Posts Tagged ‘green’


392. White Roses On Bright Autumn Day

October 22, 2009


Photograph, April 2009.


Following Jesus – 3 – Nature

September 28, 2009

Abell 2667 - From

Abell 2667 - From

Nature is full of some incredible things. The magnificent beauty of the galaxies. The colour and scent of flowers. The satisfaction of eating fresh vegetables that have grown in the garden. The majesty of the large beasts. The cuteness of the small beasts!

There’s some amazing stuff out there. The more that humans explore nature, the more we find. The further we travel, the more stars we find. The smaller the objects we can see, the more layers of reality are discovered. The intricate workings of the human body still have their many mysteries. Even the simplest life form is incredibly complex.

God is amazingly creative. He’s made a world of such awesome wonders. It’s amazing how creation isn’t just functional, it’s beautiful. Think of the creatures that inhabit the dark depths of the ocean but are spectacularly colourful. Or the incredible designs on butterfly wings.

The interesting thing with following Jesus is that nature takes on a new significance: nature has been made by a loving creator for His purposes and enjoyment. He has made humanity, in His image and likeness, to dwell in this world of matter.

The spiritual life isn’t about denying the material things, but putting them in their correct priority. We do not pretend that suffering doesn’t exist; we use what we have to alleviate suffering.

Luke 12:33 (NIV)

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

Nature is not, then, a deity in itself. It has been made by The Deity, to serve His purposes. However, nowhere do I see in the Bible that this is permission to plunder the Earth’s resources. Indeed, when we damage the environment, we destroy the world in which other people live. Caring for the environment is, I believe, a reasonable way of responding to God’s creation. Think of how He made a beautiful Garden, Eden, and placed the man and woman there to tend it and care for it. He did not say, “go and destroy this Garden in your quest for material possessions.”

Genesis 2:15

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

I read a while back an interesting idea that Christian environmentalism incorporates the human element.* Rather than deifying nature, and downgrading humans, it seeks to take into account how the human treatment of the planet affects not only nature but all humanity, too. It included an awareness of such things as the manufacturing conditions of the products we buy. I personally believe there are many good environmentalist arguments for vegetarianism, for example, as well as acknowledging that many foods suitable for human consumption are instead fed to farm animals, which are then consumed by the small proportion of rich Westerners who can afford fast food. I digress. What was the point I was trying to make? Ah, yes – that being a follower of Jesus necessarily impacts on the way I perceive nature.

All too often we followers of Jesus have been linked to a philosophy of guns, hunting, destruction of the planet, and cruelty to animals and even to our fellow humans. But surely there is a distinction between religious ‘Christianity,’ in which man-made rules become the highest law; and a life genuinely lived following the Lord Jesus Christ and living as those called to tend His Garden? While such things – environmentalism, issues of diet, and our treatment of nature – may well be secondary to the primary issue of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, one of our greatest apologetics is found in the way we live our life.

Peter 3:15-16 (NCV)

But respect Christ as the holy Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have, but answer in a gentle way and with respect. Keep a clear conscience so that those who speak evil of your good life in Christ will be made ashamed.

Finally, acknowledging God as Creator has significant effects on my life: I have Someone to thank for the glorious wonders of nature. I can enjoy and appreciate animals, plants, the changing seasons, the stars, the weather, the land formations… I can also be creative – as I am made in the likeness of Creator God, so He has bestowed at least a little of His creativity on all His people. I have a reason to care what happens to the planet, and to do what I can to look after the environment. And I can enjoy the spectacular discoveries of the natural sciences, as human exploration reveals more and more of God’s spectacular works.

*David Tyler, Creation – Chance or Design?

Following Jesus


383. Dandelion

September 23, 2009


Photograph, 2009.


370. Flowering gum

August 9, 2009

200903-flokot-art10Felt tip marker on paper, March 2009.

Trying to capture something quintessentially Australian – gum trees!


For Green Energy

July 10, 2008

Australian Accredited Green Energy Information:


Against Nuclear Energy

July 9, 2008

Some links to information on nuclear energy: – Greenpeace – antinuclear Australia


224. Painting Whales

April 27, 2008

Humpback Whale Painting

Humpback Whale, acrylic on canvas, January-April 2008, 8×8″ (approx 203×203 mm).

This is a rare case of me working on a piece for more than one session. Being notoriously impatient, I tend to prefer to get a drawing completed within a day of starting. This was a deliberate effort for me to try and develop more patience. This painting was developed over the space of a few months, one layer at a time. I’m not sure how successful it is – I am an amateur painter!

It was inspired by a photograph of a humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, and started around the time that the Australian news was dealing with the issue of whales being killed in our territory, against our laws. In Australia, whales are generally considered a vital part of the oceanic ecosystem, so it cause quite a stir when all these animals were being locally slaughtered earlier this year. Strangely enough, at the same time I have been reading the classic piece of literature, Moby Dick. I have found it a fascinating snapshot into human perspectives regarding whales – not to mention all the other deep themes explored in the text. The chapter devoted to arguing that whales are fish, not mammals, was particularly interesting. I wondered if perhaps describing whales as fish alleviates the burden of massacres when these intelligent, family-living, social creatures are cut to pieces.

More information –

– you might find the Animal Liberation Victoria website an interesting source of information regarding the 2008 slaughter of whales in Australian waters. Try or search for “whaling” at

– The Australian Government has online information regarding Australian legal policy directed towards cetacean conservation. Go to

(Links accessed 27 April 2008 10.46 am Australian Eastern Standard Time)

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