Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fairtrade resolution

Watched BLACK GOLD last night.

It provided a great insight into the coffee farmers plight in Ethiopia. It made me wonder why it's so hard to go 'fair trade'?

Then I received an email from a friend... he has created The Fairtrade Resolution (ht:ac)- give it a read. Perhaps you want to adopt it as your own (for your company, home, church, or organization?). We are trying it out in the Southern Territory of Aus. I'm hearing some great reports of people getting behind the Fairtrade principle... and I've heard a few suggestions that some people find it difficult to leave the taste of Nestle behind... why not embrace the difficultly and be the kind of change you want to see in the world... I think it would represent Jesus better.
As a friend of mine saw on a t-shirt 'liberate your latte'!

"I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me," says the Lord of Heaven's Armies. Mal. 3:5

This isn't a negotiation:

  • Fair Trade isn't a fad. It is the warning of James 5: 1- 6. If the rich underpay their workers they will be destroyed.

  • There is no reason good enough to oppose Fair Trade, not personal preference or profit.

  • Fair Trade must be a reality now. There is no reason good enough to wait for Fair Trade, not the Corps or the Division.

  • Fair Trade is a Biblical matter of justice, it does not need permission. God demands it. Isaiah 58:3. Lev. 9:13. Mal 3:5.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Movies, real life and babies...

In light of the report below from the Australian Christian Lobby you may want to check out JUNO, the movie. Great pro-life take.
Abortion battle continues...

Still in Victoria, the battle over the Government’s plans to legalise abortion continues with prominent proponents of late-term abortion pushing the agenda in a disturbing article in this week’s Herald Sun.

Dr Lachlan de Crespigny and Oxford ethicist Prof Julian Savulescu use an extreme example as well as misinformation such as statements like “Abortion is the equivalent to ceasing treatment after birth” to push for decriminalisation.

It is appalling to see this push for easier access to late-term abortions – particularly when you consider that by 24 weeks a baby is nearly completely formed and by 27-28 weeks s/he would have a 75%-85% chance of survival if born.

The Victorian Law Reform Commission will hand down a report on legalising abortion in late March and this will be considered by Parliament in mid April.

On the topic of abortion, this week saw thousands of anti-abortion protestors rally in Washington to mark the 35th anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s decision to legalise the procedure in the US through the Roe versus Wade abortion ruling. The debate about abortion in the US is high on the political agenda of that nation as it enters a presidential election year.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The great, big gospel.

Well, I've been stirred up these days as I continue to press through writing a book on social justice with Campbell Roberts. Campbell is a hero of mine - and as I'm reading more of his notes through I'm realizing why. You can't read much on Social Justice with Campbell without running smack into the very heart of the gospel. God's reign - is an infectious Kingdom that advances love, mercy and justice from the inside out... God doesn't just want the oppressed to be free - he wants the oppressor free as well... this concept is larger than our own ability to comprehend it - the gospel is a far greater power and truth than we could ever grasp.

Often I'm tempted to limit the gospel to what I think should happen. I want to bend my knee to tribalism or vengence but the Gospel doesn't allow me to. Jesus doesn't let me stoop to limited salvation - He opens wide His arms and stretches them out as they are nailed to the cross and says, 'father forgive them.. they know not what they do.' and there it is... the whole world redeemed through sacrifice... the curse broken, the oppressed free, the WAY OUT!

I want to live out that gospel... not the small one that I tuck inside my heart and make about my own comfort or personal well-being, but the LARGE one that stands for truth, love and salvation for the WHOLE WORLD. Now the question is how? How do we live out that great, big gospel. The world for God.

That might just have to wait for the book! ;-)

Friday, January 18, 2008

to the slums...

"The other day I dreamed that I was at the gates of heaven. And St. Peter said, 'Go back to Earth, there are no slums up here.' "

Mother Theresa

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The end of the world...

(Hattip: KB)
From Charles Schulz (creator of the Peanuts comic strip):

“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.”

Monday, January 14, 2008

Finished... but not well.

So, I did a triathlon on Sunday past. It was quite a fun time actually. Besides the obvious gruelling on my body (particularly since I was classically 'under-trained'), as I finished the announcer said, 'here comes our second female finisher!' and everyone cheered and then it dawned on me that I hadn't done two laps on the run - only one. So instead of running 10k to finish - I only did 5k. Crazy. So, I asked if I could go back and do the next loop - but it was too late... I had already crossed the finished line. Now, despite being a funny story - I was disappointed. Mostly in myself - for not paying attention, for not pressing through, for finishing but not really... then I started wondering what it will be like in the final finish of our race on earth... I hope I'm not cheating the distance on this side of eternity - I hope I'm not taking the easy route - the shortcuts... I hope when they cheer in heaven (the great cloud of witnesses are surely a lively bunch) I actually deserve it.

