The Song of Solomon series by Tommy Nelson, has been and will continue to have an incredible impact on my life.
I first discovered this series and Tommy Nelson at Metro Bible Study many years ago. I’d guess around 2001 or so. Anyway, he was speaking there during one of the summers that I worked at Tomball UMC. I used to drive an hour up there each week to hear him teach and somewhere during that time I heard about this series. Around the same time, my sister was attending a church in the Dallas area where they had Tommy joining them too. Anyway, I went through the series with Tommy Nelson that summer and it really made me rethink how I had been doing the “dating” thing. I learned how I should treat women and also how I should be using the time I was single to prepare myself for meeting someone. My sister and I had a few conversations about it all back then.
Sometime after that, one of the adult Sunday School classes in Tomball decided to go through the video series. I heard about how some of the women who were active in the church really struggled through the series because their husbands just weren’t in the same place they were spiritually. I decided then, that I would not be one of those husbands. I also decided that I should be teaching that material to the students I was working with. At that time, they didn’t offer a “student” version, so we just carefully went through the adult series and the students just ate it up. They loved it! Tommy spoke of and explained things that no other adult in their lives would even come close to talking about. The students were also shocked to realize that the Bible really speaks about some of those things. It was an incredible time in the youth ministry as I watched students begin to make better decisions about their dating lives.
Sometime later, I began dating Miranda and we really tried to live out our dating life in the way that God would want us to. We prayed together and decided that after we got engaged, we would go through the Song of Solomon series together. We had each been through it on our own, but felt like doing it together would bring up specific issues that we could talk about and make sure we were together on before our marraige. It did, and it was a good thing for us to do together.
Another time I taught this series to my sister and her fiancee. They didn’t really have any marriage counseling, and were asking me to lead the wedding service. (My father-in-law actually officiated the wedding.) I insisted that they go through Tommy’s material first and Miranda and I traveled up to Ft Worth to lead them through it. I must admit that it was a little strange talking about some of those subjects with my sister, but still a really good thing.
My most recent experience (besides this school one) was teaching it to the students in my new church. It was my first experience with the student version, and it went well for our group, but when we finished, they still wanted to know the rest of the story. (The student version doesn’t cover the marriage portions.) I taught that portion to them on my own.
Now, I’ve talked alot about my different experiences with the Song of Solomon, but probably haven’t said much about how it specifically has impacted my life. The picture that the Song of Solomon paints of how to do a love relationship is the most impressive I have ever seen. Solomon’s character is strong and yet sensitive to His bride. He is truly a man’s man and yet knows how to approach her with gentleness. Their love for each other is evident and they freely express it to one another with their words, their actions, and in their intimate moments. It is also evident that there are times to restrain and to focus on the Lord. I pray that I can be a man like Solomon (with the exception of all the extra wives) and that my bride will love me the way that this book describes her love for him. Also in this book, we are able to watch them fight and argue and then make up with each other – how comforting it is to know that these are normal things that couples go through, and that love is a commitment to continue in spite of those things. I don’t believe that I would ever have been the kind of man who would have attracted my bride, if it weren’t for the things I learned from the Lord through Solomon and Tommy Nelson. I would still be a single, and probably miserable man – so all this is to say – I love this stuff! God has used it greatly in my life and I will continue to teach it to the best of my ability to anyone who will listen.
Last night was a crazy night. We were getting all kinds of warnings about the weather and the news people were saying not to get out in it all. It was supposed to freeze, and schools were shutting down. But I had class. I really have enjoyed the classes I’ve been taking and so even with all the warnings and an hour and a half drive, I decided to go anyway. I called ahead to make sure we were going to have class before I left, and they said they were so I headed out.
As I drove, I listened to a couple of sermons by Rob Bell. (That has kinda become my habit on the way to school. I get Rob’s latest teaching every week that way.) The roads weren’t too bad. Certainly not as bad as I had expected after all the hype the news people were making – I didn’t see any ice at all. When I got to school, I heard that we were having class, but that Dr Loken wasn’t there and we’d be watching a movie. I was dramatically disappointed. (Wow that’s a nice alliteration – “dramatically disappointed” – Can you say A.D.D.? Sorry.)
