Friday, May 18, 2018

This Is My Father's World


This Is My Father's World


This is my Father's world, 
And to my list'ning ears, 
All nature sings, 
And round me rings 
The music of the spheres. 

This is my Father's world, 
I rest me in the thought 
Of rocks and trees, 
Of skies and seas 
His hand the wonders wrought. 

This is my Father's world, 
The birds their carols raise, 
The morning light, 
The lily white, 
Declare their Maker's praise. 

This is my Father's world, 
He shines in all that's fair; 
In the rustling grass 
I hear Him pass, 
He speaks to me ev'rywhere. 

This is my Father's world, 
O let me ne'er forget 
That though the wrong 
Seems oft so strong, 
God is the ruler yet. 

This my Father's world, 
Why should my heart be sad? 
The Lord is King
Let the heavens ring: 
God reigns: let the earth be glad.

by Maltbie D. Babcock

Photo Credit: 12019 via www.pixabay.com

Friday, May 4, 2018

For The Beauty Of The Earth


For The Beauty Of The Earth


1. For the beauty of the earth, 
For the glory of the skies; 
For the love which from our birth, 
Over and around us lies; 
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
This, our hymn of grateful praise. 

2. For the wonder of each hour, 
Of the day and of the night; 
Hill and vale and tree and flow'r, 
Sun and moon, and stars of light; 
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
This, our hymn of grateful praise. 

3. For the joy of ear and eye, 
For the heart and mind's delight; 
For the mystic harmony, 
Linking sense to sound and sight; 
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
This, our hymn of grateful praise. 

4. For the joy of human love, 
Brother, sister, parent, child; 
Friends on Earth and friends above, 
For all gentle thoughts and mild; 
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
This, our hymn of grateful praise. 
5. For Thy church that evermore, 
Lifteth holy hands above; 
Off'ring up on ev'ry shore, 
Her pure sacrifice of love; 
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
This, our hymn of grateful praise. 
Amen.

by Folliott S. Pierpont


Photo Credit:  kareni via www.pixabay.com

Friday, April 27, 2018

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 70: A Well Worn Saddle




Key Verse

“Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 WEB

Lesson

A horse and saddle are perhaps the oldest form of transportation besides going about on two feet. Little thought is given to the saddle beyond its name. Yet every horse rider can testify to its importance. The saddle is second in importance only to the bridle. The purpose of the saddle is to make the ride easier for the horse and the rider and to aid the rider in maintaining proper position astride the horse. A good saddle must fit both the horse and the rider, or it will cause injury.

An experienced rider has a worn and broken-in saddle. But it is not neglected, it must be oiled and tended regularly. A saddle well cared for can last a lifetime. All saddles may look similar to the untrained eye. But there are many types of saddles all suited for various types of riding. Yet they all perform the same important function – to link the horse and rider and to aid them in whatever quest they may find.1

The saddle is like the Bible in many regards. Any experienced Christian can tell of its importance. Far too many Christians let it sit on a shelf new and shiny like an unused saddle. The experienced Christian will have a broken-in, yet well-tended Bible. Other Christians will say they believe in the Bible, thinking salvation is in its pages. They place the Bible above its Author, yet can a saddle provide transport without a horse? The Bible is only a link connecting us to its Author in whom we find help (John 5:39-40).

The purpose of the Bible is to make our ride on this earth easier and to aid us in our connection to Jesus. It was especially designed for this purpose and we need it to maintain our relationship with him. As Paul the Apostle stated so eloquently in the key verse, every verse in the Bible is for our instruction and growth as sons and daughters of God so that we may be ‘thoroughly equipped’ for our quest of his Kingdom!

Questions

What does it mean to have a broken-in, yet well-tended Bible?

When asked if we believe in the Bible, what would be a good response?

Can those who never know of the Bible be saved?

Sources

1. Deborah Burns, (ed). Storey’s Horse-Lovers Encyclopedia. (North Adams, MA: Storey Communications, 2001): 343.



Written by David F. Garner

Photo Credit: Bhakti2 via www.pixabay.com


Friday, April 20, 2018

IS NOT THIS THE LAND OF BEAULAH?


IS NOT THIS THE LAND OF BEAULAH? 


Is Not This The Land of Beulah? 
I am dwelling on the mountain, 
Where the golden sunlight gleams, 
O'er a land of wondrous beauty, 
Far exceeds my fondest dreams; 
Where the air is pure, ethereal, 
Laden with the the breath of flowers, 
They are blooming by the fountain, 
'Neath the amaranthine bowers. 
I can see far down the mountain, 
Where I wandered weary years, 
Often hindered in my journey 
By the ghosts of doubts and fears, 
Broken vows and disappointments 
Thickly sprinkled all the way; 
But the Spirit led unerring 
To the land I hold today. 
I am drinking at the fountain, 
Where I ever would abide, 
For I've tasted life's pure river, 
And my soul is satisfied; 
There's no thirsting for life's pleasures, 
Nor adorning rich and gay, 
For I've found a richer treasure, 
One that fadeth not away. 
Tell me not of heavy crosses, 
Nor of burdens hard to bear, 
For I've found this great salvation, 
Makes each burden light appear; 
And I love to follow Jesus, 
Gladly counting all but dross, 
Worldly honors all forsaking 
For the glory of the cross. 
Oh, the cross has wondrous glory! 
Oft I've proved this to be true, 
When I'm in the way so narrow, 
I can see a pathway through; 
And how sweetly Jesus whispers, 
"Take the cross, thou need'st not fear, 
For I've trod the way before thee, 
And the glory lingers near." 
Is not this the Land of Beaulah, 
Blessed, blessed land of light, 
Where the flowers bloom forever, 
And the sun is always bright?

