Tag Archives: U.S.

The Yo-yo of greed – is there hope for the most vulnerable citizens on planet earth?

The whole world holds its breath… what will happen at Wallstreet? Is there anything positive to report?

The good news (WAS) according the Millennium Development Goals:

· Some 400 million fewer people live in absolute poverty today than in 1990.

· At least 90 percent of boys and girls in all but two regions of the world are enrolled in school.

· Deaths from measles fell from 750,000 in 2000 to less than 250,000 in 2006, and 80 percent of children in developing countries are now vaccinated against the disease.

· Some 1.6 billion more people than in 1990 can now get safe drinking water.

These gains and others are the result of a global effort “unsurpassed” in 50 years of development history, according to a new United Nations report on the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) based on data from a number of organizations, including the World Bank.

That was the good news until recently; now the bad news: the bad news is that we have not changed in our nature as people! The bad news is that we only can share some of the crumbs of our tables as long as we have abundance!

The fact is that we are caught in a constant swing, a yo-yo if you like, where every effort to break out from our greedy nature seems to release an untamable power bringing us back in the opposite direction leading to a widening gap between the most exposed and vulnerable and the rich to whom the large majority of the Western World belongs.

The current unbelievable and unaccountable $700 billion bailout package which is being discussed for Wall Street by the US government gives us an indication of what is about to happen. According to a fellow blogger the present crisis was addressed on a closed doors session of the United States House of Representatives on Thursday, March 13, 2008.(For English reading check out the end of the text).

It was on that particular meeting that the imminent collapse of the U.S. economy was discussed to occur by September 2008. (A true story? I don’t know, you judge for yourself). The fact is that millions of Americans are thrown back into (Western) poverty level living as a direct result of greedy investors and risk-takers in the economic realm. But there is more to be concerned about… 1.4 billion people still live on less than $1.25 a day and new challenges threaten the achievement of global anti-poverty goals.

Food, fuel and other commodity prices have risen dramatically over the last year and threaten to push over 100 million people back into poverty, according to the World Bank.

The current United States-based financial crisis will affect other economies and slow growth that has helped lift many people in emerging nations out of poverty in the last decade.

Greater effort is needed to lift people out of extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, reduce the number of malnourished children, prevent maternal and child deaths, and achieve greater equality for women, among other goals.

As you see, we are living in a global world with all its advantages but surely a multitude of disadvantages… And as usual, the exposed and vulnerable people in our world will be the first (and often) the only true victims… somehow many of us in the West seem to be able to avoid having to live with the disastrous, life threatening consequences of a world gone mad! What to do with it… Don’t ask me for the answers; I’ve only got one, that a man leaves his darkness as he follows the Son!

That’s the Way I see it!

John



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Cut and paste theology – nothing new under the sun!

Many may find the approach of the post-modern, post-Christian person living in 2008 which practices a smorgasbord (pick and choose favorite dishes) in regards to theology difficult to understand. But the truth is (there we have that word again J)… there is nothing new under the sun!

Tomas Jefferson, one of the presidents of the United States compiled his own “wee little book” of 46 pages where he compiled the four Gospels into one text. He literally cut out verses and teachings that liked and placed them all in his book, it was “like finding diamonds in a dunghill” he said.

He literally sifted the Scriptures leaving out every miracle, every inconsistency (in his mind) and of course finishing off with Jesus’ burial rather than the resurrection.

“There is nothing new under the sun”; I have said this now a couple of times. In our world in 2008 we have many people, churches and denominations who sift out the parts of the Bible which are either politically incorrect, sensitive or just too tough to follow.

My stand? Bring it on…, all of it! I struggle with the Word of God, I have parts I strongly dislike, there are verses and stories that cut down to my bones and hurt my inner being, but… as I dare to embrace it, as I dare to face it. It gives me life in spite of the fact that I have to admit that something within me had to die first.

I guess that is what life with God is al about?!

That’s the Way I see it!

John

World Values Survey – Download 24 nations “happiness document”

Hundreds of people have entered this blog the last couple of days trying to find more information about the “happiness document” (I realize so may of us are in search of happiness). I have written in my earlier blogs here and here about these issues and the general approach of the World Values Survey, which is interesting dealing with many different issues.

The fact that so many of us are curious about the latest trends in this regard shows the importance of happiness in our time and age. However, let us not be impressed by these stats too quickly, as I meet hundreds of Western young people every year I have observed their deep sense of alienation in life. One of the reasons I write this blog is to continue address some of the issues that we are facing in Sweden (and the West). For me and hundreds of these younger people whom I mentioned earlier, the encounter with Jesus Christ has brought the kind of happiness that cannot be obtained by outward things; an inward change brought that deep sense of happiness and belonging.

Back to the document which you can find here, it states: “Indeed, among the countries for which we have long-term data, 19 of the 26 countries show rising happiness levels. In several of these countries— India, Ireland, Mexico, Puerto Rico and South Korea—there are steeply rising trends. The other countries with rising trends are Argentina, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. Three countries (the U.S., Switzerland and Norway) show flat trends from the earliest to latest available survey. Only four countries (Austria, Belgium, the U.K. and West Germany) show downward trends. Almost five times as many countries show rising trends as downward trends.”

For more specific information about Sweden’s state of mind in regards to happiness read this.

I hope that this information will help you on your way to pursue happiness…

God bless you,

John