Janice Boekhoff
 

Devotion

The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

Psalm 29:4-5

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Hebrews 1:3

Why do we love the hero in a movie? The guy who has the ability to beat the snot out of the bad guy and yet restrains himself to do the right thing. We love the hero because we admire power under control, power used for good.

If we understood the power of God, we would cower in fear—and we should—if that’s all God is. But He is also humble. Instead of shouting at us with a voice that would break our ear drums, He uses a small whisper. Oh, He has immense power, but He controls His power and uses it for our good and His glory.

When Jesus came to earth, He had that same power within him, and yet He was the ultimate example of humble obedience. The lamb of God. He went to his own death on a cross to fulfill God’s plan for us. He should be our model of how to use the power God has given each of us—the wisdom of the Holy Spirit inside us along with our talents and gifts. Whether it’s singing, preaching, baseball, math, or even writing, we should use it all, in humble obedience to Him.

Dear Lord, I confess that sometimes I want to use my gifts for my own glory. So others will notice me and praise me. Create in me a pure heart that wants nothing more than to please You. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Fun Science Fact

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
ID 11859869 © 1971yes | Dreamstime.com

Did you know there isn’t any carbonated soda or ice cream on the International Space Station? No ice cream because there is no freezer. No soda for two reasons: 1) too hard to keep the carbonation from leaching out of the containers and 2) belching is yucky in microgravity.

While in space, or microgravity as scientists like to call it, astronauts can burp, but it’s uncomfortable. Because there is no gravity, the contents of your stomach don’t settle, so food hangs out near the top of the stomach and close to the valve separating the stomach from the esophagus. This valve is a muscle that works with gravity, so in space, it doesn’t close completely. If an astronaut burps, it becomes a wet burp and I suppose he (or she) gets to taste the food all over again (with a little stomach acid as a condiment). Doesn’t sound tasty to me.

 

Reference: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/people/journals/space/kloeris/05-01-01.html

 

 

Our Tilted Earth

dreamstimefree_198392

 © Foto_jem | Dreamstime Stock Photos

It’s the end of March and I’m desperately wishing for spring, but spring has shunned us here in Iowa. I woke this morning to yet another 17 degree day with snow on the ground. Sigh.

And yet, I know someday spring will come, then summer and I’ll be popping the popsicles trying to get cool. How do I know this? Because God gave our universe order.

Many people think winter and summer change with how close the earth is to the sun. But this is incorrect. The earth tilts at an angle of 23.5 degrees (and is held at that angle in part by the moon). Whichever hemisphere is tilted toward the sun experiences summer. When that hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, it experiences winter. Interestingly, the Northern hemisphere, where I live, is slighly closer to the sun during wintertime.

Thanks to the gravitational pull of the moon, the earth’s tilt varies no more than two degrees. Without the moon, the gravitational tug of other large bodies in the solar system would cause the earth’s tilt to change over the years, fluctuating anywhere between 0 and 90 degrees. Think about what that would do to our weather, as the tropics and Arctic regions expanded and contracted. Would the whole world be in Monsoon season or waiting out the longest blizzard in history?

What if the seasons weren’t predictable? What if we never knew how long winter and summer would last? We might still survive, as humans did through the Ice Age, but it wouldn’t be easy. Endless winter would make growing crops almost impossible. And constant summer (like at the equator) would breed super bugs and disease.

Thankfully, the perfect tilt of our planet, stabilized by the moon,  gives us the diverse environments needed for life to thrive. Praise the Lord for making our home a predictable, constant and tilted place.

 

Reference: Faulkner, Danny. (Jan-Mar 2014). The Perfect Partner. Answers In Genesis, 9(1), 68.

Devotion

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.

James 1:2-4

Have you ever wanted something so badly and then had it ripped away? Two years ago, I sat in a chair at a writer’s conference across from an agent, wondering if my dream of being a published writer would ever come true. The agent, who I waited two years to talk to, told me I could submit a proposal to him but he would probably reject me for reasons x, y, and z. I felt like my heart had been shredded.

Would God have given me this dream without a way to fulfill it? I had to believe the answer was no, even in the face of rejection. Later that day, a few people asked how the conference was going. I didn’t lie. I told them how hard it was, but I also told them I trusted in God’s timing. In sharing my faith and my struggles, I made close friends that I wouldn’t have made any other way.

I don’t think the above Bible verses mean we have to enjoy our trials, but we can have joy knowing what our trials will produce—patience, endurance, perseverance. And we can also take comfort in knowing our trials are not just for us. When we go through hard times, we are squeezed. What comes out of us under pressure will be what we already have inside. And if trust in God comes out, it will impact people for God’s kingdom.

A year later, I went to another conference where I met the agent who accepted me. She believes in my work and I’m grateful to have her, but without the difficulties of the previous year, I might not have progressed in my writing enough to attract her interest. While I’m not a published author yet, every trial helps me grow, so that if I ever become one, God’s grace will be squeezed out of me under the pressure.

Don’t waste your trials, wishing they would go away. Use them for His purposes.

Dear Father, thank you for your love and care. You hold our hand through our difficulties and with each one You bring joy out of the pain. Help us to submit to the transforming power of our trials. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Fun Science Fact

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

ID 14506000 © Milan  Martaus | Dreamstime.com

DNA is made of chemical building blocks called nucleotides. These building blocks are made of three parts: a phosphate group, a sugar group and one of four types of nitrogen bases. These nucleotides are linked into chains to form a strand of DNA.

The four types of nitrogen bases found in nucleotides are: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). The order, or sequence, of these bases determines what biological instructions are contained in a strand of DNA. They effect everything from what color eyes we have to whether we get certain types of diseases.

Each DNA sequence that contains instructions to make a protein is known as a gene. The size of a gene may vary greatly, ranging from about 1,000 bases to 1 million bases in humans. The complete genome for a human contains about 3 billion bases and about 20,000 genes on 23 pairs of chromosomes.

Three billion bases, and none of it is “junk” (more on this in later posts). This information, stored in our own cells, is all the proof we need of our amazing and creative God!

Source: https://www.genome.gov/25520880

 

 

 

 

Join Boekhoff Books

Join ... or die!

Uh, just kidding, I only kill off the characters in my books (as far as you know).

So, no danger, just free books and fun stuff. And of course, I value your privacy and would never spam you.

You will receive updates on free and discounted books, an insider's look into my writing world, plus gift card giveaways. Enter your email below to receive your first FREE book!

 

Thank you for subscribing! Please look for an e-mail to confirm your subscription.