November 17, 2011
Many of the trees in our area have now dropped their leaves but this beautiful tree is still in full autumn vibrancy. The rain fell steadily yesterday causing the yards and roads to be splattered with loads of leaves. The trees will soon be wearing their barren winter coats.
“He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish” (1 Kings 4:33).
The autumn leaves are so beautiful in our area, whether a panoramic distant view, up close at a cluster of leaves, or even a single leaf! Brooksyne took the photo to the right. Here’s a large version suitable for a desktop background. The leaves are in the beautiful reds, yellows and oranges of fall although it soon will pass!
The daily text is an often overlooked aspect of Solomon’s broad interests and a part of the vast knowledge he was famed for. In this brief verse we see Solomon’s interest in Botany, Dendrology, Zoology, Ornithology, Herpetology and Ichthyology.
Take a single leaf such as the Oak leaf to the left. Look it over and carefully make observations. Sort of like high school chemistry and the opening exercise (at least when I went to High School) of observing the flame of a candle. It’s interesting when you take a single leaf and carefully examine it to see how much can be observed!
Science is often characterized as an adversary to faith. It seems that many use it as an excuse and basis for their unbelief. But science is the observation and study of God’s created order and as such it can be a tremendous aid to faith.
The Psalmist declares, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1). God’s hand is visible whether in the starry skies far beyond reach or in the amazing molecular structure of a single living cell.
I’m not an accredited scientist but I sure see the hand of God wherever I look. What about you? Look up and out, down and around you today! And consider the wondrous blessings of God’s handiwork.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, we count among our rich blessings the bounty of Your handiwork – whether it’s that which we can observe only at a distance or that which we can examine closely, touch with our hands, smell or taste. You are a benevolent Father, giving us so much to enjoy. Creation declares Your glory causing us to delight in Your creativity, in all its bountiful and varied displays. We give You thanks for it all. Amen.
“All Heaven Declares” Video
“Eternity” Video Brian Doerksen
“Only You” Video Vineyard Music
Last week I shared a photo and an observation about our front lawn oaks and a thoughtful reader shared this poem:
by Jon Hassler
Among the four seasons’ perpetual jokes
Is the winter appearance of overdressed oaks
Refusing to fall with the sleet an snow
Oak leaves cling, lifelike, through fifty below
Until they are nudged by the force of the sap
Rising to fashion the oak a spring wrap.
I hope when it’s Autumn and winter for me
I can look as alive as the overdressed tree
And during the lengthening nights I can cling
To my wits and my heart – the tokens of spring
Only releasing them into the sod
The moment I’m dressed in the glory of God.
to enrich the spiritual impact of the Thanksgiving holiday.
We will post these resources through Thanksgiving Day here in the US (November 24).
“Thankful For The Thorns”: A family reading and exercise that is a wonderful way to give a thoughtful focus around your Thanksgiving Table. The Thanksgiving celebration typically includes family coming together for a huge meal and hopefully a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. However it can often be difficult to have a spiritually oriented conversation. Why not add some stimulating discussion about the ways God has worked in your life over the past year! Some of you are not in charge and are only visitors at your Thanksgiving gathering, but if it is possible share together around the table the theme of “Thankful for the Thorns” (printable webpage).
“A Thanksgiving family exercise” (pdf). We have used this questionnaire as a stimulus for discussion among family members in the past in our home. We encourage you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after the meal.
A Thanksgiving prayer: Written by Joe Sherer, a pastor friend of ours and shared as the benediction at our community Thanksgiving Eve service several years ago. (printable webpage) For those who enjoy written prayers this would be a beautiful prayer to read together at the Thanksgiving table.
A Thanksgiving Scripture reading: A selection of Old and New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for church, family and personal readings. (pdf) (Suitable for printing out and copying.)
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Ministry Update (Revised 10/21/11)