by Colonel Jeffrey N. Williams published by Concordia Publishing House
My dad is really hard to shop for. It’s not that he “has everything”, but he does have everything he wants. In fact, what he really wants can’t be bought, especially grandchildren!
So, last Fall, when Grandpa asked me what I thought would make a good present, I felt for him. But, this time I had the answer. Dad loves astronomy and Jesus. I’d just heard about this book and thought of buying it for him myself. How much more special coming from his father!
Sure enough, Dad loved his present. He’s even let me borrow it for a while so I could read it and tell you about it.
Have you ever wanted to be an astronaut? Ever imagined being strapped into a rocket shooting towards outer space? What would it be like floating around in a spacecraft and having to strap everything down to keep it from drifting away?
What about being stuck in the International Space Station (ISS) for months on end?
Colonel Williams does an amazing job letting us know what it feels like being an astronaut. He doesn’t cover the years of training much, but from the weeks leading up to the launch he gives us an insider view of the emotions they go through. The text is easy to read and more about the relationships and thoughts he experienced than the “techie” stuff he was doing.
Of course, the highlight of the book is its photographs. The book is a smaller sized coffee table book with glossy pages and a hardbound cover displaying them to full advantage. Things are divided into subjects so you can look at amazing cloud formations one time and city-scapes another. Whole sections are just pictures with just enough captioning to know what you’re looking at and where.
Most of the photos were taken by Col. Williams himself. There aren’t any pictures of the stars or nebula in here, Col. Williams kept his focus on our home, the “spacecraft” Earth. If you’ve ever had a window seat on an airplane, you already know how fascinating earth can be from up above. It’s only better from the ISS!
Colonel Williams is bold in his confidence in God as Creator. Except when he’s describing the events of his mission to the ISS in 2006, his focus is always on God. He pulls in Scripture often and is unapologetic about his acceptance of the Bible’s testimony.
He also gives us a great example of what it looks like to see all people as God’s creatures. The multi-cultural nature of the International Space program is brought out with no hint of superiority. There’s plenty of pride in who he is and acknowledgment of comfort in the familiar. At the same time there is acceptance of the unique dignity other cultures have. We see this in both the text and the fascinating pictures of farming and other elements across the globe.
Everything about the book is top quality. The reading level is within reach for a sixth grader and the concepts even younger than that. I will probably add this to my Summer reading time with my kids as it fits into science, geography, meteorology, and culture so beautifully.
For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. Isaiah 45:18