We sat for two and a half hours and watched “Abraham” with Richard Harris. Every time he spoke I couldn’t help but hear Caesar from the movie “Gladiator.” It was a pretty good movie. There were lots of parts that they had to write in and guess about how things might have been, but it still followed the Biblical text for the most part. The scene at the end of the movie where Abraham is tested and is asked to sacrifice his son Issac was interesting – Issac is portrayed as understanding what Abraham is going to do and even tells him to tie him up tighter. I never imagined it quite like that. I always figured that Abraham had to wrestle his son to the ground to tie him up. Maybe the sense of honoring your parents that they instilled in their children was greater than what we see today – wait, I’m sure it was – but I’m just not sure about how much more ti was. Could Isaac have offered himself to his dad and ultimately to the Lord like that?
I did take special note of what Abraham said to his servants as I watched last night. They accurately portrayed him as saying that he and the boy would go up the mountain to worship and then they’d both return, but Abraham spoke these things with a fearful and trembling tone – it almost seemed as if He didn’t believe they’d both return. I’m sure it would be normal to be fearful about the whole situation, but this is the moment of faith that He is commended for in Hebrews, and He believed in God’s promise (that He’d make a great nation of him) so much that He thought Isaac would be raised from the dead.
It’s interesting to me that both faith and doubt were so clearly co-existing in this situation, but Abraham chose to act on the faith. In this moment, even though the Jewish faith doesn’t yet exist, Abraham is half Jewish (faithful) and half Gentile (doubtful) on the outside, but is still completely Jewish on the inside – in His heart, He remains faithful.
The truth is that, for me, faith and doubt co-exist more often than not. Even in my best, most faithful moments, when I put on my game face and act on faith, my insides are twisting and turning, trembling and fearful. It’s in those moments when I put fear aside and trust in God – it’s in those moments when my faith is stretched, and doubt is defeated. If I imagine myself like Abraham – everything in my life culminating to one moment of choosing faith or doubt. What would I do? Can I put fear aside? Would I act on faith? It’s one thing to act in faith in a normal everyday sort of situation, but what about when my whole life’s journey is at stake? Would I stake my life on Christ? Would I stake my son’s life on Christ?
Prayer: Lord, I don’t know much. I know that You are all that I need. I know that You have provided for me over and over in my life. I know that You love me. I know that without You, I would never have any faith at all. I know that doubt consumes me when I’m on my own. I know that there’s a battle within me between doubt and faith. I’m grateful for the battle, because I know that means You’re in me. I also know that sometimes I let the doubt to win out in my life. Sometimes I even encourage it. Lord, change that part of me. I mean, I know You’re gonna win – there’s no battle that isn’t Yours for the taking. Lord, win in me. I trust that in the momnts where I must choose, You will show me Your way of faith. Lord, nudge me – No, push me – push me hard – throw me to the ground if You must – but make me go Your way – Let me walk in faith no matter what the cost. In those testing moments, I want to honor You. In every moment, I want to honor You. I want to honor You.
Dr Loken taught us last night about how to read the Bible as literature. It also seems to me that this is one of his favorite subjects. His dissertation involved these very same concepts as they applied to the Book of Nehemiah. His focus tonight was on the narrative form which makes up most of the Bible.
