Parable Of The Saints (Fan)

Who can resist getting caught up in the dramatic story of the New Orleans Saints these days? Following forty-plus seasons of sub-mediocrity, (or as Howard Cosell once put it, "A study in foppishness") the Saints are headed to the Super Bowl. I dare say the earth is spinning wildly off its veritable axis during these gray, balmy days of January.

The organization was started back in the mid-1960’s as the result of a back-room deal between then-NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle and millionaire John Mecom Jr. The latter was a Texas oil man, young and energetic, with what appeared to be unlimited financial resources at the time. Al Hirt, the great jazz trumpeter, was a minority owner of the group Mecom put together to purchase the franchise, and since one of the most famous jazz-songs associated with New Orleans is ‘When the Saints go Marching in,’ the name Saints was invoked on the new team. In a bit of irony the deal was signed on All Saints Day back in 1966. The team colors, black and gold, represented the oil business in which Mecom had made his fortune – a natural resource commonly referred to as black gold.

Mecom used to practice with the squad and it was said to be hard to tell the difference on many occasions between the young owner and his players. Unfortunately, his zest for life did not preclude an ascendancy on the gridiron for his team, and despite early success, the club foundered. Unknown to anyone who followed the team at the time, a winning season would be twenty years away from becoming a reality.

I watched many games back in those early years as a child and later as a teenager. My grandmother was a rabid fan of anything Saintly, and to this day I can still envision her watching a game or two, loudly protesting the inevitable miscues of our lovable losers during those win-dry seasons so many years ago. Names like Archie Manning and Alvin Maxson, Chuck Muncie and Tony Galbreath, Joe Federspiel and Tommy Myers filled our Sunday afternoons with misery and woe, tempered by an occasional miraculous win produced randomly to ensure that we’d continue watching and following them. Mecom changed coaches like I change shirts, but it was all to no avail.

The crux came on a Monday night in the late 1970’s. My uncle carried my brother and I to the Saints debut on Monday Night Football in the Super Dome and a contest against the Oakland Raiders. The Saints were ahead 35-14 at halftime, and the future success of the team appeared to be a moot point as a victory would have clinched their first-ever winning season. However, during the second half the Saints regained their form, Oakland mounted an amazing comeback, and what appeared to be blue skies and a prosperous future instead became a long ride home for the three of us following yet another Saints defeat.

Slowly, the tide began turning in the late 1980’s after Mecom sold the team and new owner Tom Benson began running the club as a business instead of merely as an expensive hobby. I was in the Dome for most of the home games during the breakout year of 1987, and my wife and I, whom I was dating at the time, watched in amazement as the Saints became a real team with a legitimate shot at winning most of their contests. Success ebbed and flowed for the next twenty years until now, where we find the Saints in the position they are today – one win away from the league championship.

I can’t help but think that there is a lesson to be learned here, yet I have no clue as to what it could be this morning. What feelings do I get when I consider the Saints, what pin-pricks my heart and touches my soul? As a life-long fan of the team I have encountered many emotions over the years. I’ve looked forward to each season with hope, defended them when things did not go so well, and debated on many occasions whether it was worth my time to follow them at all. Despite a dream in this fan’s mind of a championship season, the ultimate Super Bowl prize always appeared to be something that had to ‘wait till next year’. But here is where we find the Saints at long last. Next year has arrived. Finally.

I guess it is the same way with my spiritual walk in life. Things don't always go my way and my faith is tested, or at least it appears to be. A lot of times I catch myself wondering what it's all worth, and by the way - wouldn't it be better if I gave in and simply went along with the flow? That would be a lot easier than defending my faith and the things I believe in on a basis that grows all the more frequent these days. Small things such as a daily read of the newspaper serves only to remind me that 'bad' appears to be winning, and 'good' has taken the last train to parts unknown. But I condition myself to believe that things will get better tomorrow, by next Tuesday, or maybe next year. I continue to relentlessly chase after an ever-elusive hope, certain that in the end it will all be made right in His time. In doing so, I learn to hang in there, and I develop patience. I think James would understand that attitude.

