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God assigned Jonah to carry out this mission to deliver His Word to the people of Nineveh. His harvest is initiated and seeded through your obedience. You may be tempted to quit or run away from the course, but I want to encourage you, God has equipped you with His Grace to finish what He has designed and destined for you to specifically achieve. Lord, heal my heart. Are you experiencing turbulence in your life?

The turbulence you may be experiencing could be a result of your disobedience. Simply repent, embrace the original assignment and go forward in peace. Simply repent, come back to Christ and do what He is calling you to do. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.

2. The Effectual Call

Jonah asked to be thrown off the boat in order to ease the turbulence. This is an encouraging trend. Christians should embrace this with enthusiasm and support. In fact, as I wrote in this earlier blog , whole faith churches should make this the new normal. Yet, everything in the way the body has been treated and the way in which it will be buried is intended to prevent our dust from returning to the dust. There are at least two reasons why this profound dissonance between the worldview of the Bible and how we actually bury our dead matters.

Embalming bodies requires cancer-causing chemicals like formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde and phenol — in fact, every year in the U. Plus, caskets are often made from mined metals, toxic plastic or endangered wood. Casket burials also prevent a corpse from decomposing efficiently, and this slow rotting process favors sulfur-loving bacteria, which can harm nearby water sources.

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Yet, we are compostable! This is not even to mention the fact that the conventional cemetery itself is a largely sterile and dead landscape. Vast areas of lawn are doused with weed-killing chemicals and mowed regularly by lawnmowers with internal combustion engines. My son and I are reading the Bible together in lieu of confirmation classes. We just finished up Numbers. One of the things we came to better appreciate, especially with the help of the writings of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks , was the way God integrated extensive rituals and laws into the everyday life of the people of Israel.

The question then arises: How, if our instincts are largely unconscious, can we change them? The short answer is ritual: Ritual is behavior that bypasses the prefrontal cortex. It is action based not on a ritual decision that this is how we should act.

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Rather, it is behavior that follows a precise set of rules, a fixed choreography. And from those shaped hearts come habits of behavior. As Jesus said in Luke 6: Unfortunately, our death and burial rituals form wrong habits of the heart as they relate to Creation. Our unconscious comes to understand that death and mortality are things to be afraid of and to deny. We deny a Biblical and scientific truth — we are made of dust. Above all, our burials and our burial places assert a selfish dominion that is the oppostie of what we see in God. The trend offers hope for particular patches of land and water where people are buried.

We can renew the life of what we have been charged to tend and mend. I plan to post some links to related articles on my Twitter feed. Our potluck featured delicious food: All of us were hungry to do this. All of us also shared the rewards and challenges of living out this conviction. The attendees included a couple who have been running an ecologically-minded tree care company for decades, the director of community relations from the Au Sable Institute , an artist who is also the volunteer steward of two natural areas in Lake County, a land manager for a forest preserve district, a non-profit staff member working to promote sustainable farming me , an occupational therapist who also gardens organically and teaches tai chi, and an organic grain farmer.

Later, I shared ideas I have on what collective action we could take going forward. In the discussion that followed, there was general consensus that we need to start with gathering together as a network. Through this network we can find ways to inspire each other, support each other, and even take action together. We closed this portion of the event with heartfelt prayer.

Jen and Bryce then led us on a tour of their farm fields where land long farmed in corn and beans is being converted to perennial pasture for rotational grazing of livestock. Rotational grazing on well-managed pasture has a multitude of benefits. It is good for the land and water, for habitat, for the health of the animals, and for the quality of the meat. As this industrial farm facility gears up to full operating capacity, it will eventually house 6, cows. For three years, the Riemers had led the local fight against the startup of this dairy Confined Animal Feeding Operation CAFO to try to prevent the damage to community and environment that they bring.

This fight was ultimately unsuccessful. Yet, the Riemers have shown amazing grace and are seeing other opportunities to grow sustainable, humane, God-honoring farming out of the situation. Clouds of monarch butterflies flew up from the branches of the trees and all around us. The trees offered shelter for the monarchs as they rested together during their long southward migration.

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This was a fitting benediction to the day. The Au Sable director shared how many of the friends of Au Sable that he had been visiting have started crying when asked why they supported the Institute. They cried because Au Sable is one of the few outlets they have for being part of a Christian community that values Creation. Zealous judgmentalism will not help. We heard of a Christian farmer who is now in the process of transitioning his 2,acre operation to organic methods.

Another gathering is in the works. If you are in the Midwest and would like to be invited to the next one, please email me at naaberg19 at gmail. We would hope, too, that other groups of Christians will organize similarly elsewhere. And they will do so even when the culture of land use around them creates pressure to do otherwise. Whether that corner is an urban yard, a suburban lot, a rural property, or a farm, there are creative ways to bring more life to the parcels of land under our care.

Figuring out those ways is one of the pleasures and challenges of being human. Over time I want to share profiles of what Christian land stewardship looks like in real life.

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In this post, you will read about Jeff and Lori Sundberg. As their daughters went off to college and life after college, Jeff and Lori Sundberg had been thinking about where they wanted to move to for their next phase of life. They lived in a neighborhood in the prosperous town of Libertyville, Illinois. They were long time members of First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville.

They had good jobs at nearby Lake Forest College. Yet, they knew that in their approaching retirement they wanted to be in a more rural place. The husband shared that he and his wife had also had conversations about where to retire to and had talked about different places here and there. But then they had come to an important realization. This resonated with Jeff and Lori. So when they became aware of a acre property on the northern edge of Libertyville in an area where public and private people and organizations had largely preserved its rural landscape character, they were intrigued. Five of the ten acres were in agriculture.

The other five included a house that needed to be demolished, a large shed, a small wetland overgrown with nonnative plants, and a small woods also overwhelmed with invasive non-native plants. It was not a posh, pristine place, but they saw potential. They especially liked all of the open space around the property. In September , they purchased it. This is where a bit of backstory on Jeff is helpful.

Why should I be surprised with people's reactions and complain? Jonah had the same reaction in Jonah 4: He was mad because he knew God would relent and did not bring on the people the destruction God had threatened. That was why Jonah ran away in the first place! This fire inside is from the Holy Spirit! I cannot understand Him or accept Him on my own flesh!

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That's why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2: We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit Who is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God. Thank you Jesus for your word. Peace and Joy LF. Thank you Holy Father for this beautiful day and for this Gospel today. Thank you Lord for my faith, my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father most of all for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconcilliation.

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Please Lord have mercy. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, now and forever.

If God's calling you into a season of singleness, REJOICE in it!

May I use all of my God given abilities, that God intended today and ever day.