Rise Up, My Love (307): How to Access the Song of Solomon Study Sequentially

Studying the Song of Solomon has been one of the highlights of my life, but it’s finally come to an end (at least for now). This post will serve as the final “bookend” on my blog, but it will be the first post that comes up for anyone who scrolls down the right-hand side of Summer Setting’s home page and clicks on the “Rise Up, My Love” tab. Therefore, for anyone who would like to read the posts beginning at the beginning rather starting at the end, I wanted to let you know that you can access the entries sequentially on my home page by typing into the window box that has the word “Search” next to it in the upper right-hand area of the page. For example, if you type in: Rise Up, My Love (1) and then hit “Search,” it will bring up the first post, which was written exactly six years years ago, on October 7, 2012. Here’s the link:

https://kathrynwarmstrong.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/rise-up-my-love-meditations-on-the-song-of-solomon-1/

If you have any thoughts or questions to share, I’d love to have you post them in the comment box below. May God bless you in your journey toward finding, knowing, loving, and surrendering to the God of the Universe, who loves you, and me, and all of us, more than we will ever comprehend!

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).

Did You Understand the Message of Arrival Before They Departed?

arrival_movie_posterHave you seen the super highly rated, PG-13, 2016 sci-fi thriller, Arrival?
Or, maybe first I should ask if you watched the Academy Awards last night.arrival-posterArrival was nominated for 8 Oscars (although it’s only win was for sound editing), not to mention 184 other nominations in other venues,
and it already had 34 wins going in to the 89th Academy Awards. trying-to-decipher-language-in-arrivalMy son Joel
(who’s an editor at a local publishing house and is fascinated by language) arrival-dvd-2016enjoyed it so much that he bought a copy shortly after Arrival was available,
and we watched it as a family.arrival-amy-adams-as-linquistics-professorWithout spoiling the end (if you haven’t seen it), I can tell you that the story
is about a linguistics professor, Louise Banks (played by Amy Adams), arrivalwho is asked to leave her position teaching linguistics at a university arrival-jeremy-renner-as-ian-donnellyand join physicist Ian Donnelly (played by Jeremy Renner) base-camp-for-studying-aliens-in-arrivalas part of a special army task force assigned to a military base in Montana arrival-space-shipin response to a world crisis, where 12 extraterrestrial spacecraft appear hovering just above the earth at various locations around the globe. arrival-what-are-theyAlthough throughout the world people feel threatened by this extraterrestrial presence, and some nations prepare to attack in hopes of destroying them,amy-adams-in-arrival-2Louise and Ian work together for months trying to decipher the aliens’ language in the hopes of understanding why they have come to the earth. trying-to-understand-the-aliens-in-arrivalAre the aliens friendly or dangerous? arrival-hetapodWhat are they trying to say? arrival-louise-banks-enters-the-sphere-of-the-aliensWill Louise and Ian survive their encounters?extraterrestrial-spacecraft-in-arrivalWill the earth survive their encounters?

arrival-space-ship-landingThere’s a lot of suspense, a fascinating plot with a good twist at the end, and a subliminal message that the viewers are left to ponder for themselves. Without saying too much that might spoil the experience for those who haven’t seen it yet, the message I took from the movie is that of transcendence. To me, God is the timeless, transcendent One who knows the past, present, and future. He sees all and knows all, from the beginning to the ending.

This goes beyond the movie, but I believe we can know some things about the future even in our present if we’ll only study to decipher God’s handwriting on the wall. God tells us in the Bible that He’s the great “I am,” the beginning and the ending.

Is God friendly or dangerous? Although many people fear God as a potential threat (just like many of the nations feared the aliens), God is actually friendly now. God is Love, and God loves us!

What is God trying to say? He has come with a message:  There is a Day of  Judgment coming in the future, for which we need to prepare now.

Will we survive our encounters? Only you and I can answer that for ourselves by trying, but it’s scary to try before you know, isn’t it? Just like Louise and Ian demonstrated, it takes a lot of faith, courage, and hope. God entered time and space in the form of a man, Jesus Christ, who came to die in our place, making reconciliation with God possible if we are willing to repent (change our ways) and accept the gift of eternal life through faith in Christ.

