Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Your Attention Please for this Important Message

There is a looming worldwide crisis. Crops around the world are already down in production. We've had major flooding in the United States that will impact production of key crops even further. The price of food has increased 80% since 2005. Across the globe people are being force to spend more of what they don't have to survive. Many children are starving. Some are blessed enough to be fed by charitable organizations. However, prices are getting higher, pay is getting lower, and charitable organizations are going additional resources.

What is causing this?

Fuel prices are going up. This impacts the transportation of food to the people that need it as well as the production of food at factories that use the fuel to run. Competition between countries that are growing industrially and countries that are well entrenched in their fuel use are only going to drive the prices higher.

Food production is down. Natural disasters including flooding, hurricanes, and earth quakes have devastated crops.

Populations are growing which causes greater demand.

Interest in developing biofuel diverts crop resources.

We Need You

We have opportunities to help. Earlier this year I wrote about the price I wasn't paying to be a follower of Christ. At that time I started looking into Compassion International and the work they are doing to help children and their families around the world. They offer opportunities to sponsor children in some of the poorest areas of the world. The money goes to meet the practical needs of the children in food, clothing, and education.

Now they are setting up a fund to help fend off the coming global food crisis. This is a great opportunity to help out of your wealth. Perhaps you feel you cannot afford to sponsor a child right now, but you can help out in with smaller donations. This is a great opportunity for you. The money donated to this fund will go to buy food vouchers for children in the hardest hit areas of the world. It will go to buy seeds and tools for local families so they can grow food for themselves as well as food to sell so they can earn more money. It will go to supplement nutritional requirements at Compassion centers around the world. These centers are already serving children and in some case are the only source of food for these children.

Compassion has also set aside tomorrow, June 25th 2008 as a day of fasting and prayer. If you cannot give money, please consider joining in with others to pray for the upcoming food crisis and the impact we can have in the lives of people all over the world.

We sometimes forget that serving and loving others is more than providing just the Gospel, we have to meet the physical and practical needs of the world as well.

For more information on sponsoring a child: http://www.compassion.com

For more information on the coming crisis: http://www.compassion.com/sponsordonor/global-food-crisis/default.htm

For more information on or to contribute to the fund:
https://www.compassion.com/contribution/giving/global-food-crisis.htm

For more information on the day of fasting and prayer:
http://blog.compassion.com/a-day-of-fasting-and-prayer

This a little bit of change from what I normally write, but it is important. There will be future posts on this organization as well as other organizations in the future.

Coming Soon: My thoughts on the 30 day challenge.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Day 21

And the weekend is a wrap.

It feels more like late August than early June outside. I'm not a big fan of heat. I produce more than enough of my own, so adding on outside heat is just a recipe for being uncomfortable.

I learned two things about music criticism this week. The first points directly to the band Weezer. They just released their latest album, the third self titled album dubbed the 'Red' album, this past Tuesday. Reviews of the album seem to be divided with a few more positive reviews than negative. The one universal of criticizing Weezer is: Does it have the 'Weezer' sound? Which really means: Does it sound like their first two albums? The heaviest negative reviews are of their last three albums before 'Red.' Most cite cliche lyrics, pop tendencies, and over all non-creative writing. I picked up those albums('Green,' 'Maladroit,' and 'Make Believe') and I don't see it. They aren't the 'Blue' album or 'Pinkerton,' but I thought they were pretty decent.

This leads to my second point. I guess I just don't have the discerning tastes I thought I had.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Day 15

I've seen a few ads on television for a new show called 'Swingtown.' Really? This was the best they could come up with? I realize this is a depiction of the 70's in full swing, no pun intended, but do we really need this? Wasn't Desperate Housewives enough? I don't like coming off as a semi-sanctimonious, moralistic jackleg, but this is really pushing the limit.

Oh wait, we have the Great American Dog where reality television goes to the dogs.

I really need to turn the television off.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Day 14 - A musical interlude

So we were at my parent's house tonight and had gotten on the subject of raising children today and how it is seemingly different from when we were growing up. We were talking about how some parents use different activities as a way of avoiding their parental responsibilities. A comment was made about a kid whose parents had him in tennis lessons, swimming lessons, and tee ball. The kid apparently doesn't even like tee ball. I feel sorry for any kid that gets forced into doing something they have no interest in doing. Too many parents, especially fathers, use sports as a way to live out their dreams through their kids.

I commented that I was glad my parents never forced me into anything I wasn't interested in doing. My mother commented that they wouldn't have been able to afford a whole lot if I had been interested and noted, half jokingly/half seriously, that they had to scrimp a little to pay for me to go to musical kindergarten.

It kind of dawned at me right then that I've always had a thing for music, even as a child. Music has always fascinated me, probably more so than computers. When I was in elementary school, around the fourth grade, they brought in an outside group to teach a quasi-orchestra of the school children. It wasn't purely extra-curricular in nature. I remember wanting to play saxophone or clarinet, but because of my braces and the overbite that they were trying to correct I was not allowed. I ended up playing the snare drum which was fun, but to this day I wish I had been able to play another instrument.

Even now I would like to learn piano or guitar, but I don't feel like I have the time to devote to it. So I live vicariously through bands and music of all kinds. I volunteer to do sound at church so I can learn the techniques of mixing and train my ears to critically hear music. The aforementioned book I am going to write is all about music and the effect it has had in my life and faith.

I think that epiphany of looking back across my life has opened up whole new avenues for my future and I can say that I'm really excited to see where the next chapter of life takes me.