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On a Mission
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon, Senior Equipping Minister at Covenant Community Church on Mar 1, 2000, 22:11

The name Donald Olson is not very well known. Those who know him, realize that he has a very unique job. He is a Celestial Detective. He is an astronomer at Southwest Texas State University and he keeps his eyes on the heavens to answer historical questions big and small.
If you need an example, consider the mysterious midnight ride of Paul Revere. Researchers have wondered how Paul Revere, in a small rowboat, slipped past a British warship anchored in Boston Harbor on his way to Charlestown for his famous midnight ride. Reports indicate that the moon was almost full on the night of April 18, 1775. In fact, it illuminated Revere’s ride from Boston to Concord. So why didn’t that same bright, almost full moon allow the guards posted on the HMS Somerset to see him as well?
This is where a celestial detective can help. Using a computer program to recreate the sky of more than 200 years ago, Olson discovered that the moon was an unusually low southeastern moon that night. Had the moon risen to the east, as it usually does, Revere would have been spotted. Unusual darkness also played a role in the death of Gen. Thomas Stonewall Jackson. He was wounded by his own troops when twilight descended early over a battlefield on May 2, 1863.
Olson also discovered that the US Marines were victims of an event that occurred only in 1943. The landing on the Tawara atoll in World War II was an amphibious exercise that went sour. That night the tide failed to rise as expected and the troops were stranded behind a reef 600 yards offshore. Because of the failure of the tide to rise, the marines were forced to wade ashore under heavy Japanese fire. They eventually took the island, but the casualties were high—1,027 dead or missing. Unfortunately the military did not have the technology available to predict such an event.
Wow...what a unique job...a celestial detective. There is a need within each of us for information. Now there are certainly many examples of people whose need for information can get them in trouble. You know the type of people I am talking about, the nosey, pushy, busy bodies that each of us have run into from time to time. Those kind of people have an unhealthy and destructive need for the scoop. That is not what I am talking about here. Instead I am talking about that healthy desire to have information that will help you become informed, educated, and a better person in whatever area you desire to excel in.
One area that most of us are poorly educated in is understanding how God is working in areas outside our hometowns. You might be surprised to discover some of the amazing things that are happening in the world as God is doing a great work in some amazing places. Let me encourage you to become a heavenly detective, a person who tries to be informed about what is going on in the world around us, both near and far. As a part of the family of God we need to have our world view stretched a bit. We need to be aware and encouraged by the way that Jesus is being proclaimed all over the planet. If we are better informed then we will be better in supporting and praying for those involved in ministry in places that we will never get to go.
We’re on a mission, to go where the brave dare to fly, we’re on a mission...to know Him and make Him known is our creed...letting the fire be freed...Mission 3:16 ( lyrics from Mission 3:16 recorded by Carman). On a mission with you to touch and change the world with the love of Jesus





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