Latest report from Global Environmental Relief.


By Darrell Smith, director of Global Environmental. 

For those of you who live in the United States, what sights come to mind when you think of natural beauty? Majestic mountains? Sun-washed seashores? Golden fields of grain? Lazy rivers that spread across our nation? America is a beautiful country – with a myriad of parks and green spaces for all to enjoy. We have enacted laws to control litter and limit the cancerous effects of second-hand smoke. Sadly, in the upcoming years, the greatest danger will not be from litter or cigarette smoke – it will be the increasing air pollution, the growing number of unusual and extreme droughts and floods, and the creeping rise of the seas, whose effects are already being felt in certain coastal areas.

Many of us will never see the slow effects of climate disruption, until we go to the grocery store and notice the rising cost of food, or perhaps we’ll receive our annual homeowner’s insurance bill and it will have increased once again. Even then, most Americans won’t starve due to climate disruption. This is not true for others around the world…[Read more at GER website].

The difference between weather and climate: A Science Lesson


The Climate and Environmental debate in the United States often confuses the difference between weather and climate.  For instance, some time ago, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) confused weather and climate when he brought a snowball into Congress to argue that human-induced climate change is misplaced.  This article from Global Environmental Relief blog takes a closer look at the difference between the two terms and their relationship in the larger scope of the planet’s history.  It’s worth a read (disclaimer: Rev. Joe LaGuardia serves as vice president of the GERI board.)

By Dr. Darrell Smith, Global Environmental Relief

There’s a great deal of talk today about the difference between weather and climate. For many who grew up in North Central Texas, the changeability of the weather was a daily conversation topic.  In this part of Texas, the weather sometimes changed drastically over the course of a few hours.  A sunny balmy day outside on the lake could have you running for cover as a severe thunderstorm and hail suddenly appeared from out of nowhere.  Winter days in the 70s changed in a few hours to ice storms and a foot of snow (we have the pictures to prove it!).

Often attributed to Mark Twain, the old adage, “If you don’t like the weather wait a minute, it’ll change” certainly applies to this part of Texas – except in the summer, when it is just hot.

August is notorious for days close to or exceeding 100 °F with no rain in sight. The Hotter’N Hell 100 bicycle race held here each year in August is aptly named!  All of these frequent changes in weather led many from the area to become profoundly interested in weather phenomenon around the world, and some eventually to discussions of climate.

Weather is the day to day changes in temperature, humidity, or rain in a particular place.  Climate, on the other hand, is quite different!  Climate is the prevailing weather conditions of a region throughout the year, averaged over a series of years and decades….

The evidence for climate change won’t be found in the weather you experience this week – or even next month.  The evidence will be found by looking outside of our nightly weather reports and even outside the United States.  The evidence can be found in looking at the climate that is changing around the world and also with the people and natural world already suffering from its effects.  [Read More here…]

Stop and smell the mustard

BLACK MUSTARD Brassica nigra

Brassica nigra

By Orrin Morris

Too often we are in such a rush to either make money or spend money that we do not take time to enjoy wildflowers. Proverbs 28:20 reminds us to evaluate anew the order of our priorities. “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.”

Often that punishment is self-inflicted by anxiety or over-indulgence.

The wildflower for today I call a roadside wildflower. It thrives in some of the most barren habitats. It reminds us that God is present even though the circumstances of our life that cause us to feel neglected, rejected and left to survive in a barren place.

Several years ago, as a very large mall was being developed, I stopped on the side of the partly developed street. I got out and walked along the recently graded shoulder where there were three specimens of this wildflower. These plants were only 18 inches tall, but as I researched the species I learned some may grow to 6 feet or more.

At first glance, the black mustard appears to have both yellow and white blooms but this is not so. The yellow flowers bleach in the sun and as they die they turn a translucent white, somewhat like wet tissue paper. The flowers measure less than 1 inch in diameter with four petals that rarely overlap.

The leaves along the lower part of the stem are deeply lobed, as pictured. The seed pods mature along the stem within a week or so after the bloom falls.

Black mustard is an immigrant from Europe. The young leaves were cooked and eaten as greens. The seeds were crushed for the distinctively flavored oil, used as a seasoning.

Several varieties of the mustard family have been developed for modern gardens, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, and turnips.

A close relative, bitter cress (Cardamine parviflora), is among the earliest spring blooms.

There are many wildflowers that bloom spring, summer and fall and we deprive ourselves of the calming assurance of God’s abundant blessings when we ignore them. Many flowers are so small that we have to kneel to really see them.

If God is so generous with the flowers of nature, think of how much more eager He is to abundantly bless us, His highest creation.  May you discover that peace as you worship God this Lord’s Day.