With Jesus as our treasure, our darling object, it cannot help but result in a world and eternity of good.
By Mitchell C. Hescox
Who doesn't know that doctors tell pregnant moms to limit fish consumption during their pregnancy because of mercury? This is basic and lifesaving advice. As a father and now a grandfather, I know the importance of listening to your doctor especially during pregnancy. While eating fish can have tremendous benefits to the baby and the mother, the presence of mercury in fish means that moms have to limit their intake. Mercury can have a devastating impact on the unborn; unborn children who are exposed to mercury, a potent neurotoxin, are at much higher risks for lowered IQ, reduced motor and language skills, cardiac problems and a host of other threats to their life and quality of life. Mercury pollution levels are getting so high that as many as 1 in 6 children in the United States are born with threatening levels of mercury, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.
For years, the ministry I lead, the Evangelical Environmental Network, has taken a clear pro-life stand, which has extended to protecting our unborn children from this threat. The largest single U.S. domestic source of mercury, 50%, comes from coal burning power plants. Mercury emitted from smoke stacks falls into our waters and enters our food chain through fish. Currently, all 50 states issue fish consumption advisories for high levels of mercury. As the threat of mercury continues to grow, we strongly endorse EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics standard, which protects our children through the reduction of mercury emissions.
Groups like the National Association of Evangelicals and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as well as over 100 senior evangelical leaders who signed our common statement, understand that this is a pro-life concern. Anything that would diminish a baby's right to their God given gifts threatens the abundant life that God intended. During my recent testimony before the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL) in an attempt to refute my testimony read the following from a document issued by the Cornwall Alliance that same morning:
The life in pro-life denotes not quality of life but life itself and only refers to opposition to a procedure that intentionally results in dead babies.
We couldn't disagree more and so do many others. Focus on the Family has produced a wonderful video about defending the sanctity of human life that states:
Like a new set of glasses that helps us see the world with greater clarity, the value of human life defines how we see and respond to those around us. From the formation of child's first tiny cell to life's final breath, all life has dignity and value because each and every one of us is made in the image of God. And that is why when we talk about "pro-life," it's not some political issue. It's a world view " it's a life-view"
We agree with Focus on the Family that to be pro-life is to understand that the "life" message is part of a seamless message upheld in Christian Scripture and in the life of Jesus.
But we are confused and disappointed that Tom Minnery, Focus on the Family's Vice President for Policy, joined with the Cornwall Alliance statement against protecting our unborn from mercury poisoning. It is this contradictory message of defending the unborn from abortion, but not from powerful industries and donors who profit from mercury pollution that diminishes one's quality of life, that gives the evangelical community a black eye to so many in our society. Many are asking, how can you be pro-life and ignore the impacts of toxins like mercury on the unborn?
Life is a gift from God and remains sacred in our eyes. Together we stand committed against abortion that terminates the life of over 1.2 million children in the United States each year. We also stand committed to protecting the lives of the millions of children whose lives and ability to reach their God-given potential is threatened by mercury and other hazardous waste. Only by protecting the quality of an unborn child's future from pollution like mercury can we be consistently pro-life. Such consistency is how we begin to transform our culture into one that is seamlessly and totally pro-life.
Let's stop this politically motivated attack against life and the value of our children. The Cornwall document, quoted by Congressman Shimkus, calls for a cost/benefit analysis, a cost benefit analysis to see if it is worth saving the lives of the unborn. Attempting to force dollar limits on whether to protect life lessens our nation and totally rejects our founders' words of our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is unconscionable and shows Cornwall's overt libertarian bent.
As evangelical Christians let us value all life as a precious God given gift and protect that life, especially the most vulnerable from mercury and other toxins. Bishop Stephen Blaire of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops who stated in support of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, "Who wouldn't want cleaner air and water, it just makes sense." We couldn't agree more.
Rev. Mitchel C. Hescox is the President & CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network.
by Jeff Greenberg
I am truly grieved after having read the Cornwall Alliance's (CA) response to Mitch Hescox's testimony before Congress. Even sadder is that the response does not surprise me. The CA folks are consistently hyper-political, abusive of good science, and assuming the undeserved role of speaking for conservative, Bible-believing, Jesus followers. Mitch pleaded with our nation's leaders to change out-of-date technologies that threaten the lives of anyone nearby a coal-fueled power plant. Those facilities are well known for the reality of mercury contamination emanating from exhaust smokestacks. Mercury is bad news for living things, even in very small amounts. The medical problems associated have been documented for many years. The most vulnerable, potential victims of poisoning are the very young, including the unborn, as they receive doses of all sorts of chemicals through their mothers.
Not only does the CA response blatantly call the EEN (Mitch's organization) liars, but they then make great efforts to educate everyone in the meaning of "pro-life". According to their definition, I am not really pro-life. Apparently your only concern has to be a life and death issue. Children severely disabled by poisoning don't count, because that's a "quality of life" concern. More than grieved, I am sickened by that faulty, heartless logic.
I want to refute completely everything the CA document asserts. First of all, I AM PRO-LIFE! Just as Saint Paul established his spiritual and cultural credentials against the attack of all opposition, I can offer my background against any on the list of CA response signers. I have four adopted children, two with obvious physical disabilities (and not uncommon targets for abortion) and two with significant, though less apparent "birth defects" of fetal alcohol syndrome, including severe learning disabilities. My wife and I have served crisis pregnancy centers in Wisconsin and Illinois. My wife was a center director, and I have been on centers' boards. We are authors of a book article describing realities of crisis pregnancy ministry. We have spoken before large groups to support adoption and oppose abortion funding (March of Dimes and testimony before the Wisconsin legislature). We have taught classes about the full spectrum of pro-life issues, including loving care for those coerced into abortion. I could go on much further. The CA definition is miserably lacking in accuracy.
I am also an environmental geologist. My understanding of science and respect for God's good Creation, leads me again to throw an idea back at the CA responders. Put most simply, IF THE ENVIRONMENT SUFFERS, PEOPLE SUFFER. This principle makes complete scientific sense and it is completely supported in the Bible. Even non-human animals know not to defecate in their living areas. Scripture instructs the Israelites to bury their filth and keep unclean things outside the camp. Those coal plants are dropping sickness right into neighborhoods populated by people made in God's image, including the very young and the unborn.
