Conflict Diamonds

31 May 2006

i know some of you may be tired of hearing me preach about this, but it's not going to stop me! when steve and i first started talking about marriage, the topic of diamonds always came up. i never wanted a diamond after hearing about the diamond trade. we had decided not to get them. So when steve proposed with a diamond, i was confused until he told me more. the diamond trade is a nasty bloodshed business, but you can find free trade diamonds. today i found a great site about conflict diamonds and an alarming video. here are some exerts

the bad news...

African nations such as Sierra Leone, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo continue to suffer from the mining of diamonds. These diamonds are traded for weapons to continue wars and oppress entire communities of Africans. With an estimated 3 million deaths and almost 7 million Africans displaced, the diamond-related wars continue to affect many Africans continent-wide. Without concern the diamond obsessed global community continues to push the sales of diamonds to astronomical numbers. While there are many African nations such as South Africa and Botswana who legitimately benefit from the mining and sale of diamonds, we cannot continue to ignore those Africans who suffer daily to supply that same precious gem. With all turning a blind eye to the consequences of their ignorance, the fight for control of diamond-rich areas of some of Africa's poorest countries continues. Many of these casualties are very young children.

The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) is a rebel group in Sierra Leone that uses disgusting and inhumane tactics to gain control of diamond minds (therefore control of the country's wealth). They go from town to town cutting off ears, hands, fingers, arms, legs, noses, etc. to instill fear, and enforce slave labor. In one operation, Operation: No Living Thing, they did exactly what the name said-left nothing in the town living. When the former President of Sierra Leone (later killed, still unknown by whom) asked the RUF to put down their weapons and let everyone join hands as brothers, the RUF went through a town, chopping off everyone's hands. The next morning, the President's doorsteps were piled with bloody hands.
need more? see the video here or get the ipod version.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/diamonds/index.do
http://www.myspace.com/endblooddiamondtrade

the good? news...

first off, we have a problem on our hands, literally...a problem that doesn't take much to make a point. if you want diamonds, there are a few legitimate places to get them. The polar bear diamond is one. that's where my diamonds came from. but whether your in the store for a diamond or not, please inform yourself about them. know what you're buying, know where it came from and spread the word about this travesty.

itchy

steve and i both have poison ivy. blasted. both his arms are layered with these horrid looking pustules...i'm just red and itchy...what sucks is that the more i think about it...the more i itch...and i'm not suppose to itch. what irony! .blasted good for nothing weed. and all we wanted was a garden.

my prayer

30 May 2006

i'm baffled about this whole da vinci code debate and i don't understand the christian point of view. i don't even want to be writing this, because i'm frustrated but i feel that i have to get this off my chest. i'm frustrated that people associate me with christians. and i hate that. i want to be proud of it. i want to be joyfull when i look around within my community. i want to see people showing love and compassion. i want to see people reaching out to those who need something. but i don't see much of this. for the most part, what i see are christians who condemn and fight battles that don't matter and that only separate people rather than bringing them together. when i look around i see a bunch of people that slander and judge on a constant basis. whether it be marilyn manson, harry potter or the da vinci code, it seems 'christians' come out of the woodwork slandering and making such a ruckus that non-believers get frustrated with the christian community on a whole. i was once told that i was going to hell as i made my way into a porno for pyros show, i've been told that i open myself up to demonic possession when i do yoga and that by reading harry potter, i will be swayed to practice which craft. and now the da vinci code…book after book, interview after interview…it seems to be never ending.

i love my faith. i love my community, but it saddens me so much to see us turning people away with our bigotry and condemnations. i see it everyday in non-believers who have been repeatedly hurt by chrstians who think they need to bring down their beliefs on others. i see it in christains, bringing their beliefs down on other christains. why can't we be more concerned with unconditionally loving our neighbors as ourselves rather than finding every fault they may have? why are we more concerned about what people read, listen to or watch then reaching out to the unloved, the sick, the orphans and widows. i pray that one day i'll look around my community and be amazed to see all of the love, forgiveness and nurturing rather than seeing all the bigotry, condemnation and judgements.