The basic idea seems to be about analyzing the 5 elements of narrative literature (setting, characters, plot, point of view, style) in order to gain more understanding of the author’s intended meaning. The five rules that he laid out for us are:
1. Investigate every detail of setting that the author includes.
2. Analyze each character and determine how he contributes to the message of the story.
3. Be aware of how scenes work together to form the plot.
4. Determine what the narrator is trying to communicate to the reader.
5. Explore whether or not the structure of the story offers any clues to the author’s intended meaning.
He also gave us a few examples of how these types of questions can lead to a better interpretation and understanding of the Scriptures. Here are a few that I wrote down:
1. Setting – By investigating the setting of the Nativity story, you discover that Nazareth was a “branch” city of Bethlehem. The name “Nazareth” actually means “branch” and it was named this because there had been many people of the line of David who left Bethlehem and settled there. This also means that when Joseph left for Bethlehem with Mary, he probably had many relatives including his parents, his brothers, sisters, and lots of other folks who traveled with them to Bethlehem. In reading the Biblical text, we only see Mary and Joseph mentioned, but the original readers would have already known and understood that Nazareth was full of people in the line of David who would have been traveling with them. Also, in studying the setting, we see that Bethlehem is at most a 3-day trip from Nazareth. Sometimes we have thought of it as a longer more difficult journey – not to make light of Mary being on a donkey for 3 days.
2. Setting – The Philistines were a constant threat to Israel because they lived in the plains near the Mediterranean Sea and knew how to smelt iron. They had iron chariots which Israel could never defeat down in the plains where they lived, but the Philistines could never really take Israel either cause those same iron chariots didn’t do so well in the foothills of the mountains where the Israelites lived. Once Israel learned how to smelt iron (under Saul) they wipe out the Philistines and you never really hear about them again in the Scriptures.
3. Character and Setting – Why was Abraham so quick to be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac? This has to do with setting – he had cone from the land of Ur where it was very common practice to sacrifice children to their god. We look at those verses and are shocked at Abraham’s willingness, but in that culture, it was normal. In some strange way, it didn’t take much faith for him to be willing to sacrifice his son ’cause everyone was doing that. If you’ll notice in Hebrews, (This is the character part) Abraham isn’t commended for having faith enough to sacrifice his son, he is commended for the faith he exercised in believing God’s original promise to make of him a great nation through his son Isaac. In the Genesis account Abraham fully believes God’s promise believes that if God made that promise and wanted him to kill his son, then He must be planning on raising him from the dead too. This was an original thought. No one had ever risen from the dead! Abraham is commended for faith that God would raise his son from the dead in order to fulfill the promise that He had made to him! Cool stuff!
4. Structure/Style – Look at 1 Samuel 24-26. (24 and 26 are almost identical – so what’s in the middle of them must be important – 25 is a little strange until you figure out the symbolism in it.)
Anyway, it was a good class last night.
Lord, thank you for these classes. Thank you for you Word. Thank you for this supernatural hunger that you’ve given me for it all lately. Thank you for the ability to attend – for providing the money and the time for me to come. You are amazing and I can only stand in awe of You! You’ve certainly given me more than I deserve – I deserve nothing but death, but this life you’ve given me is incredible! Thank you for my beautiful bride and her support, and for our families, our friends, and our church. I am overwhelmed by all You’ve done, but even more so by who You are. All that You have done flows out of who You are – it’s just an expression of Your character. You are more than I can imagine and I love You! AMEN.
In class this week, Dr. Loken talked about the different versions of the Bible. Quite a bit of it was stuff I had already picked up on in all my years of ministry, but there was definitely a part of it which was new to me. I’ve been teaching a series with the youth for our Wednesday Night Bible study lately that has been lots of fun, but I’m questioning it now. The series is called the “Paraphrase Project” and the idea is to teach the students about a certain Biblical text and then have them rewrite it in their own words. I’ve encouraged them to rewrite each phrase so they can understand it. It’s been a really good way to help them interact with the Scriptures and they’ve had a good time learning to express themselves like this. Anyway, after my class, I feel like I have a better grasp on the details of what it means to really translate the Scriptures. It’s a huge undertaking (probably not something for a student – we’re not really distributing ours though – it’s just to help us interact with the Scriptures.) ’cause one little detail could undermine the whole text.
Anyway, he showed us how the TNIV and the NRSV have tried to become “gender inclusive” and how it has totally changed the Scriptures. For example:
In Hebrews 2 the NIV says, 6But there is a place where someone has
“What is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of
man that you care for him? 7You made
him a little
lower than the angels;
you crowned him with glory and honor
8and put everything under his
putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet
at present we do not see everything subject to him.
