Monday, May 25, 2009

Going Green because God is Green _sermon notes

The world/earth that God has entrusted to us as disciples of Jesus is hurting. I would argue that we are not taking car of it. And in doing so we are not taking care of ourselves, our children, nor our we in doing so respecting our God.

*God Word is filled with references to creation. Here are some to look at:

Job 38-41
-God 'loves' His creation and will not fail to talk, and talk, and talk, and talk about it.

Genesis 2:15
-God said His creation was 'Good' and to 'take care of it'. It's a sanctity of life issue.

Proverbs 8:1-31
-God's primary relationship towards the creation is not production but pleasure.
-God's primary posture is not production, "What can it do for me?" but joy. Not consumption, "How can I use it?", but celebration.

Psalms 104:10-16
-God gladdens & sustains their hearts

Leviticus 25:1-7, 23
-The land is to have a sabbath rest
-The land is not yours it's God's

2 Chronicles 7:14
-Forgive their sin & heal their land

2 Chronicles 36:5-17, 20-21
-The land enjoyed it's 70 years of sabbath rest.

Many of us in America are at homes behind walls and glass with machine air (hot or cold) and then we go into our garage and get into our car behind medal and glass with machine air with the radio on while driving to work. After work we get back in the car and then go back home again.

I think people today feel disconnected with God or feel that God is distant. I would argue that we are not spending enough time with His creation. When was the last time you stopped to smell the roses or to look at a flower? When was the last time you found something in nature and had time to study it? When was the last time you planted something? When was the last time you took a 10min. walk? When was the last time you looked up at the stars? When was the last time you went camping, hiking or went to the beach? I believe we can see a bit of God and His character when we look at/experience/enjoy what He has made. Are we tuned into the source? It's no wonder why we have a generation that is so lost and wonders if there is a God...

Why Go Green Statistics?
  • About 110 million Americans live in areas with levels of air pollutants the federal government considers to be harmful.
  • The World Health Organization said in 2005 4.6 million people died from air pollution diseases.
  • In 2005 10 random American babies umbilical cord blood were tested for toxic chemicals. A total of 287 toxic chemicals were found with an average of 200 for each child. Nearly 3/4 contained know carcinogens & the rest were threatening the nervous & immune systems.
They say they testing the oxygen levels in the ice caps at a distance that would have been a 100 years ago. They said the oxygen levels were at 30%. Today we have an average of 15%. The best you can find if you live in a green area on earth now is 20-21%. If you live in a big city you can expect 8-9% (sorry). I remember as a kid they use to have those city reports that said the smog was so made that it's unsafe to be outside for long periods of time today. They stopped having those reports in 1990 because people would panic.
*Note: Have more plants in your home to help with having cleaner air.
  • Any given day in America we produce enough trash to fill 63 thousand dump trucks. = if you were to line up those trucks it would make it half way to the moon in a year.
  • Americans throw away about 40 billion soft drink cans and bottles every year. Placed end to end, they would reach to the moon and back nearly 20 times a year.
  • The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years.
70% of the rivers in China are polluted. Polluted meaning 'unfit for human contact...). We Americans produce trash by the truck load! We are the queen of trash. During the holiday season we produce 5 million tons extra trash. 4 million of that is shopping bags & rapping paper. We produce 80% more trash now then we did 20 years ago.
  • The world is losing an acres & a 1/2 ever a second.
  • Using recycled paper for one print run of the Sunday edition of the New York Times would save 75,000 trees.
  • In any given year we are loosing 50 thousand different & distinct species.
I've seen this! When I took a trip to Indonesia I saw first hand tribal people and loggers who were in a race to cut down the rain forest. There is money in tree's and no one seems to be regulating how much is cut down. Who knows what the long term damage may cause.

Ways to Go Green:

Energy
  • 25% of your energy bill can comes form phantom power (i.e. TV, DVD, battery charger). Use power strips!
  • Use less! Turn off lights or use a cloth line etc.
  • Energy Star appliances. If we all used them = 3 million cars off the road. energystar.gov.
  • If ever household in America would change out one incandescent bulb with a compact florescent bulb = one million cars off the road.
  • Call your electrical company and ask to get put on renewable power.
Food
  • The average food we eat from pasture to plate travels 12 hundred miles (either restaurant or supermarket).
  • If every person in the U.S. was to eat one local grown meal this week it would save 800 million barrels of oil.
About 43 million U.S. households had a garden last year. That's is a 19% increase! Something that I found that was cool is grass roots effort to help people with no or little yards. You can check out the website sharingbackyeards.com and do your gardening in someone else's yard. You just share some of the harvest. Pretty cool idea I think! You can also visit the website localharvist.org to find out where the 'Farmer Markets' are near you. A great way to buy local and get a better product! Also! Don't forget that the movie 'Food Inc.' is coming out this summer. It's a movie that is going to 'change' the way you look at food for the better. Check it out!
*Note: If we were to live in the States long-term I would highly consider being a localvore. A localvore is someone who only eats foods that are grown/harvested locally.

Transportation
  • If all our tires were properly inflated it would save more then 4 million gallons of gas a day or 2 billion gallons a year.
  • Drive less, walk more, ride a bike.
  • You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas. Slow down!

