Category Archives: People

The Whole World Knows There Were Giants

Chang The Chinese Giant c1870Ever wondered if the Bible could be right about a nine foot [3 m] tall warrior? Do we have any evidence outside God’s testimony to such tall people?

Let’s look at some of the things we can check out to compare!

Most of the information we have about giants come from stories passed down as legends around the world.  I’m not going to post a bunch of links because you have to be careful what you read.  As we all know from David and Goliath, giants weren’t exactly God-fearing. In fact, most of the stories people told about them are like Jack of the Beanstalk or Odysseus’ experience.

I found a page with dozens and dozens of accounts of giants or their remains around the world.  Wikipedia has a list of at least 100 names people have given to giants around the world.

The Bible itself lists 7 different groups of Post-Flood giants.  There were the Philistines (with Goliath & co: II Samuel 21:15-22), Amorites (Amos 2:9–10; Numbers 13:29,32), Emim (Deuteronomy 2:10–11), Zamzummim (Deuteronomy 2:20–21),Rephaim [giants] (Deuteronomy 3:11), Anakim [sons of Anak] (Numbers 13:33), and an Egyptian near-giant in 1 Chronicles 11:23.

David and Goliath, a colour lithograph by Osma...All of these groups of people mentioned in the Bible were especially wicked.  As you can see from the accounts of the Emim and Zamzummim, it wasn’t just the Israelites who wanted them dead.  Giants never made comfortable neighbors, although they seemed to make good champions or kings until God caught up with them!

Answers in Genesis has a long article talking about all this. It also has some interesting information on Egyptian records of giants.

There is one more group that the Bible mentions: the Nephilim.  Numbers 13:32–33 says, “And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.  And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”  The Hebrew word translated “giants” is the word Nephilim.

This is important to early Genesis study because of an odd account in Genesis 6.  We are told almost nothing about how people lived before the Flood, but the Nephilim are one of the things God wanted us to know about.  Here’s the story:

There were giants [Nephilim] in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. Gensis 6:4-6

Many people, including me, have wondered what these “sons of God” who had giant, evil children were.  There is a theory that they are actually demons who married human women and bore children.  Jude verse 6 is used to back this idea up.  Cool (and horrible) as this sounds, there are some major problems with this view that make it impossible.

  • Dr. Lisle pointed out recently that Jesus said it is impossible for spirit beings to have phisical relations and therefore children.  Matthew 22:30 suggests this.  It is at least true for good angels
  • If this theory were true, there would have never been any more giants after the Flood destroyed them all and the demons who had done it were chained in darkness.
  • “Sons of God” does not have to refer to spirit beings (although it does in the Old Testament, like in Job 1:6).  Six times the New Testament refers to Christians as Sons of God.

That there were giants again after the Flood by itself makes the demon theory impossible.  This leaves us with some kind of human line being the “sons of God.”  I’ve heard ideas that this is talking about the children of Seth, who were still following God, marrying women from the line of Cain, who had  rejected God’s authority.  I don’t know, but it seems likely that something like that is meant.

God is greater than the largest enemy we will ever face.  The Bible’s stories of Caleb, David, and his mighty men defeating giants is recorded to encourage us to trust God and not follow in the despair of the 10 spies of evil report!

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4

I got a lot of my info by starting from this article: Answers in Genesis, Giants in the Old Testament 

You might also enjoy these articles I found:

The Aldworth Giants Rated G

THE QUEST FOR TOM HICKATHRIFT about trying to find the truth behind a giant legend. Rated G

THE CAVE OF THE RED HAIRED GIANTS Rated PG

Human Giants by Gary Nelson. Rated PG (opens with immodest Indian warrior facing away from us)

Genius Babies: Automatic Transforming Systems: Breathing

CS4K-Lungs

Trying out those new lungs….

Six times I’ve gotten to see the brilliance of a tiny baby entering the outside world… really the brilliance of their Creator and Designer. Every person you meet, even you yourself, have accomplished something so complicated it takes a lot of scientific knowledge to even understand. What was this amazing feat?

You started to breathe

Think about it. Before you were born, you floated happily in a hot water bottle. You were never cold (this will be important later), you were never hungry, and there was no air to breathe. Everything you needed came through the supply line in the middle of your tummy connected to your mom’s body. Even the oxygen you needed.

But when you study the human body, you learn all your blood flows through the lungs to drop off carbon dioxide and pick up fresh oxygen supplies. If your growing baby-lungs had that much blood flowing through, it would just get in the way. Your brain is what needs the most help, not the lungs. So, before you were born only about 10% of your blood visited the lungs to keep them happy. How?

Special blood vessels

As a baby you had a blood vessel going right to the supply line, the umbilical cord. Then most of the blood visits the liver before going to the heart. Just look at a drawing of the way the blood flows through you inside your mom. Pretty complicated!

