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Today as I write to you I am reflecting on a recent study I completed called ACompassion, Justice, and the Christian Life@ created by Dr. Robert D. Lupton. This author has invested more than 34 years in inner-city Atlanta serving financially at risk families in their daily struggles. Dr. Lupton shares stories of how things worked well for him and when they went wrong. In the stories of what went wrong he speaks of the corrections which were necessary to bring health to those programs. I love it when someone will share what didn=t work and how they corrected their efforts.

As I progressed through this study I began recognizing many methods we currently use in our own community towards helping our neighbors in need. I also began recognizing many bi-products our efforts are creating. Isn=t it remarkable how reading about these things as someone else discovers them is easier for us to understand than seeing it right under our own nose?  Let me share some quotes from this study; ADoing for others what they can do for themselves is charity at its worst.@ AWe should not give irresponsibly.@ AThere is something in one-way giving that erodes human dignity.@ And AIt is only when one is ready to take responsibility for his own life and face the daily discipline of right decision making that support becomes beneficial.@

Once I finished Dr. Lupton=s study I began applying it to the MAX program by asking some tough questions. What are we doing to build human dignity? How are we helping our neighbors take responsibility and face the daily discipline of right decision making? Are we assisting them in a responsible way? Many of our answers to these tough questions have created new methods for MAX. Several of our areas of assistance have become match funding programs while other areas require additional documentation from the clients.

It=s not that we have cut back on assistance; rather we are asking the clients to take more responsibility in their situations. Already this year MAX has assisted more families than all of 2011. What we are doing is using our heads as well as our hearts to build value into people as they work through tough situations. Everyone we meet has a value they can offer toward the solutions they seek, MAX is striving to help them realize their value and use it. I believe that value will be realized when authentic exchange occurs, not a one-way transaction.

Thank you for your support of the Macon county Assistance eXchange program.

Rev. Dr. Stacey Brohard
MAX Coordinator

This is a preview about MAX from our October monthly newsletter, DoveTales.  If you would like to recieve a copy of the newsletter, please give us a call 217.428.6616 or email,  For additional information about MAX, please check our web site at


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