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AUTUMN MUSINGS

It’s official, and it’s real. Fall has arrived. It doesn’t happen very often that the weather makes a dramatic shift right on time with the date on the calendar, but this year just as September 22nd, the first official day of autumn, crept upon us, the temperatures dropped and at last—ahhhh! Beautiful, cool autumn days are here again! At least here in my little corner of the world. It was still in the nineties down in Alabama, but take heart, Julie, this week your highs will drop ten degrees, too.
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I am so ready for fall! We had such a hot summer this year that the cooler temperatures are a welcome relief. It is wonderful to turn off the air conditioning and enjoy the cool breezes coming in through open doors and windows again! I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune in February and March when we’re all ready for spring to spring but for now I’m enjoying cool.
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My favorite things about fall: The leaves changing colors. (They haven’t started yet around here but they will soon.) Making a big pot of homemade soup. (I made two different kinds this week.) Pumpkins. Apples. Pies made from pumpkins and apples and cinnamon and spice. Popcorn balls and caramel apples. (Are you beginning to see a pattern here?) Getting out the sweaters and sweatshirts and long-sleeved shirts. Bonfires. Hayrides. (Bob and I met on a hayride.) Thinking about Christmas coming soon and sneaking out the Christmas CD’s because I just can’t wait to start listening to them again. Thanksgiving. Kids going back to school. Watching (and hearing) Canadian geese and ducks flying in V-formation over my house as they head south. Seeing the little squirrels in my neighborhood getting fatter and fatter as they prepare for winter.
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I dream about living somewhere where the weather is “perfect” all year long, but really, I think I would miss the seasons if I didn’t have them. I love the beauty of God’s creation, but even more, I think, I love its variety. What an awesome God to have planned and created all this for us, and then to hold it all together by His power! “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible…all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16, 17) How some people can believe this all happened just by chance is beyond me. Only an omniscient and omnipotent Creator could have designed it all to work together so beautifully and actually brought it into being.
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He is not only our Creator, but he is our faithful Creator. When Noah came out of the ark and built an altar to the Lord after the flood, God promised “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22) As long as the earth exists, there will always be seasons; faithfully like clockwork He brings them about. Psalm 104:19 tells us, “He appointed the moon for seasons…” and Daniel 2:21 says, “And he changeth the times and the seasons…” He created them and He changes them.
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And though the Lord may change the seasons, He Himself does not change! “For I am the LORD, I change not.” (Malachi 3:6) More dependable than the sun, moon and stars, more dependable than the seasons or time or anything, because He created them, He is faithful. The Bible tells us in James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” His love and kindness are forever. “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3) His mercy and grace are eternal. “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22, 23) His promises are true. His salvation is secure and everlasting. “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” (II Corinthians 1:20-22) “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life.” (I John 513)
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I chose this morning to simply reflect on the arrival of autumn, and to praise Him for it and for all the beauty and variety of His creation. I praise him for His faithfulness to us and all that that means—His steadfastness and dependability, His eternal truthfulness, His unfailing provision of salvation and every other blessing we have in this life or eternity. It’s a good thing to simply pause and praise.
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I’ve shared the words of one of my favorite hymns before, but I want to do it again today—Great is Thy Faithfulness. They are so true and such a blessing to me.
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Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
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Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
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Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
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Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
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