By Anonymous  

Photo Credit: 12019 via www.pixabay.com

Friday, April 13, 2018

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 69: A Seed's Power





Key Verse

"He causes the grass to grow for the livestock, and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food out of the earth:" Psalm 104:14 NHEB

Lesson

Have you ever wondered how a seed sprouts and pushes up through heavy soil? Or how a small root can crack rock and break through concrete? The power of nature can be marvelous. The secret of a plant’s power lies in the structure of its cells. Plant cells have strong cell walls unlike animal cells. These walls give plant cells reinforcement. When the seed encounters the proper temperature and moisture conditions the growth or germination process will begin. Water enters the seed through a small hole in the shell called the micropyle.

This process of water absorption is called imbibition. As water is taken into the cells of the plant, they swell but do not burst because of the cell wall reinforcement. This creates pressure inside the seed (turgor pressure). It is impossible to compress water, so the pressure builds due to the swelling cells until the sprout forces its way out of the shell. As the plant grows its cells multiply and fill with water through osmosis. This gives the plant enough power to push through the soil or even rock and stand up against gravity. Turgor pressure is an amazing power. It enables soft plants to move and break rock and dirt many times heavier.1,2,3 Mushrooms have even been documented breaking up through the concrete of a road.

The power of God can be seen here through the delicately yet complexly wrought process by which a tiny plant shoot can pierce rock and concrete. Only through the power of God is this process maintained as the key verse pointed out. Though science explains how this process works, it is God's power that maintains it. For all life is maintained by God's own power. All life lasts only as long as he allows. The grass withers, the flower fades, because the wind of the Lord blows upon it Isaiah 40:7 (paraphrased).

Will you ever again doubt that God is able to do what he promises? Whenever you walk out-of-doors and see the grass, or indoors and see a potted plant, you will be reminded of the power given to it as a small seedling. If God is able to care for the grass, is he not able to care for you (Matthew 6:30)? God’s power goes beyond our imagination. And he wants to use it for our benefit. All that we must do is ask. “Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” Ephesians 3:20 NHEB.

Questions

What is your favorite kind of plant? What will this remind you of now?

What other examples does the Bible give of God’s power?

Why do we often fail to see God’s power in our own life?

What do we do when we ask God for something within his capability yet do not receive?

Sources

1. Michael W. Davidson. (1995). Plant Cell Vacuoles. Molecular Expressions. Retrieved January 9, 2018, from https://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/cells/plants/vacuole.html.

2. "imbibition." A Dictionary of Biology. Retrieved January 9, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/imbibition-1.

3. Mary Osborne. (September 21, 2017). How Does a Bean Seed Grow? Gardenguides.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018 from https://www.gardenguides.com/77371-bean-seed-grow.html.



Written by David F. Garner

Photo Credit: TambiraPhotography via www.pixabay.com





Friday, April 6, 2018

England, My Mother (God As Poet)

 

 

England, My Mother

Second Stanza

Lo, with the ancient
Roots of man's nature,
Twines the eternal
Passion of song.

Ever Love fans it,
Ever Life feeds it,
Time cannot age it;
Death cannot slay.

Deep in the world-heart
Stand its foundations,
Tangled with all things,
Twin-made with all.

Nay, what is Nature's
Self, but an endless
Strife toward music,
Euphony, rhyme?

Trees in their blooming,
Tides in their flowing,
Stars in their circling,
Tremble with song.

God on His throne is
Eldest of poets:
Unto His measures
Moveth the Whole.

by Sir William Watson

Photo Credit:  freenote via www.pixabay.com

Friday, March 30, 2018

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 68: Spiritual Refuse




Key Verse

“He said, "That which proceeds out of the man, that defiles the man. For from within, out of the hearts of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual sins, murders, thefts, covetings, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."” Mark 7:20-23 WEB

Lesson

Walking down a trail or along the beach and seeing a trash everywhere is annoying. No one likes to see trash and litter strewn among the beauty of nature. Sadly, many people are indifferent to it, but no one likes it. It takes away from the natural beauty, it is ugly. It also damages the area over time. There are many types of trash and they are all ugly and damaging. Trash takes a very long time to decompose and will harm the animals and plants in the process.

We try hard to keep trash from getting into these natural places. Even with all the trash cans and recycle bins, some trash will inevitably escape. The only way to take care of the unsightly trash is to get someone to carefully remove each little piece. They must keep coming back to remove new litter. It requires constant maintenance to ensure that our natural places stay free of contamination.

Litter is a lot like sin. It defiles our hearts and is rather ugly. Over time it causes great damage to each person and those around them. Sin has many forms, but it all has the same effect. We can try to keep sin from getting into our hearts. However, as Jesus pointed out, it is already there. The only solution is to have someone carefully remove it, then keep going back to them to ensure new sins are removed. The only person who can do this is Jesus. No mater what type of sinful trash is in your life, Jesus can remove it, and he wants to!

Questions

Can you think of other types of sin not listed in the key verse?

Will our sin decompose or go away with time?

Why did Jesus say that evil comes from within?

How does Jesus remove the spiritual refuse or trash in our lives?



Written by David F. Garner

Photo Credit: bilyjan via www.pixabay.com