Monday, March 22, 2010

World Water Day, Monday March 22, 2010

Well, folks, today is World Water Day. I've never heard of or celebrated it until this year, and only in light of my new-found passion for digging wells. That's God for you--opening your eyes to things around you as you're ready for them.

As such, our family is making some changes in response to this, and I would encourage you to do the same. There's lots of different water conservation things to do around the house, but the one area where our family is failing miserably is with water use in the bathroom. Bathrooms and kitchens are the number 1 and number 2 respective water hogs in the home, so any changes that can be made here make a huge difference.

Here's our plan: obviously making small changes like not running the faucet while brushing our teeth and now scraping food into the garbage instead of rinsing dishes first (although I had to cheat with this morning's oatmeal ;) is going to help a bit, BUT our biggest challenge is going to be bathing. We are a big bath-loving family, and pretty much let the kids take full baths almost every night. HUGE water hogging happening here! So, our goal as a family, is to switch completely to showers, at least for the remainder of the month to see if we're able to lower our water bill, and hopefully will decrease our household usage significantly too.

It's not going to be easy since our son is terrified of the showerhead, so we may use even less water on him this month and opt for the kitchen sink, or better yet, a sponge. I know that going without water or using less isn't going to change the situations that we've been talking about in class, but it is making me and my family more aware of how and where we use water in our home, and hopefully will give the kids (and us) some ideas of how to be better stewards of our God-given natural resources. Happy World Water Day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Well Project Name

Okay, I promise I'll quit posting for today, after this!

I'd like to get your input about a name for our Well Project, mainly for naming the fund set up at the church but also for public education and outreach.

Here are some possibilities, and if you have other suggestions, please leave them here too:
Living Water Well Project (with reference to Jesus as the "Living Water")
Water is Life Well Project
Digging Hope
Operation Quench (kind of cheesy but it works)
Community to Community Well Project
Hidden Waters Well Project

Any suggestions/votes--do as comments to this post. Let us know what you think!

So, now what?

I have personally been convicted to try to build a well, and I know in speaking with several of you that the importance and urgency for clean water is overwhelming.

I've kept some of you updated about the status of our Well Project in conjunction with EBC, but for those of you who may need some more info, here goes:

It looks as if September will be the big month for dealing with issues of poverty, orphans, community service, and of course, the Well. This is not to say that we have to put this idea to rest until then, but the church is willing to allow us several weeks to educate and make a plea for funds for a deep well through World Vision.

With that said, I ask that you seriously pray, not only for the success of this project, but for the congregation to be moved to action on this and other social justice topics. World Water Day is Monday, March 22--what a great way to share this project and information with your family and friends! We're in the process of getting some activities to local preschools and within the church to raise awareness of water use and our project.

I also ask you to pray for yourself--how can you find a way to get involved? If not this project, then something else close to your heart. My hope for each of you is that God has placed a specific need on your heart at the conclusion of this study to hopefully get you moving on His behalf, but also to connect you with needs in our community and our world.

Anna and I will be teaching another round of Hole in Our Gospel starting Sunday, March 21. If you missed any of the previous sessions or if you know someone who may be searching, please invite them to class. Our hope is to inspire as many of our congregants as possible--hopefully that has already happened for you. I know that I've grown more spiritually over the past 6 weeks than in the past 6 years of my life, and God has truly blessed my step of faith in Him by cultivating a love and passion for building a well. You've been given a glimpse of His plan, so now what?


Okay, so I'm late to post this but finally got around to uploading my picture--

This was really an eye-opening challenge for us as a family--first realizing how much garbage we actually produce, but also trying to find ways to cut down and recycle more than we already do. The stuff on the left was headed for the recycling and the bagged stuff for the garbage can. Like I said in class, I tried to weigh it, but it wouldn't read. I think it was probably about 8 lbs. worth, which over the course of the week would've been my oldest kid!

I honestly didn't think it would be this much since we do recycle, but now I'm re-thinking brands that we buy, simply to find companies that used recyclable containers (I'm thinking yogurt since Lucerne doesn't, and we go through at least 2 tubs a week!)

If you haven't done this challenge yet, I recommend doing it, especially with your kids. They can probably give good suggestions for cutting waste too--

Saturday, March 13, 2010

William Wilberforce

I recently read a biography of William Wilberforce, the English politician that dedicated his life to the abolition the slavery in the British Empire. He worked tirelessly to alleviate all kinds of social injustice - at one point he was involved in nearly seventy projects at the same time! Even though Wilberforce was just one man, his determination and commitment to God allowed him to accomplish amazing feats.

William Wilberforce came from a wealthy family, but his life was characterized by generosity, not greed. As a young man, he donated a quarter of his income to charitable causes. One year, later in life, he gave away $4500 more than he made! Regarding riches, Wilberforce wrote,
"... considering them as in themselves, acceptable, but, from the infirmity of [our] nature, as highly dangerous possessions; and [we are to value] them chiefly not as instruments of luxury or splendor, but as affording the means of honoring [our] heavenly Benefactor, and lessening the miseries of mankind."
The life of William Wilberforce shows that change rarely occurs overnight. We must be unwavering in our resolve to pursue God's will, particularly when it comes to helping the poor. Examples like Wilberforce remind us that perseverance can lead to amazing results.

If you're interested in reading more about William Wilberforce, the book I read was Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce. It was written by John Piper, and I'd be happy to let you borrow my copy!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Setting a Goal

Like many of you, Kristen and I have been deeply inspired by our experience in this class. We feel compelled to act on what we've learned, and we want to glorify God and advance the Gospel through our actions.

Last Sunday we learned about how the Church has abdicated its responsibility to serve the poor. In response to this, many Christian families have begun to support social justice causes on an individual basis. This can be frustrating, though, because it's easy to feel small and insignificant when you give alone.

As a class, we have a special opportunity to act as a group of believers. By pooling our resources and our efforts, we can achieve more than a single individual or family. Here's the challenge: let's see what God can accomplish through our group. Let's set an ambitious goal and watch Him work through us.

The problem of access to clean water has been an recurring theme in class, so I think it would be appropriate to pursue a project along these lines. I encourage you to read about the deep wells built by World Vision. They can pump 2,800 gallons of water per day, serving the needs of over 300 people. Best of all, the construction of a well is accompanied by the proclamation of the Gospel.

A deep well certainly qualifies as an ambitious goal. At $13,700, some might even suggest that it is out of our reach. However, I believe that this is the perfect opportunity for us to rely on God and have faith in Him. Reaching such a lofty goal would force us to put aside our own pride, work together, solicit the involvement of the rest of EBC, and humbly acknowledge the true Provider.

Please pray about this opportunity, asking God to show us His will and to give us the means to pursue it. If this proposed goal sounds interesting, I would love to discuss it with you on Sunday.