Tag: Alaska

Friday Factoid Week 9

Click here for a Flashback to what we were learning in our Hawaiian homeschool 6 years ago this week.

And click here for another Flashback that has to do with today’s topic.

Teacher’s Two-Cents

I haven’t added my two-cents to a Friday Factoid for a long time, so I’m doing one now and also giving the boys a break since you have 2 Flashbacks to nibble on and they’ve had a crazy busy week.

So I want to add my two-cents to the second Flashback above about the magnetosphere and the auroras it causes and this time my two-cents comes straight out of the bank of Job.

“Hear this, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God . . . Can you, like Him, spread out the skies, hard as a cast metal mirror? . . . And now no one looks on the light when it is bright in the skies, when the wind has passed and cleared them. Out of the north comes golden splendor; God is clothed in awesome majesty.”

Job 37:14-22

Job is one of my favorite books in the Bible because I’m always amazed at the depth of scientific knowledge people of his time had and the conclusions they came to about God through what they observed in nature. They truly believed God made Himself known through creation.

The passage quoted above is a great example of that. It might sound very primitive and ignorant to our ears to hear an ancient person describe the sky as “hard as a cast metal mirror.” But when you think about the earth’s magnetosphere, that description actually makes a lot of sense!

The entire earth has a magnetic field surrounding it and its job is to pull harmful particles produced by solar winds away from the earth or reflect them back toward the sun. Sounds a bit like a mirror, right? The sky may not be hard as a cast metal mirror but it certainly has the reflective, metallic-like properties of one.

And what about that light people of Job’s day seemed afraid to look upon when it shone brightly after the winds cleared the skies? Where did that golden splendor come from? “Out of the north!” Sounds a little like the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis, doesn’t it?

And do you know what causes those auroras? The presence of that reflective magnetosphere of course! Some of those harmful particles from the solar winds get trapped in the magnetic field and crash into our atmospheric gases causing a beautiful light show.

Events like those should do nothing less than inspire us, like Job’s friend, to “Stop and consider the wondrous works of God.” He is indeed, making Himself known through them!

Friday Factoid Week 6

Alaska Moon

We were in Alaska recently and the moon there was noticeably different from the moon we see down south. At 60 degrees North the full moon was tilted almost 90 degrees clockwise from what we see at about 38 degrees. Above is a picture I took of the moon in Alaska and below is one I took in California.  We always only see one side of the moon but we can see different angles of it (Titus, 14).


While flying over some clouds on our trip to Alaska I looked down and saw the shadow of our plane pass through a full circle rainbow. I took a picture of it with my GoPro. The scientist sitting in front of us got an even better picture with his camera and thought what we were seeing was very unusual.  All rainbows are actually full circles but we only see half of it from the ground because of the angle (Joel, 13).


The sun’s light contains every color of the rainbow. The sun’s light is white which is every color combined. When light hits an object it absorbs every color but the one it is. That’s what bounces back at our eye. A rainbow is when water droplets act like prisms and bounce all the colors back. Here is a picture of me and a rainbow I saw in Alaska (Nate, 11).


Devo 6

“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done.  So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation.”                                            Genesis 2:1-3

Welcome back to the study everyone!  Hope you all enjoyed your break and were able to get caught up a bit.  Having just returned from two weeks immersed in the jaw-dropping autumnal wonders of Alaska, I am more convinced than ever that God indeed makes Himself known through the things that have been made so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:19,20).  And even more, the purpose of it all is to bring glory to His Son.  All of creation is but a shadow. The waters, the light, the plant life, the animals, the people, the days, the Sabbath— it’s all meant to point to the substance of everything, Jesus Christ!

Paul says in Colossians 2:16,17 “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.  These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.”  Jesus is the Living Water, the Light of the World, The Root of Jesse and the True Vine, the Bright Morning Star, the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God, The Last Adam, the Beginning and the End.  And He IS our Sabbath Rest! 

That’s what makes passages like John 9 so shocking.  Jesus tells this blind man in verse 5, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  Then He spit on the ground, made some mud and anointed the blind man’s eyes.  The blind man went and washed the mud out and was healed!  He could see!  As he points out in verse 32, “Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind.” 

But do you know what the Pharisees had the audacity to say?  Verse 14 says that “it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.”   So the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for He does not keep the Sabbath.”  In fact, they even went so far as calling Jesus a sinner!  Can you believe it?  They were calling the very One who created the Sabbath, the very Substance of the Sabbath Himself, a sinner for failing to keep it!  

Acts 13, gives us another account of an amazing Sabbath day miracle.  And it starts with another blind man.  Only this man was spiritually blind, so blind that he was trying to turn others away from the faith.  So verses 9-11 say, 

“Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, ‘You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?  And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.”

When the proconsul saw what happened to that man, verse 12 says he believed because “he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.”  After that, Paul was in a synagogue on the Sabbath and preached an incredible sermon saying that Jesus was the fulfillment of the scriptures that were read every Sabbath.  This was such good news that the people begged to be told more on the next Sabbath.  Sure enough a week later the whole city had gathered “to hear the word of the Lord.”  

But then the Jews got jealous of all the Gentiles that had come and turned against Paul.  Remember how Jesus told the blind man that while He was in the world, He was the light of the World?  Well, when Jesus ascended back into heaven, He didn’t leave the world lightless.  So in verse 46, Paul tells all the angry Jews even though it was necessary that the word of God be spoken to them first, because they rejected it, the apostles were now turning to the Gentiles.  

“For so the Lord has commanded us saying, ‘I have made YOU a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ And when the Gentiles heard this they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.  And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.”

And it is still spreading to this day!  That Sabbath day miracle is happening in the hearts of worshippers all over the world.  And some day Isaiah 66:23 says that God will be worshipped by everyone all the time.  The shadow of new moon celebrations and Sabbath day worship will finally be fulfilled.  

“From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the Lord.”