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The rare blood moon and personal gratitude

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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A view of the most recent 'blood moon' total lunar eclipse as seen over Mexico City, which NASA has confirmed as the first of four consecutive total lunar eclipses that will occur in 2014 and 2015, April 15, 2014 (Credit: Reuters/Edgard Garrido)

Sunday night we saw something the world last witnessed in 1982 and won’t see again until 2033. The phenomenon was called a “supermoon lunar eclipse” or “blood moon.”

Three factors were at work.

First, a lunar eclipse occurred as the Earth stood directly between the sun and the moon. This is not unusual in itself—lunar eclipses occur no less than twice and as many as five times a year.

Second, light refracting around the Earth’s atmosphere reflected on the moon, giving it a coppery red color. Thus it is known as a “blood moon.”

Third, and most unusual: all this happened when the moon was at its closest point to the Earth, making it a “supermoon.” It was thirty-three percent brighter than during other full moons.

This constellation of events won’t happen again for eighteen years. I’m glad I saw it as it occurred.

Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one. The Bible nowhere promises a five-year plan. Paul thought he should go east when he was called west (Acts 16:6-10). He knew he was called to Macedonia. He didn’t know he was bringing the gospel to the “Western” world, and that twenty centuries later I would be writing about his faithfulness.

The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to be obedient today. That’s why I’m writing to express my gratitude for your support of our ministry through the recent North Texas Giving Day (NTGD). Your generosity enables us to obey God’s call. Without your support, we could not take God’s word to our world. Our readers supply one hundred percent of our funds. Your contributions make our work possible.

I am personally grateful to each of the 1,161 readers who gave to the Denison Forum through NTGD. With your help, we will continue to grow the readership of the Cultural Commentary beyond our 115,000 subscribers in 203 countries. We will expand the readership of First15, our daily discipleship resource. We will launch Christian Parenting later this year (www.christianparenting.org), with practical, biblical insight for parents and children. We will expand our website content to equip more readers than ever before with biblical answers to cultural issues.

I have no idea if I will be alive in 2033, or if Jesus will return next week. But I know that we are all one day closer to eternity than ever before. And I know that our Lord measures success by faithfulness.

Your faithfulness enables us to share Christ with our culture every day. Each member of our team joins me in thanking you for your generosity. Glory be to God.