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  • Count Your Blessings - Days 11 and 12


    Colombia has the second highest number of internally displaced people in the world. In the last 25 years, the armed conflict has forced more than 8% of the population off their land. Christian Aid partners, local communities and their leaders, like Misael risk their lives to speak out, calling on the government to protect their lives and their rights.

    Pray for safety and strength for people all over the world who face violence and persecution for taking a stand against injustice.


    Licri Bueno is from the Dominican Republic, a beautiful country in the Caribbean. Lots of people there live in poverty. Licri’s mum was helped by Christian Aid partner Solidaridad Fronteriza to set up a vegetable garden. The garden means that Licri and his family are able to grow lots of healthy food! Licri often helps his mum in the garden and with lots of other household chores too. Offer to help your family or neighbours with chores in exchange for a small donation for Christian Aid. You could offer to help wash the car or dig the garden.

    Again, as I read these challenges, a song or two came into my head, I opted for this one, and then added my own response...



    I will speak out for those who have no voices,

    I will stand up for the rights of all the oppressed;

    I will speak truth and justice,

    I’ll defend the poor and the needy,

    I will lift up the weak in Jesus’ name.


    I will speak out for those who have no choices,

    I will cry out for those who live without love;

    I will show God’s compassion

    To the crushed and broken in spirit,

    I will lift up the weak in Jesus’ name.

    Dave Bankhead, Sue Rinaldi, Ray Goudie &Steve Bassett.

                    Copyright © 1990 Word’s Spirit of Praise  Music/Adm. by CopyCare



    But will I turn my song to actions?

    And will I live the faith I claim?

    And will I be the face of Jesus

    In a world of endless grief and pain?

    I am weak, and flawed, and broken,

    I am compromised and torn

    Yet, this need must find expression...

    Even if all I do is pray.


    My Pledge

    Today - I will pray for those who stand up for injustice

    Total - £12.10, three prayers and a little strop!

  • Count Your Blessings - Day 10


    At least 37.6% of the world’s population live under authoritarian regimes.

    Give £1 if you did not use your vote in the last local or general election

    DID NOT USE YOUR VOTE! Never!  From as long as I can remember, my Dad dinned it into us that we must always vote, that people died to get us the  vote, that voting was a privilege not a right, that even if we spoiled out ballot paper as a protest we must still get out here and do it.  A cheap day, financially, but a sobering one, given how many people don't bother to play their part in the democratic processes we take for granted.

    My pledge

    Today - one mild rant!

    Total - £12.10, two prayers and some incredulity!

  • Three Thousand and Still Going!

    Well, well, well... this is post number 3000!  Hard to believe I not only kept writing this stuff for more than seven years, I have also now reached this ludicrous number of posts.

    Some of you have been kind enough to keep reading this stuff since it began, others have dipped in and out. Literally thousands land here from web searches as diverse as children's poems, liturgies for funerals, breast cancer, prayers and even yours trully.

    I still enjoy writing random bits of stuff, and feel it a real privilege that people take time to read and (when the site allows!) comment.

    So thank you to everyone who reads... without you it would not be as much fun as it continues to be.

  • Count Your Blessings - Day 9


    Sudan’s civil war claimed more than 2 million lives, mainly due to hunger rather than as a direct result of the combat. Fighting disrupted farming, and raids by combatants took the little food farmers had left.

    Give 20p for each conflict mentioned in the news today.


    That's a good challenge!  It made me pause to think what I mean by 'conflict'.  Do I mean major international issues, or do I include local distrubances or isolated instances of violence?  Does it mean, listen to one news bulletin or does it mean scour the web?  In the end I decided I would look at the BBC news website, select pages that I vist fairly regularly (so quite a few local UK ones as well as world and national), and identify headlines that, to me, speak of conflict.  I identified nine that met my criteria, ranging from local affray to continued unreast and warfare.  So another £1.80 pledged.


    My Pledge:

    Today £1.80

    Total £12.10 plus two prayers

  • Count Your Blessings - Day 8


    Four out of five refugees are hosted by developing countries, many of whom provide refuge despite their own national challenges, including food and water shortages.

    Give 20p for each time you stayed with family or friends in the last year.


    It’s great that we can find out the news in lots of different ways; online, from the television, on the radio or in newspapers and magazines.Watch Newsround or take a look at the First News website (firstnews.co.uk/news), and pray for any countries where there has been bad news.

    If I am honest, I am not entirely sure how to count this one!  Increasingly when I visit people I will book into a Travleodge - cheap  'n' (usually) cheerful as it gives great flexibility all round and in any case, some of those I visit have no suitable space to accommodate overnight guests, others have houses .  I guess having the wherewithall to pay for overnights is an even greater blessing, so I will include overnight stays.  I can't recall exaclty how many nights away visitng I had, but ten is a reasonable guesstimate, so I will give £2.

    My Pledge

    Today - £2

    Total - £10. 30 plus two focussed prayers