Tag: Home Depot

Natural Disasters Devastate; what we can’t see without them.

Natural Disasters Devastate; what we can’t see without them.

Homes leveled by a raging storm, peoples dreams along with them. Once a carefully designed house, now only debris. Streets and back yards where kids once played, now small bodies of water filled with contaminants and electrical current. A lifetime’s worth of personal belongs gone in a matter of hours. Whole neighborhoods under water for the first time. Worst of all, lives lost. Families broken. And the course of one’s life changed forever. All because of a storm of wind and rain. A storm over which we have no apparent control.


Have you ever wondered; why does God allow such devastation? What possible purpose could come from such destruction and loss of life? We may not ask this question out loud, but it may quietly haunt us on some level. Does God really care? If he does, why doesn’t he protect us from such destructive forces? I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but there are some observations worth noting.

The Christian Bible makes an interesting statement on behalf of the Creator;

“I set before you the way of life and the way of death.” Jeremiah 21:18 NKJV

The environment God seems to have set us in is one of contrast between life and death, good and evil, of which we see displayed daily. The question still begs; why let death and destruction have its way so often and in so many ways? Sometimes it feels as if the world is mostly evil, destructive, with only occasional slithers of light getting through. In my own journey of trying to discover the good amidst the darkness, I often wondered if God allows such devastation for the sole purpose of allowing his ways to be more clearly seen. Maybe in some odd way this messed up world serves as the perfect backdrop for God to showcase authentic good.

This idea is an affront however to our utopic mindset. Naturally we don’t want to see any evil in our world. We want to eradicate it. Therefore, we may reason; “if God were really a loving God, death and destruction would never occur.” But it’s hard to deny the clarifying effect of a world that contrasts both good and evil so poignantly. If we’re looking to create a Utopian society however, the idea of having to parse out the good and evil around us seems an unnecessary distraction to the life we’re hoping to build.

With Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, many are singing the praises of individuals who are sacrificing their time, labor and funds in order to help those affected by the storms. Corporations too. We all have watched as stores like Home Depot helped in getting goods to people who need it by increasing delivery of goods to the devastation zones, and without raising prices unduly. Delta Airlines, American Airlines and Frontier Airlines all have reduced their fares in an effort to help get folks out of Florida. Gallery Furniture of Houston opened its doors and became a shelter for anyone in need. Some reports suggest it may have cost the store upwards of $30,000.00 a day for its generosity. No doubt many mom and pop stores have shared their goods as well, these are unsung heroes.

Here in the U.S., there’s something rather stifling about things going well; a bustling economy, money flowing, goods being sold, no major wars, no storms, no worries, that seems to bring the worst out in some. It’s almost as if the closer we get to a utopia, the more of a platitude we become, the more one dimensional our spirits. We become complacent as a people, bored maybe, and our criticism and infighting abound as result. Instead of our success as a country bringing out the hero, it appears to hide the hero. Instead of wealth making us want to be more generous, it seems to highlight greed. This is not true with everyone. Our own pursuit of the utopia however seems to rob our existence of character and blur the lines of right and wrong.

On the other hand, when disaster hits, our profile as a country changes dramatically. We’re once again shaken in our being, our gaze is sharpened and our spirits are open to the idea of sacrificial love. We spring into action with an ever sharper focus, and we ask; “how can I make someone else’s life better, who can I help?” Socioeconomic status suddenly means nothing, the color of our skin is of no consequence, our political squabbles grow quiet for the most part and our precious schedules fall in their status of priority. And our inner heroism rises to the surface and altruism more easily flows from our being.

Is it possible that God occasionally allows things to go wrong so that he can make us right? Is it possible that he allows a disaster to occur so as to remind us what’s lurking just below the surface, what we’re capable of, and what matters most in life? Is it possible that God wants to remind us that no one human being is more important to God than another? That he deeply values all of his children? Is it possible that God wants to remind us how much we need each other, and how our petty disagreements only divide and destroy? And is it possible that those who often and easily throw around accusations of others are only doing the Devil’s work. Perhaps God wants us to stop judging and condemning one another, and instead try to see the good in others, even with those of whom we may not agree.

I can’t help but believe that God allows such disaster so that we can once again see how simple and beautiful life can be when we just take care of each other, look out for the interest of others and to remember that we’re all in this together, both in bad times and good?

Maybe disasters remind us that some of our pursuits are ill intended, and how easily we exploit one another for personal gain, especially when “times are good”. Maybe too many of our relationships are for utility purposes alone, and not simply for the sake of spending time with each other, with no particular agenda.

