Saturday, February 17, 2018

Climate change vrs climate change

Many years ago, I lived in the Pacific Northwest.  I loved it!  I came from the hot, dry desert and here I found water, and greenery and, something I can't well describe.  I found a people that loved the land more than the styles.  They were rugged, hardy and welcoming.  I was in love with both the land and it's people.  I felt like I had found home.

Much has happened since then.  But I find myself coming to what I once called home and grieving over the change in both the land and it's people.  Before, I loved taking the bus and being amongst people who were on their way to somewhere.  Taking the bus everyday together made us comrades and I enjoyed the many connections that I made there.  Now taking the bus feels dangerous and hostile.  Everyone curls up around their cell phones and ignore that fact that they are surrounded by faces.  Then it was a journey, now it feels like simply transportation.  I can't explain the difference.  It feels like everyone is in a bubble and can not be touched.  

Yes, the climate is different!  It was wetter than history remembers last winter.  This summer hardly saw even a drop of rain.  All that beautiful green has been swallowed up in fires and smoke.  Even without fires the land is brown and brittle.  I see a connection spiritually between the two.  Do you???

I went down town last month.  Something I once loved doing.  There are so many interesting people and so much to see.  This time, the people seemed hunkered down, curled up within their own worlds and thoughts.  Lots of people sitting on street corners with signs that read, "Please Help!" Who could address it all.  I also saw people openly selling what I knew they did not own.  Like whiskey, brand new levi's and who knows what else.

I can not make a huge difference with Climate change.  Oh, I compost, and recycle.  I take public transportation when I can.  I try to use less water and keep the heat to a minimum.  But, at the end of the day,  we have a much bigger problem.  We have lost our connection to humanity.

Before climate change can be addressed we must first begin again to look people in the eye and consider their plight above our own.  Yes, the man on my city's streets crying "Whisky!  Who needs Whisky!"  Is all kinds of out of order.  But what drove him to where he is?  And a better question is am I in some way a part of the problem? Why are so many so desperate?  How can we bring back a sense of community?  In community, you have an understanding of the ripples caused by your actions.  You see how your buying the last apple in the store might effect everyone else who is shopping for apples.

Perhaps the need for this kind of climate change is what Jesus was looking for when He said, "Go into all the world and make disciples of all the nations.  Jesus didn't make disciples in a day.  He lived and breathed 12 men for three years.  Making disciples was a lifetime occupation.  It takes time and connection and commitment.  But oh how He changed the lives of those 12 men.  Could we do the same?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Square Foot Gardening

Well, it's that time of year when those of us who are bit by the gardening bug start shopping seeds.  I have tried many a gardening hack but my biggest success has come from following the Square Foot Gardening plan.  If you have never tried to garden, or if you have tried and failed miserably, I suggest that you consider one more whack at it before you give up.

In a square foot garden you give up the concept of rows and garden in raised beds that are no more than 4 feet wide.  That gives ample room to reach everything that you are growing.  The biggest contributor to the SFG method's success is the dirt.  It consists of 1/3 peat moss 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 compost blend.  You can cram so much into a small space and you won't believe how such a tiny space can produce so much.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Grace and Truth

Grace and truth are poor bedfellows don't you think?  It seems like we are either good at one of the other.  We either tell it like it is... or are kind.  We either have a harsh word of truth or a  false word of comfort.  But imagine both together in front of you at the same time.  Absolute honesty, and exposure... without shame.  Imagine.  John 1:17 says, "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  I can just imagine the relief to taste the freedom of true release from having to be right and do right.  The touch of acceptance instead of rejection.  And more than that.  Kindness.

I remember once being asked to tell my story.  The person I was having tea with had been a professor of mine when I went to college.  She was also one of the people on my disciplinary committee, one of a few people who asked the committee to show me mercy.  She said she saw something in me and didn't want to lose connection, not completely.  Fast forward a few years and I was a frightened young wife who was isolated and alone as many are who fear their husbands.  Every once in a while this professor came and knocked at my door just to see how I was doing.  I never let her in.

