Funny how memories can be triggered by an object that in one minute can take you back thirty years. We are enjoying a week at beautiful Lake Michigan at my wife’s parents, spending time on the beach and in the water. We love to play on what we call “buns” – five-by-five foot, three inch thick pieces of sturdy foam pads. Actually defective scrap pieces, the buns came from the factory that my father managed until his death twenty-four summers ago. They can hold several people at once, and yesterday Spencer, Celia and I had a great time playing King of the Bun as we tried to knock each other off in the water. Of course, I had a distinct weight advantage and, while laying there on my stomach laughing as the kids tried to dump me, a memory transported me back in time. I remembered trying unsuccessfully to do the same with my dad on a lake. No matter how hard I tried to jump on top or push from below, he wouldn’t budge. However, Spencer is smarter than I was at his age and he quickly brought me splashing and sputtering back to reality.
In our media-saturated culture, far too much emphasis is placed on the visual image of a beautiful woman. Yet the Scriptures also remind us that God created beauty in the natural world, including that of females. Bill VanDoodewaard recently wrote an article in Evangelical Times entitled “Pursuing Beauty” that helps us think Biblically about this subject.
Each summer for our Christian Education program for the past several years we have just one class and focus on missions each Lord’s Day. Having first learned of them from Tim Challies, this summer our congregation is watching Dispatches from the Front produced by Frontline Missions International. Dr. Timothy Dean Keesee (pronounced ka-ZEE), the director of Frontline Missions, travels throughout the world visiting and documenting what the Lord is doing in building the church in diverse places. The videos have stunning beauty as a travelogue, but the greater beauty is seeing Christ working among the poor and despised of the earth. Dr. Keesee’s narrative from his poetry-like journal entries creates a greater appreciation for what you are seeing. They have produced weeping among us and this hearty recommendation. Here is an excerpt from one of them.