Fourth Day Gazette, Spring 2020

Honoring Our Creator & Defending a Created Universe

Vol. 24, No. 01

And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the Sun and the Moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

Deuteronomy 4:19, ESV

Welcome to Fourth Day Gazette 82 (FDG-82), the 24th Anniversary edition. Watching the “outer creation” with a telescope is my brief definition of astronomy. Many people think astrology and astronomy are the same thing. The scripture above clearly separates worshiping from watching. Practicing the horoscope is a modern violation of that scripture and is a branch of idolatry. FDG-12 Dec. 1998 provided a thorough challenge to astrology verses astronomy. (Note: to access past issues of the Fourth Day Gazette (FDG), email erp72creek@yahoo.com).

Diagram courtesy of Guy Ottewell, October 2019

Venus the Evening Star

Venus the Evening Star shines bright in the west sky until summer 2020. That is an unusual pattern for a planet which normally crosses the night sky in a period of six months. The diagram shows how the second planet from the Sun moves around the west sky. It indicates size and brightness but is exaggerated in scale. If we were closer to Venus to match the view we would be toast, literally. Start your watch at dusk looking southwest (about 15-30 minutes after sunset) on a clear evening sky. You cannot mistake Venus since it is the brightest object other than the Moon and Sun. Notice that it slowly winds around and is farthest left of the sunset in January and February. Venus crosses the ecliptic plane (dotted line) into the northern hemisphere. It slowly moves toward the Sun by June. Seasons are changing as the sunrise begins earlier and the sunset begins later. 

You are watching the planet that is almost as large as Earth but was created 25 million miles closer to the Sun than we are. Yes it is very, very hot there. We can see phases of Venus that similar to those of our Moon, as the diagram illustrates. Venus grows much brighter from March to May as it approaches the sunset. Venus reaches maximum brightness passing between Earth and the Sun as a crescent shape, seen through even a small (2 inch or 50 mm diameter) telescope! WARNING: Do not follow Venus to the Sun because that is dangerous to your eyesight! 

The Hand of God

Watching any planet allows you to discover our Creator’s handiwork. We use the planets and stars to mark seasons as they cross our night sky; plus, between sunset and sunrise we can define night time. They do cross the day sky but we cannot see them normally. That big bright light (Sun) outshines the darkness and illuminates our daytime. During a Total Solar Eclipse it can become dark enough to see stars and planets for up to ten minutes. The other big object defines our months. We call it the Moon. 

“Yours is the day, Yours also the night;
You have established the heavenly lights and the Sun.
You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.”

Psalm 74:16-17, ESV

Orion


Constellation Orion shines until April as it crosses our night sky. The hourglass-sevenstars are a winter constellation. Three belt stars mark the equatorial plane of Earth. Two top stars mark the north end and two more the lower south end.

Noah’s Flood on North America

Thanks to Dan A. Biddle, Ph. D., and Genesis Apologetics for their documentary video on Noah’s Flood:

Overhead we have busy night skies. 

Full Moons

On March 9, April 7, May 7, and June 5 we can enjoy Big Bright Full Moons. They occur at or near Perigee when the Moon is closest to Earth. 

Eclipses

There will be six (count them!) eclipses in 2020. Four of them (the ones in January 10, June 5, June 21, and December 14) are not visible in the continental USA. Two late night lunar eclipses are July 4 and November 29 which are penumbral or involve the dim shadow only. So we cannot enjoy any of the eclipses this year. Readers on the rest of God’s Globe can see the top four eclipses. Timing and our location determines how many of us see them! 

However, 2021 and 22 will begin another set (those terrible tetrads) of four total lunar eclipses.

Jupiter and Saturn

Planets Jupiter and Saturn will shine best from June to December as they move closer together for a grand conjunction on December 20-22, 2020. 

Mars

Planet Mars will cross our sky again. It will be biggest and brightest in September 2020 and the best we shall see until September 2035! 

You early risers can see three planets an hour before sunrise. Look southeast for Mars, Saturn and Jupiter lined up. They are closest together in March and April. 

Spring

March and April brings seasonal change and festivals. The annual vernal equinox or Spring begins early on Thursday March 19. Notice that sunrise and sunset occur directly east and west. Afterwards, days will become longer and nights will become shorter. 

