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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Sunset (photo by Doug Maxwell)
Sunset across the street from our house.
(Photo taken by our neighbor, Doug Maxwell)

"A Consideration Of The Vernal Equinox"

Message summary: Today we consider the steady, yet often ignored, testimony of God's great faithfulness seen in the changing of the seasons expressed in this promise.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"Then God said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years'" (Genesis 1:14). "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease" (Genesis 8:22).

Today is the official first day of Spring. Yay! (Double yay from Brooksyne's perspective!) We are certainly ready for the seasonal change after a long, cold and often snow blanketed winter. Our front yard oaks held onto their leaves through the winter months until the heavy snowfalls finally pummeled them to the ground so we have plenty of raking. The seasonal changes contribute to the variety of life.

As the days warm up I (Stephen) have already been doing some lawn clean-up and minor outdoor home repairs as well. In fact I worked way too hard on Monday and paid a price for it. I'm learning, somewhat painfully, that I just can't do the same work I did just a few years ago! As we turn the calendar page month by month, season by season and year by year our bodies have a way of telling us that even as the earth endures our bodies must endure the inevitable changes that come with aging.

The four days of each calendar year representing the change of seasons are regular reminders of the cosmic order established at Creation in our first daily text and of God's faithfulness in His keeping of the longstanding promise in our second daily text. This promise will be kept "as long as the earth endures".

The Equinoxes are the two days out of the whole year when the northern and southern hemispheres receive the same amount of sunlight, and the days and nights are the same (equal) length. (Equinox means "equal night.") In the spring it is technically called the vernal equinox (Vernal means "of, relating to, or occurring in the spring", in the fall it's knows as autumnal equinox). On these days the sun is directly over head
at the equator. It's another remarkably predictable evidence of God's faithfulness and the precise order in His providential design.

Due to the Creator's remarkable order astronomers can determine centuries ahead when this day will occur. For instance the Vernal equinox will be at 4:18 PM EST on March 20, 2547 just in case you want to plan ahead and get that marked on your calendar. It's astounding that many of these same scientists are blinded to the Creator behind the precise design! Which takes greater faith; that this is all a result of random chance or a purposeful, intelligent design by our Creator God?

Many years ago I read an article by an astronomer named Robert Jastrow, who made this statement. "At this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."  Hallelujah, I am sitting on that final rock!

Genesis makes it clear that the universe was indeed created in an instant: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light."

God gave Noah the wonderful promise expressed in the second daily verse immediately after the flood. It's a promise that we see fulfilled every day, but should particularly note at the seasonal changes.

Consider the steady, yet often ignored, testimony of God's great faithfulness seen in the changing of the seasons expressed in this promise. It can give us a rich assurance today of God's faithfulness in all things and certainly those things that concern us personally. In fact it was the inspiration behind one of the verses to a classic hymn most of you will recognize. It happens to be Brooksyne's favorite hymn. With joy and assurance receive it today!

"Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above.
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your watchful eye brings great assurance to my heart as You, Almighty Father, are a God of perfect order. Your unblemished design of the universe and all of created life, both human and vegetation, is also testimony to Your unchanging faithfulness. We marvel in the wonder of each hour of the day and of the night, hill and meadow, tree and flower, sun and moon and stars of light. The redeemed join with all of nature in declaring Your wondrous beauty in all creation as we bring praise, honor and glory to You, our Faithful God. Amen.

* Many confuse astronomy with astrology. Astronomy is the science that deals with the material universe beyond the earth's atmosphere. Astrology is an occultic pseudoscience claiming divination by the positions of the planets and sun and moon.

Today we feature our neighbor Doug's photos.

Snow Geese (photo by Doug Maxwell)
These two photos are of snow geese.

Snow Geese (photo by Doug Maxwell)

Bluebird (photo by Doug Maxwell)
It was probably the day Doug posted this blue bird on Facebook that I (Brooksyne) said to Doug: "Doug, you have lots of blue birds and we've only seen one or two all the years we've lived next door (almost 17 years). Couldn't you send a few our way?" He kindly responded, "I'll send some over." Sure enough the very next day we had three blue bird couples and have been seeing a few just about every day. (Did he really say anything to the birds, did they overhear us, or could they have stopped in because Stephen put out about six suet stations and hung four feeding stations for the big snow that was forecasted. Plus, he even spread a little peanut butter on the suet since they like peanut butter. Whatever the reason they finally decided to visit, I love to see their beautiful blue feathers.)

Tree (photo by Doug Maxwell)
Doug is often seen standing in his driveway with camera in hand, while Ester is standing in our driveway with her camera in hand. Our driveways run parallel and are only about 50 feet apart. They're waiting for just the right moment to get a good sunset picture. Doug has a pretty fancy camera with filters and several lenses and gets some excellent shots. We must have a very photogenic spot since we often see cars stop across from our house for a sunset photo!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Great Is Thy faithfulness"  Video  Wes Hampton

Until Then concert promo"Until Then" Concert:  This coming Sunday afternoon at 3:00 PM the Calvary Church Choir and Orchestra will feature a concert with the theme of heaven. I (Brooksyne) have sure enjoyed our rehearsals and look forward to singing in this concert. Selections include time honored hymns sung with the congregation and several newer selections with the theme of heaven. When I was a teenager "Until Then" was a choir number that we sang often in church and revivals. I never wearied of its message or tune, as a young person, and am thrilled to be singing it again in this setting since the words now seem more meaningful than in my youth. I still attend many concerts aimed at the younger crowds and enjoy them, but I'm also glad for a concert that has the older generation in mind. I hope many of our local readers can come out and be blessed by this concert. Come early because it will likely be very crowded. Here's another song we will be singing "He Is Worthy", a newer song so here's a video by Andrew Peterson singing this beautiful song. This was one of our favorite songs we learned over the past year. May it bless you as you listen.

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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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