Tag Archives: nature

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

Thanksgiving or “that other holiday”? Keeping the “Thanks” in Thanksgiving

We’re sharing our Care of Creation Thanksgiving meditation with our friends at Our Father’s World as well.  Enjoy!  If you find this helpful, please let us know and share with your friends.


Thanksgiving, 2014

Dear Friends,

As I write to you, the sun is coming up on a bright, snowy scene outside my window. A light morning fog is already burning off and it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful brisk November morning in southern Wisconsin. There is some snow in the forecast, and it is perhaps a bit chilly for this early in the year (15 degrees F – that’s about -10 C) but it is still a good opportunity to reflect on and rejoice in the beautiful world God has given us. Continue reading

Will We Sustain Disruption or Disrupt Sustainability?

“Dude…Disruption? What disruption? My car is right here.” Cars and more were buried  in Buffalo, NY’s November 2014  snow-valanche of 6+ feet.  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? Will we sustain, that is endure or survive, disruption or will we disrupt sustainability and see disruption keep us from surviving and thriving?  How should we deal with disruptions? Should we, can we, hope to prevent them? Ignore them? Eliminate them? Control them? Reduce Continue reading