Archive

The Richest Man in Babylon

The cloudless sky was a tranquil blue above the small town of Babylon, North Carolina. Locals went about their normal routines. The cafe on the corner was busy with the lunch crowd. The old post office had a steady stream of the usual foot traffic. A weathered...

read more

Grace Is The Currency Of The True Economy

Grace. The concept of unmerited favor. Those who claim to be born-again Christians should understand this definition. But, I wonder if too many of us limit the idea to the work of Christ death, burial, and resurrection. I believe grace abounds beyond the facts of...

read more

Agriculture Practiced In Sin

“Cain got it wrong just like us moderns.” A friend of mine sent that message to me recently when I encouraged him to conduct a word study of the English word “till” in the Old Testament. He had read my essays on the topic and knew what I was referring to. Yet, his...

read more

Stewardship Of The Land

I feel compelled to deal with mandates of the Bible toward man in relation to creation. This is key to our motivation and the decisions we make moment by moment. To deal with this mandate, I will draw attention to a key Hebrew verb in the creation account I feel is...

read more

Stewardship and the Christian farmer

Humans are living on a planet with ground that is cursed as a result of sin. This planet we call Earth, where the Creator placed us, will one day be consumed by fire and a new Heaven and Earth will be established. Until that time, redeemed Christians, especially...

read more

Three Feet Ahead (poem)

Three Feet Ahead The pace measured in steady footfalls Seems to me the more natural. With limbs that stretch only so far My step followed by step Affords a view of the world unblurred. This pace reveals the Creator’s love; A love expressed in provision of abundance....

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The Shared Table: Interview with Michael Frost

(Note from the editor: The missional church conversation has been a great encouragement and signpost for me in a time of historic transition for American Christianity at large. No longer the dominant influence in the life of our nation, church communities are at a...

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The Cruciform Politics of Jesus

"After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself." - John 6:14-15 The political...

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A Culture Of Distraction – Revisited

Four years ago, Jason Fowler, our host and editor of Sustainable Traditions, published a blog post he referred to as a lament. In 2012, he expressed some degree of remorse at the cultural changes that had taken place in this country and described some of them. Let’s...

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Next Door As It Is In Heaven (Book Review)

Each morning as I lock my front door and begin walking to my car, I either see José getting into his vehicle, Vicky returning home, or Larry running past me with his dog. We smile, wave, and exchange brief pleasantries. I have heard stories about vibrant neighborhoods...

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What Should Christians Tell The World?

I'm not sure why it never occurred to me. As I've been preparing lessons to teach Luke's book of Acts, something recently came to mind. I was preparing myself for discussion and explanations about the topic of speaking in other languages and speaking in tongues. Which...

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In Praise of: Morning

'In Praise of' is a new series and blog on the Sustainable Traditions website where we cultivate the practice of thankfulness and the practical outworking of the Apostle Paul's encouragement in his ancient letter to Christians in Philippi: "Finally, brethren, whatever...

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Stewards Of Earth Are We

If we are satisfied that one of our roles as Christians is to steward the Earth – the place He created specifically for us – then the next logical question would be how. We can find our answer in many places in the Bible, but let us focus our attention to what Jesus...

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I Am Not A Luddite

In my efforts to point people to various methodologies of eco-agriculture I often encounter those who dispute these approaches. One of the frequent refrains I hear, “we can’t go back to those old ways, we must use technology to feed the world.” There is a massive...

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Film Review: Polyfaces: A World Of Many Choices

Documentary delivers message: Needed change in food system is at hand. Despite having a compelling subject to shoot – Joel Salatin and the extended family of his farm – the filmmakers of Polyfaces: A World of Many Choices convey something more important. What I took...

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Do We Have Dominion Right?

God’s dominion mandate to Adam described in Genesis 1 cannot defensibly be used as an apologetic for extractive and exploitative use of Earth’s resources – or more conservatively stated as misusing creation for man’s benefit. Instead, I will illustrate that the...

