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Monday, July 13, 2020

Cades Cove
Cades Cove in Great Smokey Mountains National Park
Click on photo for larger view

"Deeded to God Almighty"

Message summary: Remember, all the earth and universe is indeed ultimately deeded to God Almighty!

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"The earth is the LORD'S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1).

Cades CoveCades Cove is a valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with stunning mountain views. When I first heard about this area I was curious as to why an inland area would be called a cove since I have always associated a cove with water. However in Appalachian vernacular a cove is "a relatively flat valley between mountains or ridges". We thus have lots of coves in our Ridge and Valley Provinces right here in Pennsylvania!

Beginning in the early 1800's Cades Cove was settled and its population peaked with about 700 inhabitants in 1900. When the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established the lands were bought by the Park Service. Now all that remains, as evidence of the settlement, are about 70 historic buildings (cabins, churches, barns) that were left for tourists to visit. The buildings are stripped of all furnishings allowing visitors to go inside the structures as well.

When we first drove into Cades Cove I stopped for information and visited with a park ranger for awhile. (Brooksyne and Ester would say "a very long while!") We sure had an interesting conversation as he told me he was actually related to many of the Cove residents and personally knew several who lived there before being bought out by the park service in the 1930's. 

He told me an interesting story about his great grandfather, John W. Oliver, who at one time owned 5,000 acres in the Cove. He resisted the government's efforts to buy his land. Determined to stay, he stalled the eviction by deeding all his property to God Almighty. This caused quite a legal dilemma in the imminent domain process! The case eventually went to the Tennessee Supreme Court three times before he finally lost and with great reluctance moved his household goods and farm machinery from the Cove on a bleak December day in 1937.

That phrase "deeded to God Almighty" caught my attention. It certainly was an interesting strategy in stalling the eviction. The ranger and I didn't discuss his great grandpa's religious convictions so I don't know how pure his motives were in making such a bold assertion. But I do know that in a biblical sense he was absolutely correct since ultimately all land is already deeded to God Almighty!

Consider the stirring acclamation of David in our daily verse. The shepherd, who had spent so much time in natural settings, perhaps with scenes similar to Cades Cove in today's photo, proclaimed "the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein".

Today, we encourage you, wherever you live, to observe the beautiful creation of God. Take some extra time, using all five of your God-given senses, to observe the often overlooked blessings of God's creation. If you do, it will result in your giving praise to the God who created, blesses, and rules the entire universe. Remember, all the earth and universe is indeed ultimately deeded to God Almighty! 

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: The heavens declare Your glory, Father, and all the earth reflects Your praise! You stretch out the skies like a tent and You built Your dwelling above the clouds.  You built the earth on its foundations with mountains that rise and valleys that descend. You set borders for the seas that they cannot cross and You make flowing springs pour into the ravines. You water the wild animals and provide nests for the wild birds who sing among the tree branches. The earth overflows with things You have made both for our pleasure and for our sustenance. All that we have belongs to You, Father, who gives all good things to Your creation. May we, Your children, be faithful stewards and grateful recipients as we regularly observe Your creative bounty. Amen.

(See Psalm 104 for further inspiration regarding God's creation)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"This Is My Father's World"  Video   The Collingsworth Family

"Sing Wherever I Go"  Video  We The Kingdom  Our worship service opened yesterday with this toe tapping, hand clapping song. we were blessed to be with others and to hear a fiddle in the background as we sang our worship songs. (video from our service cued to song).

Lancaster County Boardwalk
Saturday Brooksyne, Ester and I took a ride with a friend through neighborhood cornfields on the boardwalk. They're actually large pallets used for getting service equipment along the power line as they replace the poles.

Cow back scratcher!
This cow is getting a good back scratch! Brooksyne has asked me to look online to see if there are human back scratchers like this one that we could install in our house (wink).

Luke Brubaker and grandson Joshua
We visited with our farmer neighbor Luke Brubaker and his grandson Joshua, after we rode our bikes on their tractor trail. Luke farms a lot of the land in our area, including the fields across from our house. In 2011 he was recognized as Dairy Farmer of the Year. Video

Finally today:

Fancy car
Yesterday we saw this interesting car.

Fancy car
Any readers have an idea what it is?

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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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