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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)

TITLE: Lasting Impressions
By Edmond Ng


    And He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while." (Mark 6:31a NAS)
When my wife and I visited Pilanesberg National Park, North West Province of southern Africa in 1999, we were amazed by what we saw of this 55,000 hectare game and wildlife reserve. Although we did not get to see all the Big Fiveóthe lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephantóat the park, what made a lasting impression in my mind was its landscape. I saw from a distance in the cool early morning a spectacle of astounding beauty of valleys and mountains that seemingly span beyond the horizon into the infinity of Godís unparalleled creation. Such was the deep impression I have of the park, besides its awe-inspiring sense of adventure being up close with the animals of the wild and beautiful sunset.

Not all of us are likely to get to visit a park that gives us lasting impressions. We need not however travel far to be able to appreciate the beauty of Godís creation. As a writer, I used to take time over the weekends to go to a nearby park for nature walks to think and get inspiration from God. Early mornings are always the best times to seek solitude within nature as I calm my inner spirit to heighten my senses in listening, smelling, touching, feeling, and seeing.

Are we weary and burdened by the things and activities going on around us? If we are, perhaps a visit to a park or garden nearby can work wonders for us in refreshing our focus. Jesus said, ďCome away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while" (Mark 6:31). Our Lord is inviting us to go to Him so He can give us rest (Matthew 11:28). If we are ever in doubt of Godís goodness, then let us call to remembrance the things that give us lasting impressions that we may never forget all His benefits and bless Him (Philippians 4:8; Psalm 103:2).

Dear Lord, thank You for the amazing beauty of Your creation. You O Lord have lifted up our spirits and heighten our senses to love You more and more each day. Wonderful are Your works O God that make lasting impressions on our hearts and minds, and we cannot help but to stand in awe of You. We praise You Lord because we have been fearfully and wonderfully made, and our souls find rest in You.

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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/05/12
Your devotion is just perfect. The scriptures reinforce your message and I believe many can relate to it. I'd love to see the big five in nature but like you said, for now there are amazing treats right out my back door. I've never been an outdoors person but the last few years have found me out chatting with the two geese who call the pond out back home. Last year a screech owl and I conversed for as long as he would tolerate. This year I was drawn to killdeer and their nest. I still marvel how these birds manage to keep their young safe since they lay their eggs in the rock and in my case in a driveway. Yet somehow they did survive and gave me hours of joy. You reminded me that just because there is snow on ground now, I can still bundle up and be blessed by God's word.