  • Some blood takes a short cut around the liver to go to the heart.
  • In a couple places, blood with lots of oxygen mixes with blood that’s given away most of its oxygen and sent back out to the body
  • There’s a special hole (called the Foramen ovale) in the middle of the heart to let blood from one side through to the other

You can do more studying on this system for yourself on these sites:

The most detailed is on CreationWiki. For some reason we don’t mind admitting how complex the system is and how quickly it must change at birth!

WebMd has the best drawing of the blood vessels in color

How we switch from “breathing” through our belly button to breathing with our lungs

When you come out of your mom’s tummy, you only have a tiny amount of time to switch from never having used your lungs to using them all the time. How do we do it?

For weeks before we’re born, the lungs have been practicing moving in and out to get ready for the big day. They’ve had a little special fluid in the spaces soon to be full of air. In this wet stuff is something called a “surfactant”, a little like dish soap to make the fluid non-stick. Without help, a baby born too early won’t be able to pull his lungs open because this surfactant isn’t there yet.

Remember how the womb we grow in is warm and wet? When we first come out, we aren’t dressed and we’re soaking wet. All of a sudden– we’re cold! Our body was designed to react to this by taking a great big breath. It usually doesn’t take us long to tell the whole world how awful this new place is, and where’s our mommy?

High Pressure- Low Pressure

As our lungs fill for the first time, something amazing happens in our blood system. Squashed lungs push hard on any blood trying to squeeze through them, but lungs full of air aren’t nearly as much work. This means blood suddenly finds it way easier to flow into the lungs.

This next bit is the coolest of all!

When the blood starts flowing into the lungs, it pushs the blood the other way through the heart. That special hole to help blood go around the lungs has two flaps that immediately get pushed together- closing the opening. Soon, cells on both sides begin to grow together sealing off the old opening for the rest of our lives!

And, what happens to the blood vessels that used to flow to our belly button and around the liver and lungs? After a while, they turn into ligaments holding our body together!

Which seems more logical to you: random chance making these systems come together with such great timing, or our genius Creator God?

In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:10 

You can read more about how our bodies switch from living inside our mothers to being outside here: ICR: Made in His Image: Baby’s First Breath

And here: National Library of Medicine: Changes in the newborn at birth

Thoughts About the Nye/Ham Debate

Bunches of people have put out their thoughts about the debate already, so I thought about not writing. But Ken Ham himself has put up a great article today and there are a couple of points no one else seems to have mentioned, so here goes.

Ken Ham reminds me a lot of my dad, white beard and all. Because of this, I could tell he was really nervous during the debate. It’s not too often we know the things we say over the next hour are likely to end up in the history books. From the beginning of discussions about having the debate, Ham knew his words adding up to less than 60 minutes could affect the eternal destiny of untold numbers of people. But, he knew this was his task, much like Esther was given.

If you follow CS4K anywhere on social media, you’ve already seen the photo Buddy Davis posted from just before the debate. It was awesome to see Christians banding together around Ham; especially because we all know this is just a guy, willing to be a spokesman for Jesus in a position few of us will ever experience.

As many of us have known from the beginning, the debate couldn’t help but be frustrating. Decades ago, Dr. Duane Gish, an amazing creation scientist, did a bunch of debates with evolutionists. He had a habit of using his time to throw out so many problem areas for evolution, there was no way to respond to them all. It became known as the Gish Gallop. Eventually, most evolutionists decided it was always a bad idea to debate a creationist because they ended up fumbling around trying to deny accusations.

Of course, the same technique works both ways. And we saw it again on Tuesday night.

I would imagine a lot of you listening to Bill Nye were thinking, “that’s an assumption”, “but the truth points to a Creator there!” and such. It wasn’t fun knowing there was no way to deal with every detail in a convincing manner. In fact, as Grace With Salt points out, Ham was able to respond to, or even point out in advance, about half of Nye’s best arguments.

I’m going to send you on to Ham’s nice and chatty blog post from today. Most of what he explains I’d guessed had been part of his strategy. It is exciting to see things are already happening as a result and God is clearly working.

It was especially great reading how Ham relied on the vast amount of creationist material available online for people to search out themselves. Even a little site like mine saw this working out. Within a few months of starting my blog, I’d researched Ice Cores. Of course, just starting out, I’d had maybe a dozen people ever read those articles. That’s changed!

In fact, as soon as I saw people were finding the first post, I had to edit it since I’d forgotten to link up the rest of the series to it.

The point is, people are researching the scientific evidence for themselves. Ham was wise to focus on the worldview issues we have to be aware of first. He focused especially on the consequences for Christians who compromise with the world against the Bible. If even a fraction of people who didn’t care before think things through and decide to trust God in every area, God will have many more effective workers in His kingdom!

Oh, yes, I wanted Ham so badly to mention that Forensic Science is a subcategory of Historical Science. It would have been perfect to point again to The Eye Witness.  Plus, as every good mystery reader knows, just because it looks like the butler did it, doesn’t make it so!