I wonder how quick the social, racial, economic and political challenges of our day would be solved if we would abide by Jesus’ words; My command is this: “Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12 NIV

When the storm has passed, who will you be?

Look Inside this Book

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A Sceptic Meets Hubble

A Sceptic Meets Hubble

Science and Technology have come a long way in recent years. Especially in Astronomy. The Hubble Telescope and the Gravity Wave Telescope for example are two of the most impressive instruments ever created by human hands. In fact, these two telescopes are said to be the most precisely tuned instruments ever made. The degree of specificity to which the Gravity Wave Telescope can be adjusted is 1 part in 10 to the 23. Or, the number 1 with 23 zero’s after it. If you’re like me and that kind of number doesn’t quite compute, suffice it to say that these telescopes can be adjusted up to approximately one trillionth of an inch. Beyond comprehension.

But the Creator of the Universe makes the best of our machines look like kids craft day at your local Home Depot. Our God has fine tuned the Universe to a degree of accuracy that is a trillion x trillion x trillion x trillion x trillion x trillion x trillion x trillion times more accurate than the Hubble Telescope or the Gravity Wave Telescope. Yes, that’s a trillion to the eighth power. If this insane level of fine tuning is off just slightly, our earth would not be fit for life.

This fine tuning data is terrible news to the sceptic, especially the Atheist, according to Dr. Hugh Ross, an astrophysicist from Glendora California; Ross explains in a speech given at Azusa Pacific University several years ago, that when the Space Energy Density Term (which is the result of recent scientific data about our universe) was confirmed by both believers and Atheists alike, a few of the Atheist Physicists expressed their disappointment with the following words;

Lawrence Krauss wrote “we are now forced to accept that we live in a universe with this space energy density term. This has profound negative implications.” Of course it’s only negative if you’re an Atheist.

Ross quoted the comments of 2 unnamed Jewish Atheists as was published in the British Journal Nature; “This type of universe requires a degree of fine tuning of the initial conditions that is an apparent conflict with common wisdom.” The common wisdom they’re referring to is Atheism.

A Swiss astrophysicist, also unnamed by Ross, was quoted as to having said; “We are now confronted with a disturbing cosmic coincidence problem.” Again, it’s only a problem if you’re an atheist.

For the first time in History perhaps, it has become impossible for an honest Atheist to deny an intentional creation by a divine hand. But for those of us who are believers, it’s a confirmation of what our faith has already allowed us to know.

Our God has lovingly fine tuned the universe in which our planet resides so that life is possible. And if God can fine tune the vast and complex cosmos to the degree he has, how much more is he capable of fine tuning every aspect of our lives down to the slightest detail. And what little we’re able to see of the universe has a way of speaking to that issue in a unique way.

After getting a glimpse of how our universe may have come together and just how accurate and deliberate its design is, I now view the stars from a different perspective. Astrophysicists tell us that if humanity had been created any earlier, we would not be able to see the stars. And if we had been created later in the timeline of creation the stars would be out of viewing range. Our path of view simply will become too narrow to see a single star as the universe expands over time. Humanity was created at the optimal time to see Gods vast array of lights scattered throughout the sky. And I would not suffer the suggestion of mere coincidence in the parallel existence of humanity and the stars.

I recently went star-gazing on a cold night as inspired by my research for this blog. All I could think about was God’s glory, his beauty and the level of excellence he’s capable of. The stars themselves seemed to evoke such quiet praise. And as I continued to meditate on his greatness, my mind would occasionally jump back to my current struggles, worries and wants. And they seemed petty compared to the expanse of the blanket of stars I was engaging.

As I continued to take in a small glimpse of our own galaxy, my spirit was elevated as if to the stars themselves. And all seemed in perspective, at least for a while. And I couldn’t help but ask; if God can create such a universe with the skill that makes the smartest among us scratch their head, shouldn’t I trust him with my life? And to think that this brilliant God is love at his core, is almost too much to take in. But I gladly took it in.

I walked away from star-gazing that night with something of profound value; that God simply is. And somehow that is enough. And the longer I pondered our God in the stillness that night, the more alive I felt. I knew in my heart that whatever we’re struggling with, it cannot affect us beyond God’s will. And his will is that ultimately we know his faithful love without a hint of doubt. That we bear fruit. That we prosper. Especially in the vein of trust, hope, peace, contentment and gratefulness. And that filled me with an overwhelming joy. My heart was settled. My fear again waned.

As the Psalmist wrote;

“When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?” Psalm 8:3-4 NIV

When God wanted to encourage Abraham and give him a vision for the promises he had made, he asked him to go outside and look up at the stars.

He will encourage you with the same stars that Abraham saw. So keep looking up, he made them for you.

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