Monday, June 27, 2016

God’s Nightly Art Show

My wife Kristy and I were at the beach the other evening. It was one of those picturesque evenings, we so easily can take for granted in Florida. As we sat watching the blue sky turn pink we were in awe of the palette in the sky. It was a majestic swirl of pink, orange, purple, blue, and green. Truly amazing. And God does it night after night! I thought maybe there should be a chalk board sign at the entrance of the beach announcing, “Art Work Displayed Nightly - Free and Open to the Public.”

We admired God’s piece (see pic) like patrons at an art gallery, and talked about how creative our God is. He creates beauty effortlessly. His medium includes stars, planets, clouds and winds interpreted through our eyes (that He also created)! And with those he paints. He paints whatever he feels. And as we stop to observe and reflect we feel it too. We sense his beauty, his artistry, his care and his power.  Which is why, if you’ve been on the beach at sunset it is quite common for beachgoers to spontaneously applaud as the final speck of the sun dips into the sea. It’s a sort of “clap offering” to God for another masterful job. I just love it when that happens because people are ‘feeling’ God, and appreciating His artistry. In a way they are returning to the Creator His recurring words in Genesis 1, “This is good.”

While God is honored by it, He doesn’t create for applause. He creates because he is a creator. It’s just what he does because that’s who He is.  God never stops creating. He doesn’t wait until people are there to observe or admire the work of his hands. Or to write about it in blogs J  He just creates. All over the world, every day, our God is weaving together masterpieces in the heavens.  I suspect that some of the most beautiful sunsets have probably occurred in places where no one was there to applaud. In those occasions I just imagine the Holy Trinity, doing as they’ve done from the beginning. Celebrating, communicating, and allowing their joy to spill out on evening skies. The essence of the Christian life is being invited by Jesus, into the joy that has been shared eternally by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I offer two points I hope you will take away from this.
 1. Applaud a July Sunset or Two. This summer stop and applaud a few sunsets.  Make a point to go out to the beach at sunset with the purpose of worshiping. With your feet in the sand and the evening breeze blowing, read this:

Psalm 19:1-6
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. 5  It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.

And when the sun dips into the Gulf of Mexico transposing the evening sky, just marvel  and clap. Be sure to clap.

2. God is Painting You … a Picture. God is a creator and he makes beauty out of unlikely mediums.  No matter what this summer season finds you going through, know that God has his hands in the paint of your life.  And he will, if you let him, create beauty out of all of the good, bad, mundane of your life. Our God is love and our God creates. Those two together make for a pretty cool picture!

Have a blessed and enjoyable July!

You are Loved,

Pastor Terry

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Honey, We Finally Graduated Elementary School!

Today we graduated elementary school. We had been there for 14 years, in 3 states and 5 different primary schools. Here's to you Atlantic Shores, Landstown, Clear Creek, Dennis, and Brooker Creek! My wife and I have posted hundreds of art pieces to our fridge, stuck mascot stickers on our cars, signed and returned permission slips, walked marathons to and from the bus stops, and volunteered at field days and class parties. We’ve attended countless talent nights, concerts, parent-teacher conferences, and fund raising events. Today we have moved the tassel.

Today JT, our youngest, graduated from 5th grade. This means the era that began with our first daughter in 2002, has now come to a close. The elementary years are complete. We, along with him, have graduated.  

Thank you to all the outstanding principles, teachers, assistants, coaches, and administrators who invested in our kids at their most vulnerable ages. We may not remember all of your names, but we will never forget the impact you made! 

Thank you elementary school, it was even better than when we did it ourselves!