Tu B’Shvat – Happy New Year for the Trees

Originally posted Jan. 29th, 2010.  This year, Tu Bishvat is celebrated on February 4th.  

Today’s bit of new knowledge:

Tu B’Shvat in the Jewish calendar begins this evening at sunset – New Year’s Day for Trees.  Here’s a bit of an explanation from Rabbi Yehuda Prero:

The Gemora, when discussing cures for ailments, writes that “a tree that loses its fruits before they ripen should be dyed with a red paint.” What is the point of dying the tree with red paint? How does the red paint prevent the tree from losing its fruits before they ripen? Continue reading

2015 is going to be a very big year for creation care

Happy New Year!2015 may turn out to be one of the most important years in recent history for the environmental movement, for the evangelical creation care movement, and for us and our organization, Care of Creation.  Here’s what’s happening:

Anniversaries
There are a lot of significant anniversaries to celebrate:

  • The 45th anniversary of the celebration of Earth Day comes in April.
  • Personally, it will be 15 years since I joined Au Sable Institute and moved from a traditional ministry framework into what we then called Christian environmental stewardship, now commonly referred to as creation care.
  • And this year marks 10 years since Craig Sorley and I started Care of Creation in April 2005.  We had a modest goal of promoting “environmental missions” that quickly became a passion to mobilize the worldwide church for creation care.  Now, thanks to the prayers and financial support of many of you, we are leading a global effort to do just that.  (We’ll be having a birthday party in Madison on April 18 – mark the date, and plan to join us!)

Continue reading

Biblical Wildlife: Do You Know Lions?

Male Asiatic Lion.

Pop quiz: which word appears more frequently in the Bible: grace or lion?

According to a simple search on Biblegateway.com, the word “grace” is used 125 times in Scripture.  “Lion” is used almost as frequently, with 119 occurrences.  Isn’t it fascinating that lions feature so prominently in stories and imagery of the Bible?  The lion must have held a prominent place in the imaginations and memories of the ancient Israelites and Gentiles; otherwise, Continue reading

Christmas Light

mangerWe shared this devotional with our various newsletter mailing lists this year, and we thought this would be an appropriate message for our blog audience this week.

Happy Christmas!  May you experience its unique light in your life, as we have!  Please feel free to share your thoughts and responses in the comment section or on our Facebook page.

–Ed Brown for the Care of Creation family

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never
walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Isaiah 9:2, John 8:12

For those of us who live in the northern half of the world, Christmas comes at the darkest time of year. Beginning in June, the sun rises later and sets earlier every day, a psychological burden made worse by the device of “daylight saving time”, which now has daylight ending at 4:30 in the afternoon in our hometown of Madison WI. It could be worse: People in Anchorage, Alaska, don’t see the sun until after 10 am and lose it by 3 pm. (Those of you who live near the equator with sunrise and sunset that never changes, cannot possibly understand this – but you can empathize with the rest of us.)  Continue reading

Called to a Hero’s Journey for Christmas and Creation

At this Christmastime, what hero’s journey are you on? To embark on a classic hero’s journey, one needs to recieve and respond to a call that challenges us to move out of our normal lives – to leave convention and risk transformation. (1)

A traditional nativity scene, iconic even though misleading
A traditional nativity scene, iconic even though misleading, and yes, found in my living room.

So let us pause to reflect on a story filled with heroes’ journeys, the Christmas story. This narrative has come to be iconically represented by the nativity scene. Unfortunately repeated exposure to that traditional image through front yard decorations, table-top sets, holiday cards and Christmas pageants too easily transforms a dynamic adventure into a boring collection of misleading clichés. The traditional nativity scene presents a static tableau. It poses Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus, bracketed by ox, ass and lamb, framed by wooden stable, faced by shepherds and wise men, overseen by suspended angel and unmoving star. Frozen and immobile, this scene, this still-frame from Continue reading

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