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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Flowers from the Philadelphia Flower Show
Hanging plant arrangement with Primrose Border at the Philadelphia Flower Show. This gave us an idea for an interesting way to grow some of our own flowers. Many of the displays were grown on a vertical surface with what appeared to be a Styrofoam type medium with crevices for soil.

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"The Flower Fades"

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8).

Today we will share a little more about our visit to the Philadelphia Flower Show Tuesday. One of the interesting features that makes the show all the more appealing is the requirement by the organizers that all flowers and plants be living (nothing artificial). This was not only in the 75% of the space devoted to flower and plant displays but also the space in the huge convention hall where the vendors were located.  In fact we spoke to one vendor who merely wanted to have a decorative plant in front of his booth. He had considered artificial but was told that this was not permissible; it must be a live plant!

Of course we expected live flowers at the flower show but the sheer quantity and variety was astounding and intriguing. After all:
  • It is still winter here, although a mild one.
  • The plants had to face the shock of being transplanted or moved, some from other regions.
  • The show is indoors so the plants do not have natural light. In fact at least during the show time the hall was rather dark.
  • We attended the third day of the show and the flowers were all blooming as if it was their very peak. We didn't see any faded or wilted flowers!
We wonder how they can maintain this through the show which ends Sunday. But we assume they will be equally fresh-looking at that time. However one thing is for sure. The flowers will eventually fade, most of them shortly after the show is over!

Everything created on this side of heaven has an expiration date and will eventually, like the flower, fade. Isaiah served God about 2,700 years ago and was considered one of the greatest prophets. His words are quoted extensively in the New Testament, with Isaiah 40 being among the grandest writings in English literature. He contrasted the temporariness of God's creation with the eternality of His spoken Word in our daily verse, "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever." The apostle Peter quotes this verse in his epistle and goes on to write, "This is the word that was preached to you" (1 Peter 1:25).

And indeed this beloved Word continues to be pondered, preached and practiced all over the world today, 2,700 years after Isaiah wrote and some 1950 years after Peter wrote. We can be absolutely assured of its timeless value.  Jesus said "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away" (Luke 21:33).  Should our Lord tarry in His return to earth we can be assured that fifty or five hundred or five thousand years from now His Word will remain!

I encourage you this day to place your trust in the One whose Word will never fade and its message that stands forever!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: Father, we are grateful for the prophets through whom You spoke Your unchanging Word.  Each from age to age proclaimed You, the one, righteous Lord.  In this world of despair and turmoil, You are the one firm anchor holding us fast.  You are King, Your throne is eternal; You are the First and You are the Last.  You spoke through Christ Jesus, Your everlasting Son, Light of Light, to earth He descended, Christ as God in human form.  God, You continue to speak by Your Spirit in Your ageless Holy Word expounding Your own message, now as then.  Through the rise and fall of nations one sure faith still holds us fast; You abide, Your Word unchanging, You are the First and You are the Last.  Though all hell should endeavor to shake this firm foundation we have built through Your Holy Word, we will never forsake it, for the darkened veil will soon be lifted and we will see You face to face in the fullness of Your glory. Praise be to God!  Amen.

Adaptation from text of the hymn "God Has Spoken by His Prophets" by George W. Briggs

More photos from our trip to Philadelphia

Philadelphia scene
I think this is an interesting building contrast. In the foreground is the Thirtieth Street Railroad Station, the main rail terminal in Philadelphia. In the background is the Cira Centre, one of the newest skyscrapers in the city. The Cira Centre is a silver glass curtain wall skyscraper. Designed to be seen from all sides, the removal of the building's northwest and southeast corners gives the skyscraper a different shape when viewing it from different locations.

Philadelphia scene
This clothespin must have been designed for a person who wears colossal size clothing!

Reading Market, Philadelphia, PA
The Reading Market was very crowded since we arrived at lunch time and many from the flower show came over to get a bite to eat. We enjoy the colorful variety in city markets!

2012 Philadelphia flower show theme scene
The 2012 theme at the flower show was Hawaiian. Although the displays in this section were beautiful and very elaborate we didn't find them as interesting as the dispays of local flowers and plants,  in large part because we were looking for plants that grow in our weather zone!

2012 Philadelphia flower show wall arrangement
Many of the flower displays were set as we would expect to see in an outdoor setting. This outside wall was built just to display the outdoor planter with flowers. It made for a very authentic presentation!

Tomorrow we will share a final set of Philadelphia and flower show photos.

Today's Suggested Music and Sup
plemental Resources

"Ancient Words"  Video  
Michael W. Smith  (I find myself using this song a lot, but I suppose it does fit with a lot of messages!)

"Word Of God Speak"  Video  MercyMe

"Speak, O Lord"  Video  Kristyn Getty

Yesterday we shared this photo.  It's the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ built for the 1904 world's fair, the largest operational pipe organ in the world. It's located at Macy's Center City, formerly Wanamaker's department store in Philadelphia, PA. (The above information was submitted by Sarah who was the first one to correctly respond to our question yesterday.) Thanks to the many who participated - there were some very interesting answers. For an example of this organ being played see here and here.

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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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