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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Imprint of God in Creation

The following videos are worth the time. You will worship your Creator-Redeemer as a result. Louie Giglio, in these two clips takes, us on a tour of the intricacies of creation. You will see that God has left His imprint everywhere. Not only do we see this openly and obviously in the creation, but His signature is also viewed in what, until recently, has been hidden from the human eye. Now, because God has gifted man with not only the intelligence to develop amazing technologies and tools, but also with the unquenchable desire to explore what the naked eye cannot see, many previously hidden aspects of creation are being revealed. These aspects, whether viewed from the lens of the microscope or that of the telescope reveal God's glorious imprint in creation. And His imprint is very specific.

Here is a microscopic peek:
Note: Before watching the video, turn off the music (player is at the bottom of the blog).

Even the way laminin is spelled fascinates me. Wikipedia describes its makeup: "There are four of beta-chains: LAMB1, LAMB2, LAMB3, LAMB4" Is this not amazing? In His Sovereignty, God even ordained that the beta-chains would be named "LAMB". I find this staggering to think of!

Now take time to watch the following telescopic view of God's imprint in the Whirlpool Galaxy:

Awesome! Rev 13:8 says, "All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast — all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world." God has seen His Son slaughtered from creation and His artistry in the heavens and in the cells of man himself declares it.

From the smallest cell, perceivable only with a microscope, to the vast unreachable galaxies now seen with the Hubble Telescope, God has put forth this testimony and we have discovered it exactly when He ordained it to be so. All men, saved or not, carry the emblem of God's great mercy and grace - the Cross - within themselves. Amazing! Men's mouths may not whisper His name in love, but his very molecular structure shouts that God not only created him but has given His Son to redeem Him. Amazing!

These discoveries point to the reality of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done on the cross. They bear witness to God's great heart of love for man. Laminin and the Whirlpool Galaxy are but God's "artwork" that bear witness of His great "heart-work" on the cross. This is so stunning and staggering to think on.

But there is an even more stupendous (who can come up with adequate words?) imprint to man from God. It is the imprint of the nails in the loving hands that were bound and fastened to the cross by wicked men and women - you and me. This imprint God placed on Himself, on He that is uncreated and this imprint is what all the other created imprints announce. This imprint manifests yet another truth about our powerful, sovereign, majestic and creative God. This is an imprint of His great love for His prodigal creation - man. And this imprint is way beyond description, explanation or comprehension, so this is where I will stop. Indescribable!!!

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

The Imprint of God in Creation

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Theology Eight - Soul Food for the Hungry Heart

This is the last post in the series of theology for women. If you have not read the previous posts of Theology - Necessary Soul Food for the Good Woman, please find them here.

Theology, that is pursuing the all-satisfying knowledge of and relationship with the Triune God, has brought such balance and dignity to my life. As a woman, I find there are many voices in my culture vying for my allegiance, including the feminist who has openly had her say here.
But in many cultures women are suppressed. India has been one such place. A passage in the Puranas, one of the Hindu's sacred books, reads “Let a woman who wishes to perform sacred oblations wash the feet of her lord and drink the water, for her husband is her lord, her priest, her religion. Wherefore abandoning all else she ought chiefly to worship her husband."
Culture in India also practiced “suttee”, an observance whereby a widow was burned alive on the funeral pyre of her dead husband. Many other atrocities abounded in regard to India’s females before the early twentieth century, including infanticide for unwanted daughters and temple prostitution for small girls, some as young as three and four years of age.
Imagine then the wonder with which the women there received the teachings of Christianity. One Hindu woman was noted to say, “Surely your Bible was written by a woman.” When asked “why?” she replied, “Because it says so many kind things for women. Our pundits never refer to us but in reproach.”
Christ restores balance and dignity for women whatever their culture promotes. For the Christian woman in India, dignity is restored in the midst of a culture that dehumanizes her.
But looking at another imbalance, in America, feminists seek to glorify women beyond their God-given place. The goal is supremacy, not equality, and herein we see the opposite extreme. This woman, out of a motive of retaliation, would like to rule over man the way he has ruled over her since and as a result of the fall.
But reiterating, in Christ we find a true balance where “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) It is a paradox that in Christ, woman finds her dignity, yet there is no distinction between male and female. In the pages of Scripture she discovers an ally who so understands her that she could easily mistake Him for a woman.
But this is the One who “…being found in appearance as a man…” personified the goodness of God (Philippinas. 2:8a). This is the One who spoke to an immoral woman, considered a mongrel by the Jews (Samaritan), the epitome of human outcasts and gifted her a royal position when He made her a child of the King. When the rest of society shunned her, Jesus revealed God to her, in all His goodness, and she was changed forever in an instance. (John. 4:4-45)
Spurgeon said, “My beloved sisters, you owe much to the Gospel, for it is only by its agency that you are raised to your proper place. Jesus has lifted you up to your true place, side by side with man.” But really He has lifted us much higher than that -all the way to the third heaven where He reigns. We dwell with Him there even in the midst of the storm or in the mire of a fallen culture when we truly know Him.
Do women need theology? Can we rise above our circumstances to find peace in the midst of a storm-tossed life? Where is the balance in a culture which seeks to either denigrate or deify us? Perhaps Jesus can best answer these questions. To every nation and tribe, to every people of every tongue, to men and women the mandate is still set forth. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Theology is not only essential for the woman of God, it is a command from its Author that we must embrace.
May we, as women of God, look to the apostle Paul as an example of what theology is all about. May we take to heart his passion for knowing Jesus:
I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death... (Phil. 3:8-11)
Oh, may we know Him! That is what theology is all about!

