Friday, March 25, 2016
The Garden Revolution
The arrogance of men who presume to know better than the God who created them what is best for mankind never ceases to amaze me. From the beginning, all that has been necessary for the physical sustenance of men is a well-tended garden. But man is more than a body. There are also emotional and intellectual needs. Again, the best venue for these needs to be fulfilled is in a garden working alongside others. Yet, because man is more than body and soul, there is one more need that men have -- that is a spiritual need. The spiritual needs of mankind cannot be fulfilled outside a relationship with his Creator. And, again, God provided a venue for mankind to explore this relationship -- a garden in which man could walk with God in the cool of the day.
The fall of man from access to this original and most benevolent venue was by deception. It is also deception that keeps mankind from returning to the benefits of this venue and lifestyle. The lies are many. "You deserve better than this. You cannot feed the world from your backyard garden. Why should someone of your intellectual stature have to work so hard? You are God's gift to your fellow man and they owe you their service and their allegiance. Science has proven there is no God. You are god. You can shape the world however you want and it will only get better."
The industrialized garden has removed mankind from the venue most suitable for his own well-being. The daily exercise that would keep him fit is abandoned for more 'entertaining', less arduous pursuits. Machines have almost rendered physical labor unnecessary. The food that would sustain his body and serve as medicine, he now must pay someone else to provide. The fellowship that comes from laboring beside one another in a garden that belongs to God, has been exchanged for spectator participation by proxy in the activity he is no longer fit to perform. The garden has been exploited and its soils rendered almost barren through the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Even the skies that are the gateway of sunshine and rain have been manipulated with mankind's best efforts at weather modification.
Planting and tending a garden is the ultimate revolutionary act against the world system of exploitation of mankind and his environment. It makes you less dependent on world government and more dependent on God and neighbors. It provides the food, medicine, exercise, intellectual challenge, and fellowship that keeps you physically, mentally, and emotionally fit. It provides the best venue for understanding the character of the God of creation. And yet, we tend to avoid it because we have believed the propaganda that there is something better than a garden that provides all this.
What could that something possibly be? That 'something' is the lie of entitlement -- that you deserve to enjoy, without labor, what others have labored to provide. That you are somehow superior to your fellow man and even to God. The same sin that caused man to fall in the Garden of Eden still prevents him from embracing the garden that will heal him. That sin is pride.
A garden is a humble expression of worship and dependence on God. It is an expression of compassion for your fellow man. It is a declaration of independence and the ultimate revolutionary act against a governing system that ignores God and exalts mankind. A garden is a great place to discover and root out pride and arrogance. A garden is the cradle of life. A garden is a revolution!
Live better. Plant a garden!
Michael Leonard Hennen
Friday, April 20, 2012
Saturday, April 7, 2012
I am a diligent blog and news reader. Every day someone writes about the inevitability of an economic collapse. I tend to agree with most of what they project about our economic future, simply because I know that if I ran my budget the way most governments do, I'd be broke or in jail before too long. As a frugal homesteader, I stretch every dollar as far as I can, and do without a lot of things until I can afford them. My family is heading out of debt, not further into it, and certainly not to buy things that are frivolous. We are committed to being debt-free, something that was normal in past generations when debt was considered bondage, and mortgages were for losers.
All of this talk of economic collapse brings into focus for me the reality of the life of the missionary on a foreign field. Most missionaries operate on a slim budget. A few may have large ministries, but the majority serve the Lord in a sacrificial way. It was on the mission field that I learned how to add water to my dishwashing liquid to make it go further, how to wash my Ziploc bags and reuse them until they popped, and how to skip meat some weeks so we could feed some hungry Bible School students. How would an economic collapse affect missions and missionaries?
In the Great Depression of the 1930's there were still foreign missionaries on the field, but their stories are ones of great hopes with little finances. After the Second World War, things got better financially and great strides were made in missions. Missionaries could just hunker down and wait for things to blow over.
But what if this doesn't just blow over, but rather blows up? There could be major shifts in the wealth of nations and in political power as a result of a global economic collapse. What if the missionaries had to come home not just because of finances, but because the worldwide political situation became too risky or closed down for further work? The other nations' losses of missionaries could be America's gain.
Imagine a host of missionaries returning from the fields where they have served. They know foreign languages, they are familiar with other cultures, they are unattached to the American way of greed, and are not tech-saturated. This could be the beginning of something good here in this nation. We are a country of immigrants, and many of our cities are filled with neighborhoods of people from other countries who maintain their cultural lifestyle as best they can. What if those who were missionaries in their home countries suddenly came home themselves and continued to work with the same people groups, only on American soil?
