Let All the Earth Keep Silence

Habakkuk 2:18-20 – What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols! 19 Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it. 20 But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.

2014-01-15 - Let All the Earth Keep Silence (IMG_6878)Kentucky’s Natural Arch (not to be confused with Natural Bridge).  Natural Arch Scenic Area, Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky.

On this particular January day two years ago we were hiking the Buffalo Canyon Trail in the Natural Arch Scenic Area of the Daniel Boone National Forest.  We saw a few other people around the arch, but pretty much had the entire five mile trail to ourselves.  The silence was amazing and was interrupted only periodically by the sound of large icicles crashing down from the cliffs above.

One of the big reasons I enjoy getting out into the wilderness is the opportunity to get away from the cacophony of life in the modern world.  With televisions, computers, cell phones, and countless other noise-making, electronic devices vying for our attention every day, we barely have time to hear our own thoughts, let alone time to listen to the voice of our God and Creator, and reflect on his greatness.

Not only does the wilderness give us a chance to see and experience the beauty of God’s creation, it also forces us to turn off the electronic devices we have all come to depend on, often to the point of idolatry.  Do we trust the voices we hear through these creations of man, more than we trust the voice of God that we hear through his creation and through his words in the Bible?  These devices are useful tools, but not worthy of the time and attention we give them.

Take some time away, even if only for a few hours, and put away these idols of glass, metal, and plastic.  Get out into God’s creation, marvel at his amazing handiwork, listen to his voice, and “let all the earth keep silence before him.”

Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2014.

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North Cincy MVP Camp 2013

It was another great year for MVP Camp at North Cincinnati Community Church!  This despite the MAJOR road construction project limiting access to the church (the normally busy, two-way, paved road is currently a rutted, gravel path only open to the church driveway from one direction),

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and MAJOR thunderstorms on Monday and Tuesday.

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By God’s provision, the storms caused only a short delay on Monday evening, allowing the sports activities to go ahead as planned.  Tuesday the rain ended before camp started but returned later, resulting in a very soggy end to the evening.  Quite incredibly, though, we were blessed both evenings with double rainbows, great displays of God’s promise and handiwork!

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Even though the rain ended in time on Monday and Tuesday, we still decided to run some of the outdoor adventure camp activities inside to avoid having the children spend 90 minutes sitting on the completely saturated ground!  The outdoor safety, first aid, and surprisingly the setting up camp, portions were easily adapted to the indoor setting.  Every year things get a little smoother, and this year was no exception, even with the weather issues.  Experience is certainly a good teacher.

Wednesday and Thursday turned out to be the two nicest evenings in the history of MVP camp with low humidity and temperatures in 70s, which is rather unusual for late July here in southwestern Ohio!  As usual, we ended our outdoor adventure camp activities on Thursday night with the most popular and anticipated event of the week, the campfire and s’mores, enjoyed while we watched an amazing display of God’s handiwork unfold across the western sky.

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The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky
above proclaims his handiwork.
 Psalm 19:1 (ESV)

The week wrapped up on Friday evening with the closing rally.  This was a chance for the children and their parents to watch a video presentation of the week’s activities and performances by the children in the music and ballet tracks, hear a testimony from one of the track leaders, and closing remarks from our youth pastor.  The evening concluded with a gallery of artwork from the children in the art track and lively time of fellowship and refreshments.

Attendance was down a bit this year, around 120 children.  But, this is not too surprising given the road construction that quite likely limited the number of last-minute, walk-in registrants, which in past years has been fairly significant.  Based on the numbers in the outdoor adventure camp, I suspect we drew good attendance from outside our church again this year.  We had 18 children in outdoor adventure camp, with eight of them coming from outside our church.

But, even with the lower attendance, it was a great week, and the children had a wonderful time learning new skills in their chosen pursuits and about the Most Valuable Pursuit of all, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2013.