“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:3-4

Who dat, indeed.

Magnetic Lessons at 5 AM

January has always meant ‘science fair time’ for me. My youngest son is now a part of the yearly event, although he is only in the fifth grade. My four children and I (with a lot of help from my wife) have built, designed, and implemented many projects over the years. Some were unique and placed well, and some could be construed as only ‘mailing it in’ on our part as parents in order to simply earn a grade and get by for another year. All of the projects were worthwhile and resulted in a good grade or two. I’ve wondered a lot about the science fair. When you are talking about children of elementary school age, how much can a teacher really expect? I think it is an attempt more so to see what the parents know and what they can do in the end – part of a vast educational conspiracy that we can barely scratch the surface of.

I know these things. You see, for several years now the school system has called upon my company to provide judges for the competitions. I have taken my turn at both viewing and critiquing literally thousands of projects produced (supposedly) by children of all ages; from kindergarten through high school. It's not rocket science to determine which child received the most parental help on their projects in those instances. But who am I to judge? (No pun intended)

This year I helped Tyler build a DC motor using magnets and a coil of wire. We powered the device with a battery and it actually works as designed – that’s always a good thing. The concept is simple enough to grasp and he has done a remarkable job to this point by understanding the operation and the physics behind it. Basically you have a permanent magnet creating a field of attraction, and you force the coil of wire, by using small doses of electricity, to become an electromagnet. The attraction and repulsion of the two magnetic fields, one permanent and one temporary, causes the coil of wire to spin. Tyler understands the principle, he can operate the device, and I have coached him well on what to say to the judges. We are set.

But there is something more here, at least in my mind, than merely another science fair project. This morning I got up early as I always do, long before my wife and the kids were up and the house was still abnormally quiet. I connected the battery and checked the operation one more time, because you can never be too sure. I see it in the faces of children when I judge a fair, the rampant and crushing dismay when a project they have worked very hard to construct fails to operate as advertised by their paperwork. One helpful spin of the coil by my fingers this morning and instantly the laws of physics came into play. The coil began turning rapidly; magnetic fields attracting and opposing each other in a display that would have made Einstein palpitate. Maybe that’s a stretch, but you get where I’m coming from. In that quiet moment I caught a glimpse of how God works in my life. God is always there if you take the time to look for him.

In my life, I have a constant and permanent magnet that draws me closer to Him. Jesus is always there, continuous, and reminds me of what I should do while guiding me along the paths I must travel in order to reach maturity as a Christian. I on the other hand, in my mortal body, am not permanent in my desire to do the right things and follow the correct routes. I get energized on Sunday and fall by the wayside on Monday. Sadly, this happens on an almost habitual basis in my life; I can almost predict it – the man who prays on Sunday but then loses his temper on Monday, and so on. The result is a spiritual life that closely resembles that spinning coil of wire; ever spinning and yet going nowhere.

James writes: “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” What makes the coil spin rapidly in Tyler’s science project? Electricity flowing through the coil that is turned on and off in a regular sequence. If the electricity stayed on, the coil would lock in one position; in perfect alignment with the permanent and stable magnet on the base. I need that perfect alignment with Jesus and His laws to be more a part of my everyday life. How can I do this? By allowing the Holy Spirit to flow through me, constantly. And by not allowing my heart and the cares of this world to block or otherwise impede that flow.

Good luck, Tyler!

Natural Disasters

In the catastrophe of the earthquakes in Haiti, and thrust in the wake of the comments made by Pat Robertson, questions remain. Why would a ‘God of love’ (I John 4:8) allow something like this to happen? How could He sit back and watch Christians and small children perish alongside the evil ones as fulfillment of a curse spoken of by Mr. Robertson? Can the mere fact of this event in a small country apparently destined for chronic disaster offer proof that God either does not care or possibly does not exist?

Though at first glance from a Christian point of view the questions may appear to border on the blasphemous, but again, the questions remain. They are good questions and ones that deserve an answer. With each network video of a broken child lying in the street, or footage of discarded human bodies being unceremoniously dumped into mass graves, we question God’s existence or purpose and find ourselves unable to fathom His will in the aftermath of yet another cataclysmic natural disaster.

