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Making Change, Building People, Loving Life

Over the past few months we have continued discussions on life in Rockford.  We have addressed key areas in our immediate Rockford community dealing with issues which come directly from those who live here or are from here.  In order to make change we need to start realizing our own issues – some self realization as to why we tend to think negative versus positive about the place we live.  What is our part in the future of our city?  How have we personally gotten involved to solve problems?  What are we contributing to the overall success?

Making Change is something I think about every day.  I have to ask myself how to make deep rooted change and what I have realized is it starts with me.  I have to look in the mirror and be happy with the man I have become.  Am I satisfied with the life I live?  Do I exemplify the person I want to be?  Do people see me the way I see myself?  Before I can make change I have to get right and my advice to everyone is to start with just that – yourself.  Next, I ask how do you actually influence change.  I have had the pleasure of speaking to groups throughout our community on this very issue and while I believe we have many groups, churches and individuals working to make change what is the outcome of those attempts?  Are we seeing change from feeding the hungry, NO.  You see feeding the hungry is a social responsibility as humans, as christians as a people.  But it does not change the future.  I am not arguing that this isn’t important – because it is.  But the kind of change I am referring too is how are we helping the hungry feed themselves?  What are we doing to fully invest in people that changes and impacts their life going forward?  Deep rooted change takes more than a toy drive at Christmas, a food line, or a few hundred dollars.  It takes actions and time toward people…teaching and mentoring them to learn how to get from point A to point B.  Building People is not an easy task.  We have to want to build people up and not tear them down.  I think some readers thought this Blog was about tearing down versus building up.  We need to be discussing how we get there and stop talking about all the problems to the point that it becomes personal.  No one said life was fair, or easy for anyone.  But together we can ultimately build people up and strengthen our community through actions versus words.

For my friends and readers who are Loving Life…Thank you.  For those who are struggling to love let me say this.  Love is strong and without it we become bitter and angry.  Fathers must say the words to their children “I love you” as Christ has done for us.  Let me say my biggest struggle is meeting those who love Christ but are waiting for someone else to help them love life…How does this make sense?  We must love life to love people, to build people and to be the example of the God we worship and fear.  Are we sitting back waiting for our church to take action OR are we working to make change ourselves.  You see whats happening is we have too many sitting back waiting for someone else to lead the charge, usually so we can blame someone else when it doesnt work.  My Christian friends need to realize that it is our acceptance and love for him that drives our inner hearts to LOVE LIFE and BUILD PEOPLE.  It is time for us to work within ourselves to bring about the kind of change we need.

So the question is…How do we start, where do we start…what realistic change are we looking for?

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3 Comments

  1. AmazingScott

    “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ.” Gandhi

    The behavior of certain Christian groups (like the terrorists with giant aborted fetus signs) has so alienated a large portion of non-Christians like myself that I no longer expect them to behave like normal people and I have no desire to participate in anything they do; in fact, I’ll probably oppose it just on principle. Just because they have an imaginary friend doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to live according to their imaginary friends’ rules.

  2. Chris

    Mike,
    I believe, as you do, that change must start within each of us before those who want change can make it happen. Those who do not want change merely whine and complain about everything that is wrong, but blame everyone and everything else for their own problems. The second issue I have seen come out in your blog and those who comment on it is the stereotyping of people.
    The perfect example is AmazingScott’s comments above. The idea of opposing something any Christian group does on “principal” is absurd. Those sign toting “christians”are a small faction of a large and varied group of people and opposing any Christian run project such as Heartland’s Schools Project is ridiculous. It is time for people of every color creed and religion to get over ourselves and our stereotyping of entire groups of people and start getting to work on lowering crime rates, increasing the success of our youth, and pulling people out of poverty.

  3. AmazingScott

    BS. Any suggestion for progressive change has been strenuously opposed by the religious folks and it has seriously harmed this community. More people believe in angels than evolution- magical thinking isn’t going to solve our problems and the church isn’t helping when they demonize and attempt to destroy anyone who disagrees with them. They’re the ones who do the stereotyping, I’m just doing it back to make the point.

    Heartland’s Schools Project is merely an attempt to cover up the fact that they’ve bilked millions out of the residents of this city; no church needs private jets and island homes. Shame on the RPS205 for allowing those buildings to become so run-down in the first place…

    Oh, and while we’re at it let’s start taxing the churches.