Dec 31 2017

A Disappointing Year

_DSC71822017 will not be remembered as a great year for environmental causes, at least not here in America. Many laws that protect our land, water and air were weakened. Laws protecting wildlife were also made less binding.  Responding to Global Warming ceased to be a concern of our government.  Lands that had been set aside as wilderness or parklands were taken back.  All of these actions, and others that could be noted, have caused me to become quite discouraged.  As someone who believes we have a divine mandate to care for the earth and its resources, I find it hard to accept what all has happened in the past year.  I can’t help but believe that God is disappointed as well.

_CES4154I am frustrated by our government’s attack on the environment but I am not ready to throw in the towel. There are signs of hope.  Perhaps one of the greatest signs of hope is that other nations are refusing to follow our lead.  Even in our own country there are many local leaders who are resisting the anti-environment movement.  I also happen to believe that there are lots and lots of ordinary citizens who still care about the health of the earth.  And, yes, I want to believe that there are plenty of Christians who continue to affirm that Creation Care is a moral obligation.  Governments can change laws but they cannot necessarily change people. Ordinary folks have great power.  I love Margaret Mead’s quote, Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

_CES4527I suspect many of you will be making New Year resolutions as the New Year is ushered in later this evening. I hope that you will resolve to continue to make Creation Care a priority in the year to come.  Resolve to let your legislators know this is important to you.  Resolve to do the simple things you can do in your own home and workplace to make a difference.  Resolve to support organizations that fight for the environment.  Resolve to enjoy God’s Creation to its fullest and to learn the lessons God has to teach through it.  Resolve to be a steward of God’s good earth.

Here’s to hoping that 2018 will be a better year.


(I took the pictures shown above on a recent trip to New Mexico.)

Dec 26 2012

“Flight Behavior”

AGPix_summers402_1165_Lg[1]Christmas is a time most of us associate with gifts. We enjoy giving gifts and, of course, we enjoy receiving them too. Hopefully when we do receive gifts we give thanks for them and honor the bestower by what we do with the gift. To show disrespect for any gift given to us in love would be sinful or inappropriate.

I fear that a lot of people forget that the earth we live on is a gift bestowed by God. We should give thanks for this marvelous gift and also treat it in a way that is appropriate. Unfortunately, from the looks of things, we’ve not done a very good job of the latter obligation.

HNP crater 367Early this morning I finished reading Barbara Kingslover’s newest novel, Flight Behavior. The book is fiction but deals with a very serious problem our planet is facing, global warming. Kingslover, who in addition to being an award winning writer, earned degrees in biology and worked as a scientist. She definitely did her homework for this book and introduces a great deal of scientific evidence into her narrative.

The story she tells involves the potential demise of monarch butterflies due to climate change. It is a story that stretches from Mexico to the southern Appalachian mountains. It is also a story that is unfortunately all too believable. Out of both ignorance and arrogance we have done things to our planet that has had, and will continue to have, dire consequences.

Kingslover deals with the reluctance of many to acknowledge the human impact on the earth’s rising temperature. In one of the book’s best sections a respected biologist gives a blistering interview to a television reporter and does his best to set the record straight–humans are influencing climate change and people can deny it all they want but it will not change what is happening.

FL9677If you’ve read any of Kingslover’s previous books it will come as no surprise that she brings religion into the discussion. More than one character in the book is convinced that the earth truly is a gift from God and that people are responsible for being good stewards of it.

I hope Flight Behavior becomes a best-seller. It will help anyone who reads it to understand better what we are up against in the growing threat of global warming. Hopefully her novel will also lead others to give more thought to the connection between Christianity and environmental stewardship. I do commend the book to you and hope you’ll encourage others to read it as well.


(I took the top image in Virginia, the middle image in Hawaii, and the bottom image in Florida.)

Aug 23 2009

Rejoicing In His Works?

CR Banff NP Peyto LakeToward the end of Psalm 104, having spent thirty verses praising God for His greatness made manifest in Creation, the Psalmist says in verse 31: “May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works…”   What God has created is worth an eternity of praise!   It is the Psalmist’s hope that God can “rejoice in His works.”

We know that when God created the earth that following each creating day He paused and “saw that it was good.”  Like an artist (or photographer) standing before his or her work, God looked upon what He had made and took delight in it.  In the Psalmist’s words here he seems to be hoping that this delight will be ongoing, that God would always be able to take delight in what He had made. Did he have reason for concern?

I don’t know if he did then or not but as we observe God’s Creation now there does, in fact, seem to be reason for concern.  We have polluted the skies and water that once was clean.  We have destroyed mountains and made new ones piled high with waste.  We have hunted some of God’s creatures into extinction or destroyed their habitat to the point that they can no longer survive. We have poisoned the land and cut down the majority of the earth’s forests.  If present day scientists are correct we have even altered the environment to the point where the climate is being changed in a detrimental fashion. 

Is God still able to rejoice in His works?  My guess is that He still does find much to delight in (just as we do) but I also cannot help but feel that He must experience some degree of sadness at the current state of the world.  That which He created “good” has been marred.  Out of love for God we should all seek to do everything we can to preserve and restore God’s Creation.  It should be our concern, as it was the Psalmist’s, that “the glory of the Lord endure forever” and that He “rejoice in His works” always.


(The image above was taken at Peyto Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.)