Environment – 1

With the issue of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the environment having reached a stalemate on the world stage, it is time for drastic action.  A key supplier of carbon dioxide comes in the form of transport, whether it be cars, buses, or areoplanes, as well as from dwellings, such as houses, factories, buildingss and offices.  One way to improve things is to set a challenge to the manufacturers of vehicles, house builders as well as the oil companies, to come up with a plan to develop energy systems which will result in zero carbon dioxide emissions, within five years.  As an encouragement, the government is to provide finance for research and initial manufacture.  If this challenge is not met, then the government is to ‘fine’ the organisations, through a ‘tax’ and also through losing the licence to carry out their business.

With regard to current buildings and transport, the manufacturers would also need to design adaptions which would be sold to businesses and the public at a discounted rate (through a government subsidy).  Businesses and the public would have two years to put these adaptions into use, so that within seven years, there should be no forms of transport or buildings emitting carbon dioxide (with a few exceptions).

Another way is to encourage all financial institutions to only lend money to businesses that meet certain environmental and sustainability criteria, and this would also include investing on behalf on clients.  If there is not much movement by financial institutions in this matter, then legislation would be necessary.  It would also important to encourage the rest of the European Union to do the same, so that institutions don’t simply move countries.  This requirement would apply to any business that does operate in the UK.

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God – 3

As a Christian, a disciple of Jesus, life is all about a relationship of God and part of that is doing His will by applying Jesus’ teaching to every area of life, personally and corporately.  But for that to be meaningful and not just following a set of rules, one needs to get to know God and understand Him and His ways.  To help us in developing this relationship, we have the Bible.  One of the key themes running through the Scriptures are events demonstrating His character and thus His characteristics.

A word that encompasses the many facets of His character is the word ‘Glory’.

Let us first look at some definitions from English dictionaries.

noun:

1. very great praise, honour, or distinction bestowed by common consent; renown: to win glory on the field of battle;

2. something that is a source of honour, fame, or admiration; a distinguished ornament or an object of pride: a sonnet that is one of the glories of English poetry;

3. adoring praise or worshipful thanksgiving: Give glory to God;

4. resplendent beauty or magnificence: the glory of autumn;

5. a state of great splendour, magnificence, or prosperity;

6. a state of absolute happiness, gratification, contentment, etc.: She was in her glory when her horse won the Derby;

7. the splendour and bliss of heaven; heaven;

8. a ring, circle, or surrounding radiance of light represented about the head or the whole figure of a sacred person, as Christ or a saint; a halo, nimbus, or aureole.;

9. a height of prosperity or achievement;

10. a distinguished quality or asset.

verb (used without object), gloried, glorying:

1. to exult with triumph; rejoice proudly (usually followed by in ): Their father gloried in their success;

2. obsolete: to boast.

Interjection:

1. also, glory be . Glory be to God (used to express surprise, elation, wonder, etc.).

2. glory days / years, the time of greatest achievement, popularity, success, or the like: the glory days of radio;

3. go to glory, to die. Also, go to one’s glory.

Related forms:

gloryingly, adverb

self-glory, noun

self-glorying, adjective

Synonyms:

fame, eminence, celebrity, brilliance, refulgence, effulgence, acclaim, accolade, applause, bay(s), credit, distinction, homage, honour, kudos, laud, laurels, props [slang], réclame, sun.

Antonyms:

Disgrace

Origins:

c.1300, “magnificence,” from O.Fr. glorie, from L. gloria “great praise or honor,” of uncertain origin. Gk. doxa “expectation” (Homer), later “opinion, fame,” and ultimately “glory,” was used in Biblical writing to translate a Heb. word which had a sense of “brightness, splendor, magnificence, majesty,” Middle English  < Old French glorie  < Latin glōria

In the Bible, there are a number of words used for ‘glory’:

kabod – abundance, honour, glory;

eder – glory, magnificence, a mantle, a cloak;

paar – to beautify, glorify, to adorn;

hod – splendour, majesty, vigour;

netsach – eminence, enduring, everlastingness, perpetuity;

shabach – commend;

hadar – an honour, majesty

godel – greatness

atarah – a crown, wreath;

tsbiy – beautiful;

kabowd – glorious;

chuppah – a canopy, chamber;

tqoph – might;

hadarah – beauty;

yaqar – precious, rare;

tohar – purifying;

doxa – worship;

epainos – praise;

doxazó – to bestow;

kratos – strength, might;

kleos – fame;

apaugasma – radiance;

eulogia – praise;

stephanos – a crown, garland, honour, glory;

apokalupsis — by the glory received from God;

ischus – strength, might.

