Saturday, August 25, 2012

Starlit Nights

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.   Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.”  (Ps 147:4-5)

Johann Kepler (1571 – 1630) is considered to be the founder of physical astronomy.   Did you also know that he studied for 2 years in a seminary?   Kepler wrote in one of his books, “Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it befits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God.”  (Morris, Henry.  Men of Science Men of God.  Master Book Pbl., 1984, pg. 34). 

The heavens are amazing when you view them in remote areas where no city lights can hinder the God-made brilliance.   In the farm country of Iowa at a recent family reunion we got a taste of the bright starlit panorama accented by dark sky and highlighted by fireflies all around us.  Beautiful and glorious.

One of my favorite places in the world is along the Musselshell River in Montana.    I recall camping there one night, the nearest ranch 18 miles away, no man-made lights to hinder the stars above.   The darkness of the sky magnified the illuminating stars of the heavens without the distracting disruption of unnatural lights.    It is an amazing place.

Many false, man-made lights distract the eyes of people from seeing the majesty of God, including false religions and even self-righteous practices and attitudes which cultivate legalistic spiritual pride with its false promises.    As Kepler said it, it is the glory of God and not the glory of our own minds---no matter how smart we think we are.  “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  (2 Cor 4:5)

I am reading a book about solitude as a spiritual discipline, and I am reminded of how refreshing it is to get away and be alone with Jesus, Light of the world, Who is building a kingdom of light(s).   Time alone with God strengthens our shine. 
And the stars are brighter when the sky is darker.  The stronger the darkness, the more pronounced His glorious light.     As we live in this dark, “crooked and  depraved” world (Phil. 2:15), we are invited to shine like stars in the universe as we hold forth the word of life.  For such we are named.

I want to enjoy and appreciate the heavens as they declare the glory of God.   And when darkness closes in and false light distracts, to shine.

“The heavens declare the glory of God.  The skies proclaim the work of His hands.”   (Psalm 19)

Saturday, August 18, 2012


My niece made a statement yesterday that caught my attention, while she was eating a very big strawberry.   She said, "This is the best strawberry ever,  in the whole world.   Really.   There will never be another strawberry this good."  

That's a great life attitude.   Because Jesus is with me right now, in this moment, this is the best moment ever.   Today has the potential to be the best day of the rest of my life, wrapped up in the present gift of the presence of Jesus..    Abundant life.   Right now.  Making the best of it and enjoying Him sounds inspiring and contagious.

Friday, August 17, 2012

How Are You, Really?

Kristi and I had some neat interaction at the B&B with a lady from Spain.   We sat in the gazebo talking about, among other things, the English language.  In learning to speak English, she noted that one of the things she had to figure out was our standard greeting, "How are you?"   She shared that at first it was a little awkward because she wasn’t sure if she should really answer the question or just pick from the list of standard answers, like “fine.”

Wouldn’t it be neat if when you were asked, “How are you?”….that people are genuinely interested in how you are, really?   Asking it of others in that tone and then listening with intentionality could be a special gift.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012


There is a car in storage here at the B&B, out in the barn, in one of the stalls.  I noticed today that there are spider webs consuming it.

Must be some kind of lesson there.   What would you put as a caption?  Don’t park yourself or the cobwebs will invade?   Unproductive inactivity breeds invasion? Spiders like stalled places?      

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


In response to the messenger angel, Mary declared, "I am the Lord's slave"  (Luke 1:38).   Being a disciple of Jesus is to be His servant/slave (Phil. 1:1; Eph. 6:6; Rom. 6:22).  Being a slave of God opens a world of seemingly impossible possibilities.  

One thing that touches hearts about the olympics being watched around the world is seeing the victory of achieving the seemingly impossible.   Yet, it is through years of hard work and commitment that athletes get to that moment.   I'm sure they would testify about days they felt like slaves to coaches and trainers who helped them get ready for the moment of truth where victory was within their reach.

We each have a calling and victory over the impossible is within reach through Christ Jesus ( 1 Cor. 15:57).  That is good news.

The call of God for Mary, and for any follower of Christ, is an impossible demand.....which magnifies the possibilities of verses like Philippians 4:13.  Yes to hard work and commitment, but even a greater need for being a slave to Christ who makes impossibilities possibilities.

As Michael Card says it, "To become obedient to His call always means becoming a slave to the impossible."

What is ahead for you that seems impossible?

Friday, August 3, 2012


One of the things I've been amazed at in watching the Olympics is the power of team.   The synced diving was phenomenal.   The rowing competitions were marvelous.   I mean, how do they keep those boats going in such a straight path when they are looking back but racing forward?

There must be some lesson there......facing backward, identifying a point "back there"  in order to journey forward with a team of people going the same direction.   Like looking back to the cross of Christ as sufficient to chart a straight path into the future.  

The team sports intrigue me.   There is an equal level of individual participation and effort, but the best is brought out with a team.   What is not seen is the commitment and hard work behind the scenes in preparing for events.   Team building.   Not easy....but when a team of people does something together for the Kingdom, synced to the heartbeat of God, what a glorious thing.