Guilt is a terrible reason for giving, but gratitude is an extraordinary reason for giving. I don't care what religion you are or if you have no religion at all. The spiritual health of your soul is measured by how blessed you feel../The above text is taken from an article on alternetdotorg by Bishop V. Gene Robinson (Yes! that Bishop V. Gene Robinson) which strikes a chord with my heart. Take time to read it.
/..There are two bodies of water in Israel, in Palestine. The Sea of Galilee is fed by the snows of the mountains and it's a wonderful sea teaming with life, partly because water flows out of it just as fast as it flows into it. And there's another body of water in that place that keeps all the water for itself. And it is called Dead. It is not teeming with life. It feeds on itself until there is nothing left../
/..There are two kinds of giving, but I like to think of it as downstream giving and upstream giving. It's not enough to pull the drowning victims out of the river, you need to walk back upstream and find out who's throwing them in. So there's both downstream-giving that actually takes care of victims of oppression. And then there's upstream-giving -- walking back upstream to do justice and to promote systemic change to find the underlying causes that are causing all this../
/..The religious right is upstream, throwing people in the river and it's time we named it for what it is. It's time we took the Bible back. It's time we took our faith back and stopped having to apologize for being Christian or Jewish or Muslim without having to explain, "No, we're not that kind of a Jew, we're not that kind of a Christian."../
/..There's a wonderful theologian who's one of my favorites, Frederick Beuchner. I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotations from him: The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet../
/..The world's hunger is so great. But so are our resources. Find your own deep gladness, and then let it respond to the world's deep hunger.