In the last WWYW post I said that "Worship While You Eat" would be the next topic of conversation, but the front page of today's South Bend Tribune compels me to take back my word and exhort you with something of pressing importance.

Worship While You Recycle

News productions here in Michiana are about fifteen years behind Chicago's when it comes to quality and technological capability, but especially content. It is nothing unusual for the main story to involve a missing dog or a county frog race for charity. The first thing the eyes of local residents fell upon when they picked up their SB Tribune this morning was:

Now, this hardily warrants a blog post exhorting us all to seriously participate in yet another form of everyday worship - recycling - but what Tribune Staff Writer Jeff Parrott says next is shocking. I warn you, what you are about to read is quite disturbing. I quiver at the thought of what might happen to the reputations of the persons represented here. May God have mercy on them for their unworshipful lifestyle and disregard for His creation.

Melissa Flanigan says she and her husband, Ryan, try to recycle, but admits sometimes she ends up tossing waste in the kitchen trash rather than carrying it out to their recycling cart in the garage.

"We definitely could recycle more," the Granger mother said. "We get lazy."

St. Joseph County officials, hoping to boost recycling, are eyeing a new program that would entice her with cash to take that extra step, such as placing a recycling container in her kitchen.

I am at a loss for words. What can I say? We've been exposed. The world now knows the truth about the non-worshiping Worship Pastor of River Valley Community Church.

But here is what the world does not know. My wife, Melissa A. Flanigan, Worship Arts Degree Recipient from Judson University, is the most amazing, beautiful, God fearing, Spirit led, Christ proclaiming, husband loving, daughter nurturing, unborn son gestating, home caring, everyday worshiping, prayerful and honest woman on the planet. What the world does not know is that Melissa tossed out a pop can yesterday while Lily was pulling Isabella's glasses off, while Ava was making it known and heard that she really wanted her formula that was heating in the microwave, and while Liam was strengthening his legs for future soccer tournaments, mistaking Melissa's bladder for a ball. And what the Truth Bend Tribune forgot to mention was that Ryan came home from work at five o'clock, kissed his wife hello, began straightening up for Home Group, opened up the kitchen trash bin to see if it needed to be emptied, saw that it was "half full," removed the pop can and placed it outside in the overflowing recycle bin, which is brimming because he hasn't brought it to the curb in over a month.

A couple weeks ago Melissa called the recycling company to see if they also provide garbage removal services, hoping that we could arrange for both our trash and our recyclables to be picked up on the same day. No dice. Coincidentally, Melissa received a random phone call from the newspaper yesterday, in which a kind gentleman asked her a few questions about recycling, and to which she honestly replied. To the Tribune's credit, they very accurately quoted Melissa in today's column. "That's pretty much word for word what I said," Melissa told me. I now realize how small town we are: We made the front page of the primary press with this world-rocking story.

On a secondary note, we do not need a cash incentive to be good stewards of God's creation. All we need is His mandate to cultivate the earth, to work at keeping and guarding it, which is our priestly, worshipful responsibility given to us in Christ Jesus and attainable by His grace.

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