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.
My wife Susanna and I recently returned from a four week working trip to the UK. (See my last post). One of the highlights of that visit was a week in Wales staying, just the two of us, at the Hookses, an old farmhouse and outbuildings purchased by John Stott in 1954. This was his personal retreat – he wrote all but the last of his books here – and is now a small retreat center. Our stay was a profound experience for me…Continue reading →
Many of us want to leave a mark in our world: for some, it’s creating a successful business or getting inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame; for others it’s raising the kids to respect and love others, or to help people regain their life after addiction, trafficking, or poverty.
Oftentimes a legacy comes to light after death; I know artists who joke about dying early so their music, paintings, or poetry gain fame. For many of us, we simply can’t know what ripples our lives will create unless someone tells us. “Your friendship has blessed my life so much,” or “your story has really impacted my life, thank you for sharing,” are rare glimpses of the work God does through His work in our lives.
Unless someone tells us, we often don’t know our impact. It would be kind of nice to know, don’t you think? Continue reading →
“The Chinese sturgeon, thought to have existed for more than 140 million years, is now on the brink of extinction, according to local media.”
This is from a recent article I found on the BBC, and I couldn’t help but think of how the Yangtze River has already suffered the extinction of the Baiji dolphin, when in 2006 a concerted search failed to find any evidence of a remnant population. Two well-known species likely gone in less than ten years.
I will admit that the Chinese sturgeon has no impact on my life here in Madison, Wisconsin. I highly doubt I’ll ever see one in person (I’ve never seen a live sturgeon native to this area, either). Yet I find myself indignant that yet another of God’s creations will likely disappear for good. Why do I feel this way? So what if it goes extinct? Continue reading →
Originally published August 31st, 2011. Is it a woodchuck, or a groundhog?
Guest blog: by Lowell Bliss
As part of our summer vacation this year, we found ourselves at Canada’s Wonderland, a colossal amusement park near Toronto. My teenage son has discovered roller coasters as a passion, and so we strapped ourselves into the Behemoth, riding up to a height of 230 feet and then plunging down at 77 mph. The Behemoth cost $26 million to build. But all day it was like that: we were surrounded by acres of ingenious and costly technologies engineered with the sole purpose to amuse and thrill.
As my old body began to wane in the late afternoon, I plopped down on a park bench and waited out my kids who were on another ride. A young teenage girl was standing nearby. Suddenly, I heard her utter a short squeak and I felt something rustling on the ground between my ankles. I looked down. A chubby woodchuck wandered out from under my bench. Behind us was a small wooded lot between paths in the amusement park. A little stream flowed into a pool there and it was hard to tell whether this patch of nature among the tarmac was original or manufactured. Nonetheless, it was apparently where the woodchuck lived. I suspect it was “suppertime,” if that’s what you can call his daily allotment of popcorn and funnel cake. Continue reading →
A Conversation about God, His Creation and Our Role in Creation