Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

Did y'all catch that beautiful eclipse last night? I couldn't get our camera to "find" it, but a google search turned up this picture, which is exactly what the one last night looked like.

I had just gotten the kids to bed and sat down to get online for a little bit, when I learned that there was a total lunar eclipse going on right outside and I wasn't even aware of it! I went outside and looked. Even though "totality" was still 20 minutes away, what I saw--pretty much exactly like this picture--was breathtaking. I went back in, told the kids to get their socks, shoes, and coats on (and believe me, once they're in bed, I RARELY do that!) and come see something special. Of course they were all over it. We took blankets out to help deal with the 13 degree temperature and sat on the porch marveling at this cool thing God lined up. Shane had shorts on, getting ready to start a workout, so he didn't stay out quite as long as the rest of us, but it was so cool!

We came in to warm up briefly a few times, finding new facts on the internet. Did you know that the outline is called a penumbra? Neither did we! Did you know that the next time we'll be able to see another total lunar eclipse here in the states is in December of 2010? Neither did we! And did you know that in the past year, there have been two other ones? Neither did we! (They must have occurred while we were snoozing.)

It was quite educational and very awe-inspiring. After the kids were in bed for the second time, I decided to check a concordance to see if the Bible mentions eclipses. I knew there were instances of darkness during the day, but I was curious about whether they were noted specifically as eclipses. They weren't. But what I did find was that whenever the moon "turns to blood" or "will not give light" it was usually mentioned in warning or sign of "horrible days". But everything else was dark too. No stars twinkling like there were last night. No peaceful stillness where your breath steam froze in the air like last night. No giggles and delighted shouts of, "Mom, get back out here! It's almost done!" like there were last night.

Just like we need water to live but too much can kill, or fire sustains life and takes it away, God uses these amazing cosmic events to forwarn, to be a sign, or just to bless. And blessed we were. Thank You, Jesus.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


When I started this blog just a shade over 13 months ago, the main purpose was to use it as a discussion forum for our Read the Bible in a Year group. While the blog itself didn’t really turn out to be very useful in that capacity, I’m happy to say I DID finish the plan! On December 31, 2007, through God’s grace, I read the last word in Revelation: all. And 364 days earlier, I’d started Genesis with the very first recorded word of scripture: In.

“In…all.” Reminds me of a song we sing telling Jesus He is our all in all. I seriously doubt that the very first and last words in the Bible were randomly chosen. To me, this appropriately conveys to us that whatever we need—direction, discipline, encouragement, examples, insight—it’s all in there. We can find all we need in these wonderful pages. Amen!

So what have I learned or gained from reading the Bible in a Year? Here are some highlights…

*People have been as messed up as we are today ever since the fall. Injustice, incest, child sacrifices, greed, murder, adultery, unspeakable violence and war, deception, and numerous other vices are recorded throughout the ages. Gives a whole new irony to “the good ol’ days” doesn’t it? And it highlights the depths of God’s mercy and grace in providing a Savior.

*I’m amazed at how some of the Old Testament rituals, which honestly, before, I thought had no relevance whatsoever to me today, really can be illustrative under the New Covenant.

*God’s timing is just…PERFECT. I can’t even begin to list here how many times that the reading for a certain day was clear direction, affirmation, or conviction for me.

*His Word is new and fresh every day. Even familiar verses take on new meaning depending on your circumstances when you read them. His Word is living and active (Heb. 4:12).

*I don’t have to fear Revelation! I always used to avoid reading Revelation, or at least large parts of it together. It was just too scary and confusing to me. But this time around was different in a way that I can only attribute to the Holy Spirit. I actually found myself reading more than I was supposed to on several occasions this time because I was riveted—couldn’t wait to see what would happen next! I still don’t understand it very well at all, but it was just “less scary” to me.

Even though I’ve read it all, I’m clearly seeing I didn’t retain it all! For example, just last week at Bible study, Lisa Gard and I were whispering about Sara being Abraham’s half-sister. I couldn’t believe it! So I looked it up in the verse she showed me and not only did I know this at some point, I had even underlined it!!! (I do that when something’s shocking or impactful.) And less than a year later, it had slipped through one of the holes in my colander-like memory.

Maybe doing this plan EVERY year wouldn’t be such a bad idea!