Showing posts from June, 2013

I don't believe in Bible verses

Earlier this week, Martin and I came across this in our morning reading:

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. I know these words as part of a popular hymn/song: one that I have always taken as affirming that things will generally go well for me because of God's love for me.  And yet look at where they show up: in the middle of one of Jeremiahs' laments following the destruction of Jerusalem.

Located there, those words are so very powerful.  Jeremiah is trusting in God's steadfast love, mercy and faithfulness in the midst of destruction.

That song I know so well certainly contains Bible verses but, by taking them in isolation, it makes them sound as if they say something ever so much safer than the original.

I've come across so many examples like this in recent years and they all make me a bit angry.  I no longer believe in Bible verses.  You can find verses that say more or…

Sewing gifts

From time to time I like to share photos of gifts I have made - like these booties I made for Martin's cousin's new baby.

However, there are other gifts I make that I don't tend to photograph.  Here are some of those that I've been working on recently.

As I sew these things, I feel good about the gift I am giving to the people of Bangladesh: the gift of fertile farmland, of fresh drinking water, of children living to a healthy adulthood.

I'm sure I started mending things due to my natural frugality and aversion to waste.  However, as I've learned about climate change I've come to realise that buying new stuff requires lots of energy and hence the burning of a lot of fossil fuels.

This past year, I was shocked to realise that our carbon footprint was significantly up on the previous audit year, even though it was down in most categories.  The difference: we'd bought a similar amount of household goods as in previous years, but had tended to buy new rathe…


I've been enjoying watching this fellow in recent days as he flits about in our quince tree.  He seems to be there most times I'm in the kitchen.  He (or she) moves fast, though, so this was the best photo I could get!

New glasses

My old ones snapped in two about 10 days ago, and I received the new ones yesterday.  It's quite a different look, but I think I like it :-)  Also, we had absolutely fantastic service from Specsavers New Lynn: no hard sell, prompt service and they really put themselves out to accomodate me and my slightly unusual glasses requirements!  Highly recommended.


This week I listened to an Ideasprogramme from Radio New Zealand National on Euthanasia.  The same arguments for euthanasia that I have heard elsewhere came up in the programme: it gives people control over their lives, and people should have a way out if they don't want to be a burden on their families.  As a Christian, I wish to reject both those arguments: control of our lives (including their ending) belongs to God, and independence is not a virtue.

However Dr. Rodney Syme, the last speaker to be interviewed, made an intriguing point that was quite new to me.  He is pro-euthanasia and has dealt with many patients who have wished to end their own lives.  In his experience it is only the middle class and well-educated who want euthanasia - the poor don't seem to ask for it and he doesn't know why.  I wonder if it is because control and independence are luxuries of the middle class?  The poor have never been allowed to feel that they are in control of their lives, and the…

Educating donors

I thought I'd share my response to this post by Vinoth Ramachandra in Sri Lanka.

Hi Vinoth,

You raise good points but, like Carol, I've been wondering what I - a rich westerner - can do with them.  Here are two thoughts:

1. Handled appropriately, child sponsorship itself can be an excellent way to educate donors.  I'm currently reading a Psychology for a Better World by Niki Hare (available as a free download from the author's page here).  The book looks at what psychological research can tell us about how to go about effecting social change.  One point she makes is that people are more likely to respond generously to the plight of one person in need than to the plight of many people in need. Child sponsorship makes use of that psychological trait by giving a potential donor a single person to respond to.

Once the potential donor has responded in that way, the agency providing sponsored children is in a position to further educate them about development needs and where…