 

     
 

 

Posted in God.

Serve – 7

EMPOWERING LIFESTYLE – LIFELONG LEARNING & TRAINING

Focus – Qualifications.

Purpose – To encourage the development of a national set of units as qualifications across all disciplines, and all educational and training institutions, to allow greater flexibility and better use of the learner’s time in pursuing constant improvements in the skill sets required for employment, research and other areas of life.

Action

–      To develop suitable arguments for such a development;

–      To provide an Information, Advice, and Guidance service to Christians on qualifications and training;

–      To encourage churches to become ‘Investors in People’.

Result – Ongoing.

EMPOWERING LIFESTYLE – WORK

Focus – Workplace Ministry.

Purpose – To encourage churches to seek to transform workplaces through their ‘members’.

Action – I hope to undertake a bible study on the subject with the small group I am part of.

Result – I am waiting for an opportunity to run it.

Action – To work with London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) in its work on developing ‘whole-life’ disciples – not sure how yet!

Result – None yet.

EMPOWERING LIFESTYLE – HEALTH, SAFETY & WELL-BEING

Focus – Health, Safety and Well-Being.

Purpose – Helping people at work to be healthy.

Action – When I return to work, after I have been healed, undertake the TUC course on Health and Safety, and courses on well-being and then become a workplace Health, Safety and Well-Being Representative.

Result – Awaiting to be healed and offered a position in a community-based organisation as an IAG advisor.

EMPOWERING LIFESTYLE – CUSTOMER CARE & ADMINISTRATION

Focus –Customer Care and Administration.

Purpose – To develop my Customer Care and Administration Skills when I return to work after being healed.

Action – To undertake relevant NVQs in the subjects as well as a qualification in ‘Knowledge Management’ to facilitate capturing of information generated at work so that it can be effectively used in the future development in whatever sector I am employed.

Result – Awaiting to be healed.

Serve – 6

RELATIONAL LIFESTYLE – THE SCRIPTURES

Focus – Hermeneutics.

Purpose – To better understand how to interpret the Scriptures, so as to be more effective, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to apply them in my and others’ lives.

Action

–      To understand ‘koine’ Greek and Hebrew words better;

–      To research the development of the meanings of words down the centuries

ResultOngoing.

RELATIONAL LIFESTYLE – SMALL GROUPS

Focus – Empowering Leadership.

Purpose – To learn and be trained in empowering skills so as to help others become fully developed disciples of Jesus, including identifying their ‘vocation’ and ‘ministry’ to others.

Action – To use NCD and ‘Lifekeys’ materials to help me in developing these skills. I am reading the NCD book on ‘Empowering Leadership’, then I will get people to undertake a questionnaire on my empowering skills, and finally identify what training I need to be effective in all areas of leadership.

Result – Started.

RELATIONAL LIFESTYLE – BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW

Focus – Helping Christians Develop a Biblical Worldview.

Purpose –To help Christians see that their faith should affect everything in their lives.

Action – Identify key biblical passages that can be used in developing creative, physical, relational, spiritual and practical values and skills as part of a biblical worldview.  Need to also read Christian writers’ views on the subject.  To also develop it as an apologetic to the current worldviews.

Result – Not yet started.

RELATIONAL LIFESTYLE – RESOURCE DIRECTORIES

Focus – The Provision of Information for Christians.

Purpose – To help Christians source information about people, resources, organisations and issues.

Action – To purchase or know where to find appropriate sources of information.

Result – I hold a number of directories and can source information from the internet and other providers.

Serve – 5

EVANGELISTIC LIFESTYLE – DISCIPLING

Focus – The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Purpose – To create a document that, in an easily-understood format, explains all aspects of the Gospel, that will prove to be effective, for both pre-Christians and Christians, in helping them become mature reproducing followers of Jesus.

Action

–      Write draft version of the document;

–      Send version to pre-Christians and Christians for comments on content, layout and whether easy to understand;

–      To take into account the above and produce it in a professional format;

–      Send it to a number of individuals, churches, organisations and Christian media, to encourage them to use it and distribute accordingly.

Result

–      Draft completed and sent out for comments;

–      Requested replies by the end of November 2012.

EVANGELISTIC LIFESTYLE – APOLOGETICS

Focus – The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ.

Purpose – To be able to explain why Jesus is unique and why it matters.

Action – To study the Bible on what it has to say about the issue and read up on arguments for and against by many writers in and out of the Church.

