Gabriel Wong's Blog

August 24, 2009

Your 40 Hour Famine Experience

Filed under: Current Issues,Food and Drink — gabrielwongau @ 12:58 pm
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Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandi

If you did the 40 Hour Famine this year I highly recommend you reflect and answer these 5 questions by posting a blog article or journaling it. Whatever it takes to reflect on your 40 Hour Famine experience:

1. What made you do the 40 Hour Famine? (ie. friend suggested it, done it before)

2. What did you go without and how did you feel (mentally, emotionally, physically, etc) going without it?

3. What was the biggest idea/thing you grasped from your 40 Hour Famine experience?

4. Do you now feel (more) passionate about the 900 million chronically hungry/deprived people around the world and would you do more than just the annual 40 Hour Famine? (make an action plan)

5. Will you do it again next year and how would you alter your 40 Hour Famine?

Here’s my reflection

This year was my second year I did the 40 Hour Famine. Last year I did it to challenge myself and what I could achieve as a Year 11 student. This year I did it once again to challenge myself and my beliefs.

I ended up going without breakdancing, food and talking. Going with break was easy, as I had no energy. As for talking, I had to go tuition so I wore a sticker that said 40 HF to Jacks. Jack laughed real hard, I’ve never seen him laugh as hard as he did. He thought I had H1N1 swine flu so he asked me to take the sticker off to not scare the parents away.

I went to a baptism and guess what? There was food. Food glorious food. There was strawberry drops, turkish bread, cakes. The lot. Sacrifice hurts.

At the end, I could feel the famine taking it’s toll physically as I could feel myself shake. I was alright mentally because I knew when my next meal was. A real famine is when you have no certainity of when your next meal is. I found sleeping the best way to ward off the hunger pains. Also playing computer games does literally feed you.

The biggest thing/idea I grasped from my famine this year was what contentment. Sacrificing the thing we depend on most can really put things into perspective. We shouldn’t be fussy about what we eat, as long as we have something/anything nutrious which will sustain us.

I like the bible proverb “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” – Proverbs 15:17. Who would not prefer to sit down at a table where there is only bread and water but a wonderful atmosphere of love, than to a table loaded with goodies where everyone growls at each other?

I feel even more passionate about the world’s poor and hungry. My action plan is to pump everyone up for next year’s 40 Hour Famine and to be more passionate as an advocate for the world’s poor and hungry.

Next year I want to challenge myself further and do my 40 Hour Famine in the City CBD. I’ll sleep with the homeless and feel more of the poor’s plight. Can’t wait!

As Gandi said, if we wish to reform the world, we must reform ourselves. The hardest part is reforming ourselves because we are all human, frailed and fallen. We are similar to the poor in that regard. Sin isn’t just a personal issue we have to deal with ourselves, its a global infection we all have. Lucky we have Jesus’ heart ready for transplant for those who want it and need it.

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July 23, 2009

40 Hour Famine

Filed under: Current Affairs,Current Issues,Food and Drink — gabrielwongau @ 7:27 am
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The world’s biggest food crisis is on now.. and you probably didn’t even know it! The Global Food Crisis is into its second year and so far it’s plunged another 100 million people into extreme hunger and poverty.

Did you know?
*       People in over 30 countries are suffering from the effects of the Global Food Crisis.
*       There are now over 900 million chronically hungry people around the world, and approximately 1.4 billion live in extreme poverty.
*       Malnourished children are more likely to die from illnesses like diarrhoea and malaria.
*       Every day, an estimated 25,000 children die from hunger and preventable diseases.

Well I’ve had enough of hunger and starvation.  This year I’m biting back at the Global Food Crisis and doing the 40 Hour Famine.  I’m giving up Breakdancing and Food for 40 hours to raise money to help hungry kids affected by the Global Food Crisis.

Would you like to help hungry kids too?  Just $40 helps 5 kids for 1 month!  My target is to raise $1200.

Please donate online now (https://famine.worldvision.com.au/famine.cgi?a=SPONSOR_&pn=291370138). My 40 Hour Famine Number is: 291370138

Thanks for supporting me and helping hungry kids!

PS: Donations are tax deductible depending on your personal tax position.  The minimum amount is $2.  You will receive a tax receipt via email as soon as you’ve made the donation.

July 19, 2009

No Easy Road

Filed under: Books,Religion — gabrielwongau @ 7:51 am
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This is from the first chapter of No Easy Road by Dick Eastman.

A Communist editor confessed, “The Gospel is a much more powerful weapon for the renovation of society than our Marxist view. Yet it is we who shall conqur you in the end. We Communists do not play with words. We are realists, and because we are determined to reach our end, we also know how to provide necessary means.

