Thursday, February 25, 2010

Answers To Prayer

When your heart cries out to God and pleads for His intervention in your life, He may answer you in His "still, small voice" or in His stormy, large voice. Both are a comfort and a wonder. Our God is an awesome God.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Amazing Grace

Dave and I watched this movie today. Quite amazing. It could motivate you to never eat sugar again in remembrance of those that died during the development of the sugar industry.

Watch it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Globalization: Good vs. Bad

"At first glance, of course, one might think that globalization is a good thing: each country or people liberated to exchange the fruits of their labor on the world's markets; each culture free to learn from all the others; more buying and selling, higher standards of living, and modernity; less poverty and backwardness. In practice, however, much of globalization tends to promote an extremely selective, and often quite destructive and unjust, distribution of power and wealth. It supports certain cultures and communities and eliminates others. Its successes tend to be measured by the simplest and least humane of economic measures -- more economic activity, more 'wealth' understood purely as purchasing power -- while its crushing human and ecological effects are ignored. Above all, globalization's transformations of the way people work, live, and raise families are not democratically chosen but created and managed by political and economic elites."
"To get a sense of globalization's dark side, consider and example of the international production of energy involving Enron in the Indian state of Maharastra. Enron contracted to build power plants there, and Maharastra agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in return. Because the resulting facilities produced electricity that was between two and seven times more expensive than previously existing Indian plants, a new state government attempted to break the disastrous agreement. Pressure was applied by the U.S. ambassador (who soon retired from government service to become an Enron director), and soon a new contract was signed that was even more expensive. Millions of dollars of bribes to local officials secured the contract, threats from U.S. and other global institutions solidified Enron's position, and Enron made billions in profits. An already poverty-stricken area of a third world country became poorer, but economic activity measured as the exchange of funds increased. National boundaries, and to some extent national sovereignty, were diminished. Some people did quite well out of the deal, but many more suffered."

"Another harmful impact of globalization arises when subsistence farming is replaced by huge plantations growing a single export corp, and peasants who used to support themselves on the land move to already overcrowded cities with high unemployment. In such cases, people who had been living a reasonably secure existence, with access to land and food, get turned into consumers who must pay for everything they need. Economic activity increases, more money circulates, but the loss of access to their own fields, forests, or coastlines is not registered as a monetary loss, and because the ensuing poverty involves more cash flow, it can be seen as a 'better life.'"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ta Dah!!

Announcing a new baby girl!! Just fresh into the world. Praise God!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Consumerism, An Addiction

Two weeks ago hubby and I heard Roger S. Gottlieb, Professor of Philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), speak on religious environmentalism. The following is a quote from his book, A Greener Faith, Religious Environmentalism and Our Planet.

"Consumerism, we should be clear, is not simply about buying a lot, though it certainly includes that. All through history people have wanted their basic needs met, and that small group with extra cash on hand made a point of getting a good deal more than that. The shape taken by consumerism in the modern world, however, involves not just the multiplication of what you get, but the endless expansion of what you want. Consumerism teaches that the central goal of human existence is the satisfaction of an ever growing, ever changing array of personal desires. To be a consumer, in this sense, is always to be wanting something else: the newest, fastest, largest (or smallest), best, prettiest, or most impressive. If the superlatives in these categories are restricted to the truly wealthy, the goal will be to get the best knock-offs one can afford. In this sense, consumerism is a quasi-addictive pattern, made up of unending cycles of the stimulation of desire - the satisfaction of desire (buying) - and the stimulation of new desires. Like any other addiction, we feel a rush of craving, a brief moment of contentment, the inevitable letdown - and then a new craving."

What does a life free from addiction look like? What is that freedom?

"Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.'"
John 8: 34-35

Friday, February 5, 2010

Motivational quotes and application


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle
Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need. Voltaire
Experience is the child of thought, and thought is the child of action. Benjamin Disraeli
You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind. Author Unknown
The best way out is always through. Robert Frost
Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking. William B. Sprague
Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome. Samuel Johnson
Fortune favors the brave. Publius Terence
He who hesitates is lost. Proverb
Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall. Confucius
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. Albert Einstein
Knowing is not enough; we must apply.Willing is not enough; we must do. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We are still masters of our fate.We are still captains of our souls. Winston Churchill
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Constant dripping hollows out a stone. Lucretius
Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose--a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. Mary Shelley

FBL Team member personal application:

“I have always had lots of reasons to "want" to lose weight. I wanted that little black dress, or to be attractive. Even to not look like a dumpy late thirty's mother of two. But a few weeks ago I got a new reason. Being over weight I am at a high risk for diabetes. My brother-in-law has had to deal with diabetes for a lot of his life. This past year has been very bad for him. Finally around Christmas he started cascading organ failure. He died 3 weeks ago because his liver and kidneys just plain failed and there wasn't anything else they could do. We went to see him the night before he died and I stood there, knowing I should be feeling only for him, but thinking "I don’t want to die this way!" He was only 43. I guess getting an up-close look at what the possible health issues can really mean just scared me. Of course I haven't been eating right every day since then. But at least I am making conscious efforts everyday to do at least something better for my body. Add in some protein I wouldn't have eaten, cut a carb I normally do. Do a few extra minutes with the wii fit.”

ASSIGNMENT: Each of you has personal reasons to change your eating habits. Focus on that reason. Keep it before you all the time. Work for it.

(My favorite quote above is: “You can not plow a field by turning it over in your mind.”)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What Motivates You To Change?

Hello everyone,
An FBL member is feeling alone and needs our help.

Here is the problem:

“I can be good for a day and then have 3 or 4 days when I just don't care. I understand all the medical reasons to lose weight but somehow it just doesn't make me change my ways. I think I would feel better if I lost weight but again still doesn't make me change my eating.”

OK, team. Thinking caps on.

What motivates you?