Summer Creation Marvels

When we are daily surrounded by God’s creative and providential work in this season of summer, it is easy to overlook these miraculous marvels, large and small.

Gorgeous Hibiscus and Asian lilies at my parents’ flower garden.


Lilies amid other blossoms in my rock garden.

I have been taking pictures throughout the summer, here and there, and share a few of them with you tonight.


A trip to Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids after dinner out in June.


Storm clouds over the area this past Thursday.

New family of deer (fawns) at seminary.

Lying down in the shade this past week.


View of the one of the lakes at Millennium Park in Grand Rapids (another bike ride).


Catching a turtle with grandsons on the 4th of July (It was fish we were trying to catch!).

It was the last one my wife and I saw tonight by the Grand River that especially prompted me. Enjoy! Isaiah 40:31

Yes, a bald eagle was perched above the river at Grand Ravines Park (new Ottawa County park along the Grand River just north of where we live). Earlier in the week I rode my bike there and enjoyed this serene scene.

Published in: on August 5, 2017 at 9:15 PM  Comments (2)  

More Special Visitors to the PRC Seminary (and some beautiful blossoms)

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This week the PRC Seminary once again hosted some special visitors – two more Christian school classes. On Tuesday, April 25, the fourth graders from Hope PR Christian School (Walker, MI) paid us a visit (taught by Mr. Dan Hanko).

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After listening to Prof. R. Cammenga’s introductory talk on the seminary and its work, the students were given a tour of the building.

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Following that, the students gathered for devotions with the faculty and students, with the students introducing themselves for the benefit of the Hope CS students. And then it was time for snacks over coffee – or, in the students case, over juice boxes.

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On Thursday, April 27, Mrs. Jordan Pettit’s fourth-grade class from Heritage Christian School (Hudsonville, MI) made a visit to us. This group too was informed by Prof. R. Cammenga of the nature and labors of the seminary and then given a tour of the facilities.

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And, of course, shared homemade snacks were provided – something we always look forward to! 🙂

We are grateful that our Christian school teachers take an interest in the special school we have in our PRC Seminary, and that they take the time to stir up interest in their students. In this way we are encouraged in our labors – and we trust some special seeds of interest in the ministry of the Word are sown in the souls of a few of the young boys. May the Lord so work!

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As part of this post, I will also include some pictures of the beautiful trees blooming on our property. April and May are special times as the spring trees blossom here and everywhere in West Michigan. Once again, see the handiwork and glory of our Creator-Father!

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O, and it’s Friday – time for grilled brats! 🙂 Have a good day!

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Published in: on April 28, 2017 at 2:22 PM  Leave a Comment  

World-tilting Truth: God is Wise

If Creation is an act of unimaginable power, it is no less a work of immense wisdom. Every vast and staggeringly complex movement issues from His mind. He needs no manual, counsel, or outside authority.

…When you watch those marvelous nature specials [on TV or the Internet], you are beholding an exhibition of God’s wisdom. Though the narrator blathers on about ‘Mother Nature,’ you should know better. These are the works of God’s hands, and He made them all in wisdom (Ps.104:24).

….God has both an infinite array of facts at His command, and infinite wisdom concerning the meaning, significance, and weight of all those facts in every possible arrangement. He has that knowledge, because He created them and rules over them.

All of this is also a world-tilting truth. The current mind-set makes much of the supposed meaninglessness of ‘life, the universe, and all that.’ The common subtext of many media’s storylines is that life is meaningless in itself; that we must choose our meaning and define ourselves. But history itself has no aim, meaning, or purpose.

This truth [that God is wise and possesses perfect wisdom] demolishes that notion, insisting that we have neither the right nor ability to redefine the universe, since it is a created universe, and since every fact has a value assigned to it by the Creator. Including us. We have neither the right nor ability to assign meaning to the universe. Its Author is the one who assigns definition and meaning. At best, we discover and uncover that meaning.

world-tilting-gospel-phillipsTaken from Dan Phillips’ The World-Tilting Gospel; Embracing a Biblical Worldview and Hanging on Tight (Kregel, 2011), Chapter 4 “The God Who Plans” (Kindle version).

In this chapter, Phillips is preparing the way to introduce God’s amazing salvation plan for lost sinners fallen in Adam (see my previous post on this book). He discusses three of God’s attributes – holiness, love, and wisdom – to explain how they come together in His sovereign purpose to save sinners – that’s chapter 5 – next time! The above quote is from the section where he treats the wisdom of God, especially as it relates to His work of creation.

 

Morning has Broken – January 6, 2017

A glorious sunrise appeared on Seminary hill this morning. With the white coat of freshly fallen, lake-effect snow, it was beautiful. I captured these out the front windows. Yes, it was cold (around 5 F) and I stayed in! 🙂

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On December 27, 2016, during our thaw period, these deer and turkey were roaming and grazing in the green grass up front. Always a treat to see them. Well, the deer at least. Those turkeys, well, they are a tad messier, if you know what I mean. 🙂

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Published in: on January 6, 2017 at 12:03 PM  Leave a Comment  

White Walkers and Other Wonders in Our Sudden Michigan Winter

I know those in West Michigan know, but in case those outside of our great state do not, we are experiencing winter in full force in the last two weeks! After a frigid week with plenty of lake-effect snow, a major system is coming our way today, with promises of 6-10 inches of more snow.

Rather than complain or run to warmer climates, we cherish and relish “the treasures of the snow”, our winter wonderland! Our mighty Creator and loving Father certainly displays His glory in special ways through the season of winter.

