Monday, October 27, 2014

Shade Tree Wisdom 10/27/14

          In the opening chapter of the Book of Romans St. Paul described how people act to what may be “clearly seen” about God’s creation when He writes:
“It is written, the just shall live by faith. But
God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human
mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate,
as people try to put a shroud
 over truth. But the basic reality of God is
plain enough. Open your eyes
and there it is!
By taking a long and thoughtful look
At what God has created, people have always been able to see
what their eyes can’t see, His eternal power and
The mystery of His divine being, so
Nobody has a good excuse.” Romans l, 17-20 MSG

          The words came to mind as I was reading an article in the local paper about the owls that inhabit our area.

          Their eyes can catch the faintest glimmer of light, so they are able to hunt in near darkness. Their ears are set not quite in line, so they can echo locate prey, and their face, shaped like a parabolic disk, channels to outsized eardrums. Using that equipment, a barn owl can locate a mouse in total darkness.

          So while we sleep, owls go on the hunt of scurrying rodents, slithering snakes, toads, creepy-crawly insects, and other critters venturing into the night. And their flight is silent because the leading edge of their wings have a layer of soft feathers that dampen the noise of air streaming over their surface.

          God’s creation so made that it suits exactly the purpose in which it exists.
Indeed, “His eternal and divine nature have been clearly seen ever since the creation of the world, so that they are without excuse." Romans l,20.

GPD 10/27/14

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Shade Tree Wisdom 10/22/14

          Several members of Living Word stopped by for a visit.  I always appreciate such visits, and we got to talking  about the state of the church and the world we are living in which seems more and more hostile to Jesus Christ.  Yet did not Jesus himself meet opposition of the leadership and was crucified for us, so that we might have the forgiveness of sins.

          And we spoke of the power of the Word and the work that is going on in all the world because He commanded us to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature”.  And God does bless the message regardless of how it seems.  So I am bold to remind us all of the hymn:

“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou has been, Thou forever wilt be.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided,
Great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto me.”

          We do well to remember the words of promise for our living tomorrow.

GPD 10/22/14

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Shade Tree Wisdom 10/15/14

“Go, My children, with My blessing,
Never alone.
Waking, sleeping, I am with you,
You are My own.
In My love’s baptismal river,
I Have made you mine forever.
Go, my children, with My blessing,
You are My own.” 
TLH 922,1

          I was thinking of all the blessings the Lord has granted in my lifetime, and humming the “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” and checking the hymnal for all the words when my eyes fell on the lines above.

          The words are from a hymn by writer and hymn-composer Jaroslav Vajda, now deceased.  (We were at the Seminary together).  And it came to my mind how we so often simply take all God’s riches to us for granted.  And they are given because He loves us in spite of our failings.

          In this Reformation month my thoughts are often on Luther and his valiant struggle for the TRUTH.  One friend once asked him how he endured all his troubles. He said simply, “Baptizo sum”.  And that is always our answer too, “I have been baptized”.

“In My love’s baptismal river,
I have made you mine forever”.

          And with that comforting thought I leave you.

GPD 10/15/14

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Shade Tree Wisdom 10/8/14

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
And the sky above proclaims His handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech, and
Night to night reveals His knowledge” Psalm 19,1,2.

          And did you see the eclipse last night?  It was just ending when many got up.  The creating hand of God is set before us so clearly so that, as St. Paul says
in Romans l,19,20:
“For what can be known about God is plain to them
Because God has shown it to them. . .
So that they are without excuse.”

          The eclipse surely shows us God’s order, for man can predict it precisely. 

          Another indication of God’s hand in the creation is the arrival just now in Houston of the Rufius Hummingbird.  This 3 and one half inch long bird weighs less than a penny, yet it crossed the Rockies to get here.  It spent the summer in the Pacific Northwest, maybe as far north as Alaska.  Ornithologists know very little about the species and are just beginning really to study it.  But the question always is, “How can such a tiny creation fly so far and find the same area when it arrives.

“The heavens declare the glory of God,”

          And I believe God created it all.

GPD 10/8/14

Monday, October 6, 2014

Shade Tree Wisdom 10/6/14

“My sin,oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not the part, but the whole.
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, all is well with soul”.

          And for the soul forgiven and called righteous before God, I offer this evening prayer:
“O Lord, support us the day long
Of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen,
And the evening comes,
And the busy world is hushed,
And the fever of life is over,
And our work is done.
Then, Lord, in Thy mercy, grant us safe lodging.
And holy rest,
And peace at the last,
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.”

          And God bless you this day and always.

GPD 10/6/14

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Shade Tree Wisdom 10/2/14

          The Village at Gleannlock Farms, the facility where I am now living, hires a service to take care of its extensive lawns.  So as I am typing this I can hear the roar of a mower under my window.  When that ends it will be followed by a blower, and when that is done, they leave a man weeding the flower beds, and his work is silent.  We live in a noisy world.  (This morning’s paper has an article about a man killing a teenager because he would not turn down his loud car music.)

          Fortune magazine, 6/6/14, has an article titled “Silence is Golden” which offers resorts and hotels that offer silence as part of their package.  One of these is situated on its own island, and it takes a 30 minute boat ride to get there.

          Hotels are offering absence of noise as part of its package.  The TV sets are programmed so they can’t exceed a certain volume.

          The trend to silence makes sense.  Noise complaints usually top the list of why guests are dissatisfied.  In our wired world where we are hooked up 24/7, we all need a little stillness to sit and catch our breath.  Even Amtrak offers a ‘quiet car’. The idea came from customers who persuaded a conductor to offer such a car, and the idea caught on.

          Yes, our world seems to be a noisy place.  Often one thinks the person behind in the line is addressing you when he is on his cell phone to a friend.

          So what can we do?

          Find a quiet corner in your home and settle down for some extensive reading of your Bible.  And rise refreshed and ready to face life anew.  That’s my challenge to you to.  May God bless the reading with fresh insight and further meat for the journey.

GPD 10/2/14