29 September 2013

Melbourne Observatory - Seeing The Stars

This is a night out in August at the Melbourne Observatory, for some stargazing. The historic Old Melbourne Observatory is located in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. We heard that the planet Saturn can be seen in the winter night sky, this time of the year. The catch was, we need to know where in the sky to look and the use of a telescope, a very large powerful telescope.

So we joined a winter night guided tour of the Melbourne Observatory, for a chance to see the stars and planets of the southern sky. Saturn being the highlight for the night. The winter night tour starts from June to August, so we were very much at the tail end of the season.

This was also our very first time inside the observatory. As it turn out, the very first time for many who turn up on the night too.

There were about twelve of us that night, from children as young as ten to the mature wise ones. We were divided into two groups, each group going with their respective guides to one of the two observatory on site.

As with all tours, we were treated with some history about the observatory; how the observatory was and how it is now.

Historically, Melbourne Observatory was founded in 1862 to serve as a scientific research institution with the purpose of establishing correct Melbourne time. As the reliability and accuracy of time improved, kept accurate through observations of the stars using a transit telescope, the role of the Melbourne Observatory moved to astrophysics and projects, such as mapping the southern sky.

Today, the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne manages the site of the Melbourne Observatory and works closely with the Astronomical Society of Victoria to maintain this historical site.

As very much evident to us, though the telescopes are old and ancient, they still do work very well. We were fortunate that we got clear night skies most of the time, so we got to see Saturn and a number of star clusters.

Overall, it was an interesting night out. We got to see the night skies through a new perspective and an opportunity to meet other people, who are also interested in the celestrial stars.

15 September 2013

Jesus Is My ...

  • Saviour .................... (John 3:16-17, 2 Timothy 1:10)
  • Giver of life ............. (John 10:10)
  • Advocate ................. (1 John 2:1)
  • Healer ...................... (Ex 15:26, Act 4:10)
  • Comforter ................ (2 Corinthians 1:5; 7:6)
  • Counsellor ............... (John 14:16, 26)
  • Teacher .................... (John 13:13 – 14)
  • Good Shepherd ........ (John 10:11)
  • Friend ...................... (John 15:14 – 15, Matthew 11:19)
  • Brother .................... (John 20:17, Rom 8:17)
  • Lord ........................ (John 13:13)

The list above suggests the many ways how one could come into a relationship with God the Father, through Jesus. It need not necessarily begin with Jesus as our Saviour but at one point or another, have to accept Jesus into our lives as our Saviour.

The test for us all, in our walk with God, is to finally come to the place to call Jesus, LORD, in every sense of the word. Until then, it is going to be a journey of discovering our Father's heart, coming to a realisation that we have a good God, who protects and provides for those who trust in Him.

This realisation requires faith on our part. To help us with our faith to come to this realisation is the Holy Spirit, who in Romans 8:14 and 16 reminds us that we are God's children. In fact, sandwiched between these two verse is 15 where Paul urges us to call God the Father; "Abba, Father".

The whole of Romans 8 is worth a read. Highlighted below is Romans 8:14 - 17 (NLT)
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family [You received a spirit of sonship] -- calling him "Father, dear Father."[Abba, Father]
16 For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children.
17 And since we are his children, we will share his treasures--for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Did you notice what verse 17 is saying? Let's look at this verse in the New International Version (NIV)
Romans 8:17 (NIV)
17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
We are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. This also means that Jesus is our brother and God the Father, our Father.

As a family we to can/must share in His sufferings. Let the sufferings therefore be for His kingdom sake, with Jesus there with us as our advocate, healer, comforter, counsellor, teacher, good shepherd, friend and as our brother.

Realising also that Jesus is also God's chosen Lamb of God (John 1:29) who takes away the sin of the world, I hope brings our relationship with Jesus closer to calling him LORD.
John 14:6 - 7 (NLT)
6 Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
7 If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is. From now on you know him and have seen him!".
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