October 26, 2014
Matthew 22:34-46
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17

Within Sight of the Promised Land
Proper 25 | OT 30 | Pentecost 20

Click here for the full installment.

Frank Ramirez
"Within Sight of the Promised Land" by Frank Ramirez
"The Nature of Love" by Peter Andrew Smith

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Within Sight of the Promised Land
by Frank Ramirez
Deuteronomy 34:1-12

The LORD said to him, "This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your descendants'; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there."
-- Deuteronomy 34:4

He was there at the creation of the new age. When others mocked at the idea, he spoke and wrote and argued as a true believer and finally convinced others. Having left the land of his birth he wandered in the wilderness for decades stubbornly attempting to lead others beyond the frontier into the future. Having finally lived long enough to come within sight of the Promised Land he passed away without crossing over himself.

Willy Ley was born October 2, 1906, in Berlin. When, as a child, he wrote a school essay stating he wished to become an explorer when he grew up his teacher mocked him, telling him he didn't have the proper background, and besides, there was nothing left to explore in the twentieth century.

Ley became interested in rocket science at a time when it was ridiculed by the popular press. Having studied astronomy, geology, paleontology, and physics during college, he came across the book known in English as The Rocket into Planetary Space by the German scientist Hermann Oberth. Ley laboriously rechecked all the mathematics in the book and decided that the era of space travel need not be far off. Ley's first book on space flight was published in German in 1926, and a year later he was one of the founding members of the German Rocket Society.

Ley's prolific writing for the general public raised the level of interest in rocketry in Germany. His crowning achievement was his work as a consultant on the Fritz Lang film Die Frau im Mond (The Woman in the Moon), for which he designed realistic space ships and insured that the details surrounding space flight were accurate. The film was a sensation in 1929.

However the Great Depression forced Ley and the Rocket Society to abandon most of their efforts to launch rockets. Soon the only real work on rockets in Germany was conducted in secret by the military.

The rise of Nazism and Adolf Hitler alarmed Willy Ley, so in 1935 he forged papers that allowed him to travel to England carrying only a few changes of clothing and his favorite books. He then emigrated to the United States and became a citizen. Ley soon became even more familiar to the American public than he had in Germany, writing stories about the future of space travel for popular magazines, acting as a consultant to television shows from Disneyland to Tom Corbett: Space Cadet. His books, often profusely illustrated, not only told accurate history of rockets and space experiments, but also imaginatively predicted a future where space travel would be common. As one who loved science fiction, he wrote many science articles for science fiction magazines, inspiring many who would go on to design and launch the ships that traveled into space.... >>Click here for the full installment.

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