Like Moses standing before the Red Sea with Pharoah’s army at his heels, last August we stood before a school year with Covid restrictions and virtual students and we were overwhelmed. We were trapped with an ocean of obstacles ahead and Covid at our heels. “Impossible,” we thought. But you Lord. . . . but YOU LORD, have brought us through. As we bravely determined to march ahead, You moved the waters. You went before us and made a way where there was no way. Digital technologies made virtual learning possible. Masks allowed students to return to regular classes. Teachers worked together to find good strategies for teaching in this new learning environment. We see Your hands at work in all of these things.
You LORD brought us to THIS DAY! Today we celebrate You for guiding us through the depths of destruction of Covid and the barriers to teaching that were literally strapped to our faces. In the desert, You miraculously provided manna and water for Israel. As we marched through our educational desert, and in spite of the odds, we had virtual students who actually grew and learned new concepts. You refreshed us in those moments. Now, at the end of this long trek, today we celebrate how You brought us to the promised land of summer break and we remember the depths from which we came.
You provided everything that was needed for Israel to be free from slavery in Egypt so they could become the people You had called them to be. . . . . your people. . . . . people who would represent you to the world. As teachers, you have brought us through our struggles for a purpose too. You are calling us to represent You as well. These struggles have shaped us. They have brought us together and strengthened our relationships. They have forced us to let go of some of our own burdens and begin leaning on one another. You have brought us to this place today so we will be “better together” . . . . . so we will be able to represent You to our students. Lord, continue to guide us to become the people (and teachers) that You have called us to be.
Lord, today we are excited for summer break, but we also remember all that You have done and we celebrate You! You are worthy of all our worship, not because You brought us through this crazy year, but simply because You are God and because You have loved us so greatly. Your son, Jesus is the full expression of Your love and for Him, we give You thanks and praise. It’s in His name that we pray.
Our family took a quick trip to McKinney Falls with some friends this past weekend and Kasen (my 2 and a half year old) and I slept in a tent one night. We had a great conversation as we settled down for the night. Here’s how it went:
Daddy: Kasen, you know who loves you?? Kasen: Yeah. Daddy: Who? Kasen: Daddy does. Daddy: You know who else loves you? Kasen: Mommy. Daddy: You know who else? Kasen: Kasen. Daddy: You love yourself?? Kasen: Yeah. (laughing) Daddy: and Kesleigh loves you too.
We continued through the rest of the family – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.
Daddy: And do you know who loves you more than anybody else? Jesus. Kasen: Why he love me? Daddy: Cause you’re his little boy just like you’re daddy’s little boy. Kasen: Where is Jesus? Daddy: He’s right here. Kasen: No he’s not. (laughing) Daddy: Yeah, he’s right here. You just can’t see him. Kasen: He in tent? Daddy: Yeah. Kasen: Why He in tent? Daddy: Cause He loves you and wants to be with you. He likes being with you. Kasen: I’m sittin’ on Jesus. Daddy: You’re sittin’ on Jesus? Kasen: Yeah (giggling)
Kasen: Why the grass makin’ noise? Daddy: Those are crickets. They’re makin’ noise ’cause they’re happy. Kasen: Why they makin’ noise? Daddy: ‘Cause God took care of them today. They’re trying to tell Jesus how much they love Him. Kasen: I make noise for Jesus too. Then he let out a big scream.Aaahhh!!
We laughed together.
I’m so glad that I’m able to have these kinds of conversations with my son. I look forward to the future as he is able to grow in his understanding of God and our conversations grow deeper. I pray that he remains inquisitive. I pray that he also keeps “sittin’ on Jesus” and “makin’ noise for Jesus.”
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.
We’ve been doing a 30-day worship Journey with our guys small group and I just thought I’d try posting some of it. First we were supposed to read Psalm 100:
Psalm 100 – A psalm. For giving thanks.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Next, we journal about one of God’s characteristics – Today it was FAITHFUL. Here’s what I wrote:
Faithful – Hmm? What does that mean? Does it mean steadfast? Consistently Good? Always available? Or could it mean exactly what it says – “Full of Faith?” I wonder God if You have that kind of faith in me?I have failed You over and over, but I guess the other side of it is that You know me better than I do myself. Could it really be true that You believe in me? That You believe in Your creation? Your work? Could it be that I could live up to the fullness of Your faith God? Help me. I’d love it if I could.