Eclipsed

As I opened the door of the Activity Center, I was greeted with wall-to-wall people! Finding a bit of space to enter, I said to a couple of ladies, “Have mercy! What’s going on?” Their reply, “It’s the eclipse. Have you not heard about it?”

How could I have not heard about it? It has been the buzz for the past two months and rightly so. Social media and the internet have been lit up. The Weather Channel, schools, law enforcement, employers, resort areas, motels and families, to name just a few, have been in major planning mode for this historical event.

When my family reserved our get-away for August 21st, I seriously did not know about the eclipse. Nevertheless, Wyndham Resorts in the Smokies made sure we did. That was the reason for the crowd I mentioned above. We were treated to free viewing glasses, goodie bags with Moon Pies, Eclipse gum, glow sticks, and other items as well as a finger-food buffet in the social room which included chocolate glazed Krispy Kreme donuts to help us celebrate.

As the time drew near, the crowd increased as people with their viewing glasses made preparation for this phenomenon. As I looked all around me, I saw what I would expect, but it said so much to me. Everyone with glasses in place were looking up.

Soon the sky drew dark, the pools lights kicked-on, and an eerie stillness came over the crowd.   The eclipse here was not total but very, very close.

After two minutes plus, the sky started to lighten again. Within minutes, we were back to a bright sunshiny day, life moved forward in post-eclipse form. Of course there was more food to be had, so the upstairs gathering continued, I promise you!

So many thoughts coursed their way through my mind leading up to the eclipse and afterwards.

  • An event like this in such precise order, timing, and fulfillment once again proves the awesome work of the Creator and Sustainer of this whole, vast universe (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 19:1-4; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17).
  • How interesting that man was able to pinpoint its direction and timing, and make plans to be in its path, even willing to set for hours on the interstates to not miss such a sight.
  • As I watched the upward gaze of so many, I could not help but think of Titus 2:13, Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. We have been given a promise that Christ will come back in the clouds to receive His Church (John 14:3; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). This event will happen because God cannot lie, yet He has not told us when it will occur. There are no signs for the rapture of the Church, only for Christ’s second coming. Believers, we need to be ever looking up because the Rapture could occur today! His imminent return should always have immediate effects upon our lives.
  • Man calculated the timing and track of the eclipse and man, although blessed by God with great intelligence, is fallible. God is infallible. Oh, that we would put more trust in our faithful Creator (Psalm 33:4; Lamentations 3:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; Hebrews 10:23) than man whom God created.

“Oh, yes, ma’am, I’ve heard about the eclipse, but do you know about the greatest eclipse that has ever happened? That was on the day when Jesus Christ died on the cross and the whole world was dark for three hours” (Matthew 27:45-50).

With that, I received a smirk from her face and a shrug of her shoulders.

My friend, do not let your thinking eclipse God’s truth and promises.

I Met Jordan

Jordan

Living in the mountains of East Tennessee gives many reasons for rejoicing and thanksgiving! The scenery changes every day and every season through the myriad acts of God’s creative, sustaining, sovereign hands.  How often I find myself singing “How Great Thou Art,” and “How Great Is Our God!”

Yesterday while driving back from Asheville, NC, I had in my mind to stop along the creek near Rocky Fork State Park near Flag Pond, TN.  Major rains had descended upon us through the night so I knew the waterfalls would be awesome, and it would provide a peaceful place to sit and commune with my God in prayer.

The Lord had other plans for which I am oh so grateful.  When I turned onto the Old Asheville Highway, there was a bearded man with a full pack and hiking poles which immediately signified an AT thru-hiker.  Since I love to hike, especially on the Appalachian Trail, this was a great opportunity in many ways!  Upon offering him a ride, he threw his gear in the back of my car, and we headed for Erwin and Uncle Johnny’s.  What a special treat to listen to his recent weather-related stories as well as the back-story of his life.

The very best part was the joy of talking about eternal life, listening to his answers, caring for his needs and ministering to him Christ Who has finished the work of salvation for all sinners including Jordan and myself.  What a special privilege!!

Please pray for my new friend, Jordan, as he hikes the trail.

