Monday, November 16, 2009

Canadiana: Why I Love Canada

Earlier this year, I was asked by a newspaper editor if I would provide a short list of things I like about Canada that would then run in a Canada Day special edition. I sent over my "top 9" list which was quickly hacked down to maybe three or four. I thought I'd publish the full nine here....Enjoy.

In no particular order, I give you:

#9 – I love watching and cheering for our Canadian hockey team at the World Junior’s every New Year. These guys eat, drink, and bleed maple syrup.

#8 – With Toronto and Vancouver being the 1st and 3rd most ethnically diverse large cities in the world, I have grown to love the great diversity of culture, language, and cuisine that lie within our borders (and restaurants).

#7 – My win percentage in this seasons Roll-Up the Rim contest clocked in perfectly at 100%.

#6 – My friends Ashley Barker and Ryan Thomas, who serve in the Canadian Forces, represent the thousands of young Canadians devoting their life to the good and well-being of our country both at home and abroad. We salute you.

#5 – I am proud to be able to name every single one of Canada’s provincial capitals: Victoria, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg maybe, and umm, can you get back to me? Well at least I know more about Canada than those ignorant Yanks!

#4 – The Charter of Rights and Freedoms which gives freedom by limiting freedom, opens doors to freedom of thought, speech, belief, and lifestyle. Canada should be proud of its ability to display its unity amidst the cultural-mosaic of diversity by BCers eating poutine, prairie people riding downhill mountain bikes, Torontonians noticing the rest of the country, churches being known for what they are for and not for what they are against, and Newfies using Screech to power carbon-neutral vehicles.

#3 – A toque, plaid button-up shirt, long-johns, a pair of Sorrels, a good hockey hair-cut, and a case of Molson constitute formal wear for any occasion. This will also be what eventually destroys Canada.

#2 – Canada’s legislative moto: “Peace, order, and good government.” Two out of three ain’t bad, eh?

#1 – Don Cherry’s Rock’em, Sock’em Hockey.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Memories:: Utah

I noticed a friends Facebook status earlier this evening; "Just got back from Utah...EPIC" making me remember some of the time I've spent living in and exploring the Utah desert. For some reason, I absolutely love spending time in America's desert landscapes and could easily see myself living there one day. Anyhow, thanks for the status update Mike, it definitely made me remember well! Enjoy this photo from Moab.

Friday, November 06, 2009

God is Green

Of all the stereotypes that have formed around what it means to be an environmentalist, the one stereotype that I would like to see most closely related with environmental consciousness would be “Christian.” And while the granola-eating, organic, tree-hugging activists with questionable hygiene and bad styles living out on the fringes of society should be applauded for their care of creation, my hope is that one day it is Christians who are most known for their environmental concern.

In the Christian church we often hear about Jesus’ Great Commission to go out into the world preaching the Gospel, baptizing people, and teaching them to obey Scripture. At the very beginning of the Bible, the book that we claim to obey and organize our lives around, comes the First Commission where Creator God commands that we care for and tend the earth. Interestingly, we Christians have been up in arms for years over the creation/evolution debate dumping time, energy, and resources into defending our claim for a Creator God while largely ignoring to care for His creation like He asked. Further, many bridges could be built and many walls broken down when we recognize that, though there is disagreement on the origins of our blue planet, there is wide scale agreement that we must care for it.

Scripture is clear that creation was made for God (Col. 1), by God (Genesis 1-2), and still belongs to God (Psalm 24). Additionally, Romans 1 tells us that God’s glory is revealed to Christian and non-Christian alike through creation, which includes the beauty of Mt. Baker at first light, the quiet gurgling of Clayburn Creek in the summer, and the prominent Cheam range as you drive east on Highway 1. One prominent dead theologian said it this way, “God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” Clearly, Christians should be known for their care of creation.

Thankfully, Christians around the world are beginning to respond to Creator God’s call to tend and care for a planet under siege to pollution, depleting resources, unsustainable development, and gross imbalances of food and water supplies. Every personal, community, and corporate action towards a greener lifestyle does count and is significant no matter how small the action may appear. This call towards an increasingly “green” lifestyle does not, however, come without cost. It will cost your time. It will cost your comfort. It will cost your convenience. It will cost your conscious. It might even cost you some green. The question being, is it worth it?

I think it is.

The Christian church must respond to this call. Environmental concern in not just a popular fad like tie-dye t-shirts or blogging, it is a biblical mandate that can not be ignored. For Christians, we begin by humbly repenting for our part in creation degradation and then actively pursue how to reduce harm, reduce waste, and begin to restore what has been lost. This may mean that churches don’t supply Styrofoam cups for the horrible church coffee that is consumed every Sunday morning or that car pooling and energy efficient structures and methods are in place. Maybe it means that the best parking spots are reserved for hybrid vehicles, that church grounds have community gardens, or that bike locks, lockers, and showers are provided to encourage people to bike, blade, run, or skateboard to church. Creative solutions to creation care will be as unique to the church and individual as anything else. Not everyone or every church can do everything, but everyone doing something will add up. The God we serve is green, why shouldn’t we be also?