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Jarrod McKenna, Global Peace Activist and international speaker and agitator (how good does that sound!!) Facebooked me today about this movie coming. He had just come from the Australian Islamic College, he was speaking there on being peace makers…ever had opportunities like that???

Ok, so TEAR do it, Compassion do it, Amnesty do it, Oxfam do it (probably the best campain in my opinion).

BUT – Now the organisation that I work for Global Mission Partners are doing it.

The Christmas gift catalogue for the poor.

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COCOA Great Gifts catalogue
Most of us have everything we need. But there are plenty of people in the world who don’t. If you are agonising over gift choice this year, COCOA (Churches of Christ Overseas Aid) can make it easy for you with a whole catalogue of Great Gifts. Gifts such as these share with others our abundance and God’s love and compassion. To make someone else feel great, check out these Great Gifts. “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40 TNIV)

It really is a good idea, we do it for friends and extended family every year.

We actually have a temporary website up for the next few weeks, but if you can handle the not so functioning site, you can buy some gifts for people this year that will keep on giving…think – GOAT (milk for a long long time), think – Well (water for a community that keeps on running!) And many many more gifts to choose from. GO ON YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO  :)

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Here is an extract from a great article Harry from Peace Tree put me on to, I loved it.

It dawned on me that what I was witnessing was a near perfect example of a local economy in action.  And when Andy started talking specifically about economics, which he will do if pressed although normally he is quiet and reserved, he “brought home” the significance of what I was looking at. He and Jan delight in their frugal life style which is the main reason they can afford to keep on being such small farmers producing such high quality food. Their house, partly underground, is modest and environmentally sane. They heat it with their own wood cut and split from their own woodlot. Parts of the house and of other buildings are made from salvaged  materials. They raise most of the food they eat, obviously. They are keen practitioners of home medicine. They are very artful recyclers of material our wasteful society throws away. And they are content with their lives. “We would rather do without many things that modern society strives for,” Andy says, “so as to have the time to grow really good food while enjoying the natural and spiritual world around us. We could expand, work ourselves to distraction and make more money. We choose to avoid that trap.” I have used Andy’s observation about their life style before: “It is rather easy to live comfortably below the so-called cost of living because the government keeps raising the index.” This is something that today’s society needs to hear, especially now that the international economy has come near to collapse because so many people are so unwilling to live sensibly and have therefore borrowed  themselves into bankruptcy.

Full article here

This awesome professional development offer closes soon. If you would like to come along and be built in your leadership and ministry, then this is an opportunity not to be missed.

The course starts Monday at the Vose Leadership Centre in Bentley. Audit students can choose which day/s they would like to attend.

Our government seems to be pro-environment, well they do have Pete on board, remember Mr Garrett?
So one would think that they would support people wanting to get a hold of a product that was destined to be poured into a landful and turn it into a non-poluting fuel for a car. You would think hey?

Well lets just see what I need to do to abide by the rules of our government if I want to produce biodiesel.
I need to apply for the privilage to produce my own car fuel.
In order to do this I need to prove that my set up is appropriate (like I would spend $5000 setting it all up only to be told, “nope you don’t get approval on that set up” – I am told only the top line off the factory floor set ups get looked at)
Once I get my production and storage licence I can begin.
Oh wait – I need to pay the ATO money, more than 40 cents for every litre I produce (or that I record that I have produced …settle boy!!).

No problems, they are kind enough to have a grant system.
The system is great, it’s 100% rebate. (why charge the tax in the first place?)

Who is eligable for the grant?
Anyone with a 4 tonne or more vehical (counts me out!)

But lets say I had the vehicle, a small truck.
I would need to proove that my fuel is good enough to qualify for a government rebate, only the highest quality gets the grant :)

So they ask for a sample, I give away some of my fuel and they give me in return a $1500 invoice for my trouble! (This has to happen once a year)

So really they don’t want people producing their own fuel, not the little guy at least.

What has been the result?

Many many people here in Perth are blackmarketing their fuel, bootleg fuel!

Funny thing is, that the petrol companies are quiet. They are happy that people are being taxed and discouraged in making their own enviro-fuel – of course they are!
Just like the liquore industry would be mad if home brew was not taxed… wait a minute, home brew isn’t taxed, and the idustry was upset with that decision, but the government went ahead and let people make their own brew – tax free.

So why not let us make environmentally friendly fuel at home?

Oil companies, I tell you, I am hearing consipracy theories!

So, apart from the fact that I have told the whole world on this blog (including the tax department) of my ethical dilemma, I will ask the question -

To Pay (the tax) or not to pay?

How many people out there have an old mobile phone in a cupboard somewhere?
It still works, but you just upgraded at some point and tucked the old one away in a drawer somewhere with the charger and cover etc.
In fact I know some of you have 2 or 3 tucked away in that drawer! Old big Nokia’s and Sony’s – you are too conscious about the environment to throw them into some land fill and a bit too lazy to work out what to do with it to dispose of it any other way than chucking it in the bin.

Now I can help you!

Just tell me if you have one…

OR

Tell me if you need one.

Then I will put the two of you in contact with one another and one person gets more space in his/her drawer and one gets a phone.

Either email me, or just pop your email here as a comment and tell me if you are looking for a phone or looking to give one/some away.

I know I lost face last year when I made some comments on the Willow Creek Leadership Summit video and pizza party, but seriously folks! (here I go again)
I still don’t get it. For the average punter like me (I know I am a bit simple) but I am reading statements like this…

Commit Today to World-Class Leadership Development… As always, this annual event will deliver all-new content from world-class leaders. The 2007 Summit speakers already includes Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church; Michael Porter, Harvard professor and leading authority on competitive strategy; Floyd Flake, senior pastor of Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York in Jamaica, Queens; and John Ortberg, best-selling author and teaching pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California.

…as the main ‘pull’ for the conference, and then looking at the ‘Australian dates’ for the big tour. And I am thinking for $150, I get to hear all these hot speakers, including Jimmy carter and Colin Powell and more!!
No where do I read it is a video. (OK maybe hidden in the line “deliver new content’)

Yep, it’s just a get together to watch a video with some others.
A video I can borrow for free from a range of different places including many denominational offices, the week after the event.
I know that to put on such an event (so Hamo discovered last year when he rang Willow and asked about the costs) there are numerous costs; venue hire (churches charge a packet these days!), food, advertising, salary and travel expenses for the national coordinator, and so on. But I think 9 cities and hundreds (maybe into the thousands) of people can head on up towards 1/2 a million bucks. (OK, even half that is pretty hot for a seat to sit down and watch TV)

You may say – It’s not just the video, it’s the coming together, corporate worship and networking. Ok – but most people I know who have gone, have gone with their teams and they all get together in the breaks and discuss the content. Couldn’t they borrow the DVD’s and do all that in their church and save all that money? ( I know a few large churches who just that!)
I think it’s all good – coming together, corporate worship, quality teaching, nice presentations and so on.
But it just seems a lot of money to spend on sitting and getting filled up (via video) with more ways to build your church and build yourself.

Inspiration has become so elevated, so valued, it costs much it would seem!

*This is another of those posts I just would rather have left unspoken as I know I have friends and people I respect pushing this stuff and heavily invested into it. I mean them no harm, I just can’t sit on some things, sorry guys!

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