And for the sake of those of us who know Jesus, it would have been nice if Ham had mentioned a sentence or two about how he’s experienced God in response to one of the questions. I know there are concerns about relying on experience, but you know a man like Ham has tasted that the Lord is good.

But, if I’d been in his shoes, I would have been a twitching heap on the floor from the beginning, so I’m very grateful God gave this opportunity to Ken Ham instead. :-)

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matthew 25:21

Christmas Carol: Oh, Holy Night

English: This picture shows the motion of a ca...

This has been my favorite Christmas carol ever since hearing it as a small girl. Its message is powerful and beautiful because it takes our reality so seriously.

It is only when we see how badly we needed a Savior to rescue us that we feel the joy and wonder that He really did come for us.

Technically, this isn’t a Creation Hymn because the author doesn’t tell us why we were “pining” (that means slowly dying) in sin. It also doesn’t tell us why the soul hadn’t “felt its worth” before Jesus’ coming.

But we know where to find the answer to those questions! All our misery and emptiness started one day, at the beginning of time. It’s the first history recorded after God tells us how He made everything.

Naturalism sure can’t tell us we have any worth. They tell us we’re just cosmic accidents: really exciting stuff- not!
God gave us worth from the beginning by making us all “in His image”. It’s the only thing that makes us special.

Without Genesis Chapter 3, there is no dark night to be rescued from. When we include the beginning of God’s Word, it all makes sense and we can see our need and God’s awesome plan!

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
it is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Chorus
Fall on your knees,
oh hear the angel voices,
oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born.
Oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born.

Truly He taught us to love one another,
his law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother,
and in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
let all within us praise His holy name.

Chorus

For more on The Incarnation: Why did God become Man? check out Dr. Sarfati’s article at Creation Ministries International

Some of my Favorite Christmas Characters: Mary and Nicholas

Fun KillerI wrote this post last year, but it’s timeless message will still be true in a hundred years (if the Lord tarries)….

I was reading a post by someone on Christmas and whether Jesus’ followers should celebrate it and saw a comment asking if they “[had] a bee in [their] bonnet.” Well, that is sort of true, but mostly because there are some of Jesus’ followers who have very large “bees” in their bonnets!

Last month I passed on something about Santa Claus on facebook and a lady was offended at me for not equating him with the great accuser, Satan. To my knowledge she’s not visited my page since then.

As a newly wed participating in a missions conference, a church asked us for our favorite Bible characters. When it was my turn, I shared how much I respect and admire Mary. The stillness that filled the room could almost be felt.

Who are these people who get under people’s skins so badly?

English: Council of Nicea

Council of Nicea

Santa Claus wasn’t always just a popular replacement for Jesus as the centerpiece of the holiday. He was a real man that we will get to know in Heaven. He lived in Turkey and Greece 1700 years ago and loved Jesus very much. Although he is best known for his secret generosity, he was also important in making sure the western church didn’t fall for lies about the true nature of Jesus as both God and Man.

I did find one article that isn’t from a saint-worshiping tradition; they aren’t so sure that Nicholas was really at the Council of Nicea. This was where church leaders hammered out what the Bible actually says about who Jesus is. Their records don’t say anything about Nicholas being there, but later people said he was not only there, but lost his temper and slapped the guy who claimed Jesus wasn’t really God (causing Nicholas to lose his church position).

English: Byzantine fresco representing the fir...Whether Nicholas was there or not, we know there was a real battle for the hearts and minds of believers then. Today, the same battle is still raging; many of us struggle with the truth of Genesis and the nature of Jesus as Creator and Witness.

Anyway, my kids know Nicholas doesn’t have anything to do putting the presents under the tree, and probably never saw a reindeer. But, we like reading his story and remembering how following Jesus means helping others in every way, from secret presents to taking uncomfortable stands for truth.

c. 1437-1446People don’t usually have quite as big a problem with Mary, but she has her share as well. I agree there are people who go far beyond the Bible and turn her into a kind of goddess. The Bible tells us she was nothing of the sort as she herself testifies:

 Then Mary said,

“I praise the Lord with all my heart.
     I am very happy because God is my Savior.
 I am not important,
    but he has shown his care for me, his lowly servant.
From now until the end of time,
    people will remember how much God blessed me. Luke 1:46-48 Easy-to-read Version

Mary needed her Kinsman Redeemer just as much as you and I do, but she set a wonderful example to follow. She was enough of a scientist to know that God wasn’t going to just give her a baby son without something extra happening. When the angel told her the plan, Mary was willing to cooperate even with the miraculous. Her words of acceptance and submission are a guide to all of us when we are given extraordinary tasks:

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. Luke 1:38

If we throw away everything and everyone that has been used in a corrupted manner, we won’t have anything left. From the rainbow to God Himself someone has used them for selfish, sinful purposes. As for me, I’m going to keep the memories of some of Jesus’ fellow servants dear in my heart and look forward to the day Mary, Nicholas and I stand before the throne and worship the Lamb together!

