Been really busy. Working on this creative wee advent journey a few friends and I are going on. Called The Marinade. Yuo can find us at www.marinateme.blogspot.com. Join the Journey as of 3rd December. Its exciting!
Off to U2 tommorrow- WAHOOOO!!! Helping out with Make Poverty History there.

Then in Wellington for the first half of next week.

Theres no news except perhaps that our crazy landlord showed future tenants around our flat- and a tradesmen- without telling us and then had the audacity to tell me off for keeping it too messy! Whhaaat?! Thats been the drama of the week.

Theres a little red mini on Trade Me going for $1000 if you want one? (Yep, it had to go, failed it's warrant and too much $$$ to fix)

Talking at Tim's old church/corps on Sunday, on freedom. So, with that in mind here is a beautiful something from Dietrich....

“..freedom comes only through deeds,
Not through thoughts taking wing.
Faint not nor fear,
But go out to the storm and the action,
Trusting in God whose commandments you faithfully follow,
Freedom, exultant, will welcome your spirit with joy.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Buy Nothing Day November 25th 2006

Buy Nothing Day is this Saturday. Give it a bash this one time, or give it up completley for Christmas!


too outrageous?

There have been riots in Tonga. The Salvation Army Headquarters was set on fire because it was part of a property belonging to a king.

Good on the Tongans I say.

Evil, oppression and an unjust system has reigned in that kingdom too long.

The disparities between the arisocrats and the commoners are severe. The chosen rich (royal family members) live in mansions eating luxuries, while the non-rich have not a glimpse of hope to access resources. Commoners are not even permitted to own land. For years people have tried to negotiate more democratic processes to no avail. It has never reached boiling point because the last King was a kind man. The new king is the opposite: on coming in to power he declared control over state owned assets. Yesterday the people cracked, buildings were burnt down, cars over turned, six people died in the turmoil.

Christians seem to be tut tutting all over the place today about this shocking news. I admit, Violence is never, ever great. But if democracy gets a foot in the door through this course of events then surely its worth it?

I pray these riots will form part of a greater Kingdom's ethos of equality and justice.


Bono says....

'There’s two kinds of people, there’s those who are asleep and those who are awake. I’ve used my music to wake myself up, and if it wakes other people up on the way than that’s okay because we get used to the sound of a bomb going off in Belfast and to the roll call of bad news on television, we get used the the fact that third of the population on earth are starving. We get used to all these things and we eventually fall asleep in the comfort of our freedom. "

U2 gig in Auckland next Weekend!

(I googled U2 under photos. This came up with the title: "Even better than the real thing". Of course. Clearly.)


concrete pillow

No sleep. for too many nights. Concrete pillow, too many limbs to be placed in comfort, adrenaline courses through my veins, making my tummy tighten, my heart pound. My mind whirs with masterplans of all shapes and sizes, solving the issues of the universe.

Why is it when you are tired your body often acts in the opposite way to what it should- senses heighten....hyperactivity? I don't mind insomnia too much (apart from when I am actually lying in bed sleepless) during the day, I actually enjoy it. I think I come up with the best ideas when I am sleep deprived.. I find life a lot more joyous... I laugh at all sorts and seem to be a lot more observant, dwelling on small stuff, noticing irony, uniquity etc to a deeper degree.

Last night in my tired state I got hungry. So I made some toast. I got out the manuka honey a friend gave us from his bees which was all hard, so I dug my knife in to soften it. A little cute fly started bizzing (too tiny to buz) around the top of the jar, and with a quick dash, he landed right deep down in the middle of the goodness. I was listening to Norah Jones the time, and the second he landed her voice rang out "One Fly Doowwn". It cracked me up. It was such perfect timing, like on a music video. It got funnier when I dug him out and I saw that also attached to the little midge was one single bit of brocolli. You know how the stems are made up of stems which are made of stems? Well it was one of the last little stems. I don't know if he was just into brocolli and honey, together, like Americans are into peanuts and jam, or whether the brocolli was already in the honey jar. Man.. Life's big questions ay.


he is furious and enraged

Okay, so guess what. I think I got my first piece of hate mail...

It came in response to an advert for ILLUMINATE (see below) that appeared in a recent Salvation Army Magazine, the War Cry.

It was ever so hostile. Not a peep of love. Not even a hello or goodbye.

It said things about stuff I have written like "Material I have seen so far has been liberally sprinkled with bias and misleading statements, relying heavily on socialist slogans" and how
"As an employer of over 100 people in my business, which spans three continents (including two third world countries), I have some experience which might balance out the indoctrination of our young people into political agendas and work-shy attitudes."

I think he is worried that Illuminate is going to coerce our young people on to the dole and in to thinking that Jesus was a commy. (It isn't. But it hopefully might inspire young people to love and relate to people on the dole, and into thinking that Jesus was about justice and equality)

So. I'm not proud as such but I have a distinct sense that the first hatemail is a bit of a watershed moment.

Illuminate Social Justice Youth Network

Illuminate -the concept

Recognising that Young People are a powerful voice in the fight against injustice in New Zealand and around the globe, we are putting together a database of young people who are interested in social justice and action. There will be a regular newsletter on issues and ideas, updates on events and available resources as well as general inspiration to speak out for the voiceless!

