Dreaming of a new kingdom

harvestAs we look around us at the world, we see so much suffering, poverty, disease and violence. Our leaders, politicians and governments have made such a mess of things. Selfishness, greed and corruption seem to rule everything. We threaten our very existence with nuclear weapons and contempt for our environment. Billions live in poverty and millions of children die every day of preventable diseases.

And yet we see so much beauty all around us. Our natural world is full of beauty and wonders. People have created fantastic music, art and literature. Our scientists are eliminating some diseases such as leprosy, polio and smallpox and there is hope for cures from the killer diseases: malaria, aids and cancer.

When God created us, in his image, he also gave us free wills. But mankind has gone its own way and refused to acknowledge the plan God had for us. But God’s plan has always been one of restoration and reconciliation. Jesus came to institute a new kingdom which would radically change the world we live in. In the Gospels, this is known as the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of heaven.

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Destroying Childhood?

African BoysIn the United Kingdom there is a lot of fuss being made about the new school curriculum. Apparently, 198 academics have signed a letter which says that the new curriculum “abolishes childhood”. Now, I do not have qualifications to judge the curriculum educationally. But really, “abolishing childhood” or “destroying childhood”?

Let me take you to the real world.

  • A little girl of 7 in Mumbai, India is forced into child prostitution. That is destroying childhood.
  • A small boy in Asia is made to work long hours in a brick factory.  That is destroying childhood.

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Why do I care?

p1000941.jpgIt is normal for me to care for my extended family and for people in my social group. But why do I care about people I have never met?

  • Why do I care about a bonded labourer, treated as a slave in India?
  • Why do I care about a child in Africa, denied an education because his parents cannot afford to send him to school?
  • Why do I care about a young woman in Thailand, forced into prostitution by ruthless traffickers in human misery?
  • Why do I care about a single mother in England, working on a minimum wage, facing the humiliation of visiting a food bank to feed her children?

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Share your bread with the hungry

Share your bread with the hungry

Those who know me, and my background with charities, will know that I am orientated towards people giving money and using that money to meet needs. But this article is about sharing, and sharing is different from just giving money. Sharing is not necessarily better than giving money, but the emotional impact is greater. Sharing food is more personal than money and connects people together in an act of love.

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Food Poverty in Britain

Poor childrenIf you had asked me 20 years ago to write about food poverty in Britain, I would have laughed and said, “No! Food poverty only exists in Africa or India.” But now, there is so much poverty in Britain, the USA and other ‘rich’ countries.

This poverty is real. I am not talking about starvation, but about malnutrition which reduces the physical and mental potential of a child. Our politicians seem to be content with creating an underclass, earning low wages to maximise the profits of big companies.

And yet, for the economy of the UK to grow, it is in the interests of the commercial sector that everybody has enough money for their needs, and money to spend. We seem to be heading relentlessly back to the 18th and 19th Century, when the gap between rich and poor was even greater than now.
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Seafood Slavery

PrawnsIt is so easy to pop into a supermarket and buy a packet of prawns, eat a pre-cooked seafood pie, or enjoy a pawn cocktail at a favourite restaurant. Have we ever stopped to wonder, how once a luxury item, is now common-place? Have we ever wondered why the price is so low?

The hard facts are that there can be abuse of workers, injustice and slavery at every stage in the process: from the women and children who catch the baby prawns (fry), the prawn farmers, the depots, the packers, and transport to your supermarket. The cheapest prawns come from Thailand, Bangladesh and other Asian countries. This is no accident, as wages are least in these countries, and exploitation and slavery is rampant, though largely hidden.

The details that follow are horrific but do not underestimate the consumer power.
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Popular articles from my blog

Wordpress statsI started blogging just over 2 years ago and try to add one article a week. I write about what I feel passionate about. Most of my posts are categorised as “Justice”, “Compassion” and “Poverty”. Inevitably I touch on politics and am not afraid of being controversial. My articles are influenced by my faith as a Christian but I do not intend to be exclusive and fully appreciate that some of my readers will have other faiths or have no particular faith.

WordPress tells me that I have had 20,000 ‘hits’ in the last two years, about 200 every week. Of course I cannot tell who my readers are, and whether they have actually read every word. 60% of my readers are from the UK or USA but I have had hits from 163 different countries of the world.

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Where does injustice come from ?

inequalityI have been writing about some of the injustices I see in the world and aim to campaign to reduce it’s impact. Part of the answer is to have stronger laws and stronger law enforcement to eliminate them. Another part of the answer is to make people aware so that injustice becomes unacceptable. But what is the root cause of injustice? There is no avoiding the fact that we are dealing with human nature at the deepest level.

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