Wednesday, December 12, 2007
So with a few energetic people and a great idea, it’s can be quite simple to raise thousands of dollars for your favorite cause. Why not consider holding a fundraiser with members of your church, small group, book club, or mom’s group next year. Here are some great ideas which might be quite easy and raise a lot of money!
1) Hold a Bake Sale full of baked goods, hot chocolate mixes, canned jellies, soup mixes & more!
2) Prepare a pancake breakfast or soup-and-sandwiches lunch. Sell tickets in advance.
3) Make small, handmade gifts or cards and sell them.
4) Have an International Potluck Dinner and charge admission. Make each group responsible for food and decorations appropriate to the country or region assigned to them.
5) Host a 24 hour fast. Money that would have gone for food can be donated.
6) A Cake/Dessert Tasting Event
7) Since we are in music city, someone very ambitious could put together a country music compilation cd composed of popular artists.
8) Selling a really cool t-shirt, tote bag or other merchandise
More ideas can be found here, here or here. >carrie.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Last night I also heard the story of a man who shot two immigrants who were burglarizing a neighbor's home. News stations played a 911 call with the shooter as he reported the burglary and told the operator that he was going to go shoot the robbers.
These are two very different stories with somewhat similar outcomes. I often wonder about non-violent responses in such situations and whether the end (saving additional lives or, less importantly, property) justifies the means. I am not sure how I would react in a life-threatening situation, but would hope to respond in a non-violent manner, as modeled by Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi and others. However, I rarely have good solutions for difficult situations such as those above.
So I ask:
How could these tragedies have been avoided?
Are there "redemptive" alternatives to the actions taken?
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
"In Kitale, Kenya, among countless other towns in the developing world, many street children have found an escape from their emotional and physical pains by becoming accidental consumers. Orphaned, barefoot, and malnourished, they habitually spend the scarce money they earn from odd jobs and charity not on food or water, but on a more immediate fix – glue – incidentally the same solvent-based kind that the wider world uses to cement shoes together. With plastic bottles perched at their mouths, the children breathe in the glue’s neurotoxic fumes until they pass out or fall asleep forever.
Equally naturalistic and investigative, “Glue Boys” contemplates the future of the world’s estimated 150 million street children and documents the day-to-day plight of a handful in Kitale. It also unveils the distribution chain of their addiction to sniffing glue, from the small-time street dealers who facilitate it, to the authorities who enable it, to the massive multinational corporations that profit from it. Not overlooking the deeply entrenched reality of the developing world, the film presents the illicit adhesives market with a sense of urgency and intricacy, bringing awareness to a growing global giant but also providing a framework for change." (Source: http://www.glueboys.com/)
Monday, November 19, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: Click links below for more info.
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality among children under 5 by two thirds
5. Improve maternal health - Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
On Monday I put together a day of relaxation for the mothers in Eastleigh. I had supplies for washing and drying hair, facials, and manicures and pedicures. I took five girls from here that work in the hair salon to help me out; Nancy, Halima, Lucy M., Lucy W., and Patricia. We get there, set up, and just as we are bringing in the women the electricity goes out! T.I.A. (This Is Africa). The day was planned to be outside in the open courtyard, but it meant there would be no washing and drying hair. Oh well, you do what you can. Truthfully though, God knew what he was doing. We had more women there than ever before, almost thirty. We spent over three hours just doing nails and facials. If we had tried to wash and fix hair like we had planned we would have been there at least another four hours. For the first hour I kept praying for the electricity to come back on and then I realized that sometimes unanswered prayers are really good.
Including Ann and I we had a total of seven people working on the mothers. We had three people scrubbing hands and feet, two people cutting and filing the nails, and two painting the nails. I helped paint the nails. It was amazing to watch the girls scrubbing the women’s feet. They spent so much time with each lady, they were gentle, and they did not rush to get it over with. These girls once lived on the streets and they know how special something like this is. The feet were dirty (the American thought of dirty does not even come close to African dirty) and many of the nails were black and brittle. Each mother was made to feel special.