Theologians and learned men will pontificate that we can’t question God, because when we do so His answer will be the same as the one given to Job from the whirlwind. When Job questioned God’s (unknown to Job) purpose, God replied, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” But it is all in the manner of asking, if you want my opinion on it. I have noticed throughout the Bible that whenever someone questioned God on any subject they always received an answer, even if it was an answer they did not want to hear. Jesus also reminds us to ask, seek, and knock.

We live in a fallen world. The world created by God in the beginning, complete with the garden in which He placed Adam and Eve, was perfect. There were no flaws, no natural disasters, no fear of climate change - in fact none of the things we see today that detract from the very essence of perfection present during that time. Original sin as perpetrated through Adam and Eve changed all of that, and though we were meant for so much more, here is where we find ourselves. This is a good starting point for understanding, yet it is only the tip of the iceberg. However, everything in our world today revolves around the inclusion of original sin to a degree in which its importance cannot be overstated.

Going further, a lot of the problems we face as a species are brought upon by us, and in that regard I'll be generous and say maybe Mr. Robertson is not too far off the mark. Proverbs teaches us in chapter 13: “Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.” Sin in the world and a society that thrives in such produces a tough life for all of us who share this planet. It does not matter if you live in Haiti, New Orleans, or even in McNeill, Mississippi. The way of transgressors is indeed hard and no one can deny it.

Continuing on, I believe there is something more sinister afoot in all of this – from Katrina, to the tsunamis of the Pacific, and continuing on through what we see occurring in Haiti today. More and more so, we are living in a world that has denied and turned itself away from God, and I highly doubt God has turned a blind eye towards that sin. So is it God sending judgment through the natural disasters we are witnessing these days? It could be, but I like to think about it by utilizing a different perspective.

Paul writes in Romans, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, we have dismissed God. In our modern way of thinking we no longer need God – we have it all figured out. We’ve been to the moon, we perform open-heart surgery, and we are well on our way to cloning life along with artificial intelligence or anything else our hearts desire from Pandora’s Box. We have become like God in our own minds as promised by the serpent to Eve so long ago. God 'stepping back' and allowing us to travel this road by ourselves, as we have all but requested, is the root cause to all of these disasters. I do not think it unusual that when God pulls His protective hand away from us, (See Job) bad things happen. What I do find ironic is this: the very God we deny as being in existence is the first one we blame when things begin to fall apart around us.

Pray for those poor souls that are lost in the destruction of Haiti. Give to the Red Cross. Offer your time if you can. But most of all, don’t judge. Don’t preen or gloat in the glow of some indicative self-righteousness on your part. We are all sinners and as such we, too, have fallen short of God’s glory. It is sad to know that what we really need is a world-wide revival that will never come about during this present lifetime. The clock is ticking and I'm convinced instead that we are fast approaching something far worse…

Falling Short

A little incident at work last night caused an interruption to my normally uneventful evening. I had to make a trip down to the plant to help my shift technicians troubleshoot a fairly complicated, but totally unique problem. It seems as though the outside lighting and the internal office fluorescents were blinking off and on in an almost Morse Code-like pattern; they could have been set to music by the Trans-Siberian orchestra and the effect would have been complete.

Before I delve into the mysterious optical display and the causes thereof, let me explain by telling you that no amount of money is spared to make our electrical systems in the facility state of the art. I take no little credit for it being that way as I am the Electrical Engineer in charge of the site. We use only modern and IEEE certified equipment. Our computers are always the latest/greatest that the technical world has to offer. We are redundant in our maintenance of anything that revolves around the flow of electrons. To hedge our bets, once a year we have an IR scan performed on all production equipment specifically focusing on our big motors - looking for ‘hot spots’ and loose connections that could cause us an issue. Every whim of a problem is researched, each voltage sag or spike is documented, and steps are taken to insure reliability. You get my drift here…

