Palmer Bailey, “the stars and rocks guy,” shares with us some fascinating information about starlight. By carefully examining stars we can learn some amazing things. Did you know that the color of a star is determined by its surface temperature? The hottest stars are almost blue, less hot are white and even cooler are those that are red. And while stars may look clustered closely together from our vantage, they may in fact be from entirely different galaxies.
Genesis 1:25—So God made the wildlife of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and creatures that crawl on the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Do you know what one of the largest family species on earth is? Grass! Commonly known as Gramineaethere are more than 9,000 known species of grass. God created grass to provide a major food source worldwide. Rice, corn and oats come from grass plants. Grass plants provide helpful ingredients for making sugar, bread and even plastics. Grass is used in construction (bamboo). It is also invaluable in combating erosion.
Jacob Bernoulli was born in Basel, Switzerland. As a young man, he studied theology and entered the ministry. Later he studied mathematics and astronomy. Traveling throughout Europe from 1676 to 1682, Jacob learned about the latest discoveries in mathematics and the sciences.First described by RenéDescartes, Bernoulli extensively investigated the logarithmic spiral. “This equiangular spiralor growth spiralis a special kind of spiral curve which often appears in nature.” Jacob called it Spira mirabilis, “the marvelous spiral”.
On my flight to Minneapolis I sat next to a fascinating gentleman. He is a successful economist who asked if I would be interested in reading his paper on solving our nation’s current economic woes. I read it with interest and afterwards as our conversation turned to things more personal, he shared his story. It was obvious that Walt* lived most of his six plus decades working through much physical pain and challenge. Forced to take an assortment of medicines and constantly in need of relief I asked him if he had God in his gut (in the context of the conversation that meant did he have the Lord to help him through his stomach issues). He said “no” but that he did believe there was a higher power.
Scientist Palmer Bailey, “the stars and rocks guy” airs a heavenly radio segment each week called The Northern Sky. In a fresh broadcast he shared that the planet Venus, after the Moon, is the brightest natural object in the night sky and is referred to as the “evening star.” Normally we see it in the southwest. However, as Palmer tells us, recently the brightest star in the sky has not been Venus but rather Jupiter. Once every thirteen months the earth passes Jupiter in its slower, larger orbit an event called “opposition” because Jupiter appears in the eastern sky exactly the opposite direction from the setting sun.
Have you ever met a scientist who was an agnostic or atheist? Chances are high that such a person may have seemed intimidating when it came to sharing faith in God because in this person’s view, religion is essentially unverifiable superstition. Scientific naturalists who suppose “science is the paradigm of truth and rationality,” believe in scientism.*
Coffee Cottage is a popular coffee shop near George Fox University. One of their favorite draws for students is the free wireless service. Often I come in to find many tables occupied with folks writing papers or working projects on their laptops. But unless a person knew that wireless was free and available, they could work on their computer and have no idea they could access internet connection capability simply by asking for the password.
If someone offered you a house with no foundation would you take it? I suppose if you lived somewhere where no storms or catastrophes occurred that would be okay. But, since no place on earth is trouble-proof, it is exceedingly wise to build upon a strong foundation. Now imagine sharing that Jesus is the Savior with someone who has never heard the gospel. Jesus’ mission prophesied in Isaiah 42 was to fulfill God’s promise to rescue people, to be a light to open blind eyes. Jesus told His disciples in Mark 16:15 that the whole creation should hear the good news about Him. But too often this news only concerns Jesus coming to earth, living a sinless life and dying on the cross to save us. Left out is the incredible part of why He came in the first place. If we don’t understand the whole reason for Jesus coming we have a foundationless house! We need to take people back to the beginning . . .
Recently I needed to set up DSL over a phone line for a ministry I serve. When I called the phone company, (which will go unnamed), to set up the service, the line was answered by a voice-automated machine. The options I was presented did not help me so I repeatedly stated that I wanted to speak with an operator. Finally, the emotionless computer relented and patched me to a real voice. I set up the service thinking I would receive the special discount the company offered. But the price quoted to me was different and much higher. The salesperson explained that we would receive a substantial rebate, but in fact, we would over time lose much money because the contractual cost was too high.
The 301 complex overlooks a valley framed by gently rolling California hills. When the round red ball of heat sinks the view is amazing. Several nights ago after the sun had vanished, I stopped walking and stood transfixed by the beauty of a mature oak tree in front of an expansive sky wearing a bluish hue I don’t ever remember seeing before. I wished the moment would last as I thanked God for His painting.
Author of Origins of Life, theoretical physicist Freeman J. Dyson says, “As we look out into the universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked to our benefit, it almost seems as if the universe must in some sense have known that we were coming.” Hmm. It’s not the universe that knew we were coming!
Once upon a time, fireworks were created by a loving Creator. But alas, the first two fireworks made were deceived by their Designer’s enemy into believing they could perform as equals to their Maker. Their rebelliousness tainted every succeeding generation of firework with a “My pop’s bigger than your pop!” mentality.
Leviticus 25:4-- But there will be a Sabbath of complete rest for the land in the seventh year, a Sabbath to the Lord: you are not to sow your field or prune your vineyard.
The hero stands and surveys the majestic scene. His ears catch the music of one anthem after another as the London Philharmonic Orchestra plays in honor of each nation represented. His eyes scan the dignitaries of 140 different nations as they mingle--Zambians, Koreans, Brazilians, Turks, Ukranians, Indians, Filipinos, Costa Ricans, French, Nigerians, Chinese. . .
Delnora sits before her canvas. Her eyes walk across the wild flowers that carpet the valley before her. They climb up the dark green firs higher and higher until only the magnificent face of a snow-capped mountain is left to kiss the clear blue sky. She gulps the fresh air and sighs—the exhalation of ecstasy an artist feels in the presence of grandeur. She mixes assorted paints to find the perfect color to match what she views. The painting begins . . .
Romans 8:19-21—All creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal who His children are. Creation was subjected to frustration but not by its own choice. The One who subjected it to frustration did so in the hope that it would also be set free from slavery to decay in order to share the glorious freedom that the children of God will have. (GWT)
From my room on the third floor we could see Mt. Fuji, a picturesque snow-capped volcano. Fuji, the glory of Japan, is the tallest and most celebrated mountain on a densely populated island. It is the celebrity of postcards. A treasured possession is a walking stick stamped with the mark of stations climbers achieve as they hike to the top. It’s just a huge hill of slippery rock and snow but one would think it a god.
Haughty hears Wisdom reveal what’s at stake
but he scorns being told what path he should take.
“Turn right,” says the Son, but left the man goes.
“I like it my way, the way that I chose!”
Off the edge he plunges with a cry of dismay
For left without Wisdom there is no right way.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 1:15-17 that Jesus:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.