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Colorful trees frame a placid stream and stone footbridge in Cooperstown, New York.

Photograph by Robert Madden, National Geographic  Cooperstown Bridge, New York

The placid waters and colorful foliage of Cooperstown, New York, frame a bucolic fall retreat.Colorful leaves and needles float atop the surface of still water.

Floating Leaves and Needles

Photograph by Sam Abell, National Geographic

A colorful collection of leaves and needles floats on the surface of the West Branch of the Pleasant River at Gulf Hagas, Maine. This remote gorge, Maine’s “Grand Canyon,” is deep within the 100-Mile Wilderness and accessible to hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Because of its obvious attractions, fall is among the most popular times to hike in New England.

Mid September found me watching the vibrant colors of my summer garden begin to rapidly fade to shades of gray and brown.  Tending to the garden means clipping away the echinachea and zinnia blossoms that have gone to seed, thus enabling the plants nourishment for new blossoms.  The same is true for marigolds which require only a gentle snap to make way for fresh color.  Gardiners have long since recognized the life cycle of plants as metaphors of human life.  Working in the garden this early morning I was reminded again of the rapid passing of summer and the relentless march to approaching autumn.  Sensitive souls make the certain comparison of human life’s brevity with eternity’s long timetable.  Autumn’s moment on the stage announces the urgency to prepare for a new heaven and a new earth.

        Dr. John Morris at the Institute for Creation Research has used a phrase in Psalm 19  to show the Creator’s touch on all the seasons:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.  Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shews knowledge. [vs 1-2]. The Sun which as a bridegroom comes out of his chamber, and rejoices as a strong man to run a race.  His going forth is from the end of the heavens, and his circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. [vs 5-6].”

“Modern science has shown the universe in which we live is really a tri-universe – a continuum of space/time/energy....Thus the first two verses of this psalm, by focusing our attention on “the heavens – the firmament” (space), “day...night” (time) and “speech-knowledge (energy), reveal a scientific truth long before its “scientific” discovery....The sun’s energy, radiating out in all directions, not only energizes the earth but the entire solar system as well.  Furthermore, it is now known that the sun traverses the galaxy in a gigantic orbit with its energy bathing each part.  Truly “there is nothing hid from the heat thereof (text verse).  Only the Creator of space, time, and energy – the Creator of the sun, the solar system, the Milky Way galaxy, and the universe – could have known these things. That Creator, through the empowering ministry of the Holy Spirit, is the author of this psalm.”

Weather forecasters are predicting a colder than usual winter for Virginia this year.  A brisk wind was blowing this morning while the global weather report of early snowfall in seven Midwestern states cautioned me to wear a sweater.   Too, I have been seeing crickets for several days now and the multicolor small moths that manifest themselves in late summer.  Last week a lone monarch found its way to a new plant I discovered and planted named “echibekia”, a hybrid of echinachia and rudabekia [cone flower and blackeyed susan] with large brilliant blossoms.  Having the DNA of two perennials, this new plant, too, will join others for next spring’s resurrection.  Nothing else matters but the glory of God!

Photo: Birch trees in autumn with yellow leaves

Aspens in Autumn  National Geographic


“Take this rule: whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.”       Susanna Wesley in a letter to John Wesley, June 8, 1725


Brilliant Maroon Bells

For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.    St Paul to the Corinthians [2 Cor 4:17]