They have done manicures for the woman before, but most of them are new since I have been here so the majority had never had anything like this done before. The only person that had washed their feet was themselves. The only color that had ever been on their nails was black from the dirt and dead nail bone. The women were grinning from ear to ear and no one left without saying thank you. Ann was filing and cutting nails and afterward she told me that she had scrapped years of dirt and dead skin off of some of the women. Also several women thanked her because they had never had their nails cut before. Can you imagine?
Hollye Conway kept the kids in another room while we were with the mothers so it was nice and peaceful. I have never heard it that quiet at the center before. The women were quietly waiting around, smiling, and watching in amazement. Although I was painting nails non stop for three hours, it was the most peaceful day I have had in Eastleigh. The mothers were happy and carefree, at least for a little while.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The holiday season is upon us. I love the holidays and the thought of Christmas songs, putting up a tree, and drinking eggnog stir up warm feelings inside me. It's easy to get caught up in all the excitement around a holiday. I tried not to go overboard with dressing Asher up at Halloween. I used a bear outfit cover (given to us) as a costume and made homemade facepaint for his nose. Even as I tried to keep things simple, I was quickly reminded that even the little I had done was more than what the kids who came to my door that night were able to do. I was saddened each time I opened the door to a yound child who simply had on what he had probably worn that day and a simple bag to gather candy. It's easy for me to use things around my house to be creative in creating a costume but it may not be as easy for the single mom or the grandparent raising the grandchild.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Depicts 2.3 million folded prison uniforms, equal to the number of Americans incarcerated in 2005.
Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
-The Acacia Wood Bowls (pictured above)from WorldofGood.com
-Woven Rattan tray from aGreaterGift.org
-a lavendar bracelet from MercadoGlobal.org
-jersey wrap dress from FairIndigo.com
-Bamboo & Leaf Journal from Ten Thousand Villages
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Sarah and I went to a benefit dinner for International Justice Mission last week. IJM fights human trafficking in developing countries. Today more people around the world are in slavery and sold in the sex trade than ever before in history. It's good to see somebody trying to do something about it.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Several months ago, on the recommendation of a midwife friend, I read the book What the Bible Says About Healthy Living by Dr. Rex Russell. Jessica’s reading it now. I was skeptical at first because of the title, wondering what, besides books, this guy was selling. But, I was pleased to find that to make the nutritional changes he recommends, you don’t have to buy any recommended supplements (like Dead Sea Algae Capsules) or prepackaged “holy” foods. Instead, his approach is to recommend that we keep the dietary guidelines of the Mosaic Law.
His story is that he and his family were chronically run down and plagued with chronic illnesses – diabetes, arthritis, deterioration of his eyesight, cavities, among others. Even though he is a doctor, and was following the recommended treatments, he wasn’t getting much better. He tried other non-traditional treatments, like eating a fistful of vitamins every day, to no avail. Then he had the epiphany to give the Mosiac dietary laws a try. He found that in his own family and eventually in his patients that tried the same approach that many of these chronic conditions and others went away or diminished.
He distills the Levitical lists of eats and don’t-eats into three principles:
• Eat only the foods that God created for human food – No scavengers like pork, shellfish, fish with skin not scales, birds without a gizzard, etc. These are nature’s trash collectors, full of toxins. Eat all the fruits, veggies, whole grains, seeds, and nuts you want.
• Don’t alter God’s design – Eat whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. Drink water. Avoid meats that have been pumped full of antibiotics and hormones (which, because of price constraints and the minimal amount of meat your body really needs, means greatly reducing the amount of meat you eat). The food and drink that have been chemically altered, stripped, enriched, colored, preserved, hydrogenated, and fortified lose their nutritional qualities and fill you up with chemicals that have bad or unknown effects on your health.
• Don’t let any food or drink become your god – Practice fasting to give your body its needed rest and to break any food addictions, like sugar and, ahem, caffeine.
He weaves in medical statistics and cases to back up his points. Those stats seem plausible to me, but more convincing is the theology and simplicity of the approach.
