Aug 312018
 

 

At the top of Horseshoe Falls

We recently returned from a trip to see Niagara Falls. It’s hard to find the right words to describe what it was like. Standing in front of the falls, hearing the constant thunder of the falling water, feeling the mist in my face, and seeing the massive roiling liquid sheet spilling over the edge into a foamy tumult… It was emotionally overpowering. Even now, just thinking about it, I want to bow down in worship, clap my hands, and shout the praise of the glorious God who created such a majestic wonder.

We planned to spend three days in the area of the falls. I thought it was too much time. After all, what else was there to do but look at the falls. So we figured out a bunch of activities to keep us busy and went about doing them – Journey Behind the Falls, Voyage to the Falls, Cave of the Winds and more. We filled up three days of fun with no problem and now that I am home, I think I would like to spend more time there.

The view from Skylon Tower

I know one thing for sure: If I ever do get the chance to go back to Niagara Falls for another three days, I won’t need a bunch of activities to fill the time. I could spend the entire time just looking at the falls and worshipping the God who created such a wondrous thing.

 

Aug 092012
 

I admit it.  I am a science geek.  So, it is no wonder that I have been watching the progress of NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover mission with great interest.  I’ve been checking web sites, watching videos, reading news and comments, and studying the earliest little grainy pictures.

A picture from Mars

Just a couple of days ago, I read a comment that was posted under a video of the Mars rover landing.  Most comments were very positive, praising NASA for a successful landing and an exciting mission.   However, one particular comment, negative in tone, caught my eye.  It was complaining about all the money that was being spent on exploring Mars when ” . . . all we need to know can already be found in the Bible.”  I think the comment was both sad, and wrong.

How could one book possibly contain all we need to know about an infinite God and His unfathomable expansive creation?  Sure, the Bible contains what we need to know about God, salvation, and foundational truth.  But it can’t contain everything we can know, because there is always more to know.  I am grateful for a medical doctor who reads the Bible, but I hope his knowledge also includes some details about the human body that have been discovered since the Bible was written.  On this hot summer day, I am thankful the chemists and physicists felt the need to understand atoms, molecules, and the principals of heat, cold, expansion and contraction.  Without that knowledge, no one would have invented my air conditioner.  The Bible is more than a book.  It is the foundation of knowledge and truth about our Creator.  However, the Bible itself says “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork .”

There is so much more to know.  So much more to be discovered.  I say, let us explore.  I am not afraid of what we may find.  Those with a godless world view may use the discoveries to invent theories, trying to erase their subjection to an all powerful God.  Where they are determined to find no god but themselves, they will see with clouded eyes, exactly what the are looking for, finding emptiness and meaninglessness in the process.

Those of us who eagerly accept there is something greater than ourselves, will find evidence of His existence throughout the universe.  Just as an artist endows a painting with a small bit of himself in every brush stroke, so our omnipotent creator has left His “DNA” throughout his creation.  The wonders of creation reveal the mysteries of the creator.  It’s out there.  He’s out there.  Let’s go exploring.

 

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
   – Psalm 19:1

 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead . . .
  – Romans 1:20

Jun 162012
 

My dentist has a massage chair in his office.  I went to get my teeth cleaned this past week and had to sit in it while the dental hygienist stuck her assortment of torture tools in my mouth.  I guess the idea is that it is supposed to relax you while getting your dental “procedure” done.  Speaking from personal experience, I can attest categorically and undeniably that, it does not work.

I will admit that when I first sat in the chair and leaned back, it felt kinda good.  The tooth torturer left the room to prepare, so I sat there trying to relax.  But then she came back in the room, snapped on some latex gloves, and picked up a small, sharp metal spike.  I’m sure it has a more innocuous official name.  Something like “dental probe” or “tarter removal tool.”  But I’ve seen it.  I know what it is.  It’s a small, sharp, pointy metal spike and it’s headed straight for my mouth.

At this point, (yes, a pun) the relaxing massage chair is completely overpowered by the sight of that spike and the knowledge of the discomfort that is to come.  As the spike moves toward my mouth, every muscle in my body is the exact opposite of relaxed.  The scraping, the poking, the high pitched whine of the miniature pressure washer, all blow away any inkling of relaxation the paltry massage chair could hope to provide.

While I lay back in the chair, suffering the consequences of actually using my teeth to chew food, I realized  the futility of the massage chair.  It was starting to annoy me.  The stupid mechanical hands relentlessly kneading my spinal cord as if to make taffy out of my vertebrae.  I wished it would stop.  I wished the tooth torturer would stop.  And as the poking and scraping moved on to the pressure wash of pain, I wondered why God didn’t make people like sharks.

