Friday, May 25, 2007

Talking with God?

Every time I read Victor Shepherd's writings, I come away enriched. Maybe someday I will be lucky enough to take one of his classes....

Here is one small nugget from one of his sermons....

Every last human being is a dialogical partner with God. This isn’t to say that everyone is aware of this or welcomes this or agrees with this. It isn’t to say that everyone is a believer or a crypto-believer or even a "wannabe" believer. It isn’t to say that everyone is going to become a believer or be considered one. But it is to say that the God who has made us all can’t be escaped; can’t be escaped by anyone. God can be denied, he can be disdained, he can be ignored, he can be unknown, he can be fled, but he can’t be escaped. Not to be aware of this truth is not thereby to be spared it. To ridicule this truth is not thereby to be rid of it. The living God is always and everywhere the dialogical "Other", the relational "Other" of everyone’s life, even as there are many creaturely "others" in everyone’s life.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

One Year Later....

I've tried to pretend all month that it wasn't on my mind, not in my thoughts, not eating at my insides....but it was a year ago this month when Michele (on the far left) took her own life...she is missed....what a waste.

Monday, May 21, 2007

NB Women’s News


May 24, 1918 - Federal voting rights are granted to women throughout Canada.

May 25, 1875 - Saint John's Grace Annie Lockhart becomes the first woman in the British Empire to earn a university degree, as she graduates from Mount Allison University with a Bachelor of Science and English Literature.

May 25, 1939 - Molly Kool of Alma becomes Canada's first woman sea captain. Molly takes command of the vessel " Jean K " and works the coastal trade throughout the Bay of Fundy until after World War II.


Friday, May 18, 2007

Nasty Nestle

I have always breastfed each of my kids and used child led weaning as my guide. I have done my share of things to support breastfeeding within our community and online. One of those things is being involved with the boycott of Nestle and suporting the efforts of Infact Canada because I believe so strongly in breastfeeding. I realize that not everyone chooses to breastfeed but for many, they aren't given a chance because of the huge companies such as Nestle which uses unethical marketing practices to impede breastfeeding.

The worst part, Nestle does this not only here but also in third world countries where clean water and money is hard to come mothers who could have... should have.... breast fed, cannot... simply because they are told that canned milk is better, breast milk. They are given free samples and once the free samples run out and the mothers breast milk has dried up, mothers are forced to use dirty water and forumula that is watered down because of the expense or simply because they can not read the directions on the can.

Adding to that, is the practice of dumping inferior formula which may have been recalled here....that is used in poorer countries and in turn, babies die each and every day because of this! I find this cold and disheartening that such a huge, rich company can get away with this.

There are many efforts to stop can write letters, you can stop purchasing their products, you can voice your displeasure at the Nestle displays of formulas in your doctors office, the posters in hospitals and if your hospital is still so far behind as to offer the bag of freebies with free formula, decline it and write a note sharing your displeasure with this practice.
If you would like more information then check out the following email I received from Infact Canada to get a better understanding of the severity of this problem.

May 18, 2007

CBC investigates Nestle malpractice

CBC Radio's The Current recently aired an excellent program on Nestle and the infant formula issue. Host Anna Maria Tremonti speaks to a representative of Save the Children UK, which has just released a report documenting serious violations of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes by the major formula companies. She also speaks to an American sociologist who elaborates on how North American culture has discouraged the natural process of breastfeeding.

To hear the program, click here.

Formula for Disaster: Infant feeding in the Philippines

As reported in the most recent edition of INFACT Canada's newsletter, infant health advocates in the Philippines are fighting a major legal battle to implement strong pro-breastfeeding laws, in the face of opposition from American formula companies. UNICEF Philippines has just released a video revealing the catastrophic effect that formula promotion has had on infant health in that country. Only 16% of infants in the Philippines are exclusively breastfed, despite the huge financial toll formula takes on an impoverished family, and the risks that formula poses to young children.

