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It is easy to see why blatant sins like lust, pride, and the love of money can impede spiritual passion and affection. It is not so easy to discern the subtle effects other lifestyle habits have on our zeal and vitality. One area that I find receives little attention is the role of the creation in maintaining our spiritual health.

Drought, spiritual

I can find refreshment in a simple hike or walk. This ties in with the last point but belongs in its own category because one does not necessarily need to be outdoors in order to get exercise. Now, lest this sound unspiritual and more like I am suggesting things that are only beneficial to those of a particular physiological makeup, let me have Don Whitney weigh in on this often neglected yet important topic,. Our bodies are not merely disposable containers for our eternal souls.

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God could have made us to be disembodied souls, living forever in a condition like the souls in Heaven live while waiting for resurrected bodies…But He created us to be complete as a unity of body and soul. One of the ways the body can have a positive effect upon the soul is through recreational physical activity. Because most spiritual practices [disciplines: reading, writing, study, meditation, etc. And the monotony of that can lessen the impact of our spiritual practices.

Do forests relieve crop thirst in the face of drought? Empirical evidence from South China

The variety that recreational physical activity provides to the brain cells and muscle fibers of a body may help to refresh the soul that dwells in it Simplify Your Spiritual Life. Many will find their spiritual vitality renewed by simply going on a thirty minute walk or run, or by going for a swim, or by riding their bike, or by hiking some of the trails near their house.

I am often amazed at how a little bit of exercise benefits me mentally and spiritually.

Perhaps you are pursuing the Lord, mortifying sin, regular in Bible reading and prayer, and yet find your soul dry and dusty—maybe you should go on a run. When we choose laziness over diligence, this can often lead to spiritual dryness, even depression. And this process usually perpetuates itself: laziness will create spiritual dryness; when we are spiritually dry and depressed, we are usually not powerfully motivated to pursue diligence. But it is precisely at this point that we need to break the cycle. We were made to work—when we subvert this fundamental aspect of our personhood, we will find ourselves spiritually dry and frustrated.

Laziness never satisfies. That is one reason why Scripture is replete with commands to pursue diligence and faithfulness. If we find ourselves in a spiritual desert, we should consider whether or not we have been faithful in our responsibilities. Ironically, when we find ourselves spiritually dry, it is best to not ruminate over our condition for too long—this can lead to an unhealthy preoccupation with ourselves and to morbid introspection.

This is another situation that can perpetuate itself: the more we experience spiritual drought, the more we are tempted to examine ourselves and look inside; the more we look inside, the more we may experience spiritual frustration. Martyn Lloyd Jones is insightful here,. We are meant to examine ourselves periodically, but if we are always doing it, always, as it were, putting our soul on a plate and dissecting it, that is introspection.

And if we are always talking to people about ourselves and our problems and troubles, and if we are forever going to them with that kind of frown upon our face saying: I am in great difficulty-it probably means that we are all the time centered upon ourselves. That is introspection, and that in turn leads to the condition known as morbidity. When we are focused on ourselves, for even what we consider a good reason, this can lead to more spiritual dryness because we are turning away from an infinite source of spiritual refreshment to a finite and sinful human being.

We must be careful to not let our self-examination turn into a fixed gaze upon our hearts. Oh foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?

It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain-if indeed it was in vain?


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The Galatians experienced the freedom and joy of the Holy Spirit, not by keeping commandments in order to gain salvation, but by hearing and believing a message—the gospel message. None of these suggestions will guard us from all spiritual drought. Because we are sinful and because we live in a fallen world with fallen bodies, we must face up to the reality that spiritual dryness will come again. Knowing this and recognizing potential causes of spiritual drought can help us to weather seasons of little or no rain.

There are more factors, I am sure, that play into our enjoyment of spiritual saturation or the lack thereof. These are the causes that I have determined to be primary and most important. Yet, the most encouraging word I could give is probably this: there is coming a day when there will be no more drought, only abundance. We will someday enjoy the actual presence of Christ and find at his right hand pleasures forever Psalm —increasing joy and satisfaction for all for eternity. What keeps us moving through the desert is knowing for certain that an oasis lies over the next hill.

So where's all the water going?

Derek J. For the Truth. For the Church. For the World. Serious environmental damage has been done. But while those figures sound high, environmental damage and a failure to invest in protection remains apparent. Forest cover includes huge swathes of commercial rubber, eucalyptus and fir plantations. Little original forest, which is able to store water, is left. Importance of natural forest Central and north-western Yunnan, where water and soil loss due to damaged forests is most common, has been hardest hit.

In the prefecture of Chuxiong, forest cover has dropped from These areas tend to be arid valleys, already lacking precipitation, and deforestation makes droughts and landslides more likely. In these ecosystems, loss of vegetation is hard to remedy and a cycle of droughts may start. The value of natural forests has been ignored.

Despite years of drought, better-protected nature reserves have coped well, and have even been able to provide drinking water for neighbouring residents through small pipe networks. The difference with badly-degraded areas is clear. The damage reflects a failure to protect forests. And of the six, only the Yangtze enjoys protection of the natural forests at its source the only other place where such measures are in place is Xishuangbanna in southern Yunnan. Investment in other rivers is low. Without incentives to protect the environment, forest owners are more inclined to plant profitable cash crops.

Protecting natural regulation of the water supply should be the primary objective for Yunnan as it attempts to combat droughts. Anything else will simply worsen the problem. Many rivers and lakes, including Dianchi lake outside the provincial capital Kunming, are now polluted. In the dry season, some areas have no drinkable water.

Dianchi is a typical example. Now it is heavily polluted and provincial capital Kunming has had to build infrastructure to bring water in from elsewhere. Pollution from the expanding mining industry is making river water undrinkable.

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The Bi River, a tributary of the Lancang, is another good example. Lead and zinc mining have sent heavy-metal levels far above permitted levels, while residents of county seat Yunlong can no longer drink direct from the river — they take their water from a nearby nature reserve, meaning rural areas lose out to ensure supply to the town. Of its nine plateau lakes, only Fuxian and Lugu still have Class I quality water.

Erhai has improved after treatment, but the others remain polluted. If water pollution is not dealt with, there will not be enough clean water. Without appropriate waste disposal services, both rural and city residents habitually throw rubbish into the river. At Lujiangba, on the Nu River, it is common for waste to be dumped unsorted into rivers, and this type of pollution is more apparent during droughts.