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Activated April 2012

Our World - April 2012

We each share in the responsibility for taking care of and saving our collective home. This issue of Activated explores ways that we, together and with God’s help, can do a lot better.
 

01-04-2012
Caring for Our Environment
Caring for Our Environment

The Bible tells us that when He had finished creating the heavens and the earth, “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”1 Then God appointed humanity to care for His creation and to manage its resources, not as owners, but as stewards. “The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.”2

But when God looks at His creation today, I’m pretty sure He is far less pleased than He was in the beginning. Much of the world is still beautiful and functioning the way He intended,...

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01-04-2012
One Man’s Difference
One Man’s Difference

Sustaining the environment has become a serious concern of nearly every nation,and debates on how to best achieve this are continuous and often contentious. Overwhelmed by the complexity of the issue, most of us look to scientists and others with more knowledge and resources to find solutions.

Abdul Kareem is one man who hasn’t waited on anybody else. If you were to visit him at his home in southern India, you would see acresof rich forest with abundant wildlife. In a part of the world where water is often in short supply, his land and the villages around it have no...

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01-04-2012
Eco-friendly State of Mind
Eco-friendly State of Mind

As I was growing up,my parents taught me good habits such as conserving electricity and water, not being wasteful with food, and finding new uses for items that had outlived their original purposes. Our family didn’t have a lot of money, so taking good care of the things we did have was a logical, practical choice. It never occurred to me to equate these practices with environmentalism.

As a teen, mostly through my love of reading the newspaper, I sometimes became aware of environmental issues, but usually only when activists did something extreme to draw attention to their cause or to...

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01-04-2012
Prayer for the Environmental Common Good
Prayer for the Environmental Common Good

As we breathe the very air which sustains us, 

we remember your love, God, 

which gives us life.

 

Fill us with your compassion for Creation. 

Empty us of apathy, selfishness and fear, 

of all pessimism and hesitation.

 

Breathe into us solidarity 

with all who suffer now 

and the future generations who will suffer 

because of our environmental irresponsibility.

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01-04-2012
Reduce Reuse Recycle
Reduce Reuse Recycle

Finding ways to reduce our consumption,reuse items, and recycle are practical ways in which each of us can care for the environment. As a bonus, these simple measures will often help trim household expenses.

 

Reduce the amount of waste you generate

Waste reduction starts when you’re shopping. If you regularly throw away spoiled or out-of-date food, you’re buying too much. The same applies to the meals you prepare. If you often throw away leftovers, cook less.

Avoid buying items that you expect to use onlya few times. Rent or borrow instead, when possible.

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01-04-2012
Our World
Our World

A human being is part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole [of] nature in its beauty.

—Albert Einstein

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01-04-2012
What the Bible Says About God, the Natural World, and Us
What the Bible Says About God, the Natural World, and Us

The natural world was made by God.

Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.—Job 12:7–10 NIV

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01-04-2012
A Natural Faith
A Natural Faith

God made the forests, the tiny stars, and the wild winds—and I think that he made them partly as a balance forthat kind of civilization that would choke the spirit of joy out of our hearts. He made the great open places for the people who want to be alone with him and talk to him, away from the crowds that kill all reverence. And I think that he is glad at times to have us forget our cares and responsibilities that we may be nearer him—as Jesus was when he crept away into the wilderness to pray.

—Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

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01-04-2012
Trees
Trees

I was looking at a tree outside my window and thinking how beautiful and perfect it is,producing exactlywhat God designed it to produce, fruitful and flowering, strong and beautiful, fulfilling its mission in life. A tree is a vision of the perfection of God’s creation. Even if a tree is struck by lightning, toppled in a storm, or cut down, the root will send forth new shoots, new life. Isn’t that beautiful?

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01-04-2012
Start Early
Start Early

My son Anthony is a bright,active, three-year-old who loves to learn new things. A while back, his favorite topic of conversation was lightning. He never seemed to tire of talking about storms, about how buildings sometimes catch fire when hit by lightning, and so on. When he began acting out those scenarios with his Playmobile people and Lego blocks, I channeled his thoughts and energy more positively by teaching him about how Benjamin Franklin had invented the lightning rod to avert such disasters.

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01-04-2012
Biodegradable?—Or Upgradable? Will death be the end of you?
Biodegradable?—Or Upgradable? Will death be the end of you?

Death is part of the life cycle,not the end of life. This is evident throughout nature, but perhaps nowhere more clearly than in the example that Jesus gave His disciples when preparing them for His death. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop.”1

Paul the Apostle elaborated on this analogy when explaining our “end,” which will actually be our new beginning. “When you sow a seed, it must die in the ground before it can live and grow. And when you sow it, it does...

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01-04-2012
Thank God for His Creation
Thank God for His Creation

Do you enjoy spring strolls through fields of wildflowers, lazy summer days by the beach or pool, autumn’srich colors and smells, winter wonderlands and snow sports? Mountain vistas and wide-open spaces, dense forests and underwater worlds, from the infinitesimal to the infinite, God is the one who made all this possible.

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01-04-2012
Creation Praise
Creation Praise

Psalm 148:1–13

1 Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!

2 Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!

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01-04-2012
Start Anew, Start Today
Start Anew, Start Today

Life is all about the little decisions you make every day. Decisions of the past have had their effect, but every newday can be a new start. No matter what has happened up till now, you have a chance to make the right decisions today.

Don’t waste time reliving the pain of past mistakes and wrong decisions. That only saps your power to do what you can do today. You can’t change the past, but the future is what you make it, starting right now, so take full advantage of the present.

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