Sign-up to receive Kathy's FREE E-Newsletter or Weekly Blog Posts

Archive | creation

Fireflies, Family Fun, and Intelligent Design

Not long after we moved into our new home, we discovered fireflies like to hang out in our backyard at twilight. The sight brought back such good memories of our childhood we wanted to share the experience with our 5-year-old grandson Micah. So last weekend, we invited him to sleepover at Boss and Nana’s house. (Now that we live close, we can do that!)

First, we “had” to let him stay up way past his bedtime. Then we got to sit out back, watch the sunset, and wait for the lightning bugs to make their appearance.

fireflies

Micah wore his pajamas and his rain boots for the firefly escapade. (When he arrived at our house that morning with the thick red rubber boots on his feet I didn’t give it a second thought. After all, it was raining at the time. Later, when we were getting ready to go out to dinner, we found out he didn’t have any other shoes with him. His mom let him pack all by himself.)

Rain boots may not be the best foot wear for the Ponder Steak House, but they happened to be perfect for running around a muddy backyard snagging glowing beetles between your two cupped hands. By the time the “catching” was finished, Micah had collected about a dozen fireflies in his bug house.

Micah wanted to take good care of them and knew they needed food and water to survive. After some quick research we learned more than we thought we needed to know about fireflies. Here’s the top things we found interesting:

  • Fireflies are NOT flies, they are beetles.
  • There are about 2,000 different varieties of fireflies.
  • Fireflies eat bugs, like mosquitos, and nectar.
  • The primary purpose of the fireflies’ light is to attract a mate.
  • The firefly’s glow is a chemical reaction between two substances in the bug’s abdomen. The firefly itself triggers the reaction by regulating the flow of oxygen into it’s abdomen.

Our research triggered two actions. First, we filled a bottle cap with hummingbird food and placed it in the bug house so the fireflies wouldn’t starve before Micah released them at home the next day. (They actually drank it!)

Second, the firefly’s incredible design pointed us straight to the Designer. What a “glowing” example of God’s creativity and power. And He didn’t just create one kind of glowing beetle. He created 2,000! Isn’t our God amazing?!

What have you seen in the world lately that reminded you of the One who made it?!

 

Read More »

Muhammad Ali Versus Jesus: Who’s the Greatest?

Muhammad AliBoxing legend Muhammad Ali passed away late last week after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s. Often referred to as “The Greatest,” Ali had a long and illustrious boxing career. He won a gold medal in the 1960 Olympics in Rome and earned the boxing title “Heavyweight Champion of the World” three times.

Ali was also famous for making many bold – and poetic – claims about himself. Here are a few you’ve probably heard:

  • “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t.”
  • “It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.”
  • “I’ve wrestled with alligators. I’ve tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning. And throw thunder in jail.”
  • He also called himself “the greatest” and the “king of the world.”

Many people around the world also thought Ali was indeed “the greatest.” Former President Bill Clinton will be giving the eulogy at his funeral on Friday. And in the wake of Ali’s death, President Barack Obama released a statement, which reads in part:

“Muhammad Ali was The Greatest. Period. If you just asked him, he’d tell you. He’d tell you he was the double greatest; that he’d ‘handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder into jail’… Like everyone else on the planet, Michelle and I mourn his passing. But we’re also grateful to God for how fortunate we are to have known him, if just for a while; for how fortunate we all are that The Greatest chose to grace our time… Muhammad Ali shook up the world. And the world is better for it. We are all better for it.”

Ali was a strong, disciplined athlete. He was a unique poet and showman. He raised millions of dollars for charities and worked to promote peace around the world. He spent time with both presidents and dictators and was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

But was Muhammad Ali “The Greatest?”

Yesterday, our small group talked about the divinity and eternality of Jesus. Jesus Christ. God come to us. The self-existent One, with no beginning or end of days. Yet the world does not proclaim His greatness. Presidents do not declare His praises.

So, today I feel compelled to give Jesus a little glory due His name.

