We do the things that are important to us. But we don’t always do what we say is important to us. A person of integrity is one who can harmonize what they do, what they say, and what they believe to be important. If there’s an “odd-man-out” in the system, it’s the verbalization of our priorities. I was reminded of this when British Petroleum started running ads after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. After the offshore rig exploded, killing 11 crew-members and leaving an uncapped hole that poured 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP was careful to present itself as an environmentally sensitive company committed to repairing the damage inflicted on the sensitive ecosystems of the Gulf. Economically, BP went from the 2nd largest to the 4th largest oil company after the spill, and BP gas stations in the US reported a sales drop of 10 to 40 percent as consumers expressed their anger about BP’s responsibility for the disaster.

Last Sunday, we began our fall series examining some of the virtues we as Christians are called to show in our lives. The first one we looked at was the virtue of faithfulness, and as I mentioned in the message, it’s hard to talk about faithfulness from a scriptural perspective without considering the story of Abraham. In so many New Testament books, Abraham is held up as the paragon of faithfulness. But there’s a lot more to Abraham than just that.

If you don’t want to get wet, you should stay out of the water. That sounds simple, doesn’t it? It’s obvious when it comes to the material world—the environment we are in influences our state of being—if it’s raining, and we’re out in it, we’re going to get wet. If it’s sunny and hot, our temperature is going to go up. If it’s dark, we can’t see. Self-evident, right? But what about our emotional and spiritual environment? Are we as aware of its influence over our state of being?

It’s the beginning of firewood season for us. I know there are some people who are way ahead of us—they’ve already put up their winter’s supply. But the end of August is actually pretty good considering that our regular pattern consists of running around just before the snow flies trying to find some firewood dry enough to burn. The timing just worked out better this year. But the wood still has to be split before we can move to the next step.

Cody Larson is a subsistence fisheries scientist with the Bristol Bay Native Association. Larson studies the way that native residents of the Bristol Bay area harvest and utilize the natural resources of their land, and he is one co-author of a technical paper published by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on networks of distribution among native communities and beyond. Essentially, he examines the traditional ways native Alaskans share.