Contented Living

 

I watched the World Population Clock again this week. It is a very moving sight to see each second as the numbers changed. The math of this UN site is simple -- the numbers go up by five births and down by two deaths for a net gain of three new immortal souls on this Planet Earth per second!

 We have about 6.289 billion souls alive at this moment.

 Now as we sit here alive and relatively safe and prosperous in the American heartland, we need to look again at our world. According to the International Programs Center, U.S. Bureau of the Census, the total population of the World, projected to Thursday 2/15/01 at 16:41:59 GMT (2/15/01 at 11:41:59 AM EST) is 6,128,760,974. That was by the way up 70 million living souls from last year this time!

 But if we were to reduce that unimaginable number of 6 with nine zeros after it to just this room, and we distilled all the inhabitants of earth down to a representative group of 100 chairs in this room here is how the world looks this morning. Our world shrunk down to a community of 100 persons we would have a town which:

·        1/7th or about 13 of us live high on a hill called the developed world – that would be the balcony;

·        6/7ths or about 87 of them live on the rocky bottomland called the rest of the world.

·        Those of us in the balcony are the world’s richest. We have houses, which provide us with an average of more than 2 rooms per person; while those in the rest of the world have housing that averages 5 people per room.

·        The people in the rest of the world outside the 815 million in the developed nations (code for wealthy countries) live on much less than we do. 1 Billion or 1/6th are in complete poverty existing on less than US $1 per day.  3 more billion are better of; they live on US $2 each day. 3/4ths of these poor people will not ever live to celebrate their 50th Birthday!

We, the fortunate 13 on the hill, hold 80 percent of the wealth of the whole town

·   Up in our balcony we own over half of all the homes in town,

·   Our homes average over two rooms per person,

·   We own 85 percent of all the automobiles,

·   We own 80 percent of all the TV sets,

·   We own 93 percent of all the telephones,

·   And we make an average income of over $ 27,000 per person per year.

 The not-so-fortunate 87 people on the bottom

·   They get by on 1/40th of our incomes or roughly $700 per person per year,

·   But many of them on less than $75. 

·   They average five persons to a room, and most will never live to see their 50th Birthday!

 How do we the fortunate group of hill-dwellers use our incredible wealth? Well, as a group we spend less than 1% of our income to aid the lower land. In the United States, for example, of every $1 we earned (averages of 1997-2002):

20%   

is spent on taxes

26%

is spent on our homes

18% 

goes for food

17%

is for health care

12%

we spend on transportation

 08%

is spent on recreation and amusement

 07%

buys clothes

 02%

is given for religious and charitable uses (and only a small part of that goes outside the U.S).

  Veteran Missionary to India and noted author Dr. Paul Brandt once asked, “I wonder how the villagers on the crowded plain (a third of whose people are suffering from malnutrition) feel about us folks up there on the hill?”

 Now listen to Christ's words from the Bible in I John 3.12-19.  What was Christ's most frequent emotion? Compassion, He was moved with compassion. When we aren’t there it is usually one cause – we are rich and satisfied and not sacrificing.

 Laying Hold on Eternal Life means we are alive and thinking and motivated by the fact that we are already immortal.  We are thinking eternally when we start seeing what our moments look like when they are observed from God’s Throne.  All of a sudden we see that our life span and our resources were all given us by Another who owns us and wants a return on His investment.

 Parenting is life long. Praying keeps us on the front lines of our children’s lives – all through our lives. Successful parenting of a godly family only has two requirements: get started in prayer and never quit that praying.

 Before we are parents we are praying, while we are up to our ears in those child filled years we are praying, and after they launch out into their own lives we are praying.

 My philosophy of great parenting is that you raise a godly family – one prayer at a time.

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