Changing the World: November 30 – Supporting Local People


Today’s suggestion is one I really do like – it is about supporting the local people of isolated rural villages, especially in Third World countries (not that the book really makes that distinction).

To do this, the suggestion is to buy products produced by local artisans via the web. This is a great suggestion and one I think I will try and support from time to time. It is a great way to assist people in difficult situations.

Some useful websites:

www.villageleap.com

www.eShopAfrica.com

www.novica.com

A response to reading ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton

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Changing the World: November 29 – Supporting Palestine


I never expected to agree with everything that ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton, suggested. So it comes as no surprise to me to find a suggestion with which I have an issue – so to speak.

The suggestion for today is about buying Palestinian olive oil as a show of solidarity with the Palestinian people and their plight. However, I am loathe to do this.

Why? Is it because I support the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians? No, I do not support the oppression of the Palestinian people. But neither do I support the anti-Israel rhetoric that seems to be continually doing the rounds.

I would love to see an end to the occupation of lands captured during the 1967 war and do not support Israeli settlements in these areas. However, one does need to remember the fact that Israel did not start that 1967 war and the surrounding nations have largely set an agenda since the birth of the modern Israeli state to crush it. There has also been an unending campaign of terror against the Israeli state and Israel has a right to defend itself.

It would be great to see lasting peace in Palestine and for that to happen both sides need to address the important issues I have mentioned here and others. But it is both sides that need to do it – not just Israel and not just the Palestinian people. It is both sides. That is what I support here.

A response to reading ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton

Changing the World: November 28 – Freedom of the Press


Today’s suggestion is to support what is basically the freedom of the press and/or personal expression via the written word especially.

Anyone who has followed my Blogs would know that there have been cases where a Blogger has been imprisoned for his/her views. This has been so of Christians in Islamic countries for example.

Supporting the right of expression via the written word is something I do via my Blogs. I report news of Christian Bloggers and those who witness for Christ that are persecuted.

See also:

www.internationalpen.org.uk

A response to reading ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton

‘The Reformers and Their Stepchildren,’ by Leonard Verduin


As readers of this Blog would know, I have been reading ‘The Reformers and Their Stepchildren,’ by Leonard Verduin. I have now completed this book and maintain that this is a book that should be read by all Reformed believers. It is a brilliant treatment of both the Reformers and those who sought a more ‘radical’ reform, in order to bring the church back to that which was modelled on the New Testament example.

Verduin deals with many of the disputed areas between the Reformers and the Stepchildren, and in so doing shows how the Reformers chose to go only so far in their work of reformation and indeed how some chose to back peddle in some areas. As much as I respect many of the Reformers (if not all), I have always been saddened by their refusal to fully reform the church/separate from it, and to set up a church based on the New Testament model, which was something the stepchildren also sought. The Reformers treatment of the stepchildren will always be a blight on their legacy also.

Read this book without being biased either way and allow the truth of the Scriptures to determine the path on which you walk. There is much food for thought in this book and a real challenge for Reformed believers throughout.

Changing the World: November 27 – Educating the World


Today’s suggestion is about doing something about the many children throughout the world that receive no education or very limited education. This can be especially true of many girls in some countries and seems to be more so in some strict Islamic communities and regions.

It is difficult to know just what can be done in this field by the ‘average Joe,’ so to speak. Whereas individuals may not be able to do a lot personally, they may be able to contribute by being part of a larger organisation that is able to bring pressure to bear on governments around the world.

It is also possible to be part of a humanitarian organisation that seeks to assist people to receive education and/or by donating money to such a group.

For some ideas on this particular suggestion have a look at:

www.campaignforeducation.org & www.unicef.org

A response to reading ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton

‘Shameful Flight – The Last Years of the British Empire in India,’ by Stanley Wolpert


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

‘Shameful Flight’ relates the history of the final years of the British Raj in India, including the partition of India into both Pakistan (West and East) and India, and the early hostility of the two new nations destined for perpetual warfare in such regions as the Kashmir.The history of this era of political instability on the subcontinent includes all the main players from Great Britain, India and Pakistan.These main players include Winston Churchill, Viceroy Louis Mountbatten, Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru and Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah. There is not a single figure in this history of India’s partition who comes out of it in a good light, though several seem to have had very well-intentioned aims and motivations. It is the true story of lost opportunity and the devastating consequences of human pride and selfishness that have reverberated down through the decades to the present day and remain visible in the continuing clashes between India and Pakistan, as well as in the extremism expressed in both the Islamic and Hindu communities throughout the sub-continent. It is a story of perpetual tragedy and human suffering with no end in sight.

This book is extremely easy to read, passes on a wealth of historical information and whets the appetite for further research on the India/Pakistan situation. It provides enlightenment, by bringing understanding to the current political instability in both India and Pakistan, by clearly revealing the root of the problem – the manner of the birth of both nations out of British imperialism and that nation’s final haphazard departure aptly described as a ‘Shameful Flight.’ This is a great book for understanding the sub-continent and the wounds it still carries to this day.

This book was provided to me for review by Oxford University Press – www.oup.com

Changing the World: November 26 – Buy Nothing Day


Today’s suggestion is about supporting the ‘Buy Nothing Day’ initiative.  Buy Nothing Day is usually held at the end of November. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of our world’s dwindling resources and our preoccupation with unnecessary things.

I like the sound of this day and will try and support it, as well as being more aware of what I buy and why.

www.ecoplan.org/ibnd/ib_index.htm

A response to reading ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton

Changing the World: November 25 – Self Defence


Today’s suggestion was about self defence and was especially aimed at females – which makes sense because women are attacked more than men, which greatly concerns me.

I’m not particularly interested in taking a self-defence course myself, but I certainly would encourage women to do so.

A response to reading ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton