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July 26, 2005

Hurricanes and Rockets: awesome power


I had the privilege of watching Discovery rocket off its pad and disappear into orbit. Wow, what a complex and powerful machine! I saw the cloud of smoke engulf the ship. I heard a bang and then saw Discovery lift out of that cloud. The flame from the engines was so bright it hurt my eyes. As its column of smoke grew taller its roar grew louder. 3000 miles per hour now. I could barely see the solid rocket boosters fall off. 5500 miles per hour. It was just a spec. I don't hear its roar any longer; it dissipated as slowly as it grew loud. Then, I could see Discovery no longer as it was off chasing the International Space Station. The astronauts were taking off their orange assent/descent suits before I found my car in the parking lot. 17,500 miles per hour and the astronauts are changing clothes.

A couple of weeks earlier I was at the beach when hurricane Dennis was out in the gulf. Dennis was making the waves pound the shore way over on the east coast of Florida. I was in awe of the power of the waves and even more in awe of the power of a storm having an impact so far away.

Rockets are pretty impressive, but nature can be much more powerful.

I have been reading my way through the Bible for about a year and a half. At the beach I had just gotten to Psalm 93 (New Living Translation);
The LORD is king! He is robed in majesty.
    Indeed, the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength.
The world is firmly established;
    it cannot be shaken.

Your throne, O LORD, has been established from time immemorial.
    You yourself are from the everlasting past.

The mighty oceans have roared, O LORD.
    The mighty oceans roar like thunder;
    the mighty oceans roar as they pound the shore.

But mightier than the violent raging of the seas,
    mightier than the breakers on the shore--
    the LORD above is mightier than these!

Your royal decrees cannot be changed.
    The nature of your reign, O LORD, is holiness forever.
Now, that's something to be in awe of.

June 1, 2005

Be specific

We were having a problem at work that we just couldn't solve. I had my best engineers on it. I looked at it myself multiple times. Toby tried lots of stuff, even reinstalling things. We thought about it and worked on it for three weeks. I even got BEA's support staff involved. The application worked just fine on the previous imaged hard drive. We couldn't find anything on the new hard drive image that could break our application. How frustrating. I was feeling like we had gained no ground and were spending all our time on this issue. We finally figured it out, but what's interesting is how:

I prayed specifically to gain some ground on one of two issues we were having. As soon as I was done praying, BAM! God gave me the solution. I walked over to the computer, tried it, and it worked!

Wow.

I believe God answered that one so swiftly because He knew there would be co-workers around that would ask how I came up with the solution -- that He would be praised and so that it could be shown that He is active in our lives and in our company.

I often pray about work. It's generally a generic prayer for help or wisdom or for the lost, but the results are far greater when I get specific.

March 27, 2005

Easter: The Resurrection of the Christ

The Greek historian and physician Luke wrote a fascinating account of the resurrection of the Christ, which picks up where Mel Gibson's wildly popular film The Passion of the Christ leaves off. After his resurrection from the dead, Jesus appeared 11 times over 40 days to more than 500 people! It's a fact. Jesus is alive. Read Luke's account.

Everyone has sinned and the punishment for that sin is separation from God. Jesus took our punishment for us -- he died in our place for our sin. He was separated from God for a short time, but he conquered death because he was sinless. Everyone who accepts this free gift gets to spend eternity in paradise. Everyone who rejects this gift will suffer eternal punishment for their sin. They will suffer eternal separation from God. And that is hell.

There is an afterlife and everyone, including you, will be in it. Where will you be then?