Category: creation

Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, I can only imagine, is breathtaking to see in person.  The pictures of it are jaw-dropping to say the least and it’s unbelievable to me that one man could have painted such an elaborate masterpiece!


Sistine Chapel

My pastor last Sunday used one panel from this painting in his sermon.  The piece he used is the most well known of the panels, called Creation of Adam.


Creation of Adam – Michelangelo

It depicts the Biblical story, from the Book of Genesis, in which God the Creator breathes life into Adam.  According to Wikipedia, “the picture illustrates that God’s right arm is outstretched to impart the spark of life from his own finger into that of Adam, whose left arm is extended in a pose mirroring God’s, a reminder that man is created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26).   Another point is that Adam’s finger and God’s finger are not touching.  It gives the impression that God, the giver of life, is reaching out to Adam who receives it; they are not on ‘the same level’ as would be two humans shaking hands, for instance.”

I’m sure most of us recognize it, whether or not we can identify where it’s from or who painted it, but we’ve seen it before; used as an example of genius in the arts or as a comedic dig as a parody: Flying Spaghetti Monster, The Simpson’s.

But on Sunday, what I saw on the screen was blatant truth.  A blaring example of the relationship so many of us have with our Maker.  God actively reaches out to us and it is clearly portrayed in that painting.

Creation_of_Adam_Michelangelo - Copy (2)

You can see it in God’s demeanor.  His upper body leaning toward Adam with determined eyes locked on His love; His creation.  His right arm fully extended, desperately reaching.  His hand open and with the last of His might, stretching His finger to touch that which He holds dear, with a despairing hunger for a response.

And how do we respond?  Adam portrays that effortlessly.

Creation_of_Adam_Michelangelo - Copy

Leaning back, comfortably resting on his own strength, Adam looks directly at God but waits for Him to come closer.  His left arm is outstretched but not with his own strength.  He rests it upon his knee, hand hanging limp, barely lifting his finger as an answer to the One who gave him everything.

If any of you know me at all, you know that I don’t think there are any accidents, chances, luck, or coincidences in life.  Everything is planned and orchestrated by God.  He is very real and active in every moment of our day and can be seen clearly and often, but we choose not to look.

“God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.”   Acts 17:27 (NIV)

Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam appropriately portrays the heart of God and the heart of man.  God actively seeks us and longs for a relationship with us, but our response is less than energetic.

We pray only when things are going badly or we need something.  Our schedules have become so hectic that if Sundays aren’t filled with activities, it’s the one day to rest, not go to church.  We won’t read the Bible because it’s old and out-dated, “How could that book help me in today’s world?” we ask incredulously.  The things we have we worked hard for and we deserve.  We deserve more, we deserve better.


If you look closely, the gap between God’s finger and Adam’s, although only a matter of a few centimeters, is an eternity and can be felt in each one of our lives if we aren’t actively seeking Him.  But it takes effort, time, study and understanding.

Don’t waste another moment to meet with Him.  He waits for your touch.

Related Articles:
Acts 17:24-31   (
How God Reveals Himself   (
Sistine Chapel Ceiling – Wikipedia   (
The Creation of Adam – Wikipedia   (
The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo   (

In 2005 a neighboring town was hit hard by a tornado [Stoughton Tornado].  My family and I were at our local pool when the sirens sounded and we were sent to the locker rooms for cover.  Of course being the wanna-be storm chasers my husband and I are, we went outside while my Mom took the kids into safety.

The enormous twister passed by right in front of us, miles across, spinning and howling as it moved.



We could see and feel the force of it’s incredible, terrifying, strength and power yet from where we stood we were safe.  We were within arms reach (ok so we’re not so brave) of protection.

The Bible paints pictures of God’s strength and power;

“And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”   1 Kings 19:11-12

It reveals the amazing ability God has to control things that seem so out of control;

Frightening storms:

“And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.”   Mark 4:39

Fearsome beasts:

“Behold now, Behemoth, which I made as well as you… If a river rages, he is not alarmed; He is confident, though the Jordan rushes to his mouth. Can anyone capture him when he is on watch, With barbs can anyone pierce his nose?”   Job 40:15, 23-24

“Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook? Or press down his tongue with a cord? No one is so fierce that he dares to arouse him…”   Job 41:1, 10

And when God finally shows up to speak to Job in chapters 38-41, he reveals His power, not only through His words but also in his appearance:

“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind…”   Job 38:1  (also Job 40:6)

God can be seen through all kinds of storms; roaring winds and drenching rain, financial drought or despairing loneliness but His Word reminds us that He is the one in control.

“Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.”   Psalm 135:6

Like Scott Krippane’s song says…

“Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered ‘Peace, be still’
He can settle any sea
But it doesn’t mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child.”
-Scott Krippane


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I Spy A Fierce Dragon   (
Out of the whirlwind   (
Lessons From The Whirlwind   (

The past few nights I have woken up early; precisely 2:45am…the witching hour.

Ok, so the witching hour is typically thought of as midnight and when bad things happen…

the term witching hour refers to the time of day when supernatural creatures such as witches, demons, and ghosts are thought to appear and to be at their most powerful and black magic to be most effective.   -Wikipedia

But I do think God works in all things and at all hours.  So when I woke again this morning at 2:45am; the time of day when “supernatural beings are most powerful,” I figured God must have something to say.  So I got up.

I have been lost in a fog for many months now, questioning God and His plan for me as a wife, as a mother, my weight, my job, my writing…oh you name it, I’ve questioned.  And if you read my post from yesterday, pridefully titled What’s the point?, you might have noticed that I am expecting an answer.

In Job chapter 38 and 39, God is done allowing Job and his friends to answer for Him.  He’s done with Job’s questions and with Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and Elihu’s assumptions.  In one return question God finally gives Job (as well as this prideful mother of four) what he has been longing for…

An answer.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? …”   Job 38:4

God is the One in control.  Over all things…

The sea

“who enclosed the sea with doors… And I placed boundaries on it And set a bolt and doors… And here shall your proud waves stop’?   Job 38:8, 10-11

The morning

“Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, And caused the dawn to know its place,”   Job 38:12

The stars

“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, Or loose the cords of Orion?”   Job 38:31

The rain

“Who has cleft a channel for the flood, Or a way for the thunderbolt, Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew?”   Job 38:25, 28

The animals

“Can you hunt the prey for the lion, Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions”   Job 38:39

“Do you know the time the mountain goats give birth?… Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars…”   Job 39:1, 26

And in Job’s response I see myself…

“Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth. Once I have spoken, and I will not answer; Even twice, and I will add nothing more.”   Job 40:4-5


God woke me because He wanted to ask me something.

Who Am I? to think I deserve an answer… better yet, Who Am I? to question God.



“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”   John 1:1-2, 14

Words are powerful.  They have the ability to question, exclaim, describe, uplift, encourage, comfort, or destroy.  I have always loved words and enjoyed using them; writing, singing, studying, talking, you name it, and once I became a Christ follower and started reading scripture…oh my, those words!

Scripture is alive.  It breathes and can affect a person like a sucker punch, hitting directly at the heart.  Words found in the Bible not only uplift, encourage and comfort, but they offer guidance and truth.

I very much enjoy spending time reading God’s Word.  Don’t get me wrong, it can be very confusing and foreign at times but if I continue reading, God always reveals a phrase, a story or a truth that I can grasp… and then Scripture sings.

God opened my eyes to the power of words when I tried to break the habit of saying “Oh my gosh.”  Instead, I made a point to say “Oh my word” but found, as you can read in my post: OMG!, that using the phrase “Oh my word” is almost worse because as scripture tells us, the “WORD” is God…and more specifically, Jesus himself.

The area that I struggle with words most is memorization.  My kids attend AWANA, the youth program at our church, where they are taught to hide God’s word in their hearts. (Psalm 119:11)

Scripture memorization is vital in our Christian walk.  For instance, verses of praise help us appreciate God’s creation.  Verses of encouragement help when we’re feeling depressed, sad, or lonely.  God’s promises equip us to recognize His miracles in our life, get us through challenging times at work, at home or at school, they keep us strong against temptation and prepare us to share our faith with others.

God revealed to me through a friend last night in our small group how effective memorization truly is.  If John 1:1 is true, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. then why would we not memorize?  Psalm 119:11 says “Your word I have treasured in my heart…”

If Jesus truly is the Word, then when we memorize Scripture are we literally placing Jesus and His power into our hearts?

Definitely makes memorizing a little more interesting, doesn’t it??


“Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years”   Genesis 1:14

Sunset Mist

“Drip down, O heavens, from above, And let the clouds pour down righteousness; Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, And righteousness spring up with it. I, the LORD, have created it.”    Isaiah 45:8

In 2009, I took part in an Origin of Species outreach. This outreach handed out over 170,000 copies of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species to students at universities around the nation. Each book includes an introduction written by Ray Comfort of Living Waters Ministries that contains information about Intelligent Design and the gospel.

When I first found out about this Origin into schools project, I was so excited I could hardly stand it. I immediately contacted Living Waters to find out if there was a group heading up to the UW. Due to the incredible response to the project, the original plan of 100 campuses quickly grew to 1,000’s of campuses, including Madison!! So I was off and running.

As the weeks went by, I prayed diligently for this outreach. I couldn’t wait to see God work! I told many people about what was being planned…I asked for prayers over the outreach week…I posted links on Facebook sparring heated debates…it was so darn exciting!!

Just as quickly as the fire was lit and spread inside me for the cause of Christ, it began to fade. I began to doubt my courage, I feared what might happen, I didn’t trust what God could do through me, and I started to worry!

I became certain that God didn’t want me out there, because I would just mess it up, so I was convinced that God would provide my way out. He knew I couldn’t do this, so I figured I wouldn’t be able to find a sitter, or Jax would end up scheduled to work that day, maybe one of the kids would be sick. I KNEW something would come up.

It didn’t. God clearly had His own plans…

Much to my surprise, one of my best friends jumped at the chance to watch the boys so I could head down to be part of this.

Jax lost his job about a week before, so there were absolutely no scheduling conflicts with him.

The kids had been ill several weeks prior, but this week?? Fit as fiddles.

NOT ONE THING came up. In fact God provided, even through my children, encouragement for me:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”   Philippians 4:6

“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”   Psalm 118:6

“…do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour… for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”   Matthew 10:19-20

Yet, I continued to doubt.

The night before the outreach, I put off GOING to bed, because…well, the morning would come far too quickly. Then that morning, I delayed getting OUT of bed, because I knew people would be arriving at our house in no time. I seriously tried to figure out a way that the group could go without me, but God was NOT about to let me out of this. Everything was falling into place beautifully. No conflicts, no problems, no excuse.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”   1 Peter 5:6-7

Ok fine, I’ll go.

All of the brothers and sisters in Christ serving with us gathered at our house at 9:30am. We divvied up the boxes of books between three cars and headed downtown Madison.

Deep breath Nicole, take a deep breath…

The more I thought about it, I realized this wasn’t going to be so bad. I figured I would be right alongside Jax anyway, so if I had any problems he could take care of it. That essentially, he would be my “Aaron.” I was being sent…but Jax would do the talking.

Sounds like a plan to me!! Yup, that would work.

We decided to head toward State Street to cover the length of it and then would see where to go from there. Jax and I didn’t make it much past the first corner with our books, when we were instantly separated by the swarm of students coming to and from classes. Ok, he’s not too far away… I still felt fairly comfortable, so I began to hand out books. The students snatched them up. They couldn’t get enough!

“Darwin? Oh, I love him!”

“It’s free? Are you kidding me? Awesome!”

“Man, I thought you were giving out Bibles! This is great!!”

They were amazed and THRILLED that we were handing out Darwin’s book as opposed to Bibles or religious literature.

This was going to be easier than I thought!!

One professor, an “Evolutionary Scientist,” was so thrilled that we were handing out the book, that he said he was eager to share it with his students and even invited us to sit in on his class!!

The books were flying out of my arms. Only a few left… Yay, almost done!! Oooooh yes, my last book! Then, a lady asked me a question:

“Why are you handing these out?”

That’s easy enough I thought… “It’s the 150th anniversary of the publication of this book.”

“Who’s providing these books?”

Well…ok, “Living Waters.”

“Who is that?”

I froze.

What do I say now? Oh my word. They’re not going to understand! They’re going to get mad! Oh gosh…

“I don’t know.” I said hoping it was good enough.

“Well, who are you working for?”

Silence. I shook my head playing dumb. The lady looked at me inquisitively.

“Who hired you?”

Sheer terror filled me, and I blurted out: “I don’t know, I answered an ad in the paper.”

I stared back at her, holding my breath. She finally walked away probably thinking that I was an idiot.

