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Monday, August 21, 2017

Photo from Old Windmill Farm
Old Windmill Farm early Saturday morning
Notice the moon, which is an integral part of today's solar eclipse!

"The Heavens Declare"

Message summary: Let us look up to the skies that expand far beyond the human eye or the lens of the most sophisticated telescope. Listen to the pouring forth of speech as the heavens give dramatic evidence of God's existence; His power, love and care. Let us observe the displaying of knowledge, which day after day and night after night, faithfully declares the glory of God.

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"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge" (Psalm 19:1,2).

David Bradstreet, astronomy professor
Some events are hard to write about since so much has already been written about them. Such is the case with today's solar eclipse. Those reading this, especially in the USA, have surely heard about it day in and day out.

Last week we visited with Dr. David Bradstreet, an astronomy professor at Eastern University. He is understandably buzzed about the event and is in Orangeburg, SC today in the very middle of the 70 mile total eclipse swath hoping for clear skies.

David is son-in-law to our elderly friends Jesse and Wilma Dourte whom we often mention in this series. It was a joy to pick Dave's brain while we conversed on the Dourte's front porch last week. However astronomy, like physics, takes a special comprehension aptitude that I guess I just don't have!

"Star Struck" book cover David Bradstreet, astronomy professor
David has written a book titled "Star Struck - Seeing The Creator In The Wonders Of the Cosmos". It's an interesting read with a story about his upbringing in Brockton, Massachusetts which is near Taunton where we lived in the nineties.

Even as a little boy he was star struck and had an intense desire to study astronomy. David is also a committed Christian and we appreciate this description of his book, "'The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork,' exclaims the Psalmist. The heavens are beckoning us, telling us that this wonderful, mind-boggling cosmic display is indeed the work of the Creator."

"Mind-boggling", now that's a good word to describe astronomy! That's an interesting word we often use w/o considering its meaning which is "intellectually overwhelming." And that it is!

Solar eclipse via Wikimedia Commons from Wikimedia Commons (click to enlarge)A solar eclipse (as seen from the planet Earth) is a type of eclipse that occurs when the moon passes between the sun and earth, and when the moon fully or partially blocks the Sun. Millions of people will seek to be on the 70 mile swath with complete blocking, the ideal location being right in the middle of that swath. Even at that precise point the total blackout will last only two minutes and 40 seconds so you better be paying attention! An umbraphile is one who loves eclipses, often travelling to see them.
Since we don't have the special glasses necessary to safely look at the eclipse Dave told us to look at the ground for crescent moon shaped shadows. (Note: photo to left is from Wikipedia commons.)

How marvelous is God's creation along with the perfect orderliness of His glorious works. Last night I looked up to a clear black sky and early today it is a clear blue. Let us consider the well-known daily verse and the great God we serve as proclaimed by the heavens which declare the glory of God and the skies which proclaim the work of His hands.

Some 3,000 years ago another David looked up into the sky and made the proclamation found in the daily text. Although I am more familiar with the first verse I find great blessing from the second as well: "Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge." We could add "year after year", "generation upon generation..." Many are observant and listen, taking in this rich display of knowledge, though most give little attention.
Today especially many are observing.

Let us look up to the skies that expand far beyond the human eye or the lens of the most sophisticated telescope. Listen to the pouring forth of speech as the heavens give dramatic evidence of God's existence; His power, love and care. Let us observe the displaying of knowledge, which day after day and night after night, faithfully declares the glory of God. Let us also rejoice in and proclaim the mighty work of His hands!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we are surrounded by Your awesome works and the endless display of Your divine handiwork. We give special consideration to that today due to the solar eclipse. But the entire universe is in perfect order which is a testimony to Your greatness and continued watchful eye over all of Your creation. The silent heavens speak as they declare Your majesty and glory. They also testify to Your righteousness and faithfulness as the Lord who created them and gave them a purpose for existence. May we, as Your human creation, also proclaim Your righteousness and faithfulness day after day. May our lives display the work of Your all-powerful Spirit as we continue to grow in our faith journey here below until the day of Christ's return. Amen.

Kleen-Rite KFC delivery 8/18/17
We enjoy serving the Lord as chaplains to companies while we seek to be a witness for Christ and an encourager in the workplace. We look for ways to be a bright spot in the employees' work week and had an opportunity last Friday. Kleen-Rite is a company that sells car wash equipment and supplies. Their call center is a very busy place with the 20 plus sales and customer service reps almost always on the phone. Every Friday they order lunch (to be delivered) and Lisa, who places the orders, had mentioned they wish they could get KFC food but it's too far away for a delivery. We also visit another company that places us where we pass by KFC on Fridays so we arranged with Lisa to pick up an order and be their delivery service! We think this is a first for us and can now appreciate the hard work of food delivery! As we saw one employee licking her fingers after she ate the fried chicken I suggested she would be good in a commercial since KFC has always declared, "It's finger-lickin' good!"

Sunset 8/19/17 (Click to enlarge)
Saturday evening at sunset a big storm was coming from the west as the sun set. Sitting out on our front porch Brooksyne snapped this photo only moments before heavy winds and rain drove us inside!
(Click to enlarge)

Neighborhood walk 8/20/17
Neighborhood summer flowers and lawn ornaments are always eye catching as I take my early morning or late evening walks. These coleus leafs appear so vibrant as they benefit from plenty of shade and sun!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"All Heaven Declares"  Video   Robin Mark

Moody Radio Grand Rapids interview by Perry LaHaie with Dr. David Bradstreet! Audio

Eastern University Astronomy website

David Bradstreet's book "Star Struck" is available on Amazon here

Greed: Watch Out For Scam Solar Eclipse Glasses

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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