Catching up and Acts 13 and 14: Needs must and The Green One

Taking up the challenge

Gosh I’m quickly falling behind with blogposts. Trying to do this as well as the act and daily life is becoming a challenge in itself. It’s all good fun though as I have to think around things . So where are we now?

Firstly, and yesterday, I managed to complete Act 9 : Be Present which I had to delay on the day. I had a wonderful time catching up with a friend, chatting and walking around the Botanical Gardens for a couple of hours. It really was a joy and the effort arranging and rearranging was worth it. I also managed to walk 9km so the fitness levels were given a boost too.

Act 13: Needs Must

Act 13 came in on Wednesday and I was stumped to be honest.

“…[W]hoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:43–45 NIV)

Crumbs on the counter. Grime in the mugs. Someone else’s dishes in the office sink for days. What an opportunity for day-to-day, ongoing generosity – dull, grey acts of kindness that don’t get you any ‘points’. Make no mistake, taking responsibility for someone else’s mundane problems is generosity that makes a difference. – Chine McDonald

Such a simple task was going to prove challenging as I study from home and don’t go into a workplace. The options were:

GREEN OPTION:

Clean the office sink (or staffroom sink, or church sink).

YELLOW OPTION:

Take responsibility for an undone chore where you live, at church, or at the workplace.

RED OPTION:

Take responsibility for an undone chore for the entire month.

I do my own dishes at home so that wasn’t challenging. So I parked this one to have a think and return to it. In the meantime my daughter’s school football team had a home match so I baked cupcakes and cookies for them instead.

UPDATE: I returned to this today (Friday) as I was at the Ladies Bible Study group at church this morning and we always brings “morning tea” on a rota. The penny dropped. I’d wash up the mugs afterwards. When everyone was chatting after the study I collected the mugs and headed off to the kitchen to wash up. It saved the church cleaner a job today.

Act 14: The Green One

I saw this one and my heart leapt! Hooray! Today’s verse was:

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”  (Philippians 2:4 NKJV)

Yes, yes, yes! Exactly!

It’s far from the token green day. As we act to protect our environment, we’re acting generously for those not even born yet, helping to create a world that can keep on giving and sustaining people, beyond the limit of our own lifetimes. – Chris Gaisie

The options were:

GREEN OPTION:

Ever had an environmental charity stop you in the streets, only for you to breeze right past them? Look up their website. See what they actually do.

YELLOW OPTION:

See how many times you can use one plastic bag this week. Once you’re done, pass it on to someone and ask if they want to continue the challenge!

RED OPTION:

Go meat-free at least one day a week. Skipping meat and dairy is the single biggest way you can personally cut your environmental impact. (Vegans and vegetarians get an amber day!)

Plastic, plastic everywhere. A real challenge!

We lived in India for 3 years. There is a complete single use plastic ban there. You notice it immediately. Especially at the cinema when you given a large paper cup of fizzy drink with no lid or straw and have to stumble in the dark to your cinema seat. Fruit and vegetables are loose with paper bags to be filled with what you want to buy. Paper bags or re useable canvass bags are given out at checkouts. You can’t buy cling film, plastic straws, plates, cutlery, freezer bags, carrier bags because they are all banned. People use foil instead of cling film or a beeswax fabric wrap, paper straws, plates and cutlery from recycled leaves and wood and freezer bags don’t exist. It was massively inconvenient when we first moved there but got used to it quickly and was part of life.

Then we moved to Singapore.

Without a doubt one of the biggest shocks when we walked into a supermarket was the amount if plastic everywhere. I exclaimed immediately “WOW! Look at all that plastic!”. Fruits and vegetables are all neatly packed up in plastic. It’s unnecessary and inconvenient as you have to buy in pre determined portions.

All the products I had learned to live without in India were readily available in Singapore, but I found I didn’t need them. We have our own reusable bamboo and copper straws, reusable plastic cups for parties etc. I have a huge supply of canvass shopping bags and I always carry two fold away ones with me everywhere. The shock came at how difficult checkout staff make it to use your own bags. They literally pile plastic bags into you. They put a few items into every bag for fear of over loading it and double bag anything remotely heavy. It’s hard work trying to convince a checkout staff member that my own bags are fine and I don’t need extra bags and that my bags won’t break from the weight. It’s a real effort and sometimes, if they’re available, I deliberately use the self checkout option so I don’t have to debate with the checkout staff.

So the yellow option was an easy one as I do this already with a canvass bag. The red option will be a challenge. As a family we took part in Veganuary in January. A whole month attempting to be vegan. I think we managed about 29/31 days. Since then we’ve tried to stick to having one meat free meal a week. I’ve borrowed a book from the library that gives vegan recipes with just 5 ingredients. I’m hoping to be inspired to do more vegan days in a month. Let’s see how we get on.

#40acts