For lots more on the controversies of Christmas, check out:

Answers in Genesis: Feedback: Christians Celebrating Christmas at Christmas Town

Biblical Archaeology: Why Dec 25th?

PS My kids and I have a set of books on Nicholas, Valentine, and Patrick from the Voice of the Martyrs. They are beautifully done and treat these men as honorable heroes. I highly recommend them.

You can find some interesting legends and lots of activities about Nicholas at the St. Nicholas Center: For Kids section. We’ll probably be checking it out tomorrow afternoon!

Gratitude: the Key to our Choices

One of the most important Bible passages for Creationists to learn about, remember, and maybe even memorize (your young brain can handle it!), is in the middle of Romans chapter 1.

The whole book focuses on what God did in Jesus to bring people back to Himself. And right at the beginning we have a section talking about creation, gratitude, and the consequences if we refuse to cooperate.

The world gives us all kinds of reasons why some people go really bad:

  • The person had no family, or a rotten one
  • They didn’t have enough education
  • Poor nutrition/health care made them that way
  • They didn’t have enough money
  • People were mean and wouldn’t share with them

All these things are real problems. We are wise and right to help others overcome them and have the freedom to choose a better life.

But they don’t come close to the real cause. As usual, God reaches right into our soul and tells us what the deep reason actually is:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21

God has shown every person enough of who He is for them to have “no excuse” for ignoring Him. But people didn’t want to admit He is there because they refused to do two things:

  • Glorify Him as God
  • Be thankful

That’s it. All the awful choices they make with the rest of their lives go back to these two. We don’t want to worship anyone but ourselves, or a god we invent to do things our way. And we sure don’t want to have to say “thanks” and owe God for taking care of us.

“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe

Americans, I’m sure you’ve noticed how the media and businesses don’t really focus on what Thanksgiving is all about. They’re fine with warm and fuzzy family time. They love good food and football. They’re really happy about people skipping sleep to go spend money the next morning. They’re even OK with saying “thanks” to you, to the turkey, to the world.

But it’s only those of us who have already chosen to follow God who like to remember the whole point of the celebration.

Let’s not be surprised or annoyed. God told us it would always be like this 2,000 years ago.

Praise Team Gospel Singers

(Photo credit: OldOnliner)

Our job is to take part in the heavenly celebration and shout His praises from the housetops. Social media and our emails are great ways to share beautiful reminders of what this Thursday is actually all about. Church praise times and passing on our blessings to needy people are Biblical, too.

Then there’s our families. When I am reminded of the pain, darkness, and misery God sees every moment, after I’ve asked Him to work, I like to focus on the one place I can change.

My goal as a homemaker is to give Jesus a place to settle down and relax. A place where He is honored as Lord, Savior, and Creator. A place where we’re never happy with our sin natures, but rejoice as we become more like Him every day.

And, assuming Romans 1:21 is true (which it is), praise and thanksgiving are the key to this goal!

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Psalm 100:4 

Other posts on gratitude to check out: Ernie’s Musings: A Day to Give Thanks

A beautiful hymn you may have heard to chorus of: Thank You, Lord by Seth and Bessie Sykes

Creation Hymn: Praise, My Soul, The King Of Heaven

Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Evermore His praises sing:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Praise the everlasting King.

Praise Him for His grace and favor
To our fathers in distress.
Praise Him still the same as ever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Glorious in His faithfulness.

Fatherlike He tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame He knows.
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Widely yet His mercy flows.

Frail as summer’s flower we flourish,
Blows the wind and it is gone;
But while mortals rise and perish
Our God lives unchanging on,
Praise Him, Praise Him, Hallelujah
Praise the High Eternal One!

English: Sunrise in the fog, near Horicon, Wis...

 

Angels, help us to adore Him;
Ye behold Him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before Him,
Dwellers all in time and space.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Praise with us the God of grace.

Henry Francis Lyte

Updated: Pray for Us

worship

(Photo credit: vicki wolkins)

Over a year ago, I knew how important it was to draw all of you into the ministry of reaching out about our Creator God. So I put up a page inviting you to Pray for Us. At the time, my work was way under the radar and I think there had been only one or two “skirmishes” on the blog.

Times have changed.

If you go to my “about” section on facebook, you’ll see how many rules I’ve had to put in place to keep my sanity and still allow interaction (when possible) with people who have yet to acknowledge Jesus as their Creator, Savior, and Lord. Compared to some of the other pages and ministries I’ve seen, I’ve still got it easy.

There is a real battle for the minds and hearts of humanity. Whether we owe allegiance to a Creator God or are autonomous accidents [don't have to deal with anyone above us] is one of the main flashpoints across most of the world. That puts all of us right on the front lines, plus in the support lines behind the main workers.

Conversations at Vermillion

(Photo credit: JeanineAnderson)

Last week there were a handful of interactions online which broke my heart. Several people were so incapable of following guidelines, I had no choice but to block them without having a chance to share Jesus with them. Someone else tried to comment on the blog with such an insulting email name I couldn’t post it.