Fast forward again to this day,  and having tea.  It seemed like a good day to tell my story.  And so I recounted my years of pain and isolation and confusion.  I explained why I never let her in and my shame.  I carried such deep shame.  I finished my monolog and looked up,  perhaps for reassurance.  Maybe I had said too much or given too much information.

What I saw way a tiny tear coursing it's way down her cheek.  Grace, compassion, understanding, these are things I had never experienced before that day.  Before that day I don't think I really understood empathy, or that someone could have it for me.  It might seem like a very little thing.  But I walked away changed simply because someone actually cared!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Loneliness and Walking in the Light

I have been pondering lately how there seems to be so little time.  We are always reaching for more.  More of something.  I find myself caught again in the hamster wheel.  Running round and round but going nowhere and doing nothing that has much meaning.  So I fall on my knees and ask, “God, what is really going on, I feel lost…. sort of empty”  The answer back comes in a subtle whisper, “You are lonely”  

My immediate response is to run.  Switch on some music, any music… praise music!  Or search the web.  Not for anything in particular… just a distraction.  A distraction from what?  From facing that I have lost my humanness… again.  

Today I am back in the book of John.  I love John, he sees things the other disciples seemed to miss.  Perhaps the deeper back story.  John 1:12 "But as many as received Him, to them he gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:" Wow, the authority to become.  That’s all futuristic language… like I can, I have the authority, but also the choice.  I can, I have the authority to become a child… I can choose, I can sign the adoption papers… if I want to.  I can be the child of God… accepted into His family.  I can belong.  I am welcome to come in and dwell with Him.  if I want to.

What does it mean, “to those who believe in His name?”  It almost feels like a tag line.  I am a child of God to those…. but not to all???  Does that me I am a child of God to those who believe in Him.  Aren’t I a child of God whether you believe in His name or not?  Or is it just more of an explanation… that those who receive Him, believe in His name.  

I am thinking of 1John 1:7a But if we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with one another.  There is a brotherhood, a sisterhood a connection deeper than friends when we walk together in the light.  I you receive Him and you receive Him, then we are related.  We matter to each other like brothers and sisters.  We are bother and sister in Him.  

That means a lot to me today :)

Friday, November 17, 2017

The hunger for more

I have a collection of music I listen to.  I've labeled it "breathe".  It is a series of worship songs that speak deeply to my heart.  They call me to cry out to the Lord with deep, deep longings.  Longings for fellowship and peace with the Creator and His creation.  Tonight, I am longing for quiet, sweet, sweet communion with the alpha and the omega.  The beginning and the end.  Come Lord Jesus! come!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Does anyone know about EMF (Electro magnetic Fields)

We are having heart rhythm problems in our house.  Nothing extreme, but something we are looking for a root cause for.  I asked a health care worker who is into natural healing and she told me to turn off my wifi at night.  I don't really have much of an opinion about the whole idea.  I haven't done enough research to have one, but I have noticed a big difference since then.  It hasn't made any difference in heart rhythm that I have seen, but I have been sleeping an average of two hours longer at night.  That has given me pause.  Any thoughts?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

When Helping Hurts

This week I went to a gathering of many of the community's service organizations.  The common question among us was, "How can you serve people without creating dependance?"  Good question.  There was lots of discussion about how we tend to think that poverty is permission -- permission to walk into peoples lives and make changes or at least try.  We talked about how we define poverty in terms of financial distress.  Which isn't how the world defines poverty.  We talked about the people standing on street corners with signs asking for help and expecting it to be financial.  We talked about how giving aid isn't helping.  There are organizations that hand out food to the same people day after day, week after week.  Everyone is getting tired.  There has to be more!

We talked about how we never refer to someone as "homeful" only homeless.  Homeless, here on the coast there are thousands of "homeless".  There are tent cities in every nook and cranny.  It's hard to go on a walk in the woods.  You do not know what you will find.  Here, there are many different people groups that are homeless.  Including one income families who are working hard to make ends meet.  They have an income, but can not find affordable housing.  Yes, many do need food aid.  But what is really missing is a living breathing community.  One that sees those in distress as a part of the whole.

Hmmm, isn't this what we are called to as a Church -- Not to eliminate pain but to be a living breathing community?  The deal is, it's a lot harder to walk along side those that are struggling with poverty than it is to throw food in their direction.