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blustar1

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

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A Word in the silence

Light in the darkness

One single ember scatters a blaze — millions of sparks,

Each a sun, a planet — glowing into light-years of space.

A Word births galaxies, spins orbits, sets morning stars singing,

Light giving life.

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Somewhere a small blue-green ball sees its first sunrise.

Time as He counts it — all times are now — streams by,

shimmering light and encroaching dark

until

a Star slips to earth,

shines from the misty eyes of a newborn.

Stars spin, galaxies dance,

the Light flashes to the corners of our soul-darkness.

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Eons, moments, till the Light extinguishes the darkness

with a Word cried from a cross,

splits the borders of death with Light

deafens the silence with the Word.

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Planets spiral, stars rise and set,

Light blasts through clinging blue-green shadows

with the voice of the Angel,

the trumpet-Word of God.

Morning rays of a million nebulae flash

A forever-day, never night again.

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The Word made flesh, God from the beginning;

before stars dawned in Orion’s belt,

before the singing of planets,

before any shadow fell,

before we — less than sparks

in the eons-long conflagration of space —

before we saw the Light of His glory,

God, first, last, and forever,

Is.

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For the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.

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stars

 

“stars”

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Sometimes, out of nowhere, it comes back,
that night when, driving home from the city,
having left the nearest streetlight miles behind us,

we lost our way on the back country roads
and found, when we slowed down to read a road sign,
a field alive with the blinking of fireflies,

and we got out and stood there in the darkness,
amazed at their numbers, their scattered sparks
igniting silently in a randomness

that somehow added up to a marvel
both earthly and celestial, the sky
brought down to earth, and brought to life,

a sublunar starscape whose shifting constellations
were a small gift of unexpected astonishment,
luminous signalings leading us away

from thoughts of where we were going
or coming from, the cares that often drive us
relentlessly onward and blind us

to such flickering intervals when moments
are released from their rigid sequence
and burn like airborne embers, floating free.

“Interval” by Jeffrey Harrison, from Feeding the Fire. © Sarabande Books, 2001. Reprinted with permission.

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Happy summer evenings — why do we forget to look at small things when we get older?  I think when we get too old to appreciate the world around us — we have “seen it all” — that’s when we truly get old.

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People who live by the sea
understand eternity.
They copy the curves of the waves,
their hearts beat with the tides,
& the saltiness of their blood
corresponds with the sea.

They know that the house of flesh
is only a sandcastle
built on the shore,
that skin breaks
under the waves
like sand under the soles
of the first walker on the beach
when the tide recedes.

Each of us walks there once,
watching the bubbles
rise up through the sand
like ascending souls,
tracing the line of the foam,
drawing our index fingers
along the horizon
pointing home.

“People Who Live” by Erica Jong, from Becoming Light. © Harper Perennial, 1981. Reprinted with permission.

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I’ve often thought that the sea and the sky are the only notions we have of eternity — flawed, because our atmosphere and our oceans have borders and ends, but nonetheless, the only concept we can truly have.  The idea of something fathomless stretching beyond our eyesight, and ultimately beyond what we can map and own, is the closest we will come this side of heaven to any kind of understanding of the infinite.

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when November comes

i look for stark beauty

sere golden reeds

rippling to the reflected blue edge

of an overcast sky

a single scarlet leaf

caught

in an empty branch

the ancient high calls

of a v-wedge of dark birds

escaping the frost

naked trees spiked on a

burning sunset

and the faint silver music

of a lonely cold

star

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hubble

Hubble Movie

I went to see the Hubble Imax 3D a little while ago and it was  just amazing…really, words can’t describe the awe-inspiring beauty of the deep space pictures and movies taken by the Hubble telescope.

The 3D glasses were ok, although since the whole movie wasn’t shot in 3D (the parts with the astronauts weren’t entirely), some of it looked a little flat and strange.  I actually wished they wouldn’t have the parts with the shuttle and stuff — I just wanted more of the star pictures!

It was actually pretty amazing to have the stars look like they were standing out and looking almost like you could touch them!  I just kept sitting there thinking how great God was to make such beautiful and intricately interlaced patterns out of gas and minerals.

The really weird part for me was thinking that these shapes are actually composed of millions upon trillions of worlds the size of ours.  The pictures were so immediate, I felt like I was right there, but when I thought about it, these things are beyond huge, and if I were right there, I wouldn’t see more than a tiny speck of it, like I do of our own Milky Way.  Makes you feel tiny and insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Then, of course, I got to thinking about how truly amazing it is that I, being a tiny speck on a tiny speck of a planet, should have the Creator of all this come down to die for me.  That made me feel truly loved, humble and unworthy, but loved inexpressibly.

So I spent a good deal of the space sections of the movie with my eyes slightly blurred with tears — understandably so, but I did have to keep blinking and swiping my eyes so I didn’t miss any of the glory.  It’s amazing to me that these gorgeous clouds are really just gas suspended in space.

I love the colors, too!  I always think of space as being black, dark, and empty.  I suppose probably most of it is, actually — even though these galaxies are beyond huge, space itself is infinitely larger — but the colors and light of these pictures make it feel like a wild and beautiful place.

My favorite part of the whole movie was the shots of the Orion Nebula.  As you might remember from this post, the Orion Nebula has always fascinated me as being the place where Jesus will come from when He comes again.  (Well, the quote says from behind the middle star in Orion’s belt, but I figure no one knew about nebulae back then.)  I’ve loved pictures of it, because it seems to go around a corner and then…where?  The gateway to heaven?  If only one could see just a little further.  But the Hubble actually has some shots of inside the nebula, in the center where a star nursery is.  That was stunning!

I could still see that it goes on, past the nursery, into deeper space…but just to see a little further around that corner was engrossing — the scenery “on the way to heaven”, if you will.

At any rate, the Hubble 3D movie was wonderful and I would go see it again, even though it spent WAY too much time on the shuttle.  It was cool to see it take off, though, from the cameras near the launch pad.  But I just wanted more stars!

*if you want more stars, go to this link*

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“When He is King we will give Him the Kings’ gifts,

Myrrh for its sweetness, and gold for a crown,
Beautiful robes,” said the young girl to Joseph,
Fair with her firstborn on Bethlehem Down.

Bethlehem Down is full of the starlight,
Winds for the spices, and stars for the gold,
Mary for sleep, and for lullaby music
Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.

When He is King, they will clothe Him in gravesheets,
Myrrh for embalming, and wood for a crown,
He that lies now in the white arms of Mary
Sleeping so lightly on Bethlehem Down.

Here He has peace and a short while for dreaming,
Close huddled oxen to keep Him from cold,
Mary for love, and for lullaby music
Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.

— Bruce Blunt

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