‘Unseen’, But Real [v146]

APRIL 2011

‘Unseen’, But Real

Uncertainty mounts as workers continue to struggle to contain the crisis in Japan at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant—which was badly damaged by the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11th. Although plant officials have claimed that the radiation detected has been “extremely low,” the threat of radiation ‘leakage’ is still an issue, and some of the nearby drinking water supplies and some vegetable farms have been contaminated.

In addition to that, just a few days ago, officials from other countries have noted that their countries have detected higher-than-usual levels of radioactive isotope Iodine-131 (used in Japan’s reactors) in the atmosphere. Though it’s true China, South Korea, British Columbia, Canada, and even as far as Colorado have reported miniscule amounts, they’re not enough to be a health risk.

There is something deeply unsettling about biological threats. The very idea of ‘unseen’, undetectable, but deadly toxins or viruses is a modern nightmare. The ‘weight’ of these deadly issues grips us. We feel and understand it acutely.

Throughout our universe, there are things that are ‘invisible’, but ‘real’. Some are deadly, but necessary [i.e. Arsenic: Deadly to humans, but required by some ‘good’ bacteria (that helps humans) to build their DNA]. there are many other examples like this one, so it seems that the universe is filled with fail-safe ‘mechanisms’ to protect us from harm.

This feeling of vulnerability, this sense that there are things beyond our control, this notion of risk, is something that the ‘modern’ mind finds repulsive. We want security—no, we ‘demand’ it!—and we feel entitled to ‘assurance’. But can it be found?

As recently as 150 years ago, people knew practically nothing of the unseen world around them. The discoveries and inventions of the last century have been phenomenal (especially with the development of the high-powered microscopes and telescopes). Since then, the sum of our knowledge about the unseen has multiplied astonishingly, but even now some scientists still say that our knowledge of physical science is in its infancy! Only now are scientists discovering the reality of the infinite nature of the unseen [previously undetectable things like “Cerebellar Nuclei” in the brain and “Nanoparticles” on the ‘micro’ end of the spectrum, and enormous gamma-ray “bubbles” in the Milky Way (about 65 million light years end-to-end) on the ‘macro’ end of things—just to mention a few].

There’s also a lot of things that we ‘know’ exist, even though we can’t see them—like wind, air, gravity, electricity, magnetic force, microwaves, etc.

Einstein spent his lifetime trying to understand the common ‘thread’ of all things. The sum of his work is the discovery that energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. (E=Mc2). Yet, at best, this man, considered to be the brilliant father of modern science, only scratched the surface. He failed to discover what energy actually IS. He could describe it’s properties, but he did not understand what the ‘SOURCE’ of energy is.

Physics, in its simplest definition, is the study of matter and how it works. Physicists are concerned with the ‘stuff’ that makes up the universe. As such, they are often concerned with elements so small that they cannot be seen even with the aid of the most powerful microscope. John Polkinghorne, physicist and Anglican priest, explains, “We now know that atoms themselves are made out of still smaller constituents (quarks, gluons, and electrons…we do not see quarks directly, but their existence is indirectly inferred).” While physicists can only see, as it were, the ‘SHADOW’ of these tiny realities of matter, they ‘point to’ and indeed make up materials all around us. We cannot see them, but we ‘trust’ they are there—and trust that they will all ‘stick together’ when we put our full weight on our favorite chair! So, all of us live daily with ‘unseen’ things—and for some things, we actually do ‘know’ about them.

Sometimes the “conviction of things not seen” is referred to as “faith”—the ability to see beyond the finite to the infinite—in much the same way as physicists have discovered the infinite world of sub-atomic particles. Those invisible particles provide the essential structure for what we see all around us.

In the classic story The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery writes of a little fox who promises to reveal the secret of life to the young boy in the story. When the secret is finally revealed it is this: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Likewise, “faith” sees with the heart what cannot be seen with the eye—giving substance to the ‘shadow’ of our reality.