“When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.”   Ezekiel 3:18

I walked back to the car to get more books, my heart very heavy. I was so ashamed. Oh my word, what have I done? I just missed an opportunity to share my faith. I played dumb to avoid what God was setting up! It hit me like a ton of bricks. I AM an idiot!!

Oh God, I am so sorry. YOU put me here. YOU orchestrated all of this. Each person that passes by me YOU led here at this exact moment. You are trying to use me, and I am stopping you!! Oh God, please forgive me, I am STILL doubting!

At that moment, I was done. I was done pretending. I was done doubting. I remembered Psalm 118:6 – the verse my daughter gave me the week before. What CAN man do to me? Absolutely NOTHING with God on my side!

From this moment on, if I was questioned I would answer. No holds barred. God knows I can do this, and I know I can trust Him. I grabbed more books and headed back to State Street. Now I was on a mission.

I hadn’t taken time to set all the books down when an elderly gentleman approached me. He had some questions. It was CLEARLY God saying, “Ok, prove it.” This man literally asked the exact same questions the lady before him asked and as I was talking to him, he finally got around to the poignant question:

“Living Waters? Who are they?”

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, and as I was about to speak when a young lady interrupted us:

“Is that Darwin’s original work, Origin of Species?”

“Yes,” I answered.

She screamed, grabbed a book and exclaimed, “Oh, thank you so much!! That’s fantastic! Thank you, thank you!” She walked away practically hugging the book.

The man looked at her, then at me, and awaited my response.

“Actually,” I said, “Living Waters is a Christian organization who wrote the introduction to the book. It explains Intelligent Design, and how Darwin’s theories are incorrect.”

The man paused, looked back at the gal who was now showing people this precious treasure she had just received, and said:

“Well, she’s going to be surprised now, isn’t she?!”

A huge smile engulfed my face. “Yes sir, she is.”

He thanked me, took the book, and walked away.

It was then that I knew God was with me. He was NOT going to allow anything to happen. HE was in control.

“Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.”   Psalm 125:1

We were on State Street for about three hours. We handed out a little over 1500 books. We were given the immense honor of speaking with a handful of people in whom the Holy Spirit was obviously working. Who really wanted to know why we were out there, and who still accepted the book after hearing that Intelligent Design prefaced it.

Now that it’s over, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. Great joy that I was able to witness to people — great joy that over 1500 students/professors were given a book which also contained the gospel message — but also great sadness.

It was astonishing how many people practically jumped up and down that we were handing out Darwin’s book. In fact, the amount of people who came back to THANK US!! One gal even bought me a pumpkin spice latte because she was so appreciative of what we were doing…and, because I looked cold!! Another guy said to Jax: “Thanks for not telling me about Jesus.”

Oh it broke my heart. Just how lost those people really are! That their view of street preachers is so negative, they view it as “refreshing” to be handed something other than a Bible!

Oh Lord, I can only pray that you touched one life that day. That one person read the introduction and made a choice to follow you. I leave it in your hands and thank you for what you have done and will continue to do because of that outreach. Thank you for including me, for NOT giving me an Aaron, and for teaching me amazing truths.

Oh, and by the way…thanks for the pumpkin spice latte!!

“I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.”   Jeremiah 17:10


Job is mad at his friends in chapter 12 and chapter 13 because of their advice and accusations, but Job still gives glory to God, even though he’s not feeling very worshipful.  Job, by just pleading his case to his friends, acknowledges God’s creation and power;

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.”   Job 12:7-8

“If he tears down, none can rebuild…
With him are strength and sound wisdom…
He pours contempt on princes and loosens the belt of the strong.
He uncovers the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light.
He makes nations great, and he destroys them…”
Job 12:14, 16, 21-23

I have found that I love taking pictures.  I realized this when I was training for my 1/2 marathon last year.

Haunted Hustle 1/2 Marathon

Yes shocker, I ran a 1/2 marathon.  Ran the whole thing too!!  And yes, I dressed up as wonder woman.

Don’t even think about it.

But what I found as I trained, running outside usually before dawn, was the amazing majesty and beauty that surrounds us.  Especially when the first rays of light pours its radiance out upon the dark rolling hills and jagged corners.


I always had my phone with me on those early morning runs, losing myself in the music, but as God revealed His glory to me through His light peeking over the horizon, I began to capture those moments through the, albeit limited, lens on my phone.

