Archive for September, 2005

Beauty from Ugliness

Last week the name on everyone’s lips was “Rita”. As the Gulf Coast braced for the impact of yet another hurricane, effects of the massive storm were seen and felt here in our northern part of the state. As we all know, when the hurricane made landfall it caused damage in Texas, and it caused even more destruction to already battered areas of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Early Friday evening our sky was streaked with clouds as the hurricane made its presence felt. Incidentally, Friday evening we enjoyed one of the most beautiful sunsets that we’ve had in a long time. Have you ever noticed that when the sun sets in a cloudless sky, there isn’t much excitement? The sun goes down, and it’s over. It takes clouds on the horizon to make a really beautiful sunset, for it’s then that the sky truly comes alive with shimmering golds, brilliant reds, dazzling oranges, and deep, rich purples. It takes those clouds to bring out the full beauty of the sunset. Without the hurricane to the south, we would not have had such a sunset.

Even with a destructive storm on the way, God used that to give us a glimpse of the beauty He has given us in this world. God specializes in transforming the ugly into something beautiful. He took the ugliness of crucifixion and turned it into salvation. He took the blood of His innocent Son and turned it into a sacrifice. He washes the sin from our lives and turns us into workers for His kingdom. God’s transforming power changes our lives and makes use pure and holy in His sight.

Hurricane Damage

Last weekend I went down to Louisiana to do some work on my grandmother’s property. By now we’ve all seen photos of the tremendous damage done by Hurricane Katrina. It takes on a whole new meaning though, when you can actually see it for yourself. When you can drive up and down the streets and see the debris first-hand, the devastation is overwhelming.

I saw trees strewn across vehicles, huge slabs of concrete ripped up from the ground, and metal torn from the sides of buildings. It’s hard to imagine the kind of power that wrought such destruction. As destructive as that power was, there is another power that is still greater. Jesus Christ showed this power when he stopped a storm with three words: “Quiet! Be Still!

As great as God’s power is, His love for us is just as great. Even in the midst of sorrow and adversity, we are buoyed up by His love. When hard times come, remember that it’s the love of Christ that can calm the storms of life.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

I’m looking forward to the December 9 theatrical release of one of my favorite stories: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This book is one of seven in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe tells the story of four children who find their way into a fantasy world of knights, talking animals, and mythical creatures. The ruler of the land is a lion – the good, powerful, and wise Aslan.

This is a delightful story that I have enjoyed many times over the years, and it stands alone as a wonderful fairy tale. However, for those with a Christian background, the Christian symbolism is unmistakable. This is particularly noteworthy because Lewis became an atheist in his teens and did not return to Christianity until he was in his 30s. C.S. Lewis wrote several Christian works as well as serving as a professor of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge.

Parents, this is a great time to begin reading this wonderful book with your children! Enjoy the family time together, and see if your children can uncover some of Lewis’ themes. Click here for the official movie web site.