Creating a better world at 69?

A girl in IndiaI will be 70 years old later on this year. I have always had a sense of purpose in my life though it took me some time to realise what it was. At the age of 45, I left the computer industry to set up a charity. I have now passed control of the work to young people who are doing an excellent job. But what does the future hold for me?

Putting it simply, I still want to change the world. In this article I aim to discuss the question of whether we can, or should, change things, and how can we go about it!

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How to receive gifts

Receiving

Every gift needs someone to accept it

Christmas is a time for giving but also a time for receiving. For every gift that is given, somebody has to receive the gift. The Bible says that it is more blessed to give than to receive but that doesn’t mean receiving is unimportant. A part of the joy of giving a gift is seeing the response of the receiver. An ungracious receiver doesn’t bring joy to the giver.

Newtons third law of motion states that for every force there is an equal and opposite reaction. So every gift need somebody to receive it. In human terms, a gift can be offered which is not accepted, but for the transaction to be complete, the gift has to be received. [Read more…]

Back to the Crossroads

cross-roads

At the cross-roads!

Why am I writing this blog? I hope it is because the heart of God has touched my heart and I write with a passion which comes from Him. Or is it just one big ego-trip? Am I just motivated by a desire to make myself heard in a world with so many confusing voices?

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Paul and Race, Class and Gender

Neither Male nor Female.jpgThere is neither Jew nor Greek,
slave nor free,
male nor female,
for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

(Galatians 3:28 NIV)

Paul is often criticised for being pro-slavery and anti-women. But we need to distinguish between the truths he set out and how it was applied to the culture of the day. As a prophet he saw how things ought to be but he was a child of his culture and although what he said was revolutionary in its day, the full implications of what he said would need to wait for progressive revelation in future generations.

Take for instance the matter of slavery. It would take another 1800 years before men like Wilberforce came along and pointed out that slavery was morally and ethically indefensible. People have always considered that their country was superior and even in much of the 20th century, racism was considered normal. Likewise the world is still adjusting to the idea that men and women are created equal.

In this article we will look further into these words of Paul and seek to apply them to the 21st century.

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The Common Good

Golden RuleSeeking the common good is a universal concept found in many world religions and in human culture throughout history. The alternative to the common good is selfishness and looking after “number one”. In ancient history it would have been expressed as what is good for the tribe as opposed to what is good for the individual. In more recent times seeking the common good might apply to our local community or to our country. With the world becoming a smaller place the common good can now apply to the whole of humanity.

So what do we mean by the common good, and how does it relate to the biblical command to love our neighbour as ourselves, and to what is called “the golden rule” . This article explores what is meant in further detail.

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Tolerance and understanding

The Best of Chris Rea

The Best of Chris Rea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was involved in local politics, people of other political parties were automatically regarded as misguided, to be pitied, despised or just plain stupid. Arrogance was common and I had to struggle not to be taken up by the prevailing attitudes and struggle to avoid that way of thinking. The fact is, that I have met some lovely people, whose political views may be offensive at times, but who really care about the community.

Learning tolerance is a process for me. It does not mean that I need to compromise my own views, but I must be ready to see other people’s point of view even if I can’t agree with them.

What is true of politics is also true of different belief systems concerning God. I was brought up to believe that other religions were evil, and people who do not believe in God at all were stupid. I now try to be more tolerant and more understanding of other people. [Read more…]

The Causes and Results of Poverty

Children in Uganda

Children in Uganda

I have travelled to many countries and seen poverty wherever I have been. Even in ‘developed’ countries like the United States or the United Kingdom the curse of poverty still blights the human race. Poverty is often unseen and definitely not photogenic. A tourist in Sri Lanka for instance may not see real poverty at all: but look along the river banks and other places and you will see people living a marginal existence.

There is no simple answer to the question, “What causes poverty?” As we think about the causes of poverty we also need to think about the results, the effects and the symptoms of poverty. In many cases the result of poverty is to cause yet more poverty. So in practice it is difficult to distinguish between the causes and the symptoms of poverty. [Read more…]

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