“Michigan in Pictures” had another beauty posted this morning (see below).

White Walkers, photo by Aaron Springer I think we can all agree that Winter is not merely coming, it’s here. View Aaron’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

Source: White Walkers | Michigan in Pictures

But we have also seen some special beauty in our little “neck of the woods” here at the PRC Seminary. Yesterday I took a few pictures of the grounds out front. Enjoy! And know what you “outsiders” are missing! 🙂

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Light and Time – Dr. B. Looyenga, December 1 Standard Bearer

The latest issue of the Standard Bearer (December 1, 2016) contains an interesting and edifying assortment of articles, among which is one by Dr. Brendan Looyenga (Calvin College professor in the science department) on “Light and Time” for the rubric “All Thy Works Shall Praise Thee.”

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Dr. Looyenga writes about God’s amazing creation of light and time, showing the close relation between these two creatures. At the end of his article, he makes some points in answer to the question, How does the knowledge of these creatures bring glory to the Creator?

Here are two of his significant points:

Secondly, it is notable that the very first creative act we read of in the Bible is God’s creation of light (Gen. 1).  Remarkable!  Why?  Because as we discussed above, the central constant in our cosmos is this very creature!  No matter where you are, no matter how fast you move, no matter when you observe it,  light moves at a constant speed.  And as such, though we do not read that time was God’s first creation, He in effect made that creature too when he fashioned light as His first creature.  And so, while Einstein’s work may have pointed to the primacy of light as a constant, it was our heavenly Father who fashioned it to be His standard for the physical laws governing the creation.  A mere coincidence, says the scoffer.  No, say we, a providential work of the Creator!

In the third place, I would point out that God’s omnipotence over time is not only key to our understanding His creative power, but also to understanding the possibility of the cross.  It was there that our Lord Jesus Christ suffered for sin, conquering it completely and atoning for sin such that we may have fellowship with God.  But the puzzling thing about that atonement is that our Lord accomplished it in the space of just three hours.  Stop and think about that.  Complete atonement for an eternity of punishment for sin—in just three hours.  No mere man could do this, regardless of his perfection, because no man could bear eternity in the space of time, regardless of its length.  But we confess that Christ is not only man; He is God incarnate!  As fully divine, He was able to bear an eternity’s worth of suffering for all His people, compressed into a temporal space of three hours.  No man could do this; but “with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37).

For more information on subscribing to this Reformed bi-monthly magazine, visit the SB link above.

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Labyrinth of Lavender in Shelby

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This amazing garden was featured on our local Fox News station last weekend. We stopped and visited this little farm stand this summer on the way to Silver Lake and never realized this was tucked back in the fields of lavender.

Looks like a place to stop on your way north. And I didn’t even mention the cherry turnovers at the stand. That alone is worth the stop. 🙂

Here is part of the Fox story. Read the rest at the link below.

SHELBY, Mich. — It’s an intricate garden you can see from Google Earth, with winding pathways and a Stonehenge-like center, but what exactly is it? Turns out it’s a labyrinth of lavender.

A stone marks the beginning of the winding rows of lush lavender bushes, an area with so much life that got it’s start from death.

Cherry Point Farm owner Barbara Bull explains, “There is a soil born micro-organism in the soil at this location on the farm that will kill a tart cherry orchard, it will eventually die. It killed the last orchard that was here.”

An area of farmland surrounded by healthy cherry orchards, but cannot grow them would be a problem for most farmers, but not for Barbara, who already had a deep seeded love for lavender.

“I’ve always loved lavender and it is particularly suited to grow here,” she said.

Source: Labyrinth of lavender in Shelby | Fox17

Published in: on September 23, 2016 at 6:42 AM  Leave a Comment  

Wonders of Creation: How hermit crabs change shells with anemones

Yes, we are going to start this Friday with another video. And no, it does not have anything to do with books or reading.

But it certainly does show forth the “little” wonders of creation and the glory of our Creator, the almighty Maker of heaven and earth  – the Maker of these incredible crabs.

So, enjoy the wonder of these hermit crabs and what they do when they change shells and take their “friends” with them.

And maybe while we are thinking about this amazing “mutualism”, we can ask ourselves: Am I a symbiotic Christian?

Published in: on September 16, 2016 at 6:17 AM  Leave a Comment  

The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks

This year the U.S. National Park system is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. Google (“Arts and Culture”) has put together a spectacular video presentation on the “hidden worlds” of these parks. In their words, “Follow rangers on an immersive 360° journey through the Hidden Worlds of our National Parks.”

So, on this Friday – the last of our summer vacation – we will take a fine tour of our national parks. Get ready for an incredible hike and some outstanding scenes!

Source: The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks

Published in: on August 26, 2016 at 9:18 AM  Comments (1)  

Seminary Critters in 2016 (1)

It has been a bit since I did a Seminary animal feature, so today for our “Friday Fun” item I will give you a few of the critters we have seen this Spring and Summer.

It is always a marvel to me how much of God’s beautiful creation we are privileged to see in our little acreage here. The heavens declare God’s glory, but so do birds and turtles and deer. Enjoy!

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Cardinals - May 2016

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And, in case you have not seen the nice, new landscape in the front of Seminary (thanks to Brad Gritters and crew!), here are a couple of photos of that, including a stormy sky last month.

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Published in: on August 19, 2016 at 5:12 PM  Leave a Comment