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Friday, July 31, 2009

Flower display in New Holland, PA
We passed this colorful flower display in New Holland, PA.
Somebody in that house likes to work with wood, paint, and flowers!

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"Considering God's Wonders"

"Stop and consider God's wonders" (Job 37:14).

Our home overlooks a country lane that parallels a large field presently planted in tall field corn.  We are so blessed to have this "preserved farmland" across from us, meaning there is a restriction on the deed limiting present and future use to agriculture. This outstanding view is one of the main reasons we bought our home.

During this season thousands of fireflies appear each night like tiny twinkling Christmas lights strung all through the field.  I sure wish I could capture it in a picture and share it with you. It's a stunning scene.

FireflyThe firefly is a bioluminescent insect, scientifically known as Pyractomena borealis. It sure is an interesting creature and we marvel as a family observing this special creation of God. I sure hope you've all caught a firefly and held it in your hand at some point in your life.  They have a very distinct odor, which I can still remember from playing with them as a child (we called them lightning bugs). It's not necessarily an unpleasant odor but it is distinct and is believed to be from defensive chemicals the fireflies secrete to deter predators. Birds, spiders and lizards have learned that fireflies will make them sick, so they leave them alone!

A firefly is not hot or even warm to the touch.  Amazingly nearly 100% of a firefly's luminescent energy is converted to light, while a typical light bulb only gives off 10% of its energy as light, with 90% being wasted as heat.  By the way, the light has a "romantic" purpose as well.

Child catching fireflies
Because fireflies tend to fly low to the ground and are not very fast, they are easy prey for children. In Baltimore in the 1950s, thousands of children caught fireflies and took them to Johns Hopkins University researchers, who paid 25 cents per hundred live bugs. In the summer of 1952, one boy turned in more than 37,000 (was he capturing these bugs in his sleep?). Some feared the area's firefly population would be wiped out, but if it was ever threatened, it recovered just fine.

During Job's trial he had four human "comforters".  Elihu, who was younger, spoke after the three older friends.  His viewpoint on Job's suffering is surely not the final one, and like all human perspectives on this mysterious subject, it is flawed and incomplete. (God has the final word later in the book.) But Elihu makes some interesting points in trying to minister to Job that I believe are very helpful, particularly at the end of his discourse where he points to God's creative wonders.

He urges Job to "Stop and consider God's wonders."  I believe that's a good exercise in getting a proper perspective on any matter.  A few verses earlier Elihu declared, "How great is God--beyond our understanding!" (36:26).

How can you explain the firefly using an evolutionary model?  I am sure it's been attempted and various theories have been postulated.  Believing these theories is like taking a leap in the dark but is the only available option for those who have rejected the Biblical Creator.  The firefly is just one of scores of God's unexplainable wonders. 

Today, let me encourage you to consider God's wonders.  They abound surrounding us night and day.  And then hear this important reminder from Elihu; "Remember to extol His work, which men have praised in song" (Job 36:24).

Well, I noticed last night the fireflies in our area are nearing the end of their two month life cycle as there were a lot fewer twinkling lights on the corn rows. However another distinct observation of a summer insect has begun as we turn the summer calendar page to the dog days of August; the nearly deafening noise of the cicada synchronizing their buzzing in the trees! 

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, we do extol Your work and praise You with our lips, with our voice and with our devotion to follow You all the days of our lives.  We stop and consider Your great wonders and mighty works as we acknowledge You to be the Creator of all things.  Your ways are perfect and beyond human understanding.  It is all the more reason why we must rely on Your guidance and not lean on our own understanding.  Today we acknowledge You in all our ways and ask You to direct our paths and increase our understanding in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Yesterday was a beautiful summer day and we want to share a few photos from the course of our journey.

Amish banking
Near Intercourse, PA we passed this Amish open cart preparing to enter the drive-through lane at the Susquehanna Bank. This brought back a recollection of the time I went to the bank with my Amish friend several years ago, riding along with him and his son Moses in his horse and buggy. As Jesse was at the drive-through making a financial deposit his horse made an emission deposit.

Amish youth galloping on horse through Bird In Hand PA
Yesterday we came up behind this Amish youth galloping his horse right down Main Street in Bird In Hand, PA.
It looks like the tourist family was enjoying the riding demonstration!
This area has a lot of tourists due to interest in the Amish way of life. Yesterday as Brooksyne and I stepped out of our car preparing to make a chaplain visit a man with a European accent approached us in the company's parking lot. He was lost and seeking directions to a local restaurant. He was from Russia on vacation.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"God Of Wonders"  Video  Chris Tomlin  A great song with powerful words set to some nice photos but I sure can't figure out what the screaming is all about!

About The Firefly

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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