God’s Majesty in the Everyday

“What’s that?!” “Is that a fire?! It has to be a fire!”

My husband and I were walking home from the grocery store, RedBox DVD in hand. The biggest moon I had ever seen was rising above the treetops and peeking above the shadowy houses of our neighborhood.

“We need to put this food in the freezer” my husband said as he beckoned me to follow him back to our house. I had skipped past our street hoping to get a better view of the biggest, most orange moon I had ever seen in my life. Frantically, I texted my sister, “go outside right now and look at the moon! It’s insane!”

I quickly put away the food. “Can we try to get a better picture of the moon? My camera isn’t very good. Could we try your camera please?” We took off down the street but it was too late – the moon had risen high above the houses, perched in a milky yellow haze.

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The poor shot of this awesome moon, from my phone. March 5, 2018
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Better shot of the moon, with my husband’s phone, but not at all doing any justice to the moon I saw with my naked eye. March 5, 2018.

Fresh off a trip from St. George, I was extra sensitive to noticing the natural beauty of God’s creation. This moon was awesome!

Delivering blood to the hospital in St. George, Utah was my favorite part of my last job. It was so unexpected, and the best part was that no matter the time of day, I felt so excited to spend quite time with God. No longer under the oppression of the humming refrigerators that assaulted my ears, and the sickly fluorescent lights that made me feel nauseous, I was free to take in all the beauty of God’s creation, the best being the most expensive stretch of rural interstate in the US  – the Virgin River Gorge.

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Passenger side view of the Virgin River Gorge while driving home.  Taken from a moving vehicle, with the same phone that poorly shot the moon. March 4, 2018

If an emergency order came in too late at night I was in for a real treat. While I’d have to be extra cautious in the gorge, I knew that the long stretches of I-15 would allow me a quiet show of the most spectacular stars I never get to see under the bright lights of Vegas. I always felt a connection to King David writing his Psalms about God’s beautiful handiwork written in the sky. He saw the same constellations that danced across the night sky surrounding the car I so cautiously drove as I gawked out the windows.

God’s creation is so beautiful, so awe inspiring, but with our artificial light-filled night skies, our air conditioned rooms and our solitary commutes, we overlook the beauty around us – the sound of birds, the changing phases of the moon and God’s provision with every new flower that blooms.

With that said, I’d like to share an old Yelp.com review that I wrote in 2010 for an event I went to for both the Titanic and Bodies exhibits. The same feeling I felt seeing the moon, marveling at the jurassic-like peaks of the gorge, and picking out Orion’s belt – I felt as I viewed the intricacies of the human body on display at the Bodies exhibit. I am also including a video of a smaller Bodies exhibit that I attended with Yelp.com in 2017, in case you’ve never had the chance to see what these exhibits are all about.

I started, like everyone else, I’m sure, at the Titanic exhibit. I love to read everything, from the back of shampoo bottles to merriam-webster.com; naturally, I’m going to be the slowest one in the group, because I wanted to read every placard. Any that I didn’t have time to read, I photographed – many I read and photographed.

Upon entry to the exhibit, everyone was given a boarding pass with a ticket of a real person aboard the ship, detailing the information about where they are going, with whom and what class they were aboard, etc. At the end, I was frantically rooting for Mrs. Stephen Hold (Annie Margaret Hill) and her husband Stephen Hold to make the 2nd class survivor list.

Going throughout the experience, and trying to put things into a human perspective; trying to imagine how scared they must have been made it truly heartbreaking to see that although Mrs. Hold survived, Mr. Hold did not. I can’t imagine how utterly crushing her experience was and I was actually holding back some tears. These are real people, who lived lives just like we all do – they felt sadness and fear, love and happiness.

It’s so difficult to imagine the sadness and loss felt by those who lost friends and family in that tragedy. Thankfully, a tour guide at the end, told me that unlike the movie, the 3rd class passengers were not locked down below deck, they were just down there too long to have any chance to be rescued.  Not to give away any of the stuff learned, but wow, the fact that the Captain had to be convinced after retiring to make this his last voyage just sucks. Life just kicks you in the face some times.

After going through the gift shop and getting my double sided squished penny (they charge a DOLLAR rather than $.50 for a squished penny!) I saw the toothpaste jar! When I saw the cherry toothpaste jar during the exhibit, I noted in my head to look out for one the next time I went to an antiques store, and Voila! They had $10 replicas in the gift shop. I passed on it and Bill and I headed over to the Bodies exhibit.

—DISCLAIMER—
If you dislike references to God in the Judeo-Christian religion or anything pro-life, skip on to the next review.
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Body scandal aside (because nobody agrees that China, killing people off, for no good reason, is a positive thing.)

