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Friday, July 12, 2013
Photo at the George Washington Carver National Monument
"An Unlimited Broadcasting Station"
Listen to this message on your audio player. Note: Due to travel a podcast was not prepared for this message.
"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible" (Hebrews 11:3).
Yesterday afternoon we visited the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Missouri. George Washington Carver was a remarkable scientist who overcame much during his life and all along maintained a devout faith in God.
One of my most memorable childhood trips was going to this small, out of the way site in Southwest Missouri near a town named Diamond. I have admired this man ever since and yesterday Brooksyne also walked through the historical site in amazement and much spiritual edification. I would say most astounding are the powerful quotes all through the museum. Perhaps once or twice we may hope to say something just a little profound that might be repeated by another, but Carver's quotes "wow" you each time you read his words. Next week we plan to post a message with more of these quotes based on photos we took during our walk through.
George Washington Carver was born into slavery, kidnapped as an infant, and even traded for a broken-down racehorse. He once witnessed the public lynching of a fellow black man. Those experiences, alongside all the other injustices he suffered provided him with ample reason to feel rejected, forsaken, and hateful toward the white man. Surely, if a person's traumatic life experiences doom him for failure, it would have been Carver's.
But when he was 11 he moved into a three room house with Mariah and Andrew Watkins who became parents to him. In exchange for his help with household tasks he now had a roof over his head, good people who loved and raised him as their own child, and a solid religious upbringing. His faith and love for God grew and his appreciation of nature would sustain him throughout his entire life. His forte was the peanut and he was a pioneer in the field of chemurgy, a branch of applied chemistry that is concerned with preparing industrial products from agricultural raw materials.
Once he testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee, saying that he got his knowledge of peanuts from the Bible. Asked what the Bible said about peanuts he replied, "The Bible does not teach anything regarding the peanut. But it told me about God, and God told me about the peanut."
I especially appreciate Carver's outlook in life. He was able to see the hand of God in nature. He certainly believed in intelligent design and an intelligent Designer! Carver said, "I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station through which God speaks to us every hour if we will only tune in." As a devout Christian, Carver considered his laboratory, "God's Little Workshop."
I read this in an encyclopedia concerning Carver's faith: "God and science were both areas of intrigue, not warring ideas in the mind of George Washington Carver. While contemporary scientific endeavors may practice methodological naturalism, an approach which believes the universe to be unguided or chaotic, Carver reasoned that the God who created the universe also created the rules by which it was governed. He was opposed to the theory of evolution and believed the creation of the world to be the Biblical creation account from the book of Genesis verbatim. He would testify on many occasions that his faith in Jesus was the only mechanism by which he could effectively pursue and perform the art of science."
I believe God is still speaking today through His creation and one of the keys to a positive, faith-filled outlook in life is to tune into His voice. In the daily verse the word "understand" translates a word that means "to exercise the mind, observe." I once again affirm, "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, help us with the spiritual exercise of observing how You are working in our own heart and in the lives of those around us. And we especially need to observe the ways You are present in nature and in our everyday lives. The daily routine can easily squeeze out those special sightings of Your glorious presence and supernatural workings where You make visible that which is not seen with human eyes, but only through the eyes of faith. Faithful and True God, just as You formed the universe with Your own hands, You also shape the human heart with Your own Spirit, bringing it into conformity to Your will for our lives. Help us to surrender ourselves fully to You so that we are among those who have supernatural faith which makes us confident of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see with human eyes. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
* Due to travel we are temporarily suspending the preparation of regular podcasts with each message. It is a complex set-up and time-consuming to prepare in a hotel room. We expect to periodically prepare some messages as podcasts while on the road and resume regular podcasts when we return home.
Some scenes along our journey:
We began our morning yesterday by visiting Battlefield Mall, where Brooksyne worked when we were in college. I wanted to take a photo of her in the Dillard's wig department but that department is long gone (of course Brooksyne knew that wigs were a thing of the past, but what do I know about current ladies fashions and such!). We did see these portable storm shelters for sale which I suppose must mount to a concrete pad. I was claustrophobic just looking in but would be most grateful to be in one during a tornado, if they really work.
We had lunch with Al Worthley, our chaplain supervisor and visited with him in his office. Al is a retired federal prison system chaplain and has a real heart for the harvest evidenced by many miniature farm implements in his office and harvest scenes. Notice the tractors on the shelf behind us. Al grew up on a farm in rural Minnesota and has been very supportive of our ministry.
Al's office is quite agriculturally themed including this little John Deere tractor pull on his ceiling fan! With his upcoming birthday the office crew decorated his room with the John Deere green and yellow colors.
We stopped by to walk the grounds of our Bible College, which closed this last Spring to merge with the Theological Seminary and Evangel University. We like the simple purpose statement, "Training Ministers and Missionaries". We met here our freshman year and married after our junior year. Central Bible College trained thousands of ministers and missionaries during its 90 year existence.
These photos were taken during the spring of our Freshman year at CBC with my three best college friends. For the photo we shortened our ties and tried to be a little silly (a far cry from the youth look of today). In the first photo I am on the far left in the very loud plaid slacks. I took the photo on the right and Brooksyne, whom I had just started dating, joined my friends!
We easily found the old tree yesterday and decided to have Ester take an "after" photo (over 39 years later).
Rarely do we travel I-44 that we don't stop by the Precious Moments Chapel and this was no exception. This is the Precious Moments RV Camping Lot.
A touching figurine remembering the terrible Oklahoma City bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in 1995. "Sifting through the rubble police officer, Sgt. John Avera found a small half buried body. Shouting. 'I have a critical infant! I have a critical infant!' he thrust the, 1-year-old Baylee Almon into the arms of nearby firefighter Capt. Chris Fields." Here's the iconic photo.
We were so blessed by reading the quotes of wisdom from George Washington Carver and may make a message next week just posting these quotes.
We arrived at our Steincross family reunion site on Fort Gibson Lake in time to view a beautiful sunset, walking along the trail as it was going down which captured our attention the entire time! We later gathered with family members from Stephen's mom's side of the family.
"Creation Calls" Video Brian Doerksen
"All Heaven Declares" Video
"All Creatures of our God and King" Video David Crowder
Here's info about the George Washington Carver National Monument. We were so pleased that there appeared to be no soft-petalling his devout faith in God and, unlike most federally funded sites, there was no apparent attempt at indoctrination in evolution.
Here's an online article about George Washington Carver (scroll down for a description of his Christian commitment).
Our friend Doris High has a creative way of sharing her photos and has a post with a quote from George Washington Carver that I also used in today's message.
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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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