These verses are clearly talking about Jesus and his Sovereignty with everything under His feet.
Now look at the same verse from the “gender inclusive” TNIV: 6 But there is a place where someone has
“What are mere mortals that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them? 7 You made them a little lower
than the angels;
you crowned them with glory and honor 8 and put everything under their
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to
at present we do not see everything subject to them.
What?!?!?!? Humans now have sovereignty over all things?? It’s really scary to me that people could actually believe in being “politically correct” so much that they’d be willing to change the whole meaning of Scripture. Wouldn’t want to offend a woman and call Jesus a man.
Sorry ladies, but just so you know – JESUS WAS A MAN!! What kind of man would change the scriptures like this? He must have gotten beat up by a lot of girls to be that afraid of women. I guess he’s more afraid of women than he is of God.
Howard Hendricks wrote this book and we’re studying it in my Hermeneutics class. There is also a video series that goes along with it that we’re going to be watching throughout the 5 weeks of class. It’s a 19 part series and we’re gonna have to go to the library at the school to watch them. It’s an hour and a half drive for me to go to the school so I got on-line and was looking for a place I could buy the videos or rent them or something. Anyway, it looks like they have reworked the series into a 7 session video instead of the 19 sessions. It doesn’t look like there’s any place to buy the old version which is what my homework is written from, so I’m gonna be trying to find a way in the next few weeks to get up to the school – I hate spending $$ on gas right now – it’s about $2.80 gallon. (I’ll probably read this 20 years from now and think that’s cheap, but it’s not – at least not right now.)
Anyway, the video part is Howard sitting in front of about 8 other folks who are supposed to be students. It’s pretty funny to watch though ’cause they are definitely not actors. It’s clear that Howard has instructed them on what questions to ask and such. Anyway, I guess the content of the videos is pretty good – it’s all about the basics of studying the Bible. He divides it into three main sections. (1) Observation, (2) Interpretation, and (3) Application. It sets up a pretty good basic structure for how we should study the Scriptures. I hope that as we go further into it, I’ll have more to share. We’ll see.
Here’s an article describing Jesus that I found on Mark Driscoll’s (a pastor I like to listen to) blog.
No one is more loved or hated than Jesus Christ.
Jesus was born in a small town to a poor, unmarried teen mother roughly 2,000 years ago. He was adopted by Joseph, a simple carpenter, and spent the first thirty years of His life in obscurity, swinging a hammer with His dad.
Around the age of thirty, Jesus began a public ministry that included preaching, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and befriending people who were marginalized because they were perverts, drunks, thieves, and such. Jesus’ ministry spanned only three short years before He was put to death for declaring Himself to be God. He died by shameful crucifixion like tens of thousands of people had before Him.
Curiously, His résumé is rather simple. He never traveled more than a few hundred miles from His home. He never held a political office, never wrote a book, never married, never attended college, and never visited a big city. He died homeless and poor.
Yet He is the most famous person in all of human history. More songs have been sung about Him, artwork painted of Him, and books written about Him than anyone who has ever lived. Furthermore, billions of people from the nations of the earth worship Him as God. Even unbelievers are constantly reminded of His influence since we measure time around His life. Our calendar is divided into the years before and after His birth, which are noted as BC (“before Christ”) and AD (anno Domini, meaning “in the year of the Lord”).
No army, nation, or person has changed human history to the degree that Jesus the homeless man has. The symbol for Jesus, the cross, has become the most famous symbol in all of history. Even rapper 50 Cent and old-school rocker Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses recently wore one around their necks at the MTV Video Music Awards. Jesus has become a part of American fashion.
Every year, the media is filled with discussions about Jesus. Musicians like Kanye West cannot help but sing about Jesus even if they do not worship Him as God. Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ set a single-day box office record. No one is hotter than Jesus – even 2,000 years after He walked the earth. Even the mundane magazine Popular Mechanics had a cover story titled “The Real Face of Jesus” a few years back in which they attempted to determine what Jesus really looked like (complete with short hair, unlike the myth that he had long hair).
