Friday Men’s Group 4/30/21

James Webb Space Telescope Launch Date: Halloween 2021

“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
Ecclesiastes 1:2 “The Theme of the Book”

Hi Men:

I pray you all have spent time this week “in” Christ.  Why?  Because Jesus has given us unimaginable riches.  Here is just one example, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ”  (Eph 1:3)  Now that is good news.  By the way, verses 3-14 of Ephesians 1 are some of the richest verses in scripture.  In the Greek, it is one long sentence.  Find yourself a quiet place and spend just 6+ minutes reflecting on these (12) verses:  Ephesians 1:3-14  These spiritual truths are simple enough for a child to wade in, but profound enough for a philosopher to drown in.

Most of you know by now, I love anything have to do with the cosmos.  And……… I still like the 1969 song by David Bowie, Space Oddity……….. “Ground Control to Major Tom.”  Even the updated version by Astronaut Chris Hadfield in 2013 on the ISS (International Space Station) was truly a classic.  If you missed it, Here It Is (about 50M views).  Factoid: If an astronaut in space was thrust through the airlock w/o his spacesuit, do you know how long he could survive? If interested, Here Are a Few Facts  (Run time: 1 min 30 sec) 

So what’s up with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)?   Well for one thing, it’s over-budget.  Back in the day, it was budgeted to be around $500M.  Now it’s pushing $10 Billion!  They will have the final test this July and then if all goes well, ship it to the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana.  For this telescope, it’s better to launch it near the equator.  Launch Date: October 31 (Halloween …. You thought I was kidding).  Just a few facts about the James Webb Telescope:

  • It’s 100X more powerful than the Hubble (launched in 1990)
  • It will be positioned 1 million miles from Earth @ the second Lagrange point (L2).  Why?  Two main reasons:
              1. To stay in line with the Earth as it moves around the Sun (good for communication)
          1. The sunshield (as big as a tennis court) to protect the telescope from the light and heat of the Sun, etc.
  • The James Webb can look at 100 objects simultaneously and look 13 Billion LY (Light-Years) into the universe.  Remember, 1 LY = 6 trillion miles.
  • It only has a life-span of 5years…… “they better get, while the gettin’s good.”
  • Here is a recent video of it unfolding it’s itself: (1 min 40 sec) 
  • If you want to know more, here is the official website 
  • And finally the “Prime Directive:”  Examine the first light in the Universe (Big Bang) and exoplanets – life on other planets (extra-terrestrial life) 
    • You know their mission:  If life evolved spontaneously on Earth, then surely it should have evolved somewhere else too?
Ok, so what?

As I have reflected on this amazing telescope, it brings me back to the Book of Ecclesiastes. I’m currently in a Bible study on this book – thought provoking indeed.  Impossible to unpack it in this email, so let me give you a few things to think about.  The verse at the top:  “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (other words used: futility, pointless, useless, meaningless).  Galileo invented the telescope in 1609.  What did he see?  Possibility of life on the moon and more stars.  Then in the 18th and 19th centuries they even saw more stars and determined there could be no atmosphere on the moon, thus no intelligent life could exist.  In 1969 Apollo 11 brought back some moon rocks.  Not even microbial life existed on the moon, but they did see more stars.  Along comes Hubble and guess what, more stars (and galaxies, nebulas, etc)!  This Halloween they launch the JWST.  What are they going to see?  You guessed it:  MORE STARS

Let me leave you with the Practical Application for the Book of Ecclesiastes:

Ecclesiastes offers the Christian an opportunity to understand the emptiness and despair that those who do not know God grapple with. Those who do not have a saving faith in Christ are faced with a life that will ultimately end and become irrelevant. If there is no salvation, and no God, then not only is there no point to life, but no purpose or direction to it, either. The world “under the sun,” apart from God, is frustrating, cruel, unfair, brief, and “utterly meaningless.” But with Christ, life is but a shadow of the glories to come in a heaven that is only accessible through Him.

For the believer in Christ, who has an eternal perspective, the discoveries of the Hubble and soon to be discovered by the JWST will only magnify the Glory of God where one day “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess” that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Looking Upwards,

“When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this:
Fear God and keep His commandments, because this is the whole duty of man.”
(Ecclesiastes 12:13) 

Men:  Please take some time meditating on these (2) devotionals. 

Escape from Reality and Perceiving Reality – Red Book Day 120 & 121
The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically

Solomon said, “As a man thinks, so is he”

Men:  Last year I included an audio teaching from the Book of  Ecclesiastes by Walt Henrichsen titled:  THE FUTILITY OF LIFE.  If you wish to review this 46 minute teaching scroll down from this letter on our website.  

Here is another Audio Teaching from the book of Ecclesiastes by Walt:

At the beginning of the message, Walt gives the 5 Ground Rules For Living.  Here they are:

1)  Mortality is 100% and life is at best is brief

2)  All the work of man’s hand is vanity

3)  For reasons all of His own, God has declared man to be of worth

4)  The significance in life is for man to give himself the way Jesus gave Himself for others

5)  For good or for bad what man does here on Earth will have an appreciable and significant impact in eternity

Blog 33 – Motivators – Part 2
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”
(Rev 22:12)

Men: Can you answer these 3 questions?

• Do you know how to be accruing rewards in Heaven?
• What are the three parables that Jesus taught on rewards?
         o What did you learn from them?
• What is my plan going forward this year?

If these 3 questions are important to you, then I would encourage you to read the attached PDF (Blog 33 – Part 2).
To see more of Gayle Jackson’s Blogs, Click Here.

There are so many going through trials these days.  As you all know, our friends in India are currently going through such monumental suffering.  Even our dear sister in Christ, Hephzi Janagam (Daniel’s wife) just lost her father to COVID yesterday.  I thought this short devotional that was sent to my by a dear brother might be of some comfort.

An Explanation of Trials by C.H. Spurgeon  (Click Here)

By the way, if you haven’t see, the video on the life of C.H. Spurgeon, I recommend it.  Spurgeon’s life wasn’t a bed of roses.  He had plenty of trials. 

Video:  The People’s Preacher – C.H. Spurgeon.
        Watch It On YouTube (no cost):
        Watch It On Amazon Prime ($4):

“One life wholly devoted to God is of more value to God than one hundred lives simply awakened by His Spirit.”

The Warning Against Wantoning – My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers

How many of you, in you heart of hearts, express this kind of gratitude?