Absolutely stunning exhibit. Every time I learn more about the world and people through science, the more I fall in love with God. In Psalm 19:1, King David (from the story of David and Goliath) wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God;  the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” Basically, it means that when you look outside, we can see what God has created – it’s all around us. Going through the exhibit, all that was going off in my mind was how amazing God’s handiwork is. The intricacy of the human body is beautiful – He is a top notch engineer. Church groups should definitely come to this exhibit – it’s extremely moving to feel and see God through His design in places such as… well, the middle of a casino exhibit in Las Vegas, of all places. By far, the most breathtaking room was the cardiovascular room – we’re so complex and I can’t even put into words how I feel when I see this. Just, I’m in awe of our design and execution.

I went to see the baby room and it was sad. I wondered about how the parents felt losing their babies – all the excitement and hopes for these little people just… Woosh! Snuffed out before their time.

If anybody has any qualms as to whether a baby is a person in utero, they should come see this exhibit. At 35 days gestation – barely even a month, when most women are just figuring out they’ve missed their period, these little babies, who are recognizably human, are already breathing and their tiny hearts pumping. This isn’t some pro-life rhetoric, this is what I saw and read in this exhibit. Like it is written on the wall in the gift shop, “Seeing is believing;” and seeing this exhibit, you realize that despite all the claims Americans hear of “just being a clump of cells” they’re anything but. I would guess that’s the reason a lot of people have a problem with this room, even if these babies weren’t necessarily birthed, it’s sad to see tiny little people in jars. This exhibit is something I would suggest to anybody who wanted to debate the “when does life begin” argument.

Absolutely fantastic exhibits. Not just a bunch of facts, but history and science come alive. I smiled, I held back tears, I had my breath taken away. Both tragic, yet brimming with information. – Yelp.com  Originally posted 12/19/2010

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Christians get this commandment wrong all of the time. Do you?

Christians the world over have been threatening their children and grandchildren with punishment if they so much as think about saying “Oh my God!” These Christians couldn’t be more misguided.

“You are not to use my name to deceive, thereby defiling the name of your God. I am the Lord.”  -Leviticus 19:12 ISV

Taking the Lord’s name in vain isn’t about using God’s name as a swear word or saying “OMG.” You take the Lord’s name, using His name, in vain, (Leviticus 19:12) when you claim to be His child, grafted into the vine, (Romans 11:11-22) a believer of Christ, but your fruit, (Matthew 7:15-20) your works show that you don’t belong to him.

I take my husband’s name because we are one family. I take God’s name because I am His adopted child. (Ephesians 1:5) If I am not married to my husband, I don’t get to take his name. Likewise, if I’m not God’s child, I don’t get to take His name by calling myself a Christian.

Legally, I could change my last name to pretend that I had a relationship with anyone (for example, if I changed my last name to “Kardashian,”) but I’d be taking that name in vain. I have no relationship with the Kardashians, so I’d be taking the name in vain – clearly using it on false pretenses to increase my standing among other people.

The Pharisees constantly bragged about being Abraham’s seed and the “chosen people” and children of God. (Galatians 3:29) Jesus Himself accused them of taking God’s name in vain as He said they were of their father, the Devil. (John 8)

“You are doing your father’s actions.” They told him, “We’re not illegitimate children. We have one Father, God himself.”

“Jesus told them, ‘If God were your Father, you would’ve loved me, because I came from God and am here. I haven’t come on my own accord, but he sent me. Why don’t you understand what I’ve said? It’s because you can’t listen to my words. You belong to your father the Devil, and you want to carry out the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and has never stood for truth, since there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies…'”  -John 8:41-44 ISV

It is important to note that taking God’s name in vain is a sin, like all sins, that begins in the heart. When a person takes God’s name in vain, he first rejects God in his heart, but verbalizes his approval of and connection with God to bring himself glory.

“But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and it is those things that make a person unclean. It is out of the heart that evil thoughts come, as well as murder, adultery, sexual immorality, stealing, false testimony, and slander.” -Matthew 15:18-19 ISV

If you want to honor God and make sure that you’re not taking His name in vain, make sure that your actions, your fruit, your works, testify to the fact that you are God’s child. Don’t honor God with your lips only – make sure your actions show who you really are.

“Then the Lord said: “Because these people draw near with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, worship of me has become merely like rules taught by human beings.”  – Isaiah 29:13 ISV (referenced in Matthew 15:8)

TL;DR – “Faking my name for personal gain, is taking a name in vain. ”

Leviticus 19-12

Photo: Kristina Flourhttps://youtu.be/-7i1QCoIw2Y