"Our lives begin to end the day we are silent on things that matter" Martin Luther King

Illuminate - the name

Spend yourselves on behalf of the oppressed, hungry, naked, those with no shelter and your night will become like the noon day. Isaiah 58

So not only do we become shiney when we do this stuff.... but also the idea that through our actions we put the spotlight on situations of injustice, oppression. We illuminate areas of need, areas that need our voice.

So.... Illuminate.

Email Lucy_aitkenread@nzf.salvationarmy.org to form part of this vital link.


highs n lows

It has been a wee while since I posted in a personal manner, I seem to be all poems and quotes and ranting. So, just feeling a bit, you know, cavalier and thought I might tell you about my day yesterday.

A high: Went and got a BBC Learn Spanish in a day C.D from the library for me and Tim to get all on to it for our trip to Peru and Bolivia. Hola Amigo. (Thats it at the moment.)
A Low: Had a big fine I had to pay. Rats.

A low: I have to send these posters around the country for our Justaction conference coming up. So I found this cheap place that cuts postal tubes to measure and I ordered hundreds of of them for my a3 poster to go in. The ends were too thick. The poster was too big. It didn't fit. No refund. Disaster. Silly, silly Lucy.
A High: My survival instinct kicked in andI popped posters in box and took them round the corner to a Copy Centre and asked them to chop off the edges. They did it for free. Hurray! Posters fit. Posters sent.

A high: Was feeling jubilantly exhilarated all day and at night time when someone mentioned how windy it had been today I realised why- the Wind. The wind is exciting! Whipping around freshening everyone up, and most of all it reminded me of Wellington. The city I love.
A Low: Auckland couldn't handle the pace, the Sky Tower bent over and had to be evacuated, our neighbours roof blew off, tree's smashed cars and sheds roamed freely across gardens, wheeley bins went wild over the roads.

A low: Tim had a crap day yesterday. It sucks seeing anyone down, let alone spouses, me thinks.
A high: To beat the blues, we got out a movie and popcorn and watched Papillon under the duvet. It was late and crazy cos I had had a meeting till late. We were feeling all reckless abandon.


political Jesus

I really liked Donald Millers Blue Like Jazz. It is a refreshing and laugh out loud read, with some real profound bits. However, he kind of had this weird tension all the way through where he talked a bit about politics, and then almost felt bad about having a political view because he "felt like Jesus was a religious figure, not a political figure." (Pg 132)

Those who see the ridiculous use of Religion and Jesus in American politics clearly want to move their Christian spirituality right away from it, detached faith and politics completley. Which in a sense, is fair enough because the politicians abuse and manipulate God, Faith and Scripture for their own political ends.

However, in another sense I also think it is entirely wrong to put Jesus, Faith, Spirituality in one room and then policy and political engagement in another. In fact, I think Jesus was as political as he was religious.

I love this quote by Bob Marley:

"Me don' understand politics, me don' understand big words like "democratic socialism." What me say is what de Bible say, but because people don' read the Bible no more, dey tink me talk politics. Ha! Its de Bible what have it written, and it strong, it powerful."


When you realise something you always thought was Faaaabulous is really maybe not.....

When I was a sociology student I studied community currencies. They are communities that try and work outside of the normal economic system. Instead of dollars they trade hours- or products, whatever, just not money. It is partly to rebut corrupt power (banking etc) and partly to fight poverty, which is fab, right... but then also in the process you strengthen communites and build social capital. So, rave, rave, rave, I have always thought they were rather flipping wonderful. You know, kingdom stuff.

But then... when you really think about it (which I obviously wasnt doing when I was writing essays on them because I have only just contemplated it, ha!) it also creates a tension with God values. Like, relationships not being transactional. it is easy to slip into friendships where you expect output when you input, and as Jesus lovers we need to be sooooo anti this! But community currencies sort of rely on this kind of debt rememberance. And then there is this idea that every person is made in God's image, so has something beautiful and valuable to share.... but if it is not wanted as a "commodity" by people in the community they are instantly excluded from community life...Which sucks.

What do you reckon? Do community currencies rock or roll?


A beautiful celebration

A friend sent me this clip today:

It is part of Doves Campaign for Real Beauty. The little cynic in me wants to scoff and say "wow its frightening what companies do for promotion" but! Today I stamp on zee cynics head. Because you know what? I think it is brave of Dove to fight the oppressive regime that creates our sense of beauty... young womens's identities, young men's expectations.

I think the advertising industry is full of giants commiting crimes against society. And Dove are choosing to pick up a pebble and sling shot. I admire that. Today I celebrate Dove.



Bookcrossing is radical

So yesterday I found some cool websites (Trying to find where I can buy Change the World for a Fiver) and I found out that you can buy an ozzy version here in NZ- how fabulous. But, the best thing was that this then led me onto discover Bookcrossing....

You finish a book that has inspired you, and instead of popping it back on the shelf you share the love with strangers! You just go and leave it in a park, a cafe, on the bus, any old place where someone might find it and adore it too. (With the Bookcrossing website you can register the book you set free and then check out where it has been picked up. Kind of like a message in a bottle.) The world is on it's way to becoming a giant library. I love it. It makes me smile. Free the books! We can give them a William Wallace moment without the blood. The very best books Im reading at the moment are from the Library (JK Baxters Poetry and The Fringes of Freedom) and I think Bev the Librarian might not truly understand things if I free those. (Why are all librarians called Bev?)