Month: January 2009

Lift The Label

Lift the Label
(David Westlake and Esther Stansfield)
is a wakeup call to connect our faith in God with our
everyday life choices. It reveals the hidden faces and tells
the unheard stories of people we come into contact with
every day, without even realising it – the people who
make our food and clothes.Taking a journey into the Bible to expose western Christianity’s great blind spot, Lift the Label uncovers how much the poor matter to God.

It challenges us to change our consumer choices to reflect his heart for justice. The book contains creative and practical ways to shop differently. It explains fair trade and provides a much needed directory of ethically minded shops, to help us
have a positive impact on our global neighbours when
we hit the high street.
The daily decisions we make with our money can be life
changing for the poor. How can your lifestyle make a
difference?
Published by Authentic/Spring Harvest/Tear Fund it is
available from Christian Bookshops, Tear Fund or from
Amazon.1850785724

Chasing away the Winter Blues

SPRING IDEAS
Spring is just around the corner, as although the temperatures are low the snowdrops are appearing so if you don’t want to get caught out when the sun shines you’ll have to start planning now.
These ideas are adapted from an article that appeared in the Activate magazine, thanks to Ruth and Jan.

Chasing away the Winter Blues

SPRING IDEAS
Spring is just around the corner, as although the temperatures are low the snowdrops are appearing so if you don’t
want to get caught out when the sun shines
you’ll have to start planning now.
These ideas are adapted from an article that appeared in the Activate magazine, thanks to Ruth and Jan

BRIGHTEN UP YOUR LANDSCAPE.
So how can you and your friends shake off the winter
blues?
This is a good time of the year to organise an event to brighten up
the winter evenings, so that you’re all feeling in tip top condition
for the Spring.
Well you could start by ‘having your colours done’. Colour
consultancy is a booming industry as more and more women are
discovering the colours that suit them and help them look good.
But the process works best when friends gather together and help
with the appraisal. And it’s much more fun.
Contact the office if you
need advice. It may well change someone’s life.

HARD AS NAILS.
The GMEX centre in Manchester had a beautician’s exhibition
recently, and nearly all the products on offer were related to nails.
It’s the latest thing.Walk into any salon in your area, at any time of
the day, and you’re likely to find someone sitting patiently, having a
manicure or some sort of nail art session.You could organise a
session like this or even enrol on a course yourself? This is a
superb opportunity for one-to-one talking and listening, and an
excellent tool for evangelism as Karen’s story shows :
I have always had a heart to reach out to women. Over the past
eight years, I have been involved in six ‘Share Jesus’ missions in
different parts of the country.
We usually run a Kid’s Holiday Club and a coffee morning for the
mums – who rarely turn up as they are relieved to have some time
without the children to catch up on chores!
Last year was different however, as we decided to add some extra
attractions to the coffee and biscuits, and found that there were a
few talented ladies in the congregation who could offer manicure
and massage as the ladies relaxed and enjoyed a friendly chat.This
was so successful that after we arrived home, I trained as a
manicurist, and am now available to bring this skill and speak to
small groups in homes.
The evening works well with about eight ladies who watch a
demonstration of a full manicure including hand and arm massage,
when I share some of my testimony as well as talking through the
treatment. Each guest can then choose a massage or nail varnish
and receive some individual advice.There is the opportunity for
general conversation as well as personal sharing and asking of
questions in a safe, relaxed and non-threatening environment.
Depending on the circumstances, this can be expanded to include a
short talk about how God has made us as individuals, how He
cares for us, or how we should be more concerned with inner
than outer beauty.’
If you would like to contact Karen then email us.

WAXING LYRICAL.
“A beautician is also a counsellor”, says Katherine, a beautician in
Astley, near Manchester. “Women come in feeling jaded and burdened.
A lot of my work is listening as I pluck and massage and wax.” People
leave Katherine’s salon with
a lighter step. Some beauticians run a mobile service and will come
to your home or possibly a larger venue.Arranging a session like
that would be a popular event.
Or for a beauty product demonstration ring Body Shop direct on
0800 092 9090. These events give
wonderful opportunities for conversations and relationship building,
and who knows where they may lead!

COMBAT THE CHILL FACTOR.
Sick of huddling in front of the fire?
Get togged up and gather a gang to go for a walk.You’ll soon be
feeling warmer and fitter.And fresh crisp air lifts the spirits.You can
always finish up at a pub with a log fire.Walking side by side is a
great unleasher for people to talk, who couldn’t cope with sitting
face to face and talking at a deep level.

