Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Energy Indpendence, Middle East, Natural Gas, Natural Resources, Oil, Solar Energy, T. Boone Pickens, Wendell Berry, Wind Energy on November 17, 2008 |
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When you start trying to learn about energy dependency and nearly drown in the tidal wave of information and perspectives it can be a little overwhelming. I’ve read Wendell Berry essays about farming’s dependence on oil and how it may lead to our eventual starvation (or at least the poor’s). I’ve heard politician after politician wax eloquent, all the while parading their ignorance on the issue in front of us all.
Recently, I saw T. Boone Pickens on The Daily Show. He seems to have a lot of the issue thought out and thinks we, as a nation, can become more independent in our energy consumption. That would be nice, I think. It seems foolish to avoid using wind powered energy, especially when it isn’t an exhaustible resource. Solar energy also seems pretty wise. He says that we need to start converting trucks (18 wheelers) to natural gas because we can produce that on our own soil and that we should look more seriously into moving towards electric cars and hybrids, all of which makes sense to me.
Our thirst for oil, though, has made other countries dependent on our exchange. I like PickensPlan, and maybe I’m just really ignorant on the issue (likely the case) but doesn’t it seem like moving towards complete independence could completely destroy the economy in nations around the world, specifically in the middle-east? We created these economies because of our obsession with oil. Is it fair, then, to also destroy those very economies because of self interest? I am all for energy independence. I wonder though, do we have a responsibility to those nations that are dependent on our consumption of their natural resources? Can we responsibly move towards independence without hurting other parts of the world?
I have no idea what to think about it all. What are your thoughts?
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Today is one of those rare days when a quite average person, me, has the opportunity to spend time, if even briefly, with a person who has influenced thousands of people toward the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of reconciliation. Jesse Brown has invited me to go with him to pick up Rev. John M. Perkins from the airport.
For those of you who have never heard of him, Rev. Perkins is a man who, for the sake of the Gospel, has endured beatings, harrassment, murder of loved ones, and arrests. The true power of his story, however, is in how he came to forgive those who have caused him harm because of the color of his skin. He has spent his entire adult life spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ because he is convinced that it is the only thing in the world that can transform people and communities. He is the founder of the Christian Community Development Association, as well as multiple Gospel based service ministries in the south. His understanding of Jesus’ work in the lives of people is mighty powerful and has helped transform the hearts of entire communities. It will be an honor to meet this man as it has been an honor to learn his story and hear the message that God has laid on his heart.
I can’t imagine that I will have much to say to him or that he will be in any sort of mood to answer tons of questions but I will consider it a joy and privilege to shake his hand.
He starts preaching at about 4:30 into the video. I love to hear this man preach.
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“Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”
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So, my facebook status says, “Jesus for President!” and somebody asked that I explain or at least blog about it so here it goes:
As an American I can completely justify American politics. I can justify partisanship and war and national debt and free trade and sanctions, etc. It isn’t hard to see how, for the interest of our country, we kill other people, starve other people, push our ideals and isms and extend our hand into the world aggressively. It isn’t difficult for me to support a president or to have faith that the American government will make the world a better place by any means necessary.
But as a Christian these justifications don’t come as easily becuase I see the words and actions of Jesus and they tell me a different story about a different set of politics and a different form of presidency or kingship. His message is most clearly manifest in a clever rue, “give to Cesar what is Cesar’s and to God what is God’s.” God’s story is one that says it doesn’t matter what the world political leaders do/think/say/believe because His people know their King and participate in a different Kingdom. Followers of Jesus have followed Jesus in lands far more dangerous than our own and many have been killed. They still followed Jesus. There is nothing about our faith that tells us to use armies to make our lot safer or to avoid pain and conflict by flexing our muscles enough to scare everybody away. Tradition tells us that Peter escaped execution in Rome only to be met by Jesus on the road out of town telling him to go back and die.
I could spend this whole post trying to convince you that the world’s ways are not our ways and that we are called to a more beautiful Kingdom where God reigns. Jesus is the inbreaking of that Kingdom, and today, through the in-dwelling Christ we can participate in God’s foreign policy (look after immigrants?), God’s economy, God’s healthcare system, God’s wellfare system, God’s justice system (love mercy?), God’s right-to-life platform (abortion, capitol punishment, torcher?). We are a people called to be set apart no matter where we live and I’ve got a secret: America is not the Kingdom of God. Am I thankful for freedom? Sure. Should my love for God and His Word be a higher calling than my love for freedom? ABSOLUTELY. If I lived in a country that wasn’t free that would be OK. It might suck but I would participate in God’s glorious ways despite my location. Sure we support our systems and governances (giving to Cesar what is his) but we are always called to something greater and there are times when God’s Kingdom must stand opposed to America’s. We must give to God what is his, which is our lives and devotion no matter the political, cultural, or economic atmosphere.
So today as we go to the polls I pray that all who follow Christ will vote knowing that the US political system will not ultimately stop God’s inbreaking Kingdom nor will it bring it to fruition but it is only in the lives of His follower and His Bride that truth and righteousness will come. I don’t care who you vote for but I pray that Jesus is your president, your king, and your father.
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