Thursday, December 29, 2016
Another year under the belt - literally. With my weight being at a life-time high, I am resolved to make changes to fix that. My son and daughter-in-law gave my a fitness tracker watch for Christmas, and the novelty of the gift has helped me with some early wins - my first run in six months, more walking breaks during the day and a realization that the staircase in my house provides 90% of the exercise I need to lose weight - if I use it. My other resolution this year is to attempt to enjoy the moment I am in as opposed to anticipating (or worrying about) what will come next. I don't have any electronics to help me with that one, but I will keep you posted.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
I saw this video on facebook. You may have also. I thought it was well done, and it reinforced for me how small and insignificant we are relative to the vastness of all creation. The complexity of space is matched by the intricacy of the human body. My tag for the post was: "must have been a pretty big bang." One of my friends had this reply: "Indeed. And Nothing caused it. That Nothing is some powerful stuff. Well, it's not stuff exactly, because it's Nothing. But how Nothing can make something is one of the great mysteries of science. The phenomenon of Nothing making something has never been repeated (as far as we know), but I've got an experiment going with my wallet." It reminded me of the words of the great Billy Preston - "Nothing from nothing leaves nothing...". Merry Christmas
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Our small group wrapped up our study of Colossians last night. I was encouraged by the author, Paul, who despite being in prison, wrote a letter to a church that he had never visited to instruct them and encourage them. Apparently, some of the people in Colosse were confusing ideas from other philosophies and religions with the deity of Christ. Paul reminded them (and us) that Christ is fully God and fully man, and that his grace is sufficient to cover us. Nothing more is needed.
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Last night our small group from church got off on a spirited tangent talking about different "levels" of heaven. All of us had heard in the past about the idea that the more obedient we are on Earth, the higher the level we would be assigned in heaven. All of us also agreed that this seems counter to the idea that all that is necessary for entrance to heaven is belief in Jesus as God's son and our personal savior. We did a little digging to find this reference in 2 Corinthian 12:2 where Paul says: “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows.” Our study sources revealed that the word translated as heaven, could also be translated as "realm". If Paul was describing the "third realm", he was likely just been describing the one and only heaven. Revelation states: “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done” . This could also be interpreted as higher rewards for cleaner living on earth. I prefer to think of it this way. I love music. Another person may love visual art. I believe that in God's infinite generosity, he could reward us with those things that mean the most to us. One gift isn't better than another, it is just "according to what we have done." This may or may not be the way it will be. But I feel strongly about two things. 1) God loves that we are curious about him and desire to know him more. 2) Anything great or beautiful that we could imagine about heaven while on earth will be dwarfed by the surprises God has in store for us when we meet him face to face.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Billy Graham celebrated his 98th birthday last month. After declaring Jesus as his Lord and Savior at the age of 16, his unwavering faith has impacted more people than any other mere human. Over 215 million people have seen and heard his message in person and 100's of millions more through books, television and other media. Over 3 million people have documented that he was responsible for their new life in Jesus. I never had the chance to hear him speak in person, but YouTube gives us glimpses of his brilliance. Happy belated birthday Billy. Your message will be with us forever.