JOIN ME – Book Review

Join Me –
Book review provokes faith reflections
by Faye Smith

Now here’s an interesting book.

Ask yourself how many people you think might have joined your church last year? Five… more? A hundred? Wow you’re doing well! Great rejoicing all round.

Danny Wallace, bestselling author of the book “Yes Man” recently released as a movie, had already written “Join Me”, subtitled “ the true story of a man who accidentally started a cult.”

At the ripe old age of 26, half-Swiss Danny’s great uncle Gallus dies on his farm in the Alps. At his wake, Danny learns his uncle had once harboured a dream of getting 100 people to join him on his farm as some sort of “collective”. He died alone having gained only three… and they were his family. Now Danny’s hooked! Back home in London in a moment of boredom, he places an advert in LOOT magazine, simply stating “Join Me”, asking people to send one passport photo to the contact details he provides. He’s after 100 people to join him like they never did his great uncle Gallus, in Gallus’s honour.

Astonishingly, he gets his first enquiry…more ads and more “joinees” follow. All they need to provide Danny with as a sign of their willingness to join is that passport photo. Incredibly, despite Danny’s hopeless inability to tell any of them exactly what they are joining, dozens start sending Danny their passport photos. Soon he has created a website where he can blog and they can all talk to each other and tell other Joinees their problems and triumphs.

Soon, forced to come up with a purpose to the group or risk losing the chance to gain 100 Joinees, Danny reads Gallus’s old letters and discovers he occasionally did nice things for an old man in the village. With that purpose in mind, he invites complete strangers all over the UK to start doing random acts of kindness for old people they come across on what Danny calls “Good Fridays”: a coffee for a Big Issue seller, walking a neighbour’s dog or baking them a cake, sending an old guy peanuts…and the Joinees love it. Danny says they just wanted to be nice all along, but needed him to give them a reason! What a thought.

Soon the “Good Fridays Agreement” to be nice is spreading to all people groups everywhere, and the Blog is full of tales of good deeds being done and the stunning results. Even Tony Blair and Prince Charles endorse it and Richard and Judy join up. Incredible. Danny starts to get into the press all over the shop. He gets invited to television stations all over Europe, even Australia, turning up usually in the capital city’s square simply with a sign saying “Join Me Oz” or whatever, and hundreds of people do!

He even starts being invited to meet City Mayors, go on primetime talk shows and mounts a campaign of radio phone-ins across the UK where whatever the bizarre topic under discussion, Danny turns the conversation to Join Me… and people do. Finally, having raised his sights to 1000 Joinees, the number of folk residing in Gallus’ village had they all joined him on his farm, Danny can relax! Only trouble is, the collective has gathered momentum all its own and now become something of a cult, which elects him leader, demands regular meetings around the UK and centrally in London and whose membership peaks at over 6000! Oh, and he gets so entangled in the lives of his Joinees as he starts to care just too much what happens to every one of his flock, plus the deceit to cover his tracks from his longsuffering Norwegian girlfriend Hanne, who already thinks he’s a nutter, she walks out on him!

I only expected a hilarious Christmas read after someone chose Yes Man for my last reading group book, but I found it spoke to me so much on a spiritual level. People’s desire to feel connected, to be part of a community, to have someone take an interest in them, to join something, it seems anything, to carry out random acts of kindness for complete strangers and urge and inspire others to do the same… it’s incredible.

Christians wrote in and told him it was like their religion, as did the Jews, the Buddhists and many more, in fact one of his first Joinees who remains a close friend is a vicar in Scotland! Danny professes no faith, but he does have 6000 followers, four bestselling books and a major A lister movie under his belt now!

If some nutty bloke in a London flat can invite 6000 people to join his “being nice club” when the early joinees didn’t even know what the heck they were doing, what can we do fellow Activators, with purpose and love in our hearts? Let’s stop being nervous of asking folk to join us, be bold, get those invites sent off, call your local radio to chat about what your merry band of Activators is up to and, radical I know here, turn up in the playground or office with a plackard that simply says “Join Me”. After all, it worked for Danny!

Oh, and did I tell you how lovely you’re looking today by the way, and your new haircut…gorgeous! In fact, this Wednesday I’m going to see Yes Man with friends, would you like to join me?!

Faye Smith – ‘Keep your fork’… there’s more to come.