Finally, I want to hurl back the claim of "disingenuous" and "dangerous" made against Mitch, the EEN and many, many more of us evangelical Christians by association. The CA itself clearly portrays itself falsely. It is in fact a politically and economically stilted association that does not speak for God, the Bible, good science, or multitudes of compassionate people. Unfortunately, in the moral-political world of today, their kind of arrogant rhetoric plays well before too many in Washington, DC.
Dr. Greenberg has served on Wheaton's faculty for over twenty years. He is married and the father of five children, the older four being adopted.
Jim Ball talks with Chris Wright International Director of the Langham Partnership (a ministry founded by John Stott) about the work of the partnership in equipping pastors around the world, his role as the Chair of the Statement Group for the Lausanne Movement's Cape Town Commitment, and the emphasis of the Cape Town Commitment on creation care and climate change.
Click here to find selected featured articles from recent editions of Creation Care Magazine. We hope you enjoy! To subscribe and receive the full e-edition or the in-print edition six times a year simply click here.
by Dean Ohlman
One early sign of spring for many of us parents and grandparents is the arrival of Christian camp applications for the coming summer months. I'm a camp lover. After my godly father, church, and Sunday school, the most significant influence on my spiritual formation as a youth was Christian camps. From age nine to sixteen, I was involved with camps, first as a camper and then as a counselor. My dad was on the founding board of a Christian camp that utilized a Civilian Conservation Corps facility in Western Michigan -the first camp started by Lance Latham - founder of the Awana Ministries. Dad was on the board from 1945 until his death in 1975. I was blessed to serve with him the last few years.
The camp motto is still the same: "Where Christ is First." Being led by godly directors and board members who had a heart for Christ, for evangelism, and the spiritual nurture of children, the camp has probably led thousands of kids to Christ and helped motivate many into ministry, missions, and lay occupations where they have continued to spread and live out the Gospel. I could go on and list many more positives about that camp and about Christian camps in general.
Yet while I don't fault the leadership of camps then, or camps today, I have come to realize that there has been a glaring failure in Christian camping that has created attitudes and misunderstandings among adult followers of Christ that have had some significant negative consequences: the failure to use their ideal setting to teach from God's other "book" the book of God's works. The natural world (especially the beautiful natural settings of most camps) is a revelation of God: what theologians call the "general revelation." The camp I attended, "where Christ is first," almost totally ignored the link between Christ and the creation: making us aware of what some have called the "cosmic Christ" that He is both the creator and sustainer of our glorious natural world. No doubt this was the consequence of a big hole that still exists in the spiritual formation of most evangelicals and fundamentalists"the lack of a well-articulated and well-taught theology of nature and the absence of what I call the "lost fundamental": that we are creation's caretakers.
Since these elements are mostly missing in Christian homes, churches, and Sunday schools as well, one can't entirely fault camps for the failure to recognize their opportunity to make up for it while they have a virtually captive audience situated in God's great outdoors. The camp at the top of Lake Superior in Canada where I served as a counselor did offer a nature walk. Dear and patient Mrs. Plunkett came once a week to offer about an hour-long trek in the bush to whoever wanted to go, but that was it. Only a few kids ever gave up their free-play time for a walk in the woods.
With all the resources now available to camps for teaching the theology of nature, for offering intensive outdoor education, and for providing instruction in biblically-based environmental ethics to children and teens, there really is little reason that such cannot be a part of the curriculum of every Christian camp ministry. Sadly, some of the largest camps that have thousands of campers over the course of the summer have mostly become "resorts" and places for the entertainment of kids. Instead of having kids learning about Christ the Creator through the creation, they have the kids mountain-biking in it, playing in it (or in huge chlorinated pools), shooting targets in it, or sitting indoors listening to highly amped bands and dynamic motivational speakers.
That a kid should leave a camp in the Sierra without knowing the difference between a Douglas fir and a Ponderosa pine or leave a camp in the Midwest without knowing the difference between a white pine and a red pine is to me a shame. That they should be able to sing "all the trees of the forest shall clap their hands," and not have a clue that the forests around them are being threatened by invasive species, over-development, and destructive harvesting is to me sad. That kids should go away from camp spiritually (emotionally?) hyped and well instructed about the Jesus who lived two millennia ago, yet not understand the facts about the living Jesus who redeemed the creation, who sustains the creation, and who will come again to restore it as an even more awesomely beautiful place to which our souls will return and reoccupy physical bodies to enjoy the Creator forever [consider today's Scripture] is to me the greatest oversight of all.
If you're involved in Christian camping or send kids to camp, I encourage you to see what you can do to motivate that camp to address these vital and commonly missing elements. Every kid should leave camp every summer awed by the wonder of creation"and motivated to live a "creation careful" life the rest of the year. If the camp you are involved with does that, appreciate the blessing and thank the camp leadership. The following passage from Isaiah provides a taste of the spirit and understanding each child should take away from summer camp and carry in heart and mind all year long.
How I would love to see Christian camps become the grassroots core of a new generation of "good earthkeepers."
"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD's renown, for an everlasting sign that will endure forever." (Isaiah 55:10-13)
You can find more of Dean Ohlman's writing's at Wonder of Creation.
© Rufoto " Fotolia.com
"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin." (Jesus of Nazareth, Luke 12:27)
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:12-13)
In this first week, think about what steps you can take every day to turn towards Christ. Ask him to show you the sources of discontentment. Spend time in the middle of your day doing something that takes you out of your normal cares and concerns (grab lunch with a friend, call a member of your family, go to that prayer time or fellowship meeting you've been neglecting). Know that the works of God take time to form in our life; stay diligent and know that God will meet you.
Practice Lectio / Reading: Slowly read a Gospel portion, a Psalm or Proverb, or another Scripture passage, perhaps several times. Listen for a word, verse or passage from God that is "quickened" or "speaks" to your heart. Consider jotting what you "hear" in a Lenten notebook or journal.
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand." (Jesus of Nazareth, John 10:27-28)
For the full day to day reflections and actions for week 1 click here.
