While I appreciate Pastor DeYoung’s sincere desire to “build a Christian foundation” (his very good image) under the concept of Earth Day, the ‘bricks’ he is using to build that foundation, most of which were purchased somewhat uncritically from Jay Richard’s Environmental Stewardship in the Judeo-Christian Tradition, could have been baked a little longer.
As you can imagine, my job has me reading a lot of disturbing reports about all aspects of the environmental crisis. Though I do my best to keep things upbeat here on Our Father’s World and in my presentations, sometimes a story will sneak up and grab me from behind.
Like this one:
In Canada, scientists said Atlantic cod in the Gulf of St. Lawrence are becoming skinny because they are having more trouble finding reliable sources of small prey like capelin. In Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, striped bass are turning up emaciated because of shrinking supplies of herring and anchovies. Continue reading →
Originally posted Nov. 29, 2011. Not much has changed, except that stores are now starting their Black Friday sales at 6 pm on Thanksgiving.
Last Friday was “Black Friday”, when the world goes crazy over shopping. There was a lot of controversy in the days leading up to the event concerning stores openingnot at 5 am, not at 4 am, not even at midnight, but as early as 10 pm the evening of Thanksgiving. This controversy was misguided. The issue should not have been Black Friday “invading” Thanksgiving’s time slot, but Black Friday happening at all… As for me, my experience of Black Friday was different and unexpectedly blessed. What did I do on Black Friday? I went to a funeral.
I am an incurable news-addict, so I suppose it’s my own fault that I had heartburn before breakfast on Black Friday. I woke up to a story from the Los Angeles Times that many of you probably saw in some form sometime during the weekend:
Matthew Lopez went to the Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch on Thursday night for the Black Friday sale but instead was caught in a pepper-spray attack by a woman who authorities said was “competitive shopping.” Continue reading →
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 →
A church stands silent, hiding in the woods, surrounded by leaning, moss-covered gravestones, as it has for almost a thousand years. I use my ever-present smartphone to snap pictures of this monument to an ancient faith that still guides my own life. As I seek to capture the mood of the place, I am struck by the juxtaposition of time frames that I am experiencing. The device in my hand, one of the latest Android devices, was only invented a few years ago, and will likely be obsolete and useless within two or three more. Everything about my life changes in a year, often even more quickly, but this place has stood for centuries and will likely be here for centuries more.
The contrast between a church a thousand years old and the smartphone that will last less than two is jarring and disturbing.
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.