Friday, January 18, 2008

Serve God, Save the Planet part 1

A couple of months ago, I wrote about hearing a lecture by Dr. Matthew Sleeth. I received his book, Serve God, Save the Planet for Christmas (thanks to my husband!) and it's my first pick from the list.

Wow--this book contained a lot of information and inspiration! I am very excited to share with you some of what I learned.

In the first chapter, Sleeth says the book will address the following questions:

  • How can I live a more godly, equitable, and meaningful life?
  • How can I help people today and in the future?
  • How can I be less materialistic?
  • How can I live a more charitable life?
  • How can I become a better steward of nature?

I hope at least one of those resonates with you. I so desire each of those things!

You may remember from my earlier post that Sleeth was a wealthy physician who decided to trade in his material riches for a simpler lifestyle and a career of speaking about environmental stewardship. His family drastically downsized their home, their possessions, their electricity usage, and the amount of trash they produce.

One of the turning points for Sleeth was conducting a self-assessment of the environmental impact of his family. He says, "We were going about life as it we were the center of the universe, and there was no tomorrow to protect. This honest inventory is what the Christian faith required of me. How could I say that I was being a good steward when I was causing so much damage to God's creation?"

Reading this book motivates me to do better, which Sleeth says is the point. As I often say, we can all improve in this area! Here's another quote:

"God's beautiful earth will not be saved by words or good intentions. It will be saved by humble, anonymous acts like turning off the lights, hanging clothes on the line, bicycling to work, and planting trees. People who are grateful for God's abundant gifts, people of faith who are not afraid to be held accountable for care of His creation, will save it."

And that's just from the first chapter. I'll be sharing more from the book in future posts.


Niki RuralWritings said...

sounds like a great book. Unfortunately our library doesn't have it, I'll put it on my wishlist :)

jennwa said...

That does sound like a great book. I will have to look into it. Thanks for the recommendation.

mer said...

Very intriguing, Carrie. I'm going to look and see if my library has a copy.

Anonymous said...

Our library doesn't have this book either, but I'd like to read it sometime. Maybe next time I'm at your house?!? In the meantime, I will be interested to read your thoughts and impressions as you read through it.
Love you, Mom

Susan said...

I read the title in an earlier post of yours and I was already intrigued. I am finding a way to get my hands on a copy somehow. Cannot wait to hear more. Oh how I wish I had a library with books in English nearby!

Ewokgirl said...

That does sound like a good book. More and more, I'm starting to realize that what I spend my money on (or don't) says a lot about my values. It's also a matter of actions, which I'll confess to being pretty self-centered in my day-to-day life. I think that's something I need to work on.

My library doesn't have this book, either, but one of the libraries has interlibrary loan, so maybe I'll try that out with this book.

A, B & C said...

I love your post! I think we forget that human life is not God's only miraculous creation. He made this beautiful earth for us to live in and we are slowly making it inhabitable. I can't wait to hear more about what you read. I really should get my hands on a copy too!

Anonymous said...


Your mention of this man and what he did was a factor in my conviction that I needed desparately to downsize. I am in the process of doing that now. It will take quite some time, as I have quite a lot of stuff, as you know. There have been other factors in my decision of course, too, but when I read what this man & his family did, I was overwhelmed with conviction.
Each day, I am making some progress, but I would appreciate your prayers.

Love, Grandma

Missy said...

it sounds like a great book! i'll put on my list of books to read :)


Katie said...

I'm going to see if our library has this book. It sounds like something our whole family could benefit from studying and applying to our lives! Thank you for posting on it - I'll look forward to each part!