With his masterwork of physics, the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Isaac Newton changed our understanding of how the world works. He was able to describe and predict natural phenomena to a degree which had never been done before, and his principles continue to be used to this day. Yet Newton was never under any illusion about the limitations of his brilliance. Despite all he’d discovered, he admitted to feeling like “the great ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me.” Even the great Isaac Newton knew he didn’t know it all!
During a hard time for my family, tears came to my eyes when Alabama’s hit song “Angels Among Us” came on the radio. The song describes how, in our darkest times, when we feel lost and alone, God can use the kindness of others to give us just enough hope to keep hanging on, to keep believing in a God of love. As the words washed over me, I was reassured by remembering how in the hardest times God has always reached out to me through others’ love.
When I Googled “God in the Old and New Testament,” the results included questions such as “Why is God so different in the Old Testament than He is in the New Testament?” and “Why was God so harsh in the Old Testament, but more forgiving in the New Testament?”
Imagine receiving clothes you chose to never wear, cars you didn’t ever drive, or houses you never lived in. What would be the point? If we’re not going to use those things, we might as well not possess them.
My family and I exhaled as our little boat glided to a halt. Since the start of our amusement park ride, we’d “sailed” through dark caverns, where trolls and saucer-eyed monsters jeered at us. We’d hit rough water and felt waves slosh into the boat as we flew over a waterfall! Finally, we’d drifted into the calm water where we could disembark.
What did you do?” That question typically escapes the mouth of us dog owners whose furry friends have tested our patience. “Chester, did you chew up my shoe?” “Did you eat the kitty’s food . . . again?”
Sheep have a bad reputation, often seen as one of the dumbest animals on the planet. But a recent University of Cambridge study reveals they’re actually quite clever. The research proves that sheep can be trained to recognize human faces from photographs, and they can identify a picture of their handler without prior training. Given their relatively large brains and longevity, researchers are hoping the humble sheep can help in the study of neurodegenerative disorders like Huntington’s disease.
During the fourteen years I’ve lived and served in East Africa, I’ve had a few opportunities to join others on safaris. Typically, we’ve encountered large herds of elephants, Cape buffalo, zebras, and gazelles.
I’ve learned through various job and ministry experiences that being surrounded by others too long can often lead to exhaustion, anxiety, or stress. There are other relationships, however, that create a sense of rest in our lives even though the investment in those individuals makes demands on our time and energy.
Gordon Hempton, an acoustic ecologist who seeks to find and preserve that “one square inch of silence,” recounts how it typically goes when he takes someone into the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park (the place Hempton calls his “cathedral”). On the hike into the lush, dense timber, there’s often chatty conversation as they ease their way out of urban life and into an entirely other ecosphere. Yet on the return trek, after their encounter with God’s amazing creation, they share barely a word and even then only in whispers.
During a tumultuous year, Martin Luther penned what became one of his most treasured hymns. Ill and suffering with depression, things got worse for Luther when the plague hit his town. But, inspired by Psalm 46, he chose to proclaim God’s character and His triumph over evil with the words “a mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; our helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.” This hymn has been called the “Battle Hymn of the Reformation” for its impact.
“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” While the exact wording of that quote—attributed to seventeenth-century theologian Blaise Pascal—is up for debate, there’s no doubt that people continue to seek something or someone worthy of their worship.
The Grand Teton Mountains in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, offer one of the most spectacular views in all of the United States. Geologists believe the mountains there might have formed as a result of several earthquakes along a fault line. They believe earthquakes caused the land to drop on one side of the fault but move upward on the other side. Looking up from the lower side provides a unique and magnificent view where no foothills block the sight of the mountains.
My friend Rosie is an amazing person. Born without arms, she’s refused to believe her life need be limited. With deep confidence that God has given her everything she needs to live an abundant life and honor Him, she’s become a remarkable wife and mother, a brilliant scholar, and an extraordinary artist.