Thursday, June 18, 2009

What Flower is This?

What flower is this?

I know.

I just want to see how many of you can figure it out. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Give your answer as a comment

After posting your guess, look for the answer on this page.

© 2009, Wesley G. Vaughn

Monday, June 8, 2009

An Appointed Time and Place

“And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined theirappointed times and the boundaries of their habitation.” ~ Acts 17:26 [NASB]

This year we celebrate 233 years since the Declaration on Independence was signed, marking the birthday of our nation. Ever since the first colonists arrived, there has been a sense of manifest destiny, the belief that our people were brought here by God and established on this continent for His purposes. Historically, we as a people have believed that our times are in God’s hand.

In a sense this is true for all peoples. The Apostle Paul told the Athenian philosophers that the Supreme God has determined both the times and the boundaries of all nations. We can see examples of this in history.

I saw this myself on a recent trip. When we were visiting Sedona, Arizona, seeking shelter from the rain while waiting for others, I found a display which told the story of the Sinagua people. The Sinaguas dominated central Arizona for more than 700 years. They farmed the Verde River Valley, built cities and villages on the cliffs, and mediated trade between peoples to the north, south, east and west. According to archaeological finds, they prospered and flourished. Then about AD 1450, they disappeared, leaving behind their cliff dwellings, canals, pottery and other artifacts. No one knows how or why. This does not necessarily mean the end of the people. The Mayan cities of Central America were abandoned long before the Spanish came, but the Mayan people still live in that area.

Like the Sinaguas, the Israelites occupied their land and dominated the surrounding area for about 700 years. Then they left their land. Unlike the Sinaguas, we know why, specifically why. They forgot God, who had given the land to them and had caused them to prosper. More than just forget God, they actually turned against Him. They gave their allegiance to other gods who were not really gods. So God caused them to be removed from the land. First the Assyrians took away those in the north in 722 BC. Then 136 years later the Babylonians took the rest away.

About 400 years ago, our civilization began to occupy this land. Later they established a nation, believing God had placed them here and made them a nation. This county has spread across the continent, from one ocean to the other. It now extends to the far north and to the middle of the world’s largest ocean. In our lifetimes, it has been the most powerful nation on earth. It has dominated the world’s economy. It has influenced the culture of almost every otherland on earth. It’s people have carried the Gospel to every corner of the globe. In many ways, itis seen as the greatest nation on earth.

Now we have reached the time when we, as a civilization and as a people, are turning away from the God who has made us a nation*. How long will God allow this to continue before He brings us down? How long before He removes us from our place among the nations? When will God determine the end of our time and our habitation?

* See the last verse of The Star Spangled Banner.

© 2009, Wesley G. Vaughn