Thursday, June 28, 2007

Greg Boyd is Rubbing Elbows with the Science Giants

Please read the blog post that the title of this post links to.

I don't think I'll bother thinking much about this when others are so much better at it than I.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I'm thinking if Jesus were getting into the debate over Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) and environmentalists he'd be packing NRCS dollars to fund biogas production from waste products. Today there are less cows in my home state of Michigan than there were in the 1970's but the problem lies in the fact that most of the cows are now located on farms housing and feeding from 500 to 5,000 head. A milk cow excretes about 14 gallons of waste a day, 12% of which is solid. That makes for alot of poo to be scraped or flushed into manure handling systems. Scenic View Dairy in Hamilton, MI has around 1900 cows and generates a little over 3000 kw of electricity by processing the manure, capturing the methane, and running a generator off the methane. The electricity they generate provides for the 700 kw per day they use and supplies enough electricity and heat to run 3 acres of greenhouse. That is redemption and Jesus does it to the crap that happens in our lives and I think anaerobic digesters look alot like that for CAFO's. Energy, jobs, farm products, compost, and reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emmissions (GHG) - it all looks good. I believe this is also a way that we can work to clean up the unhealthy living environments of the poorest populations in underdeveloped people groups. This is what I've been spending alot of time on and I just had to put it on here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Dang, I thought that was a great movie. I so was Jess in the 7th grade. A kid named Howard and another named Jimmy used to smack the crap out of me. One sat behind me and one next to me in Michigan History Class. Old Mr. Mckinnon, blind in one eye and couldn't see out of the other, would leave the room and I was the entertainment for them. Dark haired, dark eyed Jackie Byrne, my first love, would flush her flawless milky-white cheeks in embarassment as I'd sit there both in terror and in anger holding back because of the last time I'd gotten in trouble for fighting (dad said never again). One day I just had enough. I asked my dad for some advice and he gave the kind I always find myself giving, "I wouldn't give a nickel for someone that starts a fight but I wouldn't give a nickel for someone that doesn't stand up for himself". The parable of the nickel. I can still hear my dad's voice as moved breathlessly in the steamy silage alternating forkfulls down to a feed wagon we were filling up. The dance of the silage. Now OSHA would fine us for going in that silo but it smelled awesome and felt awesome and my dad gave me permission to slug a guy in the mouth.

The next day I did just that. It was just like the picture of Jess slugging Scrogins or whatever his name was at the end of Terabithia. Howard slugged me in the cheek from behind and I stood up, turned around and let him have it full force and knocked him backwards out of his desk (he was leaning cockily on the back two legs but it was a nice added affect) Jackie Byrne gleamed at me with a twinkle in her eye and when we soaked our clarinet reeds in band class later I looked as courageous as I could (with a clarinet reed in my mouth) as she related what happened to the other people in band and I was someone else that day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Heart or Hands?

First, impacting the world is first a “matter of the heart,” said Geoff
Tunnicliffe, international director of WEA, during the commencement ceremony on
Friday for Olivet University in San Francisco.
To illustrate his point, the
evangelical leader used the story of the Good Samaritan who helped a man different than him. Tunnicliffe emphasized that the Samaritan came near to the man when others seeing the man’s
broken image distanced themselves from him.
“The Samaritan comes near to the
man that lays on the ground. He is in contact with the other
. This man comes close to the different,” Tunnicliffe said, before
noting that all mankind is the creation of God.

Most people will have a change of heart if they just once sacrifice their own safety and comfort to help another. Several people I know have went on short-term mission trips because it was the right thing to do and their hearts will never be the same again. Jesus didn't tell Peter to love his sheep, he said feed my sheep. Love is often found when we are obedient. I doubt if the man lying wounded and bleeding was interested in whether the Samaritan truly loved him. Bleed for others and proclaim God's Glory. Lose your life(style) for others and lift his name on high. Love somehow shows up so you cannot stand to NOT do as the good Samaritan.

Blue Day

Yesterday I made the painful decision to fire a young guy that has been working with us for a year and a half. I've known this guy since he was 12 and love him like my own son. I don't know why he's been absent alot and late alot and he doesn't tell me anymore, not since his girlfriend dumped him, but out of concern for our small company and the welfare of the families that rely on our small company I had to make a really tough decision. I tried to let him know how much it hurt to do this and I've offered to help him in any way I can but its really next to impossible to say you care from a personal perspective (to him) and to tell others in the business you care about them too while allowing another employee to bring the company down. There were other circumstances that I won't mention but suffice it to say it hurts really bad. His dad came in and made an ass of himself - screaming at me and my boss, but I don't blame him I guess, he only knows part of the story. His dad has a trailer that I let him borrow but that doesn't mean much right now.

God please help Tim, my whole family loves that guy and we cherish the time we've spent with him and his family. Send your angels to protect him from evil. Lord you know his heart and you know mine. Amen.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Prophet Lullabye

My 4 yr. old twin boys and I have a nightly ritual. I lay between them on their queen-sized bed and we discuss their day, hope and dream about the next day, pray, and hugs and kisses then I leave them in the dark to sleep. Last night they each prayed and then I prayed and asked God to "continue to teach us his way so we can be like him". Coleman spoke up as I ended the conversation, "I still don't hear God". I suggested we all just lie there and listen really close and soon Calvin announced, "I hear God through my heart, I asked him for powers and he told me he doesn't give powers he changes people" I can trust that. I can trust it as much as I trust that if I run my car through the wash on the way home from work Coleman will ask me when I washed my car, where I washed it and if he can go with me next time. Calvin is as out there and unpredictable as Coleman is predictable. I told my wife about Calvin's pronouncement and she quipped, "I don't doubt he's a prophet or a preacher, his mouth never quits running".

