Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park

Life Lessons from the National Parks:

Meeting God in America’s Most Glorious Places

ISBN 9798891340480

Grand Teton National Park

        Romans 1:20 says God’s “invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature” show themselves in what He has created. Our national parks indeed are our “best idea,” as historian, writer and environmentalist Wallace Stegner noted, but they were God’s idea first!

    The National Park Service’s 2016 centennial brings an enormous emphasis on our parks. Their magnificent beauty will be highlighted, as well as the abundant opportunities for hiking, boating camping, etc.

    What undoubtedly will be missing, though, is the spiritual component. And that’s a shame, considering that John Muir, the man often called the Father of our National Parks, unequivocally and unapologetically linked the beauty around him with its Creator:

“I am sitting here in a little shanty made of sugar pine shingles this Sabbath evening. I have not been at church a single time since leaving home. Yet this glorious valley [Yosemite] might well be called a church, for every lover of the great Creator who comes within the broad overwhelming influences of the place fails not to worship as he never did before. The glory of the Lord is upon all his works; it is written plainly upon all the fields of every clime, and upon every sky, but here in this place of surpassing glory the Lord has written in capitals.” (from The Life and Letters of John Muir by William Frederic Badé).

        Muir’s words mirrors Scripture. Romans 1:20 notes God’s invisible qualities—His power and His nature—show themselves in what He has created. Our national parks may be our “best idea,” as historian, writer, and environmentalist Wallace Stegner noted, but they were God’s idea first!

        Life Lessons from the National Parks: Meeting God in America’s Most Glorious Places expands on Muir’s vision.

Here’s what people say about Life Lessons from the National Parks:

This book fascinated me. Despite the obvious title, Life Lessons doesn’t fall into a neat category. Many may easily overlook the delightful, easy-to-read book. Musco gives the background to the various national parks, including interesting trivia, and spotlights one particular historical aspect. From that focus, she moves into a spiritual life lesson.

—Cecil Murphey, co-author of Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story and 90 Minutes in Heaven

I very much enjoyed reading this book about more than forty of the national parks, monuments, historical parks, national memorials, military parks, and other national shrines run by the National Park Service. I especially liked all the interesting historical tidbits. I found the spiritual applications and life lessons uplifting.

—Michael J. Oard, co-author of the True North National Park Series books: Your Guide to the Grand Canyon, Your Guide to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, Your Guide to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

Life Lessons is an enjoyable read. The author deftly relates lessons she learned through the awesome beauty of God’s creation to meaningful life lessons from his Word. The nuggets of American history interspersed throughout the book provide some interesting factoids that aren’t necessarily included in the formal education everyone receives. We especially loved learning about the lesser-known parks.

—Rick Triplett, Bible teacher and author of Living by Faith in an Unfaithful World, and Donna Triplett, devotional and short story writer

I loved the workable tips and unique insights presented by Penny Musco. This book, spiced with humor and encouragement, propels me to a greater appreciation of our national parks [and] a deeper relationship with the Creator.

—Linda Turner, inspirational speaker and award-winning poet

As a Christian, hiker, and lover of parks, I’m impressed with Penny Musco’s effort to combine powerful devotional thoughts and challenges with highly descriptive narratives of many of our country’s finest national parks and monuments. The extra information about tours, accommodations, and amenities are a nice bonus. This will become an often-consulted reference book in our home.

—Mike Owen, devotional writer


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