Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fly Me to the Moon

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and the first man to ever set foot on the lunar surface. I was not old enough to remember the event. However, my parents watched on television, along with about 500 million other people, as Neil Armstrong stepped off the lunar lander, The Eagle, to place the first human footprint on the moon.

Many who have viewed the video footage of that day’s events have been inspired, awed, excited and proud. However, there were some who were doubtful that we could actually accomplish such a feat. There were a number of skeptics who believed the whole thing was an elaborate hoax.

In fact, if you do an internet search for “moon landing”, you will find many stories about the Apollo 11 mission, but even in 2009, you will find many who wish to prove that it never happened. In fact, there are many who believe that the moon landing in July of 1969 was fabricated, in order to show superiority in the Cold War.

In 1976, the nation was celebrating 200 years of independence. I was nine years old. The American Freedom Train was traveling around the country, loaded with authentic items from our 200 years of history. It was like a rolling museum, and I remember the things I saw, like it was yesterday. I saw Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, Lincoln’s “stovepipe” hat, an original copy of the Louisiana Purchase, and many other fascinating items. I remember being in awe of the space exploration section, where I saw a replica of the moon rover “car” that the astronauts rode in on the moon, moon rocks, and other items from lunar landings. I actually saw rocks from the moon!

As far as I can tell, we sent humans to the moon and brought them back safely. We have first-hand accounts of the three men who flew there, and the two who say they actually walked on the surface. We have video footage to prove they were actually there, along with a great number of pictures. We have the actual equipment used to make the voyage, and written records of the flight. We have the testimony of all of the scientists who worked on the project, along with our government officials who were in office at the time. We have artifacts that were brought back from the moon’s surface, like the ones I saw myself, that are unlike anything we have here on earth. Why would we not believe that it happened? Some do not believe, because someone caused them to doubt it and they have chosen not to believe.

If there are those who doubt the moon landing, for whatever reasons, why are we surprised that there are those who doubt Jesus’ death and resurrection? There are many written accounts outside the Bible that attest to His life. There is written evidence of Jesus ministry while on earth. There are first-hand accounts of His death on the cross, and personal testimony of conversations and interactions after His resurrection. Many died because they would not rescind their story of His healing power and conquering of death. Yet, there are many who wish to deny that He ever existed or if He did really live on earth, that He was the Son of God.

You see, even if we had a video or photograph of Jesus coming out of the tomb, there would be many who would deny its authenticity. The fact of the matter is this; it comes down to faith. We must have faith in NASA, the government, and the testimony of the astronauts who walked on the moon, before we can believe that humans have been there. We must have faith in the Bible, the Holy Spirit living in us, and the testimony of those who saw it all, before we can believe in the salvation of our Lord Jesus.

Ask God for greater faith, so that you can honor Him through the testimony of your life.

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9 23-24 NKJV)

Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For by it our ancestors were approved. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen has been made from things that are not visible. (Hebrews 11:1-3 HCSB)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Adolf Coors IV

Click the following links to the Focus on the Family website. Here you will hear Adolf Coors IV describe how he found Christ and walked away from his family's business. This is powerful!
Part 1
Part 2

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

By the Sea

I had the opportunity to experience the beach twice in the last two weeks. The first was a short, two-day trip with my wife and kids. The second was with our youth group, as we traveled to Garden City, for our annual beach retreat.

I love the beach. I love everything about it. I enjoy it at any time of the year, and any time of the day. I love the sand, the warmth of the sun, the change of pace, and the roar of the ocean.

One of the things I always look forward to, is sitting in a chair on the sand and watching the waves crash onto the beach. There are two things in nature that, for me, are very hypnotizing. One is the flicker of the flames in a good-size fire, and the other is the rolling of the sea.

Both of these are powerful occurrences in God s creation. While both have the ability to destroy and kill, they also provide great usefulness and resources to human life. The difference is in how much each one is respected. When we believe that we can master either one, or have overconfidence in our own abilities to harness their power, then we set ourselves up for disaster.

The sea, however, is what reminds me of God the most. As I told the congregation Sunday, the ocean looks pretty much the same as it did when I was a kid. It is still called the Atlantic Ocean. However, it is constantly moving, shifting, and rolling. Tides come in and out. As some sand is washed away with each wave, new bits of shells and other matter is brought ashore. It is a fluid, living thing.

God is the same today as He has always been. God existed before there was such a thing as time. Psalm 90 tells us that He is from everlasting to everlasting. He has always been and He will always be.

I am thankful that God, like the ocean, is the same whenever I go to Him. However, He is not still. He is moving and as active as any sea on earth. He is not stagnant, and does not expect us to be either.

God wants us to be actively serving Him by loving His people, His creation, and worshiping Him. He is not still, so we should not be either. In Him is life, and anyone who has life inside cannot be idle.

If you happen to take a trip to the beach this summer, remember to take the time to see God in the might and power of the sea. He is there. He is everywhere, we just have to see and hear Him with our hearts.

Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory. The LORD has made known His salvation; His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations. He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. Sing to the LORD with the harp, With the harp and the sound of a psalm, With trumpets and the sound of a horn; Shout joyfully before the LORD, the King.

Let the sea roar, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell in it; Let the rivers clap their hands; Let the hills be joyful together before the LORD, For He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, And the peoples with equity. (Psalm 98 NKJV)