He paints the butterfly and shapes the bee (Colossians 1:16). He commands lightning and cuts a path for the thunderstorm (Job 38:25). He holds all things together, sustaining them by His powerful word (Hebrews 1:3), yet He willingly humbled Himself to bring life to mankind (Philippians 2:6-8). He opens the eyes of the blind, heals the sick, and raises the dead. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13). One day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:11-12).

Muhammad Ali may have been a great man as far as men go. But Jesus Christ is our great God and eternal King. Praise His name!

 

 

Read More »

All Creation Sings God’s Praise

Psalm 19Have you ever stopped to consider the size of the universe or the scope of creation? Earth, our home, and seven other planets revolve around a sun to form a single solar system. Yet, our sun is just one of more than 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. That’s big! In fact, it would take us 100,000 years to cross our galaxy at the speed of light. And that’s just the beginning. Our galaxy is only one of billions of galaxies across the vast expanse of the cosmos. And our God made it all.

Let’s take an abrupt shift in our thinking and move from big to small, from inconceivably huge to microscopically tiny. About 100 trillion cells comprise the human body – including yours. Each cell is packed with DNA. This complex molecule stores information that determines your body’s unique physical characteristics, like the color of your eyes. If the DNA in just one cell were laid out flat in one long line, it would stretch more than 6 feet in length. 

The same God who tossed billions of galaxies across the universe also folded 6 feet of DNA into every cell of your body. He determined the size of the cosmos and counted the number of hairs on your head.

Creation summons us to know and worship the Creator. The psalmist David heard and responded.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
Psalm 19:1-4

Creation reveals the power and majesty of God. No language difference or cultural barrier can hinder its message. No government or law can silence its voice. The vast beauty of the heavens and the complex inner workings of the human body reflect the holiness of God to every person, of every language, in every place. Without exception.

Time to do a little declaring of our own. In the space below, write a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to the Creator.

 

Read More »

The Trees Sang in Praise

Have you ever heard trees sing? Yesterday, I heard them. Oh yes, they loudly praised our glorious God.

I am in Alberta, Canada this week. Yesterday, some friends and I drove into Banff National Park to go hiking. Our destination – the Larch Valley. The Larch tree – the only deciduous conifer in the world – grows only in this area. Its green needles turn to gold in mid to late September. The timing was perfect.

The trail head begins at Moraine Lake about 20 kilometers above Lake Louise. It then rises 1,500 feet providing incredible views of Moraine Lake below and the famous Ten Peaks that surround the valley.

A view of Moraine Lake after a few switchbacks of the trail.

A view of Moraine Lake after a few switchbacks of the trail.

Every turn in the trail revealed new wonders. I snapped dozens of photos in an weak attempt to capture the rare, raw beauty. The golden trees, the majestic mountains, the cascading water all sang praise to the One who formed them.

The first sight of the golden Larch trees!

The first sight of the golden Larch trees!

They lifted their voice to glorify our Creator God. And we heard their song.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
Let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them!
Let the trees of the forest sing,
let them sing for joy before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.  1 Chronicles 16:31-33

Larch Valley with an incredible 360 degree view!

Larch Valley with an incredible 360 degree view!

Praise be to the LORD God , the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to His glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen. Psalm 72:18-19

image

When was the last time you “heard” creation praise they Creator? When was the last time you listened?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More »

Creation Sings God’s Glory

My husband and I recently returned from a week on the island of St John in the US Virgin Islands with some dear friends. Our two families have vacationed together five or six times over the last twenty years. But last week, just the four of us finally got to spend some relaxing time together.

I was the early riser in the bunch. Each morning I had the wonderful luxury of sitting on the deck with my Bible, study material, and a cup of coffee. I read God’s Word and looked out at the ocean. It was marvelous!

Bible time St John

The study book under my Bible is Beth Moore’s “Children of the Day,” which I’m studying with the ladies of my church.

One morning I was reading from “Embraced by Holiness” – I’m currently leading this study with our small group at church. As a storm quickly passed by in front of me, I read these words from Week Two, Day One, about how God reveals His holiness through creation:

Before the stars dotted the heavens and the waves crashed on the shore, God existed in all His holiness. Divine, perfect nature with only the Triune God as witness. Then He spoke, and His majesty burst forth in visible wonder. He splashed His glory across the skies and spread His power in the ocean depths.