I began to look forward to spending time with Him in His creation and looking for Him at other times as well and discovered how much He reveals Himself to us through it!  I even started another blog where I only post photos and scripture revealing God’s astounding creation: Omniscience

God is an amazing artist and everywhere you look you can see His handiwork.  The Bible even says that God will not be ignored — creation screams His name, even if  no, especially when we won’t.

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”   Romans 1:20 (esv)

“‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.'”   Luke 19:40 (niv)

Job doesn’t understand his suffering and he knows he has done nothing to “deserve” it as his friends have suggested.  Still, because he is aware of God’s presence around him, he is able to remain faithful in the Lord.  He questions, but still has hope and knows he will be vindicated. [Job 13:15-18]

Are you feeling like God has left you alone and empty?
Even in this struggle you’re going through, in these hard times you’re facing… God is with you.
His magnificence surrounds you!

Just take a look around!

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“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you”   Job 42:5

When I was about ten years old I was a girl scout (and I find it a bit disturbing that the exact girl scout uniform I used to wear -above- I found the image on the Smithsonian legacies site.)  I should’ve just gone downstairs and taken a picture of my old uniform!

Anyway, that’s not the point although I kind of dig the fact that I have waaaay more patches on my sash.  🙂

We used to go camping as a troop and one time we stencil painted our names and an adjective to describe us on a pillow case.  The catch was the adjective had to start with the first letter of our name.

Great.  There were only 3 words I could think of for N;  Nice, Naughty & Nutty.  (I know, there are far cooler N adjectives… give me a break I was ten.)

We went around the circle telling everyone our adjective…

Cute Christy

Sweet Shannon

Adorable Angie

Jumping Jena

Oh they had such cute names, I was totally going with Nutty Nicole.  It was fun and would make people laugh…oh yes, that was the one.

As we went around the circle, it stopped at the other Nicole in the group who was just as inventive on N adjectives as I was.  “Nutty Nicole” she said.

I about had a heart attack.  I was certainly not going with naughty, and nice was just lame!  The circle rounded  its final turn and I was last to go, and I said…

It is so funny the silly regrets we have in life. The little things we wish we could change… and I can assure you no one else even remembers the adjective I chose back then, but I do not still have and never did use that pillow case!

Do I wish I would’ve gone with another word?  Absolutely!  Any other; neat, nifty, noble, notorious, even noisy would’ve been good, but what I find so interesting is how desperately I did not want to be associated with the word:


We are born with an innate sense of right and wrong since the fall of mankind.  God didn’t want us to have to choose between right and wrong.  He had one rule…

“…You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”   Genesis 2:16-17

We are made in the image of our Creator who cannot do wrong, but since that fateful choice to eat from the tree, all the generations since have possessed that choice… and so we struggle.

“…Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil…”   Genesis 3:22

Thankfully as Christ followers we have help…

“… he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”   John 14:16-17

Although we all will fail at some point after giving our lives to Christ by making a wrong choice, I have frequently found myself labeled and placed in the “naughty” category, often by other Christians, because of the songs I listen to, the jokes I laugh at, the movies I see.

One of my favorite songs is “Fly Away” by FFH;

This song speaks to my heart.  I love it’s sound, it’s beat and especially it’s message.  I sang this song as a special one Sunday a long time ago at a church we used to attend,

and got in trouble for it.

At that same church I lead the youth program, AWANA, and used some Go Fish songs to teach the the kids;

it was frowned upon.

The God I serve is an exciting, colorful, and fun-loving God and I have been taught that the way I see Him and life is wrong.  Thankfully He brought us to the church we now call home, where I am surrounded by other people who enjoy life, a good laugh and a strong beat.  They are just as crazy as me in thinking God is alive and energetic and wonderful.

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”   Zephaniah 3:17

“…as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”   Isaiah 62:5

Our five senses point to His creativity and enjoyment.

Why do we have taste buds?

Why does our skin long for touch?

Why does He create things of beauty for us to gaze upon?

Why do we prefer certain sounds?

Why can we be satisfied by a scent?

And why then did He create laughter?

Of course we must have a healthy fear of the One who created us.  He has rules we are expected to follow and we are to glorify Him through our actions and our lives, but to say He doesn’t want us to fully enjoy Him and this world He created specifically for us, is silly.

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”   1 Timothy 6:17

Find out for yourself how great God is.  He wants you to live life, love life, and love Him.


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