Hey Everybody, and Happy February!
This is the month for Valentines and chocolates and spinning class. And speaking of class….
Many of you have written asking about the classes I’m taking. Here’s the full story…
I started singing professionally at 18, but it was always in my plans to – one day – go back to college and earn a degree in math or accounting. In 2005, while being treated for breast cancer, I started classes at a nearby community college. I continued at a snail’s pace until last year when my travel schedule slowed down. In three years I hope to have my master’s degree and check that off of my bucket list.
While some of my friends think I’m crazy, I am just loving it. I love being in a learning environment. I love the challenge of it (and it is very challenging!). I love the learning process on THIS side of adulthood. It is hard work, but an incredible privilege!
I honestly feel that this process has the Lord’s fingerprints all over it; this is the result of my Father remembering and granting a desire of my heart. I believe He has opened this door even though it has meant closing others. He is such a good Father, carefully working all things together for our good…
The toughest part of this process is that I am having to curtail my traveling; in fact, I am making time for the concerts I love the most – women’s events – but not much else. I am not comfortable being gone more than one or two weekends a month, and even that’s a stretch sometimes. I am also determined to remain a proud contributor to Homecoming Magazine as long as Gloria feels my column valid. I would do anything for her!
That said, I hope to see a lot of you sometime this year. I’ll be around – and I hope you will, as well.
Now, for some housekeeping items: Many of you wrote that you did not receive the attached article in January – so I’m re-sending it. Also, the WebMASTER says there are still some soundtracks offered at half price in the online store. Don’t miss out!
Here is a link: http://janetpaschal.com/store_home.html
We love you – and we appreciate you!!
A NEW STAR
Most of us know the story well. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Not satisfied with the dark emptiness, He spoke light into His universe and established a timetable for it. He designed a vault to separate the vast waters and called it ‘sky.’ He spoke and the waters under His new sky began to gather, and dry ground appeared. He decided that the land would produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees that would replicate themselves. He was just getting to the details.
He added recessed lighting to the vault of His sky, stars to shine on His earth; a great light to oversee the day and a lesser one for the night. God added great creatures to His waters, winged birds to fly across the vault of His sky, and creatures to move along the ground. He created wild animals and livestock and, under His perennial scrutiny, called it all good.
Next, God replicated His own image and created a man and a woman. He blessed the man and appointed him supervisor over everything in His sea, His sky, and on His earth. At this juncture, God rested.
Genesis chronicles the story of creation in extremely broad strokes. It does not record the details and complexities of the beginning.
God placed His planet the precisely perfect distance from its source of heat and light – some 93 million miles. Even a fractional variance from His calculations and life on earth would be impossible. His lesser light, the moon, is the perfect size and distance away for its gravitational pull to create tides to refresh the ocean’s waters, yet restrain them from spilling over. The earth’s temperature ranges from -30 to +120 degrees; any further away and we would freeze; any nearer and we would be consumed by solar radiation. The blend of oxygen and nitrogen in the air is perfectly balanced for the support of life and the elements. Scientists will tell you that the ecology of our planet is so complex that, centuries later, they are still uncovering layered networks which point to intelligent design.
Tides that wash the beaches, oxygen that recycles, stars that sing, animals with innate behaviors, planets that rotate, water that flows upward against gravity, eyes that focus automatically and distinguish some seven million colors, blood that circulates throughout the body every minute, hearts that beat without outside stimulus; and the God that crafted every DNA strand, every atom, and every ocean, pushed ‘start’ and the spectrum of intricate systems He had spoken into existence began to operate accordingly. And then, God had a child.
It is understandable that people would be talking. The Prophet Isaiah declared, “For unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end….” (Isa.9:6-7 NIV). Micah wrote of the city of His birth, “But thou, Bethlehem, though you are little among the clans of Judah, out of you will come [the] ruler over Israel, whose origins are from … ancient times.” (Mic.5:2 KJV).
Against a backdrop of galaxies which He had orchestrated, all of creation must have waited with indefinable anticipation as the almighty Creator planned the arrival of His son. A star led wise men from the East to see the baby and to worship Him. Surely they would witness luxurious opulence and worldwide fanfare. Can you imagine their surprise when the star stopped beside a hotel, and hovered over the barn? When they peered inside, they beheld “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation….for whom all things have been created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1:15-16).
In purity and simplicity, the Beloved Son was born on the planet created by His Father. At last, a new star had appeared in Israel.