Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tweet Him

Right now there are clashes on just about everything in our world. Religion, racism, politics, economics, and the world’s current migrant crisis all compete for the headlines.

Everyone wants to be heard. Students are upset because the tragic loss of life in Paris “stole their media focus.” Never mind the people that lost their lives by those who are trying to impose their value system.

Politicians here struggle to be on top, to be heard. Most try bashing each other to get the spotlight, thereby getting their “numbers” up. Government officials tout togetherness, then thwart that with comments or actions of their own divisiveness.  

Posts on social media have ramped up with cries of racism, religious bashing, civil unrest, and in general just an outcry of people who feel slighted. 

We all want our moment. We all want to be heard. 

But are we using the right words? Are we even talking to the right person?

We’ve become a “me” society. Everything we do is based on self. And by golly, that’s just the way the enemy likes it. We are so busy fighting ourselves and others we are no longer focused on the bigger picture. Because let’s face it, we’ve taken so many selfies we’ve forgotten that anyone else is even in the picture.
We are afraid, lonely, longing, and hurt. We allow the ugly side of words and actions to exploit and seep deep into our being. We demand fulfillment and forgiveness immediately. No longer to we look objectively at any situation, nor do we see the circumstances of others. We simply see us. And when all we see is us, there is no room for others. And then fear drives our response. 

But what are we afraid of? Are we afraid of not being heard? 

What happens when no one hears us? Do we become irrelevant? Is that what we are worried about? Do we so badly want the security of being known that we’ve given up our unique God given identities? 

When I look at the flowers in my garden, I don’t see them competing to the best. They each play their part in a bigger picture. They each, individually, create a myriad of colors and presentations that excite the mind.

We are all flowers on Earth’s garden. And we ALL have gifts make a difference. Some have bigger jobs, but we ALL make a difference to someone and something. 

But only if we try. 

Do you know what your gift is? Have you ever thought about it? Are you afraid to consider what that gift might be? Are you afraid to put the positive side of you out there for fear of rejection?

Again, that’s just the way evil likes it. Numb us down til we think we don’t matter. 

But that’s a lie. And we need to stop living it. Stop living fear.

Some say that “when things settle down” we can focus on the things that matter.

Security does not alleviate fear, peace does. And you can’t wait for any government or military force to experience real peace.

Peace comes from prayer and prayerful action and it comes from within.

So who are you tweeting? Who are you desperately trying to get your message to? 

Is it God, or is it other humans? And who do you think has more ability to give you that peace?

We try to push God off, saying He doesn’t exist, He doesn’t care, or He has bigger things to worry about.

Don’t believe those lies either. 

He created every fiber of your being. And He’s patiently waiting for you. Tweet him. Facebook him. Send Him a love note. 

But you don’t need to Snapchat Him, He knows your face. He made you.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Stay Close

Years ago I posted on how mothers inherit traits from their children.

I’m finding yet another meaning to it now.

My daughter is off to college next week. First one leaving the nest.

I’m thrilled for her. Starting a new life, getting to know so many others, learning new things. It’s quite exciting.

And depressing…for me. And it hurts.

They say it’s normal for soon-to-be college students to argue with their parents. They say it is part of process of distancing. We went through it in June for sure. July came and we stopped. Somehow it just didn’t fit who we were.

Instead, we decided to try as many different pizza places we could before she left. We like pizza. And it’s been fun.

But that aching? Still hurts. Sometimes it even feels physical.

And I wonder if that was God’s purpose in all this.

Dads have a special connection with their children. Dads are the ones who most times get to say, “Go for it!” or “Get dirty!” or “Skin your knee!”

Moms are usually holding their breath. They don’t want to inhibit their children, so they are usually quietly saying, “Be careful.” and “Stay close.”

Could that hesitation, that need to hold on, be those same silly lymphocytes that our unborn babies sent to us so long ago? Those lymphocytes that sent the message, “Don’t miscarry me, don’t let me go. I’m supposed to be here.”

We know from the Italian doctor in that long ago post that those lymphocytes contain the baby’s DNA and attach to the mother’s nervous system for the rest of the mother’s life. Are they still saying, “Don’t let me go?”

I don’t know, but I know it hurts. And I believe that will be one of the questions I ask first when I get to see Him.

And who knows, perhaps He’ll be saying to me, “All this time, I was saying the same thing to you…stay close.”

It would be just like Him to put me in my place.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Trinity in Nature

Recently one of our pastors mentioned that as Christians are likened to the moon. Our responsibility is to take the light from the sun and reflect it on to the earth. To me it was a beautiful image of how we share in the spreading of God’s love, including the idea that the world is dark and that the sun and moon work together to share the light.

The next day I was snapping pictures from I25 on our way home from a baseball game. I love that I can see the Rocky Mountains every day and in this particular picture I love the way the sun's rays stream down through the clouds. I've always been in awe of the sun's capabilities.

But of course, my little brain couldn’t stop there. I had to investigate the sun and how light (really energy) was generated and sent here to earth. I knew about nuclear fusion, but wanted to dig deeper into what the sun was made of and how the process worked. 

