The Proclamation of the Pine

Stephen Ashton

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.

-Romans 1:20

Each spring thousands are drawn to the forest by the natural beauty of the woodlands as they awake from the dead of winter with a brilliant wash of color. Hidden among the colorful buds and shoots God has written a message of hope into the DNA of creation. If you look past the magnificent crepe myrtle and magnolia blooms — if you gaze above the dogwood and redbud blossoms to the top of the unpretentious pine tree, you will be struck by its subtle, simple, yet profound message of hope.

Each year yellowish vertical shoots known as candles arise from the tips of branches in the pine family.  As these candles develop during weeks leading up to Easter, buds form on the sides of the tallest candles. By Easter Sunday, for those who take the time to look up, these buds form dozens of distinct, vivid crosses. It seems that before the foundation of the world God ordained that as new growth occurs each spring, these magnificent trees would proclaim God’s means of salvation through the cross of Christ.

“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection not in books alone, but in every leaf of springtime.”

-Martin Luther

Trail Life USA is a Church-Based, Christ-Centered, Boy-Focused mentoring and discipleship journey that speaks to the heart of a boy. God seems to use creation in an incredible way to draw the hearts of men to himself. The pine tree is simply one example.

The Trail Life program is established on timeless values derived from the Bible and set in the context of outdoor adventure. Boys from Kindergarten through 12th grade are engaged in a Troop setting by male mentors where they are challenged to grow in character, understand their purpose, serve their community, and develop practical leadership skills to carry out the mission for which they were created.

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About the Author

Stephen Ashton