STEWARDSHIPPsalm 24 states that "the Earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it." Humans simply hold the Earth in trust for God. We are tenants here, called to care for the creation on behalf of future generations and all species. The Bible calls us to "till and keep the garden" and names human beings as the trustees of creation. Because God created all the Earth and all of us, creation is beautiful and good and sacred. We are called by our devotion to God and our love for God's works to protect it. Creation itself inspires us and calls us to care. Many people have had their most profound spiritual experience in nature. As we behold the power and love of God in a mountain range, a sunset, or in the timelessness of the ocean, we can't help but be moved. But creation also includes humans – our families, communities, and created landscapes. God created all things of Heaven and Earth and God is our inspiration to care for both wild places and our own cities and backyards Why Do People of Faith Care About Creation? Caring for the Earth is a fundamental part of religious faith. Nearly every major faith tradition and Christian denomination has a statement about the need to respect, enjoy, and protect God's gift of the world around us Underlying these statements are a set of core values that speak to the heart of religious morals and ethics: spirituality, stewardship, sustainability, and justice. Seeking God through an outdoor experience
HAVEN MINISTRIES believes that when God is sought in an outdoors environment, that the place can become a place of blessing for one's own practice of their faith. The Word of God recounts numerous instances where this occurred. Jacob awoke from a dream and declared the place sacred. Moses found the burning bush. Jesus was transfigured atop a mountain. The Apostle Paul was converted on a dirt roadway. In more modern times, John Chapman, popularly known as Johnny Appleseed, was converted in a wilderness setting. Charles Finney, the great evangelist, had an experience of tremendous blessing while in a grove of poplar trees. The time spend in the outdoors has almost always resulted in a spiritual blessing and refreshing of the inner spirit. SPIRITUAL VALUES
HAVEN MINISTRIES believes that through one's experience in the outdoors, that individuals may attain a number of spiritual values. These include, but are not limited to:
* THANKFULNESS. A time of thanksgiving to our God and creator leads into worship and praise. As we spend quiet time in intimate worship and praise, we become even more thankful.
* WONDERMENT. A sense of wonder allows us to be like small children who can be open to learning, being taught, and humbled.
* OBEDIENCE. All things work together according to a divine purpose and order, divine laws and principles. The outdoors teaches obedience to our creator as it demonstrates a fidelity to its existence.
* RENEWAL. The outdoors connects us to the processes of renewal and restoration. It embodies the rhythms and principles of life, death, and new life. It brings relaxation. Nature is God's therapy for our minds and spirits that result in the therapy being restorative, re-creative, regenerative, and revitalizing.
* SOLITUDE. The outdoors fosters solitude. Solitude cultivates reflection of ourselves and our values. We learn to know ourselves. Like the prophets of old, we encounter a Presence that is far greater than ourselves. We sense the touch of eternity. Our thoughts are tested in that Divine Presence. We gain perspective and inspiration.