Dec 212013
 

Marshall and I met for lunch last Thursday. It was the normal meeting, at the same place, at the usual time. But as I stepped up to the counter to order my food, I noticed something a little unusual. The guy next to me was evidently ordering for several of his coworkers. He had a list of items to order. A number 1, a number 4 with extra pickles, two number 3s . . . it was all written down . . . on a 1″ X 4″ section of wood. I smiled.

As I watched this guy read his order off a section of lumber, I thought about the times I had used a piece of wood like a piece of paper, then I began to think about this guy. One can learn a lot about a person just by the tools they use. Judging by the material this guy used for a notepad, I could make some pretty good assumptions about what he has been up to. He is probably a carpenter, working on some project with others. Lunch time came along, so he grabbed the material he was so intimately used to using, and scribbled the needed information on it. It was a short piece of wood, so that means there was probably a saw nearby. The crew had been measuring and cutting. There’s a good chance he even used a carpenter’s pencil to write down the order.

The incident struck a chord with me because I can relate. I’ve been there. Done that. I’ve just never brought my wooden “notepad” into Chick-fil-A and laid it so carefully on the counter like this guy did. The way this guy handled the wood, placed it neatly on the counter, straightened it, touched it gently as he read from it, I could tell he loved his craft, and cherished the rough, natural, unfinished material he worked with. He would not have used a piece of paper to take the order even if he had it handy. The wood was a part of him. It was the stuff he used to build his dreams.

This morning, as I write about the carpenter, I can’t help but think about my Heavenly Father, and the rough, natural, unfinished material He uses to build His Kingdom. How 2,000 years ago, He wrote a Message using that material. Flesh and blood. The message of Christmas. A God who loves us so much that we are a part of Him, and the stuff He uses to build His dreams.

Oct 252013
 

Most of my life, I have had pet fish.  They are not typically affectionate pets.  You can’t get them to fetch a ball or come when you whistle. You can’t teach them to roll over and play dead.  (Although the really expensive ones are pretty good at doing it for real.) I did have one big fish named “Jack” who learned to beg for food.  But you really can’t get them to do much of anything they don’t want to do.  Come to think of it, fish are really about the same thing as a wet cat.

So, given all their shortcomings, why would anyone want to keep a fish as a pet?  I am not sure why anyone would, but I think I know one reason why I like to, and it doesn’t sound good.  For me, keeping fish for pets is a little like playing god.   Or maybe it’s a little like playing what we think of as god.  We buy the aquarium, rocks, plants, filters . . .  add a flourecent hood and say “let there be light.”  We create a nice, self contained world, then drop in the fish, sit back, and watch what happens. I think some people’s impression of God might be very similar.

Honestly, I suppose there may be a few similarities between my fish world and the real world. There is more involved than just sitting back and watching the fish. I do care for them. But what interest I have in my fish could never really compare to what God feels for us. God is so infinitely more involved in our lives than I am with my fish. No matter how much I like my fish, I would never love them enough to even consider making myself a guppy and jumping in the tank.

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