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Film Review: The Seer: A Portrait Of Wendell Berry

The lament is a forgotten, but legitimate genre for literature of creative expression. I mention this because I see Laura Dunn’s new film, “The Seer: A Portrait of Wendell Berry,” as a kind of lament. As such, it is a worthy film deserving of our attention and...

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Christmas Message: Are You A Sent Messenger Of God?

As some would expect for a Christmas message I might begin in Luke chapter 2. But, I’m going to deliver a different kind of message. Today, I’m not going to focus on the birth of Jesus Christ, per se. But, I have another theme in mind. And, if I don’t mess it up, the...

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Who Is Worthy Of Your Vote?

With all the reports of allegations and out-of-court settlements regarding politicians and their varied crimes, it's a wonder anyone can still find it within themselves to support these kinds of people with their vote. Motivations for voting for a candidate vary, but...

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An Eternal Totality

Out of the mouth of babes. During the 2017 eclipse, an eight-year-old boy visiting our homestead grew more and more excited about what he was seeing and freely repeated words he learned about the eclipse from the adults around him. One thing about the eclipse this...

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Hose Advice: Five Things To Avoid

I interrupt my three-part series to give you this special bulletin ... FLASH! Hose care is important for gardeners, homesteaders and farmers! Frustrated by the failure of a garden hose? Who isn’t? But, there’s quite a bit you can do to reduce your chances of bursts,...

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Our Response To God’s Creation – Part 2 of 3

Continuing an explanation of what I coin as the Stewardculture Triad: our response to God, our response to God's creation, our response to each other. I'll outline principle No. 2: Our response to God's creation. Our right response to creation first is a clear...

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Our Response To God – Part 1 of 3

This three-part series will outline what I refer to as the Stewardculture Triad. It's a simple way to organize thoughts about our relationship with God. These are foundational ideas for the notion of Stewardculture itself. The Stewardculture Triad is comprised of: Our...

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Grace Is The Currency Of The True Economy

Grace. The concept of unmerited favor. Those who claim to be born-again Christians should understand this definition. But, I wonder if too many of us limit the idea to the work of Christ death, burial, and resurrection. I believe grace abounds beyond the facts of...

read more

The Consumer: Time To Wake The Sleeping Giant

I’ve done my fair share of industrial farmer bashing. But, I have come to believe that the planetary damage caused by agriculture is as much a product of consumerism as it is the evils of large farm operations. If that’s the case, should more of our energy be directed...

read more

Agriculture Practiced In Sin

“Cain got it wrong just like us moderns.” A friend of mine sent that message to me recently when I encouraged him to conduct a word study of the English word “till” in the Old Testament. He had read my essays on the topic and knew what I was referring to. Yet, his...

read more

Stewardship Of The Land

I feel compelled to deal with mandates of the Bible toward man in relation to creation. This is key to our motivation and the decisions we make moment by moment. To deal with this mandate, I will draw attention to a key Hebrew verb in the creation account I feel is...

read more

Stewardship and the Christian farmer

Humans are living on a planet with ground that is cursed as a result of sin. This planet we call Earth, where the Creator placed us, will one day be consumed by fire and a new Heaven and Earth will be established. Until that time, redeemed Christians, especially...

read more

Day-Old Chicks: Part Deux

One year ago we welcomed 26 day-old chicks to Hebron Acres (buff Orpingtons and barred Plymouth Rocks). We were excited because they represented the first livestock on our place. That day began with a phone call from the post office informing us that our chicks were...

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Farm Auction Two-Step

You've read the advertisement in the paper. You went through the itemized list of things being sold at a large estate or consignment auction. You're counting down the last few days until the big dance. You even have your alarm set so you can get up early to get a good...

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Three Feet Ahead (poem)

Three Feet Ahead The pace measured in steady footfalls Seems to me the more natural. With limbs that stretch only so far My step followed by step Affords a view of the world unblurred. This pace reveals the Creator’s love; A love expressed in provision of abundance....

read more

Dabbling In Solar System Pays Dividends

Dabbling is something every homesteader or farmer I know does. Whether it’s blacksmithing or grafting, there’s something we don’t do on a large scale, but we … well … dabble! At Hebron Acres it’s no different. Lately, we’ve taken to dabbling in solar energy generation...