This year EEN has partnered with Tearfund, a UK Christian relief and development agency which works in over 50 countries, on their Carbon Fast. In the coming weeks we'll be exploring how renewing our relationship with God, with others, and with the Creation He made, ultimately leads to repentance and transformed lives. For a .pdf copy of the full Lenten devotional click here.
At the start of each week we will put the readings and reflections for the week up on the blog. For the daily reflections and actions follow along on the Lent 2012 page and/or download a copy of the full Lenten devotional.
by Chuck Summers
"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." "Jesus
I'm embarrassed to admit it but one of the areas of spirituality and Creation Care that I fail at miserably is the consistent practice of th
e Sabbath. You might think that this would not be a problem for someone who is a pastor but for me it truly is. I know that the Bible calls for Sabbath rest for both man and beast, and I am aware that Jesus practiced this himself. Still, other than a short nap here or there I seldom take time to rest as the Scriptures command.
Dr. Matthew Sleeth believes that the renewal of Sabbath rest is crucial to the health of both humans and Creation. I've heard him say that this must become a priority for us if we want to experience the good life and to heal the earth. Thankfully, Dr. Sleeth is currently writing a book on the subject, called "24/6", that is due out this fall. I know that it is a book I'll definitely have to read.
A couple of days ago I was reading Stephen Shortridge's latest book, Deepest Thanks, Deeper Apologies. In one of the chapters Stephen offered some interesting comparisons between Sabbath rest and rest marks in a musical score. He writes: "In a piece of music, the notation for 'rest' is a pause in the music. The rest is as important as the note. The space that is not filled with music is a space that helps frame the music. It keeps its meter and holds the melody in place. The musical rest is a positive filling of that space, not a void." Shortridge goes on to say, "The composer of the music carefully placed those rests as parts of the whole. To remove them changes everything about the music: its meter, its interpretation, even the melody."
You can probably see where all of this is heading. "God wrote a piece of music"a symphony, so to speak. Its notes and directives are contained in His Word. One of those directives is to rest." It would seem that a lot of modern individuals, like myself, have been ignoring or editing out God's "rest marks."
Usually each November I join our church choir so I can sing the Christmas cantata with them. Ask any choir member, and especially the choir director, and they will tell you I am notorious for missing the rest marks. I typically sing right through them. This practice messes up the sound the composer had in mind when he or she wrote the music and diminishes the choir's presentation. That's why everyone in the choir insists I mark and remember where the rests are found.
Dr. Chuck Summers is a pastor and photographer. His work has appeared in numerous national magazines and calendars. He has published three books: Kentucky: Unbridled Spirit and Beauty; A Year in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park; and A Year in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area. You can view more of Chuck's work at www.agpix.com/csummers. You can see more of his writings at SeeingCreation.com
by Brittany Bennett
Recently, the Evangelical Environmental Network took up an initiative to protect the lives of unborn children from the harmful impacts of mercury pollution. 1 in 6 children are born in the U.S. with harmful levels of mercury in their blood. This harm could have been prevented, and can still be reduced for the sake of our children.
In an Energy & Commerce hearing last week, the Rev. Mitch Hescox gave testimony on the need to protect the unborn from mercury. It was not surprising to learn that certain Senators and members of Congress spoke out against this rule while ignoring the moral imperative raised by evangelicals in the pro-life community, as it's not seen as the most industry-friendly. It has been unfortunate to see an attack led against EEN, the National Association of Evangelicals, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and over 100 senior evangelical leaders by a handful of self-proclaimed "pro-life leaders" and fellow Christians.
The negative reaction has been centered on the definition of "pro-life". While claiming to share similar concerns about pollution, they say it is the words used to frame the conversation which are most important. I disagree.
For those of us who've been picking up on this in the church and in the news, we're finding reasons to be hopeful again. I have personally always found the narrow use of the term's "pro-life" and "pro-choice" to be terribly limiting, which makes it difficult to make any headway when engaging others. From the beginning, words have been manipulated to confuse society, and catalyze conflict to benefit a few politically. The way we have waged the battle on matters of life has done little for the cause. We haven't carried much of the good news in it either.
I'm disgusted by issues being pitted falsely against each other. With as hyper-partisan as our news and sources of information have become it's almost impossible to agree and move forward. As a young person, I'm so tired of hearing about the politics of pro-life issues, that I'm simply tempted not to care at all. But the fact is, in my heart I care very much. Life is a miracle, and each person contains the image of God. So I'm actually quite upset that I find no place for my voice. If we could just leave this issue on its own, I would be happy to engage, and help lower the number of abortions in this country. But we need to abolish the stereotypes that have been associated with it. We're nearly immobilized as it is.
My hope is that we could be united in our mission to bring the whole gospel to the whole world, by continuing to look to the life of Christ. Let's put all the hands, the arms, legs, wombs, and everything else together in one respected body. Let's then be awake enough to take a step and offer a healing hand.
by Kristen Hayes-Yearick
As a Pro-Life Catholic Mother of three beautiful children, I was surprised by the joint statement released by The Cornwall Alliance about Reverend Mitch Hescox and the Evangelical Environmental Network's mercury campaign. I was shocked when the Cornwall Alliance joint statement declared the definition of Pro-Life as merely an "opposition to a procedure that intentionally results in dead babies."
I am an ardent Pro-Life and Children's Environmental Health Advocate. In the Cornwall Alliance statement they note that "most environmental causes promoted as pro-life involve little threat to human life itself, and no intent to kill anyone." I have spent the past six and a half years researching environmental toxins and their impact on our born and unborn Children's health. The toxic environmental exposures, like mercury, are directly linked to many life ending, life threatening or life altering diseases in our children.
Here are just a few statistics on Childhood illnesses that are either triggered and/or exacerbated by environmental toxic exposures:
The Cornwall Alliance statement adds:
"This doesn't mean we should ignore environmental risks. It does mean they should not be portrayed as pro-life. Genuinely pro-life people will usually desire to reduce other risks as well " guided by cost/benefit analysis. But to call those issues 'pro-life' is to obscure the meaning of the term."
I believe we've heard similar "unplanned pregnancy" arguments from the Pro-Choice movement. Genuinely pro-choice people will usually desire to reduce abortion incidence as well- guided by cost/benefit/convenience analysis. Does the concept sound familiar?
At what point did the Pro-Life movement start analyzing the sanctity of life on a cost/benefit scale?
If we're going to determine the importance of protecting our born and unborn children's health in dollar and cents: On May 4, 2011 the Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers revealed the estimated costs on Environmentally-Induced Childhood Disease at $76.6 Billion.
The Mount Sinai site states: "The researchers found the annual cost in the United States to be an estimated $76.6 billion, representing 3.5 percent of all U.S. health care costs in 2008. The breakdown includes: lead poisoning ($50.9 billion), autism ($7.9 billion), intellectual disability ($5.4 billion), exposure to mercury pollution ($5.1 billion), ADHD ($5 billion), asthma ($2.2 billion), and childhood cancer ($95 million)."
Dr. Trasande also reviewed an earlier study of 1997 data, which was conducted by Philip J. Landrigan, MD, and documented $54.9 billion in annual costs for Childhood diseases associated with environmental toxins in the United States.
Marilyn Musgrave, a joint statement signer and Vice President for Government Affairs of the Susan B Anthony List, said, "As a pro-life leader I am amazed that some in the far left environmentalist movement would try to hijack the term 'pro-life' and use it to further their agenda. It is my life's call to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves and work to end abortion in this country. The term pro-life has profound meaning and should not be used deceitfully in this way."
As a pro-life Catholic Mother, I am amazed that I am being accused of being a part of the far left environmentalist movement with the implied insidious goal of hijacking the term 'pro-life' to further my agenda. I am acting according to God's will for me to be a voice for our born and unborn children. I work tirelessly to defend and protect God's children from abortion and environmental toxins. I do this because I've been called to do it. I am not making a statement to protect my major donors' profit margin. There is an agenda here, but it's not mine.
The term pro-life has a very profound and personal meaning to me. I would never use it in a deceitful way. I had an unplanned pregnancy and I chose life. I never saw my daughter as a 'choice' because I believe in the sanctity of all life- from conception to natural death. I saw her as a gift from God. I can look into my daughter's eyes and see the gift that God gave me, but I can also see pain"real pain. My children's health was harmed by environmental toxins. I look into my children's eyes and I see the gifts from God and the damage done by greed, ignorance and negligence. I look into their eyes and I can see God's Grace and what human political posturing and polarization does to our born and unborn children's health. I look into their eyes and I can see God's will and how adults have failed to protect them. I can look into their eyes and see God's pure love and human egos, labels, preconceived notions and reckless, territorial-sanctimonious rhetoric that is threatening the health of our unborn and born children. I can look into their eyes and see God's plan and what we should be doing together"as one--to protect His most valuable and vulnerable population, His children. The only agenda that I follow is God's agenda.
What would you do if your children's health was damaged or threatened by environmental toxins? Would you continue defend and protect the industries that donate to your organizations or your child?
As a Catholic, I believe that we have a moral obligation to protect God's children and creation. As a Mother, I can't silently watch our most vulnerable and valuable population, our born and unborn children, losing or fighting for their lives through abortion or environmental toxins. It's a matter of life.. I am Pro-Life!!
Kristen Hayes-Yearick is the founder of Protecting the Sanctity of All Life Movement
by Dean Ohlman
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).
Truly the righteous attain life, but whoever pursues evil finds death (Proverbs 11:19).
Over the past twenty years I've been formulating a biblical worldview that I can present in graphic form in a PowerPoint presentation. It started almost by "chance" [is there really such a thing?!] as I sat in on a staff meeting at the World Vision Relief and Development headquarters in Monrovia, CA. The staff seminar speaker that day was from WV's Australia office. He drew a triangle, which he called the "relationship triangle," with God at the top corner, people at the bottom left corner, and the earth at the bottom right corner. Then he listed the relationships among the three entities: Between God and People was fellowship. Between God and the earth was ownership. Between people and the earth was stewardship.
At the time I was founding president of the Christian Nature Federation (no longer in existence) and had been invited by Paul Thompson, VP for World Vision Relief and Development, who had asked me to spend a couple days a week at the office as a consultant on Christianity and the environment (which would now be termed "creation care"). Although the presentation was on the activity of World Vision, it struck me as the absolute best foundation for the biblical worldview regarding the relationships of all the entities related to creation care. You can find the eventual presentation at this URL.
Over the years as I continued to hone the presentation, an important truth struck me as I was fleshing out the meaning of the right relationships among God, people, and the earth (nature, creation). I was developing a list of what behaviors would likely result from right relationships. When I studied Scripture and had a fairly substantial list, this summarizing thought struck me: "Life-affirmation is the motivating principle of Christian ethics." The whole thrust of God's creating and sustaining work on earth is the perpetuation of life and health"materially and spiritually. Genesis is about the beginning of life and life's purposes"human, animal, and plant life. God the Father designed the cosmos for the existence of life, God the Holy Spirit gave and continues to give it life, and God the Son is the Creator and Sustainer of life. This is the way of truth, life, and light. From the Scripture we can ascertain that the behaviors below, among others, would characterize life-affirming conduct.
1. Worshiping and obeying God, Who is the eternal and supernatural source of life
2. Acting as attendant and steward of the creation, which is the temporal and natural source of life
3. Working heartily to gain sustenance for life and glorifying God through the expression of creative activity
4. Confining sexual intercourse to the nurturing bounds of marriage (male and female) for life's procreation and conjugal fulfillment
5. Recognizing that sexual intercourse in the bounds of holy matrimony is an intimate sacrament of unity exclusively between male and female (no procreation of life outside of God's creative order).
6. Nurturing human life from conception to adulthood
7. Avoiding murdering, torturing, being violence, carrying out terrorism and unjust warfare, and causing unnecessary animal suffering and death
8. Practicing behavior that is healthful (life-perpetuating) and attending to the healing of those who suffer
9. Sharing of the earth's resources among all people, attending to the poor and disenfranchised, and practicing sacrificial giving
10. Depending upon God and the Body of Christ (church) for life's security
11. Avoiding sinful, life-threatening behavior and lovingly admonishing those who sin
12. Affirming, proclaiming, and celebrating the life-giving truth found in both the special and general revelations of God (God's Word and God's works)
Alternatively, we have behaviors that would mark the way of deception, death, and darkness:
1. Worshiping idols, self, and/or the creation and disobeying God, who is the eternal source of life
2. Abusing the creation, which is the temporal and natural source of life
3. Being lazy and suppressing or abusing creative activity; "saving labor" at the expense of human health and the health of the creation.
