Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Astronaut Gets Special Wake up Call

On July 4, 2006 Mike Fossum was a rookie astronaut making his first shuttle flight. At 2:38 p.m. EDT, Space Shuttle Discovery and the crew of STS-121 was off and running in a blast of sound and fury. “Oh boy ... oh my goodness ... what a kick in the pants that is,” Fossum says. After reaching an altitude of 50 miles – and it doesn’t take long to get there – Fossum and the other rookies on the flight were “officially” deemed flown astronauts. At 8 ½ minutes into the flight, Discovery was in its initial orbit and rocketing through space at a speed of 17,500 mph. The shuttle docked with the International Space Station, it was up to lead spacewalker Sellers and Fossum to get to work. Their three spacewalks totaled approximately 21 hours. Asked if he could possibly begin to describe the view, Fossum says simply, “I’ll try.” “It was just almost overwhelming to see the Earth, to see the curve of the Earth,” Fossum continues. “My full vision, from one side to the other, was almost unencumbered by this large bubble helmet that we’re in. The view is so much clearer (than from inside the Shuttle). The colors ... the vibrant colors ... the layers in the atmosphere on that thin band of atmosphere that you can see on the horizon ... I could’ve sat out there for hours just watching the Earth come by.”

On the fifth day of the flight it’s hard to tell if Mike Fossum was already awake - probably so. Rookie astronauts almost always wake up early. There’s too much to see, too much to do. He had a space walk that day and the view out his window? Spectacular!Still, for years, it’s been a NASA tradition that its explorers receive unique wakeup calls. The all-Navy crew of Apollo 12 was awakened to a bugle and boatswain’s pipe on its November 1969 journey to the Moon. There have been more than a few college fight songs and pieces of classical music. This was Mike’s wake up call.

Thanks to WorshipTogether.com for the original article and the link to the NASA video clip. Let’s all worship the God of Wonders today.

God Bless


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Noah takes a photo of himself everyday for 6 years.

I just watched one of the most fascinating videos. Noah Kalina is a photographer in New York. He has been taking a picture of himself everyday since January 11, 2000. The video cuts these together over some great music and it ends by saying this – “Everyday, Jan 11 2000 – July 31 2006, 2356 days, a work in progress.”

We are all indeed a work in progress. Each one of us is in the process of being molded and changed into the people we will become. God is in charge weather we admit it or not – the question is will we choose to embrace what he brings into our lives or fight it. Will we seek to be molded into the person he designed us to be or will we try to figure it out on our own.

One of the podcasts I listen to is the Bald Worship Leader podcast by a guy named Phil Ayres. Recently he challenged his listeners to take a closer look at the parable of the talents. Reread it in Matthew 25 when you get a chance. The point come down to what are you doing with what you’ve been given. We’ve all been trusted with different stuff: relationships, finances, skills and more. There are only three possibilities for those things: they are deteriorating, they are maintaining or they are increasing. The only option the Father rewards is increasing. If we are not caring for and increasing what he has given to us we are ultimately failing.

The awesome thing about this is that we do not need to rely on our own strength or ingenuity to make the increases happen. Philippians 2:13 says “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” It is God’s Spirit which is, as Romans says, transforming us by the “renewing of our mind.” So where does this leave us. Do we simply sit here and allow ourselves to “become” – will we magically turn into super Christian? No Way!

In Phil. 2:12 Paul says “as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” It is only when we do our part that the Spirit come along side and does His. Not when the boss is looking over our shoulder but when he is out of town, when he is off for the afternoon are we diligently working to increase what he has entrusted us with!

God hit me between the eyes with this in the area of my skills as a worship leader. I must be working to increase what he has given me and not be content to show up and maintain what is there. Musically am I honing my craft, congregationally am I stretching where we are? I have been entrusted now with a congregation of worshippers – I am responsible to increase their “skills” and the richness of their experience as well. I am not alone, God will help but I do have a responsibility to grow what has been given to me.


I pray that when you return I will hear the words I long for “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Give me your strength to make it happen.


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