spiritual journey temporarily waylaid due to my own weaknesses

2004-04-29

What a fabulous (and tasty and good for you) way to help people!

Michigan Peace Time (MPT) news is proud to announce that after a long wait we have been able to secure a batch of Palestinian Olive Oil from the heroic farmers of Tulkarem. Tulkarem is one of the many Palestinian towns being devastated by the building of the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank. We are happy to be able to offer our assistance to Palestinian farmers risking their lives to farm their fields. These farmers brave gun fire from settlers, humiliation at checkpoints and countless other difficulties.

Many Palestinian farmers rely heavily on olive production for their livelihoods. By purchasing the oil directly from the farmers, we are able to assist the most vulnerable in the Palestinian Territories while simultaneously helping the local economy of the West Bank. Curfews and border closures, including restrictions on road access and movement within the West Bank, have had a serious impact on the economy of the Territories; farmers often face difficulties tending their olive groves and selling the oil produced. This oil makes a great gift and comes with a card explaining the importance of it's purchase.

Tulkarem Olive Oil: 1 bottle - $20* 1 case of 12- $240** *Individual bottles can be picked up at the MPT office in Lansing or mailed for a $3 shipping fee. 
**Cases purchased can be picked up at the MPT office in Lansing or delivered in the Lansing area. For shipment by mail add a $10 shipping fee. To purchase olive oil please send a check or money order to Michigan Peace Team with Olive oil in the memo line. 1516 Jerome St., Lansing MI  48912-2220. Please indicate how many cases or bottles you would like and what is your preferred method of delivery. If you have questions please call Mike McCurdy at (517)484-3178 or email revolutionnow@riseup.net

If you are in Detroit and want to order, I could bring it back from Lansing for you.  I'm due to go up there one last time to visit Wendy, Mantas and Olivia before they more to Florida.  I don't actually know when I'm going to do that though, so you'd probably be better off paying the $3 per bottle.

 


I've been reading Happy Are You Poor lately. It is an amazing book; one that really knocks you back to remembering the meaning of being a Christian. It calls for everyone (not just priests and nuns) to embrace poverty (it makes a big distinction between destitution and poverty, it does not suggest that any become destitute) in order to raise the standard of living for all people.

So often it seems like every message that comes at us is tying to influence us to spend, spend, spend. Now, I don't feel like I am in any danger of being caught up in the yuppie tidal wave of buying a big foot house, driving an imported luxury car, or owning designer clothing. Fact is, I am far too naturally cheap to be attracted to any of that no matter what my religious beliefs. Instead I am guilty of spending a fair amount of money on obscure cooking equipment, fancy ingredients, and craft projects which I not only do not need but I sometimes fail to complete.  The book puts a big emphasis on not giving material objects any power in our lives.  This appeals to me.  I mean, if I can't stop shopping for the betterment of mankind, what kind of a person am I?

So I was really into this book's message.  And I thought I was making some improvements in my life because of it.  Then I ended up at Davidde's last week and discovered that he has had my favorite glass bowl at his house for the past 8 months!  I had been looking for that bowl all over (and had asked Davidde about it even).  I immediately demanded it's return and walked out of the party with it under my arm. 

It wasn't until the next day when I picked up the book again that I realized that I snatched that bowl back from someone who does not own a bowl like that (truth be told, I can probably come up with a dozen of the same size).  Plus I did it in a snitty manner.  True, Davidde hardly counts as a "less fortunate" person, but the fact is that he needed a bowl and I took mine from him even though I didn't need it (but it is a really nice and handy bowl that I have grown attached to, which of course is wrong, wrong, wrong!!!). 

Oh well, if I was a perfect person from birth, life would be pretty boring.

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