Saturday, 20 November 2010

Do stop by as it's Universal Children's Day


And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.”

(Genesis 33:5 ESV)

In an ideal world there wouldn't have to be an Universal Children's Day. Children should be loved, hugged and given the best everyday so there would not be a need to stop and remember them. This post isn't about me celebrating today as a child but, instead, I want you to join me in thinking about those children in the UK and around the world who still don't have access to basic things in their lives. Children do have to have a special recognition to be heard and not just seen. The facts below will show you how much work needs to be done to raise the standards for children in education, health and food.
  • A child dies of hunger every three seconds.
  • 95% of all children who get polio are under 5 years old.
  • 6 million children under 5 years old die of hunger everyday.
  • Children in war torn countries are forced to become soldiers and commit violence.
  • 246 million children work and don't go to school because education is too expensive.
  • 4 Million children in the UK are living in poverty.
I also want to remember the children who are subject to abuse and feel they can't speak out for fear of nobody believing them. Those who live in terror because they are being bullied at school. There are even children who live in nice homes and go to good schools but who are emotionally neglected.
These are huge problems and I have praise for the agencies around the world who work to help children but much more needs to be done. I watch governments working together actively on economic problems and believe that if the same was done for child neglect then standards will rise much quicker.
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Wednesday, 17 November 2010

There was a Muslim in my church

Yes, you read that right. At Rememberance Day service in my church (St John's, London) the sermon was given by a Muslim, Jehangir Malik OBE, Director, Islamic Relief UK. Recently, there has been a lot of violent attacks against Christians and Catholics in Iraq, India and Pakistan by Muslims. As a Christian, I feel angry that different religions cannot get on around the world and I feel especially worried about fellow Christians who are living in fear for their lives.
That is why I was touched when Mr Malik said, 'I want to say how appreciative and moved I am to have been invited here to this remembrance service, a service for ALL those on ALL sides who suffered and for those who fought for the eternal and God-given principles of Faith, Justice and Peace. All that remains is for us to take their struggle forward - to get past the cliche and hate speech we hear about one another and build coalitions and movements that isolate extremists and extremism on all sides and from whichever community'.
Religion is a concept of peace. I cannot understand why some take their religion to mean that they are better than others or that they are allowed to kill in the name of their God. It is inhumane and evil to do so. Religious  leaders can try and resolve this huge problem through negotiation and actions. People like Mr Malik set a huge example in trying to show communities that religion is about Justice and Peace. Churches like mine can also set examples by inviting Muslims to attend services or special events.
The following is a passage from the Qu'ran:
We decreed to the Children of Israel the eternal moral order for all humanity that whoever kills a human being - unless it is in the course of justice for murder or bloody crimes on the earth - it shall be as if he killed all mankind. And whoever saves one life it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.



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Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Violent students ruined the point today for my generation


I am very angry at the actions of those students who became violent because my generation could have benefitted from the demonstration today if it hadn't been hijacked for violent purposes. The stand off between the hard core student demonstrators and the police is still going on. The focus was meant to have been on those thousands of students who came to London today to get their point across which is that the Government's proposed decision to remove the cap on tuition fees will be a mistake. Unfortunately, a lot of society views students as being silly freeloaders and the drama of today supports this view. I feel disheartened by today's actions. Tim Farron hasn't helped. He has said that students do demonstrate and that is part of being a student. I think he misses the point. The students probably did not want to be in the position of having to protest today. The peaceful protest students did not get much airtime at all today to tell us why they were there. In the time they were interviewed they were being asked about what they thought about the damage done. Breaking into the Tory HQ and wreaking havoc have only ruined their futures. They will now face criminal prosecution and have criminal records. Nobody won today.
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Sunday, 7 November 2010

Just as I got the Obama dream Palin wakes me up-Shellacked


During my school holidays I went to watch a movie called 'Africa United' about a group of Rwandan children who dream of going to the World Cup Football opening ceremony. They don't have any money or any way of getting to South Africa but they keep reading Time magazine which has Obama on the front cover for their inspiration. It was touching to watch how they made sure the magazine was safely kept with them at all times through all the scrapes they got into. I got the Obama dream by the end of the movie.
Then what happens? The dream was given a 'shellacking' on Tuesday at the mid-term elections. The word 'shellacking' was used by Obama himself on Tuesday night. Sarah Palin is the victor and has been pictured grinning away. I thought Tea Parties were events where you had fun, children brought along teddy bears and adults chatted happily away. At Palin's Tea Party a female grizzly bear features (not a bear to play with) and Republicans are planning to fight Obama for the next two years. I don't want his Healthcare Reform reversed because of the impact it will have on poor children. I hope Obama manages to create jobs and get people back into the workplace again otherwise it may be two years of Tea Parties with the Queen of Hearts shouting 'Off with their heads'.
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