links to 4 helpful articles

1. What’s behind the dramatic rise in 3-generation households?

“… the number of kids living with their parents and grandparents – in what demographers call a three-generation household – has nearly doubled over the past two decades.

“… the share of multigenerational households was rising before the Great Recession – it actually started in the 1980s.”

2. Bonhoeffer’s Answer to Political Turmoil: Preach!

“When all hope vanishes, when fear enters the boat, Christ manifests his presence and power over fear.”

3. There Is Mercy In Heaven, But The Road To It Is Paved By Our Merciful Acts On Earth

“What do you wish for, what do you pray for, my dear brothers and sisters, when you come to church? Is it mercy? How can it be anything else? Show mercy, then, while you are on earth, and mercy will be shown to you in heaven.”

4. Earth has two extra, hidden ‘moons’

“… each Kordylewski cloud is about 15 by 10 degrees wide, or equal to 30 by 20 lunar disks in the night sky. This translates to an area in space about 65,000 by 45,000 miles in actual size — nearly nine times wider than Earth. The clouds themselves are enormous, but the individual particles that comprise them are estimated to measure just a micrometer across.”

links to 5 helpful posts

1. It’s Getting Harder to Talk About God by Jonathan Merritt

“A paltry 7 percent of Americans say they talk about spiritual matters regularly. But, here’s the real shocker: Practicing Christians who attend church regularly aren’t faring much better. A mere 13 percent had a spiritual conversation around once a week.”

2. American’s Spend $70 Billion on Pets, and That Money Could Do More Good

“This year alone, pet spending in the U.S. is estimated to exceed $72 billion, which is more than the combined GDP of the 39 poorest countries in the world.”

3. The Point of the Book of Job by Greg Boyd

“… our original job description – a job description God is yet calling on us to fulfill – involves very little knowing but a great deal of loving. Our limited domain of responsibility is primarily to love God and others as we are ourselves filled with God’s love. Hence the Bible repeatedly calls on us to love and refrain from judgment (Mt 7:1-5; Rom 2:1-5; Jame 4:11-12).”

4. Eugene Peterson Enters Hospice Care

“… Peterson is a ‘shepherd’s shepherd’ …”

5. A First Glimpse of Our Magnificent Earth, Seen from the Moon [30 min. video]

“The first people to view our planet from the moon were transformed by the experience. In this film, they tell their story.”

believing beyond seeing

“Don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all.” (James 1.16-17 CEB)

Since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated with the sun, moon, and stars. Show me a full moon in a clear, night sky, and I can just stand and stare at it, and will even grieve a bit over its imminent wane. Put an especially bright planet or star in proximity to another and I’ll wonder at the conjunction that I know was not there the night before. Let me glimpse what we call a shooting star and I’ll replay the memory of it in my mind again and again. If there’s anything certain about the night sky’s lights, it’s this: they’re always changing.

The same could be said about things down here on tera firma. Is anything steady or certain? It matters not the subject – health or livelihood, perspectives or relationships, possessions or politics – things change. The cracks in my driveway remind me the earth beneath me is not stable. The wind that fills my yard with pine needles one day and leaves it barren the next tells me the wind blows how and where it will. The shadows of the clouds that dance on the road in front of me or the spottiness of the rain showers across town say to me, “Everything changes here.”

Ever so subtly, more subtle than the nightly change of the phase of the moon, we could come to think God is the same way. Everything changes; surely God must be the same way. Surrounded by the change we see, we could come to change our understanding of the one we cannot see. Our seeing could misinform our believing.

And so we’re called on, challenged even, to trust, despite everything else we experience, that God’s character is unchanging. He is the constant in a cosmos of change. He has always been good, is good now, and always will be good. And my trusting this simple, yet profound truth, changes the way I see everything, including Scripture and myself.

We walk by faith, not by sight. Never forget it.

“Brothers and sisters, you must not become misguided in your thinking, supposing the Father shifts as do the planets and stars in the sky. No, his character never changes. Every gift you receive is good and complete, coming down from him who is above all that is less.” (James 1.16-17 DSV)

Heavenly Father, let me not try to remake you into my own image or into the image of anything I see. Let me let you be you, and so, come to rejoice in you, the single point of steadiness and goodness in all that is. Amen.