God Glimpses...

God Glimpses...

One doesn't have to be a "Pantheist" to appreciate The Sacred as reflected in the microcosm and macrocosm of the physical universe...
The religious traditions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity quote the following from their sacred texts...

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard...

The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory...

Psalm 19.1
Psalm 97:6

"I believe that every fact of nature is a revelation of God, is there such as it is because God is such as he is...…all of its facts impress us so that we may learn of God unconsciously...his things seen, by which we come to know the things unseen...…

 

The "Birth" of a Star

...How should we imagine what we may of God, without the firmament over our heads, a visible sphere, yet a formless infinitude! The truth of the sky is what it makes us feel of the God that sent it out to our eyes...it’s laws are the waving of his garments, waving so because he is thinking and loving and walking inside them"… George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, "The Truth"



The Lagoon Nebula

"Let him who would know the love of the Maker become sorely athirst and drink of the brook beside his path--then lift up his head to the inventor and mediator of thirst and water, that man might foresee a little of what his soul may find in God. If he become not then as a hart panting for the water-brooks, let him go back to his science and its husks; for they will in the end make him thirsty..." (George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, The Truth)

Hubble Captures Celestial Wheel Within a Wheel...

A nearly perfect ring of hot, blue stars pinwheels about the yellow nucleus of an unusual galaxy known as Hoag's Object. This image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captures a face-on view of the galaxy's ring of stars, revealing more detail than any existing photo of this object. The image may help astronomers unravel clues on how such strange objects form. The entire galaxy is about 120,000 light-years wide, which is slightly larger than our Milky Way Galaxy. The blue ring, which is dominated by clusters of young, massive stars, contrasts sharply with the yellow nucleus of mostly older stars. What appears to be a "gap" separating the two stellar populations may actually contain some star clusters that are almost too faint to see. Curiously, an object that bears an uncanny resemblance to Hoag's Object can be seen in the gap at the one o'clock position. The object is probably a background ring galaxy. A nearly perfect ring of hot, blue stars pinwheels about the yellow nucleus of an unusual galaxy known as Hoag's Object. The galaxy is 600 million light-years away in the constellation Serpens. The Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 took this image on July 9, 2001. CREDIT: NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Acknowledgment: Ray A. Lucas

Ring-shaped galaxies can form in several different ways. One possible scenario is through a collision with another galaxy. Sometimes the second galaxy speeds through the first, leaving a "splash" of star formation. But in Hoag's Object there is no sign of the second galaxy, which leads to the suspicion that the blue ring of stars may be the shredded remains of a galaxy that passed nearby. Some astronomers estimate that the encounter occurred about 2 to 3 billion years ago. Astronomer Art Hoag discovered this unusual galaxy in 1950. Hoag thought the smoke-ring-like object resembled a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a Sun-like star. But he quickly discounted that possibility, suggesting that the mysterious object was most likely a galaxy. Observations in the 1970s confirmed this prediction, though many of the details of Hoag's galaxy remain a mystery. The galaxy is 600 million light-years away in the constellation Serpens. The Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 took this image on July 9, 2001.

Explanation: Why does the Sombrero Galaxy look like a hat? Reasons include the Sombrero's unusually large and extended central bulge of stars, and dark prominent dust lanes that appear in a disk that we see nearly edge-on. Billions of old stars cause the diffuse glow of the extended central bulge. Close inspection of the bulge in the above photograph shows many points of light that are actually globular clusters. M104's spectacular dust rings harbor many younger and brighter stars, and show intricate details astronomers don't yet fully understand. The very center of the Sombrero glows across the electromagnetic spectrum, and is thought to house a large black hole. Fifty million-year-old light from the Sombrero Galaxy can be seen with a small telescope towards the constellation of Virgo.

Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

A link that provides many cosmic "God Glimpses": http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

"God is love; and it is good, as it is true, to think that every sun-ray that touches the earth has the sun at the other end of it; so very bit of love upon God's earth has God at the other end of it"--Mark Guy Pearse


"The flowers come from the same heart as man himself, and are sent to be his companions and ministers. There is something divinely magical, because profoundly human in them. In some at least the human is plain; we see a face of childlike peace and confidence that appeals to our best.....They are joyous, inarticulate children, come with vague messages from the father of all." George MacDonald, What's Mine's Mine


Photo: Digital Image, Cannon 10D, Jeff Day www.oldtownflorist.com

"The truth of the flower is not the facts about it, however completely correct they may be. Rather, the truth of the flower is the shining, glowing, gladdening, patient thing throned on its stalk--the compeller of smile and tear from child and prophet" (George MacDonald)

 

"The idea of God is the flower. His idea is not the botany of the flower. Its botany is but a thing of ways and means--of canvas and color and brush in relation to the picture in the painter's brain. The mere intellect can never find out that which owes its being to the heart..." (George MacDonald)

 

Catawba Rhododendron, a Wild Flower

"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
An eternity in an hour." -- William Blake

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Willowwood Lily

Beautiful lily - dwelling by still river,
Or solitary mere,
Or where the sluggish meadow brook delivers
Its waters to the weir.
The wind blows, and uplifts thy dropping banner,
And around thee throng and run
The rushes, the green yeoman of thy manor -
The outlaws of the sun.
O fleur-de-luce, bloom on, and let the river
Linger to kiss thy feet;
O flower of song, bloom on, and make forever
The world more fair and sweet--

Longfellow.