Will the earth survive our encounters? There is an answer in the Bible. Do you know it? (If you don’t, try reading the last book in the Bible, called Revelation.) Finding the answer is a lot more thrilling than watching Arrival! arrival-skyNow unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,  To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).

Mighty Niagara’s Rainbowed Falls

Rainbow Bridge over Niagara FallsOur trip home from Rochester back to Michigan took us across the Rainbow Bridge, which connects Niagara Falls, New York with Niagara Falls, Ontario. American Falls and Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Did you know that the water under the bridge is more than 175′ deep and that in just one minute an estimated 6 billion pounds of water cross under the bridge? Double Rainbow at Niagara Falls I can see how the bridge got its name, because no matter where you look, Rainbows at Niagara Falls on a sunny day rainbows follow you everywhere! Rainbows at Niagara Falls “Niagara” comes from a Mohawk word meaning “neck,” and the Niagara Falls are actually comprised of 3 falls that flow at the neck of the Niagara River Gorge, Rainbows over American Falls at Niagara Falls  where Lake Erie drains into Lake Ontario. American and Horseshoe Fals at Niagara Falls The 3 falls are named: “Horseshoe Falls” (in the back…the most powerful single waterfall in North America and jointly owned by both Canada and the U.S.), Bridal Veil with Horseshoe in Background. Maid of the Mist “Bridal Veil Falls” (the smallest of the 3, and on the left in this picture), Sunset over Niagara Falls and the American Falls. (The last two falls are entirely in the U.S.)* Niagara Falls Although the vertical drop of the 3 falls is not extremely high (only about 165′),* Niagara River because the Niagara River is so wide and deep, Little Waterfalls on Niagara Falls the combined falls form the world’s highest flow rate, Niagara River at near Goat Island with as much as 6 million cubic feet (and I have no clue how many pounds) View of Niagara Falls from Luna Island of water falling over the crest line every minute during high flow times! Niagara Falls State Park On our way home, Joel and I couldn’t resist stopping at Niagara Falls State Park
(which, incidentally, is America’s oldest state park and was established in 1885)Luna Islandfor a short hike to Luna Island Double Rainbow at Niagara Falls (where you get the most intimate views of both the American Falls Bridal Veil Falls from Luna Island and Bridal Veil Falls). Map of Niagara Falls State Park Then we explored Goat Island,
where we’d hoped to enjoy spectacular views of Horseshoe Falls. Fence blocking view of Horseshoe Falls 2015 Alas, it was not to be this trip, because they’re doing very major renovations. Horseshoe Falls Renovation in 2015 So, if you’d like to visit Niagara still in 2015, Renovation at Horsehoe Falls on American Side 2015 I’d suggest saving some time to view Horseshoe Falls from the Canadian side. All dressed for The Maid of the Mist.Or, you could do what Aaron’s family had done the night before: Exciting ride on The Maid of the Mist.Take an exciting ride to the base of the falls on a Maid of the Mist boat! Fun on The Maid of the Mist.It’s a super exciting experience, and I’m sure you’ll be thrilled if you go! 🙂 Lines for attractions at Niagara Falls State ParkThe lines are long, so I’d definitely suggest buying your tickets ahead. Bridal Veil FallsJoel and I were on a tight schedule, Chicken Salad with Concord Grape Dressingso we just grabbed a quick bite
(the chicken salad with concord grape dressing was really yummy)Wisteria Arbor at Niagara Falls State Park & enjoyed lunch under a huge wisteria arbor before heading toward home again. Maid of the Mist at Niagara FallsHowever, I’m already dreaming of going back with Alan some time
to take a ride on one of their Maid of the Mist boats! Sunset at Niagara FallsI have to confess, it’s impossible to look at the falls without being keenly aware of their tremendous power and the fact that if anyone fell in, he’d surely die! Bridal Veil Falls from Above on Bridge to Goat IslandDo you ever have a fear of falling? Niagara Falls. Skylon TowerI do, so I’m thankful for protective fences Loving the ride on The Maid of the Mist. and a loving Father who is constantly watching over me!  Beauitful Niagara Falls! “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.” (Jude 24-25)

(The two pictures with an asterisk and all the pictures of Aaron’s family are used by their permission. They visited just the night before we did!)