The situation in Amos' context was like our own: Free market capitalism exploits the poor, while the rich get richer (Herbert Marcuse, An Essay on Liberation, esp. pp. 11ff). Most recent U.S. Census Bureau data bears out the truth of this observation, as nearly 33% of all working families live near poverty, and the top 20% of Americans received 48% of all income, while the bottom 20% of Americans received less than 5% of the total national income! What can the church do about such economic realities? John Calvin offers sound advice:
Bill Thomas Bonnie Bates Mark Ellingsen Bob Ove Frank Ramirez Ron Love
Proverbs 31:10-31, Psalm 1 Betty Ford was the wife of Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States. Gerald Ford took office on August 9, 1974 with the resignation of Richard Nixon. Betty loved domestic life, but this was no longer possible when she became the First Lady. When asked about the difficulties of her new life in the White House she replied, “I wish I’d married a plumber. At least he’d be home by five o’clock.”
Application: A good marriage does require sacrifice. Ron L.
In H. G. Wells’ tale “The Queer Story of Brownlow’s Newspaper,” it is November 10, 1931, when Mr. Brownlow returns to his apartment at the end of work and sits down to read his evening paper. As he takes the wrapped bundle in his hands he thinks it feels different than usual. Looking at the address he notices that it was supposed to go to an Evan O’Hara. Still, if he got Mr. O’Hara’s newspaper it is likely that this is only a minor mix-up, and that Mr. O’Hara is already enjoying Mr. Brownlow’s paper over a cup of tea. So Mr. Brownlow unwraps the daily journal and settles in.
Timothy Duckling was big and strong. His had been the first egg to hatch and so he was older than all his brothers and sisters and the strongest of the brood. Timothy had learned to swim almost as soon as he staggered out of his egg, for he had instinctively followed his mother to the water.
In order to be last, you must give others a place in front of you. This is important to realize if you are interested in reaching first place. For Jesus here says, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." Realize also that, given the kind of world we are part of, the people whom you must permit to go before you will be a mixed bag, indeed. You can't pick and choose, because that would mean the discards would be behind you. They would become last.