Poverty

Pop-Up Sermon: Jesus is the Answer to Poverty

Poverty

(Photo Credit: New York Daily News)

Jesus is the answer to poverty: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (II Corinthians 8:9). What Jesus accomplished at the Cross—at Calvary—provided every believer with access to experience victory over poverty in every area of his or her life—not just in the area of finance. Each day, believe that you have already received freedom from poverty in every area of your life. Mark 11:24 states, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” This verse, therefore, informs you that to possess this liberation from the bondage of poverty one has to receive it by faith. Begin each day with this confession of faith: “Jesus, I receive the victory from poverty in every area of my life that your shed blood on the Cross has made available to me. Thank you, Lord, for giving me this precious free gift.”

According to II Corinthians 8:9, Jesus loves you so much that He took upon His own body the viciousness, ugliness, heaviness, and bondage of poverty for you. The most brutal beating in human history that Christ suffered empowers you to triumph over poverty. Without the Finished Work of the Cross, you would have had to bear the tremendous burden of poverty. Christ has such a great love for you that He does not want you to be dominated by poverty, for He desires for you to enjoy everyday life (John 10:10).

True believers have an intimate knowledge and understanding about how the grace of Jesus Christ has already supplied them with everything they need for this life: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (II Peter 1:3). How does one receive this blessing of Christ? II Peter 1:4 divulges the precise answer to this query: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” One must, therefore, “partake” of this blessing that has already been made available to him or her. How does one “partake” of this blessing? Each day, declare and believe you have everything II Peter 1:3-4 reveal that you have.

When you believe something, you will open your mouth and confirm it—and keep confirming it.

#PopUpSermon

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Support Underserved Mothers: Give Hope and Empowerment

Mothers on the Margins: Empowering Hope Project

The Why You? Initiative, a charitable tax-exempt organization, is currently engaging in an effort to ameliorate the social, economic and professional outcomes of young girls and women who are mothers from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Our organization is committed to providing educational, economic, and professional development opportunities to these deserving individuals, including paid internships and mentoring. We are in Phase II of this endeavor, “Mothers on the Margins: Empowering Hope Project,” and to make this project materialize, we will need $1,350 by April 21, 2016. Can I count on you to be one of the 54 people who will donate $25 to meet this quickly approaching deadline? All donations are tax-deductible. Make your donations here: Mothers on the Margins: Empowering Hope Project.

To learn more about The Why You? Initiative, affectionately known as “[YU?],” visit here: Why You?. The organization was recently featured by a local news station: Why You? News.

Thank you,

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

Co-Founder

The Why You? Initiative

Educating the Homeless: Education without Borders

Educating the Homeless

Homeless people’s lives can be transformed with the proper support. (Photo Credit: All Voices)

For those of us concerned about social and economic justice, we must not forget the numerous homeless individuals in America.  Although it’s senseless for people to be homeless in the richest nation in the world, too many people don’t have a place to call home.  Educators and students at the K – College level can be valuable individuals in helping the homeless to ameliorate their lives.  At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the concept of the Wisconsin Idea is heavily promoted.  The philosophy emerging from the Wisconsin Idea is that research that is performed in the University of Wisconsin System should be used to solve problems and improve the lives of the denizens of the state of Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Idea has, however, been interpreted more broadly to include people across the nation and world.  The research that educators and students are engaged in should be employed to help solve problems and enhance people’s lives, including the lives of the homeless.  Educators and students must use their knowledge, talents, skills, and research to provide the homeless with a practical and essential education.

Teachers and students can form organizations focused on enhancing the education of homeless individuals.  In these organizations, they can identify the extant knowledge, skills, and interests of the homeless and assist them in turning those things into mediums for securing food, clothing, and shelter.  The goal should be to educate them about how they can not only obtain food, clothing and shelter without dependency on government, but also how they can grow and prosper with these things.  In the beginning, there’s nothing wrong with informing them where they can receive government assistance, but don’t cause them to evolve a governmental dependency mindset.  Teachers and students are engaging in cutting-edge research, research that can aid people in surviving without government.

Educators and students can learn the homeless about cover letters and resumes.  Working with the homeless, educators and students should create cover letters and resumes for them.  They should also help them to fill out job applications and give them references to buttress their applications.  It should never be assumed that all homeless individuals lack work experience, considering many people who are homeless were once employed.

In these newly constructed non-profit organizations, their leaders should seek federal and state funding for the programs, activities, services, and/or products intended to be offered to the homeless.  For the individuals working in these organizations, pay them—although the emphasis should be on devoting the majority of the funding to the homeless.  Always maximize the amount of money you provide in direct support of the homeless.

Be sure what you’re educating the homeless about is something they can practically use.  For example, there’s no need to provide them with academic instruction about astrophysics but basic money management can be quite useful to them.