On the theology front, he opens the book quoting Moses’ speech to the Isrealites in Exodous 15. Moses is telling them about how God will bless them if they follow His Law. These blessings, Dr. Russell explains, are not just a matter of being cosmically square with God, but are tangible blessings of a better life: avoiding some diseases, relationship problems, property disputes, etc. that can be avoided. I’m with him on this point. And he doesn’t overstate it. No “health and wealth” claims of a charmed life. Some diseases and bad situations you simply cannot avoid or cure. He still has diabetes, though it has gotten better on the new diet. And, he doesn’t claim that eating this way makes you righter with God. And, you don’t have to keep a kosher kitchen, too tall of an order for me.
On the simplicity side, the principles pretty well knock out all of the food in the middle of any grocery store, where all of the processed, mass advertised stuff is. On this plan, you pretty much shop the perimeter of the grocery store, and buy things with price tags uninflated by advertising dollars. Eating this way can stretch your grocery dollar, keep you away from the doctor and dentist, and cut the amount of time you spend in the grocery store. Educating our children and communities to eat this way could benefit public health and allow the poor to eat and feel better.
We’ve started eating this way, and its not been absolutely easy. Convenience foods are pretty much eliminated on this plan. No more Create-a-Meals or Hamburger Helper, so stuff takes longer to prepare. And, we’ve switched to organic milk and as much as we can to organic meat, which are more expensive. But we have seen a net reduction in our grocery budget as a result, and we can feel the health effects of reducing processed sugar, white flour, pork, and other things. When we eat these things occasionally now, we can tell almost immediately that they make us feel worse.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I have experienced this "dark night of the soul" on two occasions. The first was when David and I relocated to Kenya. It was in the first few weeks while we were adjusting to our new life that we confronted this feeling of abandonment. The feeling of "what have we done?" I believe we felt this the most on a night when the electricity had gone out (again) and we were struggling to cook a meal in our home that at the time had big, black rats that came out in the dark, and we realized that our friends and family were no where near.
The second occasion was also a time of relocation when we decided to move downtown to a more diverse neighborhood. Again, I felt this abandonment that we had chosen to live in an area far from friends and family and in a neighborhood that took time to overcome preconceived fears.
"Relocation expresses conversion and commitment, the decision to resist imperial pressures and rewards of conformity to the way of all empires: pride, power, and reduction of all values to the "bottom line." It is a coming out from under, a liberation, and a real challenge." (Source: School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism)
Looking back at these two occasions I can now see how these relocations gave me liberation and real challenge! Both have given me a new focus in life and have caused me to want to live out a life of compassion and service for the kingdom of God.
Have any of you had a "dark night of the soul" that at first look felt like abandonment but with time and commitment became an experience of new focus?
Friday, September 7, 2007
1. If you already own polycarbonate bottles, including the Nalgene bottles popular on college campuses, labeled #7 on the bottom, wash them by hand with mild dishwashing soap, not in the dishwasher, to avoid degrading the plastic and increasing leaching of BPA (see http://www.thegreenguide.com/doc/114/picnic).
2. Even plastic does not last forever. Look for cracks or cloudiness on your reusable clear plastic bottles. See The Green Guide's survey, http://www.thegreenguide.com/doc/114/nalgene.
3. Use glass baby bottles or plastic bag inserts, which are made of polyethyelene, or switch to polypropylene bottles that are labeled #5 and come in colors or are milky rather than clear.
4. Choose soups, milk and soy milk packaged in cardboard "brick" cartons, by Tetra Pak and SIG Combibloc, which are made of safer layers of aluminum and polyethylene (#2) and also recyclable.
5. Choose canned foods from makers who don't use BPA, such as Eden Foods (http://www.edenfoods.com/) , which sells certified organic canned beans and other foods.
6. Eat fresh foods in season and save the canned foods for convenience or emergencies. The exception is some canned fruit such as that found in smaller fruit-cocktail cans, which do not require a liner, according to the Can Manufacturers Institute.
7. Buy or can your own fruits and vegetables in safe glass jars.
by Catherine Zandonella, M.P.H)
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
DMA (Direct Mail Association)
E-mail address opt-out - Does not apply to business addresses and you must reply to an e-mail they will send you or it doesn’t stick.
