Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. (Psalms 119:73 NRSV)

I hope you are enjoying your summer and all of its beauty. This time of the year, I really enjoy going camping and hiking in our wonderful state parks here in Texas. Yes, it's hot, but God's beauty abounds nonetheless. And besides, I have a air-conditioned camper to retreat to.

One of God's beautiful creations is the butterfly. I saw lots of them recently while camping. I read somewhere that a butterfly never grows. Did you know that. Of course, it starts out as a caterpillar. Then it goes into a cocoon. When it comes out as a full-grown butterfly it doesn't grow any more. I'm glad God decided to do it differently with us, aren't you. I would hate to start out as something else--particularly a caterpillar. And I don't think my mom would have like carry the full version of Ron Newhouse around.

God begins with us as a tiny baby. And then we grow. Our arms grow, our legs grow and after many years, we become an adult. Our brains also grow during this time. All the time we are learning about our world, and that is a wonderful thing. In fact, that is what separates us from the animals. Our minds and our souls grow. We learn and we reason and we figure out. That's wonderful. So I am thankful for school. I'm also thankful for Sunday School. That is where we learn about God and God's love for us. Let's give God thanks for our growing bodies, but let's also give God thanks for our wonderful minds, and let's keep feeding them with knowledge so they will just get better and better.

Dear Jesus, thank you for the ability to grow and learn more about you and our Father in heaven. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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