Tag Archives: nature

How do you pray about an oil spill?

Today is the 45th celebration of Earth Day.  Monday of this week was the fifth anniversary of the worst environmental disaster in US history, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The damage to the Gulf was more severe and longer lasting than even the pessimists predicted:

Cynthia Sarthou, executive director of Gulf Restoration Network, says that after five years, there are more questions than answers about what the lingering impact of the spill means.

“Dolphin deaths continue, oil is still on the bottom of the ocean, tar balls keep coming up,” she says. “And nobody really is able to say what we may find in five years, 10 years. It’s really distressing to me.”

Sarthou says there’s no certainty the spill won’t be a problem for generations to come. (NPR)

So, five years after this disaster, and 45 years after the nation started trying to do something about this kind of thing, we ask again, “How long?”   Below is a repost of one of our original commentaries on the oil spill from May 20, 2010.  The oil well had been gushing for a month already, and we asked:

How do you pray about an oil spill?

It’s a legitimate question:  The news is getting worse by the day for those of us many miles away, and no doubt by the hour for those living in the area of impact.  This morning we learned that some experts believe the amount of oil leaking may be much more than even the revised estimate of 5,000 barrels per day. More worrisome than that, there is now real concern that the oil may join the Gulf stream ocean current, which would send it around the tip of Florida and all the way up the East Coast of the United States, staining beaches and killing wildlife as it goes. Continue reading

What Role Does Faith Play? God Draws Straight with Crooked Lines…

Kermit Hovey pausing during a bike ride through a forested path in 2013.
Kermit Hovey pausing during a bike ride through a forested path in 2013.

“What role does faith play in you discovering and living your purpose?”  Last year I met Sterling Lynk, strategist and coach, at the Madison Non-Profit Day conference. He chose to interview me about that question and the particulars of my story of faith, purpose and work at Care of Creation.

In his article at www.mightypurpose.me, Sterling introduces the topic before sharing both an invitation to Care of Creation’s April 18th Tenth Anniversary Celebration and his interview with me.  A partial excerpt follows:

“Sterling Lynk: Tell us a little about Continue reading

Nature Amnesia and “Body Building”: How the Church might Help

Must be a boring party… Photo used under Creative Commons License.

I was walking from one dorm building to another to meet up with some friends a few winters ago, fresh snow falling thickly as I crossed the courtyard.  I was texting one of these friends when I abruptly collided with a white van…a parked vehicle. I quickly looked around to make sure no one had seen me walk into the van, when I noticed that someone was sitting in the driver’s seat!  I might have imagined it, but I think he was laughing.  Mortified, I hurried away, vowing to pay better attention in the future. Continue reading

The Wisdom of the Caterpillar

Papilio machaon  Swallowtail caterpillarIn this season of renewal and resolutions, we have high hopes for the coming year, and expectations of change and growth.  In Philippians 3:12-14, Paul writes from prison, urging the church at Philippi to not become stagnant, but to continue to make progress in their faith.  He writes,

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal,but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Continue reading

A Walk in the Woods

Bill Bryson spent several months walking the Appalachian trail in order to write his book, A Walk in the Woods.  I just spent an hour on a bike trail near my home in Madison WI yesterday afternoon.  Bill got a whole book (yes, it’s worth reading – go find it!), while I got about five paragraphs, though in terms of words per hour invested, I’m probably ahead of him.  In terms of useful thoughts, you’ll have to let me know.  It was a profitable hour for me: Continue reading

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