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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Windmill in Lancaster County PA
Functioning windmill

"Spiritual Troglomorphism"
(Part 1)

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"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).

Nippenose Valley, PennsylvaniaTwo weeks ago, on our way home from our bike riding weekend in the Grand Canyon area of Pennsylvania, we drove through the remote Nippenose Valley. We had never driven through this area before but in searching for variety on our ride home I decided to drive through it on PA Route 44. This is a closed, bowl-shaped valley surrounded by mountains; up over one mountain to get in and then back over another mountain to get out. It is a rich farming area with a lot of Plain people who reside there. I sometimes explore glancing backward; that is, I study an area where I've been after, rather than before, the visit. This is often due to my explorer tendencies that takes me off the beaten path!

Troglomorphic SculpinSo I looked up the Nippenose Valley and among my findings was that in 2003 Luis Espinasa, an associate professor of biology at Marist College, discovered a new species of fish in a cave, a type of troglomorphic sculpin. Well, I don't know about our readers but troglomorphic sculpin is not a name I normally use so I had to look it up. Sculpin is a type of fish, but it's actually the word, troglomorphic, that prompts today's spiritual lesson.

"Troglomorphism is the morphological adaptation of an organism to living in the constant darkness of caves, characterized by features such as loss of pigment, reduced eyesight or blindness, and frequently with attenuated bodies and/or appendages."

Two lines in this description jumped out at me; "living in the constant darkness of caves" and "reduced eyesight or blindness".

That got me thinking Biblically how there is a parallel in the spiritual realm. I realize I need at least one more day on this topic so today we will primarily share a long selection of Scripture verses on this contrast between light and darkness:
  • "You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light" (2 Samuel 22:29).
  • "He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light" (Job 12:22).
  • "You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light" (Psalm 18:28)
  • "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter" (Isaiah 5:20).
  • "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned" (Isaiah 9:2). (This was quoted by Jesus when He began to preach Matthew 4:12-17).
  • "But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:23)
  • "When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
  • "I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness" (John 12:46).
  • "I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me" (Acts 26:17,18).
  • "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light" (Romans 13:12).
  • "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14).
  • "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8).
  • 'You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness" (1 Thessalonians 5:5).
  • "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9).
  • "Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining" (1 John 2:8).
Tomorrow we want to study an easily observable truth regarding spiritual troglomorphism; the grave condition of living in darkness to the point that one becomes spiritually blind.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer:
Father, we thank You that we no longer belong to the night or to the darkness. Instead You've turn our redeemed hearts toward that which is bright, full of life, truth, and power placing eternity's values in view. There is much that allures us to that which that which would engulf us in darkness again since the enemy is cunning, deceptive and persuasive. Help us to be stronger and wiser so that we are not prey to the devil's tactics, because we have put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Through Christ we overcome darkness through His marvelous light and it is in His name that we pray. Amen.

Nippenose Valley: The region includes anticlinal karst Nippenose Valley part of the northernmost fold sequence of the Ridge and Valley Physiographic Province. Nippenose Valley is uniquely bowl-shaped and consists of a doubly plunging anticline. According to a research paper from the University of Akron, the center has been eroded, exposing carbonate rocks in the valley. There is an average total of about 470 meters of Lower to Middle Ordovician limestone and dolomite underlying the valley. The Reedsville Shale is stratigraphically above them, and overlain by the ridge forming Bald Eagle Sandstone. The valley has been intensely karstified, as evidenced by the numerous sinkholes, springs, caves, and disappearing streams. Within a number of caves in this valley a new species of fish, a type of troglomorphic sculpin, was identified in 2003 by Luis Espinasa, an associate professor of biology at Marist College. (From Wikipedia)

See here for location on Google map

An article about the Nippenose Valley in Country Magazine.

John Glick's watermelon
 Last night we joined John Glick and his family for dinner, much of it coming from their garden. John is an Amish friend who has been reading our messages for many years at his work computer, and we finally met him and his family face to face. He was pleased to show us his 80 pound watermelon. Crimson Sweet watermelon (pictured) is famous for its high sugar content and great flavor. I wonder how many could be fed with an 80# watermelon.

John Glick's watermelon patch
We walked out to his watermelon patch and saw he has some good eating for several weeks yet!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Here I Am To Worship"  Video  Chris Tomlin "Light of the world You stepped down into darkness"

"Send The Light"  Video  Link Union  Bluegrass from the Silver Dollar City stage!

"Send the Light"  Video  A more traditional version from the Altar Of Praise Men's Chorale

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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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