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Most irritating gardening chore to Christ's Glory

This weekend I'm going to visit our garden at my dad's home that we haven't been to in 3 weeks. We thoroughly weeded the garden then and for the most part it will still be quite clean with the exception of the parsnips. Parsnips take a long time to emerge while weeds and unwanted grasses are the first to emerge. The situation ends up being a perfect example of the Parable of the Weeds as found in Matthew 13:24-30 something. It is so difficult to pull the grass (now with 3 wks. growth) while leaving the roots of the parsnip seedlings intact and undisturbed. Jesus, the master gardner, will have no problem pulling the fully grown parsnips from the midst of the grass but he cautions the servants not to do it in the field lest the crop be ruined.

I think that is why God just doesn't destroy evil from among the good. That is why evil lingers among good as both grow and the good matures along with the evil. The servants cannot disturb the evil lest the good be killed along with it. I think we have to be very careful not to be too hasty in our weeding of our lives. There might not be much life left alive after the garden is clean. Maybe bleached-out dried-up bones will be all that is left.

Maybe we'll be left with a row of empty dirt, no weeds and no parsnips.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Do I say nothing or chance saying the wrong thing?

I grew up in a tough area. Its mostly working-class construction, plumbing, electrician-type. In the 70's a planned nuclear plant was shut down and the rich economy of that area took a serious hit. It seemed that depression just took over and has been claiming lives there since. Its probably no worse than any other rust belt village but to me its home and it breaks my heart to see what is happening there.

About three weeks ago I had a dream about a guy from high school, Steve Kopka. I guess we could have been considered aquaintences. I know if we were to see each other we'd speak about old times for about 10 minutes and we'd be done. I don't know why I'd have a dream about him, especially one that had us actually talking about our kids because I haven't seen him in almost 25 years and didn't even know he had kids.

My sister sent me this last week:

Sheriff: Suicide bullet struck deputy, too

Its a story of a man at the end of his choices, or so he thought. I've been so close to that same place. Nothing anyone said could help me see things differently because there is no way they could understand. A few did love me though and that stuck with me in a big way. I hope that I never make the mistake of saying nothing again. I know I don't always say the right things, my wife tells me that, but sitting in this chair and wondering if I could have said the right thing is not a position I hope to find myself in again, for Jesus' sake.

Life is so fragile. Hope is so important.

Random Reflections - Greg Boyd

Random Reflections - Greg Boyd

I don't know how I never found it before but this is the blog of one of my all-time favorite authors. I cannot recommend his books enough. Even if you don't agree with him it is obvious he is genuine in his love for Christ.

Here is his podcast

Here is a podcast he did at Mars Hill last month called "Christos Victor" and it is awesome.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Speedy Delivery

March 21, 2007 Mike Johanns announced the availability of $176.5 million in loan guarantees and $11.4 million in grants to support investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements by agricultural producers and small businesses.

The deadline for applications for the grants is May 18, the deadline for the loan app. or loan/grant app. is July 2.

Thats a short time to come up with ways to spend almost $200 million dollars in funding.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


A friend was listening to a talk I was giving on the Psalms and interrupted me with the question, "Do you consider yourself melancholy?". I appreciate questions like that. Yes, I am melancholy but not depressed. Besides, of all the studies in the Bible there is nothing so bipolar as the Psalms and if my facts are correct, there is far more laments than there are praise Psalms. Life has so much depth and so much richness and so much pain and so much joy that most of the time I just don't have anything to say that could possibly add. Is it considered productive to absorb stuff? Like recently I've been bowled over at the opportunity we are missing out on making a difference in our world. Just some little things for now and like a crack pipe to a pothead its not much of a step to go really radical and affect some really significant change. We started by changing out our light bulbs for the flourescent curly kind. I explained it to my daughters and wow, I find darkness where before burned incandescent flames of eternity (why should you turn off a light if you are going back in there in an hour?). They started hanging up clothing that they'd only worn for a short time so they could wear them again rather than throwing them in a heap to be washed. Speaking of washing, they are now waiting until they have a full load instead of running the washer for 1, 2, or 3 items.

I get melancholy when I think of all we could have been doing and haven't. I get melancholy when I see my financial obligations have me enslaved to a lifestyle I no longer wish to remain in. There are over 20 homes for sale in our tiny city of 1200 people. Our real estate market has fallen as manufacturing jobs that people relied on go south for cheaper labor. No way is someone going to buy my 6 bedroom, 3 bath energy monster so I can downsize. I get melancholy when I realize that in a few short months I'll have 3 kids that are licensed drivers and only one with a job to pay for his insurance (he now has his own car too so really I only have two drivers). Even if I don't let them drive (which would be abuse in our society) my cars my insurance company is still going to raise my insurance. I get melancholy when I see that in spite of all the change that is being made in my own life I still find myself like Paul, doing that which I wish not to do and not doing that which I long to do.

Its 51 degrees on the 1st of June. Just a couple days ago it was 93 degrees. That alone is a reason to be melancholy. I think I need a nap...or a bowl of soup...or maybe a good book....or hope that springs eternal. Yep, I need that.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'm fatigued but pictures can say it

I stayed up too late, drove 635 miles in two days, ate too much, shed too many tears in the rainstorm that came at the end of my son's graduation from Military prep school and got to watch Doug Ewandell (sp?) of "Here's your sign" fame with my dad while we sat in our underwear and ate popcorn. Some relationships take an entire lifetime to appreciate. Thanks God for such a rich life!
Now I've got a test in Greek class in 30 minutes that I am definitely not prepared for. No time for a real post.