Report from the Front Lines (II): Much Will Be Demanded

Rachel is a missionary in Tanzania who after reading Our Father’s World sent the following plea to her friends and supporting church back ‘home’ in the US.  She’s given me permission to share this with you:

The time I’ve spent living in Tanzania has helped me to appreciate many things that I used to take for granted.  58% of the population of Tanzania lives on less than $1 per day. Although I often don’t feel rich, I am very rich by comparison. Many things (running water, washing machines and dryers, cars, electricity, refrigerators, ovens, microwaves and computers for example) that Americans expect and accept as the norm simply aren’t an option for the majority of Tanzanians, or the rest of the world. Continue reading

Report from the Front Lines (I): Drought, hunger & possible famine in Kenya

Our organization, Care of Creation, has staff and projects in Kenya.  Craig Sorley, Care of Creation staff member and Director of Care of Creation-Kenya, our local organization in that country, recently sent us the following report.  Warning:  This is not for the faint of heart.

Right now in Kenya the gov’t has estimated that a full 25% of the population (10 million) is facing major food shortages, with famine looming right around the corner for many.  This is partly due to the poor harvests in 2008 from the election problems and the political unrest that ensued, and partly due to another drought that we”re facing.  You may recall the last major drought was in 2006. Continue reading

Musings on the Metro

Washington Metro (courtesy of Wikipedia)

I was at the Inauguration last week.  Braved the cold and the crowds and witnessed history – up close.  It wasn’t easy getting there, but it was worth the trip.  I’m glad I went.  Lots of others have already used up a lot of ink and bandwidth dealing with the event, its symbolisms and import for the future, so I’m not going to go there.  Rather, my mind has been occupied with more mundane matters:

What happens when a really good transportation system is asked to carry many times more people than it has ever done before? Continue reading

The Environmentalist’s Dilemma

The following column, by me,  appears in the January 8, 2009 Wisconsin State Journal:

The present economic crisis poses a dilemma for me.

I’m an environmentalist. And I know that a great deal of the blame for the environmental crisis has to be placed squarely on our culture’s addiction to material goods.

We buy more stuff than we need, we throw out stuff that is perfectly good to replace it with other stuff, and in the process we’re trashing the planet, using up scarce energy resources, and pumping billions of tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, forever changing the future for our children and grandchildren.

People like me should be celebrating the current economic slowdown.

Continue reading

An anniversary worth marking

Earth Rise - by Astronaut William Anders (Christmas Eve, 1968)
Earth Rise - by Astronaut William Anders (Christmas Eve, 1968)

One of the most significant anniversaries in human history has just passed, with little notice.

Christmas, 1968 – 40 years ago – Apollo 8 was the first manned space vehicle to completely escape the pull of earth’s gravity, travel to and around the moon and return.  This picture – one of the most famous in the world – is called “Earth Rise” – and captures the view as the Apollo spacecraft came out from behind the moon and back into the view of our home planet.

If you’ve seen the Al Gore slide show or his film, ‘Inconvenient Truth’ you will recall that he begins his presentation with this and one other picture of earth from space.  His point – and it’s a very valid one – is that this event, one of the most unique in human history, represented a particular opportunity for us.  For the first time we could see our world from the outside.  We could see how beautiful it is.  We could see how fragile it is.  We began to realize how really small it is compared to the vast, vast universe we were just beginning to discover.

Continue reading

Welcome and Happy New Year

Welcome to the Our Father’s World blog – oh, and I might as well say ‘Happy New Year!’ at the same time.

In a world that is already crowded with opinions, I’m starting this space with limited objectives.  I don’t think we’ll save the world from this corner of cyberspace – but maybe I can offer an occasional perspective on a topic that concerns me greatly.  I know the process of sharing on these pages will help me sharpen my own thinking.  And perhaps some of you will find the results helpful. And if you do, maybe you’ll occasionally take the time to let me know – or just add your own voice and perspective to what I hope will be a genuine conversation.
About me…
Bits and pieces of my story will come out as we develop this conversation.  I’m a Continue reading