Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Government votes on Gagging Law to Silence Freedom of Speech!

I received this unfortunate email from 38 degrees about yet another way in which our freedom of speech and democracy is being eroded!

Please share & join in the debate!

Blessings!

Ronell x

Dear Ronell,

I wanted to let you know straight away. I'm afraid we lost the gagging law vote in the House of Lords this evening. That's it - it's going to become law.

It couldn't have been closer. On the final vote, 245 Lords voted in favour and 245 against. Unfortunately the rules mean that in the case of a tie, the government gets its way.

Personally I feel pretty devastated about this. I'm worried about what it means for the future of 38 Degrees. More importantly, I'm worried about what it means for the future of democracy, and what it tells us about the state of British politics.

But I also feel proud of everything 38 Degrees members did together to fight this. I hope you do too.

There will be a lot of thinking and discussion to be done in the coming days. 38 Degrees members will need to pull together to think about how to fight this terrible law. And we'll need to work out how we can keep standing up for all we believe in - despite the restrictions the government is trying to impose.

But right now, I feel sure of one thing. We won't give up.

Sorry I'm not emailing with better news, and thank you for everything you've done,

David

PS: 38 Degrees members are discussing the outcome on Facebook. You can join in at https://www.facebook.com/peoplepowerchange

Saturday, 25 January 2014

How to Change a Life: Break the Cycle of Failure

So often we are concerned with changing our lives... doing something HUGE that will make our lives so much better; and with that, we enter into a never ending cycle of promises to ourselves that we never keep. 

When you're feeling low, it is exactly this cycle of failing yourself that often kicks you deeper and deeper into that pit of self loathing and despair, or the cycle of abuse (from self or other), or depression. But there is a hope, no matter how dark, deep, depraved, or broken the state of your heart and life! And the best news is that it is hope that is not dependent on your own strength, capabilities or resources (no 'now only £69.99' miracle-in-a-bottle cure). A hope that is freely available to anyone and everyone.. available to YOU, wherever and whoever you are.

Please keep reading and PLEASE watch the beautiful testimony below of a woman who lost everything, sank so low, did so many things she was not proud of, and then saw her whole life and her whole world change in one moment. The change is incredible!


It is simple. All you have to do is admit that you are incapable of changing your own life, confide in the one person that will never let you down, and ask Him to forgive, restore and renew you. That man? Well, He saved my life (literally) and He wants to save yours too! 


I know it sounds cliched, but it is true. Jesus is the only way to truly save a life. He is the author of life and the giver of live. He stands in the gap for us so that everyone who believes in Him and and accepts Him as their saviour, will be exempt from dying for their own sins. 

Will you ask Him to save your life? And if He already has, will you intercede for others so that He will save their lives too?

An atheist recently said something along the lines of, "I don't believe there is a God, but if I did, I would tell everyone. If I believed in eternal life vs eternal damnation, I would tell everyone just like I would tell you if I saw a truck coming towards you, about to hit you (even if you believe that it wasn't). I mean, how much do you have to HATE someone not to tell them, if that is what you truly believe??" - that really hit me hard and stayed with me!

Please watch this moving testimony of how God can really save/change your life, giving hope where there previously was none: 

Blessings!

Ronell x

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." {John 3:16}


{photo credit: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2P9XLGfMMo0/ThwZLZaimTI/AAAAAAAAAGM/aim-Iv47IPQ/s1600/crossyay.jpg}

Saturday, 18 January 2014

12 Years A Slave

I went to watch 12 Years A Slave tonight.. Well, it is hard to put into words! (Thank you Steve McQueen & all other contributors for making this heart wrenching, essential film!)

Sobering; horrifying; sickening; inspiring and beautiful all at the same time... but the most sobering part of the film..? Sitting in a cinema where people actually laughed at it as if it was there for their entertainment...

This is not fiction! This is not a thing of the past! There are more slaves today than in the days of Solomon Northup! We have a duty to stand for world change; to demand it; and together we can!

What are you doing with your freedom??

Stand together with organisations like The A21 Campaign who are trailblazing and actively fighting this fight for freedom!

Nobody can do everything, but EVERYBODY can do SOMETHING!

Blessings!

Ronell x

12 Years a Slave (2013)
{photo credit: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3711556096/tt2024544?ref_=tt_ov_i}


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Petition to Stop Injustice in Brazil

I received this email tonight from SumOfUs about a major injustice affecting poor farmers and giving an opportunity to sign a petition to stop it from happening!

Please read below and sign the petition if you are so led.

Blessings!

