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Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Photo at the George Washington Carver National Monument
"Tuning In To God's Unlimited Broadcasting Station"
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"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).
One of my most memorable childhood trips was going to the George Washington Carver National Monument, a small, out of the way historic site in Southwestern Missouri near the town of Diamond, Carver's birthplace. I have admired this man ever since. On two occasions Brooksyne and I have walked through the historical site in amazement while receiving much spiritual edification. George Washington Carver was a remarkable scientist who overcame major obstacles and injustices during his life, while all along maintaining a devout faith in God.
Most astounding are the powerful quotes all through the museum. Perhaps once or twice we hope to say something just a little profound that might be repeated by another, but Carver's quotes "wow" you every time you read his words.
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."
God is still speaking today through His creation and one of the keys to a positive, faith-filled outlook in life is to tune in to "God's Unlimited Broadcasting Station".
Today, join Brooksyne and me and 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. Make 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.
Note: Yesterday we had an incorrect reference. "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed Heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe" (Hebrews 1:2). (Corrected form Hebrews 11:2)
George Washington and Nellie Mae Steincross
As a child visiting the George Washington Carver Monument part of my interest also may have been that he has the same first and middle name as my grandfather who was named George Washington Steincross by his German immigrant father. Although he and my grandmother Nellie Mae Steincross passed away in the early seventies and through the years all their children (my Mom and her siblings) have also passed away their grandchildren (my cousins) still get together for an annual reunion. They are meeting early this week in Breckenridge, Colorado. We had planned to go until our plans were disrupted due to my emergency room visit mentioned in last Friday's message and advice from the doctor not to go to a high altitude area with my respiratory condition. Breckenridge is at 9,600 feet!
I prepared something for my family that I would like to also share with Daily Encouragement readers. It's a personal reflection but my hope is that you may see it as a prompting to consider your own heritage and the blessing of those who have gone before us. You should even consider writing your story out.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"How Great Thou Art" Video George Beverly Shea This song fits today's message but has also been on my mind since I was looking forward to seeing "lofty mountain grandeur" on our trip to Colorado!
"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 Scrolling down for a description of his Christian commitment we read:
Carver believed he could have faith both in God and science and integrated them into his life. He testified on many occasions that his faith in Jesus was the only mechanism by which he could effectively pursue and perform the art of science. Carver became a Christian when he was still a young boy, as he wrote in connection to his conversion in 1931:
I was just a mere boy when converted, hardly ten years old. There isn't much of a story to it. God just came into my heart one afternoon while I was alone in the 'loft' of our big barn while I was shelling corn to carry to the mill to be ground into meal.
A dear little white boy, one of our neighbors, about my age came by one Saturday morning, and in talking and playing he told me he was going to Sunday school tomorrow morning. I was eager to know what a Sunday school was. He said they sang hymns and prayed. I asked him what prayer was and what they said. I do not remember what he said; only remember that as soon as he left I climbed up into the 'loft,' knelt down by the barrel of corn and prayed as best I could. I do not remember what I said. I only recall that I felt so good that I prayed several times before I quit.
My brother and myself were the only colored children in that neighborhood and of course, we could not go to church or Sunday school, or school of any kind.
That was my simple conversion, and I have tried to keep the faith.
— G. W. Carver; Letter to Isabelle Coleman; July 24, 1931
He was not expected to live past his twenty-first birthday due to failing health. He lived well past the age of 21, and his belief deepened as a result. Throughout his career, he always found friendship with other Christians. He relied on them especially when criticized by the scientific community and media regarding his research methodology.
Carver viewed faith in Jesus Christ as a means of destroying both barriers of racial disharmony and social stratification. He was as concerned with his students' character development as he was with their intellectual development. He compiled a list of eight cardinal virtues for his students to strive toward:
Be clean both inside and out.
Neither look up to the rich nor down on the poor.
Lose, if need be, without squealing.
Win without bragging.
Always be considerate of women, children, and older people.
Be too brave to lie.
Be too generous to cheat.
Take your share of the world and let others take theirs.
Beginning in 1906 at Tuskegee, Carver led a Bible class on Sundays for several students at their request. He regularly portrayed stories by acting them out. He responded to critics with this: "When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world."
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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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