 

"What is the truth of water? Is it for the sake of the fact that hydrogen and oxygen combined form water that the precious thing exists? Or has God put the two together only that man might separate and find them out? He allows his child to pull his toys to pieces, but was that the purpose for which they were made? A schoolteacher might see therein the best use of a toy, but not a father!

Find what in the constitution of the two gases makes them fit and capable to be thus honored in forming the lovely thing and you will give us a revelation about more than water, namely about the God who made oxygen and hydrogen. There is no water in oxygen, no water in hydrogen. It comes bubbling fresh from the imagination of the living God, rushing from under the great white throne of the glacier...." (George MacDonald)




The Columbia Glacier in Alaska has retreated
about 8 miles over the last 18 years and is
disintegrating at an increasing rate

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God Glimpses At Work...

For sometimes when I am busy among men,
With heart and brain an open thoroughfare
For faces, words, and thoughts other than mine,
And, a pause comes at length - oh, sudden then,
Back throbs the tide with rush exultant rare;
And for a gentle moment I divine
Thy dawning presence flush my tremulous air.

Often, we may glimpse the love of God reflected in the eyes of a beloved pet...…

 

George MacDonald articulated a hope about our departed animal friends. Referring to animals and pets, he commented, "Their immortality is no new faith with me, but as old as my childhood." Again, he argued for the animals when he said, "I know of no reason why I should not look for the animals to rise again, in the same sense in which I hope myself to rise again--which is, to reappear, clothed with another and better form of life than before. If the Father will raise his children, why should he not also raise those whom he has taught his little ones to love?" (Life Essential: The Hope of the Universe, George MacDonald).

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The Blood of Mankind--a Glimpse of God...

Red blood cells viewed with the Scanning Electron Microscope.

"The red blood cells are a particularly excellent piece of biological engineering. They are biconcave in shape (like a doughnut, with a thin section in the middle instead of a hole), and this facilitates quick entry of oxygen and other supplies to all parts of the cell. If red blood cells were spherical instead of biconcave we would need about nine times as many of them to distribute oxygen in the body with the same speed" (Scientific American)

"God has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being..."
-- St. Paul at the Greek Areopagus speaking to some local philosophers...

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Our own galaxy consists of about 200 billion stars, with our own Sun being a fairly typical specimen. It is a fairly large spiral galaxy and it has three main components: a disk, in which the solar system resides, a central bulge at the core, and an all encompassing halo.

Evening Prayer

O God, whose daylight leadeth down
Into the sunless way,
Who with restoring sleep dost crown
The labour of the day!

What I have done, Lord, make it clean
With thy forgiveness dear;
That so today what might have been,
Tomorrow may appear.

And when my thought is all astray,
Yet think thou on in me;
That with the newborn innocent day
My soul rise fresh and free.

Nor let me wander all in vain
Through dreams that mock and flee;
But even in visions of the brain,
Go wandering toward thee.

George MacDonald


The halo, which is a diffuse spherical region, surrounds the disk. It has a low density of old stars mainly in globular clusters (these consist of between 10,000 - 1,000,000 stars).The halo is believed to be composed mainly of dark matter which may extend well beyond the edge of the disk.

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The Rainbow

MY heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

William Wordsworth. 17701850

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Bioengineers Gain Understanding of Natural Silk-Producing Process

Bioengineers at Tufts University in Massachusetts have new insights into how spiders and silkworms can spin webs and cocoons made of incredibly strong fibers. David Kaplan and Hyoung-Joon Jin identified the way that spiders and silkworms control the solutbility concentration and structure of the proteins in their glands that spin silk. Silk proteins are organized into "pseudo-micelle" or soaplike structures that form globular and gel states during processing in the glands. This semi-stable state, with sufficiently entrapped water and liquid crystalline structures, prevents the proteins from crystallizing before the spinning process. Premature crystallization of the proteins could cause permanent blockage of the spinning system, leading to catastrophic consequences for the spider or silkworm, they said. (Compiled by Richard Hill from the current issue of the journal, Nature)

(Next, science will have to figure out how the spiders and silkworms figured out all of this!)

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Slow Humming Galaxy
(Who Says God is in a Hurry?)


CHANDRA "HEARS" A SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE IN PERSEUS

A 53-hour Chandra observation of the central region of the Perseus galaxy cluster has revealed wavelike features that appear to be sound waves. The features were discovered by using a special image-processing technique to bring out subtle changes in brightness.