At the beginning of your interactions with the homeless individuals you serve, express to them a willingness to mentor them throughout their transition from homelessness to success.  These individuals will always need to benefit from mentorship.  In many cases, homeless people don’t have anyone to listen to them and aren’t given an opportunity to share their innermost feelings.  Teachers and students can be that needed listening ear.

The professional literature has limited research on mentoring homeless people.  Teachers and students should, therefore, begin to fill the critical gaps in the professional literature in this area of research.

It’s often stated that “education is power.”  Well, let’s unleash this power to ameliorate the lives of homeless Americans.  They’re valuable people who need our commitment and support.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bipartisanship in Crisis

Barack Obama(Photo Credit: The Daily Beast)

We’re currently situated in a political milieu where Democrats and Republicans are more focused on the next election than on meeting the real needs of the American people.  Many Democrats and Republicans find it more important to advance their political careers than to improve education, pass legislation that will help to create jobs for the unemployed, extend affordable healthcare to the uninsured, and etc.  Of course, there are legitimate times when Democrats and Republicans must stand for their core principles and values and be unwilling to sacrifice those principles and values, but this shouldn’t be the case on nearly every critical issue important to their constituents.  The majority of Americans elected politicians to do things that are going to ameliorate their lives; they didn’t elect them to fuss and fight each day.

Too many people are experiencing abject poverty for Democrats and Republicans to become complacent with their bickering.  It’s time for them to deliver positive results for the people who elected them.  When you’re not sure where your next meal is going to come from, you don’t really care if the Republicans are going to take the Senate in 2014 or will Hillary Clinton run for President in 2016; you simply want your elected leaders to improve your life.

The American people must increase the intensity of their demands for their elected leaders to move beyond simple partisanship and pass legislation that’s going to make America a better place to live and work.

What happened to the national discourse about jobs?  Why aren’t we having a national discourse about jobs anymore? 

While the scandals going on in Washington, D.C. are essential to investigate and discuss, Democrats and Republicans must make the economy, specifically job creation, their top priority.  People who are unemployed deserve to have a Congress and President seriously concerned about getting them a job.  Finding some bipartisan solutions to creating jobs does not have to be an overly partisan undertaking. 

Most Americans have some level of sympathy for the poor.  Poor people, however, need more than sympathy—they need meaningful voices in Washington, D.C. representing their interests.  Unfortunately, poor people don’t have the resources to lobby members of Congress.  This is where clear thinking and decent Americans, both Democrats and Republicans, can come together to place pressure on their elected officials to make the poor a priority.  America has a moral responsibility to ensure the poor are well-served.

We have an opportunity to force our elected officials to embrace bipartisanship: vote those out who aren’t willing to reach across the political aisle to enact legislation that enhances the lives of all Americans—not just the lives of the well-to-do and well-connected.  Many Democrats and Republicans are guilty of catering to the well-to-do and well-connected.  The American people have the power to throw these types of politicians out of office—just vote them out!  When we use our voting power as true political power, we can command the change we long to see.

Bipartisanship does not have to be in crisis.  We can use our voting power as our chief political power to demand that it always be valued.  Too many politicians in Washington, D.C. aren’t concentrating on governing.  Governing requires compromise.  The midterm elections are coming in 2014.  This presents the first real opportunity to communicate vociferously that we want a Congress that works for us.  Let’s elect people who hear us and who genuinely believe we matter.  We, the American people, hold the future of bipartisanship in our hands.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison         

6 Things Thought Impossible that Are Possible


1.      Ending Poverty in America.  In the richest nation in the world, there’s no reason why any person should live in abject poverty.  We have to be committed to an economic system that is not going leave no one behind in poverty.  It’s a conscious choice America makes to not eradicate poverty.  If our nation was truly interested in eliminating poverty, it could be done in a matter of minutes.  For this to happen, there must be a greater will expressed by the American people, and there must be significant pressure placed on local, state and federal leaders to engender policies and legislation that will end poverty.  Although there’s a burgeoning movement to exterminate poverty, a massive number of more people must get involved in this movement for it to accomplish the essential goal of living in a nation devoid of poverty.

2.      Ending Illiteracy in America.  If we make a true commitment to education at the local, state and national level, there’s no reason why we cannot eliminate illiteracy in America.  More people could be helped with their inability to read if they would shed their pride and ask for help.  Of course, there needs to be more resources made available to assist the illiterate.

3.      Ending Homelessness in America.  In the wealthiest nation in the world, every individual should have adequate shelter.

4.      Ending Chronic Hunger in America.  America has enough money to ensure everyone has adequate food to eat.  This is why the food stamps program should be supported and not attacked.  We need to make necessary reforms to remove waste, fraud and abuse in the program, but people who don’t have money to purchase food to eat should be provided with the resources.

5.      Ending Unemployment in America.  In this nation, we have the ability to guarantee that every person who desires to work can be employed, including self-employment.

6.      Ending HIV/AIDS and Cancer.  With many of the most remarkable researchers and scholars in the world, we should remain hope that a cure to incurable diseases will emerge.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison