Tag Archives: God’s Grandeur

Ancient Greeks, Modern Memories

Steve Dresselhaus is a missionary with TEAM, and has done much to help that organization turn its attention to creation care as part of its world-wide gospel mission.  This is a lovely short piece exploring a tension we all face when dealing with the stuff in our lives.  Enjoy!

The ancient Greeks believed in four natural elements from which everything else was made: earth, water, fire and air.  I’m thinking they may have been on to something.  Last week my family had the opportunity to spend three nights camping on Grand Island, an undeveloped island in Lake Superior and a part of the Hiawatha National Forest.  We camped with my sister and her family.  While we did take along a few man-made items such as tents, kayaks and headlamps, we only took in what we could carry on our backs or propel with our paddles.  The packing list was not predicated on seeing  what else can I carry in but rather, what else can I leave at home?   Less was more. Doing without was freeing.  Having less made it possible to do more.   For three days we were not controlled or manipulated by a cruel slave master named Stuff. Continue reading

Biblical Wildlife: Do You Know Lions?

Male Asiatic Lion.

Pop quiz: which word appears more frequently in the Bible: grace or lion?

According to a simple search on Biblegateway.com, the word “grace” is used 125 times in Scripture.  “Lion” is used almost as frequently, with 119 occurrences.  Isn’t it fascinating that lions feature so prominently in stories and imagery of the Bible?  The lion must have held a prominent place in the imaginations and memories of the ancient Israelites and Gentiles; otherwise, Continue reading

Meditation on The Goodness of Creation

Cedar Campus in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, one of the best places to hear the heartbeat of God's creation. Author's photo.
Cedar Campus in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, one of the best places to hear the heartbeat of God’s creation. Author’s photo.

I grew up in a wee church in rural Wisconsin, and one of the community grandmother figures to me was Sara Smith.  I know I have a good friend in Sara, because today she sent me a card in the mail and included a little bulletin that she thought I would enjoy.  It’s from the Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in St. Paul, and seems like an ordinary worship bulletin.  But I’m amazed at Continue reading

Reviving a Sense of Wonder

The first of Andrea Ebley’s monthly posts on the blog.  

IMG_3877wonder n : rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience

Children embody the definition of wonder, a sense that inspires curiosity and investigation, and fosters delight. How often do you see a child running to catch falling leaves or jumping from curb to puddle, completely absorbed in his actions and oblivious to all else? How often do you see a full-grown adult doing those same things? Continue reading

Notes from a volcanic eruption in Iceland

Guest post by Bob White on the Holuhraun Eruption, Iceland, September 2014.  Cross-posted from the Science and Belief blog.

Robert (Bob) White, FRS is Professor of Geophysics at Cambridge University and Director of The Faraday Institute. He has recently published a book on Natural Disasters called Who is to Blame?
Nature, Disasters and Acts of God, (Oxford: Lion Hudson), 207 pp. ISBN 978-0-85721-4737

Picture: Einar Rafnsson/RUV. Click for source.

We arrived at the eruption site around midnight on 1st September 2014. We were fortunate to be there because it is in a 10,000 square kilometre exclusion zone in the interior of Iceland due to the danger of volcanic gases, floods and ash plumes. As scientists monitoring earthquakes caused by the eruption my team and I were part of just a handful of people allowed in. We stood in the middle of a black volcanic desert 3,000 feet high. The darkness of the night was uninterrupted by any human lights. And we knew there was no-one else within at least 100 kilometres of us in any direction. Continue reading

Old Literature – but surprisingly relevant

Our environmental problems aren’t quite as new as we sometimes think they are.  Here, some lessons from an old, old poem:  (Originally published Jan 7, 2009)

A good friend, who doesn’t think himself an intellectual but who in fact is one of the best-read people in my life, sent me two different pieces over the last couple of months, both of which qualify as being old, if not ancient.  But which both speak volumes to our present environmental predicament:

Today, a poem that is at least 150 years old:

God’s Grandeur

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

“the grandeur of God”

It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge |&| shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

Continue reading