just another spitting image of myself

15 May 2006

i've been seeing myself in others lately. not who i am today but who i used to be. i can only attribute it to the Holy Spirit, helping me understand where others are coming from and i guess how to interact with them, and .maybe in time, to show them that there's another way.

i was so angry with 'christians' in my youth/ early 20's. i thought they were all a bunch of idiots...seriously. i loathed them at times. i didn't know where they were coming from, i thought their beliefs where a bunch of phooey and i couldn't understand how and why they believed what they believed I mean , come on! couldn't they see what i saw? couldn't they see that they're following a bunch of lies spewed out by hypocrites? Ahhh, yes, this is how I felt.

today, i was eating lunch with 2 work friends (who are believers) and another work person (not so much a believer). and we were just talking about tv n other VERY important issues...when all of a sudden, the non-believing co-worker starts talking about how all the gospels totally contradict one another...floored, i asked if she could explain what she meant and give examples...which she couldn't. come to find out she has been reading a book and because i don't think she really understood what the book was talking about, she couldn't give examples or even explain what she meant by saying the gospels contradict each other. and then she just blurted out that she thinks it's scary that people base their faith on stories that are fiction.

and although i tried to talk to her about all of this, i could tell, she was pissed off...she didn't understand where i was coming from. she thought i was an idiot for believing this 'fiction' book. she wouldn't listen, didn't want to, didn't believe me and was just totally closed off.

i find it amazing how God works...number one how He can forgive such a selfish ~ spoiled little brat like myself and two, how He can change me so much that He can actually use me by placing people in my life who are exactly how i used to be, so i can relate to them...all the while teaching me at the same time...kinda cool

i hope a day comes, where she'll start seeing the difference in me and that maybe her wall will crumble a bit…i know all i can do is wait patiently and lovingly, because someday, she may just realize that all that bitterness and anger can just melt away, just as i did…that day would be an amazingly brilliant day.

feeling the love

thank GOD for all the many, MANY, riv folks who signed up for the welcome team...i was starting to sweat it, but man, did He ever deliver! sweet!!

a plea

12 May 2006

fellow riv goers...i'm in need of a little help on saturday nights. but don't fright or turn your head right yet, you haven't heard the whole story...it not a huge job or a time consuming one...it's just the welcome team needs you. come on, all ya have to do is smile or smirk and say hello while passing out fliers. it's an easy gig, and if your going to church already, what's stopping you from getting there a few minutes early?

so that's my plea, i need you, riv needs you and come on...the saturday night welcome team needs ya. if you have 1 saturday a month open...or maybe 2...give me a shout, we'd love to have ya on the team...all you have to do is show up 20 minutes early, hand out fliers and help take offering. thats it! you know you want to....all the cool kids are doing it..

giving up?

10 May 2006

steve and i may be giving up on trying to sell the house by ourselves...we're not sure what to do advertising wise. it cost us about $170 to put it in the paper for 10 days and not 1 person came to either one of our open houses or called for more information. i would hate to loss all that money and leave without any profit, but what's better...waiting it out and paying $700 bux a month on a mortgage or just getting rid of it....such a decision...please pray for us to make the right decision...thanks guys

by the way...

05 May 2006

happy cinco de mayo!

cheers

wowza

kisstheson aka clementine aka steve, my future husband, actually updated his blog...i know, i believe a miracle has just taken place! go check it out here

mental

i feel crazed. it's the first day back from a 3 day conference and i have so much to do, yet i can't concentrate. the lack of sleep has caught up to me, the stress has created 2 of the biggest canker sores i think i've ever had and of course they have to be pretty much on top of one another...and to top it all off my folks are coming down tomorrow. steve and i just keep thinking about the honeymoon...is that wrong? i mean the wedding will be cool and i can't wait...but to lie in warmth and hear nature with a mai thai in my hand...and no work to interfere with my sleep...or train derailments....or plans....just silence and romance and sand...but hopefully not sand with the romance...that would suck.