Category Archives: Knowing God

A Septillion Snowflakes

A Septillion SnowflakesDid you know that about one septillion snowflakes fall during an average winter? To put it in perspective, a septillion is equal to a trillion trillion! That’s a lot of snowflakes.

Now consider that no two snowflakes are alike. How do we know? Because, according to crystallographers (scientists who study the structure of crystals), not all water molecules are exactly the same, and snowflakes are made up of water molecules. Add to that winter’s unstable atmospheric conditions. Snowflakes react to temperature changes as they pass through the atmosphere, and that causes them to change their shape and design. To find any two exactly alike is virtually impossible.

A septillion snowflakes, no two alike, each brilliantly designed by our Creator.

Like snowflakes, we humans are unique and complex. Each of us is shaped for God’s purpose. He not only gives us one-of-a-kind DNA, but also unique creative gifts (1 Corinthians 7:7), reasons for existence (Ephesians 1:11), abilities (2 Corinthians 3:5), personalities (1 Samuel 16:7) and experiences (Romans 8:28).

So, if you look out your window and see snowflakes spilling from the sky, remember that you are not all that different from these matchless, tiny masses of ice. In God’s eyes you are small, and yet you are a perfect and indispensable part of His great and mighty plan.

I will give thanks to You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
—Psalm 139:14 (NASB)

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A Septillion SnowflakesHave a little fun today.
Barkley Interactive offers a virtual snowflake maker.
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If you are on Facebook, check out my page where I post daily articles and inspiration for writers. And while you’re there, I’d appreciate it if you’ll click on the “like” button near the top of the page. Thanks!

jan2015FB

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*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

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Filed under God's greatness, God's Love, Knowing God, Uncategorized, Winter

Confessions of an Oleo Smuggler

oleo-margarineIt’s a well-kept secret (until now): my parents and my grandma were smugglers. Worse, they took me along to get the goods. I sat in the back seat of a getaway car, and I even helped deliver an illegal substance to family members, neighbors and friends.
I guess that made me a smuggler, too.

The illegal substance was yellow-dyed oleomargarine. In the Dairy State, buying it, which cost less than butter, was like stealing a farmer’s dairy cows and holding them for ransom.

In 1895, the Wisconsin State Legislature passed a law forbidding the manufacture or sale of butter-colored margarine. (One guy was even sentenced to 18 months in prison for selling the stuff!) Oleomargarine  remained illegal in Wisconsin well into the 1960s.

The ban on oleomargarine led good people to do bad things.

MJS OLEO_1On Saturdays, we traveled across the state line to Illinois where oleo was legal, and we bought it at a little mom and pop store called Packy’s.

Dad drove the getaway car, mom rode shotgun, I carried a blanket to cover up the goods, and we sent Grandma in to do the deed. A few minutes later, she slipped into the back seat beside me with a case of oleomargarine in her olive-green, shopping bag. I put the contraband on my lap, covered it up with the blanket, and off we went looking like a typical 1950’s family out for a drive.

Smuggling margarine wasn’t THAT bad. We didn’t feel guilty for doing it. In fact, most adults got a pleasurable little rush when they put those fake butter sticks into their refrigerators. They had gotten away with it—and it felt good.

Sometimes Christians feel a rush when they get away with little things that they know are wrong, things that they think don’t matter.

But God sees, and it matters to Him.

In his book, Faith Like Potatoes: The Story of a Farmer Who Risked Everything for God, Angus Buchan writes: “If you allow one little sin to creep into your life, and think it doesn’t matter, it will grow and grow until it affects your whole spiritual life, deflecting you from your primary aim of serving God.”

He’s right. Even little sins affect our relationship with God.

So, today I offer this prayer:

“Dear God, I’m guilty of smuggling oleo,
and a lot of other sins, too.
Please forgive me.
And every morning when I butter my toast
remind me to watch out for all those little things
that separate me from You.”
Amen.

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Are you on Facebook? Check out my page where I post daily articles and inspiration for writers. And while you’re there, I’d appreciate it if you’ll click on the “like” button near the top of the page. Thanks!

jan2015FB

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*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

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Filed under Humor, Knowing God, Random Ramblings, Sin

Gear Up for God Sightings in 2015

© Copyright 2014 CorbisCorporationHere we are at the beginning of another new year. We don’t know what 2015 will bring, but we can count on this: God is with us, and He will guide us through this year with His infinite wisdom and love.

Last summer, I spent a week with a group of volunteers from Group Workcamps. One of the activities that week was to look for God sightings—those little ways that God reminds us that He is there.

We learned that God sightings are sometimes obvious, like a near-miss traffic accident when you let out a big sigh and whisper, “Thank You, Lord.” But more often, God sightings are so veiled in worldly things that you might miss them.

Have you ever been on a commuter train racing in one direction when another train passes going the opposite way? That other train is gone in a flash. But you know that you saw it; it was really there. God sightings can be like that. You have to keep your eyes open and your mind fixed on seeing them; otherwise they can pass by unnoticed.

Last month, I challenged you to perform secret random acts of kindness every day through Advent. This month, I challenge you again:

Beginning today and continuing until the end of this year, focus on God sightings and write them down. As the months go by and your list grows longer, think about how keeping that list is changing you.

God_sightingsGod sightings are never accidental. God designs them to impact your life in ways big and small. He speaks to you through them, makes you aware of His presence, teaches, and even reprimands.

 A God sighting can change your life.

So, keep your eyes open in 2015. Write down those God sightings, and see how God uses them to direct your paths.

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Filed under Desiring God, God sightings, Knowing God