SLOWING (to be more Sustainable)

My Sister is doing a blog series on Advent at the minute and she asked me to contribute. Check it out if you get a chance.

Florianna's Girl

I asked my bro if he could outline 3 behaviours that we could adopt to ensure we have a more sustainable approach to Advent. You can also find him at  People Planet Prophet

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One of my favorite Christmas traditions is putting up the Christmas tree.

I am a big advocate of getting a real tree. This has probably stemmed from the fact we always got a real tree growing up. We’ve started to make a bit more of a deal about it in the past few years, being intentional about setting aside time to do it. We get all wrapped up and set out in the afternoon, head up to the farm around the corner, spend a bit of time picking the right tree, chat to the farmer, (extract our son from the mud), stick it on the car roof and head home.

Once home, the Christmas tunes get busted…

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‘The land is mine’

The ‘Year of Jubilee’ first came to my attention through Ron Sider’s book ‘Rich Christians in an age of hunger’, published in 1978. It’s a challenging concept that, more recently, helped galvanise support for the Jubilee 2000 ‘Drop the debt’ campaign in persuading governments to reduce the debt burden on developing countries. In Leviticus 25 the Year of Jubilee is introduced along with a strong focus on redemptio Continue reading

Armchair philosophy

The third part in our series on biblical eco-warriors of the faith looks at Solomon, and living well on planet earth.

God gave Solomon wisdom – the broadest of minds and the largest of hearts – like the grains of sand upon the seashore. 1 Kings 4:29

Solomon was the wisest person who has ever lived. 1 Kings 4 tells us that he was a king whose very words brought ‘men of all nations’ to listen to him, whose learning surpassed all of the other Einsteins of his era, and even the vast accumulated knowledge of ancient Egypt. He was a wordsmith, a poet and a minstrel. And Solomon was also a keen observer of the world around him, effectively a botanist and a zoologist: ‘He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish’. Continue reading

Noah.

We continue our series on ‘Environmental Hero’s of the Faith’ with…

Noah.

Noah was thrust back into our homes in 2014 through the relentless advertising that comes with a supposed Hollywood blockbuster. I missed it in the cinema, but kept an eye on the reviews which overall didn’t seem too hot. I have seen it since and actually quite liked it. Sure, the director Darren Aronofsky took some license with the story, with cool rock monsters and explosions and such like, but we can get over that one. One of the stand out bits of the film for me was when Noah and his family, were all stowed away in the boat and he was explaining the creation story to each of them- not to ruin the film but this then cut away to essentially show an evolutionary process within which God was present. In the context of the film, it works really well, whether you believe in an evolutionary process or not. Continue reading

Wildly wonderful world

The first part in our series on biblical eco-warriors of the faith looks at Adam.

I was a precocious child. When I was about ten, I wrote in to an agricultural magazine I subscribed to at the time about a glaring error in one of their articles. On a tour of the Netherlands one of their contributors – a poultry expert – had misidentified a breed of cattle he had encountered on his travels. It was not, I informed him in my letter, a belted galloway, as he had assumed. Rather, it was, in fact, a lakenvelder, or Dutch belted.

I didn’t realise it at the time but what I was doing was exactly what our forefather Adam did in the very beginning: observing God’s creation and applying that knowledge. I was also doing two other things just like Adam. I was reflecting the heart of the good, good Father, a wild God who knows and delights in His ‘wildly wonderful world’ (Psalm 104:24, The Message). What’s more, I was taking my place as part of the community of creation, an interconnected part of the Creator’s universe like any other, albeit with a special divine hallmark. These three aspects of Adam’s life tell us much about living well today on planet earth. Continue reading

Home

Developing our sense of place and loving where we live.

As often as I can I slip away. Away from the busyness of PhDs and parenting, away to the sea. Down through the culvert under the railway line, which fills with a roar when the trains pass, down to the edge of the ocean. Continue reading

Tolkien and Nature

In a few days the final installment of the Hobbit films will be coming to cinema screens across the UK. With dragons (well, just the one, but a big one at that), huge armies and a healthy dose of CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) effects, the Hobbit films are quite an arresting spectacle, and in this respect they follow in the line of the Lord of the Rings films. The author of the works on which these films are based (in the Hobbit’s case, loosely), J.R.R. Tolkien, was a committed Christian, and hints of this can be seen from some of the themes in his stories, such as those of providence, forgiveness, sacrificial love, and so on. Continue reading

Passion

Whispers from the heart

How do we deal with the brokenness we see in the world around us? The answer lies in turning our pain into passion.

Paula’s been writing a series recently on brokenness. It’s been looking at the healing we find in God’s presence, and the grace we find in our own weakness. The deepest cry of every heart is answered by Jesus Christ.

But brokenness also exists beyond the individual. We see it in families, churches, communities, nations and throughout our beautiful, broken world. When it’s something within our own lives, by God’s power we can usually get our heads round it, however hard it may be at times. When it’s the headlines on the nightly news, however – ebola, Islamic State, recession, climate change, and the list goes on – it can seem too much for us to get a handle on. Overwhelmed, the pain we feel can quickly give…

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