It seems that everyone has an opinion of Jesus. The following quotes are a smattering of what great figures in human history have said about Jesus:
Mahatma Gandhi: “I cannot say that Jesus was uniquely divine. He was as much God as Krishna, or Rama, or Mohammed, or Zoroaster.”
Adolf Hitler: “In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison.”
Larry King “was once asked who he would most want to interview if he could choose anyone from all of history. He said, ‘Jesus Christ.’ The questioner said, ‘And what would you like to ask Him?’ King replied, I would like to ask Him if He was indeed virgin-born. The answer to that question would define history for me.'”
John Lennon: “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue with that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock and roll or Christianity.”
Carlos Mencia: “You know what, I became more Christian after I saw the movie [The Da Vinci Code] because, I, you know, as a Christian, I was like, you know, Jesus died for our sins he suffered. But now that I know that he’s married, I’m like, wow, did he really suffer. Poor guy.”
Friedrich Nietzsche: “Jesus died too soon. If he had lived to my age he would have repudiated his doctrine.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “Socrates died like a philosopher; Jesus Christ died like a God.”
Joseph Smith: “Mormonism is the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ; of which I myself am not ashamed.”
Mark Twain: “If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.”
H. G. Wells: “I am a historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”
Oprah Winfrey: “There couldn’t possibly be just one way . . .” [Lady in the audience: “What about Jesus?”] “What about Jesus? . . . Does God care about your heart or does God care about if you call his son Jesus?”
Malcolm X: “All white people who have studied history and geography know that Christ was a black man. Only the poor, brainwashed American Negro has been made to believe that Christ was white, to maneuver him into worshiping the white man.”
People tell us all sorts of things about Jesus. He was rich. He was poor. He was black. He was white. He was God and not God. He was a liar who told the truth, born of a virgin who was a tramp. He rose from the dead or else escaped death to shack up with His girlfriend. Even within Christianity, a goofy trend recasts Jesus and the faith; apparently, a new kind of Christian has emerged.
Maybe we should do a series soon on “Who is Jesus?”
Gosh! What are the Jehovah’s Witnesses gonna do now? Do I have your attention now?
No, I haven’t given up my faith. I’m not saying God doesn’t exist. I just learned something new in my Theology class last night. The word “Jehovah” was actually never intended to be used to refer to God. Here’s how it all happened: The Hebrew word YHWH (“Yahweh” which means “I am”) was used of God regularly in the Old Testament scriptures – as a matter of fact, God even calls Himself “YHWH.” (Exodus 3). Another word used of God was “Adonai” which meant “my Lord.”
Anyway, the name YHWH (Yahweh) was considered too holy to speak and so when the writers of the Bible wrote it they wanted to give the reader a “heads up” or a hint that the word was coming up so that they wouldn’t accidentally say it outloud. They took the vowels from the word “adonai” and placed them into the word YHWH – which would have made it look something like this “YaHoWaH.” The Hebrew reader would come across this word and would have known that it wasn’t a real word. This would have forced him to stop and think about what he was reading, and thus would avoid accidentally speaking the Sacred Name aloud. Unfortunately, when the German translators came along hundreds of years later, they didn’t understand what had happened, so they simply translated it as “Jehovah.” (The Hebrew “Y” sounds like a “J” in German and the “W” sounds like a “V”) We’ve been reading it that way ever since ’cause the English translators used the German translations as guides.
So the name “Jehovah” doesn’t exist. It is basically a translation error and was never used by the Jews – including Jesus.
Check out this picture of me as a little kid. I couldn’t get out of that bucket without knocking it over and crawling out. I had gotten in a little too deep for my own good. (I’m not even sure how I got in there. – Probably, with a little help from my Dad. – By the way Lord, is that what You do with us? Encourage and help us get into places where we’re gonna have to learn to rely and trust in You to help us out?)