A simple illustration of this might be that you’re at car dealer and want to make a purchase. Most of us don’t have that kind of money in our wallet, but we know that we possess ‘unseen’ wealth in our checking account (or “line of credit”)—such that, we can ‘act’ as if we do have the amount needed on our person.

Another example might be that, at this very moment, thousands of radio waves are bombarding you (especially if you have a dual-band Gb wireless router streaming a video from YouTube!). So, there is no doubt about the reality of UNSEEN things. Though they are unseen, they are VERY REAL!

If these types of things happen in our ‘natural’ life, do they also happen in our ‘spiritual’ life? Can we have a ‘conviction’ about things that are beyond our senses?—beyond our perception and understanding? Can we really sustain conviction in that which is beyond our experiential circumstances?

Well, first off, I’m thinking that if we could see into the spiritual realm, if we could glimpse into the region just beyond the ‘shadow’, if we could ‘see’ the invisible world—I’m pretty sure it would ‘scare us straight’ (at least it would me)—and we would forever be a changed person!

The thing is, the Bible tells us that this kind of ‘reality’ DOES EXIST in the spiritual world. The Apostle Paul wrote, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” [2 Corinthians 4:18].

At least here on earth, “things seen” will vanish and pass away. Buildings decay and crumble down.  Clothes wear out. That new car you purchased will be not more than junk in just a few decades. Paper money deteriorates. Even the “house of clay” you ‘reside’ in will return to the earth as dust. But, the Bible says that your SOUL, and your SPIRIT—both of which you do not see—will live forever!

Just before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He told is disciples that after He left, God the Father would send the “Holy Spirit,” that would lead them to all truth,  would dwell ‘inside’ them, and that they would receive ‘power’ when the Holy Spirit came upon them [John 14:16-17; Acts 1:4-8]. The thing is, the Bible also says that the Holy Spirit is ‘available’ to you—today!

Back in Biblical times, God came to us as a man, Jesus Christ, Who was God in human flesh. But now, God ‘comes’ to us through His Spirit, Who—although He is unseen—can be just as ‘real’ to us now as was Jesus to His disciples!

Jesus also explained that the Holy Spirit will be sent to guide us in our own spiritual ‘regeneration’: “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit” [John 3:8].

All of us have seen wind act with terrible force concentrated in a moment, such as with a hurricane or tornado, or push the America’s Cup boats as fast as they will go racing across the ocean. On the other hand, the wind can also be ‘delicate’ and cool us off on a sweltering hot day.

As I mentioned previously, the “wind” is one of those things that we can’t actually see, but we see the ‘affects’ of it. The Holy Spirit is much like this. Often alluded to as a “wind,” He is unseen, but very ‘powerful’.

The Bible also does a much better job than I would in describing the Holy Spirit. Some of the ‘attributes’ or ‘works’ mentioned include: “inspiring,” “encouraging,” “interceding,” “liberating,” “illuminating,” “cleansing,” “convicting,” “regenerating,” “empowering,” “sanctifying,” “sealing,” “revealing,” “strengthening,” “indwelling,” “teaching,” “interpreting,” “guiding,” and “comforting.” Things I want and need!

So then, how can you ‘connect’ with the Holy Spirit?

The “filling” of the Holy Spirit can ‘come’ to you, at least in one way, as the result of simple prayer. In your own words, you can go to God and tell Him that you believe that His Son, Jesus, came to this earth to die for your sins and resurrected to give you ‘life’. After that, God will then send you the Holy Spirit to teach and guide you for the rest of your life. A prayer might be something like this: “Lord God, I believe that Jesus is the propitiation for my sins, and I desire to be controlled by Your Holy Spirit. Here is my sin; I confess it and denounce it. I ask You to forgive me and come into my ‘heart’. I will now seek Your counsel. I’ll do what You tell me to do. Please live Your life through me, and I will depend on You every day, and ‘walk by faith’ by the means of Your Holy Spirit, to become more like your Son, Jesus.”

