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

Friday, March 23, 2018

The Canticle of Creation



The Canticle of Creation


O Most High, all-powerful, good Lord God,
to you belong praise, glory,
honour and all blessing.
Be praised, my Lord, for all your creation
and especially for our Brother Sun,
who brings us the day and the light;
he is strong and shines magnificently.
O Lord, we think of you when we look at him.
Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Moon,
and for the stars
which you have set shining and lovely
in the heavens.
Be praised, my Lord,
for our Brothers Wind and Air
and every kind of weather
by which you, Lord,
uphold life in all your creatures.
Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Water,
who is very useful to us,
and humble and precious and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, for Brother Fire,
through whom you give us light in the darkness:
he is bright and lively and strong.
Be praised, my Lord,
for Sister Earth, our Mother,
who nourishes us and sustains us,
bringing forth
fruits and vegetables of many kinds
and flowers of many colours.
Be praised, my Lord,
for those who forgive for love of you;
and for those
who bear sickness and weakness
in peace and patience
- you will grant them a crown.
Be praised, my Lord, for our Sister Death,
whom we must all face.
I praise and bless you, Lord,
and I give thanks to you,
and I will serve you in all humility.

by Saint Francis of Assisi

Photo Credit: www.pixabay.com

Friday, March 16, 2018

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 67: Wind Unseen





Key Verse

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,” Galatians 5:22 WEB

Lesson

Can you see the wind? Of course not. Can you hear it? Nope. That might surprise you. We often talk of hearing the wind. In actuality, we are only hearing the affects of the wind. When the wind blows by, the air itself makes no noise. The sound comes from the air interacting with objects it meets. You only hear the affects of wind.

Air can cause sounds in many ways through its interactions with different objects. It can cause a kite to flap making a distinct noise. It can rattle the windows in your house. When the wind blows past your ear or through a whistle it creates yet another sound. All these interactions cause the air to separate rapidly creating pressure waves. These pressure waves are what make the sound of the wind. On its own, wind cannot be seen or heard, but when it affects an object it is quite obvious.

It is similar with the Holy Spirit. It cannot be seen or heard. Its movements are unknown to us until it affects a person. When the Holy Spirit interacts with a person, and that person is receptive, the affects are often quite obvious. Galatians 5:22 tells us what to look for – the fruit of the Spirit. When a person is changed by accepting Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes into their heart and begins to make them more kind, patient, loving, joyful, and good. Watch for the affects of the Holy Spirit in your life and those around you.

Questions

In what other ways does the Holy Spirit change people?

How has the Holy Spirit affected you?

Can we affect what the Holy Spirit does? If so, how?



Written by David F. Garner

Photo Credit: @mostafawagdi via www.twenty20.com

Friday, March 9, 2018

Autumn And Winter


 

Autumn And Winter


I.

Beautiful Autumn is dead and gone--
Weep for her!
Calm, and gracious, and very fair,
With sunny robe and with shining hair,
And a tender light in her dreamy eye,
She came to earth but to smile and die--
Weep for her!

Nay, nay, I will not weep!
She came with a smile,
And tarried awhile,
Quieting Nature to sleep;--
Then went on her way
O'er the hill-tops grey,
And yet--and yet, she is dead, you say!
Nay!--she brought us blessings, and left us cheer,
And alive and well shell return next year!--
Why should I weep? 
 
II.

Desolate Winter has come again--
Frown on him!
He comes with a withering breath,
With a gloomy scowl,
With a shriek and a howl,
Freezing Nature to death!
He stamps on the hills,
He fetters the rills,
And every hollow with snow he fills!
Frown on the monster grim and old,
With snowy robes and with fingers cold,
And a gusty breath!

Nay, nay! I shall give him a smile!--
For I know by the sleet,
And the snow in the street,
He has come to tarry awhile.
Ho, for the sleigh-bells merrily ringing!
Ho, for the skaters joyously singing--
Over the ice-fields gliding, swinging!--
So let the Winter-king whiten the plain!
Fetter the fountains and frost the pane,
His greeting shall be--
Not a frown from me,
But a smile--a smile!

  By Mrs. J. C. Yule


Source: Poems of the Heart and Home By Mrs. J. C. Yule
Photo Credit: