When winter turns to spring,
When the colors start to reappear, When the snow has melted and the ground can once again see the sun,When the world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful, And sunshine pours in a little earlier each day, I find joy in the process of renewal.
The fattening buds on the eager branches, Finally waking from their winter nap, Silently preparing, To spring.
Spring is a time of restoration,
A time to renew and refresh.
And so it is in our lives,
We are called to be made new,
And we thrive through this renewal,
Shaking off the deadened pieces of our past,
And walking forward as new beings in Christ.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be renewed in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
For seven of the years my family and I lived in Varanasi, India, we resided in a house right on the western banks of the Ganges River. From our rooftop first thing in the morning, we could look down on the riverfront and witness hundreds, sometimes thousands, of Hindu worshippers bathing in the Ganges. At some point, they would cup their hands, draw up some water and then pour it in libation to the east from where the sun was rising. They were in fact worshipping the sun. I was a good enough cultural anthropologist to know why: the sun is a powerful luminary; it governs so much of life and health. Studying Hinduism was not my first exposure to sun worship, neither was studying Continue reading →
The first of Andrea Ebley’s monthly posts on the blog.
wondern : 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 →
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:
The world is charged with 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.
This post is the Christmas letter my wife and I have just sent out to our friends and financial partners in our ministry. Suspecting that a few of the regular visitors to Our Father’s World might not be on our distribution list, here are our thoughts this Christmas season. Note that the first half is a devotional – we’ve been doing this in our letters for at least 15 years – and the second contains brief news about our family. You are welcome to read both – we’d love to have you meet our family in this way, if not in person! And feel free to contact me directly if you’d like to be added to the direct distribution list or click here if you would like to partner with us by donating to our ministry. Our work is mostly provided for my small-ish gifts from ordinary people. –End of Commercial– !
Of all the common Christmas carols echoing in shopping malls, elevators and on the radio – not to mention in churches and on our music players – surely the most interesting and subversive is “Joy to the World.” Continue reading →
A Conversation about God, His Creation and Our Role in Creation