4. Indulging in unrestrained sexual intercourse outside the bounds of marriage for "recreation," mere self-gratification, and to abuse others.
5. Members of the same gender indulging in sexual intercourse"thereby proscribing the Creator's purpose to unite male and female for intimate companionship, conjugal fulfillment, procreation, and child rearing (in short, the perpetuation of a healthful human race).
6. Destroying and threatening human life through abortion, incest, abuse, and neglect
7. Murdering, torturing, being violence, carrying out terrorism and unjust warfare, and causing unnecessary animal suffering and death
8. Practicing behavior that is unhealthful and life-threatening, and neglecting those who suffer
9. Hoarding the earth's bounty and neglecting the poor and disenfranchised; abusing charitable giving
10. Depending upon money and personal strength and wit for personal security
11. Denying personal sin and encouraging others to sin
12. Rejecting and misusing the truth and suppressing or ignoring both the special and general revelations of God (God's Word and God's works)
by Lowell Bliss
I have appreciated the Mercury Campaign of the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN). In fact, my first exposure to EEN was in the form of a photo showing their leaders marching in a 2005 pro-life rally carrying a banner which declared "Stop Mercury Poisoning of the Unborn." Their pro-life stance, therefore, is not some dishonest, bait-and-switch innovation to support current EPA legislation, which is how they have been accused. No, a value for life and for the unborn is something our brothers and sisters at EEN have carried in their hearts. The recent opposition to EEN is embodied in statements by the Cornwall Alliance with signatories who identify themselves as "leaders of the pro-life movement." Those statements have been publicized by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) and are to the effect that EEN has dishonestly "hijacked" the term pro-life to appeal for the approximately 1 in 6 children in the U.S. who are born with threatening levels of mercury.
You know, the only article in the school newspaper that I remember from my freshman year at Georgetown University in 1981 was actually a letter to the editor from a woman student who was examining how her worldview had just changed. She had heard a visiting speaker on campus who was billed as pro-life and anti-nuclear proliferation. This was at a Catholic university during the early years of the Reagan administration, at the height of the Cold War. The student writer of the letter to the editor noted the disparate political agendas: conservative anti-abortion, leftist anti-nukes. But she was struck by just how consistent it was. If the issue is the "Sanctity of Life," then what is the difference between an innocent life extinquished by dilation and curettage and one lost to radiation poisoning? A toxic environment can kill as effectively as an abortion provider.
The one time I was written up in the school newspaper of my other under-graduate school, Moody Bible Institute, was when I found a megaphone put in my hands and was told to take over a pro-life rally in downtown Chicago. Now twenty-five years after both G.U. and MBI, with a heart for pro-life as strong as that of EEN and the Cornwall Alliance, here are the five things I want to say about the opposition statements.
1. There is no copyright on the terminology of pro-life and if it gets treated as just so much brand protection, then the whole movement loses its power to inspire. And who says that pro-life means "this and nothing else"? I hate when press releases from Washington refer to "evangelical leaders""whether environmental, pro-life, or otherwise. When is the last time any of us have actually stopped to inquire of the Head of the Church: "What do you mean by the sanctity of human life?"
2. Surely there is more to "Life" than "not-Death," just as there is more to health than "the absence of sickness." Even in our spiritual life, where Scripture declares us "dead to sin, but alive to Christ," theologians like Dallas Willard warn us against turning our discipleship into simply a necrophiliac system of sin management. But referring back to abortionable and pollutible physical life, I actually identify with the tension that the pro-life signatories feel in their opposition to EEN's use of the term. Maybe that tension is a sign that the Holy Spirit is asking us to humbly address some inconsistencies that makes the movement susceptible to accusations of being "pro-birth," but not truly "pro-life." Similarly, do we want "Pro-Marriage" to devolve into just anti-homosexual political nomenclature without addressing the high rates of divorce, adultery, and domestic abuse in an institution which God says is a symbol of Christ's love for the Church? Even then, surely marriage means more than "not-divorce."
3. One of the most chilling statements in the opposition is one that the Cornwall Alliance intended to be reassuring. They write, "This doesn't mean we should ignore environmental risks. . . . Genuinely, pro-life people will usually desire to reduce other risks as well"guided by cost/benefit analysis." Isn't cost/benefit analysis how the abortion industry guides its practices? Isn't cost/benefit analysis what the sexually promiscuous employ in using abortion as a birth control measure? When's the last time cost/benefit analysis has adequately served any of our ethical questions? But the Cornwall Alliance will not allow creation care to be considered as an ethical question, only as an economic one. Notice how the press releases of the Cornwall Alliance and Sen. Inhofe gravitate quickly to an issue never mentioned in the signatories's statement, namely economic concerns over EPA regulations.
4. Not surprisingly, the message of consistency can work both ways in bringing glory to God and ending abortion-on-demand. The same question could be posed to the environmentalists who were demonized in Senator Inhofe's press release. EEN could say to them, "Hey, you've been working with us on mercury poisoning, but if the core issue is Life, how is death-by-toxicity any different than death-by-procedure?" I can't remember precisely but that Georgetown editorial writer may just as easily have come from anti-nukes into pro-life, as the other way around. My opinion is that EEN is offering an outreach strategy to a pro-life movement which admittedly appears stalled in its attempt to persuade American culture. So great an anti-abortion warrior as Francis Schaeffer was also the author of the creation care classic Pollution and the Death of Man. This theologian had one great avocation: chasing every thought"whether evangelical or humanist"through to its logical conclusion.