Relative Frequency

The sound coming from the black hole at the center of the Perseus galaxy cluster has a pitch about 57 octaves below middle C (The piano note has a pitch of 278 Hz. or vibrations per second.) To put that into perspective, consider the these frequencies:

Mel Gibson's voice: 108 vibrations per second

Lowest audible sound for humans: 20 vibrations per second

Lowest audible sound for elephants: one vibration per hour

Perseus cluster's emission: one vibration per 10 million years

On the net: http://www.chandra.harvard.edu/

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God may be glimpsed in acts of human kindness...

 

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God Glimpses in Creation...
(a true story)

Goose And Swans By Charlotte Edwards

Where we live, on the Eastern shore of Maryland, the gentle waters run in and out like fingers slimming at the tips. They curl into the smaller creeks and coves like tender palms. The Canada geese know this place, as do the white swans and the ducks who ride an inch above the waves of Chesapeake Bay as they skim their way into harbor. In the autumn, by the thousands, they come home for the winter. The swans move toward the shores in a stately glide, their tall heads proud and unafraid. They lower their long necks deep into the water, where their strong beaks dig through the river bottoms for food. And there is, between the arrogant swans and the prolific geese, an indifference, almost a disdain.

Once or twice each year, snow and sleet move into the area. When this happens, if the river is at its narrowest, or the creek shallow, there is a freeze which hardens the water to ice. It was on such a morning, near Osford, Maryland, that a friend of mine set the breakfast table beside the huge window, which overlooked the Tred Avon River. Across the river, beyond the dock, the snow laced the rim of the shore in white. For a moment she stood quietly, looking at what the night's storm had painted. Suddenly she leaned forward and peered close to the frosted window. "It really is," she cried out loud, "there is a goose out there." She reached to the bookcase and pulled out a pair of binoculars. Into their sights came the figure of a large Canada goose, very still, its wings folded tight to its sides, its feet frozen to the ice. Then from the dark skies, she saw a line of swans. They moved in their own singular formation, graceful, intrepid, and free. They crossed from the west of the broad creek high above the house, moving steadily to the east. As my friend watched, the leader swung to the right, then the white string of birds became a white circle. It floated from the top of the sky downward. At last, as easy as feathers coming to earth, the circle landed on the ice.

My friend was on her feet now, with one unbelieving hand against her mouth. As the swans surrounded the frozen goose, she feared what life he still had might be pecked out by those great swan bills. Instead, amazingly instead, those bills began to work on the ice. The long necks were lifted and curved down, again and again, it went on for a long time. At last, the goose was rimmed by a narrow margin of ice instead of the entire creek. The swans rose again, following the leader, and hovered in that circle, awaiting the results of their labors. The goose's head lifted. Its body pulled. Then the goose was free and standing on the ice. He was moving his big webbed feet slowly. And the swans stood in the air watching. Then, as if he had cried, "I cannot fly," four of the swans came down around him. Their powerful beaks scraped the goose's wings from top to bottom, scuttled under its wings and rode up its body, chipping off and melting the ice held in the feathers.

Slowly, as if testing, the goose spread its wings as far as they would go, brought them together, accordion-like, and spread again. When at last the wings reached their fullest, the four swans took off and joined the hovering group. They resumed their eastward journey, in perfect formation, to their secret destination. Behind them, rising with incredible speed and joy, the goose moved into the sky. He followed them, flapping double time, until he caught up, until he joined the last end of the line, like a small child at the end of a crack-the-whip of older boys. My friend watched them until they disappeared over the tips of the farthest trees. Only then, in the dusk, which was suddenly deep, did she realize that tears were running down her cheeks and had been for how long she didn't know.

This is a true story. It happened. I do not try to interpret it. I just think of it in the bad moments, and from it comes only one hopeful question: "If so for birds, why not for man?"

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God Spilled the Paint.....

 

The east side of the Carrizo plain, in the Temblor Range, about 50 miles due west of Bakersfield, California.

A Letter from a Godquest reader...

Hi All, For me to get to the place where I am in my relationship with and reliance on my Higher Power, I had to go back to the simple faith from my childhood. I have been digging into my childhood to find and work on weaknesses and it is nice to have something good to make vital in my recovery work today. In my opinion, a child's faith is one that hasn't experienced the disappointment and disillusionment of life. That kind of faith is fresh and open. The mental picture is of someone greater who has time to listen to bedtime prayers. Maybe of a loving grandparent who has the time for us when it seems that our parents don't. The grandparent who listens to our anger, hurts and confusion, and gives us advice in a form that we can understand. Once I came to the point that I could acknowledge that my Higher Power really cares about me and wants to help me recover, I could again trust that Higher Power to give me the strength to go through anything and come out of the experience a winner. It may be different for you, but this is the thought process that has enabled me to have faith in a Higher Power again. Take what you can .... Your friend and brother, Charles O.

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