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November 2017

 We are inundated with so much negative news these days, that I thought it would be good to highlight some good things I have recently heard about.  The first is a speech I heard on MPR from Susan Marvin, Vice Chair of Marvin Companies in Warroad, Minnesota.  She spoke of how her great grandfather started a lumber mill in Warroad and then began making windows when he saw a need.  As the company grew, there was pressure to move to a larger metropolitan area.  Her grandfather resisted as did his children, and grandchildren who now run the company.  She said we have people living here who are honest and have good work ethics.  She states, “It is a truly caring culture, one that cares about customers, about each other, about the company, and about the community.”  When the recession hit, Marvin did not lay off workers, they cut back on corporate profits.  Their mission is not only to make a profit, but to build and support community in the company and in the region. The second is found in Puerto Rico.  Three weeks after the devastating category four hurricane hit Puerto Rico destroying most of its housing and its electrical power system, 85% of the island is still without electricity.  Elon Musk of Tesla Corporation is working with Puerto Rico Governor Rossello to develop a solar power system to replace the destroyed electric grid.  Crates of Tesla energy equipment have already arrived including hundreds of Tesla Power Wall solar batteries.  A week after the storm, Tesla employees were on the ground assisting in efforts to connect buildings with power.  Also Google is delivery emergency cell service to Puerto Rico using giant weather balloons             The third was found in outer space.  On August 17, astronomers saw gamma rays produced by the collision of two neutron stars.  A neutron star is formed when a star collapses leaving only a very dense mass of neutrons, uncharged particles that emit no light.  One small cube of that mass could contain the condensed mass of all current humanity.  Over 130 million years ago, about the time of dinosaurs, two neutron stars that had revolved around each other at the speed of light for millennia, crashed into each other producing a two second flash of gamma rays, a lot of heavy metals such as gold, platinum, and silver, and most importantly, gravitational waves in the space/time continuum that lasted 100 seconds.  Three new gravitational wave observatories, two in the U.S., one in Italy, observed for the first time this cosmic event.  Einstein predicted the existence of these waves in the cosmic fabric, but they were never discovered until two years ago.  The importance of this discovery is that scientists now will have a better chance of answering some important questions such as: What is the expansion rate of the universe?  What are the properties of dark matter? And how are stars born and how do they die?  It will also raise other questions about our amazing universe never considered before.  Over 3,500 astrophysicists collaborated in the report just released on Monday.  It continues a new wave of worldwide scientific collaboration.              Thousands of years ago, our spiritual ancestors looked at the heavens and were awed at the points of light in the night sky canopy and the sun rising like a charioteer in the morning sky.  They witnessed these marvels and declared the greatness of God.  Now we have even greater reason to consider the awesomeness of God.  The Creator of this magnificent universe is moving people to create companies and systems to sustain caring communities and heal the afflicted.