Archive for March, 2009

Fun Stuff2

March 28, 2009

 

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I’m trying to see things from God’s perspective. 
It’s certainly very different indeed!

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Grooving to the cool vibes of  Gospel Music

Counteracting the Financial Crisis

March 28, 2009

Dear Friends

I just signed ONE’s petition calling on President Obama to urge other G20 leaders to address extreme poverty because of the devastating impact the financial crisis is having on the developing world. I hope you will too.  To sign the petition just click the link below:-

http://www.one.org/international/obamainlondon

The financial crisis threatens to push 90 million more people into extreme poverty according to a report this month from UK Department for International Development. For a crisis of this scale, we need a comprehensive global solution.

The G20 Summit in London provides the opportunity for leaders to seek this solution, and Obama, in an unique position of leadership, has the ability to push leaders into action.

Thanks
Bev

How Jesus Viewed Women

March 23, 2009

The following is an interesting article I found in the YWAM Associates website.  It is written by one of the directors of this organisation called Peter Jordan.  YWAM stands for “Youth With a Mission” a missionary organisation which focuses on evangelism and mercy ministries.

2009-02-06

I never met any of my grandparents. My mother died young (53) from medical neglect due to our family being in a prison camp for 3 1/2 years in China during WW2. She was a woman of grace, serving as a missionary in China for most of her life. I have one sister who is very dear to me; I am blessed with one wife and three daughters, all of whom I love deeply. All these women have played very important roles in my life. Which is not to say that I have respected and honored women the way that Jesus clearly showed me that I should.

Jesus had a lot more to do with and say about women than you might think. The way we men have treated ‘the fair sex’ down through the ages . . . well, it just hasn’t been fair. Nor has it been just.

Let’s start with some questions: How many of Jesus’ disciples were women? When Jesus taught the multitudes and the thousands and the few, how many were women? What group of people comprised Jesus’ financial support team? What was the gender of his disciples who stayed with him at the cross? To whom did Jesus pay what is probably the most profound compliment – of all the encouraging things he ever said – to any individual?

Jesus pioneered a new status toward women, but we men have mostly not ‘got it’ yet. Jesus knew that his mother was blessed among all women – and honored her as such. Mary and Martha were two of his closest friends. He chatted – alone! – with a Samaritan woman . . . and then horror of horrors, he spoke kindly and uncondemningly to an adulterous woman. He allowed a prostitute to anoint him with perfume. He interacted with many more women during his short life.

Yet in all this, he did not sin. Tempted, yes, but he did not sin, even in his mind.

How many of Jesus’ disciples were women? We tend to think of just the 12, but there were at least 500 people who followed him (1 Cor 15:6, The Message). Many, or perhaps most of these would have been women.

We don’t know the gender breakdown of the multitudes who heard Jesus teach, but my guess would be that most of them were women, even though in that culture they had been relegated to a lesser position in life.

Answers to the questions above . . . Did you know that:

Jesus’ financial support team (at least the ones that we know about), included Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susannah and many others (Luke 8:2-3).

Only women followers stayed with Jesus at the cross.

And the most profound compliment given by Jesus? Right after a woman poured costly perfume over his head (it was kind of like giving flowers before the funeral), Jesus said of her, “She has done something wonderfully significant for me . . . she did what she could – she pre-anointed my body for burial . . . and you can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she did is going to be talked about admiringly.” (Mark 14: 6-9 The Message)

I read somewhere, that thankfully, Jesus was the ultimate rebel! He defended women, revealed truths to them that He had not told another, and appeared to them first after He died. The way He valued women was a concept that shook that culture to the heart. Paul insisted that, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ.” (Gal 3:28) This is a core-essential emphasis. No human being is excluded from service to God. (Writer of this paragraph, unknown.)

Men, let’s treat women the way Jesus did.

Peter Jordan
YWAM Associates
http://www.ywamassociates.com/index.php

God’s Promises for Provision

March 20, 2009

Feeling worried or concerned about your finances lately?  Why not try meditating on the following bible verses.  These are God’s financial promises to christian believers who choose to follow Him:-

Psalms 37:25  David wrote:-
I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging for bread.

Psalm 68: 10
Your flock found a dwelling place in it;
You, O God, in Your goodness
did provide for the poor and needy

Luke 12: 24
Observe and consider the ravens;
for they neither sow nor reap,
they have neither storehouse nor barn;
and [yet] God feeds them.
Of how much more worth are you than the birds!

Philippians 4:19
And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full)
your every need according to His riches in glory
in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.

Psalms 84:11
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favour and honour;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

Movie: Runaway Holiday

March 17, 2009

I saw a really funny movie the other night called “Runaway Holliday” starring Robin Williams.  It’s a selection that I’ve never really heard of before in this actor’s repertoire .  However I found it quite hilarious in it’s own “silly” sort of way.  It was just what I needed after having a rather stressful week. 

It’s about a family who was originally going to fly to Hawaii for their annual vacation. Unfortunately, during the week before their departure,  the father is pressured by his pushy boss, to write a major presentation during his supposed “break”, to facilitate a big company merger . The boss insists on constant communication during the father’s vacation.  As a result the father (Williams) is not able to go to Hawaii, to the huge disappointment of his wife and two children. 

