Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I Am in Awe . . .

Jon nailed this one! A rose.
We have been having fun photographing for, and managing our family's new Facebook page, "Just a Closer Look" ( We'd love to say hundreds of people are having a blast trying to guess what the images are, but that isn't the case and it is probably good! (See my note under "Remember" below.) Jon Guenther, one of this blog's readers and one of the two authors I blogged about on April 10th in Great Reads, Great Deals, actually guessed the first one correctly down to the type of flower! Wow! No wonder he is such a good author if he notices detail like that!
Abigail "on assignment."

Our great hope with this Facebook page is that people would (besides having fun!), find themselves starting to slow down and notice things in God's Creation that they maybe would have walked past before. Ultimately that will point us to God and remind us that He is interested in the tiniest of details in Creation—which to me means He must be interested in the tiniest details of our lives. Jesus used Creation to illustrate this incredible and reassuring truth:
And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. (Luke 12:22-31, ESV—underlines mine)
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29–31, ESV—underline mine)
Genesis 1 makes it clear that God made everything, and Hebrews 11:3 makes it clear that a primary component of faith is believing that He made it all from nothing. Therefore, what we see is the result of God's creative hand and word. Imagine! If it is this stunning in the tiniest details of earth what it will be like for us in Heaven free of sin's corruption!

Bethany examining a picture.
I can tell you that after spending fifteen to twenty minutes in a garden looking for things that I normally walk past but that are stunning in macro detail, I am in awe each time. There are even times that, after we put the pictures on a big screen, we see things we hadn't even noticed. God is so absolutely incredible!

Romans 1:18-20 says: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

The more I study Creation and the more I take time to stand under the stars, or stare into a flower's center, the more I realize how it should be impossible for us to be in Creation and deny a Creator. God says it is impossible—that we know the truth but suppress it. He says that because of Creation we are without excuse before Him for denying Him. I am in awe, and I feel the fool, to think I spent so many years of my life arrogantly denying Him in my intellect when His evidence is all around me. May this homeschool project of our family help someone who once walked where I walk recognize God sooner, and may it encourage those who do know God to worship Him more, to be encouraged that He knows their details and cares, and to slow down.
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" (Psalm 46:10, ESV—underline mine)

This one currently has people stumped! We'll put the
answer on Facebook later today or tomorrow.
Remember: You don't have to have a Facebook account to see the page, only to guess and comment on it. If you do have a Facebook page and "Like" the "Just a Closer Look" page I'd encourage you to share it with anyone you know who you think:

1. Might be encouraged to slow down and notice God's Creation, and to realize how God is interested in the tiniest of details. I believe it might be just what someone needs right now who is feeling overwhelmed or forgotten.

2. Can handle being drawn into Facebook (online media, etc.). Not everyone should be encouraged to plug into something like this as Facebook and other online media can easily, if not guarded, suck us into hours we never intended. I see youth in our youth group who can't be away from their online stuff for any length of time, and I know adults who've had to make the hard decisions to step back because they were getting drawn into their online world at the cost of their world around them. Everything has a time and place and I know people for whom Facebook is a true ministry, but it needs to be something someone can handle in God's leading and balance. So, for you or someone else, if you can't participate without wisdom then please stay away from the page. Go out in the garden and see the real things instead!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Just a Closer Look

Our family enjoys photography, and sometimes we'll zoom into a picture we've taken and be amazed at the intricacy of some tiny part of a flower or plant or piece of wood or a bug or ??? that we could have so easily just glanced at or even simply passed by. We've felt like others would be amazed at it as well, and maybe even encouraged to know that God cares about such tiny details in nature—because it stands to reason that He would be even more concerned about, and attentive to, the tiniest of details in our lives as well. We also find such a closer look leaves us in awe of God, and praising Him, so we wanted to share some of it.

We've come up with what we hope will be a fun Facebook page called "Just a Closer Look." It can be found at:

Our intention is to post a zoomed in portion of a picture and give people a few days to have fun trying to guess what it is. Then we'll post the "big picture" and a new zoom to guess about. Our hope is that it will:
1. Glorify God
2. Cause people to slow down and take notice of the tiny details in Creation around them
3. Encourage people's faith
4. Challenge the unsaved to question if they really can believe such intricacy is all by chance
We also hope to post encouraging thoughts and scriptures that are relevant to the theme of the page.

If that interests you feel free to "like" the page and spread the link to your friends who'd be blessed by it. I will be monitoring the comments pretty closely as it is a page our whole family will be working on. As a teaser I am posting our first "What is it?" picture here . . .

