Archive for the ‘love’ Category

Help Peggy take her family to Disneyland

August 29, 2012

Peggy Powell is a Facebook friend I’ve only known a short time (less than a year) but is a darling lady with a Christlike heart. She is enduring pancreatic cancer with fortitude and grace. In the words of her daughter Rebecca

“Peggy has stage 4 pancreatic cancer with an average life expectancy of less than a year. She has written a bucket list and on the top of it is taking her whole family (kids and grandkids included) to Disneyland for a few days. To make memories for the grandchildren who won’t have their Nana around for long. With airfare, hotels, park tickets and food we have figured the grand total to be about… $10000. I know things are tight for everybody and I wouldn’t even ask if we had time to get money together another way. Thank you for anything you can do to help. Please help us make her dreams come true!”

Can you spare $10? $20? $50?

You can make Peggy’s Disneyland trip a reality by donating here.

Jude 2

20 days to organise and clean my home

August 27, 2012
The Organised Housewife

Can I do it?

My home is pretty clean. Most of the rooms are organised but I do have lots of clutter and my sewing room/office is “dangerous” (to quote my daughter who wrote this piece it).

Sew dangerous.

There is a room at the end of the hallway that no one speaks about.  It hovers, just out of our vision.  We know it’s there, but we dare not acknowledge it.  If we do, who knows what will come out of the darkness?  Inside is a room of strange cloth and twisting threads; inside is a room of creation of the darkest kind.  No one knows what’s inside, no one but the owner.  Even she is afraid.  The creations took on a life of their own, you see, and now there is no controlling.  She keeps professing the ability to go in and tame the demons, but the fact remains – no one has ever succeeded. No one has ever lived. (Nicky Cayless, Dec 2011)

 

My house IS “surface clean” but lots of areas need deep cleaning,  especially as we will be putting it on the market in 2013.  We are planning on downsizing to an apartment in the next year or thereabouts, so I need to get my house as showcase-clean, decluttered and ready to sell.

So.. I (and some of my Flylady pals) will be participating in The Organised Housewife‘s 20 day challenge. It starts next Monday and we have this week to get ready.

Join us?

Jude 2

Kiva – empowering people to escape poverty

August 2, 2011

You know the Chinese proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Well,  Kiva has a great promotion at the moment – join up and qualify for a free $25 loan.  You get to choose whom to loan to, and they foot the bill.  Don’t miss this opportunity to bless and empower the life of someone less fortunate than yourself. Our family has made a couple of Kiva loans and it’s empowering to partner with someone in a small way ($25 is less than the cost of 2 movie tickets) but know that you are helping them escape poverty.

Everyone will live in peace and prosperity,
      enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees,
      for there will be nothing to fear. (Micah 4:4)

What a goal to work towards!

Sign up here.  They only have 4000 1378 756 0 free loans so be quick!

Update: All the free loans are gone. Consider investing $25 in the future of a family in need. Once the loan is repaid, you can invest it again and again and bless other families. Continuous giving!

Update again: Looks like they just added another 4000 free loans!

Jude 2

Stay at home mum

June 15, 2011

Today I give thanks that I do not have a paid job.  Yes, I miss the sense of achievement.  Yes, I miss the company.  Yes, I miss feeling important and successful and the praise for a job well done and the satisfaction of being good at what I did.

But being available to care for my family, and especially my beautiful daughter, is so much more important to me.

Yes, you can do both… in an ideal world with support networks and super flexible workplace arrangements or your own business.  But it didn’t work for me.

So I am thankful that I do have the privilege of being home with my girl when she is not well.  Many mothers, probably most mothers worldwide, do not have that choice.

Jude 2

I will give thanks

June 14, 2011

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you wrote the psalmist in Psalm 118.