Email: faye@keepyourfork.co.uk

Web: www.keepyourfork.co.uk

JOIN ME – Book Review

Join Me –
Book review provokes faith reflections
by Faye Smith

Now here’s an interesting book.

Ask yourself how many people you think might have joined your church last year? Five… more? A hundred? Wow you’re doing well! Great rejoicing all round.

Danny Wallace, bestselling author of the book “Yes Man” recently released as a movie, had already written “Join Me”, subtitled “ the true story of a man who accidentally started a cult.”

At the ripe old age of 26, half-Swiss Danny’s great uncle Gallus dies on his farm in the Alps. At his wake, Danny learns his uncle had once harboured a dream of getting 100 people to join him on his farm as some sort of “collective”. He died alone having gained only three… and they were his family. Now Danny’s hooked! Back home in London in a moment of boredom, he places an advert in LOOT magazine, simply stating “Join Me”, asking people to send one passport photo to the contact details he provides. He’s after 100 people to join him like they never did his great uncle Gallus, in Gallus’s honour.

Astonishingly, he gets his first enquiry…more ads and more “joinees” follow. All they need to provide Danny with as a sign of their willingness to join is that passport photo. Incredibly, despite Danny’s hopeless inability to tell any of them exactly what they are joining, dozens start sending Danny their passport photos. Soon he has created a website where he can blog and they can all talk to each other and tell other Joinees their problems and triumphs.

Soon, forced to come up with a purpose to the group or risk losing the chance to gain 100 Joinees, Danny reads Gallus’s old letters and discovers he occasionally did nice things for an old man in the village. With that purpose in mind, he invites complete strangers all over the UK to start doing random acts of kindness for old people they come across on what Danny calls “Good Fridays”: a coffee for a Big Issue seller, walking a neighbour’s dog or baking them a cake, sending an old guy peanuts…and the Joinees love it. Danny says they just wanted to be nice all along, but needed him to give them a reason! What a thought.

Soon the “Good Fridays Agreement” to be nice is spreading to all people groups everywhere, and the Blog is full of tales of good deeds being done and the stunning results. Even Tony Blair and Prince Charles endorse it and Richard and Judy join up. Incredible. Danny starts to get into the press all over the shop. He gets invited to television stations all over Europe, even Australia, turning up usually in the capital city’s square simply with a sign saying “Join Me Oz” or whatever, and hundreds of people do!

He even starts being invited to meet City Mayors, go on primetime talk shows and mounts a campaign of radio phone-ins across the UK where whatever the bizarre topic under discussion, Danny turns the conversation to Join Me… and people do. Finally, having raised his sights to 1000 Joinees, the number of folk residing in Gallus’ village had they all joined him on his farm, Danny can relax! Only trouble is, the collective has gathered momentum all its own and now become something of a cult, which elects him leader, demands regular meetings around the UK and centrally in London and whose membership peaks at over 6000! Oh, and he gets so entangled in the lives of his Joinees as he starts to care just too much what happens to every one of his flock, plus the deceit to cover his tracks from his longsuffering Norwegian girlfriend Hanne, who already thinks he’s a nutter, she walks out on him!

I only expected a hilarious Christmas read after someone chose Yes Man for my last reading group book, but I found it spoke to me so much on a spiritual level. People’s desire to feel connected, to be part of a community, to have someone take an interest in them, to join something, it seems anything, to carry out random acts of kindness for complete strangers and urge and inspire others to do the same… it’s incredible.

Christians wrote in and told him it was like their religion, as did the Jews, the Buddhists and many more, in fact one of his first Joinees who remains a close friend is a vicar in Scotland! Danny professes no faith, but he does have 6000 followers, four bestselling books and a major A lister movie under his belt now!

If some nutty bloke in a London flat can invite 6000 people to join his “being nice club” when the early joinees didn’t even know what the heck they were doing, what can we do fellow Activators, with purpose and love in our hearts? Let’s stop being nervous of asking folk to join us, be bold, get those invites sent off, call your local radio to chat about what your merry band of Activators is up to and, radical I know here, turn up in the playground or office with a plackard that simply says “Join Me”. After all, it worked for Danny!

Oh, and did I tell you how lovely you’re looking today by the way, and your new haircut…gorgeous! In fact, this Wednesday I’m going to see Yes Man with friends, would you like to join me?!

Faye Smith – ‘Keep your fork’… there’s more to come.

Email: faye@keepyourfork.co.uk

Web: www.keepyourfork.co.uk

Scroll to Top

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close