How many stars are there?

In the beginning, notice how the video selects a tiny portion of our own sky, then takes merely a slice of that.  It scans an actual NASA photograph of part of the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy.  (We live in the Milky Way Galaxy).

All those points of light in the photograph are stars, not dust.  Dust does not emit light, dust is dark, dust obscures the light from the stars.  Dusty areas are dark areas.  If it glows, it is a star.

“The full image takes you through 100 million stars and travels more than 40,000 light-years.  Each of those white dots is a sun, much like the sun that powers all life on Earth.”

NASA’s Largest Picture: The Andromeda Galaxy.

How many stars are there?  There are too many for us to count.  There are too many for us to count even in our own galaxy.  And there are countless galaxies.  We do not have the ability to count the galaxies or the stars.  Only God knows the true number.

And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below …”  (Acts 2:19, ESV).

The Kingdoms of the World


The kingdoms of the world have their day.  Like the flowers of the field they have their Summer of splendor.


But compared to the eternal kingdom of heaven, they are little more than sand castles.


And like all the treasures of this world, they too shall pass away.

Kingdoms come and go, and most are not even remembered.

There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be
among those who come after.

— Ecclesiastes 1:11, ESV.

Time marches on.


Only one kingdom will endure forever, and that kingdom will not be built by human hands.  (Daniel 2:34, 44-45).  Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth … but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  (Matthew 6:19-21, ESV).

Build on the Rock.  (Matthew 7:24-27).  Trust what will last.  Hope in the Eternal.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare to make no other claim
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

— “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less,” CW 382:1.

Remembering September 11


On September 11, 2001, Islamists attacked us in spectacular fashion.  They brought their 1,400-year never-ending religious war to our shores.

We had no choice but to enter their religious war.  However, we refused to recognize their religious motivations.  We insisted their beliefs were peaceful.  It would be as if our fathers had sought to defeat the Nazis without defeating Nazism.  Or if they had sought to defeat Imperial Japan without defeating Japanese Imperialism.

Because we have refused to fight against the motivations of our enemies, we are losing this war.  They have resolve.  They have goals.  They know what they want.

We, on the other hand, do not know what we are fighting against.  Our borders are wide open to invasion.  We bring hordes of people who espouse the views of our enemies to our shores en masse.  And our incompetent and cowardly leaders think we can win this war by showing how nice we are, so that our enemies will like us.


When the Islamists took American slaves, and demanded tribute, our Founding Fathers sent ships to destroy them.  They defended our freedom.  They knew what they believed in, and they fought for it.


Free men cannot live forever with slavers and slavery.  Sometimes, free men must fight for freedom.


However, the idea that all cultures are equal in value has made us timid and weak.  We are afraid to stand up for freedom.  We are afraid to stand up for the foundation of freedom.  The very concept of truth is the foundation of freedom.  We are afraid to speak the truth.

The truth sets free.  (John 8:32).  Unfortunately, some powerful Americans deny that truth even exists.  The greatest threat to America is not force of arms, but rather force of nefarious ideas.  Will America succumb to lies, or again seek freedom and truth?

Junc the Cat


July 1996 – September 8, 2015.

The wages of sin is death.  (Romans 6:23).  So we wait with eager anticipation for the return of Christ and the freeing of our bodies from the tyranny of sin.

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

For in this hope we were saved.

— Romans 8:19-24, ESV.

Blessed Labor Day


True rest comes from the Lord.

On the seventh day, God rested from all his works.  (Genesis 2:2).  This is the Sabbath day of rest.

“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.”  (Hebrews 4:9-10, ESV).

May we rest from our works, and enter God’s rest.  “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works …  For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”  (Ephesians 2:8-10, HCSB).

Blessed Labor Day!

A Hike in the Mountains


“From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work…”

All the quotes are from Psalm 104, ESV.


“The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted…”


“The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers…”


“O Lord, how manifold are your works!  In wisdom have you made them all…”


“Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord!”

The pictures in this post were taken on the Ypsilon Lawn Lake Trail in the Rocky Mountains, at an elevation of about 9,200 feet.

The Scriptures are from Psalm 104 verses: 13, 16, 18, 24, & 35, ESV.

Realm Makers 2015


The Realm Makers held their 2015 writers conference on the University of Missouri, St. Louis campus from August 6-9.  The Realm Makers are Christians who write and illustrate speculative fiction.  Speculative fiction refers to stories containing elements that are fantastic, futuristic, or supernatural; in other words, science fiction, fantasy, allegory, steampunk, and time travel.

The reason I enjoy speculative fiction is because it often expresses a sense of wonder.  Children have a natural sense of wonder about the physical world, but as adults we sometimes lose that wonder.  We forget to look around, we forget to notice the immensity of the universe or the smallness of its particles.  We forget the almighty God becoming one of us as a small baby.  We forget the mercies of God.  We forget.  But speculative fiction can sometimes take us outside of ourselves, and help us to remember.


All the pictures in this post are from the costume awards banquet held on Friday evening.  Almost everyone wore a costume.  I didn’t have much of a costume, but I did have a hat.

During the conference, there was a great feeling of camaraderie, shared purpose, and friendship.  I enjoyed and also benefited from the conference.  Others did as well:

At the costume awards banquet, the Clive Staples Award for best Christian speculative fiction for a novel released in 2014 went to The Warden & The Wolf King by Andrew Peterson.

The Parable Award for Excellence in cover design went to The Ghost Box designer Kirk DouPonce.


The Jedi Twilek family was chosen to have the best costumes at the awards banquet.  The Jedi-Twilek baby might have won it for them.

God bless the Christian authors.

A Freedom in Summer


One freedom in Summer is a friend, a mountain bike, long trails, and a warm sunset along the shores of Tennison Bay.

In Christ, every day is its own freedom.  (John 8:36).

Beauty Exists


Silvery water reflects tall pine in gentle ripples through warm dreamy air.

After taking this picture, I wasn’t sure what to think.  Was it good?  Would others appreciate it?  I sent it to a friend who liked it a lot.  Her enjoyment caused me to like it a lot too.  Getting feedback is good for any artist.  Otherwise, the only reaction some pictures will ever elicit is a question: “Is this good, or not?”

Taking pictures for one’s own enjoyment can be a good hobby, but photography, as with any art, is really about communication with others.  Art should be a communal experience.  I’m not sure if the picture above communicates anything deeper than that God is good and beauty exists, but at least we can share that pleasant thought together.

Beauty exists whether we perceive it or not.


This post was originally published in 2012.  For this re-post, I increased the size of the photo, modified the wording slightly, added new tags, and changed the title.

The picture was taken at Hartman Creek in Wisconsin, and it is now one of my all time favorites.

God bless.

Go Hiking


If the weather is right, get outdoors, and go hiking.  Enjoy what God has made.


God made the outdoors, it’s the best artwork around, and we can live right in it.

And don’t leave your friends (or family) behind.


These pictures are from the Ypsilon Lawn Lake Trail in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

God’s blessings to you.