The Redwood Forrest

The Redwood Forrest

Shall we dwell together?
Can our roots intertwine?
Knit together, we ascend to the heights.

Shall we grow tall together?
The humble find refuge under our canopy.
The fire sweeps through our community,
Fear not, we are clothed in protection.
Our heartwood flows with living water.

My friend, we are beautifully braided together,
We extend our branches heavenward,
Long life is ours.
We cannot make it alone,
Shall we dwell together?



Call me crazy, but I think I might give it a try!

Here are my thoughts ...
1. Eating a plant-based diet is much healthier than eating processed foods, meat, and dairy
2. Whether we like it or not, there are enormous issues of injustice connected to our food choices - the further removed we become from the growing/harvesting of plants and the raising/slaughter of animals the more we lose touch with the ethical questions associated with our food choices.
3. As we corporately wake up and realize that we live on a limited planet with limited resources, we need to ask questions of sustainability; the amount of animal products that we eat is not sustainable (in order for me to eat beef, a cow must have eaten a lot of plants vs. me just eating plants - so I, then, 'eat lower on the foodchain' when I eat a plant-based diet)
**Fun fact** "If everyone ate the diet of an average U.S. citizen, the earth could feed 2.5 billion people well. Italians use about half the grain we do, and if everyone ate like Italians, the earth could sustain 5 billion people well. If we all ate the way they do in India, the world could feed 10 billion people well. Our current world population is 6.8 billion."
Interpretation: In the U.S. we eat very differently from the rest of the world currently and throughout history. Our abuse of resources effects our global neighbors. Loving our neighbor as ourself demands that we understand how our passive involvement in a broken system directly effects our neighbor.
4. As Christians, we can't ignore the ethical and justice issues that surround food choices.
5. As Christians, we have to engage with the biblical mandate to steward the earth - how are we honoring God with the way we care for creation? What are we leaving for future generations?
6. God's creative handiwork is seen in the variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, oats, rice, etc. There is so much to enjoy - who needs chemically processed/engineered food? :)

Goodness - hope y'all don't think I'm turning into too much of a hippie.


A Hopeful Endurance

I've been struggling with some heaviness and discouragement that has been tough to shake. The Lord is faithful to remind me of truth, but sometimes in weakness it is tough to reach out for the peace and comfort that is ours in Christ.

In the midst of these times, I'm reminded to be grateful for the Spirit, the Word, community, and some old theologians that feel as though they've become dear friends. One of those being Thomas a Kempis - below is a writing of his that brought me much hope and joy today.


Grievous Things Endured

My son, be not wearied by the labors which you have undertaken for my sake, nor let tribulations cast you down. But let My promise strengthen and comfort you under every circumstance. I am well able to reward you, above all measure and degree.

You shall not long toil here, nor always be oppressed with griefs. Wait a little while, and you shall see a speedy end of your evils. There will come an hour when all labor and tumult shall cease. Poor and brief is all that which passes away with time.

Do in earnest what you do; labor faithfully in My vineyard (Matt. 20:7); I will be your recompense. Write, read, chant, mourn, keep silence, pray, endure crosses manfully. Life everlasting is worth all these battles, and greater than these. Peace shall come in one day which is known unto the Lord, and there shall be "not day, nor night" (Zech. 14:7) (that is, of this present time), but unceasing light, infinite brightness, steadfast peace, and secure rest. Then you shall not say: "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Rom. 7:24); nor cry, "Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech" (Ps. 120:5). For death shall be cast down headlong, and there shall be salvation which can never fail, no more anxiety, blessed joy, companionship sweet and noble.

Oh, if you had seen the everlasting crowns of the saints in Heaven, and with what great glory they now rejoice, who once were esteemed by this world as contemptible, and in a manner unworthy of life itself! Truly you would humble yourself even to the earth, and would rather seek to be under all than to have command even over one. Neither would you long for this life's pleasant days, but rather would rejoice to suffer affliction for God, and esteem it your greatest gain to be reputed as nothing among men. Oh, if these things had a sweet savor to you, and pierced to the bottom of your heart, how could you dare so much as once to complain!

Lift up your face therefore to Heaven. Behold, I and all My saints with Me, who in this world had great conflict, do now rejoice, now are comforted, now secure, now at rest, and shall remain with Me everlastingly in the kingdom of My Father!


Truths for Today

Here are some truths I feel inclined to cling to today...simple, but needed:

God is good.
He is in control.
He is completely trustworthy.
He sees me.
He knows me.
He delights in loving me.
He loves me perfectly.

Praise God!


Small, fragile lights in the dark

In the past few months I've been doing a lot of reading on the implications of the Industrial Revolution - particularly as it relates to agriculture. In the Industrial Revolution we began to mechanize processes in order to increase efficiency and production. The result being a greater quantity of lower quality products. That, of course, is a drastic oversimplification, but it is a sufficient base for all that follows, ha ha.
These readings and thoughts have surfaced for me a lot of really interesting insights and parallels with the way we go about church and ministry. The result has been some major shifts in my philosophy of ministry and ecclesiology. I've been working on writing out all my thoughts in a comprehensible way, but I thought I'd share a little bit of what has influenced some of my thinking along the way...

The following are some excerpts from Wendell Berry's collection of essays, "Another Turn of the Crank."

The world of efficiency ignores both earthly and divine love, because by definition it must reduce experience to computation, particularity to abstraction, and mystery to a small comprehensibility...

Yet love obstinately answers that no loved one is standardized. A body, love insists, is neither a spirit nor a machine; it is not a picture, a diagram, a chart, a graph, an anatomy; it is not an explanation; it is not a law. It is precisely and uniquely what it is. It belongs to the world of love, which is a world of living creatures, natural orders and cycles, many small, fragile lights in the dark...

Of his experience witnessing his brother recovering from a stroke in the hospital:

It was impossible then not to see that the breathing of a machine, like all machine work, is unvarying, an oblivious regularity, whereas the breathing of a creature is ever changing, exquisitely responsive to events both inside and outside the body, to thoughts and emotions. A machine makes breaths as a machine makes buttons, all the same, but every breath of a creature is itself a creature, like no other, inestimably precious...

Any man's death diminishes me...The world of love does not admit the interchangeability of parts.