To view the video, click here.

Another great magazine that really encourages breastfeeding and a more simpler lifestyle is Compleat Mother....which profoundly affirmed my instincts as a mother.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Simplicity of the Gospel

You know, there are many valid reasons why a person would not choose to believe in Christianity. I totally get that! My own husband isn't sure what he believes and it will take a lot more than the status quo to change his mind.

Along those same lines, within the Christian community it seems to be so fragmented, with each church, denomination, tv evangelist, movement, etc...stating the facts as they see fit and claiming it as gospel! I find it challenging at best to work it all out, and I understand why those looking in at the Christian community hold us up to so much ridicule and contempt.

One area of preaching that I find repugnant is the prosperity movement. We prop God up as a sugar daddy who can't wait to hand out goodies to his usually white, prosperous north american worshippers who pray and worship in the proper way instructed from the latest $20-$100 book set that will give you the keys to the kingdom and daddy's purse strings.

If however, you don't get rich, cure yourself of cancer, or fix that failing marriage...well...look no closer than yourself and do some self-analysis to figure out what your inner demons are that hold you back from really connecting with Jesus.
Oh, and don't worry about the poor and dying in other areas of the world...they must be doing something wrong and heck, you can now afford to sponser a child or donate at christmas a shoe box of goodies.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in the above mentioned forms of donation, but we need to do more. We have to do more. I think it starts in our churches by saying we don't support sermons about money or that if you only pray more you can heal that cancer...or get off those condescending and judgemental.

When I become overwhelmed with all that I read and hear within the christian community...I stop, pull away and go back to the basics tenet of MY faith. Jesus accepts me as I am right now today...he accepts everyone as they are today when they call out his name, even though I may not agree with it!

I think he welcomes our struggles, our failures, our doubts and anger in figuring out our relationship with Him. Our desire to put in place rules and how to's only complicates what is such a simple, clear message of acceptance and love...though with no guarantees of health, wealth and an easy life.

Stomping on the working class...

Many of us are aware of the new refinery to be built in the beautiful area of Mispec along our beautiful coastline. We as citizens of this area have been faulted for not fighting to stop this proposal. The reality is that most people accepted this news as an inevitable event because of the growing need for energy and the need for jobs in our local area.

I have to admit I am very conflicted by the idea of another refinery. One side of me appreciates the fact that for the first time in years we might finally stop the mass exodus out of our province and keep families together and offer young people a well paying job that can provide for their future.

Yet, the other side of me struggles with the knowledge that we can never get back our coastline. If we really believe that the environmental damage will be minimal we are delusional. I wonder what my children and grandchildren will say to me someday....

But, adding to this internal struggle is the knowledge that the community of Red Head and Mispec are directly affected! My personal struggle on this issue is pitiful compared to their reality! We have all witnessed the pollution over the years from the refinery on the east side...and even with the major improvements made to the Saint John refinery, it still pollutes and the residents who live in Champlain Heights can attest to that.

What must the residents of Mispec & Red Head be thinking when they realize that they will be trading their fresh air and quiet vistas for pollution, noise, trucks, and the daily commute of workers going back and forth to the refinery each we really believe this will not affect them?

Some residents would like Irving to buy them out at fair market values and allow them to move away and start fresh. Irving is refusing to do this if their home is located outside of their arbitrary line. I would love to see Irving step up and truly show to the citizens and business community at large what it means to be a good neighbour... a good corporate citizen! For me, it will take more than some trees planted to give me the warm fuzzies....

If you care to read more on this issue go to CBC and read about one local couple fighting for fairness when it comes to their home. Or visit Alli's blog to get information on how you can help by writing a letter to voice your concerns that residents be treated with monetary fairness and respect.

Many people stand to make lots of money from this deal...why shouldn't the residents be fairly compensated? They are already losing out on the longterm equity that comes with owning waterfront property let alone the disruption to their lives. This shouldn't even be an issue about doing the right thing!