    Recycling
  • Recycling aluminum uses 95% less energy then making new aluminum.
  • One ton of recycled paper saves 17 tree’s, 3 cubit yards of land fill space, 7 thousand gallons of water, 4,200 kilowatt hours of energy (which is enough to heat a home for 1/2 a year) 390 gallons of oil, & it prevents 60 pounds of air pollutants.
  • The average adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail a year. A 100 million trees, 333,000 acres are cut down for junk mail every year. 41pounds.org
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough electricity to power a TV for three hours, and aluminum can can be recycled an unlimited number of times.
  • If we could move from 30% recycling to 60% we could save 315 millions of barrels of oil in a year.
  • Recycling a ton of glass saves the equivalent to 9 gallons of oil. Increasing steel recycling by 50% would save the energy equivalent to 7 nuclear power plants.
  • donotcall.gov (National do not call list.) I put this one on just to be nice :)

    The Beast!
One product in America
-570 a second
-49 million a day
-18 Billion a year

In order to produce this product
-100 Thousand tons of plastic
-800 thousand tons of tree pulp.
-350 million dollars just to dispose of this product.

*note: *Note: Scientist are now saying that because of what and how this product is made it will not decompose. So 300 years from now (if we make it that long) people will be digging around and still be finding these things...

What is it?
Diapers!!!

I hope that after looking at these Bible verses and these statistics that your starting to look at things a little differently. I know some of you might think weir weird or just some tree huger freaks (treehuger.com by the way...) but I would disagree. I really believe that we are not living in a way that is sustainable & renewable and it's killing us. I unfortunately see it every day in that Ruth's sister has terminal cancer. It's very sad and we're all praying/hoping that she beats it. But in the mean time she has a husband & 3 kids that love her and want her to get better. They've done a lot of research and have changed their way of living quite a bit. I for sure don't want to see one of my girls getting cancer. Do you? But even more then that I believe in eating good food and living in a way that cares for the earth because that's what I believe God intended.

We are Christ followers should be the forerunners in this! We should be one ones talking about ways to 'go green' and encouraging others to do the same.

Here are some things we are doing to 'go green'

-Chloe & I take our trash & recycling to the dump every week (a little father daughter date).
-We bought and only use 'Kean Kanteen's' as water bottles.
-We bought cloth diapers (yes! kill the beast!!!)
-We go for walks
-Turn off lights when we leave a room.
-We have a garden here at the house.
-We have chickens and eat the fresh eggs.
-We bought a healthy juicer and have started growing our own 'wheat grass'.
-Ruth parents here at the house raise their own cows as family meat.

Well, enough from us. What do you think? What are you doing to 'go green' or maybe you disagree? feel free to make comment or two! :)

P.S. I think I'll be 'posting' throughout the month on why and helps to go green. So, stay tuned for more...


5 comments:

Penny said...

As a Christian I believe it is being obedient to be a good steward of every gift God has given us (which, since He owns it all, is everything). However, as a Christian I also have to make sure I don't join the "religion" of the culture. "Green" or "Environmentally Friendly" is the "religion" of many these days.

So to be an obedient servant, I must be very discerning on how I mesh being a steward and "worshiping at the altar of green". For example, tied to up in many "green" stats are lies to promote the current state of belief.

One of those lies really upset our son. He came home worried that the polar bears are dying (his dad's favorite animal) because he had been told that the ice is melting due to global warming and the polar bears are drowning. A picture used to promote this lie was a polar bear on a small piece of ice surrounded by water. But in the original picture this polar bear wasn't alone...there were more playing in the water around it (AND polar bears can swim great distances...etc.).

Also tied to many of the "green" stats is the belief of evolution. There is the belief that since the world "just happened", we as mere blobs and descendants of monkeys have the power to destroy the earth. But as Christians we know that God is Sovereign and people do not have the power/authority to destroy except by His permission.

So how to I balance being a good steward; responsible for the gifts God has given me and not part of the world that believes being "green" should be followed no matter what impact it has on the people around them? I find myself looking very closely at the information that comes my way; verifying its accuracy. Then praying for wisdom on how to be a steward AND how to do so within the context of the non-Christians around me.

Now I am NOT saying that any of the info in this blog post were incorrect; it is one of the blogs I try to follow. But as I read the post, I thought again about my reaction to seeing a Christian post about being "green" and thought I would share a few thoughts.

And since it is just the day after Memorial Day...thank you for the sacrifices you and your family make for The Kingdom!

Nikki Hein said...

Hey guys. I REALLY enjoyed reading your sermon notes on going green. It is about time a Christian stands up and preaches on how we are destroying God's creation. I know people who completely mock being "green", recycling, etc. becuase they think it isn't important and that we as Christians should spend all of our time evangelizing. But I think that as Christians, we need to be good stewards of what God has given us. I ride my bike whenever possible, love my Klean Kanteen, enjoy recycling, etc. I am very excited about my huge garden that I am co-oping with a friend. Though I don't have kids yet - I am always trying to talk my pregnant friends into checking out cloth diapers. I think it is really important that our generation is teaching our kids how to be good stewards of what we have been given. And it is also important that we teach our parent's generation as well. My parents have never recycled a darn thing, but I am working on getting them set up so that it is easy for them to do so. My parents live in the country - so if they recycle, compost, and burn (which they already do) they will not even have to pay to have their garbage picked up every week. Who doesn't want to drop a monthly bill? I am afraid to know what our earth is going to be looking like when our children are in college. Thank you for taking the time to preach on this and please know that we pray for Joanna every day. We are thinking about you guys a lot!

A. T. Elwer said...

Keeping the sabbath reduces energy consumption by 10-12%

Sarah Elwer said...

what kind of cloth diapers are you using? We are using bumgenius and love them!

C Kane; M Kane said...

Interesting stuff, Ben.

A few years ago, we took out a section of our lawn (after I took an Environmental Science class that focused on stewardship) to reduce our clean water consumption and reduce toxic runoff into Lake Michigan. In its place I put in a drought tollerant herb garden, concentrating on mulches to retain soil moisture. I've been wanting to put in a rain barrel next to help me with what watering we do need to do.