As we approach death, we realize that only an encounter with God is big enough to save us from despair. Too bad we don’t realize that earlier. And how do we encounter Him?
When children are young, their world is little bigger than their neighborhood; their home, their school, their friends’ houses, and their church. When people reach young adulthood, their world expands, perhaps even to encompass the whole globe. Slowly though, muscles weaken and eyes get foggy. Women lose their ability to conceive, and hair grays. At those moments, pensive people begin to truly understand that though the world will not leave them, they will leave the world. While little children anchor themselves in their parents and young adults in career and family, the aged realize that these anchors will not hold.
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We will enjoy and appreciate art more if we know more about art. Here are some tips.
My family lived in Stuttgart, Germany in the early 1990s and during one “in-law” visit, my father in law asked to go to an art museum. I was skeptical; I wasn’t raised to be a fan of art, and had no interest in becoming one. Out of love and respect for my father in law, and in the interest of family harmony, we went. The museum was amazing, my eyes were opened, and I never eschewed art again.
While traveling in Eastern Europe in April of 2000, our family visited the National Art Museum in Warsaw. I had always had a love of history, and our experience in Germany demonstrated the close tie between history and art, so I wouldn’t miss it. To see the Polish art was to feel the joy, and the suffering, of Poland over the centuries.
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How do we experience God in misfortune and inconvenience? How do we experience Him in good fortune and ease?
While sailing on the Potomac in the shadow of Mount Vernon on the fourth of July we lost our engine. On the way out we had discussed whether we could dock under sail alone, having never done it in the narrow and shallow channel that leads to the Fort Belvoir Marina. Now we had our chance. We tacked into the wind and slowly sailed toward the marina. My mother in law Susan asked the children to pray for success. My son David questioned whether God cares about little things like that. Though the wind sailing south was against us, when we turned to starboard to sail into Dogue Creek, the quartering tailwind was perfect. As we approached the marina we dropped the main and moved in slowly with the jib. Much to my mother-in-law’s delight, we docked successfully. We recognized it as a work of God in our lives.
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God is the fundamental assumption, the ground for all existence, and for every other assumption. He need not be proved and in the final analysis cannot be proved or disproved. So why is there so much controversy, and what do we do?
The question at hand is “Why God?” I was brought up in a Christian home and so I had a marvelous advantage over some who were not; God was just assumed in my home and none of the people around me thought otherwise. They had relatively minor differences about their understanding of His attributes but no one denied His existence or asked why He was important.
I have now had decades to consider the issue and decide for myself, as most people eventually get the chance to do. As a result, I believe in God more strongly than ever, for three reasons:
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