The Work of Your Fingers

Next week children will assemble "trash" into art.  Lori Pepiton, our Children's Pastor, joined by adult and teen volunteers, will host Rabbit Creek Church's Art Camp.  I eagerly anticipate seeing the gallery of creations.  Little hands guided by intrigued minds will tape, glue, pound, and twist (hopefully without bruises as souvenirs) old items with former uses into new items with new uses - mainly for their audience's "viewing pleasure."

Ordinary Life is packed full of art.  God placed art everywhere, in part, for our viewing pleasure.  King (and poet) David observed . . .

Psalm 8 (NIV)
1 LORD, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 LORD, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

I am thankful for God's creativity within Creation.  That is to say, I am so pleased that God chose to include beauty, wonder, and art as He crafted all that we see, smell, hear, and feel.  God created in full color.  God created with a taste for art. 

In a week or so, I will view the creations (formations) of toddlers and the hand-crafted pieces of elementary children.  I will see what those young creations of God crafted with their hands and think of the One who crafted them.  I will consider the work of their fingers and consider the Crafter of the heavens.


Bonus Blog - “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

In Tuesday's blog about transitions, I talked about my daughter, Kate, graduating from High School.  I asked her if she would allow me to share her graduation speech.  It was a joy to listen to her as she spoke and I trust you will enjoy reading her words.  She is great at living the Ordinary Life.

Kate Goodman - High School Graduation Speech
Tuesday, May 21, 2019

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

That quote, said by a person who I know nothing about, is the backbone to my life.  Ever since I was young enough to be a Scott’s Tot, I was always the person who is a little “too enthusiastic” about life.  But the thing is, life has so much more meaning when we take the time to actually live. 

It’s pretty crazy to me that each person has about 2 billion heartbeats throughout their life.  I mean that's insane!  And what makes a person unique is how they use those heartbeats.  Whether its traveling to Sprance (Spain and France), or chowing down on potato chips at midnight, our lives are ours for the taking.  And we, seniors, are just beginning a new journey of life, with a whole new set of heartbeats.  And the best news? We get to choose what we do with them. 

So go out into the world, do something crazy, and make awesome memories  because life is worth living, and that is one of the many things my journey through school has taught me.

There are so many people that I want to thank, so let me say thank you:

- To my amazing parents.  You two have have formed me into the person that I am. I am thankful that I was raised in a home where you both love me so much and encourage me to be the best person I can be. I love you both so much.  Thank you, Max and Sam, for being the best brothers a sister could ask for.  Sure we don’t agree on what time is “on time”, but we always seem to have fun together. 
When I go to college, I will miss you four the most.  I love you guys.

- Thank you to my amazing family. To Papa and Mimi and Papa and BG. You are the best grandparents in the entire world and I will always treasure my memories with you.

- Thank you Braden, Allison, and Taylor for always being there for me.  You make my life 100% better and I keep all of our memories together close to my heart.

- Thank you to my youth group and my church for teaching me so many important lessons.  Thank you, Cory and Drew, for being great leaders and answering all of my weird questions. 

- And thank you most of all, to the Big Guy Uptop because none of this would have happened without Him.

As it is my first and last year of being a member of OP Board (which is Polaris’  student government), I think it is only fitting that I make one last resolution.  So…

Be it resolved by Operational Group, I, Kate Goodman, suggest that Polaris has helped me to grow in more ways than one, and prepared me for what is to come.


Completion Of a Pursuit

May is a month of transitions.  For Alaskans, May serves as the month of transition when spring gives way to summer.  Fishing rods, RVs, paint brushes, and lawn mowers again see the light of day.  Neighbors who haven't seen each other since the first snow of the past winter now share conversations on their lawns. 

For students from K through 11, Wednesday marks the transition to no school days until August. 

In the Goodman house, this May is a big transition for our daughter as she graduates from High School.  Kate graduates today!  My wife and I are very proud of her. 

Graduation marks a big event - the completion of a pursuit.  The Apostle Paul wrote of a pursuit of a different sort in his words to the Christ-followers in first-century Philippi.

10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:10-14 (NIV)

In verse 12 we read the words of Paul that inform us that he had not yet reached graduation.  That is, he was continually pursuing knowledge of Christ.  He stated his goal using a different image in his writings to the Corinthians. 

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)

Graduation for the Christian is knowledge of the depths of God's love and the gift of being fully known and yet still fully loved.  Tauren Wells sings this truth well in his song, "Known"  . . .

I'm fully known and loved by You
You won't let go no matter what I do
And it's not one or the other
It's hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known fully known and loved by You
I'm fully known and loved by You


Everyday, Ordinary Lives

The words of Romans 12:1 serve as the bedrock for this blog.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. (MSG)

Paul's words encourage us to see that all aspects of our lives qualify for serving as sacrifices to God - as long as we turn them over to Him and they are not in contradiction to His way and will.  Any career dedicated to God, that is within God's established moral parameters, can glorify Him.  Any college major can open the door for the student to live his/her life for Christ.
  • Godly fathers "daddy" as an offering to God.
  • Jesus-following teachers instruct - remembering that Jesus "sits" in one of the student desks.
  • Christian attorneys litigate with integrity.
  • Christ-like physicians treat patients as children of God.
  • Kingdom-of-Heaven-minded politicians administrate with God's interests in mind.
In what ways do you "take your everyday, ordinary life and place it before God as an offering"?  Let me know.  Post how you live out Romans 12:1.  I look forward to hearing from you.


Joanna Who?

In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs.  Mark 15:41a (NIV)
One woman gave birth to Jesus.  However, in a way, Jesus had many mothers.  
There were Mary and Mary (not to be confused with Joseph's wife, Mary); Mary, the mother of Joseph (not to be confused with the carpenter);  and other women not named Mary, such as Salome and Joanna.  Mark (not to be confused with me) indicates that those women cared for Jesus' needs.  That is what loving mothers do.
I do not know the nature of all of Jesus' needs.  Nevertheless, I imagine the Marys Three (plus the others) tending to Him by . . .
- providing money for His journeys
- patching His robes when they needed mending
- washing His robes when they needed cleaning
- washing His feet (that one's in the Bible)
- offering Him a place to catch a nap
- sticking a "hang in there" note in His lunch
- praying for Him
And, finally, assuring that He received a respectful burial.  Only the last one was not needed.  As we celebrated just a couple of weeks ago, Jesus rose!  While their tending to His body was not needed, it was truly motherly.

While some of the women who tended to Him earn more mention in the gospel writing; others, like Joanna, do not.  That is really how it goes - isn't it?  Some people's story continues to be told, while others' accounts remain footnotes in history. 

Oh, but what powerful footnotes!

Women like Joanna loved, through action, the Lord Jesus.  

On this week preceding Mother's Day, I started to write about a mother of renown whose story history knows.  I thought better of it however.  Instead, I chose to write a tribute to all moms whose actions will earn a footnote or less.  They . . .
- provide love to their children
- stick notes in lunches
- wash jeans (rather than robes)
- place Band-aids on knees
- earn wages to provide for their living legacies
- make beds where little heads lie
- pray for their daughters and sons
To all of you - Thank you!
Whether history remembers you or not, you are caring for needs.  That makes Jesus happy.