5. Finally, I would like all of us to recognize that the Cornwall Alliance was founded in a moment of direct opposition to the Evangelical Climate Initiative, and even in opposition to certain NAE documents and to EEN in particular. In other words, although Sen. Inhofe calls Cal Beisner a "pro-life leader," and even though Beisner and the Cornwall Alliance no doubt feel as strongly about the sanctity of life as, no doubt, Mitch Hescox and EEN do, the Cornwall Alliance can't be characterized in the same category as their signatories, i.e. as a pro-life organization. In this way, in this instance of opposition, how is the Cornwall Alliance doing anything different than what they accuse EEN of doing? Aren't they also using pro-life terminology to promote an environmental message, in this case, an anti-one?
Cal Beisner came into the Cornwall Alliance as an accomplished professor of Apologetics. Mitch Hescox came into EEN as an accomplished pastor of a local church. I've been told that Dr. Beisner is frustrated because EEN won't schedule public debates. I've been told that Rev. Hescox is frustrated because Cornwall Alliance won't sit down for private cups of coffee. Despite my creation care leanings, I attribute it to a widely-accepted biblical understanding of relations between brothers in Christ that my sympathies in these frustrations lie with Mitch. Let's everyone not be so quick to run to the press office, and certainly not with words about brothers in Christ like "disingenuous, dishonest, absurd, deceitfully, misleading."
Lowell Bliss is a father of three children, and the host of the Agabus Project Podcast. He and his wife were missionaries for fourteen years in India and Pakistan.
A really terrific devotional post in the Meet Me in The Meadow Daily Devotional. Here's a short excerpt:
With a dead end before us, Christ showed us the way;
When we walked in the nighttime, Christ brought us the day.
With our faces all hidden, Christ carried our shame;
When we felt so unwanted, Christ called out our name
A good way to start your day. "When We See you, We find Strength to Face the Day"
Today during an Energy & Commerce hearing that covered the health impacts of mercury on the unborn Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill) challenged Rev. Mitch Hescox, President & CEO, of the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) on his pro-life views.
"The life in pro-life denotes not quality of life but life itself," said Rep. Shimkus.
EEN believes that being pro-life means protecting the unborn. This includes protecting them from abortion, but also pollution that will harm their quality of life. "EEN strongly disagrees with Rep. Shimkus that being pro-life does not include one's quality of life," said Rev. Hescox.
EEN has worked with the National Association of Evangelicals, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and over 100 senior evangelical leaders to lift up the impacts of mercury on the unborn. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 1 in 6 children in the United States are born with threatening levels of mercury.
In his testimony Rev. Hescox quoted Bishop Blair of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops:
The U.S. Catholic bishops welcome this important move by the Administration to adopt long-awaited standards to reduce mercury and toxic air pollution from power plants and to protect children's health. In the end it just makes good sense to want to have clean air for our children and families to breathe and for future generations.
Many Evangelical Christians, Roman Catholics, and others believe that being pro-life means standing together and battling against abortion, euthanasia, slavery and sex-trafficking, lack of religious freedom, racism, environmental degradation, threats to public health, and a host of other ills.
Some say that the meaning of being "pro-life" is being "obscured."
Just the opposite is true.
Biblically, being "pro-life" is far more than being "anti-abortion." Jesus said that he came to bring life and life in abundance (John 10:10). We believe that includes spreading the gospel, standing up against abortion, reaching the lost, helping the least of these, and being good stewards of God's creation. In essence, to be "pro-life" is to be "pro-whole gospel."
From last year's Day of Prayer for Creation Care. A prayer offered by Dan Wolfe on the Care of God's creation.
by Jim Ball
Katharine Hayhoe is one terrific Christian. She's a climate scientist who's devoting her life to understanding how climate change will impact human beings and how we can begin to prepare or adapt to such changes. In this way she's like the Patriarch Joseph in the book of Genesis, who helped Egypt prepare for hard times to come.
She also takes time out of her busy life of being a wife, mom, and professor to speak to church groups and other similar settings and patiently teach folks about global warming. She and her husband, a pastor, also took the time to write a book to help Christians accept the truth about climate change called A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions.
She's a climate hero and a faithful Christian.
I recently had the privilege of interviewing her at a conference we were attending. I encourage you to watch the video here to see for yourself what a great person she is.
But right now she's being treated in a manner that is downright shameful -- and even worse, dangerous. It's well past time for her attackers to stop, and to repent from what they have done.
One strategy of hard-core climate deniers has been to intimidate individual scientists by attacking them in public. Their goal is to shut them up and make an example of them so that others won't want to work in the area of climate change.
Katharine is continuing to speak the truth about our need to overcome global warming even in the midst of such attacks, which have recently become voluminous, relentless, hateful, vile, and even dangerous. Some have gone so far as to suggest bodily harm and have mentioned Katharine's child. (Go here only if you want to see a sampling of such emails. The purpose of doing so is not to be salacious, but only to glimpse what our sister in Christ has been dealing with.)
Katharine has been intentionally targeted for such attacks precisely because she is an evangelical speaking to evangelicals and other similar audiences considered to be the purview of the deniers. She's a threat to them and they are lashing out. Unfortunately, some of these folks are Christians and are behaving in a very unchristian manner.
I'm not going to name the one person who is probably the most responsible for these terrible attacks on Katharine, the one who has continually published Katharine's email address. I will not do to him what he has done to our sister in Christ. But I want you to be aware that there is such a person.
I've written this blog with one hope -- that people will pray that such attacks will stop. I'm asking you to:
1. Pray for Katharine, her husband Andrew, and their child. Pray for their safety and wellbeing. Pray for her climate change teaching ministry.
2. Pray for all the other scientists who are being attacked for teaching the truth about the need to overcome global warming.
3. Pray for those who have sent these terrible emails, or for those thinking of doing so, that God will fill their hearts with His love and they will repent from such deeds.
4. Pray for the one most responsible for Katharine's plight, the one that has published her email address, that he too will be filled with God's love so that he repents and asks forgiveness of Katharine and others he has helped to cause harm.
5. Pray for ourselves, that we might not fall into temptation.
6. Pray for our country, that we might have civil, respectful discourse on topics where we disagree.
7. Share this blog with others, and ask them to pray these things.
Finally, let us be encouraged by 1 Peter 4:
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins ... if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name (v. 8, 16, NIV).