Passover & Easter

The Full Pink Moon on Tuesday April 7, is not only the biggest and brightest, but will also begin a historical festival at sunset which began according to Exodus Chapter 12 about 3470 years ago! Modern Israelites and Christians celebrate Passover, which is a festival of deliverance and sacrifice.

While naturalistic cultures await an extraterrestrial to visit Earth, the scriptures record a visitor known as Emmanuel (one reason for modern Christmas). All four biblical Gospels record His arrival and departure and a 33 year period of historical monumental proportions! 

Then the unbelievable occurred when Emmanuel fulfilled the Exodus Passover on a Friday of Crucifixion. Our Messiah, Christ Jesus (the Anointed One) gave up His spirit (died) and then rose again (was resurrected) three days later. Modern sanctimonious terminology is “Good Friday” and “Easter.” Forty days later, He left Earth and returned to Heaven-above, in front of witnesses according to Acts Chapter 1

Which Is More Unbelievable?

So this writer asks, which is more unbelievable: Our Creator produced all reality, or millions and billions of years of evolution from atoms and humans, for what? A clue: when America was discovered, most explorers acknowledged our Creator and Nature as His handiwork. 

Ernie & Ruth Poani

At your service with telescopes and sky. Sign up for our mailing list, request a back issue, or send a copy to a friend. Contact (217) 361-6374 or email erp72creek@yahoo.com.

Coronavirus: Unshakable Faith in a World That is Being Shaken

The following is a World Challenge podcast. It was originally published here.

We are living in shaky times. As a global pandemic of coronavirus makes its way around the globe, taking lives, crashing stock markets and threatening the livelihood of millions, people are afraid. How are you doing handling the fear. Or maybe put another way, how’s your faith holding up? In this special edition of the Gary Wilkerson podcast, Gary is joined by Keith Holloway, the Senior Director of Missions Development at World Challenge to talk about faith in a time of fear. We hope this podcast gives you hope and encouragement that even in desperate times like these, God is in control.

Notable Quotes from the Podcast

“…in the midst of all the shaking that’s going on in the world today, there is an unshakable foundation. There is an internal foundation of an unshakable faith, of an unshakable hope, of an unshakable resolve that I know my Redeemer lives and I know there’s joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

Gary Wilkerson

“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me, and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”

Martin Luther

“We are born again believers. We’re walking in the natural, but we’re also being led and guided and controlled by the Holy Spirit. So, it’s an awesome time for us to not feel diminished, but to actually feel prepared for this hour where we have an answer of the hope that lies within us…”

Keith Holloway

Bible Verses Mentioned in the Podcast

“When God spoke from Mount Sinai His voice shook the earth, but now He makes another promise: ‘Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.’ This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe.”

Hebrews 12:26-28, NLT

“The Lord reigns; Let the earth rejoice;”

Psalm 91:1a, NIV

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast 

About Keith Holloway

Keith Holloway is the Senior Director of Missions Development at World Challenge. Keith is a CHE trainer, facilitator, and a member of the Global CHE Network’s Representative Council. He and his wife Maureen live in Colorado Springs; they have six grown children and seven grandchildren. 

About Gary Wilkerson

Gary Wilkerson is the President of World Challenge, an international mission organization that was founded by his father, David Wilkerson. He is also the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church, which he launched in 2009 with a handful of people. He has traveled nationally and internationally at conferences and conducted mission ventures such as church planting, starting orphanages, clinics, feeding programs among the poorest of the poor and the most unreached people of the earth. Gary and his wife Kelly have four children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.

Fear Not

“‘[N]o weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me’…” — The Lord, Isaiah 54:17, NIV

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
— Jesus, John 14:27, NIV

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” — Paul, 2 Timothy 1:7, KJV

Fourth Day Gazette, November 2019

Honoring Our Creator & Defending a Created Universe

Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the LORD of hosts is His name: ‘If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever.’

“Thus says the LORD: ‘If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the LORD. ’”

Jeremiah 31:35-37, ESV

Certainly our LORD is in control but we are still catching up with Him. Israel still exists but scientists continue to explain earth and life without a Creator and Ruler.

Three of our four annual seasons occurred and we anticipate winter 2020. Sunrise in the southeast and sunset in the southwest is providing the hot to cold cycle in our northern hemisphere. Down under the southern hemisphere is transitioning from cold to hot again. The weather and climate indeed varies every year as we orbit the sun. Forgotten and ignored is the reason for our perpetual atmosphere conditions. The first eight chapters of Genesis contain the original history of real climate change.

