OK soldier, if you’re going to be the Drill Sergeant, you have a stunning discovery ahead of you.  The Drill Sergeant gets out of bed before all the recruits.  And he runs with them, lives with them, and goes to bed later too.  But there are rewards.  Every day starts early, rewarding you with a dawn patrol view of life.  Life is best seen in the light of hope and freshness, with the dew of newness.  The best reward is knowing that you can teach new recruits how to survive to the victory celebration. 

I said earlier that adults could learn from camping experiences.  This is the best opportunity for city people to discover the splendor of the heavens.  You will be amazed by how much more brilliant the stars are when you are away from city light pollution.  Have you seen the Milky Way in recent years?  Join an astronomy outing or bring your own telescope to increase the discovery experience.  Take a group from your church and DEMONSTRATE LEADERSHIP by bringing the scriptures to life with your own study of Genesis.  Here is a preview of your coming assignment; HEAVEN, the physical and spiritual universe.


My wife’s grandmother passed away before her husband Oscar.  As Oscar aged and drew near to their reunion, he told us some strange things.  He reported frequent visits and conversations with his dead wife Myrtle.  Was that real?  My wife passed away in 2005, but I have not had this experience yet.  I do have a strange sense of her being near though.  HEAVEN SEEMS VERY REAL TO ME NOW.  It may be near and far at the same time though.


For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  1 Thes 4:16-17

We seem destined to a meeting in the air, so we tend to view the stars of the universe as part of this promise.  God created them, and we can imagine that he reaches the outer limit of his creation at least.  We can view part of that creation today.  But there is more than we can imagine.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor 2:9

There is more, but we can at least see this “small” world that is physical.


In bodybuilding the athlete is always watching for signs of growth.  How big are we now?  We should have a ruler to use for measurement.  We can compare ourselves to the Lord, the Bridegroom, to see how we measure up.  To get an idea of his size, we can look at what he builds; the known creation, our universe. 


God says that by faith we are already sitting in heaven with him.  In our faith eyes we can look down from the sky.  If we are seated in heavenly places, What are heavenly places like?  And what is the scale of this creator and his creation?  We can see up from the ground now, with telescopes.  God tells us how he created stars and the sun and moon:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.  John 1:1-5 (KJV)

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  John 1:14 (KJV)


1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

Heaven and earth were still shapeless, and dark at first.

 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

When God made light, the heavens grew bigger and brighter all at once.  Some people call this the “Big Bang”.

 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

When earth and planets blocked the light of stars, it was dark in the shadows.  This made night and day.

 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

God made smoke and waters come together as solid earth.  You see clouds become water, then rain, then snow and ice as they get colder.  The earth was melted like a volcano until it became solid rock too.

 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

 9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

Enough molten earth cooled to make solid ground, and the seas were divided by land.

 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

Now we have oceans of cool water below the mountains of solid land.  In the sky above are many other stars like our sun and planets too.  We can make scale models of the planets and our sun to help you visualize our universe. 


Search for NASA web site named WELCOME TO THE PLANETS for images.  Or you can download Google Earth to your computer, and select the sky view.  If you zoom out (in?) you will find Hubble images of the stars and planets.

Now let’s do something that helps us to see the worlds that God created.  As a designer, I like to see a scale to measure by.  If I make the Sun very small, the Earth is even smaller.  The planets all fly in a circle around the Sun, and the moon around the Earth.  Let’s take a look: 


If a basketball is the earth, a tennis ball across the room is the moon.  In 1969 an Apollo Capsule flew all the way to the moon and back.  Our Space Shuttle flies only one inch above the earth in the same scale!  America, Europe, and China are all planning to return to the moon in a few years.  Our Space Station flies around the earth with crews from all over the world now.  If the Earth is 9 inches, the sun is 83 feet in diameter!  So let’s make our sun a lot smaller to build a model of the whole planetary system.  It will be easier to put the planets out where they belong.  This can be done at night in camp with lights too.


Choose a scale from the chart linked below.  Using a basketball for the Sun (regulation ball has a diameter of 9.39 inches.) makes your model almost a half-mile in radius! 


