in that area and get your hair cut in a barbershop there as well.
  • Bake cookies and give them to your neighbors just because
  • Do a “water only fast” where you stop drinking anything but water (yes, that includes coffee and soda!) for a set period of time and donate the money you would have spent on food to an organization that is providing clean water for those in places without it. (World Vision is a good option again. So are Water Wells for Africa, African Well Fund and The Water Project.)
  • Serve in a homeless shelter. For extra credit, go back and eat or sleep in the shelter and allow yourself to be served.
  • Confess something you have done wrong to someone and ask this person to pray for you.
  • Learn to sew or start making your own clothes to remember the invisible faces behind what we wear. Take your kids to pick cotton so they can see what that is like (and then read James).
  • Invest money in a micro-lending bank.
  • Send a birthday card to the co-worker, boss, ex-girlfriend/boyfriend that you get angry just thinking about. Tell them how you appreciate something about them and that you wish them a day of joy.
  • Give money to charities that serve disadvantaged children in both Israel and Palestine.
  • Stand in solidarity with agricultural workers not being paid fairly by refusing to support businesses that do not pay fairly and fail to adequately ensure safety for these workers.
  • Wash your clothes by hand, or dry them by hanging to remember those without electricity or running water. Remember the 1.6 billion people who do not have electricity.
  • Try reading only books written by females or people of color for a year.
  • Be inventive — ask yourself this question: How creative can the mercy of God be in my life and world today for the sake of another?
  • Go to your local homeless shelter, encampment or “tent city” and offer someone there a job mowing your lawn, cleaning your home, washing your car, fixing your fence or whatever else you need to have done. While they’re at it serve them lunch and some cold lemonade, and then pay them more than fairly for a job well done. THEN recommend their services to all of your friends.
  • Sponsor a child in a poor country through an organization like World Vision or Compassion International.
  • Eat with someone who does not look like you. Learn from this person.
  • Begin creating a scholarship fund so that for every one of your own children you send to college you can create a scholarship for an at-risk youth. Get to know their family and learn from each other.
  • Visit a worship service where you will be a minority. Invite someone to dinner at your house or have dinner with someone there if they invite you.
  • Join an open AA meeting and befriend someone there.
  • Eat only a bowl of rice a day for a week to remember those who do that for most of their life (take a multivitamin). Remember the 30,000 people who die each day of poverty and malnutrition.
  • Create a Jubilee fund in your church congregation, matching dollar for dollar every dollar you spend internally with a dollar externally. If you have a building fund, create a fund to match it to give away mosquito nets or dig wells for folks dying in poverty.
  • Go to an elderly home and request a list of residents who do not receive any visitors. Visit them each week and tell stories, read the Bible together, or play board games.
  • Consider the power of offering pardon in Jesus’ name. Who most needs this in your immediate community? Who most needs it from the excluded peoples of society? You have the authority to offer it. Will you?
  • Take a group to eat at a restaurant and have everyone leave a 50 percent tip for the table servers, who are spending their night serving you dinner instead of taking their children out or studying for their exam in the morning.
  • Become a pen-pal with someone in prison.
  • Track to its source one item of food you eat regularly. Then, each time you eat that food, pray for those folks who helped make it possible for you to eat it.
  • Confess personal failure and own responsibility for mission failure.
  • Go through a local thrift store and drop $1 bills in random pockets of the clothing being sold.
  • Organize a prayer vigil for peace outside a weapons manufacturer such as Lockheed Martin. Read the Sermon on the Mount out loud. For extra credit, do it every week for a year. Then befriend a soldier and his/her family.
  • Write only paper letters (by hand) for a month. Try writing someone who needs encouragement or who you should say “I’m sorry” to.
  • Write one CEO a month this year. Affirm or critique the ethics of their company (you may need to do a little research first).
  • Volunteer to tutor a kid at your local elementary school. (Try to get to know the kid’s family.)
  • Fast for the 2 billion people who live on less than a dollar a day.

Love Wins

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