Changing the World: December 2 – Child Slavery and Chocolate


Today’s suggestion is about avoiding chocolate that is made with input from child slavery. This was something I wasn’t aware of and is something I will be taking personal action on.

Don’t buy chocolate made by companies that buy their cocoa where there is child slavery. How can you do this? Check the web site below:

http://vision.ucsd.edu/~kbranson/stopchocolateslavery/

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

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Changing the World: November 17 – Cooperation is the Key


Today’s suggestion for changing the world was to work together with people to achieve goals and to make the world a better place. The example given in the book ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton, was setting up a coop to get cheaper vegetables for the group from the market. There was also an example about a fellow who started to do this himself and who was able to set up cheap green grocer stores for the not so well off and homeless kitchens (a great story of helping the needy).

I won’t be following this one up, but I’m sure the coop idea is good for many people who want to do some good.

You could check out the web site below for more info in Australia:

www.australia.coop

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

Changing the World: November 13 – Food not Bombs


Today’s suggestion for changing the world is to form a ‘Food not Bombs’ group. The theory behind such a group is to gather food from various sources (fresh vegetables running out of shelf life, etc) and to seek to feed the local hungry people – such as the homeless, poor, etc.

These groups also protest against war.

This suggestion is also not for me – but not because I don’t like the idea. It is a great idea and one others may like to pursue. Visit the web site below for more information:

www.foodnotbombs.net

Changing the World: November 10 – Prevent Genocide


 

Today’s suggestion for changing the world is to prevent genocide – what a truly noble suggestion and aim. Is it possible? Sadly, history would say no, none-the-less we should be doing what we can to stop it. Wouldn’t it be great if world leaders did more to prevent it?

Is there really any serious action going on to stop the Darfur genocide in Sudan? It seems to me that most of the action by western world governments has been reluctant at best. Perhaps there isn’t enough oil? Who knows what the real reason is – but a reason there is for not doing enough.

A web site with more information in Australia:

http://www.darfuraustralia.org/

So what can I do? I certainly can’t storm Sudan – but is there something I can do? Perhaps something that is symbolic will play a part, even a small part to get something done. Perhaps it will help to get the ball rolling (or keep it rolling)?

I can sign the pledge against genocide at Genocide Watch – that is something that I can do. It is also something that you can do. Just have a look at the links below:

http://www.genocidewatch.org/

http://www.genocidewatch.org/getinvolved/pledgeagainstgenocide.html

 

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

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


Some time ago – probably back in 2007 – I bought a book called ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton. I wanted to make a difference in the world in which I live – to give something back as it where. As a Christian there are many ways for me to do so, but I also wanted to make a difference in more mundane matters and ways also. Of course I know that Christians are able and currently do make a difference in a variety and plethora of ways. I was looking for something a little different to the norm I guess.

Anyhow, I came across this book and thought that this would be a great book to read one day at a time – as the book suggests one action/theme for each day of the year. This book would give me plenty of food for thought and there would have to be many things that I could do or participate in to make a difference.

Not long after I bought the book my world was turned upside down and became something totally different to what I had up till then been living. Totally is probably not the right word, as some things didn’t change – but it was certainly life-changing.

I chose to leave my job in an organisation for which I had worked for nearly twenty years, the last few of which I was a manager. My health was terrible, with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome causing absolute havoc. I moved from the area in which I was living to a totally different location and under different circumstances, and that without a job. Life had changed tremendously for me and all of my belongings were locked away in a storage shed until I could sort my life out and start afresh.

I got another job which was completely different to the one I had before. My health seemed to improve dramatically and the dreaded illness which had plagued for two decades seemed to finally disappear. Then I had a terrible car accident which almost killed me and prolonged this transitory period of my life.

Now finally, I have recently been able to get all my belongings out of storage – including this book by Michael Norton. It is therefore now time to start again what I had originally planned to do and had begun back in 2007. I will read the section of the book marked out for each calendar day and consider what I shall do with the actions/themes for that day. It may be that there will be days that I will not take up the suggested action or activity, while on other days I may very well throw myself into the suggested action or activity. What I am hopeful of is finding at least one action or activity, though I am fairly sure there will be far more than one action or activity that I will participate in to some extent.

I will probably report my attempts or at least my resolutions to engage in actions and activities here, as a way of showing whether this book is useful for assisting people in making a difference. After all, its subtitle is ‘How to make a difference – one day at a time.’ As I set out on my journey with this book, I am quite excited by the prospect of making that difference and becoming more engaged with the world in which I live – in a positive manner.

I think the book is a brilliant idea and something that most people would find helpful – even if they do everything that is suggested in the book. It is certainly packed with ideas and suggestions.

There is also a web site to use along with the book:

http://www.365act.com

All of the ideas in the book are included in the web site and many more according to the book. There is also an ‘ideas bank’ on ways of changing the world for the better – which also seems to be a brilliant idea I think.

OK, I will now look at today’s idea.

My copy of the book (paperback) is by Penguin Books ( www.penguin.com.au ) and was printed in 2006.

The History of the English Baptists


 

from the Reformation to the Beginning of the Reign of King George I, by Thomas Crosby.

I have just started to read the above titled book – well, at least the first volume anyway. This title is made up of four volumes, all of which are over 500 pages in length. I have also started to add the work to my web site at:

 http://particularbaptist.com 

The original work (Volume 1) was first published in 1738 and includes some old English, which in the version I am placing on my web site, I have tried to update without changing the overall sense and flow of the text.

It is generally understood that Crosby deals with a mix of both the Particular Baptists and General Baptists, or if you prefer, the Calvinistic Baptists and the Arminian Baptists.

To follow my progress and to read the book, visit:

http://particularbaptist.com/library/Crossby-Thomas_Vol1_HistoryEnglishBaptists_contents.html

BOOK REVIEW: The Noticer, by Andy Andrews


The first book I will be reviewing for Thomas Nelson is called ‘The Noticer,’ by New York Times bestselling author Andy Andrews. It is actually an ebook that I have.

The hardcopy book is available at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0785229213/thomasnelsoni-20

There is an online web site associated with the book called ‘The Noticer Project’ at:

http://www.thenoticerproject.com/

I haven’t started to read the book yet, but will be doing so today. Certainly the web site looks interesting. The site encourages visitors to think of 1 to 5 people who have played an important role in their lives. You then post a message sharing your thoughts about these people on the site and an email is also sent to those people. The message is meant to be an inspiration and encouragement to others who visit the site.

A quote from the site will perhaps help:

"The Noticer Project is a worldwide movement to "notice" the five most influential people in your life! Noticing those five people can be as private (just a letter or email) or as public (posting to your Facebook page or joining The Noticer Project Facebook group) as you choose, but the movement is meant to encourage us to step outside our busy schedules and avoid waiting until a wedding, graduation or even a funeral to take notice of the special, influential people in our lives. By noticing those who have made a difference for you, you not only acknowledge their contribution, but you may gain a new perspective on your own journey. If you are noticed, you are encouraged to continue the movement by ‘noticing’ five people in your life!"

There is also a Facebook Group that can be joined and ‘The Noticer’ can be followed on Twitter.

The web site has a number of suggestions as to how you can ‘notice’ that important person in your life, be it from writing a private letter, making a donation to a charity in the name of that person, etc.

The site encourages you to notice a person before a birthday or funeral.

Overall, I quite like the concept of noticing others. It certainly has you thinking in a more ‘other-centred’ manner and encourages you to not be so ‘self-centred.’ I wouldn’t try and blend what is a secular concept into a Christian one, but the project does warrant comparisons with many Christian virtues.

Visit the web site by clicking on the banner below:

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