Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Michigan Rocks and So Does God!!

Not many people understand how awesome Michigan is. You might not know that the state nickname is "The Great Lakes State." And if you haven't lived here you might not understand that that means Michigan touches 4 out of 5 of the Great Lakes..... almost half of our counties actually touch one of the Great Lakes too. These lakes aren't really lakes at all, they're inland oceans. They're ringed with miles of beautiful beaches and skyscraping sand dunes. You can't see across them. There are whitecaps to play in but no scary sea creatures or pesky salt water. Between those mammoth wonders and all the little lakes of Michigan, you can't be within our state boundaries without being within 6 miles of a lake. You want coastline? Forget Florida and California, check out Michigan! Michigan boasts 3,126 miles of coastline! If we called the Great Lakes oceans, which they really deserve, that puts Michigan just trailing California in miles of coastline......more coastline than Hawaii!! I have a t-shirt that says "If you seek a pleasant penninsula, look about you!" That's the well deserved state motto of my favorite state worn by a proud Michigander.

We took our church's teens to the Upper Penninsula (yes, we have two...and they're both equally pleasant!) to bask in the wonder of Michigan last week. We drove off the grid....out from under the umbrella of cell phone service and GPS direction and then got out and hiked to coastline that only your feet and mapping skills can take you to.

And we were in AWE.....

We were in AWE of Michigan.....but we were even more in AWE of WHO made it!


19  iThe heavens declare the glory of God,

and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

One of our teens said it well around the campfire that night.....knowing who made all this beauty makes it mean so much more to us. Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of lights.... there was no random view that we encountered along the hiking path. Each vista, the deep blue of the lake and the sounds of the songbirds along the path, every detail that made us catch our breath were gifts given by a good Father who loves his kids and wants us to know what He's like.

Not only did this good Father speak to us through the beauty of the world, but He also gave us His Word.....more reviving than the water in your bottle after a 10 mile hike!

The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rulesof the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10  More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11  Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

We are in AWE of God because of the beauty of Michigan, and in AWE of God because He has spoken directly to us in His Word.  How can we not want to throw back our heads, open wide our hearts and give every breath, every movement, every word of our mouths and meditation of our hearts back to Him as a Thank You?

12  Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13  Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Hiking with these teens in the beauty of Michigan was a satisfying way to spend a week. Michigan really rocks.....and so does God because He made it just for us!  Thank you God for making Michigan for me, and thank you Michigan for making me love God even more!!