Then there have been a few on our side who still have a lot of growing in Jesus and His Spirit to do. Only God has the power to help them remember to imitate Christ rather than the Enemy they rail against.

These burdens are far too heavy for me to bear alone. Then I remembered God never meant me to try. I need my family’s help! So do all the people reaching out to the world outside. We aren’t extra special saints, just called. We are vulnerable to all kinds of attacks on our own. Jesus describes us as His body; we are designed to work together and support one another in a humanly impossible task.

So, here’s what I’m adding to the Pray For Us page:

  • May God’s Holy Spirit be the ruler and influence on every person coming in contact with my sites (this includes this blog, the facebook page, Twitter account, and Google+)

My prayer is that the Enemy’s lies will be exposed and the Holy Spirit will work in a special way to soften and prepare hearts for the truth of the Bible. We are instruments for communicating this truth, but without open minds and hearts, there is no hope. With God, all things are possible.

  • May each of us interacting with duped people who give us a hard time be filled with supernatural peace (my heart normally races every time this happens), compassion, and wisdom

Natural humanity either wants to ignore those who disagree, or argue with them and call them names. God’s ways are not ours. If He doesn’t speak through us, we are no different from everyone else.

I’ve heard many testimonies of people who found Jesus because they realized He was the Creator. Please pray that truth seeking people would find the information about Creation scattered around the internet and that many people will be added to Christ’s kingdom through our work.

In the same vein, we pray many people will find their faith in and commitment to Jesus grounded and strengthened by the confidence understanding the scientific support for the Bible brings.

Thank you and God bless!

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that plants any thing, neither he that waters; but God that gives the increase. I Corinthians 3:6-7

Links: The Genius of Ancient Man Blog

CS4K-Genius-of-Ancient-ManOne of the most exciting things to learn about is just how smart and talented our earliest forefathers actually were.

I just started a book with my six year old on people around the world and right at the beginning they had the usual “people slowly developed from ape-like animals” story. They tell kids with all the confidence in the world how fire was accidentally discovered and then another accident inspired them to continue dropping their meat into the warming blaze.

It would be really interesting to see their sources for such statements.

With my older kids I’ve been reading about inventions that changed the world. They start out with the same kinds of stories. “Accidentally”, “perhaps” a million, or “approximately” 50,000 years ago, things like the wheel and cooking were discovered, revolutionizing the poor things’ lives.

Now, the dates they give starting at about 50,000 years ago are based on actual discoveries. To find out what’s going on and how trustworthy such statements are, check out my article on Carbon Dating. But these story lines also have to ignore a huge amount of discoveries we have made about our ancestors.

Farming terraces on the eastern side of the vi...

Chinese Farming Terraces

On this blog I collected some of the cool findings I ran into over the past few years. You can check them out under the categories Ancient Technology and Ancient Civilizations. My favorite posts are the ones on Farming Terraces and the Sewers from ancient times. Not only are they really cool, they also have nothing to do with idolatry!

Recently, I haven’t been adding any more articles to these categories. Not because I lost interest, but because I haven’t been running into any more discoveries, plus….

Another Creationist group is specializing in presenting these findings in a Christ-honoring light!

Last Autumn I was thrilled to buy a copy of the new book The Genius of Ancient Man published by Master Books, but I never bothered to tell you all about it because there was very little new info in it. It is, however, worth having in your family library for the worldview training alone and the pictures are cool.

So, when I found Jackson Hole Bible College was continuing their research and sharing with a blog I was ecstatic! This time my excitement has been justified. Every week or so the Alumni of the school post an article about some new place, artifact, or finding illustrating our forefather’s brain power.

Even better is the manner of presentation. They are careful to use credible sources, always have a couple good pictures, and best of all, they point people to Jesus. Some of the cultures and practices of the ancients were completely sold out to sin. That didn’t mean they lost their brain power right away, it meant everything they did was corrupted.

The Genius of Ancient Man blog provides us a safe environment to learn the truth about our past. They also continue to expand their worldview training. For example, they’ve recently posted about brain power not having to be connected to technology. This will be a relief to all of us who struggle to learn computer skills others already designed let alone create new things!

Squeeze Toy Alien guarding chemicals

(Photo credit: jepoirrier)

They’ve also just taken on the popular fascination with aliens. If you (or your kids) know someone interested in the new TV series, or who just feels drawn by this subject, these articles are for you. Ancient Aliens: Part One and Part Two.

You can easily sign up to receive updates about new posts on their blog and, if you’re on facebook, follow their page. It takes a while for the new articles to show up there, but it makes it super easy to share with your friends.

Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; Deuteronomy 7:9

Creation Hymn: He’s still working on me

Happy Children Playing KidsChorus:
He’s still working on me to make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be,
He’s still working on me.

There really ought to be
A sign upon the heart,
Don’t judge her yet, there’s an unfinished part.
But I’ll be perfect just according to His plan
Fashioned by the Master’s loving hands.

