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!

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