Tag Archives: creation

Ponder Anew

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Join me in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how all thy longings have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee;
Health hath vouchsafed and, when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
What need or grief ever hath failed of relief?
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.

Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
Saints with His mercy surrounding.

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

Words by Joachim Neander, 1680
Music by Unknown, 1665

 


Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
Psalm 150

“And you shall again obey the LORD, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. “Then the LORD your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand,
Deuteronomy 30:8 – 9

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23:6

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you
Luke 12:24 – 28


 

When we look at the world today compared to 200 years ago, we have some pretty amazing things.  We have computers that not only allow us to process and save information, but connect us with the rest of the world.  We have telephones that not only connect our homes and offices, but that we carry with us everywhere.  And with the simple flip of a switch, we illuminate the night.

Yes, we have amazing developments but we seem to simply take them for granted. But imagine the thought processes of those who brought these things to life.  Where would we be without people like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell or Charles Babbage.  These people thought beyond what was, to what could be. When we stop to consider the impact they have had on the world, it is staggering.

But if these people, as well as others, could have this impact on the world, how much more has the very Creator of the Universe had on each and every one of us.  As I look at the words of  Joachim Neander’s hymn, “Praise To The Lord, The Almighty” I can not help but ponder these thoughts.

He begins his hymn with a call for each of us to join together in praise and worship of God.  He calls, “All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near; Join me in glad adoration.” This call is a theme that we hear in Psalm 150 where we read,

“Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.”

 He goes on to reflect on many of the things God has done.  Our minds are drawn to the realities that God reigns over all, that he shelters and sustains us, that he provides for our needs.  We see that God “will prosper us abundantly in all the work of our hands.” (Deuteronomy 30:9) We are reminded that His “goodness and love will follow us all the days of our lives.” (Psalm 23:6)

Unfortunately, these are all things we can so easily take for granted.  They are things we can simply fail to reflect on and consider.

This draws us to what seems a pivotal point in the hymn.  Neander calls us to, “Ponder anew, what the Almighty can do, If with His love he befriend thee.”  You see, when we stop to consider the magnitude of what God has done in this world, we can not help but be amazed. When we genuinely “ponder anew” what He has done for us personally we must sing our praises to Him.  But if this is not enough, we need to consider what is beyond our comprehension.  We reflect on the reality that the Almighty Creator of the Universe calls us friends.  (John 15:15)  That he cares personally for us.  This is why Jesus reminds us, in Luke 12:28 that if God can so beautifully clothe “the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you.”

Yes God can and will care for His people, as he always has.  The God who sustains the world, can sustain each and every one of us.  When we stop and “ponder anew” this truth, our voices are drawn to join with all of God’s people when we declare, “Let the Amen sound from His people again, Gladly for aye we adore Him.”

 

 

Read more about “Praise To The Lord.”

 

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How Thy Wonders Are Displayed

I sing the mighty power of God, that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at God’s command, and all the stars obey.

I sing the goodness of the Lord, who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word, and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky.

There’s not a plant or flower below, but makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God art present there.

Words by Isaac Watts, 1715
Music by Anonymous, ca. 1784

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”
Genesis 1:31

A couple of my favorite activities are camping and hiking. Among the reasons is that I love the outdoors. I love to see the scenery. I love to get away from the business of daily life and spend time out in nature, even if only for a couple of days.

This change of pace and being surrounded by nature has another benefit as well. I begin to fully appreciate God’s creation. While, yes, I can consider creation in other settings, there is something about taking the time away from everything else and loosing all the distractions that allows me to fully consider Genesis 1.

It is at these times that the words of Issac Watts hymn, “I Sing The Mighty Power Of God” gain some of their fullest meaning. The concept of God as the creator of everything becomes more than simply an intellectual belief, it becomes tangible. And so I join my voice with so many who have come before declaring, “Lord, how thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye.

 

 

Read more about “I Sing The Mighty Power Of God.”

This Is My Father’s World

100_0262This 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.

This is my Father’s world:
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world:
O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let earth be glad! 