Now all creation lifts a clear, unbroken chorus of praise to its Creator. Since the beginning of time, what has been made testifies to the unlimited power and worthiness of its Maker. Nature beckons us to seek God, bidding us turn our eyes and hearts to the Creator. It is beyond comprehension that this powerful, majestic, holy God desires us to know Him. And yet He does.

storm

Creation summons us to know and worship the Creator. The storm did indeed remind me of the power and glory of God. It was Psalm 19 lived out before my eyes:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19:1-3, NIV

Coincidence? Hardly. God used the storm to reinforce this lesson in my heart and mind. But, He didn’t stop there. He continued to press the lesson, to make His glory known to me that morning. As I read Psalm 19 and watched the end of the storm, a rainbow begin to form. As it brightened, splashing its spectrum of color across the sky, a second bow joined it! Oh, how I wish my phone photo could do justice to the actual sight.

double rainbow 2

This phone pic does not show it well, but if you look to the left of the bright rainbow you can see a hint of the second!

I was torn between standing and watching and running to wake everyone in the house. In the end, I spent a few moments praising God for His power and glory and then shooting up the stairs to drag my husband to a window. What a glorious morning!

Have you heard Creation’s songs of praise? What are some things in nature that quickly draw your thoughts to the Creator and foster praise?

Read More »

Creation Sings about the Holiness of God

God's holinessBefore the stars dotted the heavens and the waves crashed on the shore, God existed in all His holiness. Divine, perfect nature witnessed solely by the Triune God Himself. Then He spoke, and His majesty burst forth in visible wonder. He splashed His glory across the skies and spread His power in the ocean depths. Now all creation sings a clear, unbroken chorus of praise about the holiness of God.

Since the beginning of time, what has been made testifies to the unlimited power and worthiness of its Maker. Nature beckons us to seek God, bidding us turn our eyes and hearts to the Creator. It is beyond comprehension that this powerful, majestic, holy God desires us to know Him. And yet He does.

Lisa Heard the Song

Lisa had longed to see Old Faithful since she studied the geyser in her sixth grade geography class. Artesian springs were abundant around her southeast Texas home, but their gently flowing waters could not satisfy her desire to witness the power of Yellowstone National Park’s most famous natural site.

Unfortunately, Lisa’s family did not have the resources for many vacations, so almost three decades passed before she stood on the viewing platform next to Old Faithful. Lisa, her husband, and their five children had started their trip at the northern end of the park. They enjoyed the hot springs, canyon, mud pots, and wild life. But she purposefully saved the geyser for last.

Lisa knew the geyser would be impressive, but the depth of her reaction surprised her. The eruption built until water and steam reached more than 150 feet into the air. The power of nature demonstrated by the Old Faithful geyser turned Lisa’s heart and mind to the power of its Creator. The holiness of God overwhelmed her as she witnessed His majesty revealed in His creation.

“All I could think of was the majesty of God; how holy and mighty beyond my imagination. He had created this spectacular display of power, yet it is miniscule compared to God’s power. I could stand safely on the viewing platform and witness the power of the geyser, but I knew I could never stand in the presence of God except by His grace through Christ. I worshipped God in that moment. He had given me a glimpse of His majesty.”

Have you heard the songs of praise?

Creation summons us to know and worship the Creator. The psalmist David heard and responded. As a shepherd, he spent many nights under the stars with the sheep, where creation’s song fostered his own praise:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19:1-3, NIV

Creation reveals the power and majesty of God. No language difference or cultural barrier can hinder its message. No government or law can silence its voice. The complex beauty of the heavens and the earth reflect the holiness of God to every person, of every language, in every place. Without exception.

When was the last time something in God’s creation filled you with awe and worship for its Creator?

Note: This post was adapted from Kathy’s newly-released, 6-week Bible study, “Embraced by Holy.”

 

Read More »