Mailing address opt-out - Lasts 5 years and you must do it for every new address. It also costs $1.
Pre-screened credit card offers opt-out - I opted out for 5 years. To opt out permanently, you have to print something and mail it in.
Really helpful overview
4 Credit Companies (Equifax, etc.)
Credit Reporting Companies Removal (firm offers of credit and insurance)- May be the same as the credit card removal above. Super creepy auto system but takes only 2 minutes. 1-888-5OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688)
ADVO - I opted out for 5 years.
Epsilon’s Abacus Cooperative Database - Send email to: email@example.com
Text of e-mail: Please remove me from your list and do not sell my addresses (and then proceed with any applicable address).
Monday, September 3, 2007
Slums are typically not found in the developed world, as evidenced by the map below. They are characterized by conditions far less habitable than "projects" or government housing -- slums are evidenced by severe overcrowding, inadequate access to safe water and sanitation and insecurity of tenure. In the sums of Kolkata (Calcutta), India, an average of 13.4 people are crammed together into a single room and, in the Dharavi slum of Mumbai (Bombay), India, an incredible 18,000 people per acre somehow dwell in 10-by-15-foot rooms stacked on top of one another.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
It's easy for me when I am sick to feel sorry for myself. I think how it would be nice if I could have someone come take care of my 5-month old so that I could sleep longer or how I wish my husband could get home earlier from work or even stay home with me to complete the daily housefold tasks, like cleaning and dinner. I think how I wish that my refrigerator was full of "get well" food like pudding and jello.
And then I remember another time of when I really felt sorry for myself....We were living in Kenya and I had a stomach bug, which is not fun to have when your toilet is wedged in a corner that barely gives room for your legs when you sit down or when you can't even lay on the couch because you just have a love seat and chair in your ~300 square foot apartment. Not to mention there were not even crackers on our shelves or Sprite to ease my upset stomach or a doctor close by to help me if the "bug" thing got worse.
But then I stop and remind myself AGAIN of how rich and easy I have it to be sick. For one, I have a husband and plenty of friends and family who would drop anything to help me if I really needed time to recover. I also have access to medical care and medicine that I can afford and easily jump in my car and drive to the pharmacy to pick up. I have a bed (actually we have two in our home) and a couch (two of those as well) that I can lie on. And, even when I was in Kenya it was easy to be sick.
I can't imagine what it would be like to be sick and be a single mom. I can't imagine what it would be like to be sick and be a single mom and live on the streets of Nairobi, Kenya. I mean how bad must it feel to have to lie on the side of the road (or if you're lucky on a make-shift bed in a shanty that you share with your seven children) and not know where you can even get clean water. How bad must it feel to know that the tuberculosis you are suffering from is curable with daily treatments that is now free in your country but you cannot afford the daily bus fare to take you to the clinic that has it. How bad must it feel to know that no one is going to come at the end of the day to take the child from you to give you a break but instead you must find a hiding place to keep the man who may come by from raping you.
So as I sit here in my nice home feeling a little under the weather, I no longer feel sick.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Now word comes out that even someone as looked up to as Mother Theresa had here own doubts, as Time Magazine has reported. I know that there are many who have doubts about many things that we've believed or been instructed to believe. However, my prayer for myself and for all of us is that those doubts will not stagnate us into apathy, but that the actions that we take to bring God's justice and peace into His world will continue in spite of the doubts and not "feeling" God's presence.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Larry and Hollye Conway, Missionaries in Kenya
Thursday, August 23, 2007
The ONE Campaign has been working closely with the leaders of the Nashville group to put together a plan of action for the coming months, and is announcing it's first Nashville ONE Volunteer Meet-up. Here are details:
When: August 31 at 6:00 PM
Where: Hardrock Cafe, 100 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37201
Why: Find out about what the local ONE Campaign Nashville is doing, things you can do to make a difference, upcoming events, our legislative agenda, member recruitment drive...and more!