The really good news in all this is that I survived the 1500m open ocean swim in two foot waves! Not drowning is an accomplishment! :-)

Grace for your journey and mine.
"I want to run in a manner that's worthy of the gospel." (Ephesians).

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Call to Radical Commitment

By Rick Warren

Today I am stepping across the line. I'm tired of waffling, and I'm finished with wavering. I've made my choice; the verdict is in; and my decision is irrevocable. I'm going God's way. There's no turning back now!

I will live the rest of my life serving God's purposes with God's people on God's planet for God's glory. I will use my life to celebrate his presence, cultivate his character, participate in his family, demonstrate his love, and communicate his Word.

Since my past has been forgiven, and I have a purpose for living and a home awaiting in heaven, I refuse to waste any more time or energy on shallow living, petty thinking, trivial talking, thoughtless doing, useless regretting, hurtful resenting, or faithless worrying.

Instead I will magnify God, grow to maturity, serve in ministry, and fulfill my mission in the membership of his family.

Because this life is preparation for the next, I will value worship over wealth, "we" over "me," character over comfort, service over status, and people over possessions, position, and pleasures. I know what matters most, and I'll give it all I've got. I'll do the best I can with what I have for Jesus Christ today.

I won't be captivated by culture, manipulated by critics, motivated by praise, frustrated by problems, debilitated by temptation, or intimidated by the devil. I'll keep running my race with my eyes on the goal, not the sidelines or those running by me.

When times get tough, and I get tired, I won't back up, back off, back down, back out, or backslide. I'll just keep moving forward by God's grace. I'm Spirit-led, purpose-driven and mission-focused, so I cannot be bought, I will not be compromised, and I shall not quit until I finish the race.

I'm a trophy of God's amazing grace, so I will be gracious to everyone, grateful for everyday, and generous with everything that God entrusts to me.
To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I say: However, whenever, wherever, and whatever you ask me to do, my answer in advance is yes! Wherever you lead and whatever the cost, I'm ready. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyway.
Whatever it takes Lord; whatever it takes!

I want to be used by you in such a way, that on that final day I'll hear you say, "Well done, thou good and faithful one. Come on in, and let the eternal party begin!"
What does this mean?
Today, I affirm this commitment to God and submit to his plans and purposes for my life, no matter what it takes.

From Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotional 1.1.08

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Running in the same direction...

I went on a long run the other day. It was a great re-fresher course on perseverance (the Lord taught me this first through marathon training and my first appointment). What was particularly delightful about it was that I only had to run in one direction. After the alloted time/distance some friends drove by to pick me up.... and it struck me that I really dislike having to double back on runs.
I think this has to do with life as well. I don't enjoy having to re-learn the same things over again. I feel like it's a waste of time. Wouldn't it be amazing if everything the Lord taught us we learned, incorporated into our lives and then kept on running. It made me wonder how many times I've doubled back, circled around the same old routines... learning the same old lessons - without even much of a view. I'm determined to cover new territory this year. You?

Monday, January 7, 2008

more questions...

some new questions for more non-'religious' inventory: (hattip: rm)

How often do you read a good secular book?
Have you ever sat in a bar and conversed with the occupants?
Do you protect the reputation of colleagues when they are criticized?
Do you own a hiphop CD?

and many more... the key is trying to live a Kingdom life - not just a religious one. The difference?
life that grows - not diminishes
life that is full - not empty
life that is abandoned - not restricted
life that is alive - not dead

and more... stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Spiritual Inventory for the religious...

So, I know of some people who use a few spiritual inventory questions to keep themselves in check. It occured to me that most of the questions on those inventories can lead to a sort of 'super spiritual' life... akin perhaps to a pharisee's quest for righteousness. Now, this could just be my own leanings... but in the spirit of authentic discipleship I'm proposing some new questions for the list (and since it's new years day or close to it depending on where you are in the world it could be useful): keep in mind - this is a work in progress - if you have some questions you'd like to add I'd love to have more feedback...

Here they are:

Are you friends with someone who is not a Christian?

Do you have friends in low places?

Are you aware today that there is nothing you can do to save yourself from sin? And how have you tried to produce your own righteousness?

Have you embraced a culture that is totally different from your own? If so, how?

Do you forgive freely?

Have you lavished resources on hospitality and fun recently? How did you feel?

Is there ‘dirt’ under your fingernails? Have you done something that required ‘work’?

Have you given something precious away –freely and without regret?

Have you gone swimming at the beach and rolled in the sand?