For the Beauty of the Earth

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Dear Reader:

Yesterday…after a long “Fall’s” nap, my stomach filled with delicious left-overs, I “moseyed” outside. The neighborhood was eerily quiet. Everyone, apparently, had left to go elsewhere for Thanksgiving dinner.

I grabbed my Iphone and simply began strolling around…enjoying the memories of Wednesday evening with family and friends. Suddenly the lyrics of “For the beauty of the earth” came flowing into my thoughts and I started humming along.

My walk and appreciation of God’s beauty must have been a similar experience for the author of this poem/hymn. He, too, took a stroll along the back country roads of England in 1863 and was inspired to put his feelings down in prose.

In 1863, Folliott S. Pierpoint was wandering through the English countryside around the winding Avon River. As he looked on the peaceful beauty surrounding him, he was inspired to reflect on God’s gifts to his people in creation and in the church. Above all, Pierpoint thought of the sacrifice of Christ, in the greatest of sacrifices, that of his life in return for ours.

He thus originally wrote the text of “For the Beauty of the Earth” as a hymn for the Lord’s Supper. The original chorus read, “Christ, our God, to thee we raise this, our sacrifice of praise.” The hymn was meant not only as a song of thanksgiving, but as the only thing we could give Christ in return for his mercy and love: a hymn of praise laid upon the altar as a sacrifice.

Editors have since altered the refrain so it has become a more generic hymn of thanksgiving, but as it stands, it takes on a deeper meaning when understood as something we not only sing, but offer up to God. (Source: Hymnary .org)

For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies.

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As I walking around the side yard…I noticed my sasanqua bush was covered with buds..and then I suddenly spotted it…the first “birth” of beauty and “love which from our birth over and around us lies.” blossoming out of the bud.

Refrain: Christ, our Lord, to you we raise
this, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale and tree and flower,
sun and moon and stars of light

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 For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth, and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild

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For yourself, best gift divine, 

to the world so freely given, 

agent of God’s grand design:
peace on earth and joy in heaven

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We are a part of all who came before us and all who will follow…we are never alone in our journey…we are all part of God’s great plan for us. I find that to be the greatest blessing. Thank you God for life.

BEST- For the beauty of the Earth – YouTube

So until tomorrow…Take a few minutes and go discover the beauty of the earth….outside, inside, under, and above….we are surrounded by it.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Here are some beautiful photos Mary Fennemore sent me earlier in the week showing some photographs she took while in West Virginia earlier this year. I selected just a few I loved…but all of them were exquisite.

Since I enjoy seeing the pictures of your lovely garden I thought I'd send
you some that I took. The attached photos were taken last spring in some of
the garden areas of Capon Springs, a resort our family goes to in West
Virginia, occasionally. The flowers were exquisite and the little signs and
garden art, delightful.

May God continue to bless you as you continue to serve Him with an Attitude
of Gratitude! Psalm 118:1

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DSCF9086Thank you Mary again for sending these photos! 
Thank everyone for the beautiful Thanksgiving 
thoughts you shared with me....I appreciated it 
so much! 

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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