“Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.” (Genesis 26:12)
Today’s Morsel: Among the pioneers moving into the Nebraska Territory in 1854 was J. Sterling Morton from Detroit. He and his wife were lovers of nature, and the home they established in Nebraska was quickly planted with trees, shrubs, and flowers. Morton was a journalist and soon became editor of Nebraska’s finest newspaper. Given that forum, he spread agricultural information and his enthusiasm for trees to an equally enthusiastic audience. His fellow pioneers missed their trees. But, more importantly, trees were needed as windbreaks to keep soil in place, for fuel and building materials, and for shade from the hot sun. Morton not only advocated tree planting by individuals in his articles and editorials, but he also encouraged civic organizations and groups to join in. His prominence in the area increased, and he became secretary of the Nebraska Territory, which provided another opportunity to stress the value of trees. On January 4, 1872, Morton first proposed a tree-planting holiday to be called “Arbor Day” at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture. The date was set for April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for planting properly the largest number of trees on that day. It was estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day. Arbor Day was officially proclaimed by the young state’s Governor Robert W. Furnas on March 12, 1874, and the day itself was observed on April 10, 1874. In 1885, Arbor Day was named a legal holiday in Nebraska and April 24, Morton’s birthday was selected as the date for its permanent observance. As Paul Harvey would say, and now you know the rest of the story. When God told Isaac to plant where he was, Isaac obeyed, and in the first year, he reaped a hundred-fold. We never know what God will do with the seed or tree that we plant. We plant and God gives the increase.
Sing: It only takes a spark to get the fire going, and soon you’ll look around, and the flames are glowing. That’s how it is with God’s love, once you’ve experienced it. It’s fresh like spring, you’ll want to sing, you’ll want to pass it on.
Thought For Today: Plant a tree of kindness and watch it grow.