I’m going to try to post daily on something for which I am grateful.  Some friends are blogging the 365 Gratitude Project and others posting daily gratiude updates to facebook.  I will try to resist my tendency to overthink things and write long, illustrated blog posts. Nor am I going to commit to a photo per post. I’m not going to be adamant about posting every day (life sometimes prevents that and I am NOT in ownership of a smart phone to post from – nor do I want one).

Was pondering where I should start (thematically and practically) and weighing up if I should tweet, use tumblr, facebook or my good old neglected blog.  And I realised had my first thing to be grateful for – the myriad ways I can connect with people over the interwebz.

These are the days of miracle and wonder

This is a long distance call…

I am thankful for how I can open my laptop and chat with my family who live in South Africa and England and Wales and Queensland and the USA and Canada and elsewhere.  I am thankful that I have made and can communicate with friends in Kuwait and Bonaire and Brazil and Mauritius and other exotic and not-so-exotic places (as well as friends who live just down the road).

When we emigrated from South Africa to Australia in 1987, the idea of a videophone was a dream of mine and one I prayed we would be able to use with my family before the end of the century.  Sadly my parents never had more than dial-up internet and so couldn’t video chat with us.  But I am thankful that facebook especially has allowed families to re-connect.  I love seeing photos of my nieces and nephews, chatting with my aunt and cousins whom I haven’t seen irl for far too many years and sharing the lives of those we left behind when we moved to Australia.

Jude 2

Help a hurting family

April 2, 2011

Jenny and Tyson Gosch and family

I’m sharing this story from my friend Steven Clark Goad in California. On Sunday 27 March, Jenny Gosch died as a result of an aneurysm, leaving a young husband and 5 children, the youngest just 3 months old. The family had just moved to Texas a month ago. The medical bills are horrendous, and there will be ongoing childcare and other costs.  Can you make a difference to this family?

More details and information on how to donate are here.  Let’s shower them with cards (email me at wjcsydney @ yahoo dot com for the address) and keep them in our prayers.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

 


Jude 2

Flood relief the stitching and crafting way

January 19, 2011

Some ways you can contribute:

The Australian craft community are auctioning wonderful pieces of art and craft or having sales, raffles or giveaways with all proceeds going directly to the Queensland Flood Relief AppealHere is list of what you can bid on.  This is a great opportunity to get an amazing “piece” and give generously at the same time.

I’ve purchased a couple of (stitching) flood kits (only $10 each)  from Suzanne in Ipswich.  I’ve copied the following from Helen Stubbing’s blog:

Suzanne is making up 300 little sewing kits with help from Birch, Wildcraft Farm and myself which will have a needle,needle threader and thread cutter, thread, stabaliser, simple instructions and a design from NPNT already transferred onto fabric for those sitting in evacuation centres to keep busy, take their mind off things and have some stitching therapy. She is then making up extra kits for all of you to purchase with all profit going to the relief fund. However, she asks that you return your stitched blocks in the stamped envelope included in the kit and they will be made into finished quilts and then raffled to raise further funds. Suzanne, altho safe from the floods is in Ipswich and personally knows many who have lost their homes and even lives. She knows first hand what people are feeling and suffering and has thought carefully about how to make a difference and help.

I’m looking forward to stitching and returning my blocks (I LOVE Helen’s designs!) which will be incorporated into quilts to be raffled for funds for the Flood Appeal.  Win/win!

The flood situation in western Victoria continues to deteriorate. Praying for strength and courage for all affected and that no more lives be lost.


Jude 2

Chocolate and child slavery

November 27, 2009

I’ve been aware for a while that child slaves are used on cocoa farms, but I wasn’t motivated enough to investigate the issue. And I knew that it would require a commitment from me that I wouldn’t want to keep.

MissN spoke in a public speaking competition (Speak Up 09) on social justice issues last night ( it was the first inter-school competition she had competed in and she won!) on this topic. Read her speech and see what you think:

Put your hand in the air if you like chocolate! That’s good…

Now put your hand in the air if you like slavery!

