(This devotional is day twenty-seven of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)
What is the most awe-inspiring scene, vista, or view you’ve seen in nature? What soaring mountain, dazzling turquoise water, starlit night sky, crystal clear lake, vast open plain, or carved canyon left your jaw on the floor?
Continue reading All Creation Sings His Praise: November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 27)
“[Creation] is a speech from God to humanity… The creation, in its entirety, is eloquent; sin is the only dissonance in its song.” Herman Bavinck
“The universe … is before our eyes like a beautiful book in which all creatures, great and small, are as letters to make us ponder the invisible things of God” Belgic Confession
“Outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary but the common mode of existence.” Wendell Berry
The Psalms are full of references to lessons about God and life in His world that we learn from creation (nature). To be a student of creation makes us learners of the God of creation. To neglect creation is to ignore God’s revelation of Himself.
Continue reading Study Creation to Learn About God
“It may be too easy to underestimate the power of a garden.” Wendell Berry
“To farm or garden is to become acquainted with amazement and bewilderment in the presence of the world.” Norman Wirzba
We have a small vegetable garden at our house, and for most of the summer and early fall, a favorite routine is walking out with my wife and daughter to see the garden. We might pick a few weeds, but we’re really there to see the progress. It’s exciting to see plants growing and fruit ripening every day. The best days arrive after several weeks when the hard work pays off and we get to pick something.
Continue reading The Bigger Benefits of Gardening
Indiana winters hang on, leaving us longing for sunshine. You’d think spring would offer relief, but it isn’t much better with rainy days set to repeat. I always look forward to late spring and summer when the sun comes out, the windows open, and we can get outside.
Continue reading My 10 Favorite Summer Activities in Hamilton County
The Virgin Islands offered a vacation both my wife (Melissa) and I were looking for. She likes relaxation on beautiful beaches, and I wanted adventures beyond the beach. She likes the water, and I like visiting national parks. The Virgin Islands, especially St. John and Virgin Islands National Park, fulfilled both of our desires and outdid our expectations.
Continue reading St. John & Virgin Islands National Park
God’s Creation is a gift, not merely a resource but a means of our refreshment. In John Piper’s sermon-biography of David Brainerd he briefly compares Brainerd and Jonathan Edwards. He does so in the context of discussing the sufferings Brainerd endured, including regular bouts with depression. While not suggesting a walk removes depression, Piper draws on Edwards and Charles Spurgeon to suggest Brainerd’s neglect of nature likely restricted him from one means of God’s grace to us in our weakness and darkness. Below is an extended quote. With Spring knocking on our doors and with today’s temptation to always reach for our smartphone or the remote, I hope this encourages us to take advantage of God’s Creation for our good and His glory.
Continue reading John Piper on Not Neglecting Spiritual Refreshment through Nature