Hmm. . . That’s about how I’m feeling today about school. I guess I’m a bit overwhelmed. I feel like I’ve got lots of homework to do and not a lot of time to get it all done. If I were a full-time student, it wouldn’t be a problem, but since I have a full-time job as a youth minister and also volunteer as a worship leader. . . .there’s just not lots of extra time in my life. I especially want to protect my marriage. It’s important that I’m involved in these things, but even more important that I’m involved and connected with my beautiful bride. Last night, she watched some TV (one of her favorite shows – Studio 60) and I would normally have snuggled and watched with her, but I had to work on my homework. It’s only one night, but when you multiply this out over time, it all adds up pretty quickly. I don’t ever want my bride to feel neglected, and she’s a “quality time” girl when it comes to her love language. If it comes down to choosing between my wife and this class, there really is no choice at all – I will choose my wife. I just hope it doesn’t come to that.
Lord, help me to be diligent in my relationship with You and my wife. Show me how to balance my time so that I can accomplish everything that You’ve called me to. Anytime something changes in my schedule, I’ve had to rework all this out, and You’ve been faithful in the past with these kinds of things. I’m trusting in You to show me how it can be done this time too. Lord, You really are so very good to me – even the opportunity to be able to take part in each of these things is a testimony to Your goodness. Lord, give me a grateful heart, instead of this negative, I-can’t-do-it-all attitude that I’ve been feeling lately. The truth is that by Your Spirit, I can do everything You’ve called me to, and I should be grateful that You’ve called me to so many things – Thank You for inviting me to be a part of Your work in all these areas.
Lord, I also ask for you to guide me in my relationship with Miranda. Let me cherish every moment I have with her, and teach us how to live together with these new schedules of ours. Bless her in her ministry at SLP, and use her to build bridges between the school and the church. AMEN!
OK – so my new school (College for Biblical Studies) is requiring me to keep a journal. I haven’t been faithful at keeping one daily for a few years, but I do enjoy it when I have done it. I’m not sure how often they really want me to write or even the topic they’d like me to write about so I’m just gonna put my thoughts about class down here until they tell me otherwise. I’ll be in class tomorrow, so maybe I’ll get more details then.
My first class is Theology 3330. We’re supposed to read a book called “Major Bible Themes” by Lewis Sperry Chafer and answer a bunch of questions and also write a book review on another book – “Dispensationalism” by Charles Ryrie. I haven’t begun “Dispensationalism” yet, but my friend Hans (who is attending DTS in Dallas) says it’s a great book and that Ryrie is an incredible theologian. I’ve focused this first week on getting back into the habit of doing homework and answering the questions from the other book. So far I’ve finished the first 10 chapters and here’s what I’m thinking:
I don’t feel like I’ve really “learned” any new concepts. By reading this book, I feel like I’m learning some new language and terminology to speak about these concepts. Anyway, I must admit I’m a little disappointed. It’s probably good to know these terms, but the truth is that I don’t wanna be the guy who speaks over everyone’s head. I want to be able to explain these same concepts with regular language. I’m also disappointed because I’m really hungry to learn right now, but I’m not learning any new concepts. Of course, my prayer is that there is more to come, and I do feel confident that we’re just kind of laying a foundation for deeper things.
Here’s the info I spoke on last Sunday Night. I got it all from a DVD sermon by Louie Giglio – the founder of the Passion Worship movement.
1 – milky way galaxy
Psalm 19:1-4 – New Living
“The heavens tell of the glory of God.
The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or a word;
their voice is silent in the skies;
yet their message has goneout to all the earth,
and their words to all the world.”
The stars are shouting God’s praises – day after day they’re telling us what they know! The stars are like a billboard telling us everyday about His glory and how great He is.
Big bang – there probably was a big bang when God created it all! Science and Christians are all seeking to find the truth in this mystery of creation.
God said “let there be light.” Of course – when God asks for something, that’s what He gets.