Meeting Jordan was the highlight of my day!!

 

Here are two links to his story and the reason for his AT journey:

Jordan’s Story

Jordan’s AT Thru-Hike

 

Here is a video link for you to learn how you can have a personal relationship with God and know for certain your sins are forgiven and that you have a home in Heaven forever.

The Gospel Message

#marriagematterspart3

Companionship

So, what did God’s Word say to you as you considered from yesterday’s post that marriage is the creation of God, the Originator?

Today we will we consider the second reason why marriage matters #mondaymarriagematters.

Marriage matters because this is God’s ultimate earthly plan for companionship. (Genesis 2:18, 21-22)

God said that it was not good for man to be alone, so he gave Adam a woman, his wife.  Consider the following thoughts with me:

  1. The only thing in God’s creation that He said was “not good” was man being alone.

Genesis 2:18 “begins with the striking announcement by God that the man is not yet as God had planned to be.  Adam is alone, and that state is not good—the only thing in creation that is not good in God’s opinion.  Since the idea of ‘good’ describes that which is appropriate and fitting within the purpose of creation, the man’s being alone was not good, because he could not do all that God had planned for humankind.” (Allan Ross)

  1. Nothing else in the world completes a man, answers the “is it not good” situation except a woman (2:18-20).

This is God’s perfect plan from the beginning.  His ways and thoughts are transcendent and perfect (Psalm 18:30; Isaiah 55:8-9).  Adam did not find this completion in the animal world.  According to the divine, righteous plan of God, He “made a woman” for Adam (2:22).

  1. Both man and woman are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

This means that both man and woman are personal, relational, rational, moral beings.

  1. Each in their God-given role, man and woman, complete each other (Genesis 2:18).

The word “helpmeet” in the KJV means:

Help – one who provides what is lacking; not a demeaning term; God created man to need a partner, a wife.

Meet – one who corresponds to physically, socially and spiritually

So, how does this apply to today?

  • A husband and wife should be best friends. There is nothing wrong with a man having time with “his buds” or the wife having some “girl time,” but each should always long to be with their spouse over everyone else.
  • A husband should seek to understand his wife (1 Peter 3:7) and the wife her husband so they can learn each other strengths and weaknesses. This will enable them to “play to each other’s strengths” and support each other’s weaknesses.  Your wife is not your enemy.  You should each be looking out for one another, to help, to assist, to learn, to work together.  There you find completion.
  • The greatest way to understand companionship is to learn of Christ and His relationship with you through His Word in power of the Spirit. God made you for a personal relationship with Him, and you are to love Him with all your heart (Matthew 22:37). Therefore, as husband and wife draw closer to God, they are automatically drawing closer to each other.

More tomorrow . . . because marriage matters.

Attitudes and Altitudes

I love hiking! Since the days of living in Bluefield, West Virginia, which included hiking to the top of East River Mountain and traipsing through the woods hunting, the outdoors are continually calling me.  Last Saturday, I had the joy of hiking Black Balsam near Graveyard Fields on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This area is known for its balds which reminded me of Roan Mountain.  We stopped for breakfast in Brevard and were greeted with the warm, encouraging sun as we exited the restaurant.  I’m thinking, this is going to be a beautiful hike!  Halfway up the mountain to the parkway, the sky started to grow darker.  When we arrived at the trail head, we were met with ice pellets, blustery winds, and COLD!  Standing at the back of the car, putting on our layers, packing some protein, and watching the clouds hover ever so close, I knew this would be an exhilarating hike!

As we fought the wind up the mountain, I realized I had left my gloves back home.  My hands were freezing!  Rick suggested I use a pair of sox.  Am I ever glad I packed an extra pair in my pack!  The winds howled and the clouds hid the sun and the views.  I remember one major turn in the trail that put us trudging dead center into the wind.  Eventually, we reached an area over 6,000 feet and tucked ourselves down below some rocks to break the wind and to have a snack.  It was still cold, but we were having an awesome time!