That’s it—the moment that you receive Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live in your ‘heart’. Your body then becomes the ‘temple’ of the Holy Spirit, and He helps you live the Christian life—conforming you more and more into the ‘image’ of Jesus.

After you take that ‘step of faith’ (…being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see” [Hebrews 11:1]), and ask God for repentance of your sins, the work of the “Spirit” of God in you will be ‘regeneration’—which is another term for ‘renewal’. The Bible says that, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit” [Titus 3:5].

During the rest of your life then, the Holy Spirit will continually “fill” you and aid you in producing “fruits” in your life—which the Bible refers to as, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” [Galatians 5:22-23]. Even though there will still be those people whom you may not be able to love easily, you will tend to ‘deal’ with them differently—since the Holy Spirit will give you the ‘power’ to love them. The Bible says that “love will be the greatest ‘evidence’ that you ‘know’ Jesus.”

As I said, as you ‘move through life, the Holy Spirit will continually teach, guide, and instruct you. It is the Holy Spirit who will be your helper and your educator. He is the one who opens up and talks to your ‘heart’ and mind. He is responsible for urging and directing you. It is His guidance that is going to help you better ‘appreciate’ Jesus and what He did for you.

If you let Him, the Holy Spirit can easily become a very valuable ‘friend’—a friend who will always be with you, always guide you correctly, and always be true to you. He will be ‘inside’ you every second of the day. All you have to do is reach out, take His ‘hand’ in yours, and ask Him to be your Friend. If you do, then suddenly you will have the most powerful ‘friend’ you can imagine right by your side day and night. A faithful and trusted Friend, Who is always ready to help, always ready to protect and defend, Who wants desperately to lead you to be more like Jesus, and a Friend Who will very willingly guide you, step-by-step, right into eternal salvation!

By the way, don’t think that the Holy Spirit is not as ‘important’ as Jesus or God the Father. Talking to His disciples, Jesus said this about the Holy Spirit: “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven” [Luke 12:8-10].

Whoa! I guess that the Holy Spirit is just the ‘person’ we all need—‘UNSEEN’ to the naked eye, but VERY REAL in the things He can do for one’s life here on earth—and for one’s ‘place’ for eternity!

That “assurance” I asked about earlier? Well, most have heard, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” [John 3:16]. But less of us may have heard these Scriptures related to eternal life:

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life” ]1 John 5:13].

“What shall we do that we may work the works of God? Jesus said ‘this is the work of God: that you believe on Him whom He sent’” [John 6 :28-29].

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” [John 3: 36].


”I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” [John 5:24].

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” [John 10:28-30].

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” [1 John 5:11-13].

Of course, there’s more, but I’m thinking that these would give anyone a good bit of ‘assurance’.

Does God’s Spirit dwell in you? The Bible warns, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ” [Romans 8:9]. Let me encourage you to make sure of your commitment to Christ—then, thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit, Who will now live within you, and will help you ‘prepare’ for that UNSEEN, but very REAL ‘place’, where He is ‘preparing’ for you to ‘reside’ for eternity—Heaven!


”Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” [John 14:1-3].

[Excerpts from: Billy Graham; Stuart McAllister; Margaret Manning; Jill Carattini]

[P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what the Bible has to say about “TRANSFERRING YOUR TRUST,” visit the following link:

http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q10_d4_1of10.html

Blessings…

Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v146) for APRIL 2011

If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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“MIND’S EYE”
[In my mind, I can see Your face
As Your love pours down in a shower of grace
Some people tell me that You’re just a dream
My faith is the evidence of things unseen]

In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye
In my mind’s eye, in my mind

You know what I’m going through
I know this is true
‘Cause You stood in my shoes
Desire’s inside of me
But it’s hard to believe
In what you cannot see

Can you catch the wind?
See a breeze?
Its presence is revealed by
The leaves on a tree
An image of my faith in the unseen

