Blog

Disturbing the comfortable & comforting the disturbed.

Staff thoughts and life lessons about poverty, injustice, leadership, religion and other social issues in the world today.

Leading Open and Closed People

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 4 minute read

When it comes to leading difficult people, who do you continue to invest in and who do you stop spending time and energy on? We all work with people who can be difficult to lead. In fact, the strength of our leadership relies on leading other strong leaders. Leading followers is fairly straight forward but leading leaders is all together more challenging. When we work with people, leaders or not, we will inevitably agonize with the question of who do we continue to pour energy and effort into and who do we not. 

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2017 - A year in review

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 10 minute read

I am ever more convinced that words don’t actually speak. Words come easy. It’s easy to talk about compassion, generosity, sacrifice and empathy. We all love those ideas. I don’t know of anyone, faith-motivated or not, who would argue with the importance of compassion and the need for generosity and sacrificial living. While everyone would agree with those concepts, not everyone lives them. For Christ-followers, our first gift to the world is not our words (no matter how true they may be), but our actions.

#ActionsSpeak

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Who Is Worse Off?

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 3 minute read

For the past 15 years, the people I work with have repeatedly travelled to nations that Trump disparagingly referred to this past week. We have also sent thousands of people from all over Canada to experience and serve in these nations. People often go thinking that we have so much to offer them. The perspective is that we live in such great nations and our job is to help people all over the world live like us. It’s an understandable but ignorant perspective. 

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Less Religious

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 3 minute read

With every year that passes, it seems that I have an ever increasing distaste for anything religious and it’s being replaced by a simple passion to become more like Jesus. And without a doubt, 2017 brought an embarrassment of what has historically been my religious home base. Take a couple of minutes and watch one of those Youtube compilations of babies sucking lemons. That’s often how I felt when I watched people from my religious tribe interviewed in the news this past year. The intense focus on the role of religion in politics, particularly this past year, has made it even more difficult to bare the label “Christian.”

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Announcement regarding HFL International & HFL USA

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 2 minute read

After a long period of discussion and discernment, the leadership of both organizations have come to a mutual decision to formally dissolve the partnership between HFL Int’l and HFL USA. Since the expansion of HFL into the US, the partnership was designed to be “one organization in two locations instead of two organizations with the same name.” While we share a passion to end needless suffering, as we would with most relief and development organizations, the leadership of HFL USA has moved in a different direction than the founding message and mandate of HFL.

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2017 Mid-Year Update

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 4 minute read

When Hungry For Life started in 2003, the vision that boldly breathed us into existence was a world without needless suffering. The Biblical idea that a world without extreme suffering is possible, is why we exist. Shortly after our founding, I came across the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Established by world leaders in the year 2000, the MDGs set out an ambitious task to eradicate extreme poverty by the year 2015. The essence of the MDGs, while missing the Biblical motivation, is the same as our vision, a world without extreme poverty. I was totally overwhelmed, and excited, by the thought that if world leaders could plan to eradicate extreme poverty, why couldn't the Church envision and contribute to the same?

From 2000–2015, incredible progress was made. Churches, governments, NGOs and faith-based organizations worked together to carry out the kind of programs and activities that would diminish extreme poverty. However, the job isn't finished. Replacing the MDGs, the Global Goals for Sustainable Development were established to finish the job by 2030.

Why is this important to HFL? Simply put: because the eradication of needless suffering is God's idea. The early church was known for radical generosity that eliminated poverty. The church today should be known for the same. God's people have all of the material and spiritual resources necessary to affect unprecedented global change.

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The More, The Less

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 2 minute read

  • The more you lead people, the less you will have to manage them.
  • The more you influence people, the less you will have to try and control them.
  • The more you inspire people, the less you will have to motivate them.
  • The more you know what God thinks of you, the less you will care about what others do.
  • The more you focus on relationship, the less you will have to focus on behavior.
  • The more you collaborate with people, the less you will focus on securing agreement.
  • The more you listen to people, the less you will have to talk.
  • The more you can control your emotions, the less you will have to control people’s actions. 

Most people focus on the lesser of these. It is easy to manage, control, motivate, focus on people’s opinions and behavior. But the more you focus on the greater of these, the more you will experience relationships God intended. 

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10 Ways to Dishearten People… and the Reasons It’s Important We Do

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 2 minute read

  1. Make someone feel worse for something they already feel bad about. Usually people know when they screw up, but in case they don't, make that your job.
  2. Always find the negative in every situation. This will effectively cause people to not want to talk to you about things they are excited about.
  3. Make someone feel small, so you can feel big. When you're insecure, this will help you feel better about yourself.
  4. Always look for the opportunity to be able to say, “I told you so”. This will help you appear smarter than you really are.
  5. Burst people's bubbles with “welcome to the real world”-type comments. This will help you feel better about your own disappointments.
  6. Never encourage people or affirm their strengths. You're doing them a favour by making sure they never become proud.
  7. Don't acknowledge or validate people's disappointment or pain. You're doing them a favour by helping them not wallow in it.
  8. Default to “no” unless you have good reasons to say “yes”. Life is usually too easy for some people, so we're really helping them by making it a bit harder.

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Western Christian Cultural Entitlement

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 3 minute read

For those who think we should send missionaries to Syria and not have Syrians in Canada or the … isn’t that hypocrisy?

For a couple of decades now, Christians in the West have been decrying the de-Christianizing of our culture. Prayer in school, handing out the Gideon's bible, the change from Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays was just the start. Those issues now seem like child's play. 

Now we deal with issues of gender orientation, immigration, and home-grown terrorism. While we once took pride in the pluralism and tolerance of our nation, there is a constant heap of faith-based posts and shares lamenting how much we have strayed from our Christian roots. 

While it might sound mission-like, is taking our country back to its “Christian roots” really what God wants for us? What if our pluralism and the hostility to all things Christian was exactly what God wants for Christians?

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Does the Bible Support Capitalism or Socialism?

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 3 minute read

In short, yes!

It is unfortunate, but normal, that we look for scripture to validate our previously held convictions. I have read lots of proof texting by proponents of free market capitalism to convincingly support all of the values and behaviors of market-driven economics. But, I always wonder (mostly to myself until now), are capitalists using scripture to justify consumerism and materialism? I have also read lots of proof texting by proponents of socialism to convincingly support the values and behaviors of compassion and social responsibly. And I equally wonder to myself, are socialists using scripture to justify entitlement and avoid personal responsibility?

I’m really tired of the conservative/liberal debate and the camps built around each one. Our current political context constantly pits one against the other. I am even more tired of Christians who say that to be one or the other is more “Biblical.” I googled, “the Bible and Capitalism” as well as “the Bible and Socialism,” and was immediately directed to dozens of passages that seem to support each one. I read many of them and came to the same conclusion I started with. The Bible teaches both—prescriptive and descriptive.

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