English: Français: Tailles relatives des planè...He’s still working on me to make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be,
He’s still working on me.

In the mirror of His Word,
Reflections that I see
Make me wonder why He never gave up on me.
He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray
Remember He’s the Potter, I’m the clay

The Hemphills

Instinct, Development, and You

English: A sleeping male baby with his arm ext...

A couple months ago I pulled my husband over to tell him we’re parents again. There is a new tiny eternal soul being woven together (Psalm 139:15) deep within me.

Here’s the crazy thing about finding out there’s a baby growing inside you: a mom can go for days, usually weeks, and sometimes months with no idea what’s happening. Even when you know you have a tiny passenger, what does a mom do to help out? Take vitamins, get enough rest, be careful what you eat, and visit the doctor to make sure everything is OK. That’s it.

English: Lancelet's embryo, 4-cell stage Русск...

I didn’t have to take a class on how to assemble proteins. I didn’t have to tell my little one where to grow ears. In fact, a baby keeps happily developing while mom sleeps. As long as the right ingredients are there, things happen automatically.

So, is a human baby an easy thing to put together? You know it isn’t. Doctors spend years learning the basics about the human body before they get their degree. Then, they spend the rest of their careers keeping up with new information being discovered about how everything works together.

And what about the millions of cells a baby is born with? When someone wants to tell you how many things are involved in a single cell, they often use the analogy of a city. It’s the best thing we know of to compare these tiny things to.

Human fetus 1 month

Human fetus 1 month

If I had to put together my child, it would be about as complicated as your favorite building block design. The real baby growing inside me is more complicated than all of human civilization put together.

Well then, is my baby a super genius smart enough to know how to take a single cell and within a few months develop all the organs and body parts a newborn has? Of course not. But, there is a Super Genius wise enough to provide that cell with all the information a human body will ever need.

He is so smart, He designed a storage system small enough to fit in a tiny section of the cell.  After all, a cell needs lots of space to do all the other things to live and grow.

English: Static thumb frame of Animation of th...

 

What do we call this information storage system? DNA. You can find out more on my study guide to DNA, for Dummies, or the FBI?

A few months ago, someone on facebook kept insisting DNA does not contain information. People who don’t want to admit there is a Creator God know if there is info in our bodies, SOMEONE had to put it there. They would rather pretend DNA is a random jumble than to admit they were created. When I realized the guy was serious, I took a minute to search the web. Turns out the Nobel Prize web page on DNA has no problem admitting there is information in DNA!

You kids are in a special place. Sure there are times it would be nice to hide from God so you don’t feel guilty sinning. But, knowing there is a Creator who loves you so much He became one of us to die for us is still sweet.

Many grownups have decided the love God offers them isn’t worth the price. They would rather trust their own brains and follow their own path no matter where it leads them.

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Psalm 95:6,7

 

Creation Hymn: I Believe In Miracles

Creation shows the power of God
There’s glory all around,
And those who see must stand in awe,
For miracles abound.

I believe in miracles
I’ve see a soul set free,
Miraculous the change in one
Redeemed through Calvary;
I’ve seen the lily push its way
Up through the stubborn sod
I believe in miracles
For I believe in God!

I cannot doubt the work of God
It’s plain for all to see;
The miracles that He has wrought
Should lead to Calvary.

I believe in miracles
I’ve see a soul set free,
Miraculous the change in one
Redeemed through Calvary;
I’ve seen the lily push its way
Up through the stubborn sod
I believe in miracles
For I believe in God!

The love of God! O power divine!
Tis wonderful to see
The miracle of grace performed
Within the heart of me.

I believe in miracles
I’ve see a soul set free,
Miraculous the change in one
Redeemed through Calvary;
I’ve seen the lily push its way
Up through the stubborn sod
I believe in miracles
For I believe in God!

John Peterson

Snowdrops in Lothersdale Churchyard

O, Worship the King!

O worship the King, all glorious above,

O gratefully sing God’s power and God’s love;

our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,

pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

O tell of God’s might, O sing of God’s grace,

whose robe is the light, whose canopy space,

whose chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,

and dark is God’s path on the wings of the storm.

The earth with its store of wonders untold,

Almighty, thy power hath founded of old;

hath stablished it fast by a changeless decree,

and round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.

Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?

It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;

it streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,

and sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,

in thee do we trust, nor find thee to fail;

thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,

our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.

O measureless might! Ineffable love!

While angels delight to worship Thee above,

The humbler creation, though feeble their lays,

With true adoration shall all sing Thy praise.

Words: Robert Grant

Tune: Joseph Martin Kraus

CS4K-Worship

Ancient Watersystems: Dikes & Canals

Dutch Windmills, Kinderdijk, Netherlands - 3699

Dutch Windmills, Kinderdijk, Netherlands – 3699 (Photo credit: HereIsTom)

Having studied a bunch of the amazing things our first forefathers made got me wondering about the dikes in Holland. Turns out their dike system isn’t terribly ancient, although “Pliny the Elder” (about the time of Jesus) had this to say about the Dutch:

A miserable people is living there on high hills or rather on mounds erected by hand till from one’s own experience known level of the highest tide and on these mounds they have built their huts. Historia Naturalis

That doesn’t sound anything like the major systems they have today!

