Sunday, November 15, 2009


Star rubies (red color) and star sapphires (blue color) show a bright six-legged star in the dome of their cabochon. The stars, like the eye of a cat's-eye, are formed by light reflecting off tiny inclusions in the stone. The value of star rubies and sapphires are influenced by two things: the intensity and attractiveness of the body color and the strength and sharpness of the star. All six legs should be straight and equally prominent. Star rubies rarely have the combination of a fine translucent or transparent color and a sharp prominent star. Star sapphires are more common but still very rare with fine color. Star rubies and sapphires are becoming more rare as most rough today is cut into faceted stones after heating instead of being cut into cabochons to display the star. Stars are very collectible as a result.

I can never look at these particular stones without thinking of that time in Bethlehem, and the birth of our Savior.

When I see the star it reminds me of the Old Testament scripture in which Jesus is described as a star. Numbers 24:17 reads, I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the sons of Sheth.(NIV)

In the New Testament Matthew 2:2 tells of the wise men seeing “his star in the east.” Luke 1: 31-33 tells the account of Jesus receiving both His name and His authority over the house of Jacob (the fulfillment of Numbers 24:17). II Peter 1:19 tells of the morning star and in Revelation 22:16 Jesus proclaims that He IS “the bright Morning Star".
As we enter into the season of Christmas, when lots of lights, festive characters and other things vie for our attention, let's consider the real 'star' of the show...Jesus.

Next Post: Gift Wrap and The Greatest Gift

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Confession and Glass Cleaner

The Karat Patch jewelry store in Big Spring, Texas is full of glass. For security reasons we only have one glass door and window. But inside the store there are display cases, wall units, and a sales counter made of glass. And not just glass but mirrors too. It's is a 'glass rich' environment. Every morning and most days around 1:00pm, we have to clean fingerprints and arm-prints off the glass. During busy times of the year, like the Christmas season, we clean the glass 3 or 4 times a day. It really is a constant job to keep the glass and mirrors clean. You can just imagine how things would be if we did not keep the glass clean: at some point one might not be able to see what's behind the glass at all.

I've often thought about all that work to keep the glass clean. We must keep the glass clean so that folks can see the beautiful jewelry inside those displays. When the glass isn't clean it distorts the beauty of things behind it.

Sometimes when I'm cleaning the glass, I think about how much we Christians are like that glass display. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we have the person of Jesus Christ inside of us. As humans, we sin. Sin is like those fingerprints and arm-prints on the glass in that it leaves something on our lives that distorts the view others have of what's on the inside.

We use a variety of products to keep our glass clean and even to prevent fingerprints. But there's only one way to clean away sin on our lives...confession. Scripture says (1John 1:9) when we confess our sin that Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us, and CLEANSE us from ALL unrighteousness. If we never confess our sin it's like that glass that never gets cleaned; it becomes very difficult to see the beauty of Jesus that lives within us. But when we confess our sin, we're like clean glass through which folks can see the beautiful things inside of us namely, the hope...the glory...the salvation...and the person of Jesus Christ.Confession and glass cleaner....things that make it possible to see the beauty within.