Lucky Thirteen?

The ongoing cultural dichotomy can explain the adnauseam from environmentalism to global-warming and climate-change campaigns! Yes fellow readers it was thirteen years ago when Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. produced the film An Inconvenient Truth in 2006. And now we have teenage advocates who have been seriously brainwashed from such campaigns. Readers beware; we can expect additional annual polar ice cap melting frenzies. Simply ignore the annual polar summer seasons and you could be happy again but there are annual freeze and thaw cycles upon Earth poles!

Closest to the Sun

Sunday, January 05, 2020, we earthlings will be closest (perihelion) to the Sun at 91,402,477 miles away. Yes, the northern hemisphere is closest to our sun in wintertime, while folks below the equator experience summertime.

Four Planets

Four planets shine in the southern sky during November and December. Begin at dusk to see them. Look low west at the bright evening star Venus. Next see the bright Jupiter in the southwest. Then the ringed-wonder Saturn is dimmer and shining in the South. Uranus appears as a pale blue-green star in the southeast and is the dimmest. This writer needs to positively see Uranus!

Planet Uranus, Enhanced Image.

Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun and is four times larger than Earth. On a clear night sky it is barely naked eye visible. Since it is 1.8 billion miles from the sun, binoculars will distinguish it from a star. It is passing across the dim constellation Aries (between Taurus and Pisces) from 2019-2023. The “bulls-eye” planet rotates backwards on an axis 08° from the orbital plane! Like Saturn it has a ring system but not as spectacular. Every 42 years we see Uranus, rings, and moons from its north or south pole which looks like a bulls-eye target. Amazing images from the Voyager 2 flyby-probe plus HST and Keck telescope sites show some of our Creator’s glory and splendor towards the edge of our solar system. Twenty years ago Fourth Day Gazette 16 (August 1999) featured planet Uranus.

Glory

There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

(1 Corinthians 15:40-41, ESV)

You have to wonder why Apostle Paul compares creation and resurrection for the Corinthian Christians. Obviously 1900 years later the subjects are still controversial.

50 years ago, twelve American Astronauts journeyed to the Moon; Apollo-Saturn 9 in March 1969, A-S 10 in May, A-S 11 in July and A-S 12 in November. We celebrate the historical achievement of Apollo 11 when the first two men walked on the Moon. Two more walked on the Moon in November 1969. What a year it was. Each three man crew of Apollo left and subsequently returned to Earth together. One remained aboard the Apollo mothership in Lunar orbit while two descended aboard the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) to the lifeless surface of our Moon. (Yes, there are Americans who do not believe this actually happened.) A-K events of 1969 were submitted in Fourth Day Gazette 80 and reader’s responses were surprising. Thank you to those who did reply.

The past two generations have experienced much anti-Americanism within our borders. Many fellow citizens have been brainwashed and converted to extreme ideas about our heritage. The obvious national objective of 1969 succeeded because enough respect and unity was still intact. This writer laments the loss of such objectivity and respect for our nation. I am growing weary of the ongoing rejection of our Constitutional Republic. Might the founders have anticipated this with “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union”? Could they really believe unity and perfection would prevail without our Creator’s principles and standards as a basis from history? You know, those historical truths found in the 66 books known as the Bible!

Full Moons

Eye-inda-Sky, November 14, 2016.

Full Moons are difficult to observe and photograph without light filters. Clouds can be worked around but eventually can spoil viewing or enhance it. The picture shown above is an example of such viewing. Watch a full moon with sunglasses for a quick and economical solution.

Upcoming Attractions

The annual Geminid Meteor Shower on December 13- 14 will be spoiled by the Full Moon (December 12) and the bright waning Moon that weekend. So watch anyway for stray bright meteors to streak across the sky from the constellation Gemini. A day or two before and after peak shower nights may be rewarding.

Holidays

Thanksgiving November 2019 is our truly historic American holiday and holyday for family and friends. May it never become only another market bonanza.

Christmas December 2019 is an honorable holiday to remember the historic arrival of Immanuel. His thirty three years on Earth connects the Old and New Testaments. His departure and next arrival will complete history as we know it.

Ernie & Ruth

At your service with telescopes and sky. Sign up for our mailing list, request a back issue, or send a copy to a friend. Contact (217) 361-6374 or email erp72creek@yahoo.com.