Once In a Blue Moon

Once In a Blue Moon

I love to collect sayings!  That’s not a misprint, I literally meant, sayings.  This goes back about 35 years, to when I first heard John Maxwell speak at a Stewardship Seminar in Sioux Falls, SD.  I was a young 25-year-old newly minted lead pastor of a small 60-person rural Minnesota church in a town of 300.  Maxwell, at the time, was 41, lively and full of vim and vigor as the old people at the time used to say.  He pastored a large Wesleyan church in San Diego, CA.  I remember him saying, in his boastful and braggadocios manner – “I told our people, I figured out, if we all quit our jobs, went on welfare, and tithed — giving would double!”  I was shocked and stunned but then he said some other things, too, that resonated with me.

We teach what we know — we reproduce what we are.

We don’t have an information problem, we have an application problem.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Since that time, I have been collecting sayings.  The following are just a few, from a variety of people.

An angry person justifies absurd conclusions.  Dan Rockwell.

The first casualty of emotion is usually reason.  Mike Greenberg, ESPN.

If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?  Coach John Wooden.

People are not bored with the gospel but with the boring presentation of the gospel.  Anonymous.  

Closely related to sayings are phrases.  I was in a conversation earlier this year and the person I was listening to said, “That only happens once in a blue moon.”  For whatever reason, that phrase has stuck with me over the last six months.  Interestingly enough, I read where that phrase has to do with the very rare occurrence of two full moons in the same month.  This month, August 2023, will provide just that!  The last time this happened was in January 2018.  The next time will be in January 2037 — 13.5 years from now if Christ hasn’t returned!  

In my mind, as I was contemplating all this, I was reminded of some great verses of Scripture that declare God’s amazing creative ability in the skies!

Psalm 19:1-2

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 

Genesis 1:16-19

God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.  He also made the stars.  God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness.  And God saw that it was good.  And there was evening and morning — the fourth day.

Psalm 147:4-5

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.

Isaiah 40:26

Lift your eyes and look to the heavens; Who created all these?  He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.  Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Romans 1:20

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Psalm 33:5-6

The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth.

I don’t know what your August looks like, schedule-wise.  For me, it is a whirlwind of meetings, travel, commitments out of town, more meetings, a family wedding, and two trips to the C&MA national office, now in Ohio.  I may not get to see the full moon twice in August.  I am, however, determined, that I am going to carve out time this month to stare at the skies at night proclaiming the words of Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.”  I’m also going to proclaim in the daytime Psalm 121:1-2 I lift up my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

May your sights, literally and figuratively, be lifted to the Lord, God of all creation during these thirty-one days of August!