Speaking of sacrifice, he said, “Of our salaries and wages we keep only what is absoluetly necessary and the rest we give for propaganda purposes. To this same propaganda we also devote lesiure time and part of our vacation. You, however, give only a little time and scarcely any money for the spreading of Christ’s Gospel.

The angry editor then sneered, “How can anyone believe in the all-surpassing value of this Gospel if you do not practice it, if you do not spread it, if you sacrifice neither your time nor your money for that purpose? Believe me, it is we who shall conquer, because we believe in our Communist gospel and are willing to sacrifice everything, even life itself. But you, are afraid of soiling your hands.

Let us not take the gospel for granted and live out its calling.

June 28, 2009

Society’s Invisible Epidemic

Filed under: Current Affairs,Food and Drink,Justice — gabrielwongau @ 1:35 am
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I was reading my local leader and I came upon an article called Society’s Invisible Epidemic. The fact that one out of 10 Victorians are malnourished, go hungry or feel anxious because they cannot access healthy and safe food is really quite sad. The Feed Melbourne campaign to help food charities collect, store and distribute food to those doing it tough and going hungry is great idea espeically in these bad economic times. When we feed the poor, we feed God.

Also how we consume our food (or throw it away) has consequences too. We are all stewards of resources which is not just money but managing our time, food, talents, gifts, etc. So let us take what we need so not to be greedy and finish our plates (that goes for me especially). Here are the four facts from the article:

THE FACTS

– 10% of the Australian population is living at or below the poverty line.

– An estimated 700,000 tonnes of food is thrown out in Victoria each year. That’s the equivalent of 28,000 fully stocked supermarkets.

– 3 million tonnes of food is driven to landfill in Australia each year

– One in 10 Victorians are malnourished, go hungry or feel anxious because they cannot access healthy and safe food

Sources: Vic Relief Food Bank, FareShare. foodwise.com.au, VicHealth

Read the Leader article here

Check out the Feed Melbourne website here

Click Here for More Food Facts

June 27, 2009

You Reign

Filed under: Lyrics — gabrielwongau @ 11:04 am
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You Reign – Hillsong United Lyrics

What could stand before You
As You chose to embrace
A cross so undeserved You took for me
The weight of sin upon You
When You offered Your life
As You walked the streets of men
With fading strength

How could we live but not see
Your sacrifice
Your glory

You reign, You reign
Over everything Lord, You reign
With power, and justice divine
Over everything Lord, You reign

What was Your last thought
As You drew Your last breath
Where the victory was Yours for us to see
And all will know the truth
As we live by Your grace
Every praise to You alone

See now the King of Glory
Love of God become my calling

June 17, 2009

My Never Again List

Filed under: Bible — gabrielwongau @ 11:13 am
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NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on “I can’t,” because the Word says: “I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on fear, because the Word says: “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on doubt and a lack of faith, because the Word says: “God has dealt to each one [every person] a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on weakness, because the Word says: “The Lord is the strength of My life” (Psalm 27:1) and “The people that know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.” (Daniel 11:32)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on the supremacy of satan over my life, because the Word says: “Greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on defeat, because the Word says: “God always causes me to triumph in Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on a lack of wisdom, because the Word says: “Christ Jesus has become for me wisdom from God.” (1 Corinthians 1:30) and “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on sickness, because the Word says: “With His stripes I am healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) and Jesus “Himself took my infirmities and bore my sickness.” (Matthew 8:17)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on bondage, because the Word says: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17) and “My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on worries and frustration, because the Word says: I am “Casting all my cares upon Him who cares for me.” (1 Peter 5:7)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on condemnation, because the Word says: “There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) I am in Christ, so therefore I am free from condemnation!

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on loneliness, because the Word says: Jesus said, “I am with you always, even till the end of the age [forever].” (Matthew 28:20) and “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on curses or bad luck, because the Word says: “Christ has redeemed me from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for me: that the blessings of Abraham might come upon the gentiles [that’s me] through Jesus Christ: That we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:13-14)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on discontent, because the Word says: “I have learned in whatever state (circumstances) I am, to be content.” (Philippians 4:11)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on unworthiness, because the Word says: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on confusion, because the Word says: “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14:33) and “We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” (1 Corinthians 2:12)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on persecution, because the Word says: “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on the domination of sin over my life, because the Word says: “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on insecurity, because the Word says: “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.” (Proverbs 3:24-26)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on failure, because the Word says: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on frustration, because the Word says: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on fear of the future, because the Word says: “As it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.” (1 Cor 2:9-10)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on troubles, because the Word says: Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

June 15, 2009

Talking Heads with Tim Costello

Tim Costello was on Talking Heads ABC1. He was discussing with Peter Thompson his life which included campaigning for the most marginalised people – the poor, the sick and the addicted. Apparenlty he first developed an awareness of injustice when he had to share a room with his brother Peter.

