Phase 1, Part 2: Questions

Phase 1:  Part 2 Questions

  1. On page 24, Jen Hatmaker quotes, “’The majority of the extreme poor are caught in a poverty trap, unable to escape from deprivation because of disease, physical isolation, climate stress, environmental degradation, and poverty itself…’”  As you read through this and all the statistics that follow on pages 24-28, what emotions are you processing?  (Side note:  anyone else grab a calculator and start calculating the numbers per month and per year???  Astounding!!!)
  2. On page 28, do you agree with Jen’s word picture? “Brand America is in trouble.  I ask you humbly:  can you see why when Americans say democracy, the world hears greed?  What seems like basic freedoms to us sounds like vast consumption to everyone else.  The tongue-in-cheek ‘First World Problems’ we joke about while lamenting, “I just used my last Pandora skip for the hour, and the next song is even worse!’ is part and parcel of the image we are outsourcing to a suffering planet.  We appear indulged and entitled and oblivious to global crises and our contribution to the disparity.”  Why or why not?
  3. What is your definition of “prosperity?”  What are your thoughts on the Prosperity Gospel?  **Note:  the sermon at church this morning touched on this!  I am including the link to the series should you wish to watch (or re-watch) the message.  Message #4 of Stay Positive is the one I am referring to.  (http://www.life.church/watch/stay-positive)
  4. Jen quotes Gandhi on page 31: “’I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.  Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.’”  How do you respond to this statement?
  5. Also on page 31, Jen quotes Colin Powell: “’We cannot win the war on terrorism until we confront the social and political roots of poverty.’”  After reading that and Proverbs 29:4, what runs through your mind?
  6. Pages 34-35, Jen writes about what America IS doing. Philanthropy is still strong, and there have been more than $200 BILLION in donations in 2011 alone.  That still pales in comparison to what other countries are doing.  The percentage of the Gross National Income that goes to philanthropic opportunities is 0.2%.  That is LESS THAN HALF OF A PERCENT!  Sweden gives 0.7%.  Still less than 1%, but that is a HUGE difference despite the small percentage amounts.  Jen goes deeper though:  “Let’s set aside what America is or is not giving and answer for ourselves:  what are you doing?  What am I doing?’”  So, WHAT ARE WE DOING????
  7. Jen quotes Robert F. Kennedy on pages 36-37: Let no one be discouraged by the belief there is nothing one [woman] can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills—against misery and ignorance, injustice and violence…Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation….It is from the numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.  Each time a [woman] stands  up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, [she] sends a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.’”  What ripples are you sending?  What ripples have you experienced and seen?  What are the walls of oppression and resistance that still stand in this country?  In this continent?  In this world?
  8. After reading “Brandon’s Take,” I realized there are so many facets to his response! Take time to list out the various components of his take.
  9. Of the facets you listed which one(s) impacted you the most? Why?
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