The two are intricately mixed.

70% of the world’s cocoa comes from the Cote d’Ivoire. And this cocoa is harvested daily by more than 600 000 child slaves, who work in backbreaking conditions so that you can buy a $1.20 fundraiser Cadbury.

Do you still like chocolate so much?

In Cote d’Ivoire, a country in West Africa, 40-50% of children between a mere 5 and 14 years of age work full time, handling dangerous jobs. 15 000 are captured, beaten, forced to work, and underpaid. Or not paid at all. The majority of these children are illegally trafficked from neighbouring countries.

My cousin is seven years old. She hardly knows what work is – she thinks running around a soccer pitch is hard work. Whereas children the same age, more mature than they should ever have to be, use machetes to cut cocoa beans from high branches, or apply toxic pesticides to cocoa plants without protection.

Aly Diabate was 11 when lured onto a farm, with promises of $150 and a new bicycle. Upon arrival, he realised he had stumbled into a living nightmare. Other children, of whom he was one of the eldest, worked for 14 hours a day in hot blistering conditions. He would lug around a 10kg bag which was taller than he was, and if he dropped it, he would be whipped mercilessly. He would be fed one banana a day. At night, he would live with the rest of the slaves in a 5 by 5 metre room. They were locked in, and if they needed to relieve themselves, they would just have to find some spare space. Aly eventually escaped and alerted the authorities, but he is one of the lucky few. Many forgotten children work through torture like this for years on end.

Slavery, here in our developed countries, is often a dismissed topic. So many people don’t believe it can exist in a modern time like this, or many simply don’t think it is a very big problem. In fact, there are more slaves now than there have ever been at any other time in history.

In the $60 billion dollar cocoa trade, Cote d’Ivoire is the leading exporter. Many major chocolate companies buy from these suppliers. Ever scarier, the majority of these buyers either know about the exploitation of workers used to produce this cocoa, or they don’t care enough to investigate the legality of their purchases. The more chocolate we eat, the more children are forced into slavery to deal with the demand – and hence, the more profit big corporations make.

Several well known companies indulge in this illegal practice. Some may surprise you – they include Nestle, Hershey, Cadbury and one that particularly shocked me, Lindt. If the companies were to switch to legal suppliers, they would only lose a maximum of 1% of their profits. Only seven companies that sell in Australia have been proven to be completely slave free.

This practice is a serious miscarriage of justice, and prevents those on the farms from the innocent childhood they deserve. And so we need to change it.

There are many possibilities. International cooperation? Establishment of government legislation? The slow, if possible, eradication of slavery via international forces?

Or the installation of a fair and just trade system? Oh, wait, we already have that… Fairtrade. Fair trade is a trading partnership which aims to reach equity in international trade. They do this by paying workers fair prices, assisting them to gain skills and knowledge needed to operate as a business, and by challenging unfair trade practices. Fair trade also holds campaigns to raise awareness and funds for supporting the producers.

As someone very close to me said, “I care about them, and want to do things for them, but it’s not like I’m going to hop on a plane and protest in their capital city.” And ladies and gentlemen, I’m not asking you to. All I’m asking you to do is make a stand. Don’t buy chocolate from companies who buy cocoa from slave owners. Don’t spend your money on companies which will continue to exploit human beings in this way. Buy your chocolate from Fair Trade companies instead. By boycotting questionable companies, you are making a statement. You are saying “I do not approve of using children in this manner, and I want it to stop.” Buy the right brands, and give these children a chance.


So, put your hand in the air if you like Fair Trade chocolate.

More than half the audience raised their hands…

I am now convicted. No more slave chocolate for me. MissN’s authenticity and integrity is admirable. She has decided to return the chocolates she was selling as a fundraiser for her school’s drama trip to New York, and give in a donation instead.

I challenge you to research for yourself what is involved in producing the chocolate you eat, and to think about what action you are willing to take.