We don’t even know how big the universe is – the telescope isn’t big enough. God is laughing at us – He enjoys when we discover more, but He has so much more for us.
Habited planets? If the universe is just for us, then it’s way oversized. What if it’s primary purpose isn’t to give us a home, but to show off the glory of God? Then it’s probably the right size.
Light Speed is 186,000 miles/second – a beam of light could circle the earth 7 times every second.
Psalm 33:6 – “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.”
We live in the subdivision called the milky way universe. Consists of billions of stars. Scientists say there are hundreds of billions of other galaxies in the known universe.
Light year = 5.88 trillion miles/year
2 – milky way galaxy
If we were to count just the stars in the milky way galaxy one/second, it would take 2,500 years.
25 “To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
We’ve got to right-size Him tonight. He is not our size. He doesn’t think like we think. He is working on a canvas bigger than anything we ever imagined. The heavens are telling us that, and they’re telling us that we are really really really really small.
3 – milky way galaxy
4 – milky way galaxy
The Milky way galaxy is a bard spiral galaxy which is 100,000 light years across. (remember a light year is 5.88 trillion miles)
5 – milky way galaxy with earth
Where’s earth? We’re not even in the center of our own subdivision – it’s not about you, it’s about God. You don’t wanna live in the center anyway – it’s scary there. It’s also scary in the bands surrounding the center – we live between them about 2/3 of the way out. Our solar system is too small to even put on this picture. Scientists say that our solar system is the size of a quarter and the milky way galaxy is the size of the North American Continent.
06 – earth
Earth – you don’t see any people, cities, countries. . .you don’t see the great need, the poverty, the strife, the pain, the glory, the glamour – as you step back you get this feeling that maybe we aren’t so big after all. We know the one who made this world must be huge. Maybe we aren’t as important as we thought. Maybe our plans aren’t so grand at all.
Neil Armstrong – first man who walked on the moon said, “I remember on the way home on Apollo 11, it suddenly struck me that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the earth. I put my thumb up and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out planet earth, but I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very very small.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
Voyager was launched 1977 – to take pictures. In 1990, Voyager is 3.7 billion miles away from the earth traveling 40,000 miles an hour away from the sun. It takes 60 pictures, with 640,000 pixels in each image. It takes 5 and a half hours for each pixel to make it back to earth from 3.7 billion miles away. – talk about a dial-up problem.
07 – pale blue dot
Do you see earth in that one? It’s there. The “Pale Blue Dot” picture was taken – the suns rays reflected off voyager (4 billion miles away) to create the bands you see. Earth is the dot.
Famous astronomer called it a “mote of dust suspended on a sunbeam.” Our huge lives are all played out on a “mote of dust.” Not trying to make you feel small – I want you to see that you are small.
But it’s significant, insignificance ’cause as tiny as we are – we are prized my majesty. Who sent for us and knows us and loves us even though we are just tiny little specks in this vast universe that He made. Just as He can call the stars by name, He can start in this room and call each of us by name. And not only that – He could even tell you how many hairs are on your head and what you’re thinking right now and if you secretly desire to be sitting next to someone else right now. He knows us!!!!! And Is aware of us!!! And Loves us!! And Invites us into a relationship with Him that will never ever end!!! It’s amazing to think how big He is and that He still knows and cares for us.
Lets go on a journey now.
10 – sun
93 million miles out to the sun.
It burns you up. Raging ball of fire. Not the smiley face sun like we drew it as kids. 10,000 degrees on the surface. It’s like billions of nuclear explosions going off every second. It takes 8 seconds for light from it to go the 93 million miles from there to your skin. It came out of the mouth of God – He is not some kind of wimpy God. He is intense, powerful, ferocious, holy, and full of radiant splendor – He opens His mouth and stuff like this just come out. The sun is 100 times the diameter of earth.
11 – earth/sun comparison
That’s why you wanna thank God in your bed tonight that we are 93 million miles away from the sun.
