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Space Invaders

It is where they launch rockets into space. No, not Cape Canaveral. The other place. Yes, Baikonur, Kazakhstan. A Soyuz spacecraft with two Americans and one Russian on board lifted off from Kazakhstan.

Along for the ride was American computer game millionaire Richard Garriott. Atop a Russian rocket, it soared out of sight. Guided by U.S. astronaut Mickael Fincke and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov, the space traveler was in good hands.

But let’s go back to Richard Garriott. What was he doing there? Why would a man who had millions of dollars blast off into space? Well, Richard has an answer.

“I have about everything there is in this world. But it’s not enough,” he said.

Wow! What a statement! He had everything of this world, and it was not enough. So off he went, chasing after other worlds.

Here’s the good news. God has invaded our universe and our planet, with his love and with his Son. Trust in him. Give him your life. He’s out of this world!

The Phonograph

Back in the old days, we had this thing called a cassette player. Before that we had records. They spun around in circles. We even cut them out of the back of cereal boxes sometimes. We played them on something called a record player.

But before that – in the really old days – we had this thing called a phonograph. For that we owe a debt of gratitude to a fellow named Thomas Edison. On this day in history – November 21, 1877 – old Tom announced this new invention. With later development, the phonograph would be called the gramophone (1887) and then the record player (1940s).

Others had invented devices to record sounds, but Edison was the first to invent something that could play those sounds back.

Edison was ahead of the times. I mean, who even needed a record player in the days when they had no records? But give the man credit. He saw what others did not see. That’s called a visionary.

God really uses visionaries. The Bible says that in the last days, men will see visions. It also says that we are dead without a vision. What is your vision? Every man and woman needs a vision.

Success requires a lot of work. It requires risk and creativity. But it all starts with a vision. Just ask Mr. Edison.

The Day Man Walked on the Moon

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. After Apollo 11 landed successfully in the Sea of Tranquility, the two men did what no man has done for decades.

Armstrong spent 2.5 hours outside the spacecraft, and Aldrin slightly less. Together, they collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material for return to Earth. The third member of the crew, Michael Collins, piloted the command spacecraft home in a lunar orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin returned it just under a day later.

Launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida, on July 16, Apollo 11 was the fifth manned mission of NASA’s Apollo program. The craft had three parts: a command module with a cabin for the three astronauts (and the only part that landed back on Earth); a service module, which supported the command module with propulsion; and a lunar module for landing on the moon.

After being sent toward the moon by Saturn V’s upper stage, the astronauts separated the spacecraft from it and traveled for three days until they entered into lunar orbit. Armstrong and Aldrin then moved into the lunar module and landed it in the Sea of Tranquility. They stayed a total of 12.5 hours on the moon’s surface. After lifting off in the upper part of the lunar module and returning to Collins in the command module, they returned to Earth and landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24.

Broadcast on live TV to a worldwide audience, Armstrong  stepped onto the lunar surface and described the event as “one small step for man, one giant step for mankind.” Apollo 11 effectively ended the space race and fulfilled a national goal proposed in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy in a speech before Congress and repeated at Rice University in Houston. He said, “Before this decade is out, we will land a man on the moon and return him safely back to Earth.”

That is called vision. It’s called American exceptionalism. It’s called politicians keeping their word. It’s called the good ‘ol days.

Popsicles

They come in all kinds of colors. They can be eaten or dissolved in one’s mouth. Then their sticks can be used to build tiny boats, boxes, and other fascinating objects. I’m talking, of course, about the Popsicle.

But what is the original Popsicle? Inquiring minds want to know.

The year was 1905. An 11-year-old boy named Frank Epperson mixed up some fruit-flavored soda powder and mistakenly left the glass outside overnight. When he awoke the next morning, he discovered the beverage had frozen, with the stirring stick in the middle. He shared this “soda on a stick” with his friends, and kept making them as a kid.

Fast forward Frank’s life to the age of 30. After several failed attempts in business, he didn’t know what to do to make money. A friend reminded him of his “soda on a stick” invention. His buddy said there might be a market for this.

Having nothing to lose, Frank patented his idea, and called it “Popsicle.” The idea caught on, and Frank became rich.

Here’s the point. In each of us is one great idea. What is yours? Think outside the box. Figure out what you do well. And then go for it!

Paul said it like this – “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).