(chorus)

In my mind’s eye
I see Your face
You smile as you show me grace
In my mind’s eye
You take my hand
We walk through foreign lands
The foreign lands of life

In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye
In my mind’s eye, in my mind

In my mind I’m where I belong
As I rest in your arms
And like a child I hold on to you
In my moment of truth, yes I do
We can ride the storm
Endure the pain
You comfort me in my hurricane
And I’ll never be alone again

(repeat chorus 2x)

In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye
In my mind’s eye, in my mind

In my mind I can see Your face
Love pours down in a shower of grace
Life is a gift that You choose to give
I believe we eternally live
Faith is the evidence of things unseen
People tell me that You’re just a dream
But they don’t know You the way that I do
You’re the one I live to pursue

Can you catch the wind?
[Can you see God, have you ever seen Him?
I’ve never seen the wind
I seen the effects of the wind
But I’ve never seen the wind]
Can you see the breeze?
[There’s a mystery to it]

(repeat chorus)

In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye
[I see You there again]
In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye
[I know You’ll meet me there my Friend]
In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye
[I know You’re there, I can touch You there]
In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye
[I want You there, I need You there, I see You there, I know You care]

[And I believe, and I believe, and I believe]

[DC Talk – Jesus Freak]

http://www.spiritedesign.com/Mind’sEye(DCTalk).mp3

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The North Wind and the Sun disputed as to which was the most powerful, and agreed that he should be declared the victor who could first strip a wayfaring man of his clothes. The North Wind first tried his power and blew with all his might, but the keener his blasts, the closer the Traveler wrapped his cloak around him, until at last, resigning all hope of victory, the Wind called upon the Sun to see what he could do. The Sun suddenly shone out with all his warmth. The Traveler no sooner felt his genial rays than he took off one garment after another, and at last, fairly overcome with heat, undressed and bathed in a stream that lay in his path.

Persuasion is better than Force.

[Aesop]

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MOST POWERFUL WIND TURBINE LOOKS THE WEIRDEST
In the future, we will look at these 885-foot-wide structures in the middle of the ocean and we won’t even blink. But, right now, I’m having a hard time imagining them spinning en masse at 20 revolutions per minute.

It’s the new “Aerogenerator X” Vertical Axis Wind Turbine [a “V” shape], which will be completed by 2014. Instead of using a traditional vertical structure, this wind turbine will rotate horizontally. Its design will enable it to generate twice the power of previous designs, according to the manufacturer. That’s 10 megawatts per hour. The most powerful—and largest turbine in the planet at 413-foot high—now generates a bit over 7 megawatts.

Only the 10MW Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine will be able to match its power, at the cost of raising an impressive 606 feet over the surface of the sea. That would be really fun to repair.

[Jesus Diaz]

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“RUSHING WIND”

Rushing Wind, blow through this temple,
Blowing out the dust within.
Come and breathe Your breath upon me,
I’ve been born again.

Holy Spirit, I surrender,
Take me where You want to go.
Plant me by Your living waters,
Plant me deep, so I can grow.

Jesus, You’re the One,
Who set my spirit free.
Use me Lord, glorify,
Your Holy Name through me.


[Piano]


Separate me from this world, Lord,
Sanctify my life for You.
Daily change me to Your image,
Help me bear good fruit.

Every day You’re drawing closer,
Trials come to test my faith.
But when all is said and done, Lord,
You know, it’s been worth the wait.


Jesus, You’re the One,
Who set my spirit free.
Use me Lord, glorify,
Your Holy Name through me.

[Piano]

Rushing Wind, blow through this temple,
Blowing out the dust within.
Come and breathe Your breath upon me,
I’ve been born again.

[Keith Green – Greatest Hits]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sk7w4y_9B2k

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DEEP THOUGHT:

“Wisdom sails with wind and time.”

[John Florio]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with!  Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” [2 Corinthians 4:18].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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