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
Originally posted June 25, 2010. Check out Lowell’s NEW book called “Environmental Missions” and let us know what you think!
Lowell recently wrote the following piece for the Evangelicals for Social Action newsletter, answering the question, What do we mean by “Environmental Missionary”. Enjoy!
What Is an Environmental Missionary?
At first, the question remained the same, but my answer would change.
People asked me, “Lowell, why are you a missionary?” Before I left for India in 1993, I’d tell them my conviction that Jesus is worthy of the worship of India, that the Great Commission is a mandate given to us all, and that those who die without Christ are lost eternally. But then after just a few months on the field, while those central convictions had not changed, I added to my answer, “I love Indians.” Over time, however, I had to change that answer, too, and admit, “Well, I don’t know if I can say that I love Indians, but I do love Shivraj, Munnu-ji, Prakash, and Prem Kumar.” I would rattle off names of individual friends. It’s hard to love disembodied aggregates, but it’s impossible not to love those God has placed in your heart.
Now, however, the question has changed. People are curious: “Lowell, why do you call yourself an environmental missionary?” The question has changed, but the answer is remarkably the same: I love Shivraj, Munnu-ji, Prakash, and Prem Kumar. Continue reading
We have several goals for and overlapping audiences among the readers of Our Father’s World. Sometimes we want to inform you with up to date and accurate reporting of the status of God’s creation. Our occasional pieces on the fate of the monarch butterfly are an example of that. Sometimes we seek to persuade you, if you need persuasion, that there are serious problems and complacency is not an option. And sometimes we are just trying to share with you our own experiences and viewpoints as we, like you, struggle to figure out how to live lightly in a world that has been damaged by our lifestyle.
This post is different. Many of our readers are working, full-time or part-time or as volunteers, in the field of creation care. I’ve been doing this work for 15 years, and there are many who have been at it much longer than that. This “ministry”, for that is really what it is, can be lonely and discouraging. So much evidence of trouble, so many years of teaching, so little response. So consider this a bit like a pastoral letter to those of us who have given our lives to this work, and occasionally need to be reminded of why we’re doing what we’re doing. Continue reading
2015 may turn out to be one of the most important years in recent history for the environmental movement, for the evangelical creation care movement, and for us and our organization, Care of Creation. Here’s what’s happening:
There are a lot of significant anniversaries to celebrate:
- The 45th anniversary of the celebration of Earth Day comes in April.
- Personally, it will be 15 years since I joined Au Sable Institute and moved from a traditional ministry framework into what we then called Christian environmental stewardship, now commonly referred to as creation care.
- And this year marks 10 years since Craig Sorley and I started Care of Creation in April 2005. We had a modest goal of promoting “environmental missions” that quickly became a passion to mobilize the worldwide church for creation care. Now, thanks to the prayers and financial support of many of you, we are leading a global effort to do just that. (We’ll be having a birthday party in Madison on April 18 – mark the date, and plan to join us!)
Originally published August 13, 2010.
William Wordsworth’s most famous work is “Ode: Intimations of Immortality From Reflections of Early Childhood.” It is one of my favorite poems, exploring the lost pleasures of childhood that Wordsworth believes are hints of the immortality we left behind:
- It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
- Turn wheresoe’er I may,
- By night or day,
- The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
- Not in entire forgetfulness,
- And not in utter nakedness,
- But trailing clouds of glory do we come
- From God, who is our home:
- Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Setting aside theological mysteries and controversies for another day, what has preoccupied me for that last month and a half has not been immortality, past or future, but increasing intimations of mortality: My own,as I have experienced an unusual and thought provoking spell of genuine illness, something unusual for me; but also increasing intimations of mortality in the world in which we live, highlighted by the Gulf oil spill but buttressed by a host of other events. Continue reading
Originally published March 3, 2010. Have you read Tending to Eden?
“Old Literature” is an occasional feature that highlights long-forgotten books, articles, speeches or poems that still speak to us today. As it happens, there’s some new material that also deserves our attention. Today, Tending to Eden by Scott Sabin, Director of Plant with Purpose (formerly Floresta).
Scott Sabin and I met about 7 years ago at a conference in Kenya. He tells about that conference in his new book,Tending to Eden that was just released two weeks ago:
Edith and I took several pastors to a conference on creation care in Kenya. I was one of the presenters, and in the course of my presentation I showed a slide of the devasted forests around Mt Kilimanjaro National Park. Pastor Lyamuya approached me later and, with an embarassed smile, explained how convicting it was to see the photo from his own community. “God entrusted it to us to take care of, and we aren’t doing our job.” Continue reading