BODY                        DIA                ORBIT RADIUS / DISTANCE       

SUN                9.39     in         0.00                 Ft

Mercury           0.03     in         32.00               Ft

Venus              0.08     in         60.00               Ft

Earth               0.08     in         84.00               Ft

Mars                0.04     in         128.00             Ft

Jupiter             0.94     in         437.00             Ft

Saturn              0.78     in         802.00             Ft

Uranus             0.32     in         1613.00           Ft

Neptune          0.30     in         2529.00           Ft

Pluto                0.02     in         3324.00           Ft


Now walk out and place your planets on your model.  You can start measuring the distance with a measure or by pacing out yards.  An adults pace is about one yard if they take BIG steps.  If you are placing Pluto, you want to start early, because you have a long walk on the model-over a half mile!  Perhaps a Coleman lantern can serve as Sun, and Mini-Mag Lights as planets.  You can un-screw the lens from the mini lights to leave the tiny bulb out.  Big Mag Lights can be the gas giant planets.  Hikers should be able to see the “sun” so viewers can see their planets too.

PLUTO MISSION BY NASAHow far is it?  10 times the speed of a bullet=10 years…

(CNN Jan 17, 2005) — NASA says the New Horizons spacecraft will be the fastest ever launched, more than 10 times faster than a speeding bullet.  New Horizons is scheduled to lift off atop a Lockheed Martin Atlas V rocket at 1:24 p.m. ET on Tuesday (Jan 17, 2005) from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to begin a 10-year, 3-billion-mile mission.

About 42 minutes after liftoff and after it separates from its third stage, New Horizons will speed from Earth at about 16 kilometers per second, or 36,000 miles per hour.

New Horizons will reach a speed of about 47,000 miles per hour during its 10-year trip to Pluto. According to The Physics Factbook, a bullet from a large-caliber rifle travels at about 1,500 meters or 5,000 feet per second — about 3,400 miles per hour.

It took Apollo 11 three days to reach the moon in 1969. New Horizons will fly by it about nine hours after launch and reach Jupiter in a little more than a year, the space agency said.

If all goes as planned, it will then execute a “gravity assist” maneuver, slingshotting around Jupiter to pick up speed.  The maneuver will increase New Horizons’ speed to 21 kilometers per second — 47,000 miles per hour, NASA said.

From there it will travel nine more years in more or less a straight line to Pluto.

The probe, about the size of a baby grand piano, will capture the first up-close imagery of Pluto, its moons and a region of the outer solar system called the Kuiper Belt.

The 10 years it will take New Horizons to reach Pluto will be a long wait for the scientists and engineers who have designed the mission, but they say the payoff will be worth the wait.

(This old man did some design work on that Atlas 5 boosters in 2001, and will wait until 2016 to see the results…15 years in the works.  Lord give me patience, and give it to me right now!!)     :^D


Our Sun is only one of many that circle in our Galaxy.  Our scale model of the planets is in a big group of stars called the Milky Way Galaxy.  It has many suns and planets shaped like a pinwheel.  In our tiny scale it is as big as our real planets system circle!


Earth =            7917.512 miles =         0.0859 inches in scale (about 3/32 of an inch)

You =              6 ft =                           0.00000013 inches in scale (germ)


You can find pictures by searching the web for GALAXIES IMAGES, or HUBBLESITE. 


If light travels at 186,000 miles in one second, it travels much farther in one year.  That is called a light-year.  In one year that is 5,865,696,000,000 miles.  Nearly

6 Trillion miles!

With telescopes, we see light from stars that appear to be about 13 billion years away from us.  That is 6 trillion miles times 13 billion years.  Here are some stars and galaxies from back near the time (?) of creation.


If he is omnipresent he is everywhere.  He is here looking over our shoulder as we peer into the telescope.  And he is there looking back at us, millions of light years away.  He is the power that said “Let there be light”.  And he has offered to share that power with us.

 HOW BIG AM I NOW?  Well I don’t have to feel so smug about being a little bigger than (some of) the girls in our gym now!