Why didn’t God make our mouths more like a shark’s, with rows of teeth ready to replace those that wear out?  If our mouths were like a shark’s, we would NEVER have to go to the dentist.  I am confident no one has ever seen a shark at the dentist office for teeth cleaning, much less a root canal.  Even if a shark DID show up, what dentist in his right mind would stick his hands in a sharks mouth saying “Now bite down?”  No doubt, if I had a mouth like a shark, I would not need to visit the dentist.  Sure, it might make french kissing my wife a bit dicey, but if it meant no more dental visits . . .   Maybe God should get some advice from me next time He decides to create.   Or maybe not.

Well, I admit God knows best.  Otherwise He wouldn’t be God.  I also figure God can, and does use these experiences to teach me something if I am listening.  So, in order to make sense of this whole dastardly dental deal, I have come up with three key points.

1) A simple pleasure or indulgence that can make you comfortable in the right context can be an annoying detriment in the wrong place or at the wrong time.

2) Sometimes in life there is pain.  Suck it up and get through it.  Yes, God could have designed a world with no pain, but in His wisdom, He saw fit to at least allow it.  Perhaps He has a reason for His design that goes beyond my puny human understanding.

3) Never french kiss a shark because a) it could be dangerous and b) since they don’t have to go to the dentist, we should refuse to allow them the pleasure of a loving kiss.  God designed that one for us.

Mar 272012
 

In the springtime, I become more aware of my physical state.  I get outside more.  I work in the yard, walk, ride the bike more.  The activity highlights my physical shortcomings.  I used to be in better shape.  As I age, things are wearing out.  My body (and mind) just doesn’t work as well as it once did.  But I’ll have no pity party in the springtime.  I can still see the trees pop to life.  I can see and smell the flowers.  My legs can sustain me for a walk in the woods.  I can still hear the birds singing their song.  I am not as good as I used to be, but I am so much better than I could be.  In the springtime, I realize anew the wonders of God’s creation, and how truly blessed I am to live, experience, and be a part of it.

Jan 172011
 

I have seen the giant Sequoia trees, but I’ve never seen the one who planted them.
I have seen the Painted Desert, but I’ve never seen the one who brushed it’s colors.
I have seen the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but I’ve never seen the one who filled them.
I have seen the light and felt  the warmth of the sun, but I’ve never seen the one who ignighted it’s great blaze.
I have seen the earth rotate through a day and night, but I’ve never seen the one who sent it spinning.
I have seen the stars, shining from the vast black space, but I’ve never seen the one who scattered them there.

But someday, I will.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
        – John 1:1-4  NKJV

Nov 292010
 

Thanksgiving at Mom & Dad’s house always has great food and exciting (usually loud) conversation.  This Thanksgiving we got into an interesting conversation about creation and time.

The earth is millions of years old?
The earth is a few thousand years old?
Genesis is literal?
Genesis is allegorical?
Seven days or seven eons?
How long did it take to carve the Grand Canyon?
Where on the timeline do we find dinosaurs?
Do you see that light from the Andromeda Galaxy 2.5 million light years away?

I don’t know the answers.  But, maybe God is not the “I Was” or the “I Will Be.”  It is possible God is the ever present “I AM” because He is not limited by time.  Perhaps God did not just create the events ON a great timeline.   Maybe, He created the line itself.  Kinda brings new meaning to the phrase “God’s timing” doesn’t it?

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
        -Exodus 3:14

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
    – John 8:58  NKJV

Sep 192010
 

I went swimming today, perhaps for the last time this year. The day was hot and the pool water was warm, so I jumped in. I love that feeling of reckless abandon when my feet leave the deck and I am flying toward the water. I break the surface and the water envelopes me, inviting me into a different world. I am in a liquid universe where I can fly along the bottom or float at the top, moving easily in three dimensions.  I may be made for the earth, but the water was made for me.  All Praise to the Creator.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. . .
 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.  And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
        – Genesis 1:1,9,10  NKJV

Sep 162010
 

A few nights ago, I went out with my little telescope to look at the stars.  The light pollution in Atlanta is so bad that it makes it very difficult to see anything unless it is very bright, but I still found a few things worth seeing.  There were some binary stars, a few barely visible galaxies, and three planets. 

Venus was visible as the brightest planet.  In fact, I think it is about the brightest object in the sky other than the Sun and moon.   A little bit later, Jupiter rose in the South Eastern sky.  It was bright, reflecting the Sun’s glory from millions of miles away.   As I peered at it through the telescope, I could even see its moons.   I decided to try for a bigger challenge. 

A little up and to the right should be Uranus.   Would it even be possible to spot such a far away planet?  I searched.  There were dots of light everywhere.  But focusing in on one, in the right spot and about the right brightness, I noticed it was different.   Stars appear as a pinprick of light, but this was a miniscule disk of blue-green color.  I had found it.  

What a wonderful creation.  Almost 3,000 times less bright than Jupiter.  Smaller and much farther away, it is a tiny disk of light far out in space.  And yet, for those who take the time to look, it is still faithfully reflecting the glory of the Son.

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
                   – 2 Corinthians 3:18