Tag Archives: rest

Singapore Students take Creation Care Seriously

We are often asked if all of our work at Care of Creation is making a difference in the world.  Are people listening? If so, what are they doing about it?  The following report out of Singapore by way of the IFES Prayerline newsletter answers that question.  Yes, people are paying attention.  And they are developing their own movements along the way!

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So you’ve just attended a conference or camp. The fellowship was fantastic! The worship was amazing! You’re excited and enthusiastic about the future!

But then… back to reality. There are essays to write, problems with relationships, families to keep happy, fun times and difficult times. The conference excitement and the lessons learned start to grow dim.

FES Singapore students are determined this will not happen to them. They want a recent equipping conference to be just the beginning of challenge and change in their lives. At the close of the conference they wrote their pledges on origami paper, folded them into aeroplanes, and flew them. Then they all picked up a plane and committed to pray for the person and their pledge.

They have also organised a follow-up journey together. Their aim is to bring ‘organic, self-propagating, bottom-up change’. Local projects focus on topics discussed at the conference, such as migrant workers, social media, social entrepreneurship and conversations in the public square. Two projects that will be promoted nationally focus on rest and creation care.

One of these projects centres around Psalm 24:1-2 – ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.’ If we really believe this verse, FES asks, how will its truth affect our lives? How can we be responsible caretakers of God’s world?

Here are three suggestions:

1. Spend time outdoors.
As a community, explore and enjoy the wonders of God’s creation. If you take time to be ‘in’ the natural world, you will see what a marvellous gift it is. This will help you want to take care of it.

2. Stop pursuing ‘gadgetry’.
Constantly buying new devices may be a form of idolatry. Furthermore, only a small percentage of discarded items are recycled, creating mountains of e-waste – over 3.4 million tons in the US in 2012 alone! Sadly, poor countries are importing e-waste in order to recover the valuable bits, but the salvage process creates hazardous liquids and gases that are impacting the health of people and the environment.

3. Minimise wastage.
If you buy only what you need, you will waste less. This equates to a smaller carbon footprint, but is also being a good steward of resources – all part of loving our neighbour.

Another initiative is called Sleep Singapore Sleep. Students are finding creative ways to encourage themselves and others to get proper rest in order to better deal with stress. As the university year starts they will give out inflatable pillows to incoming students with a verse from Proverbs written on them: ‘When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet’ (3:24). They want to work with the student affairs department in the university to open discussions about meaningful rest in a stressful environment.

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Keep up the good work, Singapore!

Backpacking and the Easy Yoke of Christ

by Lowell Bliss.  This is the second in a series of articles that grew out of Lowell’s trip to Rocky Mountain National Park this past October.  Click HERE to read part one.

A view of the Rockies. Photo by Brittany Ederer

A spiritual director recently advised me to identify my longings. After only a couple of days of prayerful reflection I thought I knew: I wanted to work for Jesus and make a contribution to the world (particularly in creation care and environmental missions), but in doing so, I didn’t want to be responsible for the world. I wanted to work restfully. In other words, I had a longing for the easy yoke of Christ.

The first step, it seemed to me, in pursuing my longings was to memorize Matthew 11:28-30. After that, I could pray through the passage regularly, leisurely, and intimately which I did so thusly:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,

Jesus, I come. And I certainly qualify because I am weary and burdened. Continue reading

Hurry up and Rest!

After a long hiatus that has included many activities besides writing blog posts (including bringing a new book When Heaven and Nature Sing to publication), I’m back and happy to be posting again.  Enjoy!

There’s an old parable I use from time to time to remind friends or colleagues (or myself) of how easy it is to try too hard or schedule too much and thereby to fall further behind.  The story goes like this:

Continue reading