Ronell

--------------------

Ronell,
Under pressure from big commercial farms, the Brazilian parliament is about to hold a vote that will allow companies like Monsanto, Bayer, and others to start selling so-called ‘suicide seeds’ to farmers. The genetically modified seeds can only be used once, forcing small farmers into buying seeds from Monsanto or others over and over again -- literally forever.
The use of these seeds is essentially prohibited under a UN treaty on biodiversity which over 193 countries, including Brazil, have signed. But if Brazil overturns its own ban then this will have huge consequences. Poor, small farmers could be locked into a cycle of endless debt and dependency -- and the rest of the world could be handing control of the global food supply to a handful of companies. The stakes couldn’t be higher.
The parliamentary proposal has already been approved by some key committees and is now hurtling its way to a full parliament vote, which could happen in just a few weeks time -- meaning we don’t have long to stop this proposal.
If the ban is scrapped, huge commercial farms will be allowed to use super fast-growing GMO crops, damaging neighbouring farms through cross-fertilisation. Small farmers will have to use the same terminator seeds just to compete -- tying them into buying seeds from the likes of Monsanto forever.
If Brazil allows these dangerous seeds to be used, it will spark a global domino effect, as country after country race to change laws in order to stay competitive. Brazil’s decision could set the stage for the global ban on terminator seeds to be overturned when the UN treaty is renewed this year. It’s absolutely vital that we stop this move in its tracks.
We’ve come together in the past to take on huge agribusinesses like Monsanto before. We’re fighting Bayer and Syngenta in their attempts to overturn Europe’s ban on bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. We’ve taken on the might of Monsanto when we campaigned to stop it receiving the World Food Prize. Now we need to demand that Brazilian lawmakers reject attempts by giant corporate landowners and agribusinesses to allow the use of these dangerous suicide seeds.
 
SumOfUs is a worldwide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy.

Please help keep SumOfUs strong by chipping in $3.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Help needed!

Operation Christmas Christmas needs you! Can you help??

Please see the image below for details.

Blessings!

Ronell x

Monday, 6 January 2014

New Year's Resolution.. in January!?

So those of you who started following this blog when it first started know that I usually make my new year's resolutions on 1st October rather than 1st January. Strange, I know, but that date held a lot of significance for me in the past. This year, when 1st October came round, I found myself with the inclination towards two new year's resolutions: (1) to stop letting 1st October remain so significant, and (2) to be more active and practical in bringing about change in the world (rather than focussing more on raising awareness). So here I am, keeping these two resolutions, particularly the first, by publishing them more specifically in January, rather than in October. 

Towards the end of 2013, I posted a lot about Samaritan's Purse's Operation Christmas Child initiative. I got involved personally and encouraged others at the school where I work, at my church and in my family and friendship circles to get involved. In the span of 3 weeks, we managed to collect 96 boxes, which I was incredibly pleased with! 

Ever since Operation Christmas Child's collection dates ended (mid/end November), I have been walking around and feeling drawn to things that I feel like I need to buy, but just reminding myself that it is over now! Then it hit me, I can buy bits and pieces every month so that I am able to reach my target of 12 boxes (2 per gender and age category) for Christmas 2014. Well, I'm pleased to announce that I started today! Initially, I just wanted to take as much advantage as possible of the January sales, but then realised that if I intend to do this properly, I need to be careful and prayerful about each purchase (something I am beginning to learn for my whole life!). I am really pleased with what I ended up buying today and know that each of those gifts will be perfect for the boy/girl who receives it.

I have started giving of myself more practically and using my love of giving gifts/ making up personalised gift boxes. To allow for this financially, I have certainly had to cut back on what I spend on myself, but I have also started selling things I no longer need/want to help fund this (e.g. clothes, bags, shoes, belts & bedding to Cash4Clothes, or selling items on ebay or amazon). I also try to buy gifts that give back (e.g. fairtrade, or from online stores like Sevenly who support causes), so that they are double blessings!

It's really amazing how little you are prepared to spend on yourself when you weigh each purchase against what a blessing that money could be to someone else.. it is equally amazing how over-indulgent you become the minute you slip back into old habits and focus on yourself again...

So I encourage you to include in your list of resolutions for 2014 one that you actually intend to keep: to be less self-focussed and more outward-focussed. Give and love sacrificially, not just when it is easy because really, then there is no sacrifice at all.

I hope that you had a beautiful Christmas (I spent mine with my family in South Africa) and that 2014 will be a year filled with joy, blessings and surprises.

Blessings!

Ronell x