Anyone know what klash are? They're hand-made Iraqi shoes. And when you buy them, you're helping to fund heart surgeries for Iraqi kids. Been looking for a way to make a difference in Iraq? This looks like it might be it.
Renown for their durability and detail, these shoes now
save lives as we give all our proceeds to fund heart surgeries for
Iraqi children dying from lack of health care. But we’re more than fashion.
We are human rights activists, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters.
And whether you’re in it first for the shoes or first for the kids, we
We will not embrace the hate handed down to us. We will
not retaliate. We will not repay evil with evil. We will use business -
yes, even fashion - we will beg; we will teach; we will make film and
sing our songs; but whatever we do we will do with love, because “…love
never fails.” Trade and aid; commerce and charity. To give ourselves
away. We choose Preemptive Love.
It's minutes after 7 p.m., the end of a long work day for Surrey Memorial emergency nurse Julia Iwama.
In the 12 hours she's been on shift, there's been no end to the human suffering and need streaming in through the automated hospital doors - the drug-addicted, the chronically ill, the frightened and the lonely.
"I don't doubt I could be useful here," Iwama says, leaning forward to rest an elbow on the small cafeteria table, fist curled up under her chin as she considers her situation.
"But, I guess, that's not what it is really about for me."
At 23, Iwama has decided what "it" (life) is about: living and working in Nepal.
Come September, the recent University of B.C. nursing school graduate will pack up her comfortable life in Canada and say goodbye to her family and friends in order to devote herself and her skills full time to the 1.5 million, mainly impoverished people living in Dadeldhura, a remote community high up in the Himalayas.
This morning Pete, Daniel, Sarah and I worked extra hard on the Delta House Saturday Morning Clean-Up. The ladies are away having an intense and amazing time with Wes & Judy, and we want them to come home to a clean house on Monday.
The soundtrack this morning was Prince Caspian, and something about Switchfoot's This Is Home keeps bringing me back. Walsh and Bouma-Prediger tell us that "we are a culture of displacement." In other words we are homeless. Christianity, however, "is a faith that is always placed." I think much of the time Christendom is just as displaced as the broader culture. And yet, there are those magic moments when we remember home, when we see home, when we feel home, when we anticipate home. This is home.
(Mike's Note: This one is timely, as my Christianity and Capitalism course starts on Monday. I spent all day yesterday reading Adam Smith, and when I was done I felt like I need to have a shower, or go to church, or something. h/t to Beth.)
"Detachment tends to characterize our attitudes towards the products we
buy. Far from obsessively clinging to our stuff, we tend to buy and
discard products easily. We don't make them ourselves or have any
connection to the people that make them; increasingly we have no
connection to the people that sell them either, as small local
businesses are replaced by gigantic chain retailers. Under these
conditions, our connections to products become very tenuous and
fleeting as well. The products we buy are mute about their origins, and
the people we buy them from can tell us little.
...Such relationships are not made to last. There would not be a market
for all the goods that are produced in an industrialized economy if
consumers were content with the things they bought. Consumer desire
must be constantly on the move. We must continually desire new things
in order for consumption to keep pace with production. The 'extreme
makeover' is an ongoing process in the search for novelty, for bigger
and better, for new and improves, and for different experiences. The
shaving razor with one blade had to be supplanted by the double-bladed
razor, which was bested by three blades, then four, and now an absurd
five on one razor.
This is more than a continuing attempt to make a product better; it is
what General Motors called 'the organized creation of dissatisfaction.'
How can we be content with a razor with a mere two blades when the
current standard is five?... The economy as it is currently structured
would grind to a halt if we ever looked at our stuff and simply
declared, 'It is enough. I am happy with what I have.'"
--William T. Cavanaugh, Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire
Greg Boyd has a stirring word for our Mennonite friends. Beyond that though, he has something to say to, or for, many of us.
Millions of people are abandoning the Christendom paradigm of the
traditional Christian faith in order to become more authentic followers
of Jesus. From the Emergent Church movement to the Urban Monastic
Movement to a thousand other independent groups and movements, people
are waking up to the truth that the Kingdom of God looks like Jesus and
that the heart of Christianity is simply imitating him. Millions are
waking up to the truth that followers of Jesus are called to love the
unlovable, serve the oppressed, live in solidarity with the poor,
proclaim Good News to the lost and be willing to lay down our life for
our enemies. Multitudes are waking up to the truth that the distinctive
mark of the Kingdom is the complete rejection of all hatred and
violence and the complete reliance on love and service of others,
including our worst enemies. Masses of people are waking up to the
truth that followers of Jesus aren't called to try to win the world by
acquiring power over others but by exercising power under others -- the power of self-sacrificial love.
A lot has been written in the past couple of days about the Dobson/Obama thing. Ordinarily I'd ignore this--it has nothing to do with my faith, and it just frustrates and saddens me. That being said, I thought this piece from Brian McLaren on rhetorical accountability was worth drawing attention to.
On the iPod: For some reason this week I cued up U2's The Best of 1990-2000. I hadn't listened to it in, oh, I don't know, a couple of years. Electrical Storm and First Time... are you kidding me? If you've got it, dig it out and fire it up. And turn it up, of course.
This book goes far beyond covering the subject of homelessness as the social problem we all recognize in our cities. Mass emigrations, displaced families, and human alienation from the earth all mark our times. In critiquing contemporary North American culture, Steven Bouma-Prediger and Brian Walsh discuss various forms of homelessness — socioeconomic, ecological, and psycho-spiritual — and creatively show how biblical attentiveness and Christian faith can heal the profound dislocations in our society.
Ending each of their chapters with a moving biblical meditation, the authors also interact throughout with characters and themes from current literature and popular culture — from Salman Rushdie to Barbara Kingsolver, from the Wizard of Oz to Bruce Cockburn.