The big panel boards that feed gut-wrenching amounts of electrical current to massive, thousand-horsepower production lines were not the problem. The huge electrical loads from hundreds of low-bay lighting components in both buildings were deemed perfectly functional by our checks. In the end, a tiny panel in a tucked away closet that powered only smallish light fixtures in an office, minimal when compared to the giant motors on the floor, proved to be the culprit. A small breaker, a victim of age and improper installation more than ten years ago, had melted into the panel. This dropped one leg of the three-phase voltage and the whole house of cards came tumbling down. It was a true ‘for want of a nail’ scenario. Because of the incident, this morning I am writing a report of what went wrong and how we can best prevent it from happening again in the future. It’s a tall task, I tell you. There is no way to cover everything that could conceivably go wrong in any given circumstance, especially in a facility of this size.

I tried to not be overly technical in the above paragraphs and I hope you are still reading. I was thinking about how the scenario lends itself to a discussion of life this morning and how it all plays out when we find ourselves facing eternity. We do our best in life to do the right things, the best things. We go to church. We donate to charity on occasion. Some of us teach Sunday School or sing in the choir. We don’t cheat on our wives and we do our best to be a perfect parent for our children. We perform on our jobs and earn our pay. We avoid the traps associated with alcohol and drugs. In fact, we take every step deemed necessary for those seeking to find His will, hoping that in the end we will measure up. Somehow we will make the grade or fit the bill. Ask anyone on the street if they think they are a ‘good person’ and most will reply that they are, and if that is not their response they will usually say ‘I hope so'. We don’t want to be ‘bad people.’ None of us do.

But we can cross the T’s and dot all of the I’s in life, covering all of the so-called bases before we reach our own demise, and we will still miss the mark. Paul put it a lot better than I can when he penned in Romans, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” It is not a bad thing to want to be the best person in life you can possibly be. At the very least, it can add up to a great eulogy when your time is done here on earth. But no matter what we do, no matter what acts of kindness and thoughtfulness we perform, it will still not be enough. We’ll always miss the mark - in the end it will be some little thing that we overlooked and missed along the way. Paul carries it further in Titus: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” We must depend on His salvation. We must accept Him and the price He paid for us on the cross so long ago.

You can’t make allowances for every problem that may arise in either technology or the sciences, even when your job depends on doing just that. Something unusual and unplanned-for will always sneak up on you when you least expect it. But even more so, you can’t depend on living a perfect life when eternity is at stake. Both situations call for Grace; the understanding of a boss in the first case, and the love of a Heavenly Father for the far more important one that deals with eternity.

Led By The Spirit

Youth Sunday School Lesson – January 10,2010

So we have a new sport to participate in out at Lee’s Chapel #1 these days – Wednesday Night Water Polo! I’d like to thank those of you who showed up last night to help us clean up the water from the broken pipes and you also need to know that you made a big difference for the church when you did so. Don’t be surprised if God blesses you for the help you provided as He has been known to do just that.

Our lesson this week revolves around the Holy Spirit and how He works in our lives, specifically in the area of when/how we study our Bibles. Our text this week is taken from John 16:1-16 and Acts 16:7-9. We will look at the verses in John to give us an explanation from Jesus on the purpose of the Holy Spirit, and then we'll get an example of the Holy Spirit in action and how He guides from the verses we will read in Acts. Read those verses and see if you can grasp what we will study in class, but in the meantime I will blog today on how the Holy Spirit works on a day to day basis in a Christian’s life.

In Romans 8:13-14 Paul writes: “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” By the way, it is not a coincidence that I always seem to get a lot of the scriptures I use out of the book of Romans – the book is a great starting point for anyone who wants to fully understand the Bible and what Jesus did for us on the cross. But I am digressing here, and we are talking specifically about being ‘led by the Spirit’ in our daily lives.

Notice that Paul speaks of us being ‘led’ by the Spirit. Our lives should not be lived in a way in which we are pulled or dragged by the Spirit. The Spirit does not work in that manner, because in our verses in John where Jesus describes the Holy Spirit, look at the verbs in the text. Jesus uses guide, speak, and tell to show that God has chosen to persuade us rather than force us to do the right things each day. Followers of Christ still need to do something on our own – we will need to make choices and set our will on doing the right thing when called upon to do so. When we do not take this part of our life seriously, there is no way the Holy Spirit will be guiding us. In fact, when we live within our own will and do the things that only seem right to our carnal minds, it is a safe bet that we will find ourselves being led by someone or something else. Our spiritual lives will suffer as a result. When we find ourselves in this condition, we will also find it very hard or extremely difficult to study God’s Word.