The Rev. Jim Ball, Ph.D., is Executive Vice President at EEN and author of Global Warming and the Risen LORD.
Jim Ball of EEN sits down with Katherine Hayhoe to chat about her work as a climate scientist, her missionary background, her formation in InterVarsity, her book with her husband "A Climate for Change," and recent controversies with former Speaker Newt Gingrich.
A new study by the Minnesota Department of Health has found that 1 in 10 babies along Minnesota's North Shore are born with unhealthy levels of mercury in their bodies. Unborn babies are exposed to mercury through fish consumed by pregnant mothers. In the area of study eating fish with high mercury concentration like walleye was a likely avenue for exposure. Be sure not to miss the complete story in the Minnesota Star Tribune.
by Aly Lewis
Recently I was posed the question, Why are you here?
Not why-do-people-exist or what-is-the-meaning-of-life, but why am I HERE at this juncture in my life. At this computer at this desk with these coworkers at this job to do these tasks.
One answer is this:
February 2006, Managua, Nicaragua
Plastic smoldered and filled the air in a hazy smokescreen that seared my eyes and bit at my nostrils in the city dump of Managua, Nicaragua. Skeletal cows munched on the aluminum cans that children searched all day for in the city dump. This was their home, their school, their playground. Our yellow school bus heaved and rattled into the dump. We pressed our faces against the hot window panes, peering out into the ocean of refuse. When we realized where we were, our faces dropped, eyes averted and laughing silenced. One man lifted his dark, gnarled hand to brush the sweat from his furrowed brow. Our bus grinded to a halt and the door creaked open. Trevor, one of our program facilitators poked his head out and yelled something to the man in broken Spanish.
Did he mind speaking to us for a minute? Did he mind sharing his story with us?
The man carefully stepped over the debris, clambering his way to the open bus door. He moved through the sea of trash like an experienced sailor. Like he'd long since lost his land legs. We wore fresh skirts and smoothed slacks. The old man glanced down at his modest t-shirt, sweat stained and torn. We wanted to know what his life was like. How was he surviving? What did he think about God? Parched and at a loss for words, the man swallowed a few times, his tongue wetting his chapped lips, gums, and the few teeth he had. Then he told us the only thing he knew.
"Dios ha bendecido a mi familia." "God has blessed my family," he said. "God is good. Before this garbage dump we were on the streets, and that was worse. God has provided, and God is good."
Blessed? The last time I checked, my definition of blessed did not include the privilege of sorting through trash and watching your children inhale toxic fumes on a daily basis.
Trevor thanked him for sharing and handed him a cold, dripping water bottle. He greedily grabbed the fresh water, and the condensation formed tiny rivulets in the deep, cracked creases of his craggy palms"living water in a thirsty, barren land, fresh water in a sulfuric sea.
That's part of it. That's part of why I'm here. Writing this blog. Working at this nonprofit that serves the rural poor. Thinking these thoughts. Still struggling with the word blessed . Still working through what it means to see God at work in this unjust world.
It's why I'm HERE at Plant With Purpose. It's why I'm so passionate about the work of our field staff who empower and transform the lives of the rural poor.
It's why I have hope of a better story. A story of families restoring their land, raising their incomes, and learning to thrive BEFORE they end up desperate, on the streets or at the dump.
It's why I can tell a story like this:
Meet Jayaw Licha from Panasawan, Thailand. Jayaw Licha is a dedicated farmer with a wife and a child. With the help of Plant With Purpose, his life entire life has been turned upside down in the best possible way. Plant With Purpose taught him sustainable agriculture techniques, such as interplanting crops with trees and using organic fertilizers and pesticides, which he applied to his farm.
Now his thriving farm produces an impressive variety of food year round"coffee and tea, corn and beans, mangos, bananas, and pineapple, just to name a few! His land produces enough to feed his family and he sells his corn for extra income.
In fact, his farm is doing so well he no longer has to leave his community to work as a day laborer to support his family. Ultimately, he doesn't have to leave, his family doesn't have to leave, and there is no hint of slums, begging, or garbage dumps in their future.
So today, HERE, I am grateful to write such a story of hope and have my eyes opened to the blessing (yes, I said it) of seeing God at work in an unjust world.
But enough about me, what brought you here? What's your purpose?
Adapted with permission from our partner Plant with Purpose.
The Agabus Project is a new Eden Vigil initiative! Hosted by Lowell Bliss the project is the creation care and environmental missions teaching ministry of Eden Vigil. The website features a regular podcast and blog. Be sure not to miss the first episode where Lowell talks to Peter Harris, founder of A Rocha International, about the creation care legacy of his dear friend, Anglican theologian John Stott.
Why Agabus? Agabus is the New Testament prophet mentioned in Acts 11 who predicted a famine in Judea and mobilized the Church to care for the victims. He might thus be called the world's first environmental missionary.
From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised!
You may have noticed something about this winter, mainly that there isn't much of a winter to speak of. It's early February and the Cherry Blossoms of Washington DC are starting to bud. According to the National Climatic Data Center heat records versus cold records for January will have been exceeded by a ratio of over 20 to 1. For the season it stands at just over 6 to 1.
Some of us tend to do away with things that are slightly damaged. Instead of repairing them we say, "Well, I don't have time to fix it, I might as well throw it in the garbage can and buy a new one." Often we also treat people this way. We say, "Well he has a problem with drinking; well, she is quite depressed; well, they have mismanged their business we'd better not take the risk of getting involved with them." When we dismiss people out of hand because of their apparent woundedness, we stunt their lives by ignorring their gifts, which are often buried in their wounds.
We are all bruised reeds, whether our bruises are visible or not. The compassionate life is the life in which we believe that strength is hidden in weakness and that true commuity if a fellowship of the weak.
--- Henri J. M. Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, Harper San Francisco, 1997
From the Cloud is a regular series of posts featuring insights, truth, and wisdom from Christians who have passed this way once before.
by Shawn Eubank
I'm convinced organic agriculture, local foods, locavorism, or whatever you want to call it, is nothing close to a trend, but here to stay for good, assuming your local farmers are here to stay as well. I, along with 400 other farmers, buyers, or people who were simply curious to learn, had the pleasure of attending the 13th annual conference on sustainable agriculture put on by Future Harvest CASA at the National Conference Center. Having farmed the past two years of my life, I could not resist two days of seeing fellow farmer friends, talking seed selection, learning about innovative farming techniques, and most importantly: figuring out how we're going to make money at this, fitting neatly with the event's theme: "Farm to Institution: Making Local Food Economies a Reality."