But, a number of other people groups used dikes in the early years after the Ark landed.

The Egyptians:

Nile

We all know they captured water from the yearly flooding of the Nile to irrigate their crops the whole year. Did you know a big part of this system included raised walls to form storage ponds and guide water to them?

I found a detailed and not too Evolutionary page where you can learn a lot about what they did and why it worked so well for 1,000s of years here: Egypt’s Nile Valley Basin Irrigation by Sandra Postel.  Remember. they say things happened before time started because they trust Carbon-14 Dating.

The Mesopotamians:

In Iraq, canals make the difference between lu...

The Grand Canal, north of Baghdad, modern irrigation in Mesopotamia

The Tigris and Euphrates get their water from high in the Turkish mountains. The reason the Nile has such “gentle” floods is because the melting waters from Africa’s mountains flow first into lakes (Victoria and Tana) before continuing down the river. Mesopotamia doesn’t have this protection system. Their floods were larger and more unpredictable, so the people had to come up with a system or move.

Being smart and hard workers, they built their own series of dikes, canals and even city walls to protect themselves and their crops from these floods.

The Mesopotamian floods washed in more than just water, too. All rivers carry tiny bits of rock, called silt, which brings fresh nutrients for the plants. But the Turkish mountains bring something else down, too- salt.

Early records from Lagaš or Lagash, not far from where the Tigris and Euphrates combine, tell an interesting story about this. At first they produced a lot of wheat, but within 400 years the ground was too salty to grow wheat at all!

Here’s where our thinking about the geological past comes in. If these rivers had been flowing in the same basic way (except during the worst of the “ice ages“), how did the salt build up so quickly in recorded history? I’m sure they can come up with a story, but I bet ours is simpler:

If those rivers had only been flowing from those mountains from the time the Ark landed, they didn’t have very long to start building salt deposits before people arrived!

China:

English: Mulanpo Irrigation System built in th...

Mulanpo Irrigation System built in the 11th century (Song Dynasty) in Putian, Fujian Province of China 中文: 建于11世纪(北宋)的福建莆田木兰陂水利工程 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found a page saying we know the earliest Chinese built irrigation systems, but gave no examples until about 250 BC. What IS cool about this “bamboo-based” irrigation system is how much better it survived a recent earthquake than modern technology did.

They also had a deep mountain shaft water system like the  Middle Easterners. Exciting stuff!

North America:

Of course, people didn’t settle so far from Babel for a while, but they brought a lot of knowledge with them when they did. Early Mexican and Native Americans built irrigation systems up to about a 1,000 years ago, but it’s not easy to find much about them. This webpage mentions both groups and their names if you want to learn more.

And the Lord GOD of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. Amos 9:5 

Beneficial Mutations: Stop Those Growth Hormones!

How would you like to have a mutation that makes you way less likely to get cancer or diabetes, allowing you to live longer than most of your relatives? There is one like this that scientists have discovered. It’s called Laron Syndrome.

But….

English: Kirnu, a steel roller coaster in Linn...

You have to accept never growing tall enough to ride loop-the-loop roller coasters and always needing a booster seat in the car. Why? Because people with Laron’s top out at less than 4 ft [122cm] tall.

(Read more about this in National Geographic’s article New Clues to a Long Life)

You’re not likely to be extra smart and can easily get hypoglycemic. It’s also going to be hard to keep your tiny figure trim and you won’t feel like exercising much. Your bones aren’t going to be very healthy either, but, hey, you’ll probably live a long time anyway!

closed gate

closed gate (Photo credit: airefresco)

Here’s what’s going on: Laron’s is caused by a mutation, you know, the things Evolutionists say help change a fish into a lizard. This one breaks one of the gates into your cells which lets growth hormones in (there is another form of this syndrome where the cells just can’t use the hormone properly).

Even grown ups need these hormones to keep their bones healthy and use the energy from food properly. People with Laron’s make a normal amount of growth hormone, but it doesn’t do them any good because the mutation stops it from getting where it’s supposed to go.

Now, here’s the big question: Is someone with this mutation, even if they live a long time, closer to a super evolved human?

Children at play

Children at play (Photo credit: cwarnercarey)

It’s a good thing God doesn’t wait until we’re perfect before He loves us. In the beginning, our DNA was perfect and allowed us to live for hundreds of years. But, this far from Adam’s disobedience we all carry a bunch of mutations. Some of them can be useful, or even pretty (like blue eyes), but none has ever been found to turn us into a higher organism.

Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. Deuteronomy 7:9 NLT

We’re only about 200 generations out from Adam. Just imagine how many mutations our descendants would collect by 1,000. But, God would still lavish His unfailing love on them!