Justice has always been his question, “Why are those who should have more, the world’s poor, locked out?”

How long can we live in our own insular world before we recognise the injustices that take place around this global village of ours? As consumers do we have a responsibility for the products we consume that allow for these injustices to happen. From cocoa to the latest sneakers, can there be a better way?

Here’s the full transcripts of the interview: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/talkingheads/txt/s2593114.htm

June 13, 2009

Miniature Earth

Filed under: Current Affairs,Current Issues — gabrielwongau @ 1:18 pm
Tags:

I went to World Vision’s Global Leadership Convention on Friday our Report Writing Day and they were telling us about wealth distribution. I tried to find a website where they got the statistics but instead I found this video watched by over 2 million people.

Here is the accompanied text/statistics.

If we could turn the population of the earth into a small community of 100 people, keeping the same proportions we have today, it would be something like this:

61 Asians
12 Europeans
08 North Americans
05 South America and the Caribbean
13 Africans
01 Oceania

50 women
50 men
47 lives in urban area
9 are disable

33 are Christian (Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, Anglicans and other Christians)
18 are Muslims
14 are Hindus
16 are non-religious
6 are Buddhists
13 practice other religions

43 live without basic sanitation
18 live without an improved water source

6 people own 59% of the entire wealth of the community

13 are hungry or malnourished
14 can’t read
only 7 are educated at a secondary level
only 12 have a computer
only 3 have an internet connection

1 adult, aged 15-49, has HIV/AIDS.

The village spend more than US$1.12 trillion on military expenditures UN
and only US$ 100 billion on development aid
If you keep your food in a refrigerator
And your clothes in a closet
If you have a roof over your head
And have a bed to sleep in
You are richer than 75% of the entire world population.

If you have a bank account
You’re one of the 30 wealthiest people in the world.

18 struggle to live on US$ 1.00 per day or less…
53 struggle to live on US$ 2.00 per day or less.
Appreciate what you have
And do your best for a better world.

Appreciate what you have. Appreciate what you have. Repeated for added effect. In the General Achievement Test (GAT) we had to write a peruasive essay on material possessions. I wrote “Do we truly own our stuff, or does our stuff own us?” Do we really appreciative of what we have?

And do your best for a better world. Whatever your passionate about, do your best for the world. At the World Vision Global Leadership Convention the speaker told us whatever your passionate about, let your passion help the poor.

If your reading this, your one of the 3 in the 100 people on this miniature Earth. Lucky, eh? I’m just as lucky.

Check the website out at http://www.miniature-earth.com/

June 6, 2009

The Paradox of Our Age

Filed under: Contemporary Culture — gabrielwongau @ 11:37 am
Tags:
The Paradox of Our Age
by Dr. Bob Moorehead,
former pastor of Seattle’s Overlake Christian Church
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge,but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things. We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less real communication. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight…. ….or to just hit delete.
Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember to say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Remember to say “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

by Dr. Bob Moorehead,

former pastor of Seattle’s Overlake Christian Church

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge,but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things. We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less real communication. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.

These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight…. ….or to just hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember to say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember to say “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

——

Dr. Bob Moorehead is former pastor of Seattle’s Overlake Christian Church. He retired in 1998 after 29 years in that post. The essay above appeared in ‘Words Aptly Spoken,’ Dr. Moorehead’s 1995 collection of prayers, homilies, and monologues used in his sermons and radio broadcasts.

We live in such a paradox. “We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.” is so true. Are our lives of real value?

May 29, 2009

The Story of Stuff

Filed under: Contemporary Culture — gabrielwongau @ 11:50 am
Tags: , , , ,

The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard is a 20-minute engaging, fast-paced, fact-filled  look at the underside of our world’s production and consumption patterns. It exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.

Check out the website @ http://storyofstuff.com/

Here are some things you can do:

1) Get the ethical shoppers guide and distribute it around. http://www.ethical.org.au/

2) Sharing is caring, so share your stuff – make a list of items which people are willing to share and share them: eg chain saws, sewing machines, etc etc.

3) Promote freecycle. http://www.freecycle.org/groups/australia/

4) Value stewardship in your life

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