“It’s Complicated”: An Update on the Monarch Butterfly

Two months ago I posted a story here on the fate of the Monarch butterfly which many of you read and shared. This week we have an update from the New York Times that is worth reviewing briefly. There is good news and bad news, and, for me, a new sense of how complicated these things are. Many of us who are trying to help may not have been helping as much as we thought.

So listen up – this is important for the butterflies, and for us. Continue reading

Will We Sustain Disruption or Disrupt Sustainability?

Dude, where’s my car? Buried beneath 4+ feet of snow in Buffalo, NY. Image from Huffington Post, click for source.

We live in an age that stumbles and staggers over disruption after disruption. Each year, month, week, day, hour, even minute something new interrupts the normal progress or activity of life and society. Droughts prevent farmers in California from planting and harvesting. New ride services like Uber and Lyft prevent cab companies from getting all the customers they used to in cities large and small. An Ebola epidemic prevents traditional rhythms of embrace and connection in West African communities. A six foot November snowfall prevents travel and commerce in Buffalo, NY.

What does this mean? How should we deal with disruptions? Should we, can we, hope to prevent them? Ignore them? Eliminate them? Control them? Reduce them? Prepare for them? Embrace them? Continue reading

Backpacking and the Easy Yoke of Christ

by Lowell Bliss.  This is the second in a series of articles that grew out of Lowell’s trip to Rocky Mountain National Park this past October.  Click HERE to read part one.

A view of the Rockies. Photo by Brittany Ederer

A spiritual director recently advised me to identify my longings. After only a couple of days of prayerful reflection I thought I knew: I wanted to work for Jesus and make a contribution to the world (particularly in creation care and environmental missions), but in doing so, I didn’t want to be responsible for the world. I wanted to work restfully. In other words, I had a longing for the easy yoke of Christ.

The first step, it seemed to me, in pursuing my longings was to memorize Matthew 11:28-30. After that, I could pray through the passage regularly, leisurely, and intimately which I did so thusly:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,

Jesus, I come. And I certainly qualify because I am weary and burdened. Continue reading

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Three Cheers for Habitat

Wildlife Preserves…get it? Click for source.

Last week, “the largest state-based conservation initiative in U.S. history” was passed by voters in Florida.  Seventy-five percent of voters approved Amendment 1 to set aside $10 billion dollars (that’s $10,000,000,000) of tax money over the next ten years; it could be used to purchase “environmentally-sensitive land,” protect current conservation areas, as well as beef up restoration in areas like the Everglades National Park.

This is great news!  Not only did Floridians show nonpartisan support for something in an era of strong partisanship, but they paved the way for conserving amazing ecosystems teeming with plants and endangered wildlife like the Florida panther, Everglade snail kite, Key deer, and Choctawhatchee beach mouse.

Everyone needs a home. Continue reading

An engineer, a priest, a pilot and a salesman

walk into a bar…

Actually, they walked onto a plane…

(originally posted 5/9/09)

Flickr CC License
Flickr CC License

Not long ago I flew from Madison WI to Hartford CT for a speaking tour, and returned by the same route 10 days later. Two flights each direction (Madison to Detroit, Detroit to Hartford) yielded a total of four seatmates, the aforementioned engineer, priest, airline pilot and salesman, and four very interesting conversations.

Continue reading

A Conversation about God, His Creation and Our Role in Creation