(By the way. If you are on Facebook and haven't "friended" me, send me a Friend Request at:
As a forewarning, I don't spend much time on Facebook at all other than updating events and photos on our church's page, but I do find value in being able to add that as one more way to try and stay in touch.

Blessings! And may you have an amazing Easter!   —Erick

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Great Reads, Great Deals

I have blogged in the past about an author, Rosemary Hines, who has written a fiction trilogy that really blessed me. Her three books in the series cover a multitude of topics, beginning with the New Age movement and how it can subtly creep in and grab us. To share her own words:
The novels in this series are very message-driven. For example, if you've seen or heard about the movie God's Not Dead, the topic of how university professors seek to destroy the faith of their students is woven as a secondary theme in the novel, Through the Tears. Other topics like our broken foster care system, teen pregnancy, the heartache of abortion, the prevalence and seductive nature of New Age beliefs in our culture, as well as the devastating impact of suicide are among the issues explored in the pages of these books. These books are my offering back to God for His loving redemption of the years the locusts ate away in my life. So, being able to get more books into the hands of readers has been my goal from the start.
I have really enjoyed, and grown from her books. I wanted to share that they have been recently updated and are available in e-book on Amazon for a very good price (I make nothing from this, I just believe in her and her writing and how it can bless others). The links for the books, in order of the series, are:
You can read more about her and her blog and books at:
She also has a Facebook page at:

I first heard about Rosemary from a lady we know who Rosemary played an important part in her life, and since reading her books we have corresponded in email a lot and I can tell you she is the real deal!

While talking about Christian fiction author's I have enjoyed (which in Christian fiction means to me—enjoyed and challenged and strengthened and equipped by all at the same time!) I wanted to share that another author I've "met" over the internet after reading his books is Jon Guenther. His novel Soul Runner: A Novel of High Adventure was a real joy to read and it blessed me in that it was good writing that encompassed the full Christian experience as described in the Bible (not just a book with a Christian character that has good morals). It included the miraculous and God's power at work and that, to me, is an important part of the Christian life as described by God. I would recommend reading Soul Runner, and I wanted to share that he has a new Christian novel which I am looking forward to reading, Finding Faith. (Note: not all of Jon's novels are Christian so if that is what you want to read research before ordering others. But the two I've mentioned are, and having read Soul Runner I can recommend it with great pleasure.)
I have corresponded via email with Jon as well over the last few years since reading Soul Runner and I can tell you his love for God and others is awesome! You can't go wrong supporting either of these authors in their journey and efforts to honor God with the giftings He's given them. For these authors who seek to honor God often the publishing industry is hard to crack and they do it on their own, with their own resources. The best thing you can do for them besides praying is to recommend their books and write a review on Amazon, etc., after you've read their book(s).
If you are a fan of reading fiction then Christian fiction can't be beat. God says to meditate (fill our thoughts) with things lovely and pure and praiseworthy—things of virtue—and good Christian fiction not only "takes us away" for a bit, but it encourages and challenges and strengthens us in the process. There is so much junk out there filling people's minds that I love to share when I find things that are God-honoring and glorifying.
Blessings.   —Erick

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"Dream" Homeschooling . . .

Watcha Doin'?
Can I write too?
Good book?
I like the cover. Read to me.
Where's my snack?
This morning our horse, Dream, joined the girls for homeschool. I thought that you might enjoy a few pictures of it!

Also, if you can afford to, and God gives you that permission, I would really recommend going to see the movie God's Not Dead while it is still in a theater! A couple in our church saw it and wanted us to see it and paid for our family to go yesterday. We were so blessed! It is a movie that you might want to take a friend, neighbor, loved one to see. It may not convince them of God, but it will certainly plant seeds, and it will tremendously encourage Christians. I have been watching trailers for it, and getting email updates on it, for over a year and it lived up to my expectations! It is exciting to see a faith-based film like that in a major theater and to know that the word is out there that faith-based films will be supported! One line from the film, as best as I can remember it, that affected me came when a young man was struggling with a call God put on his life that would be costly to him. The pastor said about knowing what to do, "It is not easy. But it is simple."

Blessings to you all. If I don't blog before, have an amazing, joyous Easter as you reflect on the cross as an eternal testimony of how much God loves you, and the empty tomb as an eternal testimony of His power and Jesus' authenticity . . . and of all of our hope being founded on truth!

God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good. (See the movie. It will make sense.)


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