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Evangelize no matter the neighbor

Rod Dreher recently wrote in his blog about the notion of how immigration might actually be a benefit for Christians who are battling in the marketplace of ideas because they would likely find strong allies among immigrants for similar values. It was a really...

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Growth In Mysticism Is A Mars Hill Opportunity

Mysticism is being mainstreamed. I’m not talking the fantasy-world fiction of Narnia or the imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m referring to those things that the Bible clearly warns us about that have been flowing anew into mainstream culture with barely a peep from...

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Tips When Considering A Greenhouse For Your Homestead

We’ve been reassembling our hightunnel at Hebron Acres and it dawned on me that there are many homesteaders and farmers who use hoophouses, greenhouses or other forms of structures to extend their growing season. Since these structures are growing in popularity, it’s...

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Was It Really A Kind Of Sophie’s Choice?

An interesting blog post appeared over at Mere Orthodoxy regarding what I am referring to as The Great Evangelical Capitulation during the recent presidential election. It prompted me to respond here via my own blog. Blogger Jake Meador outlined several key points,...

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A Culture Of Distraction – Revisited

Four years ago, Jason Fowler, our host and editor of Sustainable Traditions, published a blog post he referred to as a lament. In 2012, he expressed some degree of remorse at the cultural changes that had taken place in this country and described some of them. Let’s...

read more

If ‘Lord Of All’ Then The Gospel For All

Humans are created by God to have an innate response to true injustice. Some people have learned to suppress this reaction, but it’s there no matter how repressed. There’s no need to enumerate injustices that have taken place since the fall of man. We know them when...

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In Praise of the Family Milk Cow

She left as suddenly as she had come. Lucy, a fiery, red-headed Jersey milk cow had become an integral part of our life over the past seven years - and now she was gone - not dead and gone, but sold and taken to her new life on another local farm. The day she...

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The Richest Man in Babylon

The cloudless sky was a tranquil blue above the small town of Babylon, North Carolina. Locals went about their normal routines. The cafe on the corner was busy with the lunch crowd. The old post office had a steady stream of the usual foot traffic. A weathered...

read more

The Cruciform Politics of Jesus

"After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself." - John 6:14-15 The political...

read more

Francis, the Wolf and Our Eco-Theology Crisis

As I was reading about Lynn White’s call to a more ecologically-minded Franciscan Christian theology I was struck by the story of Saint Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio as I had just been astonished by the role of the wolf in restoring an ecological web.

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Becoming a Rooted Church: Letter From Brazil

We are not creating a model or a program, but we do hope to inspire other churches and groups to experiment more: that is, not to live under the obligation of “doing good,” but to embrace contingency, caring for the neighbor you meet on the Jericho road, inspired by Jesus’ example of love and readiness to serve.

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Plain Speaking

I think that plain speech is really difficult to do, but it is a really valuable thing when living with one another. Especially when you’re feeling a bit peeved at someone…

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Avad: To Serve The Earth

God is not asking us to turn everything into a productive vegetable garden, but is asking us to serve the needs of our earth, and to recognize its goodness and worth.

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Francis, the Wolf and Our Eco-Theology Crisis

As I was reading about Lynn White’s call to a more ecologically-minded Franciscan Christian theology I was struck by the story of Saint Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio as I had just been astonished by the role of the wolf in restoring an ecological web.

read more

The Final Word Is Love by Dorothy Day

We cannot love God unless we love each other, and to love we must know each other. We know him in the breaking of bread, and we are not alone any more. Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet, too, even with a crust, where there is companionship.

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When All Else Fails Try Jesus

Maybe this could be a message to ourselves as the Church – “When All Else Fails Try Jesus’- when all our programs and methodologies for marketing and growing our churches has failed – maybe we will again return to simply learning and living as disciples of Jesus…

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