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Looking back on it, there’s no question I grew up poor. I just didn’t know it.

My mom was the rock. In addition to cleaning offices, she cleaned other people’s homes and ironed shirts to keep the family afloat. She made sure my brother, sister, and I—and oftentimes our friends and cousins—were well fed, clothed, and loved.

When I drive through my old neighborhood today, it’s a completely different story…So many elements of the connected and supportive community I knew were broken by lost manufacturing jobs and have given way to vacant buildings and empty lots.

A kid today growing up on my old street—a kid born with intelligence and drive and a caring parent—doesn’t have nearly the same opportunities I had.

Mario Morino would soon turn 70. For a blue-collar kid from Cleveland, he had done very well for himself. He had made a fortune in the software industry and given a lot of it away — about $40 million, he estimates. He had helped pioneer venture philanthropy, an approach to charitable giving modeled on venture capital. He had written a book called Leap of Reason, urging nonprofits “to create more meaningful, measurable good.”

Morino was unsatisfied. He took time off after publishing his book, and he was restless.

“I felt guilty,” he recalls. “I’d been out of the action for two years.” He could have joined another board or two, but he wanted more. So he set out to build a movement to improve the performance of America’s charities.

“There are too many nonprofits,” Morino says, “that are just not doing enough to ensure they’re making a positive difference.”

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A guest room at the Heaven Boutique Hotel

Josh Ruxin had big plans when he moved to Rwanda in 2005. He was running an NGO that built and improved health clinics, and he launched a adidas OriginalsSWIFT RUN Trainers base green/footwear white/core black JIPR56r
project, with support from Stephen Lewis, the Canadian politician and philanthropist. An Ivy-educated PhD, Ruxin had worked almost all his life in nonprofits and academia.

Today, Ruxin and his wife, Alissa, are all business. They own and operate Heaven , a restaurant and boutique hotel in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. He’s still involved in health care, but as co-founder of an East African chain of pharmacies called Goodlife . Meantime, he’s raising money for a startup retail chain called SupaPharm that aims to deliver basic health services to the poor.

“I didn’t see any of this coming,” Ruxin told me, when we met last week at Heaven. “I was a development nerd.”

Heaven is, well, aptly named. It’s an oasis of calm and beauty in the bustling, albeit orderly, city of Kigali. It’s become a cliche to say that Kigali is the cleanest, safest city in Africa, but like most cliches, this one is true.

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Gospel Churches for Scotland's Poorest

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on 3 November 2015

This is the final part of a four part series on church discipline. The first part is . The second is . The third part is here.

What is restoration? It is simply the church declaring forgiveness and reaffirming citizenship in God’s kingdom. This is how Paul describes it in 2 Cor. 2:6-8. It seems that a church majority had voted to punish this individual and now Paul asks that they reaffirm their love for him.

Forgiveness is fundamental in the process of restoration. John 20:23. Once restoration has been accepted we should move forward and celebrate the return of our prodigal.

Once a person has been forgiven should we then restore them into membership? But, how do we know that a person who has been excommunicated is truly repentant?

At some level we have to see fruit. There was a man in Niddrie who had been excommunicated from our church. We had removed him from membership and communion and publicly stated to our community that as a local church we no longer validated his claim to be a Christian. Yet, he continued to live in my home (preferable to homelessness) and attended Sunday services. What was happening there? Well, he was still under church discipline. He could not be a member and he was not welcome to take communion. He had expressed remorse and repentance and so we took him into our home on a trial basis until we saw some evidence of fruit in his life that was in keeping with Holy Spirit filled repentance. He was in the process of being restored to the fellowship but that had not yet occurred. We were not yet prepared to publicly declare that his confession of Christ was real and genuine. (Sadly, he loved drugs more than Jesus and is no longer with us)

Sometimes, however, restoration is simple. A man leaves his wife for another woman and returns. Sometimes it is complicated as in the case of addictions or people with mental health problems.

What happens if an ex-communicated member of another church comes to us? How should we treat them?

Should we receive people who have been kicked out of other churches? They can come and worship in our church as long as they don’t bring division but they cannot come into membership while there are still issues with other congregations.

Here are some scenarios


Should Joe Bob be excommunicated? If so, how quickly should it happen? If not, why not?

Assessing the level of repentance is key to these situations. This is always the first giveaway. How do they respond to the challenge of sin? Have they shown what Paul in 2 Cor. 7:11 calls godly grief ? An earnestness to sin no more? Or is it all excuses and ducking and diving?

However, the first-place Mavericks were defeated in six games by the 8th-seeded Golden State Warriors ; this outcome was regarded by some as one of the biggest upsets in NBA history, while others did not consider it an upset at all. [16] The Mavs were exposed defensively, and the Warriors systematically dismantled the Mavericks by exploiting match-ups and preying on Dirk Nowitzki's weaknesses. Former NBA champion and All-Star legend Bill Russell stated in his blog that he did not consider it to be an upset, since Golden State was 3–0 vs. the Mavericks in the regular season. On the year, the Mavericks went 67–12 against the rest of the league and 0–3 against Golden State, giving credibility to Russell's belief that the Warriors' win should not have surprised NBA fans. The Warriors were coached by Don Nelson , the immediate past manager and coach of the Mavericks until he stepped down at the end of the 2005–06 season, and he had been appointed head coach of the Warriors in the 2006–07 mid-season.

Nowitzki's winning of regular season MVP honors and his team's first-round exit created an awkward dilemma regarding the MVP trophy ceremony. Traditionally, the MVP award is given to the winner in a ceremony between the first and second rounds of the playoffs. But it has been believed [17] that the league opted to put some distance between the MVP presentation and the Mavericks' elimination against the Warriors. By the time Nowitzki collected his MVP award, nearly two weeks had elapsed since the Mavs were ousted in the playoffs.

Main article: 2007–08 Dallas Mavericks season
Kidd drives to the basket during a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Mavericks dealt Devin Harris , two first-round picks and others to the New Jersey Nets for veteran all-star Jason Kidd and other role players, Cuban also tried to sign the free agent Kevin Garnett unsuccessfully. The Mavericks were 3–11 against winning teams since the trade and lost Nowitzki for a little over a week due to a high ankle sprain injury. He returned April 2 in a crucial game against the Golden State Warriors in a 111–86 Mavericks victory and helped defeat the Phoenix Suns in a 105–98 win on April 6. This win in Phoenix was especially significant because the Mavs had been nearly unable to defeat a contending team on the road the entire season. Continuing their playoff push, Dirk hit a crucial three-pointer with 0.9 seconds left, defeating the Utah Jazz 97–94 on April 10. This victory guaranteed them a playoff spot and their 8th consecutive 50-win season. The Mavericks ended the season with a record of 51–31. In the first round of the playoffs, the Mavericks were eliminated once again, by the New Orleans Hornets 4–1 on the road, 99–94.


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