I’ve just come in from a walk around our office’s neighborhood. Even though winter is technically over, the landscape is brown and dead. There are no leaves on the trees. There are no leaves on the bushes. Flower beds are empty, some still covered with winter mulch. If you dropped in from, say, Florida, your reaction might well be, “Why do you guys live in a place like this? It feels so… dead!”
But it isn’t winter any more. The air is warm. Those bare branches are teeming with birds whose songs seem even louder in the stark, brown landscape. And if you know where to look, you can see buds on trees and bushes getting ready to explode with new green leaves, and pointed green sprouts in otherwise dead flower beds. It isn’t quite spring, but it isn’t winter any more – and we, having lived through another long, cold Wisconsin winter, breathe deep and rejoice. Continue reading →
When winter turns to spring,
When the colors start to reappear, When the snow has melted and the ground can once again see the sun,When the world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful, And sunshine pours in a little earlier each day, I find joy in the process of renewal.
The fattening buds on the eager branches, Finally waking from their winter nap, Silently preparing, To spring.
Spring is a time of restoration,
A time to renew and refresh.
And so it is in our lives,
We are called to be made new,
And we thrive through this renewal,
Shaking off the deadened pieces of our past,
And walking forward as new beings in Christ.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be renewed in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Oil Spills are bad enough – but how do you pray about a Tsunami?
It hasn’t been a year since the Gulf oil spill, which we rightly saw as the worst environmental disaster in memory. At that time I wrote a piece trying to come to terms with that situation: “How Do You Pray about an Oil Spill?” And now I sit pondering a disaster that could turn out to be exponentially greater than the BP/Halliburton fiasco. I am doing so at my dining room table, in a part of the world that is seismically if not politically stable, many miles from the nearest nuclear facility. I am looking out at a landscape where the first birds of spring have arrived and are singing up a storm: Robins, redwing blackbirds, a cedar waxwing and (I think) a pine warbler (see pic below and tell me if I’m right, birders!) just this morning. The contrast between my window and the stories on my computer screen could not be more different, and I am forced to ask the same question I asked last summer: How do I pray about what is now happening in Japan? Continue reading →
“Old Literature” is an occasional series pointing to works of the past, sometimes well known, sometimes not, that have embedded in them a clear creation care message. [Check out previous posts in the series here.] C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books are perfect subjects for this series, and have long been on my mental list. Before I got to him, though, Dean Ohlman at Wonder of Creation blog did the job for me, with a little Isaac Watts and John Newton thrown in for good measure. Here is his meditation on Narnia – reposted by permission:
[Peter said,] “Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets (Acts 3:18-21)
Spring is struggling to find her place here in Wisconsin; as the beauty of once-clean snow banks yields to mounds of trash accumulated over the winter months – soon to be followed, we trust, by tulip blooms and robin hatchlings – we pause for another guest post from Donn Ring. I think I was caught as much by the juxtaposition of a search for lost socks in the dryer (is there a more typical image of our modern human dilemma) while such beauty sits waiting right outside the window. Enjoy! Continue reading →
A Conversation about God, His Creation and Our Role in Creation