They are requesting your RSVP here if you can make it. >carrie.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
If last week's record-breaking electricity consumption has got you thinking about NES's Green Power Switch, consider this:
At 3:45 p.m. last Thursday, the NES grid was pumping out 2,673 megawatts. According to NES spokeswoman Laurie Parker, to convert that whole lot to sustainable energy would require 17,280 “blocks” of green power—in just that one moment.
But in the month of July, Nashvillians purchased a meager 422 blocks of green power.
So, we've got a long way to go. But if you want to give green a try, $8 a month will buy two blocks of green power, enough to convert approximately one-quarter of the energy consumption of the average Nashville family.
(content taken from the Nashville Scene blog.) >posted by carrie.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Can You Help? Why yes you can! Here’s what we DESPERATELY need!
1) Your House Decluttered. Your Stuff…to Me
2) Your Help on Sale Day & Before – Pricing, Organizing, Sign Making & Posting, Watching Children, Placing Ads & Publicizing the Sale, Getting/Making Lunch on Sale Day…
3) Borrowing – Your Tables, Portable Clothing Racks (Do you know anyone with these?!), Garage Sale Flags
4) Your Plastic Bags – Oh, I can’t stand them. But they will come in handy for our shoppers!
Please contact Carrie for more info.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
There should be less talk; a preaching point is not a meeting point. What do you do then? Take a broom and clean someone's house. That says enough.
There must be a reason why some people can afford to live well. They must have worked for it. I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.
The more you have, the more you are occupied, the less you give. But the less you have the more free you are. Poverty for us is a freedom.
There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic. We believe our work should be our example to people.
I guess I need to go pick up a broom...
Friday, August 10, 2007
Excerpt from Serve God, Save the Planet by Sleeth:
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
It seems that neither are without fault. Paper bag production is expensive, requires more energy to recycle & they take up more landfill space. Many plastic bags are not biodegradable, and require more oil used for production. Not to mention all the plastic bags littered across the country. So more people across the country are bringing their own.
In March, San Francisco became the first city in the country to ban non-biodegradable plastic bags in large grocery and drug stores. Similar bag-banning measures are being considered elsewhere across the country.
Locally, there are a handful of grocers who give money back when you bring your own bags. Kroger is the latest to offer savings, with $.04 off your bill for each bag you bring.
I’ve been bringing my own bags now for almost a year. After unloading my foods, I immediately put the bags by the door or right back to the car. That way, they are always in the car when I make an impromptu stop by the store. It is so easy to do & you will not believe how sturdy these bags are. You can put much more in these bags than either plastic or paper.
Where to find them? Tote bags overflow at your local thrift store. Or you can find a great selection at reusablebags.com. >carrie.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Peace Counts publications focus on role models for peace throughout the world. Peace Counts depicts people, groups, and institutions that have supported peace processes with especial creativity, credibility, long-term commitment, and success.
The following is an excerpt from ... and on Earth Peace to Men of Good Will:
Peace has come to the once unruly streets of New Haven, Connecticut. Today children play where the bullets of gang shoot-outs once flew. Geraniums bloom in the window boxes of former crack houses. Many gang members are either behind bars or have become upright citizens who sweep their sidewalks on Saturday mornings. Since the 1990s, crime rates in New Haven have fallen by more than 60 percent. The success can be credited to an unusual style of police work – “community policing.” “Community policing” sounds harmless enough, but it was a cultural revolution. It began in New Haven’s police academy, a former precinct house on Sherman Parkway.
Along with law, criminology, and firearms practice, the future cops learn standard English, read poetry, and rehearse nonviolent conflict resolution with role-playing games. They write plays about racial prejudice and produce them with inner city kids. The calligraphy of the greeting-card rhetoric outside is set forth in the classroom. “It’s never too soon to be friendly – you never know when it might be too late.”
The “recruits” became “students” and were drawn from every conceivable walk of life: homosexuals, single mothers, Latinos, African-Americans. In the school day, the firing range ceded time to soup kitchen visits. Kay Codish brought prostitutes, hustlers, abused women, the mentally ill, and the homeless into the classroom. She drilled her students nonstop in the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. A police officer needs to remember that, almost more than anyone else.”
Check out this website for more peace stories around the world!
How can we as individuals make peace in our community?