Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Environment: Household Cleaners

As Christians we should be good stewards of the resources that God has given us. That includes our environment. We benefit from taking care of the earth and now, with all the "green" products, it's even easier. I've been looking for an environmentally friendly household cleaner and here are some that I have tried:

Mrs. Myers Cleaners

These cleaners come in some great scents. They are marketed as aromatherapy cleaners and they smell really good. (Unless you keep them for 3 years and then they will make your counter tops smell like moldy feet.) When they are fresh they seemed to work great and I like them. They can get a little pricey, but they are sold in a concentrated formula so long-term they aren't too bad. I would purchase again.

Clorox GreenWorks

Hands down the WORST cleaner I have ever used. It left a film on every surfaces and it took a million wipes to get the cleaners up. Would not purchase this cleaner or any other product in their line ever again.

Seventh Generation

I'll admit that I haven't used their surface cleaner but I have used their dish soap and think it's great. They claim that their whole manufacturing process is sustainable and eco-friendly. Seems to be a good option.

Water & Vinegar
This has to be my top choice for household cleaner. It's safe, anti-bacterial and very cheap. I bought a spray bottle and mixed equal parts vinegar and water. I don't have to worry about it getting on my toothbrush or my hands. The only downside is that it's doesn't smell that great, but I can fix that by lighting a candle. Most times the most eco-friendly solution is the most simple one.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Book Review: The Great Omission

"All the churches in North America cannot eradicate homelessness in Mexico, let alone the rest of the world. There just aren't enough Christians or enough money to allocate to it. We could probably blitz the border towns and make a pretty good showing. But as soon as the millions of poor people living further south heard about free housing on the border, a homeless migration would start." In his book The Great Omission, Steve Saint explores how the Great Commission could actually be accomplished in our world, arguing that worldwide evangelization isn't about the number of workers, but about multiplying the number of workers and the viral nature of their message's communication.

How long should a missionary stay on his field? Under what conditions should he consider his job “complete”? I believe many well-intentioned missionaries overstay their job in planting churches. After the church is planted, they want to stay and weed around it, water it, help it grow new leaves and deal with old ones. Eventually, this missionary, now a “gardener,” must leave indefinitely for medical reasons, at which point the plant loses more and more leaves, shrivels, and dies. Without its caretaker gardener, the plant doesn’t have its own structure, doesn’t believe that it is indeed a “plant.”

In fact, if the gardener had tended the plant until it reached basic maturity, and then left it alone, the plant would have had more chance of surviving long-term. This reminds me of peanut-butter sandwiches. My six-year-old nephew didn’t know how to make one because someone always made it for him. He was dependent on the sandwich-maker for his sustenance. However, when he learned how to make his very own sandwich – sloppy as it was – he knew he “owned” the sandwich, that he was responsible for it. And many more sandwiches were in his future!

Imagine a missionary and a national believer. Maybe the national is uneducated, informal, and poor. Many Western missionaries assume these qualities result in a dumb person, unable to understand the Bible or share his faith effectively. What about Christ’s students? He chose them, however lowly (fishermen) and despised (IRS agent Matthew) they were. These qualities, along with being poor and uneducated, should have disqualified them from Kingdom work. How did our Master think about them? He certainly would not trust them with building His church, would He?

When we see a believer, whether affluent from the suburbs, poor from the city, or uneducated from Appalachia, do we see them as equal workers in God’s kingdom? Who does Christ choose to build and maintain His church?

From the book’s cover: Steve Saint – Born and raised in South America by North American parents, Steve Saint has gone on to be a businessman, missionary, pilot, builder, designed, certified financial planner, speaker, and writer. Some of missionary martyr Nate Saint, Steve has become “family” to the tribe who killed his father. His unique life has given him a perspective on the Great Commission that is vital to the Body of Christ.


This guest post was written by Chris H who lives with his wife, Cassie, and son, Chaim, in the sunbelt. Chris & Cassie are currently preparing to go overseas as missionaries. When they aren't in training, working, or caring for Chaim, they raise ferrets and think up other names that start with "C".