19 November 2008

A Little Out There...

This is a change, it is different. Not something I usually discuss in blogs, and definitely not the way I live my life. But I thought this information was, quite frankly, stunningly awesome. So here goes. This all comes from a magazine that came from a vegetarian starter kit that Suzy showed me.

Eating Meat Harms the Planet.
Global Warming:
According to a recent United Nations report, the meat industry causes more global warming (through emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide) than all the cars, trucks, SUVs, planes, and ships in the world combined. Researchers at the University of Chicago determined that switching to a vegan diet is 50% more effective than switching from a regular car to a hybrid in reducing your impact on global warming.

Water Resources:
More than half of all the water consumed in the U.S. is used to raise animals for food. A totally vegetarian diet requires 300 gallons of water per day, while a meat-based diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day.

Farmed animals produce about 130 times as much excrement as the entire human population in the U.S. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the run-off from factory farms pollutes our rivers and lakes more tha all other industry sources combined.

"Raising animals for food is one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale-from local to global." -United Nations

"If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. It's staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty." -Sir Paul McCartney

So anyway, I'm not naive. I'm a very skeptical person, and honestly, I don't care too much about animal rights. But mass-production and big money are huge problems in the world, both in the financial markets and in within our social structure. I know most people won't stop eating meat-it's sooo good, I know. But remember this stuff. Remember what cutting back can do. Try to get meat from local sources, and fish from the wild, not fish-farms. You do NOT want to know what they do to your food before you get it. Just trust me. And hey, it's fun to try new things and there's no harm in it. I've actually enjoyed trying meatless meats...lol and I LOVE chocolate soy milk. By eating more vegetarian foods, you get healthier and get more energy.

Ok, I think it's time to step down from my soapbox. But if you have any questions or comments, please ask!

09 October 2008

Renouncing the Gray

Well it's that time of year again. For some reason, when the leaves start falling and the temperature drops, I get creative and I start to think about things. Lately I've been downright philosophical. I've been thinking a lot about Christianity and what it is about being a Christian that I despise. See, a lot of times, I am ashamed to call myself a Christian. I've been feeling very guilty about this lately, but I think I've figured out where it's coming from, and it came as a bit of a shock to me.

I am not ashamed of Christ. While I may have doubts and questions about how or why, my belief in who is firm. It's the example set by people that call themselves Christians today that gives me this feeling of repulsion. To figure out why this was making me feel this way, I had to think awhile, and this is what I came up with.

I have been to many churches in Lincoln, and never have I felt welcomed by any of the regulars. No one has ever come up to me and shaken my hand or even offered me a smile. Inside the church there is this bubble and anyone new is a threat to disturb the fragile edges that define the boundaries. Anything new or any change is scary, and people don't like to deal with fear.

Maybe this fear of things changing is where judgment comes in. I want to love others. Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV) says .."Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." People definitely love themselves. I am not exempt by far, but this is something that I've noticed. We are supposed to deny our selves in our service of God so that He can do impossible and amazing things through us. But instead, we crave security and pleasure. We want what we want, and if we want God in this way, then we are trying to make Him work for us.

If we made love the cornerstone of Christianity, then acceptance would be mandatory. I'm not saying that we should say "anything goes" and that sin doesn't matter. It does, but I think that by living our lives boldly in the example of Christ is how we show others what is right or wrong. If we show people the love of Christ...that is what will draw them in. Having strong stigmas and telling someone outright that their lifestyle is wrong will only push them away. But in doing this, we are reinforcing the edges of the bubble, making it stronger. Making it safer inside and more comfortable, and making it impossible for those who are searching to get in.

I am ashamed to be called a Christian, and I've heard that some are calling themselves Christ followers now. I am sick of titles. I love Christ, and I am searching for him. I make mistakes and there is a lot I don't know, but I am honest in my attempt. And I can't deny that God is active in my life. But as far as being a Christian, count me out.

04 August 2008


Do I give up and concede to the feelings of emptiness and despair that threaten me, even after small victories have given me reason to smile only hours before the storm? If the battle is seemingly lost and all hope flees...when there is absolutely no possible way that the bridge isn't burned, that I can still move forward on the path, do I lay down? Or do I fight anyway? Should I, one who normally pushes the boundaries and has every confidence in the One leading the way, give it all up? Do I follow regardless, especially when the fog rolls in and I cannot see him, but only can see the path at my feet he set me upon so long ago? Is he still there, just ahead, just out of sight, or did he take a turn off the beaten path, when I was looking the other way, when the fog grew thick and the smoke burned my eyes? Sometimes its hard to resist. Sometimes I'm not sure if it matters. Sometimes.

27 February 2008

My Failure and Beyond

When is my time of wandering over? Every atom in my body is running away from me, searching for that missing part that will complete me and they've left me teetering on the edge of an oblivion. But what is down this great chasm? Is it nothing but despair? Or is it a great adventure? While I wait for my season of fulfillment, I continue to waver. Do I lean toward safety? It is what is recommended, what I see by way of common sense is the correct thing to do. But I continue to hang in a delicate balance, the deep unknown calling my heart, calling my soul to chase it beyond everything I know. But then again, I’d be fine without you.

I cease feeling, and the numb drives my heart to skip a beat as I plunge too far forward and I fail and I fall into a foreign space. I remember that risk, oh sweet beautiful risk is my heart’s true desire. But I only wanted the edge, I never asked for this unknown. My mind is consumed by doubt. Did I choose to jump, or did I fall? Despite my uncertainty, I am certainly falling beyond, so far, so deep.

Then a strange thing. Fingers of flavour flood my senses, it's tough hands grip my heart. It pleases my insides; I can feel them laughing incredulously because I am light and free despite my fear. Something is taking hold of me. Now a choice faces me: do I fall in fear, or do I clutch the strands of simultaneous joy and pain as hard as I can and latch on for life? Do I look back or close my eyes and see where I am taken? I choose the latter. God is sweet on my tongue, and the fear of falling takes a backseat to this new quest. I enter the unknown with grace and stride with purpose. This is my adventure now, and it pleases my soul.

26 February 2008

Mounting on Walls of Frustration

How do you keep adding and adding things to an already full life? I've been learning about dependency. Dependency on God, but also on others. It's something God's been trying to teach me for a long time, but I'm a little slow. The problem is that I don't want to change. That requires risk. But of course, God's teaching me about that too. I reach out through words, and I want to reach out more. I recently read an article about the difference between the way we speak and the way we write. If you read something aloud, chances are that what you say flies right past the listener's ears. And if you type what you say it looks rather funny. And confusing. I think like I write, but I can't speak like I think.

It's like blowing snow on a windy day, the way my mind works. The pattern of coming back to this moment time and time again has convinced me that what I need is you. And what you need is me. It's so simple, I know. And profound, on striations beneath the level of our eyes. And that brings me to my next problem.

Someone asked how to treasure that dependency recently. This question bothers me. How do we treasure our dependency on God? We can thank him, but we can't put it in a safe or a jewelry box or a secret box with all our old notes and photos that have sentimental value. It's something that needs to be portrayed, out in the open and in the risky places. It's going to get dented and scratched by life. But we humans, as a rule, do not do that to the things we treasure. It kind of reminds me of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade...when they find the holy grail, this elite treasure, and it's plain and used. The least obvious of all of the beautiful treasures in the room. And it's like Jesus. This precious gift we have that is tossed around and discarded time and time again. So how do we treasure Jesus? I don't know. We live our lives for him. But is that treasuring him? I don't know how to treasure something that is intangible. Dependency is too abstract for me to hold on to, like soap in the shower. Once I start to grasp it, it slips away, out of reach.

03 February 2008