• Topic > Christianity & Culture

    Views of Creation

    One of my favorite views is from atop the arch of the Harbor Bridge in Sydney, Australia. Since the BridgeClimb officially opened in 1998, more than three million people have ascended to the apex of the iconic structure to view the stunning city.

    Springs of Life

    I once visited an urban farm organized by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The IRC relocates refugees from ravaged countries and helps them establish a new life. Since many refugees grew up in an agrarian lifestyle, farming can be a natural way for them to rebuild their lives. Portions of the farmland simply grow wild each year, allowing the soil to rest. Then, in the year to follow, they till the grass back into the dirt, using it to enrich the soil that will help nourish the crops they’ll eventually harvest.

    Lord Over the Invisible

    The term “visible light” might seem redundant. After all, what kind of light is there besides “visible” light? But the light we see is only a small part of the greater electromagnetic spectrum. There are actually many frequencies of light our eyes cannot naturally perceive: infrared, ultraviolet, and many more. This is an important reminder that just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there!

    Designed with Hope

    With its majestic magnolias, blooming dogwoods, and graceful azaleas dotting the landscape, my hometown is a gardener’s dream in the spring. But the beautiful view comes with its fair share of misery. Residents know that spring has arrived when a fine coating of yellow dust rests on vehicles, buildings, and sidewalks. As pine trees release their murky clouds of pollen, itchy eyes, scratchy throats, and swollen sinuses soon follow. ’Tis the season for sneezing!

    Jesus Died for Cows?

    My professor surprised our class one day when he said, “Jesus died for cows.” He didn’t mean we should evangelize cattle. But, he explained, since cows are part of the creation “subjected to God’s curse” (Romans 8:20) as a result of human sin, cows belong to the world that “has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:22). That means cows are part of the “everything” God is bringing “under the authority of Christ,” having “reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s…

    Creation Restoration

    Not long ago, scientists believed that the effects of trauma and stress affected only the generation that had experienced their effects. But recent research indicates that children are also affected by their parents’ trauma: the impact of such events passed down to future generations. So exactly how far in the future can the effects of trauma be felt?

    History Matters

    Theologian George Ladd once rhetorically asked, “Does mankind have a destiny? Or do we jerk across the stage of time like wooden puppets, only to have the stage, the actors, and the theatre itself destroyed by fire, leaving only a pile of ashes and the smell of smoke?”

    Speaking Everywhere

    One evening, after everyone else in the neighborhood had packed off to bed, I walked into our backyard under a hazy, moonlit sky. None of the deer, rabbits, or squirrels that regularly parade across our lawn was there. There was only a brilliant full moon and dark silence. Due to my own internal noise and a hectic day, I hadn’t been aware of God’s presence. But there I was, suddenly immersed in gratitude and awe. I looked up at that magnificent sky and offered God two words: “Thank you.”

    Ask the Animals

    Our grandkids, enraptured, got a close-up look at a rescued bald eagle. They were even allowed to touch him. As the zoo volunteer told about the powerful bird perched on her arm, I was surprised to learn this male had a wingspan of about 6 ½ feet, yet because of its hollow bones it weighed only about eight pounds.

    This reminded me of the majestic eagle I had seen soaring above a lake, ready to swoop down and snatch its prey in its talons. And I pictured in my mind another big bird—the spindly legged blue heron I had spied standing…

    Gleaning the Fields

    A Tanzanian friend has a vision for redeeming a piece of desolate land in the capital city of Dodoma. Recognizing the needs of some local widows, Ruth wants to transform these dusty acres into a place to keep chickens and grow crops. Her vision to provide for those in need is rooted in her love for God, and was inspired by her biblical namesake, Ruth.

    God’s laws allowed the poor or the foreigner to glean (harvest) from the edges of the fields (Leviticus 19:9–10). Ruth (in the Bible) was a foreigner, and was therefore allowed to work in the fields, gathering…

    “I AM”

    While I was leading a Bible class for those who didn’t yet believe in Jesus, a participant asked, “How many gods are there in this world?” Hoping to give an answer, I Googled for help. I believe there’s only one true God, but one person gave this clever answer: Seven billion gods. There are seven billion people in this world. And everyone has a personal god.

    Generous Love

    When I was growing up, my family attended an occasional professional baseball game and often watched the college basketball playoffs on TV. Overall, sports were a peripheral pastime, a practice that continued with my kids. But our daughter has become a diehard NBA Golden State Warriors basketball fan. She’s a faithful follower of her team and can hold her own in a discussion of players, stats, and the Warriors’ winning seasons.

    Beyond the Stars

    In 2011, the National Aeronautics and Space Association celebrated thirty years of space research. In those three decades, shuttles carried over 355 people into space and helped construct the International Space Station. After retiring five shuttles, NASA has now shifted its focus to deep-space exploration.

    The human race has invested massive amounts of time and money, with some astronauts even sacrificing their lives, to study the immensity of the universe. Yet the evidence of God’s majesty stretches far beyond what we can measure.

    When we consider the Sculptor and Sustainer of the universe who knows each star by name (Isaiah 40:26), we…

    Warm Glow

    A study conducted by a group of neuroeconomists from the University of Zurich found that people who showed generosity were happier than people who acted in a selfish way. In fact, they found that if people were even a little bit generous, they still experienced a pleasant feeling. The researchers measured activity in areas of the brain linked to contentment and generosity. Interestingly, the feeling of happiness that one experiences when giving has been termed a “warm glow.”

    What We Worship

    The idolatry of ancient Israel’s neighbors led the psalmist to write, “Their idols are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands. They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see” (Psalm 115:4-5). In essence, he was asking, “Why would a person feel the need to worship and bring a sacrifice to an idol? Who would devote their lives to a god they know is false—somehow hoping it would bless them?”

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