When I was a teenager, my dad and I went on many hunting and fishing trips together. Most became happy memories, but one fishing expedition was nearly a disaster. We drove up into a high mountain range and set up camp in a remote area. Then Dad and I trudged a long way down the mountain to get to a stream to fish. After a long day fishing in the hot sun, it was time to return to camp. But as we began to head back, Dad’s face grew pale. He was dizzy and nauseated, and he had almost no strength.
The Israelites and the Philistines were at war. While Saul relaxed under a pomegranate tree with his men, Jonathan and his armor-bearer left camp quietly to see if the Lord would work on their behalf, believing that “nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few” (1 Sam. 14:6).
The Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run. It is not an easy feat for anyone to accomplish. But Dick Hoyt participated in the race and completed it with his physically disabled son Rick. When Dick swam, he pulled Rick in a small boat. When Dick cycled, Rick was in a seat-pod on the bike. When Dick ran, he pushed Rick along in a wheelchair. Rick was dependent on his dad in order to finish the race. He couldn’t do it without him.
After a global financial crisis, the US government enacted stricter laws to protect people from questionable banking practices. Banks had to change some of their policies to comply. To notify me of such changes, my bank sent me a letter. But when I got to the end I had more questions than answers. The use of phrases like “we may” and “at our discretion” certainly didn’t sound like anything I could depend on!
No one wants to be weak, so we find ways to appear strong. Some of us use the force of our emotions to manipulate people. Others use the force of personality to control people, and some use intellect to intimidate. Although these create an illusion of strength, they are signs of weakness.
Mark your calendar now if you want to see the next celestial convergence of Venus, Jupiter, and the moon. On November 18, 2052, you’ll be able to peer through the evening darkness as those solar system neighbors “gather” in a tiny area of the sky. That remarkable juxtaposition of reflective spheres last sparkled the night sky on December 1, 2008, and it will happen again 4 decades from now.
Some night when you’re away from city lights, “lift up your eyes on high” (Isa. 40:26). There in the heavens you’ll see a luminous band of stars stretching from horizon to horizon—our galaxy.
I was driving through the countryside when I spotted a church building whose name surprised me. It said, “The Galatia Church.” The name caught my attention because I was certain no one would choose to name a church this unless it was a geographic necessity.