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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bonneyville dahlia
Dahlia Hybrid at the Bonneyville Trial Garden in Northeastern Indiana

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"Paying Attention"

"And we have the Word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts" (2 Peter 1:19). "The grass withers, the flower fades, But the Word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8).

On Saturday morning we visited Bonneyville Mill in northeastern Indiana and posted several photos from there yesterday. In front of the mill members of the American Dahlia Society gathered at the Bonneyville Trial Garden, a special plot with dahlia hybrids yet unreleased to the public. So the photos we share today may be the very flowers you grow in your garden at a future date!

A hybrid is a mix of two things to form one, with the goal of gaining some advantage that neither of the two originals could achieve alone. For example, if you have a white flower and a red flower, you can cross-pollinate them to make a pink flower. It was interesting to observe as judges carefully examined the intricate flowers and commented to one another on the various qualities they were looking for in a good dahlia hybrid.

There were terms they used that I had never heard of before, but one repeated question I heard was, "Is the dahlia floriferous?" In other words is the flower bearing or able to bear many flowers?  In one instance I heard the panel counting the number of flowers blooming or budding on the plant.

Dahlias are certainly beautiful flowers and are among my wife's favorite to plant. One year she planted plate size dahlias which were stunning. Dahlia flowers vary greatly in color, shape, and size as shown in our photos. They bloom from early July till the first frost when the colorful blooms fade away. The tubers must be dug up and stored over the winter (due to our cold temperature zone), until the following spring.

For those who don't grow dahlias you've probably learned a detail or two as we shared about our experience. Most of us simply skim the surface about many matters in life, but when it comes to spiritual matters we do well to look deeply into the Word of God. We need to ask questions, seek for answers, learn and apply all that we can during our earthly sojourn. One of the foundational teachings of the genuine Christian faith is the sufficiency of Christ and His Word. Our daily verse is most interesting.

Mount of TransfigurationPeter, of course, was one of the eyewitnesses to Christ's ministry. In the previous verse he refers to what surely had to be among his most memorable events of life; his presence at the Mount of Transfiguration. Can you imagine Peter, years later, hoisting his grandchildren to his lap and telling them about his seeing the prophets of old, Moses and Elijah, along with Jesus Christ, in person! There's little doubt that it was a story repeated so often that Peter's grandchildren could recite it word for word. He had an amazing, miraculous experience that no other follower of Christ had with the exception of his fellow disciples, John and James.

Yet he writes, "We have the word of the prophets made more certain." The written word of the prophets was deemed a more certain word by Peter than even his own eye witness account on the Mount of Transfiguration! He goes on to advise his readers concerning the word of these prophets, "You will do well to pay attention to it."

That's right, fellow believers, we indeed do well to "pay attention" ("take heed" KJV) to the Word of God today in our present generation. The "most certain" findings of science will change. How many times have they already done so in our own lifetime?  The philosophies of men will continue to vacillate and evolve. Pet theories and faddish experiences will come and go. Fanciful psychological explanations and treatments will soon be discredited, only to be followed by others, and then there's almost always a recurrence of old philosophies.

The Holy Word continues to be "a light shining in a dark place."  We need the light of His glorious Word to expose just how dark it really is in the world. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."

Thank God for His Word! It's steady, sure and dependable!
I sure like the words to the following hymn although I have been unable to find an online version to share. It's sung to the tune of the more familiar, "Rejoice, the Lord is King."  Read all of it and try singing the words or humming to the music!

How sure the Scriptures are, God's vital urgent Word.
As true as steel and far more sharp than any sword,
So deep and fine at His control.
They pierce where soul and spirit join.

They test each human thought, refining like a fire.
They measure what we ought to do and to desire
For God knows all.  Exposed it lies
Before His eyes to whom we call.

Let those who hear His voice confronting them today,
Reject the tempting choice of doubting or delay.
For God speaks still, His word is clear.
So let us hear, and do His will.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, all wisdom, knowledge, and understanding needed for life and godliness is contained in the Holy Scriptures. Help us to be careful, attentive students of the Word, ever learning, and always applying that which the prophets of old and disciples of Christ have revealed to us through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That which shines so brightly on the horizon of our lives today will someday fade and vanish away, but the Word of our God stands forever and is demonstrated in our lives for all eternity. Amen.

I contend that a sad element in ministerial preparation in the Church has been the diminishment of the Bible College model with a core emphasis on foundational studies of the Bible and theology. In fact many former Bible Colleges have become liberal art colleges and universities, greatly decreasing the study of Scripture in their curriculum. Essentially I believe we need ministry training schools that focus primarily on the Holy Scriptures, which alone are able to make us wise unto salvation, regardless of what effect that may have on worldly esteem or accreditation.

More Bonneyville trial garden dahlia hybrids

Bonneyville dahlia
Brooksyne's Favorite

Bonneyville dahlia

Bonneyville dahlia

Bonneyville dahlia

Bonneyville dahlia

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resource

"How Sure The Scriptures Are" was written by Christopher Idle. It is in a number of hymnals but I am unable to find an online audio version to share.

"Ancient Words"  Video  Robin Mark

"Speak, O Lord"  Video  Kristyn Getty

American Dahlia Society

More Dahlia photos

a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

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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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