We bemoan the loss of our Christian heritage, feeling that the foundation of our country's legal and justice systems are being undermined by people who have no regard for God or for Biblical ethics. "For, behold, the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, to shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:2-3) I'll tell you what we can do - preach the gospel with integrity in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are actually ripe as a nation for an outpouring of God's saving grace.
There may be a silver lining in this cloud of economic mayhem. Perhaps the Lord is humbling our nation as never before so that hearts will be prepared to listen and receive the good news of salvation. We need a new start, and that requires clean hearts. Some folks are buying guns and preparing for the worst; we are buying Bibles to distribute because hope in God is all there is sometimes.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Our suitability to explore other planets is measured first in our stewardship of the garden we call Planet Earth. And our stewardship of Planet Earth begins with our stewardship of the square foot garden in our own backyard. If we cannot manage to discern between weeds and food or flowers, and if we lack the initiative to tend the soil we see every day, we are not suitable candidates for the exploration of the pristine worlds of outer space. If we have not learned how to think about and appreciate the life within arm's reach, we have no business reaching for the stars.
The world is vast and wonderful. But it is as wonderful in its magnitude as in its minutiae. We cannot compare one wonder to the other and judge the small as insignificant and the grand as great for they are all interwoven with the same core fiber of life. If the small suffers, so does the great. If the great suffers, it is because the small is under siege. In fact, it is our faithfulness over little, seemingly insignificant things that first indicates our suitability for grander responsibilities. If we cannot be faithful over little, how much less faithful are we likely to be over much?
Reaching for the stars ought to invoke a reverence as precious as that we experience when reaching out to hold our newborn infant for the first time. There should be nothing cavalier about our efforts. There is no room for trial and error when it comes to holding new life in our hands. We must value that life at least as much as we value our own. If we cannot do this, we have no business holding the baby.
If others were to judge our treatment of Planet Earth as the measure by which we were considered suitable stewards of other worlds, we would fail miserably. Our planetary report card would be all Fs. Economics -- F -- our world lives on credit borrowed from the next generation. Ecology -- F -- for the sake of industrial pride and profit we have shamelessly exploited and almost irreparably destroyed the balance of life. Sociology -- F -- nation rises against nation, kingdom against kingdom, a man's enemies are the members of his own household and yet we presume to be experts in human relations. Incredible!
Unfortunately, the most incredible thing about mankind as a race is our shared audacity -- an audacity as impudent as it is reckless. No, there are no As on our report card to commend us as suitable candidates for the exploration of other worlds. Our reckless treatment of our launching pad is predictive. If the cornerstone is so carelessly shaped and placed how unleveled and hopelessly out of square is the foundation likely to be. And if the foundation is neither level nor square, why do we continue to naively believe that our efforts will meet with success. If the concept is faulty the completion will be flawed!
So should we reach for the stars? By all means! But only if the original inspiring concept is true. Our motive ought not be to escape from the decaying world we've nearly destroyed. A nobler, more redemptive aim ought to be to glorify the Creator of heaven and earth. Here is the watershed divide. If there is no Creator the exploitation of life takes precedence over its preservation. If there is no Creator, life is merely a function of biology without value or purpose. But if there IS a Creator, then all of life is a mystery left for us to explore that we might discover the majesty of our God.
War, industry, technology -- if these are not sanctified they will be vilified by the base nature of men. If they do not bring equity and justice, they will only bring inequity and injustice. At its worst, reaching for the stars exalts men to god-like status without the accompanying godly character. At its best, reaching for the stars proves the capacity of man to reflect the nature and glory of God. If this is not the sacred trust with which we begin, our efforts will be forever doomed to revealing the limitations of mankind one awful layer at a time.
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Thursday, February 17, 2011
It was my mistake. I was perusing a hatchery web site and decided to place an order for 15 Rhode Island Reds. I clicked on this and that and when the final page came up, I realized that I had not seen a hatch date on any of the pages. The last web page said I would be notified by email of the hatch date. I placed the order, but had this nagging feeling that I should find out when these chicks were coming my way. After all, it was January, and I didn't want to deal with baby chicks until the end of February.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I have a new wood cook stove. I pondered this decision for a long time. In the process of building our tiny house, I realized that I couldn't fit in a wood heating stove and a regular electric or gas stove and oven. I had to choose one or the other. Since I like to be warm in the winter, I chose the wood cook stove.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
On Friday, December 10th, we finally moved into our tiny cottage. It took twice as long to build, cost two or three times more than we thought, and it was a lot harder than we expected. We will need to add on before too long probably.