Did the Solar Eclipse Change You?

Solar EclipseThe 2017 solar eclipse is now history. The special glasses we sought in a frenzy have been cast aside. Life is back to normal once again.

So, has anything really changed?

For some, the waltz between the moon and the sun merely provided a diversion from the routine—a reason to stay home from school or work. Others welcomed nature’s show as epic entertainment. Still others failed to take the warnings seriously and are already experiencing eye damage.

For me, the eclipse was more than entertainment. It proved, yet again, that the universe is governed, not by chaos, but by order on the grandest scale. Validation that the cosmos is not the result of a big bang, but rather the product of thoughtful design. The eclipse reaffirmed that the One who hung the stars in the sky is still choreographing their dance.

The Bible tells us the heavens declare the glory of their Creator (Psalm 19:1). This time they didn’t just declare it, they proclaimed it in a way that made humanity stop, sit up, and take notice.

Still, the eclipse will now be a footnote in history books yet to be written. The question for us is, what will we do with the experience?

I want to hold on to the sense of awe it inspired. To remember God is big and I am small, and that’s a good thing. I want to remember that God controls suns and moons and planets, and the control I think I have over my life is an illusion at best.

Most of all, I want to remember that the Creator of the universe is the same One who invites me to call Him Father. The same One who sent His Son, Jesus, to restore my broken relationship with Him. And He is the same One who placed His Spirit in me to direct my steps. El Elyon, the Most High God, is also El Roi, the God Who Sees Me. Nothing is too big for Him to handle, and nothing is so small that it escapes His notice.

Will you join me in moving from admiring creation to worshiping the Creator? As we do, the eclipse will have achieved its primary purpose: to declare God’s glory and to encourage us to do the same.

How did the solar eclipse change you?

The People of Christmas: Those Who Trust

Letters Spelling Trust As Symbol for Faith And BeliefI trust the sun will rise tomorrow morning.

I trust gravity will keep my feet anchored to the floor when I get out of bed.

I trust the light will turn on when I flip the electric switch.

There is a slight chance that one or all of those things may not happen. But given my past experience, the probability is that they will occur…just as I trust they will.

But is it trust on my part, or is it simply a reliance on past experience?

What if I had never experienced a sunrise? Or if I had never known the effects of gravity? Or if I didn’t know what electricity was? Then it really would be trust!

With that in mind, consider the account of the first Christmas from the perspective of the participants.

Mary was asked to trust that God would do the impossible: cause her to become pregnant by His Spirit.
Joseph was asked to trust that God would do the impossible: cause his fiancée to be pregnant while still a faithful virgin.
Mary’s parents were asked to trust that God would do the impossible: send His angel to communicate with their daughter—not just a female, which would have been unthinkable as it is, but barely a child herself.

Each of these people were asked to trust God in unusual circumstances without any direct experience to draw on.

A virgin birth? Never happened before.

Angels speaking to women? Unthinkable. It rarely even happened to men.

A woman pregnant outside of marriage? Counter-cultural at best and a violation of the Mosaic Law which required a death sentence (Deut. 22:20-21).

And yet, each of these people did trust God. Their hope rested on the character and ways of God, as He had revealed Himself in His Word. They expressed their faith and trust in the Lord despite situations that screamed,

Possible And Impossible Keys Show Optimism And Positivity“Run!”

“Don’t believe him!”

“Don’t believe her!”

“This is impossible!”

The essence of their trust and hope depended on having a high view of God. It depended on being absolutely convinced that nothing is impossible for El Elyon, the Most High God. Nothing is out of the control of the Sovereign Lord who never stopped being Lord of His creation.

What impossible situation are you facing today? Are you finding it difficult to trust the Lord? The higher your view of God—the bigger God is in your sight—the easier it will be to trust Him, regardless of how impossible your circumstances appear.

The angel told Mary, “Nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37, ESV). Jesus said, “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26, ESV).

Do we truly believe this? The key to maintaining hope and trust this Christmas season and throughout the year, regardless of what comes, is to maintain a high view of God—the God for whom nothing is impossible.

Mary and Joseph trusted El Elyon. Will you and I do the same?

Puppy Perseverance

“Big” is relative. The smaller we are, the larger everything else appears.

A few years ago, during a visit to my childhood church, I gazed in amazement at how tiny the classrooms were. I didn’t remember them being that small when I was eight years old. Basketball nets appear to have become shorter, too. Trying to shoot a basketball in fifth grade seemed impossible – I had a better chance of aiming at the top of a building. What a difference a few years – and a few inches in height – can make.

On the grass - 6 weeksI was reminded of this concept of relativity as I watched the newest additions to our family: two boxer puppies.  Taken from their mother way too early, they were brought to the Humane Society where they won our hearts. This brother and sister spent their first week with us wobbling around on shaky legs as they explored their new world. Of course, for the first couple of days, that world was restricted to their crate. Then an entire room. Finally, we brought them outside. That’s when the fun began.

They stumbled and fell, then picked themselves up only to fall again. Thankfully, the soft grass cushioned their tumbles. After a few days of exploring the outdoors and becoming surer of their footing, they attempted to follow us back into the house instead of being carried. But an obstacle blocked their way. To Conquering the Step - 7 wksget to our front porch, they had to negotiate a six-inch step – not a problem for you and me, but when you’re less than eight inches tall, a six-inch step is huge!

Still, these pups were determined to conquer that step. They tried and failed and tried again, until…they did it. Puppy perseverance won out.

That step wasn’t a problem for me, but other things are. Things that block my way and cause me grief. Situations that make me want to give up because they’re just too big for me to deal with. Then I remember who I belong to: El Elyon, The Most High God. Nothing is too big for Him to handle, in the physical or the spiritual world. By the power of His Spirit, I’m able to persevere, to maintain hope, and to trust that if I cannot make a way forward, it’s because He has a better way for me.

Conquering the Step1 - 7 wks

How has knowing that God is El Elyon helped you develop “puppy perseverance”?