A Wonderful Day!

Posted by Missouri Rev on Feb 14th, 2006

Today was a wonderfully warm day and perfect for taking a hike, which I did with my wife and youngest daughter. We headed over to a favorite area of ours in the Crooked River valley (about 3 miles) and hiked around a heavily wooded hill bordered almost entirely on the eastside by a long pond shaped a like a bony finger. During the summer the glorious cacophony of frogs and insects that make it their community is nearly deafening, though now the quite breezes blowing through its many water logged stumps are a melodious prelude to the concerto which will burst forth in about seven weeks. In the fields across from it were thousands of blackbirds feeding on the corn and flying rapidly about in stunning unison, as the unseen hand of God directed this swirling cloud of feathered acrobats to His praise and glory. I can’t say how much we enjoyed filling our lungs with the rich rural air, hearing all the birds singing praises to their Creator in simple melodious sonnets, feeling the oak leaves crunching under our feet, and seeing the many grasses swaying to the gentle breezes.

On the west side near a small pond where we harvest bullfrogs during the summer, we stopped at a recently plowed field to break up a handful of the black soil between our fingers while smelling its wonderfully sweet bouquet, something all of us have come to particularly enjoy and appreciate. All along the way we sought out certain grand trees to examine them up close – the stately oak, the shag bark hickory, the walnut – which are but a few of the dozens of varieties that fill the hillsides. We gathered various size acorns, along with chestnuts, walnuts, and hickory nuts. My daughter gathered a few bird’s nests to add to her collection.

It was the perfect environment for a great discussion on the technology and scale of the Lord’s creation. To see firsthand the various systems of creation at work with each other—all for which man is to steward—is exhilarating. I long for the day, if the Lord is willing, where the Lord’s people, in covenant with each other, can steward these abundant forests and rich farmlands to the praise of His glory. Just walking through them as we did encourages and strengthens me to press into the Lord’s Kingdom. Thank you Lord!! His mercies are renewed daily.

9 Responses

  1. Hank Says:

    Hi Pastor
    I have noticed that nature and trees in paticular, is an often visited subject here at the Ruralmissourian. It is as well an interesting theme in Scripture. I cant help but think of the use of the tree or trees by the Covenant Lord of Hosts throughout His Word. It seems this subject has had my attention this winter as I go thru the steps of ‘making wood’ to lighten the load on my propane starved furnace. Although my saw is anything but environmentally friendly, it does have a hypnotic tone that again repeats itself as the process continues through the splitter, then carried by the tractor, until finally, I am before the fire place, mesmerized by the flames of God’s Grace of providing warmth for my cold body to bask in. This has brought up some reoccurring themes to my mind of the trees found in Gods Word.

    The amazing tree; shelter, food, warmth and light. In the Garden, a tree brought death for the first Adam and upon a tree life came to all men through the second. He even makes parallels between the great forests of the surrounding wilderness and His own Glory [ISA 35:2]. The booths made from the Myrtle tree for dwelling to remember the days in the wilderness where the children of Israel lived before the Theophanic presence of the Lord. [Lev 23:40-42; Neh 8:15].

    Even Peter on the mount of transfiguration ask to pitch ‘tents’ before the illumination of the Glory-cloud presence of the glorified Christ, reminiscent again of the wilderness where God’s people lived among the Myrtles of booths before the Glory manifestation of the Lord protector.

    The night visions of Zachariah with the Angel of the Presence, leading His battle warriors and sitting posed upon His horse amidst the myrtles trees of His people. [Zach1:10-11]

    The Lord appearing before Abraham by the oaks of Mamre in Genesis 18.

    The tree of Life that grows from the very throne room of God bringing fruit bearing life to all peoples.

    Truly He loves His creation as it reflects His Glory, even by way of a tree.

    Have a great week.
    Lord Bless

  2. Missouri Rev Says:

    Hank,

    Thanks for commenting. I guess living in a state where trees would take dominion if they had their way; they are in my face enough to cause me to consider them for more than the usual. Besides being a beautiful creation — wonderfully crafted and highly valuable — they are used so often as types and shadows in the Scriptures to depict the Lord, His people, His salvation, and even the wicked and their judgments. Psalm 1:2-3 is a favorite of mine, which likens the one that delights in the law of God to a healthy tree planted by Him – But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

    Growing up in the deserts of Arizona, which I was free to explore to my heart’s content (which meant that I rarely ever hung out with the “neighborhood kids” in the streets causing trouble, for which I am thankful), I have always been a “critter” person, which gave my mother a little consternation as I was constantly adding to my live reptile collection. She was pretty cool about it, nonetheless, even like the time when I was notified by her after school one day that there are only suppose to be two water hoses to the washing machine and now there were three! My hefty six-foot Black Whip snake, having escaped his outside pen which I assured my mother was secure, came into the house and wrapped himself around the black hoses at the back of the washing machine. Apparently he stirred a little when it began to run. That was the only pet snake I ever had that bit me, twice to be exact. Talk about an adrenaline moment! The fang marks in my thumb were over a half inch wide. That was a serious snake no matter how you look at it. My daughter Susan has inherited my passion for creatures and creation, so we spend time romping the woods and capturing or rescuing critters (to reduce the road pizza syndrome), though she has yet to find snakes all that enjoyable. She hasn’t got use to the occasional Garter snake zipping across her sandaled feet while crossing the yard during the summer, imagine that!