The father instead arranges for the whole family to spend their time away together in a huge RV, (is like a huge driveable caravan).  Since the father’s job is “on the line” and dependent on whether he can show his “job commitment” during his holiday,  he refrains to tell the rest of the family of his predicament, not wanting to alarm them of his shaky employment situation. 

Hence what follows is a hilarious series of events which make up a highly unusual and unexpected vacation.  Robyn Williams is in prime form pulling off all the gags in his own comedic style as he attempts to maintain the smooth running and operation of the vehicle, while trying to secretly finish his work presentation in stolen moments during the day and night.

As a clue, without giving too much away, the title of the movie refers to the fact that on numerous occasions, the huge “bus -like” RV,  is constantly running down a hill, into a river etc always at the most unexpected moments when the father is totally unawares. 

It’s a great family movie that can be seen by the little ones as well. It also contains some wholesome principals about family life.  I believe you’ll find it highly entertaining . I was still chuckling to myself over all the funny bits the next day while driving to a singing gig and feeling a bit weary.  This was enough to re-energise me again.

Overall,  I found the movie, a great distresser.  Why not try it for yourself?

Excessive Executive Salaries

March 10, 2009

To try and curb the spate of excessive CEO salaries that have been paid out of late, even during this economic crisis, perhaps there should be a new clause inserted into the statutes of corporate law.  It could state that the renumeration package of a CEO (or similar executive ) of a corporation should be a “fair and reasonable” amount, especially  in relation to the workers’ salaries.  

“Fair and reasonable” could be based on :-

1. A particular salary range
2. A  certain multiple of the salary of the highest paid employee

It’s food for thought.

Kevin Rudd’s Essay-The Global Financial Crisis

March 10, 2009

If you would like to read Kevin Rudd’s recent essay that he wrote for “The Monthly” entitled “The Global Financial Crisis” you can click on the following link which will load the document into Adobe Reader which you can then print out.

http://www.alp.org.au/download/now/rudd_feb09_monthly.pdf

His article explains how the economic ideology of an extreme “free market” system is faulty.  This has also in the large part been the cause of the present economic crisis.  Instead he advocates a more Keynesian approach which  involves a  suitable balance between government intervention and market forces to stabilise the economy. 

For those who do not know what the “free market” concept is,  it could be explained in the following way.  Imagine there is a school of children who are all going about their business trying to satisfy their own needs and wants.  Inevitably there will be the bigger stronger aggressive children,  some could even be bullies who have no disregard for the school rules or basic human decency.  There would also exist the weaker children , perhaps with handicaps or disabilities and other children.   A “free market economy” believes that without any “teacher” or “authority” intervention,  all the children will be able to work out all their differences on their own resulting in harmony.  In other words they believe things will just work out all by themselves. 

It is clear that this would be a ludicrous belief.  Ultimately if left to their own devices ,  the aggressive players or bullies would be controlled by their own selfishness and greed and hence probably annihilate and destroy the weaker players or children.   Because there is no teacher (or government intervention by appropriate authorities)  these bullies or stronger individuals, would just make up their own rules for the benefit of their own greed and probably  at the expense of the rest of the weaker population .   The result is utter chaos,  where the aggressive players gain more and more power while the weaker “children” are left to suffer and die.  There would be no sense of social justice .

Keynesian economics however,  which Rudd is harkening back to, believes that an appropriate amount of “teacher” or government intervention is necessary to maintain fairness and equity in the group or society.  Appropriate rules or government regulation needs to be imposed especially on the big strong players in society so that they will not assume ultimate economic power at everyone else’s expense.   These “bullies” need a certain degree of “rules” so that they are not permitted just to become a “law unto themselves”.  This is what has happenned with the sub prime crisis in the US where banks were allowed to issue numerous unsecured loans and operate hedge funds creating a credit bubble which would soon burst causing a dominoe effect where the whole of the population world wide would experience a recession. 

It is just common sense that an extreme free market economic ideology does not work in the long term.  Unfortunately it is only after we have a major world catastrophe that these theories are being disproven, even though other modern economists have been giving these warnings for many years.   Perhaps only now people may sit up and listen.

The famous novel “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, can also be an illustration of this point.  The story is about a group of boys left stranded on an island without any adult authority to lead and guide them.  Ultimately the bully of the pack grows to be so evil he threatens to terrorise and kill the other weaker boys and another boy who tries to protect and defend his friends.   If left to their own devices without appropriate intervention, the society results in utter chaos and destruction.  I realise this is a parallel example,  and just used to more clearly explain the concept of the “free market” economy.

Read Kevin Rudd’s article and he will flesh these concepts out in more detail.

Apologies

March 9, 2009

Apologies if you have been sent 4 copies of my blog email. This was not supposed to happen. I have had to sort my mailing list into different groups since it is becoming very large and hence it is mistakenly sending out duplicated emails. I will try to rectify this error ASAP. Thanks for your patience.

Bev

Fun Stuff

March 8, 2009

bev-birthday1Wow. God really is Amazing !

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I’m taking some time out to rest in the Lord and spend some quality time with Him. Join me anyone?

“Christians” by Maya Angelou

March 8, 2009

This is a poem to remind us about who we really are as Christians.   It also helps to dispel the myth that  Christians are supposed to be perfect or that Christians think they are better than others

Christians – By Maya Angelou

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting “I’m clean living.'”
I’m whispering “I was lost,
Now I’m found and forgiven.”

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a simple sinner
Who received God’s good grace, somehow!