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Thursday, October 27, 2016

San Diego Zoo Panda 10/24/16
What would a photo collection of the San Diego Zoo be like without a photo to prove we saw the Panda bear!
(Brooksyne's Note: I say the real proof would be Stephen standing next to the Panda Bear and me taking the shot.)

"All Creation Declares His Glory"

Message Summary: The Psalmist declares, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands" (Psalm 19:1). God's handiwork in Creation is visible in the starry skies far beyond reach and in the amazing molecular structure of a single living cell. It's certainly seen in the plants and animals He created.

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"He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish" (1 Kings 4:33).

How could I say there is no God?
When all around creation calls!!
A singing bird, a mighty tree,
The vast expanse of open sea

When we were children we both, like most children, enjoyed going to the zoo. Tulsa, where Brooksyne was raised, and Kansas City, where I was, have nice zoos. However as a child I recall being told that San Diego and Saint Louis had the best zoos. Ironically, although I am from Missouri, I have never been to the Saint Louis Zoo. And as a child California was one of those places you just dreamed of going to someday.

On Monday we all had our first trip to the San Diego Zoo and we were not disappointed, although somehow we missed seeing the lions! We sure looked but came up short, although according to website, they have them.

One of the features we enjoyed about the San Diego Zoo was the informative descriptions about the animals. Although a Creation worldview was not presented, neither was an evolutionary one which was refreshing, since this tends to be the case in many secular settings. In some places it just seems that they are trying to indoctrinate rather than merely state facts.

The San Diego Zoo is not only world class for its animals but its plant collection as well. In fact, as we walked through the zoo park, we had nearly as much enjoyment at observing the plants as we did the animals!

Solomon would surely have enjoyed the San Diego Zoo given his interests as expressed in the daily text. It's an easily
overlooked aspect of his broad interests and a part of the vast knowledge he was famed for. In this brief verse we see Solomon's interest in Botany, Dendrology, Zoology, Ornithology, Herpetology and Ichthyology.

Science is often characterized as an adversary to faith. It seems that many use it as an excuse and basis for their unbelief. But science is the observation and study of God's created order and as such it can be a tremendous aid to faith.

The Psalmist declares, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands" (Psalm 19:1). God's handiwork in Creation is visible in the starry skies far beyond reach and in the amazing molecular structure of a single living cell. It's certainly seen in the plants and animals He created.

I'm not an accredited scientist but I sure see the hand of God wherever I look. What about you? Look up and out, down and around you today! And consider the wondrous blessings of God's handiwork.

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we count among our rich blessings the bounty of Your handiwork - whether it's that which we can observe only at a distance or that which we can examine closely, touch with our hands, smell or taste. A visit to a zoo reminds us of the variety in Your creative handiwork. You are a benevolent Father, giving us so much to enjoy. Creation declares Your glory causing us to delight in Your creativity, in all its bountiful and varied displays. We give You thanks for it all.  Amen.

Oak leaf
We returned to Pennsylvania in time to see the autumn foliage in our area. It's beautiful whether a panoramic distant view, up close at a cluster of leaves, (see here for a photo Brooksyne took), or even a single leaf! The leaves are in the beautiful reds, yellows and oranges of fall although it soon will pass!

Take a single leaf such as the oak leaf to the left. Look it over and carefully make observations. Sort of like high school chemistry and the opening exercise (at least when I went to High School) of observing the flame of a candle. It's interesting when you take a single leaf and carefully examine it to see how much can be observed!

I read a great story of a wise grandmother and the input she gave her young grandson and his touching response:

An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo. Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws.

A young girl in the line said to the little fellow, "You've got so many freckles, there's no place to paint!" Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head. His grandmother knelt down beside him, "I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles," she said, while tracing her finger across his cheek. "Freckles are beautiful!"

The little boy looked up, "Really?" "Of course," said the grandmother, "Why…just name me one thing that's prettier than freckles." The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandmother's face, and softly whispered, "Wrinkles."

(From "Bits of Sonshine", a newsletter for nursing home ministry)

Some photos from our visit to the San Diego Zoo:

San Diego Zoo Siberian Reindeer 10/24/16
When I looked at this Siberian Reindeer I though how uncomfortable it must be with these big antlers. But I suppose they get used to it!

San Diego Zoo Grizzly Bears 10/24/16
These grizzly bears must have seen something mutually interesting.

San Diego Zoo friends 10/24/16
This tiger and dog were raised together making them lifelong friends as seen when they play together.

San Diego Zoo Gorillas 10/24/16
An example of the lack of secularist indoctrination would be in a display describing the gorilla which, in many places, often tells viewers about our ancestor according to evolutionary theory. However I don't recall seeing anything like this although I suspect that most of the people putting it all together would have that belief in our origins.

San Diego Zoo tram view of city 10/24/16
Just before we left the park at 6:00 PM we rode the tram over the 100 acre zoo. The zoo is in Balboa Park which has many of the city's museums and other attractions. Notice how low the plane is. The airport is near downtown and, in the final approach, you look right down over the city unlike most other airports we have been to.

San Diego Zoo plant 10/24/16
An example of the zoo's exotic plant life. We couldn't find the name of this plant but it looks a little like the euphoria plant. Brooksyne has nursed along her beautiful euphoria plant for the past ten years or so and it's especially beautiful when it blooms.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Creation Calls"  Video  Brian Doerksen

"This Is My Father's World"  Video  Fernando Ortega

"All Heaven Declares"

"Eternity"  Video  Brian Doerksen (has a long intro)

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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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