    Though there were numerous trees in Arizona, many quite beautiful and plenty that had pretty nasty thorns like the Catclaw tree, as we called it, I didn’t appreciate them even remotely as I do now. Since I have come into an understanding of biblical agrarianism over the last 10 years, the Lord has really opened my eyes to His creation and given me a growing passion for biblical forestry and farming, which I hope someday soon to fully pursue.

    You have a great week as well, brother.

  3. Emily Says:

    My daughter and I just read Psalm 19 this morning as part of our studies. How refreshing a confirmation of His Word then to read of your day out in the bounty of His creation. We grow in awe of our Creator every time we step out of doors at the ordinary miracles taking place around us. A daily reminder of His grace towards us.

    P.S. Ummm….harvesting? bullfrogs?

  4. Missouri Rev Says:

    Emily,

    Thanks for joining in. You are right, the bounty of God’s creation is awesome to behold.

    As to “harvesting? bullfrogs?”

    Yep, I have to admit it, we think pan-fried frog legs are delicious. My daughter Susan has also discovered that bullfrogs are just about the dumbest critter God put on the face of the earth. A fishing line & hook with just about anything on it is enough for a big old frog to jump at. You might try it sometime.

  5. Emily Says:

    Now being a homeschooling parent I have to say I am naturally more daring than the average lady. I’m not afraid of snakes or spiders, I will handle anything that creeps crawls flies or slithers, and I can dissect an eyeball with the best of them. But as to actually consuming the science project, that is where I must draw the line. ;^D No offense, and that’s wonderful that you can enjoy eating them, but…..~shudder~

  6. David M Zuniga Says:

    Hey, brother:

    Rick Saenz’s website led me to your blog. I love blogging with Reformed, agrarian followers of Christ!

    I hear you, about the trees having their way if you let them. We’re building a place in the TX Hill Country, we call it Twelve Oaks because that’s how many we have on the proppity that measure over 24″ caliper. But there are likely over 100 oaks total.

    It will likely take us a few more years to finish the house there, so we’re still on a little ranch in Laredo, where it’s much “worse”, still- the mesquite will overgrow anything, always! With wood like iron, it’ll get the best of any chain-saw. Tough stuff, but great for barbequing.

    When I was in Junior High, we had an indigo snake named Winston (we used to catch and keep stuff for a while; we raised two javelinas and a bobcat, a barn owl, and two indigo snakes — besides the regular ranch critters. Winston was the only one that used to “get” inside with us. We had tile floors, and we’d scare him and make him try to zip across the floor, mostly slipping and sliding.

    Drove our mom nuts!

    When you get time, visit my blog and tell me what you think. I’m always eager to share my mission with America’s pastors, more than any other group.

  7. Konfederado Says:

    Good stuff, Reverend, I enjoy the blog.

  8. Missouri Rev Says:

    Emily . . . actually, catching and eating bullfrogs is not too bad. Since it’s only the legs that are eaten, it doesn’t take much to get them to the frying pan. Snapping turtles are a different story entirely. These guys never stop crawling, even when frozen or cut into small pieces. As a homeschool project we once designed and built a live trap for turtles, whereupon we caught several dozen turtles (in one setting). Among them was a rather mean 35 pound snapping turtle. Since turtles are cold blooded, we were told that if one places them in a freezer for an extended time, it becomes much easier to clean them (they have 7 kinds of meat and are considered a delicacy by a lot of high end restaurants). This Moby Dick of a turtle came out of the chest freezer 4 hours later still snapping to beat the band. It took three of us to execute it safely . . . one to stand on him, one to pull his head out of the shell with a wire noose, and the last one to bring down the ax. After removing the head which kept snapping, the lower half of the carapace and legs which kept crawling, we were rather green in the face and did not have much of an appetite. Even the tail twitched for hours after the slaughtering. Oh well, maybe someday I’ll get around to making turtle soup.

    David, welcome to my blog. Thanks for sharing your story. Mesquite can be quite obnoxious, though it does make good fire wood. I never did have a wild javelina as a pet, they can be quite feisty for such a little pig. Growing up in the Tucson area did allow for many amazing pets. I had a number of desert tortoises (when it was legal) that were big enough to crawl away under our weight . . . ride um cowboy!! I once won a prize at a pet fair for my pride tortoise I named Cassius Clay, who was a real fighter among my turtle herd (or what ever you call them).

    Konfederado, Thanks for the encouraging word!

  9. Pastor Josh Says:

    Very nice. It was kind of hard to sing to the song though without the tune. Just saw a turkey here that had almost a foot long beard. That one would look good on my wall. PJ

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