James 5: 1, 4

Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you.

For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The wages you held back cry out against you. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Letter from Jesus about Christmas

November 26, 2009

I got this in my email today (thanks Lilian!) and had to share it.  I don’t know where it originated.  It has an American theme but it’s applicable to all of us.

Letter from Jesus about Christmas

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don’t care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn If all My followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square (or in the mall) because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you andwhat each of our tasks was. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1-8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don’t have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don’t you write and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up… It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can’t afford and they don’t need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
(and my addition: teach them to reach out and bless others by giving to those less fortunate. Some ideas are here and here and here.   One of my proudest moments was some 5-6 years ago when MissN said that what she wanted for Christmas was for us to sponsor another World Vision child in her name. She picked out little Refiloe in Lesotho and it’s proved to be a gift that keeps on giving).

5 Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless?  Since you don’t know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren’t allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas” that doesn’t keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn’t make so much money on that day they’d close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary–
especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here’s a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no “Christmas” tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don’t know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don’t forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I’ll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I’ll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember :

*I LOVE YOU,*

*JESUS*

To Write Love on Her Arms

November 17, 2009

Did you see anyone with LOVE written on her arms last Friday?

We (MissN and me) had Love written on our arms:

I guess we could have been a bit more creative, huh? Colour would have been good.  My friend Sam had photos on facebook of the most amazingly colourful arms on her and her friend!

Why did we use permanemt marker on ourselves?  To raise awareness and  show our support for the issues and more importantly to show support for those suffering from depression, self harm and addiction.  And to celebrate that there IS hope and recovery.

Thanks to Melly – I copied the post below from your blog.  I’m sure you don’t mind.

MISSION STATEMENT:

To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

VISION:

The vision is that we actually believe these things…

You were created to love and be loved. You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you’re part of a bigger story. You need to know that your life matters.

We live in a difficult world, a broken world. My friend Byron is very smart – he says that life is hard for most people most of the time. We believe that everyone can relate to pain, that all of us live with questions, and all of us get stuck in moments. You need to know that you’re not alone in the places you feel stuck.

We all wake to the human condition. We wake to mystery and beauty but also to tragedy and loss. Millions of people live with problems of pain. Millions of homes are filled with questions – moments and seasons and cycles that come as thieves and aim to stay. We know that pain is very real. It is our privilege to suggest that hope is real, and that help is real.

You need to know that rescue is possible, that freedom is possible, that God is still in the business of redemption. We’re seeing it happen. We’re seeing lives change as people get the help they need. People sitting across from a counselor for the first time. People stepping into treatment. In desperate moments, people calling a suicide hotline. We know that the first step to recovery is the hardest to take. We want to say here that it’s worth it, that your life is worth fighting for, that it’s possible to change.

Beyond treatment, we believe that community is essential, that people need other people, that we were never meant to do life alone.

The vision is that community and hope and help would replace secrets and silence.

The vision is people putting down guns and blades and bottles.

The vision is that we can reduce the suicide rate in Australia and around the world.

The vision is that we would learn what it means to love our friends, and that we would love ourselves enough to get the help we need.

The vision is better endings. The vision is the restoration of broken families and broken relationships. The vision is people finding life, finding freedom, finding love. The vision is graduation, a Super Bowl, a wedding, a child, a sunrise. The vision is people becoming incredible parents, people breaking cycles, making change.

The vision is the possibility that your best days are ahead.

The vision is the possibility that we’re more loved than we’ll ever know.

The vision is hope, and hope is real.

You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.

[ from http://www.twloha.com/vision/ ]

If  suspect someone you know is self harming, please urge them to get professional help.  It’s addictive and very common amongst teens, especially girls.  Many will try it because it’s “in” (and the emo subculture is an almost-mainstream way for to express their pain) and become addicted to dealing with their pain and depression with self harm, instead of learning other ways of coping and managing their mental health.


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