As a teacher, I know that I cannot impose my will or my knowledge on those I would teach without a little cooperation in the process from my students. Without the help of my students in class, if they choose not to listen and make no effort to understand on their own, then my efforts to teach are fruitless. In much the same way, we should submit ourselves as the Spirit of God suggests, influences, and in many ways dominates how we live our lives. That sounds like a rough term to use, but think about it – God is good, therefore allowing His Spirit to dominate our lives is a good thing for us to do. When the Holy Spirit controls our manner of thinking and how we live our lives, much fruit will be produced as we in turn will become more and more faithful to God.

So how about you and me this morning? Can we feel the divine influence of the Holy Spirit drawing us away from things that might corrupt us and would have you and I fall by the wayside in our daily walk as Christians? Are we aware of a desire in our hearts to yield to that influence, and instead of our own will, to be transported along a path of righteousness with the goal of being as close to Christ as possible? Or are we resisting the influence of the Holy Spirit and in so doing, seeking to find our own way to becoming closer to God, and alternately maybe becoming closer to something else?

God will never lead us astray. As Christians, the only real love, joy, and peace we will ever find in our lives will be uncovered when we submit to Him - by following the Spirit which He has sent to guide us. Last of all this morning, notice how the parts all fit together: To be led by the Spirit is to choose voluntarily and consciously to submit to the Word of God. By submission to God’s Word, and allowing ourselves to be led by the Spirit, we will be drawn closer to God.

Something That Lasts

When we were little, my brother and I would play with our toy soldiers around an old pond in the woods behind our house. I wasn’t content to simply limit myself to combat against him in miniature battle scenarios, no, I had to build a city next to the pond complete with a dock and warehouses. When the water level fell on the old pond, it wasn’t a problem – I’d use an old coffee can to scoop either a river or a channel to my city and the dock would be back in service. My brother would build a city of his own, and I in turn would add onto or build a new city. This went on until the next big rain would happen to come along. The small cities would be inundated and we would have to start all over; our engineering feats washed away on the breath of a sudden summer thunderstorm.

Years later I moved to New York City, as I’ve mentioned in a previous blog. As a member of the U.S. Coast Guard, I was stationed on Governor’s Island in the middle of New York Harbor. Each morning I would look out my window at the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, seemingly right outside my door. Actually, they were. I’ve noticed in most of my pictures I took while on the island, they appear to be always visible and looming in the background. My friends and I made quite a few trips to the towers during my stay in New York, as there were several shops located in the conclaves below them. Today I still find it very hard to comprehend that they are no longer there, standing a stoic watch over the small island I used to call home. The two sentinels that were once the symbol of our Nation’s financial power and fiscal might are gone today, washed away by a different type of storm – a storm of violence perpetrated by the soul-less hatred of others who would seek to steal, kill, and destroy.

Jesus and His followers arrived in Jerusalem for the Passover. The building most revered and held in esteem by the Jewish nation at the time was the temple, and they were very pretentious about it. The Bible tells us that His disciples were quick to proudly show Jesus all of the buildings of the temple complex. Jesus’ reply to them was, “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” I’ve pondered that verse many times, and I do not think Jesus was simply bashing the temple or chiding His disciples due to their obvious pride in a building. Jesus, as He always did, was only telling the truth about what was going to happen in the future. Sure enough, forty years later (around 70 AD) the Roman General Titus conquered Jerusalem and completely destroyed the temple.

