Category Archives: developing world

New Year’s Wishes for You and Yours

On New Year’s Eve, 2013, my little family made a pilgrimage to Cape Reinga, Te Rerenga Wairua, the northern tip of New Zealand, where the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea ‘say hello’ as SBJ will tell you, with a dramatic clap of his hands. They clash with a set of white-topped breakers out in […]

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Advent in Art 2013: Shall We?

    Probably my favourite season of the church year is coming up soon. Advent, the four weeks before Christmas where we prepare ourselves for celebrating Jesus’ arrival in our world. There’s lots to like about Advent (even if you don’t have calendars filled with chocolate). It’s not often we engage deeply in old-fashioned anticipation, […]

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Child Marriage, Child Death and What You Can Do

Trigger warning for discussion of rape and child marriage. The tragic, terrible death of an eight-year-old Yemeni girl made international news this week. You might have read reports that a little girl died from injuries she received during wedding-night intercourse with a 40-year-old man who had just married her. Coming from a much more fortunate […]

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Possession #5: Glass Walls

Michael Pollan advocates abattoirs with glass walls: Sometimes I think that all it would take to clarify our feelings about eating meat, and in the process begin to redeem animal agriculture, would be to simply pass a law requiring all the sheet-metal walls of all the CAFOs, and even the concrete walls of slaughterhouses, to […]

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Education and Schooling #11: Unschooling, Schooling and Socialisation

If you had a six-year-old child, and institutional schooling had never existed, how would you go about preparing them for adult life? In the next few posts on unschooling, I want to tease out a few different issues and discuss them separately. Today it’s the different social experiences schooled and unschooled (or homeschooled) kids have. […]

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New Year’s Guide to Joyce Rupp

A new year might be an arbitrary piece of mathematical jiggery-pokery, but it’s also a handy opportunity to let the enthusiasm of millions energise our own inclination for change or renewal. I thought I’d introduce you to the wonderful Joyce Rupp today, through this collection of blessings, using imagery from the Bible (thanks, JK, the Ideas […]

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Advent in Art #4: Shepherds

If you love surprises, chances are you live in a rich and safe part of the world. There is a famous (but possibly not ancient, nor Chinese) curse that says ‘May you live in interesting times!’ (This Advent we are spending time with Mark Pierson’s Advent in Art series, a set of paintings by James B Janknegt, curated by […]

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Advent in Art #2: The Visitation

Nine months is a long time to wait, but thousands of years is longer. Week two of this year’s Advent in Art cycle places the Christmas story in context of a much larger narrative of hope and a longing for justice. As we meet them in today’s painting, Mary and Elizabeth, like all mothers around the […]

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December Babies (SBJ, Jesus and Me)

This time a year ago I was celebrating my birthday by cuddling my baby – with my arms instead of my uterus – having just met him on the outside for the first time. SBJ was born thirty-four years-minus-four-hours after me, and conveniently arrived at 11.10pm, just squeaking in to get his own birthday. Not […]

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Anticipating the Anticipating: Getting Ready for Advent

Christmas carols start wafting through shops earlier and earlier each year, but this year one thing about Christmas is later than usual. The church season of Advent runs for four or so weeks before Christmas, helping us to imagine life before Jesus, and anticipate the celebrations of his birth. This year it begins on Sunday […]

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