As consumer demand for a local product increases as do those that decide they want to begin farming for a living, almost three-quarters of them under the age of 25. And with this young farmer's movement comes a mountain of passion and expectation, yet often a lack of experience, start-up money, and land. Unfortunately, for many of these young growers it's the same story. They labor as a farm-hand in exchange for little pay and vegetables for a few years then call it quits, concluding that it's really tough to make any money when you're not growing on family land or working with a non-profit organization. This is currently something I'm working through myself, having taken a break from farming to try to make sense of all of this. Being that the average age of the American farmer is something like 55, losing these young guns at such a fast rate is a huge problem, especially to keep up with the demand for all things local.
Therefore, at this year's conference, many classes were geared towards addressing and offering solutions to this problem, highlighted by a series of five classes over two days for beginning farmers. As a result, the classes focused not as much on the science of growing food, but preparing one for a farming lifestyle through discussions with experienced and successful farmers, providing tools for land to buy or lease, creating a network of other novices, and offering sound business plan development. Other classes included learning about local food communities, innovative conservation techniques, value-adding farm products, and managing grass-based systems. They provided hope to both myself and other farmer's who are trying to make it work.
Anthony Flaccavento, a southwest Virginia farmer, gave the keynote address. He challenged struggling young farmers to define what success and prosperity looks like to them. He contested that maybe cooking a pizza of homegrown ingredients with your family is more valuable than owning a mansion or driving a nice car.
Definitely food for thought!
by Tri Robinson
Have you noticed that there seems to be an awakening of social consciousness concerning not just the nutritional value but the health quality of the foods we are eating in America? It may be the media's illumination of life threatening conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cancer and food allergies which has been inspiring a new level of deep social concern " or it may be something more. I don't want to over spiritualize something like diet, but everywhere I look I see a plethora of common-sense, God-fearing folks changing their attitudes concerning what they put in their mouths. I'm not speaking of fad type diets for the sake of losing unwanted seasonal pounds, but rather life changing patterns and behaviors for the sake of life, and a better quality of human existence. I've been thinking that this new level of concern for food quality may not simply be a matter of social concern, but maybe more. Maybe it is God renewing our minds concerning a deep biblical relevance. He has done it before.
Much has been said about diet and food in the Old Testament. Entire books have been written about ancient Hebrew diet according to the old covenant law and how healthy it is, even in today's world. The problem many of us have had validating Moses' dietary laws (much of which is found in chapter 14 of the book of Deuteronomy) is that it seemed to be discredited by a passage found in Acts 10. Up to that point in scripture the gospel had not effectively spread beyond the Jewish religion. In Acts 10 Peter was asleep on the roof of Simon the Tanner's house one afternoon when God gave him a vision. In that vision a sheet came down from heaven full of every kind of food including things not prohibited by Jewish law. Here is how the story is recorded: "Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat." "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean." The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." [Acts 10: 9-15]
At first look it seems as if God is changing the rules, and in a way I guess he is; but not completely. First the scripture tells us that Jesus came not to abolish the Old Testament law, but to fulfill it; and secondly, the key phrase here is, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean". In the context of the bigger picture of the vision, God is preparing Peter to share the gospel with the Gentiles which is an entirely new idea to Peter, but at the same time he is talking about a new concept in eating; that is "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean". When I reread this with the concept of food in mind it dawned on me that natural God-given food, (food created by God) is good. Foods genetically altered, grown with pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, or those unnaturally processed or filled with preservatives, are perhaps not so good.
One of our motives for moving onto the Timber Butte Homestead property was to engage in a more active and healthy lifestyle. We had always been hard workers, but because we've never suffered from poor health or obesity we hadn't had to give a lot of thought to the importance of diet. For the most part, eating for us was a matter of substance and taste. Having lived the country lifestyle most of our married years, much of what we ate we have either grown ourselves, shot or caught during the various hunting and fishing seasons. Much of our lives together, Nancy and I have lived off and with the land, not so much for health reasons as for economic necessity. It wasn't until years later that we became aware that those practices are now referred to as locally and organically grown foods. And that they truly are the healthiest and most desired food sources available for those who care about their whole state of being. It has created a renewed passion to produce as much of our own food as possible over the course of a year; eating fresh produce in the summers and preserving the surplus for the remainder of the year. We do this by canning, freezing and now more recently, dehydrating.
In addition to our Timber Butte Homestead garden, vineyard and orchard production, we raise and butcher our meat as well. Besides the chickens and ducks that lay eggs and are an excellent source of protein, we are now raising enough lamb and beef to meet our personal needs as well. Not only does this homegrown meat taste incredible, but it's also natural and organic, as we only feed our animals hay that we have grown on our own acreage. No hormones or antibiotics are ever administered to any of the feed animals under our care.
Our vision for the homestead is not farming and ranching for financial gain, but rather as a means of sustainability and health. For us, the development of the homestead lifestyle has been about physical, emotional and spiritual returns. Our prayer for Timber Butte is that it will not only provide for us a more natural and functional life, but also inspire and encourage others as they pursue a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
The point of our blog site here at Timber Butte is not to teach people how to do what we do. Instead, it is to document our own journey as we seek to live a more whole and fulfilling life while being good stewards of all the Lord has given us. Like so many others, we are on a fast track learning curve out of necessity and desire. The desire is to not only put the best of food available on the table, but to eat foods that make us whole and healthy as well. This is not just about what we eat, but for us it is a matter of how it's grown as well. In all things we desire to live our lives in such a way that honors God and his creation while leaving the earth a better place than we found it.
Tri Robinson is the senior pastor of Boise Vineyard, in Boise, ID. You can check out his adventures at Timber Butte here. Among many endeavours he is the author of Saving God' s Green Earth, which you can find at our Creation Care Store.