Sep 22 2010

The Testimony of the Seasons

CO-Rocky-Mountain-NP-tundra-003A little after 11:00 tonight autumn will officially begin.  I’d be more excited about that if they weren’t predicting a high of 94 degrees here tomorrow.  I’ve seen a number of recent news articles indicating that this summer has been the hottest one on record.  This fall may prove to be warmer than normal too.  Still, I have no doubt that the temperatures will soon be more comfortable (for me, anyway) and that the annual brilliant show of autumn colors will shortly begin to make an appearance.

The changing of the seasons is actually something God has promised.  In Genesis 8:22 it says, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”  This is the promise God gave to Noah following the Flood.  Much later the prophet Daniel would remind others that it is God who causes the seasons to change.  He said, “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.  He changes time and seasons…”  (Daniel 2:20-21)

CO-Maroon-Bells-021Even further down the road the apostle Paul spoke of God being behind the changing seasons and how this bears witness to His goodness and faithfulness.  Speaking to a group in Lystra who thought he and Barnabas were Hermes and Zeus because they healed a crippled man, Paul said “turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.  In the past, he let all nations go their own way.  Yet he has not left himself without testimony.  He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

As the seasons change once again today we are reminded that God has ordered this and that it is part of His good plan for Creation.  We are also reminded that the One who consistently brings this cyclic succession is faithful and can be counted on.  This truly is the testimony of the seasons!

–Chuck

(The top image I took at Rocky Mountain National Park in late September.  The bottom picture of Maroon Bells was also taken in Colorado about the same season of the year.)


Sep 30 2009

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Kingdom Come SP Raven Rock fallFall has finally arrived in southeastern Kentucky.  It will be a while before we have any significant color in the foliage but the temperatures have dropped significantly and the feel of fall is in the air.  I love autumn and always have.  I have wonderful childhood memories of making huge piles of leaves and jumping into them.  I remember fall festivals at school and hayrides at church.  From my earliest days I have loved the colors of fall.  Every year I look forward to seeing leaves turn red, yellow, orange, brown and purple.  One of the blessings of living in the southern Appalachians is the glorious autumn display put on by our native hardwoods.

A few weeks ago Rob wrote about fall in southern California and how it, too, has its seasonal changes.  I guess most places do.  I’m very thankful, however, to live where the four seasons are quite distinct.  It adds variety and a sense of rhythm to the year.  It also provides a wonderful reminder of God’s faithfulness.

My favorite hymn is “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”  The second verse reads, “Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, sun, moon and stars in their courses above, join with all nature in manifold witness, to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.”  For the writer of this great hymn, and for me, the changing of the seasons bears witness to God’s faithful hand behind Creation. 

In Genesis 8 God promised Noah that He would maintain the changing seasons.  He told him, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”  As the temperatures have dropped this week and a few leaves have begun to present their fall colors, I am reminded one more time that the Creator of this world is still in control.  It makes me want to sing “Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!”  It also makes me want to go take some pictures…

–Chuck

(The image above was taken at Kingdom Come State Park in southeastern Kentucky.)


Jul 28 2009

Species Protection

calf 3232I am about half way through reading Terry Tempest Williams’ newest book, Finding Beauty in a Broken World.  In this book she writes extensively about the decline in numbers of prairie dogs in North America.  Reading her book has reminded me how important it is to preserve as many species of animals as we can.

There is certainly a biblical background for species protection.  The one that comes first to mind for most people is Noah’s taking the animals aboard the ark so that they would be saved from the Flood.  There is, however, another well-known biblical story that also reveals God’s concern for animals.  It is the story of Jonah.

At the end of Jonah’s story he is frustrated and angry that God did not destroy Nineveh.  After he vents at God it is God’s turn to address Jonah.  He chides Jonah for being more concerned about his own comfort than for the city of Nineveh. His final word to Jonah is “But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well.  Should I not be concerned about that great city?”

This passage reveals that God’s reason for not destroying Nineveh was not just the many people who lived there but the cattle as well.  For some reason many people have never noticed the part about the cattle in this story.  It is, however, another reminder that God is concerned about all of His Creation and that we should be as well.

–Chuck