Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beautiful Bookends

Yesterday, we had rain. Beyond the much-needed water to our drought-stricken state, it made for an amazing sunset.

This morning, as soon as I saw the cloud formation in the eastern sky, I knew the sunrise would be good. The train ride was a race against the sun. So glad I won.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Respite is also glory

I left the house early this morning so that I could procure the seeds of the elixir of life from Starbucks. To my delight, the store had moved to its new location, on the same side of the street as Creek Park. So this morning, after an hour of scanning sources for my literature review, I replenished my coffee beans and my soul. These two varieties of beauty were both enjoyed. This too is glory.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Glory lived: Where do we begin?

Every day I make coffee, walk from here to there, and get some sleep. These things are routine; they're nothing special. Or at least that's how it seems. But what if I'm wrong about that? What if these daily routines are expressions of God's glory?
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul calls his readers to live out God's glory: "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (Col 3:17 ESV). Life in the name of Jesus centers on his truth, authority, and reputation. A life of gratitude to the Father centers on God as the Savior who has moved us from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of his dear Son. And the whatever? Well, that includes making coffee, walking here to there, and getting sleep, as well as a myriad of other things.
What if I began asking,
(1) How do these declare God's power and divinity?
(2) How do these express my gratitude to God? and
(3) How do these tend to help someone or something better glorify God?
What would happen to my perspective? I wonder.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Glory Perceived

God is obvious for any who have eyes to see. God’s “invisible attributes...have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world” (Romans 1:20 ESV) and “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1a). For Christians, whose perception has been redeemed by Jesus' blood, though, seeing the evidence can still be tough. I don't know about you, but too many days my life is routine. My attention falters and I miss the message that creation declares, Glory!

The other day on my way to work at Biola I pressed pause and took the road less traveled. Rather than the short, direct path, I chose to walk through the park that runs along part of our campus. Walking on the pavement, between mowed grass and the cement-lined creek, I entered the tunnel under La Mirada Blvd.  As I emerged, I spotted a hummingbird hovering over the creek. It hovered in place, then up, then down, then side to side and then backwards. Hummingbird science shouted: Glory.

My attention heightened, I began to see. Green plants glowed in the morning sun. Water gurgled. A Mallard dipped its bill in the water. I was glad to have arrived early enough to slow down and enjoy the moment. This place, this beauty, this teeming life speaks. How had I not taken the time to notice its message? Glory!

As I continued on to my office, I began to realize how much I had missed, walking just to get somewhere and working just to finish something. Yes, even the work and play shout: Glory!

God is Creator and Lord of everything: algebra, knees, painting, dinner, medicine, puppies, engineering, and English class. While nothing in creation is perfect this side of heaven, even that which is desperately broken reflects glory as if by shattered glass. We only need hearts to see.

As for me, I'll be spending more mornings in Creek Park. How about you?