Monday, September 30, 2013

Manifest Power, Manifest Glory

The past few weeks this summer has found our area of the North Coast enduring some of the most intense storms never before seen by anyone.  Many of the locals are shocked and astounded when these severe storms pass over, dropping what seems like an endless deluge of rain amidst the incessant and very close lightning.  Many areas report lightning strikes which result in tremendous damage to rooftops, trees and a large amount of electrical equipment.  I have heard of many who have had blown up televisions, modems, computers, radios, light bulbs, inversors, and so-on.  During the last storm two nights ago, we watched and listened for more than two hours as the storm raged and slowly passed over the sea.  We were fortunate as we unplugged almost all of our electrical devices in case a strike came near or a surge worked through into the house; it did not.  After it all we all wandered out into the yard to survey the results, a new lake had formed beside the house and pool area which frames the right of our property.  The lake was slowly draining through a new creek along the property.  This drained down into a larger lake on the property next to us.  Our swimming pool gained almost six inches of rainwater in just about two hours.

This is where my mind begins to turn and whirl with the questions most of us take for granted.  So I started to do some research on storms, thunderstorms in particular.  Some startling facts:

An average storm covers an area of about 15 square miles, some are larger of course.  Each storm contains on average about 275 million gallons of water.  In one inch of rain falling on one square mile of land, there is 17.5 million gallons of water.  This is equal to the weight of a locomotive whith 40 loaded boxcars.
So lets do some math!  (they told me there would be no math...)

The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmosheric Administration) reports that at any given time there can be over 40,000 storms occurring over the earth each day.  Every day.

This means that just in storms there is approximately 11 x 10^12.million gallons of water floating around the globe trapped inside these storm formations.  We know that a gallon of water weighs 10 lbs, in the US it only weighs 8.3 lbs.  We will use the Imperial standard here so the math is easier.

Then we can assume there is approximately 1.1 x 10^14 million lbs of water in these storms each day.
Lets show this longhand:  110,000,000,000,000 million lbs of water.  Or 110 Trillion lbs of water floating in the air and then coming down each and every day of the year!  I hope somebody checks my math!

Put your head around that for just a minute, This is only the amount of water that we can see in the storms!  Floating with seemingly little effort across our skies as we go about our busy little lives.

I would like you all to put this question to yourselves:  Who can do all this everyday, and not break a sweat?
There is only one.  He does all of this each day for you...take heed to His Manifest Power, His Manifest Glory.  There is none other.  He is God.
Marvel in awe at His Manifest Presence, for He exists in all that is created.
None of this in your world is an accident, all was caused to be, created for a purpose.

If you believe anything else then you believe a lie, a deception if you will.  Just do the math people, it is really very easy...


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Where did I put those Goggles?

Just got back from the hospital a while ago: had to have a metal fragment removed from my cornea after I accidentally installed it there while cutting steel.  All kidding aside, the pain was tremendous and it was all I could do to keep from punching the doctor while she worked on my poor eye.  All of this ordeal of course got me thinking: how could a little piece of metal, (I mean you could hardly see it, barely a spec embedded in the cornea of my eye, just above the pupil), cause so much pain to a grown man?

Well that's the irony of the whole thing isn't it?  The pain for me was a strong reminder of just what it is that I have and what it is I am supposed to do.  Life...and Life more abundant!

Yes I know not much of a revelation but hear me out for just a minute.  I want to give you a rationale for this small ordeal I am enduring right now and why.  The most obvious message within all of this of course is"Where are his safety goggles...dummie?"  Well, like every man I will tell you "I don't need them, I'm tough!  Just dig out the spec so I can get back to work!"
But then, that's just my pride getting in the way of the truth.

Aah, that's the ticket.  Pride got in the way.   Or did it?  It is possible that I simply forgot to put on the safety goggles that I knew where in my toolbox.  Or could it be that I chose not to put them on instead?  Opting out for the faster route, skipping the all important step of protecting my eyes and moving right on to the business at hand; cutting steel, regardless of the outcome or damage during the course of.

I hope some of you see where I am going with this: the extra result was not what I expected.  Oh sure, I got the steel cut for the project I was working on, but ended up with some unintended consequences as well!

Seems like life is full of that isn't it?  I mean speaking of course about my life, not yours.  Choosing to do what I know is right with anything always gets me the result I am looking for.  The outcome invariably changes a bit whenever I shortcut the method of operation somehow.  I might get the results I am looking for even if I do shortcut the process, but I always have extra results as well, most times unwelcome results!

My eye is just a tiny example of what can go wrong when you do not do things right.  The pain, as intense as it is, is only a small reminder of the pain that can be inflicted on a life when wrong decisions are made. 

So what am I trying to rationalize here?  Could it be that I am faced daily with many decisions that God allows me to make because He has given me the gift of choice?  Or is it more likely that I am only choosing based on my moral foundation, that given me from my family, my raising, my heritage, my common sense?
Aah, the philosophy of it all! 

Two camps available to each and every one of us: Choose to live for God.
                                                                                 Choose to live for me.
In a nutshell, is this what it comes down to, me or God?

Well, frankly...yes.  When I choose to live for me, there are always results from the decisions that I have to make each day that I may not necessarily expect; or want!  Just think about it for a second.  When you have made decisions that only build your little kingdom, your life, have there been people hurt by your decisions?  Is there collateral damage for your selfish choices?  Building the kingdom of me is selfish, greedy and has little to no concern for others.  Unless of course you have something I want, then I might pay attention to you a little more!  Most of us live our lives in the kingdom of me, creating tiny kingdom bubbles around us that we control; we decide who we talk too, associate with, give assistance too.  Take a look at your own life right now, are you living comfortably in your created little kingdom?  Is your routine so familiar that you need not think about anything going on in the world?  When things happen in the world, are they so far removed from your senses that you respond with abject boredom or even disbelief?  What focuses your attention?  Is it the newest iphone just come out on the market?  Or is it the newest year of that Toyota Tundra that just won truck of the year again?  Is your kingdom growing from within, with physical stuff that you "need"?
Don't get me wrong, I know we need to live with things in order to make life easier, after-all man-kind is very inventive, having developed technology to a level never before seen!  But what turns your head in your life?  Are you focused on the stuff more than others?

When I choose to live for God, and live by His guiding statutes, then my decisions always result without unintended consequence.  When my decisions fall in line with the Word of God,  I hurt no-one.  Invariably I am living my life in service of others building up the Kingdom of God and not mine: doing good, sharing my gifts, teaching and leading others to do the same.  The Word gives me life, and life more abundant!  Ironically, when I choose to live for God, He blesses me with more than I could have imagined!

The fact is, life is hard...and I put it to you this way.
I would rather have  a life without unintended consequences.  Don't get me wrong, I still make the wrong decisions some time, a lot of the time.  But I believe I am on the right track, each day the Lord shows up with a blessing for me, an opportunity to make the right decision and build His Kingdom through the work He has given us to do.  I hope and pray you make similar choices in each of your lives, choices without unintended consequences.

Now where did I put those goggles?