Stars & Whales

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork (Psalms 19:1).

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
 or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
 Who among all these does not know
    that the hand of the LORD has done this?
 In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:7-10).

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When You Look into the Mirror . . .

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Because . . .

When you look into the mirror, who is it that you see?

Do you see someone who you can look at in the eyes? Someone, who you recognize? A face that you can be proud of?

Or, do you see someone who you can’t even stare at? Someone, who is so different from the person you once were? A face that you’re ashamed of?

Mirrors reflect what we see on the outside, but sometimes, we project how we feel upon them, too. Sometimes, we can’t look at ourselves because we’re ashamed. Yet, though it’s good to have a conscience that bothers us when we do something wrong, guilt is too heavy a burden for us to carry. It’s a trap that can ensnare us into a vicious cycle. For did you know, that many alcoholics don’t like being alcoholics? Drinking makes them feel guilty; however, they have learned to cope with their guilt by drinking, yet this only adds to their guilt which they try to erase with even more alcohol. Continue reading

Dragons are Real?

Fire-breathing dragons are terrifying beasts that can spark the imagination with awe and fright. They can also be spotted in gift shops, game covers, and movie posters.

Dragons are creatures that have been a part of man’s storytelling from generation to generation, such as in Beowulf, the Völsunga saga, “Saint George and the Dragon,” and even the book of Revelation. Dragons are magnificent beasts that can be as frightening as Smaug within The Hobbit, or as adorable as Toothless within Dreamwork’s, How to Train Your Dragon. For some reason, dragons have fascinated man for a long, long time. However, is it because we love to imagine such creatures within our realms of fantasy? Or perhaps, is it because we are fascinated with these strange creatures, that may have once walked upon our sod? Continue reading

How to be a Coke Bottle

Over the summer, I got to be a part of my first book club! I had a friend who was interning at a nearby congregation, and as part of his internship, him, along with me, and a mutual mentor, read the book, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts. It’s an autobiography written by Neil White. It recounts a chapter in his life, in which he served time for bank fraud at the prison/leper colony in Carville, Louisiana. Neil isn’t afraid to recount how real his experience was, and doesn’t shy away from the crude language that was used by some of the prisoners he met. The book fully shares Neil’s experiences and shares the stories of those who he came in contact with.

There are many jewels found within this book; however, my favorite words of wisdom, come from chapters 77 and 78: Continue reading

“The Butterfly Circus”

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages. You are invited to view a spectacular feature! A short film that has surprised several audiences with its heartfelt messages. A story of doubt, hope, change, and love. A glimpse into the heart of Christ himself. Ladies and gentlemen, without further hesitation, I present to you, The Butterfly Circus!

Life Lessons from The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman may not be the most historically accurate depiction of the life of P. T. Barnum; nonetheless, it is currently very popular, and has a huge audience singing to its songs on the road, in the home, and in the shower. Other than having a neat story and catchy tunes, one reason that this film has become so popular, is because of the messages that it shares. That it’s okay to be different, to dream, and to take risks. But on top of that, it’s also cool how the messages in this movie, correlate with messages found in the Bible:

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Our Amazing Creator: Part IV

Our God, is an amazing Creator.

He created the okapi:

Have you ever wondered what would happen, if a giraffe and a zebra had a baby? If you have, that’s weird, but it would probably look like an okapi. Though they do have a zebra behind, the okapi is one of the two living members of the family Giraffidae. And like their giraffe cousins, okapis have extremely long tounges, measuring between 14–18 inches long, which they can use to lick their own ears and even wash their eyelids. These superheroes can also communicate in the dense forest with infrasonic calls, which cannot be picked up by human ears, and they have stinky feet, since they have scent glands on each foot that secrets a tar-like substance to mark their territory. Continue reading

Beware of Flowers, Money, and Chocolate

The Venus flytrap is a magnificent creation. It’s one of my favorite plants growing in my office. Not only because it looks cool, but also because it eats bugs.

The Venus flytrap attracts prey by secreting nectar in its open traps. A bug will crawl into the trap, thinking it’s just like any ordinary plant, before the leaf closes and traps the insect within its jaws. Allowing the plant to digest its prey and to break down its body for nutrition.

Like a fly, sometimes we too are drawn into traps. We see something that gives us pleasure, eat something that tastes good, believe that since we got away with it once we can do so again, all the while being drawn further and further into the snare. Like any trap, we see something good, but are ignorant of the danger until it’s too late. Or sometimes we’re aware of the danger, but believe the treat is worth the risk anyways. But sin is a trap. Continue reading

Leave Your Mark

Imagine if you had pockets full of paint: red, blue, yellow, and green. Each color representing a mark that you leave on each person you encounter. Each color representing different emotions–both positive and negative. What kind of marks would you leave? And what type of emotions do these colors represent? Find out, by watching the talk Hank Fortener gave, at the 2016 STORY conference: