Archive for November, 2014

Full Moon Rising

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Someone asked me what I thought about Pope Francis’s comments last month regarding evolution. “The evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve.” I have no problem with his statement because it does not threaten or conflict with my faith in our Creator God. As a matter of fact, in my opinion, that notion actually makes the “Big G” in God even larger. In his book, “The Language of God” (Simon and Schuster 2006), Francis S. Collins, M. D. , Ph D.,  the prominent scientist who is the Director of the Human Genome Project and whose very research led him from atheism to Christianity explained how he could both pursue an understanding of how life works using tools of genetics and molecular biology and worship a creator God.

“I have found that there is a wonderful harmony in the complementary truths of science and faith.  The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome.  God can be found in the cathedral or in the laboratory.  By investigating God’s majestic and awesome creation, science can actually be a means of worship”.

Cathy and I were driving home from the Cracker Barrel a few months ago with the full moon rising. I made the remark, “How could anyone who sees that incredibly beautiful rising moon not believe in God?” I don’t see how it is possible, but that is just me. You know the Bible more or less says the same thing. In Romans 1 Paul says that folks have no excuse for not believing in God because all they need to do is open their eyes. Seeing that magnificent moon got me to thinking about how I take God and His creation for granted.

Have you ever stopped to really think about the moon? I figure that there was a lot of behind the scenes work done to hang it up there. How did God come up with the moon?  How did He arrive at its design, its distance from the sun and the earth, its effect on the tides, its orbit and etc.?  I mean even for God the sun and the moon and the stars and galaxies and black holes, whatever they are, — how did He come up with all that?  Wonder if He drew it all out first on a napkin or perhaps built a scale model? Did he plan for the moon to be so beautiful or did that happen by accident?  As I looked at that moon I wondered if it was by His design that it would have that incredible orange hue or is that just pollution?  I’m not sure about that. But the moon is pretty incredible and so God must be too!

Something to Think About

Showtime

Monday, November 10th, 2014

music_city_miracle_12I had a delightful lunch with a friend who is a director for ESPN. As we were talking I noticed that my television guy used the word “show” instead of “game” when referring to the broadcast.  At first that seemed a bit strange.  He then reminded me that the game is what takes place on the field, but the show is all that appears on my television screen. Actually, the show is a great deal more than just the game.  The show is made up of such eclectic ingredients as the personalities of the broadcasters and coaches, the camera angles, the graphics, the features, the interviews, the cheerleaders, the bare chest guys painted in school colors, the mascots, the commercials, the blimp, etc.  The game is one thing, but the show is whatever my friend and his producer decide to show us.

Quite often life itself becomes a show.  The real us is one thing, but what we decide to show is often something else. For good or bad the image we decide to send out is the show. Like when we live with the compulsive desire to project the perfect image, hoping somebody will admire us, that is show. When our insecurities pound us to the point that we have to always be right and everybody else is wrong, or when we embellish ourselves — show.  When we say yes to things we really don’t want to do desperately hoping folks will like us — show.  When we bury ourselves in unnecessary debt to have things we can’t afford in order to appear better off than we actually are —- show.  When we pretend to be one thing, but we are really something else — show.

Sadly, sometimes we lose sight of where the real me ends and the show begins. The sure thing about a show is it always comes to an end. At ESPN they end the show on their own terms at a predetermined time and live happy ever after. On the other hand, in real life the show often comes to a screeching halt at the most inopportune time.  More often than not when the lights suddenly go dark on our self-directed shows nobody lives happy ever after.

A Future and a Hope

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

imagesI talked to a friend who is struggling with a major setback in his life. Right now he is up to his eyeballs in pain, confusion and doubt.  As I reflected on our conversation, I recalled a time in my life when I pretty much felt the same way. Although the human journey is unique for each of us, more often than not, it is composed of some shared twists and turns. Unfortunately, one of the common ingredients is the absolute certainty of anguish along  life’s way.  I’m reminded of the words from the prophet  Jeremiah  in the Old Testament.   Here was a guy whose life was in a tailspin of gargantuan proportions.  For my money he got the blue ribbon for his description of pain when he penned these words:

Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is. I cry out, “My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!” The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.  Lamentations 3:17-19 (NLT)

At the time Jeremiah had seemingly lost it all. He had gone from a hero to a zero. There was a time in my life when I felt the same way.  I expect you can also recall a  similar feeling. Each of us has had fingernail days in which we were barely hanging on. In fingernail days there is little hope, but enormous misery. Yet, as Jeremiah was hanging there twisting in the wind God spoke to him some of the most inspiring words ever uttered.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”.  Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) 

Are we going to face times of trial, difficulty, pain, and sorrow?  Yep! You can book it!  Are there going to be occasions when you doubt God’s love?  Yes, I’m afraid so.  Are there going to be stretches when we feel hopeless?  I hope not, but honesty requires me to say “yes”.   Does our hopelessness have to destroy us?   Not at all; hopelessness is never infinite nor does it have to kill you. And it won’t if you are willing to do two things. Do not isolate.  Talk to people, tell them how you are feeling. Knock down your walls. Let them see you; let them love you. Secondly, write that verse down on something and you take it with you everywhere you go.  And never forget it it’s a verse about you.  God has a future and hope for you!

Something to Think About

John