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After an hour or more, the clouds started to dissipate a bit and move on.  The sun warmed us and the views were spectacular.  We could see Looking Glass Rock in the distance and Graveyard Fields below.  Looking another direction was Shining Rock.  The hike back to the car involved walking an old railroad bed.  You could see the old bed across the valley on the opposite hill and hear in your mind that steam locomotive climbing the steep grade.

 

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The best part of the hike was the fellowship Rick, Andrew, and I enjoyed.  One very special moment was stopping along the trail to pray for lost family members and friends who need to come to Christ for salvation.  What a blessing to have eyes to see God’s creation, words to speak, a heart to rejoice, and a voice to sing along the trail and to speak to other hikers as they pass.

Hiking is 70 – 80% attitude as you hike changing altitudes, weather and trail conditions.  To keep going through all the challenges on a trail, you must have the right attitude for it will be tested. That is much like life.  Every day our journey Home to Glory is affected by our outlook on life.  For followers of Christ, what attitude should we have on the trail of life?  Let this mind be in your which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5).  In other words, your attitude should be the same as Jesus’ attitude.  Furthermore, Hebrews 12:2-3, tells us how to have that Christlike attitude, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

Meditate on this today, keep your hiking poles in your hand, and enjoy the view, the journey.

We choose what attitudes we have right now. And it’s a continuing choice. ~ John C. Maxwell

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Father’s Words

Dad-Army

As a young boy being raised in the Cunningham home, there was one thing among many that was certain. When my earthly dad said something, he meant it. His words were powerful. They carried weight.

My Heavenly Father created words. They carry much more weight. As a matter of fact, God created all things out of nothing (ex nihilo) by His spoken word (Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24). Who has the power to speak a word and create something out of nothing? Only Elohim, Creator God! And that is not all. God continually is speaking. As A.W. Tozer said in The Pursuit of God, “He is by His nature continuously articulate. He fills the world with His speaking Voice.” (Psalm 19:1-6)

The question to me and to you is, “Are we listening?” Through all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, there is so much noise, confusion, traffic, busyness, distractions, running-here-and-there, that it is so easy to miss hearing the voice of God. Tozer goes on to say, The Word of God is quick and powerful. In the beginning He spoke to nothing, and it became something. Chaos heard it and became order, darkness heard it and became light. “And God said-and it was so.” Do you need order in the midst of your chaos today? What is God saying to you through His Word? Are you listening?

Just as my dad spoke with authority, My Heavenly Father speaks with transcendent authority. His words always mean something and carry absolute weight. He is always speaking. Be sure to listen today for He is talking directly to you. (Proverbs 2:1-5; John 10:27-28; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 3:20, 22)

Friday’s Findings

Once again, here are a few links that I believe will be worth looking into.  As we move to the end of this week, and begin the new week on Sunday, prepare your heart through meeting with God in prayer and Bible reading to worship Him in a powerful way on the Lord’s Day!!

Jesus GeniePaul Tripp asks, “When you receive blessing, how do you define blessing? Be honest – what do you want from God? Or maybe this is a more provocative way of saying it: what kind of Messiah do you want Jesus to be?”

My Prayer Journal – My wife has said on numerous occasions, “If the house were on fire, besides my Bible, this is the one item that I would not want to leave behind!”  Here’s a great post on a way to lift the level of your prayer life, your relationship with God!

Earth’s Largest Water Reservoir Found Hidden Under the US  and Water Deep in Earth’s MantleGood information in reference to the Flood (Genesis 7:11).

The Joy of Running a 5K – How much I have missed running due to surgery recovery.  I understand this post completely!  Wearing my running shoes in the house even if I can’t hit the country roads yet!

I Will RiseWhat joy to know that Christ came to be born, to die, and rise from the tomb that we might live!!!  Watch, listen and give thanks with a grateful heart to our Awesome God!!  The best, indeed, is yet to come!!

Oh, The Majestic Greatness of God!

David, declares under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as recorded in Psalm 19:1-6,

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their voice has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.

In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
Its rising is from one end of heaven,
And its circuit to the other end;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

Jaw Dropping Photos From Space – This showed up on the internet two days ago.  You do not want to miss this!

Look out your window and praise Him today and throughout the day!