Today's Word for Pastors...
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Today's Preaching Insight...
The Theology of Ecology
I have just returned from my annual, "Dear God, I can't take this anymore; please release me; let me go; I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again" break, otherwise known as a vacation. During that time from the mountains to the beach, I got reacquainted with this beautiful place called planet earth. The clean air, pristine lakes, beautiful beaches and trees from pines to palms reminded me of how good God has been to give us such a wonderful home.
It goes without saying that environmental issues have become a hot topic literally and figuratively. It doesn't matter where you go or who you listen to, it seems like everyone these days is talking about the environment, whether they are professors or professionals, actors or athletes, bureaucrats or business people. The topic is certainly relevant right here in our country; although we represent roughly 5 percent of the world's population, we generate 40 percent of its waste. The average American family produces 40 pounds of garbage every week. Every day, we dispose of approximately 200 million tons of garbage and less than a quarter of it is recycled. Only 7,000 of the 20,000 landfills that have been operating since 1978 are now in operation. Of those 7,000, more than 90 percent of those do not meet EPA regulations. Even such a thing as one leaky faucet can waste up to 50 gallons of fresh water a day, which is astounding considering the fact that only 3 percent of the world's water is fresh water. I could go on, but you get the picture.
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In his book Directions, author James Hamilton shares this insight about listening to God: "Before refrigerators, people used icehouses to preserve their food. Icehouses had thick walls, no windows and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the icehouses and covered with sawdust. Often the ice would last well into the summer.
One man lost a valuable watch while working in an icehouse. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn't find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile. A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the icehouse during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch. Amazed, the men asked him how he found it. I closed the door,'' the boy replied, "lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking.'' Often the question is not whether God is speaking, but whether we are being still enough and quiet enough to hear. Yes, Jesus assures us that our heavenly Father always listens to us, but do we really listen to God? Do we follow the instructions of Psalm 46, "Be still, and know that I am God"? (Eric S. Ritz, Sermons.com)
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