12 – close up of sun
Close up of the sun from the Swedish solar institute – they’re doing studies of the sun – raging fire. Scientists say, it would take the gross national of the United States for 7 million years for our local power company to run the sun for one second – and it’s just one star out of billions in the milky way – which is only one galaxy of billions of known galaxies in the universe that God has made.
5.88 trillion miles is a light year – 440 light years out we find:
13 – plieades
The Pleiades constellation.
“Can you hold back the movements of the stars? Are you able to restrain the Pleiades or Orion?
14 – vela pulsar
Vela Pulsar – 1000 light years away
what’s a pulsar? A star explodes into a supernova and can collapse back into itself into a magnetic intensity – it’s a highly magnetized neutron star – it’s center occilates 11 times a second – it sends out this intense signal:
A radio telescope captured this recording of the Vela Pulsar
The vela pulsar didn’t wanna miss out on the worship – it’s screaming “He’s Big!! He’s bigger than you think He is!! God is Awesome!!”
15 – hourglass nebula
8000 light years away – hourglass nebula – just beautiful – God is watching us.
16 – helix nebula
17 – star dust ring
28 million light years out (28 million X 5.88 trillion miles) – sombrero galaxy
18 & 19 – sombrero galaxy
Sombrero galaxy – not just a cool little frisbee thing – its 50 thousand light years wide – trillions of miles thick – why is it there? Just to glorify God – to give a small example of who He is. Showing off the greatness and majesty of God.
20 – hubble telescope
Hubble hangs out 353 miles above the earth.
21 – whirlpool galaxy
31 million light years away – grand design galaxy – hundreds of billions of stars – pink areas are star-forming incubators – every second a new star is born in our universe – God is naming them all and putting them where He wants
Let’s go far far far out! Indescribable how far out it is
22 – christ
He made everything we’ve seen tonight – and yet He chose to be hung on a tree that He himself created. The maker of the entire universe came to that pale blue dot –
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
23 – x structure at core of whirlpool galaxy
The world – the universe is all about God. Not us, but God. And He has decided to ask you and I to be a part of His big big story. It doesn’t matter how big your situation seems, God is bigger and He loves you! Nothing can shake you out of God’s hand as He holds you.
Love so amazing so divine, demands our my soul my life my all.
Chronicles of Narnia – Whoa! I just saw it movie yesterday! It was great! I’m not really into the whole fantasy genre (Lord of the what???? Well done, but just not my thing.) But this was not a typical movie. I loved all the imagery and Christian metaphors.
Lucy (disciple) stumbles through a wardrobe (salvation) to discover Narnia (spiritual world) – the land which always existed, but she had never seen.
Lucy (disciple) tells others about Narnia (spiritual world) and they don’t believe her.
Lucy’s brothers and sister only believe when they have experienced it for themselves.
Everyone tells them about Aslan with a sense of expectation and reverence.
Aslan (God) was both someone to be feared and someone to find friendship in.
The White Witch (Satan) was strong, but even she feared Aslan.
The everlasting snow curse (sin) began to melt as soon as Aslan showed up.
Edmund (Judas) betrayed his brother and sisters.
Turkish Delight (temporary satisfaction) began Edmund’s doubt about Aslan.(God)
The promise to rule Narnia is Edmund’s motivation for betrayal. (Ours is the promise to rule our own lives.)
People who have been snared by the white witch (Satan) are turned to stone. (Those who have fallen to Satan have hearts which are turned to stone.)
Aslan (God) can breathe on them and they come back to life. (We are given new hearts by God.)
Aslan (God) sacrifices his own life for the sins of his followers to satisfy the “deep magic.” (Old Testament Law requiring death for sin.)
Aslan (God) dies on the stone table (cross). When he is resurrected, there is an earthquake and the stone is broken. (The stone in front of Jesus’ tomb is moved.)
Susan and Lucy (women) were the first to see the risen Aslan.
Aslan (God) crushes the White Witch (Satan) in the final battle.
These are just a few of the things I noticed. Check it out yourself if you haven’t seen it already.