Written by Maltbie D. Babcock, 1901
Music by Franklin L. Sheppard, 1915 (based on a traditional English tune)

 

Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
Romans 1:19 – 20

 

This world can really seem messed up when we look around. Take a look at the evening news and you will see what I am talking about. It seems that most, if not all of the stories are about something going wrong. War, murder, crime, famine, disease and more. These are what we are so often presented with. Why should it then surprise us when people do not believe that there is any hope out there.

But when we take an honest look at the world around us, we can begin to see something different. We see majestic mountains. We see the beautiful colors of the fall foliage. We hear the sweet song of birds in the early morning hours.

As we look at the incredible existence of this world we are struck by the incredible balance of our world in the cosmos. A world that is kept in balance. It sits close enough to the sun to provide warmth for life, but it sits far enough away to not burn up. It contains all that is needed for life. The seasons flow from one to another without fail.

When we look a the inhabitants of this world, we may see the problems that are listed, but we also begin to see compassion for one another. With this deeper look, we begin to see not just the ugliness, but a beauty that comes from it’s creator.

This is the message found in “This is My Father’s World.” The world in it’s beauty and majesty stands forth as evidence that God is in control. As Paul wrote in Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

Yes, at first look we seem to see the ugliness stand out as though it was the norm, but as Babcock writes, “O let me ne’er forget, that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.”

So I choose not to simply see the ugliness of the world, but to be moved with compassion for a world crying out for it’s creator. And so, I declare, “This is my Father’s world: why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! God reigns; let the earth be glad!”

 

 

Read more about “This is My Father’s World.

The Evolution of the Law of Evolution

A Federal Court has spoken, but does this settle the matter? One hundred years ago, the questions was hardly considered. The answer was simple; God, an intelligent designer, created life. But then something changed. One young teacher dared to challenge the status quo and a court case ensued. A court case immortalized in the play “Inherit the wind” and commonly referred to as the “Scopes Monkey Trials.” So the courts declared that chance evolution was a theory which deserved to be presented along with any other theory. And so it was settled, intelligent design and chance evolution would be taught as equal theories. But something went amiss.

Those who had stood in opposition to the Christian faith, the most notable supporters of intelligent design for the time, had found a way to explain the world with out having to fall back on a designer. The opportunity was seized and slowly, very slowly at first, chance evolution was given more time and weight in presentations. Academics in higher education were even more bold, as they began to prepare the next generation of teachers to the young. Presenting to them the “intelligence” in human reason that had determined the process of evolution in opposition to the simple-minded tradition of a designer, which had been blindly followed for centuries.
And so things changed. Slowly, bit by bit, the theory of chance evolution came to be presented as fact and replaced the myth of intelligent design. But something happened that the evolutionist had not planned on. Scientist who bucked the status quo. Scientist who put as much research into proving the need for an intelligent designer to explain the origins of life. Scientist who were willing to point out the fallacies and holes in chance evolution.
And so, almost one hundred years later, the two sides return to court. Again, a group of educators were willing to challenge the status quo and present chance evolution as a theory, not fact, and equally present intelligent design as a theory.
But the Federal court has spoken. Declaring that intelligent design has no place in the classroom. Declaring that intelligent design is nothing but a subversive attempt by Christians to force their teaching into the classroom along side evolution. Even with a hope of replacing fact with an ancient myth.
I am willing to give this Judge the benefit of the doubt. I am willing to believe he simply missed the point. That those supporting intelligent design, were not asking that chance evolution be removed from the classroom, but that it be taught, as the courts had originally intended, as a theory along side other theories. For that is what they are, theories. While we may be able to prove the supporting legs of various theories, none of the theories themselves can be proven. None of us was there. In fact, no matter which theory you support, no one was present to document the events. If no one was present, then to follow any theory is an equal matter of faith. Therefore, teaching both is not an attempt to usurp fact with myth, but to lay all the cards out for review.
No, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. For to do otherwise, is to see a much darker picture. A world where a man sits in judgment of faith and not of law. A world where open discussion and free thought are squelched and children are indoctrinated with views in opposition of the tradition of their families. A world where God has no place among the intelligent. I will give him the benefit of the doubt, and pray that the Supreme Court will choose to review the case and see the truth.