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

Theology Eight - Soul Food for the Hungry Heart

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Franziska - Chapter Seven

Note: If you have not read Franciska's amazing story up to this point, you should do so now. Find chapters one through six here. Start at the bottom of the page with chapter one.

This long-time-in-coming seventh chapter of Franciska's story is devoted to Hermann's home going. I was delayed in writing this chapter because Hermann's obituary and a poem that he had written shortly before he died had to be translated from German to English. That is done now thanks to a friend from church. Thank you, Monica, for your kindness in translating the two pieces. So let us continue...

In 1932, on May 29th, Hermann and Franciska celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. An account of the celebration appeared in the local German paper. An excerpt reads:
"The evening of that day we reminisced...about the church and friends and relatives who had been there previously. At this testimonial, the representatives of the Meyer family, other relatives, and the congregation delivered their wishes for happiness and blessings to the celebrating pair. May the Lord we serve give us more such festivities."
Looking back to when Hermann and Franciska met, an item of interest to me is the last entry in Franciska's "Poesie" book, that little autograph book that she kept from the age of 12 through the age of nineteen (mentioned in chapter one). The last entry was made in December 1881 in Bromberg, Germany by Hermann. My Aunt Francis still has this little book in her possession. She writes of it:
One of the treasured mementos of Franciska still in existence is a small autograph book called 'Poesie' (poetry). It made the journey to America, survived the homestead, traveled to South Dakota by wagon and ferry, and onto Colorado and Oklahoma. 
The pages are brown with age and the once bright gilt edges are spattered with fly specks, but within are pages filled with exquisite handwriting... The first three entries are written in Thorn, a town near Bromberg, the latest being in December of 1881...The last entry is undated and signed, 'Hermann Meyer'! They were married in May of 1882.
Though Hermann's entry is written in German and I do not know what it says, it is more of a curiosity to me, as to why after 6 years of entries, Hermann's was the last. Franciska pursued no more autographs after his. Was she was satisfied to leave it with her future husband's as the best and therefore the last? Did she regard his entry as the culmination of all that had been written there in Poesie? Perhaps the answer lies in what he wrote and if I were to get it translated, the secret would be had.

But for now, we must return to what is known. In late 1930 or early 1931, Hermann was diagnosed with cancer. He suffered for two years and then on January 4th, 1933, he went home to be with the Lord. His obituary reads:
Brother Hermann Gustave Meyer, born December 12, 1857, near Bromberg, in the province of Posen, Germany, died after a lengthy battle with cancer on January 4, 1933, at La Salle, Colorado at the age of 75 and 22 days. He was married with his now grieving widow on May 29th, 1882 and the Lord blessed him with 13 children, of which 6 died before him.
Last May Brother Meyer and his wife celebrated their Golden Anniversary with all their children by their side. 1886 was the year Brother Meyer and his family came to this country, where they settled in Nebraska, South Dakota and since 1903 near La Salle, Colorado.
Brother Meyer accepted the Lord as his Savior. He was baptized by Brother Currant in 1877...Just as in the old country, so in this country, Brother Meyer showed a deep commitment to the work of our Lord by holding Sunday School and Worship Services in his own home, and many have come to Christ through his initialed contacts. He was a devoted Christian and kept faithfully to those teachings of the Word of God.
Brother Meyer held many offices in his church, such as superintendent of Sunday School, secretary, treasurer and the last 20 years as a deacon. He consistently fulfilled his Christian duties, as he always wanted what was best for the Lord and His congregation.
He was especially pleased, that all his children came to the Lord Jesus Christ. One of his sons, Herbert Meyer, from Alva, Oklahoma followed the call and became a pastor himself. A few weeks before his death, Brother Meyer composed the following poem which was read at his funeral:

At the Edge of Eternity

by Hermann Gustave Meyer
Written in December 1932, a few weeks before his death.

I stand at the edge of eternity
And look back one more time
I see the God of Majesty
And am lifted to joy sublime.

I am so very happy
My Savior died for me.
He took my guilt
He took it all and now, by grace, I’m free.

Christ freed me from God's judgment,
“There’s no more fear” I cry.
He conquered death and gave me life
My soul shall never die.

Now Christ is my Protector.
He owns my life, my soul.
I’m clean by the blood of Jesus;
I’m free, I’m His, I’m whole!
Grieving is his wife, 5 sons, 2 daughters, 35 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, 2 sisters and many other relatives and friends. May the Lord bless all that are left behind and give them the assurance of seeing their departed loved ones at the Throne of God in good time. La Salle, Colorado.
As I read and reread my Great Grandfather's poem, I am struck with the peace, joy and anticipation he exhibited as he looked forward to his own death. For the Christan, this is the mindset concerning leaving this earthly realm. There is no fear because we know there is no judgment. Jesus Christ has experienced my judgment, my penalty and my punishment for sin. Now for me, there is only great anticipation as I move toward eternity. I will be with Jesus - face to face. No longer chained by sin, I will be able to worship Him just as Grandfather Hermann now worships, without a single hindrance, alongside my loved ones who have gone before me. Oh, what satisfaction and joy! Praise God who has so generously given us His Son!

Franciska's story is nearly complete. The final chapter will follow detailing her latter years after Hermann's death.

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

Franziska - Chapter Seven