The things of earth are temporal in nature, and subject to fail or fall. A wise man once said, “Man proposes and God disposes.” Yet we as mere mortals do our best to make things permanent and still attempt to test our fate by hitching our wagon to whatever star beguiles us at the moment. Do you think I’m wrong here? If so, then what is the purpose of ‘Life Insurance’? Seriously. I have a policy myself and it gives me great peace of mind to know that should I take a celestial dirt-nap my loved ones will – hit the jackpot upon my demise. My life insurance policy will be a testament to me once I am gone, and my children will remember me graciously – good ‘ole dad! Though I’ll be gone, I will live on in their hearts for many years to come, or at least each time they spend some of the money. Call that life insurance policy my own pyramid rising above the arid desert of a life I tried to live with the best of my abilities. Do tell.

Time has a nasty habit of washing away everything we labor for in the end. If not time, then calamities and natural disasters are sure to take their toll. And then there are also moths and eventual rust and decay that we must take into consideration. Throw in man-made disasters (terrorist attacks?) and you have a recipe for nothing to remain constant. So what is it all for, these things we do here during our time on earth? Will a bigger life insurance policy help? How about a revolving endowment fund to some university or orphanage in our name?

Jesus tells us: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

There it is. Something that will pass the test of time and pay dividends to those who follow the guidelines He has set for us. If I hitch my wagon to treasures that are only available in Heaven, I need not worry about summer storms nor other disasters in this life. It's all about where your heart is.

Before Creation, The Angels Were...?

A dear, sweet girl emails me this morning and asks:

“Ok so I have a big question. It’s been on my mind for a few days and I never found the answer. And it might be a dumb question, but I’m learning. Ok, so the serpent that told Eve to eat the fruit from the tree, was that the devil? I thought the devil was an angel at one point that fell from the sky because he thought he was more powerful than God? I might have that wrong but my question is: The bible says in the BEGINNING God created the heavens and the earth. So where did the devil come into the picture? I didn’t think there was existence before Adam and Eve because He says it was without form and it was dark. So how did all of this happen? I think I’m missing a piece of the puzzle. Can you help?”

There is nothing wrong with asking a question, and this one isn’t dumb! However, I do not have all of the answers and the things you are asking are pretty intense – these questions are dynamic at the very least. In a nutshell, your question appears to be: was there anything in existence before the earth and the heavens were created?

Fortunately, the Bible has an answer for both of us and you do not have to depend on me alone for an explanation. I’d worry about you if you did; I never trust anyone that attempts to answer my own difficult questions without first consulting their Bible. Our answer can be found in the Book of Job.

Job is an interesting book, and is considered to be one of the oldest books of the Bible, despite its location in the middle of the Old Testament. Job questioned God, so in return God questions Job. We can follow the dialogue in Chapter 38, beginning in verse 4: “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

Morning Stars and Sons of God are terms used in the Bible for specific angels and celestial beings. When God created the world (In the beginning) the angels were already present. These verses tell us that when God ‘laid the foundations’ of the earth, the Morning Stars sang together and the Sons of God shouted for joy. Now, I don’t know when they were called into existence by God, or where He created them, or how it all came to be. I also do not know how long they had been in existence before God decided to create the world and the universe in general. But these verses satisfy me with an explanation that not only were the angels around at the time, they were also very happy about God creating the world as we know it!

This also sheds some light on the Christmas carol we sing called Angels From The Realms of Glory:

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight oer all the earth.
Ye who sang creation’s story,
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth.

We can be certain that at some point in time the angels were all created by God, and from these verses we understand that they were already around and in existence before the earth was created. "In the beginning" refers to the beginning of the world we live in but does not equate to God as He has always been in existence. God is not bound by our time and how we understand the concept of it.

You are also right when you mention that the devil (Satan) was the culprit in the Garden of Eden as far as his tempting Eve and causing the fall of man. But we do not know all of the details surrounding the fall of Satan himself, or even when it actually happened. Notice, too, that the serpent was forever changed afterward. Before Satan used him, he was one of the most wondrous of God’s created animals. After the fall in the garden, he was cursed by God to slide on his belly and be despised by everyone. That’s another story and something I, once again, do not have all of the answers to.

I hope this helps. One day we will know everything about it and ‘we’ll understand it better by and by.’ But for now, we have the Word of God to help us understand all the things we need to know while we are here on earth. And thanks for giving me a topic to use in my blog today!