For the Beauty of the Earth


So many lovely things come our way, often quite by ‘accident’.  The word is in quotes for I do not believe anything happens accidentally.  All things have purpose, all are allowed by our Loving and Gracious and Sovereign Almighty God.

You may think this post veers slightly off course, however, if you stick it out to the end you will praise the Creator with me For the Beauty of the Earth.

For the Beauty of the Earth, worship

Space travel and views of earth by astronauts have been a marvel to us since the 1960s, when man first walked on the moon.  The space program in the United States seems to have suffered at the hands of the lagging economy.

Imagine my delight in finding this video, which is one of many, by Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut, Chris Hadfield.  In this video Colonel Hadfield shows how he takes photographs of earth from the space station.

This link will take you to all of Chris Hadfield’s videos on YouTube.  This link takes you to all of the CSA’s videos.

To view more of Astronaut Hadfield’s photos, go to his Facebook page  or his Twitter account or his website where you will find information about his new book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.

What a delight to view God’s Creation through the lens of a camera floating high above the earth. I share this with the intent of praising the Creator, not the creation.  God has graciously given us all things to enjoy, the beauty of the earth being one of them.

Enjoy.

 

If you, by some ‘accident’, are not one of the 1.2 million viewers who have already watched his book trailer, enjoy this humorous introduction to An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.

It made me smile.  I hope it does you as well.

 

Here is the playlist of all CSA astronaut training videos. The first one should inspire those whose ambition is to become an astronaut.

 

This astronaut training video, No Limits, shows technology being developed and tested by Canadian astronauts.

 

Now for the hymn, For the Beauty of the Earth, written in 1864 by Folliott S. Pierpoint in England.  The original tune is that of Conrad Kocher.  I have taken the liberty of alternating the last line between Folliot’s original version (1,3,5) and the line it was eventually changed to (2,4).

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

Christ, Our God, to Thee we raise this our sacrifice of 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:

Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

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

Christ, Our God, to Thee we raise this our sacrifice of praise.

For Thy Church that evermore lifteth holy hands above, Offering up on every shore her pure sacrifice of love:

Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thyself, best gift divine, to our race so freely given; For that great, great love of Thine, peace on earth and joy in heaven:

Christ, Our God to Thee we raise this our sacrifice of  praise.

~~Folliot Sandford Pierpoint, 1864

Source:  Then Sings My Soul, vol. I by Robert J. Morgan (my copy).

This first recording is lovely, although she only sings three verses.

Vocalist Heather Prusse
Music by Conrad Kocher,
Lyrics by Folliott S. Pierpoint,
Arranged by Sally DeFord
Pictures are from PhotoClassical .com

For you organ lovers, here’s an improvisation of Handel’s Water Music, Purcell’s Trumpet Tune, and Kocher’s For the Beauty of the Earth. The organist, John Hong,  is a genius! Note: you may need to turn your volume all the way up to hear it.

For piano lovers, an arrangement by Jason Tonioli.

Finally, my choice for best overall. Difficult to find a recording of Kocher’s tune. Ritter’s is the more popular. None with all five verses, but Martha Reed Garvin’s son, Bradley, sings four of the five. Enjoy knowing that these musicians know the Creator as their Saviour, an added bonus!

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