Wednesday, February 21, 2007

what would you do if you were prime minister?

last night i got together with a couple friends and headed down to the old walker theatre (i still can't call it the b.c.) to catch a lecture from one of canada's foremost champions of environmentalism; dr. david suzuki. after an awe inspiring anthem by raffi (played at least four times) the crowd had grown restless and were ready to hear the words of wisdom from the star of the nature of things.
while not everything that was spoken last night gripped me at my core, there were a couple of loud trumpet calls that rang in my ears. the first was the rampant consumerism that is prevalent in our society today. this has been no secret, but it was interesting to hear it from a different perspective. our ecological footprint is directly affected by the amount we consume...not just the waste we produce, but the stuff that we have. families today are half the size they were 40 years ago and we live in houses twice the size (with a bathroom for every person in the house). families have more than one vehicle (again some people have one for every person in the house). we measure our worth by the stuff that we have. our economics are based on the financial picture alone. we fail to take into account things like the affect our actions are having on our future, how peaceful, patient, grace-filled we are, how happy and loving we are becoming. these sorts of things do not fit in our economy. it is dollars and cents; baby...the other stuff is just window dressing. i am working to change this perspective in my own life. while i may not be prime minister and able to affect policy for the entire nation, i can affect my own family and the people i hold dear to my heart.
the second thing challenged me was to have a vision for the future. there were echoes of king solomon when david suggested that we need to have a picture of what we want our canada to look like. without a vision the people perish. do i want a future where the air is clean enough for my children to breath without fear of what invisible toxins threaten their health? the kind of air you fill your lungs with on the side of a lake in northeastern manitoba, more than50 kilometers from the nearest form of civilization? do i want a canada where you could drink the water from any stream and not wonder what sort of chemicals have been dumped in it or what sort of cancer i may develop from ingesting water that is not bottled and purified? when i think of my own city of winnipeg, i would love to see a greener, cleaner, healthier thriving metropolis.
wo what can i do to bring about this preferred future? what can i do to lighten the weight of my personal ecological footprint? well i have already begun to make some smaller changes in the way i live. i purchased a bicycle and will be using it as a primary mode of transportation to and from work in the spring. cutting down on the waste, of water, of energy, and of food is becoming more of a priority for me. the benefits far outweigh the a matter of a fact; it seems to be saving me money to be ecofriendly. i have signed up for the nature challenge. the challenge breaks down ten things we could do to lower our ecological footprint and bring us to a place of sustainability in a few short years. doing even three of these this year would make a huge difference.
when i look at our responsibility as stewards of god's creation, i wonder how we are living up to the challenge of tending the garden. creation is groaning...longing for the sons of glory to be revealed. i want to ease her groaning by treading a little more lightly on her soil. i want to take responsibility for my footprint and help ensure a beautiful creation for my children.
what about you?
peace to you,

Sunday, February 18, 2007

how not to speak of god...(or hints of the divine)

"take the example of two people in a room. if one has authority over the other and commands the other to close the door, the other will of course close it, regardless of whether or not he or she likes the authority figure, since if an authority figure gives a command, obedience is the sole requirement. yet, in opposition to this power discourse, the powerless discourse is analogous to one person saying to their equal that they are a little cold. in this way, one speaks in such a way that hints (but does not demand) that they would like the door to be closed. if the other is a caring individual, he or she will be likely to close the door, and if not, he or she will probably ignore what was said. the hint speaks to the heart and will only be heard by those with a sensitive and open ear. this powerless discourse of the hint can be seen at work in jesus' parables, which can only truly be heard by those ‘with ears to hear'. instead of religious discourse being a type of drink designed to satisfy our thirst for answers, jesus made his teaching salty, evoking thirst. instead of offering a scientific explanation that would convince, or publicizing the miracles so as to compel his listeners, jesus engaged in a poetic discourse that spoke to the heart of those who would listen. in a world where people believe they are not hungry, we must not offer food but rather an aroma that helps them desire the food that we cannot provide. we are a people who are born from a response to hints of the divine. not only this, but we must embrace the idea that we are also called to be hints of the divine."

i love that…we are called to be hints of the divine…

but what does that mean?

peace to you,


the upper room in our living room

well the answers are beginning to come...and with them even more questions. i am very excited about what god is birthing in us. the upper room is a small band of lovers of god who gather together in a living room in st. james to eat together, share life together and talk about what it means to be a lover of god, a follower of the way, a disciple in this current culture. what does it mean to be a "hint of the divine"? what does it mean to be the aroma of christ? what does it mean to be a citizen of this earth and yet a citizen of another kingdom? we have just begun to ask questions like these, and our prayer is that the questions will lead us not to answers, but to the changing of the way we live this life. we desire to leave footprints that will cause others to find the same food and life that we have found.
this blog will (i hope) give you a taste of what we are experiencing as we gather. it will be filled with questions and quotes, thoughts and dreams, ideas and theological ramblings. and we hope that they will point through the mist and mire to the one who calls us to "leave everything and follow..."
if you have stumbled upon this site by chance...then welcome. if you wish to learn and talk to scott. if you have thoughts that you would like to add to our ongoing conversations...feel free to express yourself.
if you have been guided here by an invitation, then feel free to interact with what you see here. the truth is this is not the best way to experience the upper fact, it is a very poor substitute for the real community. To find out when and where our next gathering

peace to you,