Result – Not yet started.

EVANGELISTIC LIFESTYLE – PEOPLE GROUPS

Focus – The promotion of reaching people groups with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God by the whole Church.

Purpose – To help people see that there needs to be different strategies for different groups for them to become disciples of Jesus and thus speed up the time when He will return to take us home.

Action – Yet to be decided.

Result – Have read a number of articles. Know that the Lausanne Movement promotes the concept.

EVANGELISTIC LIFESTYLE – BIBLICAL THEOLOGY

Focus – Soteriology.

Purpose – To understand the biblical theme of salvation.

Action – To study the New Testament as well as books on the subject by many authors.

Result – Have started, included some material in my booklet on the ‘Gospel of the Kingdom of God’.  Ongoing.

Serve – 4

PROPHETIC LIFESTYLE – PRO-LIFE

Focus – Promotion of the fact that life begins at Conception.

Purpose – To produce persuasive arguments that life begins at conception and therefore that abortion is wrong.

Action

–      To research all available scientific evidence that life begins at conception;

–      Write appropriate letters to the media, MPs, MEPs and others about the results of my findings.

Result

–      A search has begun.

PROPHETIC LIFESTYLE – POVERTY

Focus – Provision of Water and Sanitation for all people and seeking to Eradicate Corruption and Developing Good Governance.

Purpose –These two areas are key to a country’s well-being and development.

Action– Been part of an e-mail campaign to continue putting water as a key to meeting Millennium Goals.

Result – DFID has been involved in improving water access to many millions of people around the world.  There is still much to do.

Action – Been part of a church-wide fund-raiser to build a toilet block for a school in Africa.

Result – The Church raised more money than the target set, so more toilets could be installed.

Action – Been part of an e-mail campaign to get the EU to sign up to legislation requiring businesses from the extractive industries to publish the amounts that they pay to governments in the countries they operate and thus help reduce corruption.

Result – Not yet ratified. Ongoing.

PROPHETIC LIFESTYLE – WAR

Focus – Reduction in the selling, buying, distribution and use of arms of any type and size.

Purpose – Key to controlling the amount of weapons manufactured and available on the world market, and thus reducing the likelihood of war.

Action – Been part of an e-mail campaign let by a consortium (Control Arms) of NGOs to get all the countries which are members of the UN to sign up to an effective Arms Trade Agreement.

Result – Still in discussion stage, with several countries wishing to weaken its effectiveness.

Action – Written to each member of the UK Parliamentary Defence Committee with a proposal of controlling all guns, putting severe restrictions as to who can own one in this country.

Result – Had no response. Will re-think approach as to what further action to take.

Action – Written to a number of EU Commissioners and MEPs with a proposal of an Arms Trade Treaty, suggesting tight controls as how much equipment a country requires, effective monitoring processes, and a break-up of defence companies to reduce corruption.

Result – Have had a limited response, from one MEP only.

Action – Intend to carry out more research on the issue to determine future actions.

Result – Not yet started – will do so in 2013.

PROPHETIC LIFESTYLE – ENVIRONMENT

Focus – Investment Criteria for Financial Institutions.

Purpose – Key to changing mindset of business and governments towards seeing the importance of taking immediate action to saving the Earth’s environment.

Action – Been part of an e-mail campaign let by a consortium (Stop Climate Chaos) of NGOs to get all the countries which are members of the UN to sign up to an effective Climate Change Action Plan.

Result – Some progress, mainly in finance maybe being available to offset costs in the Two-Thirds World in adapting to the effects of Climate Change.

Action – Have written to a number of businesses around the world, suggesting that they put in place environmental policies.

Result – Had one response, from a British bank, which uses the ‘Equator Principles’ – have started a dialogue with them to encourage a more rigorous framework.  This has already started.

Action – Have written to a number of UK financial institutions, covering most of the market, suggesting they sign up to an environmental policy for all their and their customers’ investments.

Result – Had one response, from a leading bank.  Have been in dialogue with them since then.

Action – Intend to do more research to develop a more robust argument to encourage financial institutions, especially in the area of their customers’ investments. Also to identify if UN initiatives have actually had any impact on improving the environment.

Result – Not yet started.

Comment

–      The Co-operative Bank has, properly, the strongest environmental policy in place, with external monitoring.  They have still more work to be done;

–      UN Development Agency has set a Financial Investment programme encouraging financial institutions to adopt environmental fiscal policies.

–      Many banks have signed up to the ‘Equator Principles’, which has recently been revised.