From our previous discussions (mostly on water, my favorite topic), we already know that the hydrogen element, H, has the atomic number of one because the electrically neutral atom has one proton in its nucleus and one electron circling outside the nucleus. The following link shows a picture of a hydrogen atom at the top left hand side:

Notice the first picture there shows the atomic structure of a single hydrogen atom.
My Hebrew teacher, Dr. Elefant, used to like to remind me that God is one. Many times we talked about how the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, aleph, was rich in the meaning and wisdom relating everything “one.” So here too, I use the symbolic nature of one to liken hydrogen and God.
Within the sun, there’s another type of hydrogen atom in glowing sphere of the sun called deuterium. It is still a hydrogen atom, but it’s called “heavy hydrogen” and is designated as 2H. It is a stable isotope of hydrogen. (Isotope just means that the element has the same number of protons, but a different number of neutrons.) A picture of a heavy hydrogen atom is shown in the same picture as before, it's just located right below the hydrogen atom.

As Christians, we typically consider Jesus to be the second person in the mystery of the Trinity. For Scriptural reference, I use John 10:30, when Jesus said that he and the Father were one. Often the Holy Spirit, or the Advocate, is described as the love proceeded from the Father and the Son (see John 15:26). 

For the sake of our discussion, I will use 2H to represent Christ.

Back to the sun. When the hydrogen and heavy hydrogen (H and 2H) come together, they fuse and create energy. It’s called nuclear fusion. 

I found a very simple video that breaks the idea of nuclear fusion down to simple terms and will help you see and will not only help you understand the concepts we are talking about here, but the images will put it all together for you.
So the hydrogen and the deuterium come together and create the energy (light) that is sent to earth.

That light is likened to the Holy Spirit and that spirit is spread to us. The energy we feel inside is the Holy Spirit beckoning us to transfer that light to others.

And such is the translation  nature to our concept of the Trinity. 

I am always in awe of how God uses nature to describe Himself and His process of loving us.
Go back and watch the video again. Pay particular attention to the words and images around 1:30. Gravity. Love. It’s what we’ll be talking about on this blog in the near future!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Glue

Teaching full time this year has been quite the learning experience for me. It has certainly limited how many posts I’ve been able to manage, filling my writing time instead with lesson plans, curriculum mapping, etc.

And being in a small school, I’ve seen things. Yes. Yes, I have. Anything from kids tying their shoes together and attempting to run down the hall, to having taller kids try and drop glue in shorter kids’ hair. Yes. I said that. There were times when it felt like Kindergarten Cop for sure, but overall, it’s been a blast. 

Over the next few weeks I hope to share with you the musings of an art teacher. In a sense, it’s a break from my seven years of science and faith blogging, but not really because at the very heart of science is observation. 

And that’s what I hope to share with you. My observations. So let’s dive in.

Not too long ago I bought 25 glue bottles for our yarn art and quilled art projects. By chance, we added a new student in our largest class to make the count 26. When I went to the store to get another glue bottle, they only had a larger size. I sighed.

You see I have three kids of my own and I know how this works. Everyone wants the bigger thing…no matter what it is. If there’s a bigger brownie, we’ll arm wrestle for it (though who can blame you for that!), if there’s a bigger car we want it. Bigger is better, right?

So I stood in the crafts aisle, staring down that glue bottle. "You won't win," I said.

I picked it up and tracked down a store clerk, begging her to find out if there were smaller glue bottles anywhere. Nope. None. Nada.

Really? How much money to I want to waste on gas going to another store just for a smaller bottle? I sighed again…

“Unfair!” one child cried as another grabbed the bottle. Others complained, “Why does he get to use the bigger bottle?”

Later as I put the glue away, I wondered why it is that we always want the bigger thing. What is it that drives us to want more? 

I talked to several people about it, just trying to be philosophical, and they all looked at me like I was high on some of that legal Colorado stuff...

But I’m not. Those very things that we wish for, our deep sometimes unknown desires, speak volumes about who we are and what we need.

Our constant need for bigger and better is an indication that we are not happy with the way things are. We strive for more. But in most cases, it speaks to something internal of which we may not be aware. After speaking with many others, digging through psychology books, and asking questions, the answer most prevalent is that we are not seeking the physical as much as we are seeking something internal.

Many posts ago I wrote about the hole in our hearts and why it is there. My supposition has not changed. There is a longing, a deep unfulfilled longing that no matter how much we love something or someone seems insatiable. 

It’s an eternal longing, it’s a need for God’s love. Whether we recognize it as that…well, that’s up to us.

So who gets the bigger glue bottle in art class? Now we pull a name out of a hat and that winner gets to use it for the class. The lucky student is filled with pride as they walk back to their table with that never-gonna-use-it-all bottle, but they are happy for a short time. 

And the added blessing that I’ve seen happen? Most times they use it for a bit then decide to share it with a classmate…proving once again that God’s love can never be hoarded. It needs to be shared.