The Nations That God Has Made

English: This is a high-resolution image of th...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

These are the opening lines of the United States of America’s Declaration of Independence.  Notice that our right to be a separate country has its foundation in being created by God.  If we were just evolved from apelike ancestors, we would have no more right than a horse to set up our own government!

I know that I have a number of people from around the world visit here.  But since today is America’s Birthday, I thought it would be wonderful to point out that God is the one who brings all nations into being and loves us all!

All nations whom you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord; and shall glorify your name.  Psalm 86:9 

It doesn’t get any clearer than that.  Every nation on earth is not only known to God but also made by Him.  He cares for all of us!

And has made of one blood all nations of men in order to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; Acts 17:26 

This is part of St Paul’s speech to the smart guys of Athens.  This tells us not only that we are all descendents of Adam (and Eve, Noah, his wife and 3 daughters in law), but also that God is involved in the rise and fall of nations.  God is even interested in where our borders are drawn!- Now there’s a thought.

These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread. Genesis 9:19 

I found an excellent but long article on Noah and Genetics over at Creation.com.  You can even find out where your family belongs in the Table of Nations (the list of names in Genesis chapter 9).  I searched this site last year because my family has some American Indian in us and I wanted to know where they fit in.  The answer was there as well as a whole lot of other amazing things (be sure to check out where the Trojans settled after Oddyseus defeated them)!

You might also enjoy getting a copy of the Tower of Babel which covers the basics about each father listed in the Table of Nations.

English: Flag of Israel with the Mediterranean...

When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. Deuteronomy 32:8

If you want your nation to have plenty of people and prosper, make sure you help the Israelis (and Diaspora) do the same!

All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations. Ps 22:27,28

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Isa 2:2-4 

Praise the LORD, HE’s coming back to be our KING!!!

NO KING BUT KING JESUS

Parents, Churches, have a Listen to Young Atheists’ Journeys

Another creation page on facebook, Returning to Genesis, shared an article today that I found so powerful I decided to pass it on to all of you.

It’s great to know this message isn’t just coming from Answers in Genesis and other creationist groups, this is a wide spread reality. When we understand the stakes, it helps us stand strong for God and motivates us to prepare ourselves and our young people!

The Atlantic: Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity

To encourage you to check it out, here are the headers:

  • They had attended church
  • The mission and message of their churches was vague
  • They felt their churches offered superficial answers to life’s difficult questions
  • They expressed their respect for those ministers who took the Bible seriously
  • Ages 14-17 were decisive
  • The decision to embrace unbelief was often an emotional one
  • The internet factored heavily into their conversion to atheism

And a quote so Pinterest can pick it up:

CS4K-idealist

Can Mutations Make New Things?

This is one of the areas I chose to focus on in my book manuscript because it is so powerful, but you don’t have to wait!

Let’s start with why this concept is so important:

Evolutionary Diagram

Evolutionary Diagram (Photo credit: thekirbster)

Evolutionists have only a few available tools to explain how things could change from tiny blobs to specialized “higher” organisms. Here’s their list:

  • Mutation
  • Migration (gene flow)
  • Genetic drift
  • Natural selection

Migration is the process of populations use to share different genes. Bacteria can do this directly. People do this when dad is from a different group than mom; their children usually become a blend of features.

But migration doesn’t produce anything new. It just describes spreading existing genetics around evenly.

Genetic drift is rather sad. It says some perfectly healthy organisms never get to be parents. Their genetics are lost just because of some sort of accident.

Still no new information.

Natural selection is a way of saying only organisms with healthy enough bodies can have children. If something goes wrong too badly, they will be eaten or get too sick to ever become parents.

Yup, still no new information.

This only leaves mutations to carry the whole load of creating a new organism unlike anything before it (if Evolution were true). Let’s see if they can handle the pressure.

A mutation is a mistake in a creature’s DNA. DNA uses a code of just 4 letters to program everything the cells in every body need to grow and function. It seems too simple to work properly, but computers use a code of just 2 letters- 0 and 1 to do everything, so 4 gives DNA plenty of options to work with.

copy machine

copy machine (Photo credit: Yuba College Public Space)

The human DNA set (genome) has around 3 billion “base pairs” or letters in it. That’s a huge amount of data for a cell to use and this is where mutations get their chance. Every cell has to copy all those letters when it divides. If something doesn’t get copied exactly right, it is a mutation.

DNA works like a written language, but with very different grammar. Every DNA “word” is exactly 3 base pairs long, so it doesn’t need spaces to tell you when the word ends. It also uses special codes to tell when the end of a “sentence” happens, but for mutations, the words are the most important to understand.

There are several different kinds of mutations:

  • Switching one letter for another
  • Deleting a letter
  • Sticking in an extra letter
  • Duplicating letters

To see how these mutations would work in English, check out this fun page at Genetic Health: Mutations in DNA.

Deleting and adding a single letter can mess up a whole area of DNA if it doesn’t happen right at the end of a section. Unless you lose exactly 3 letters, everything from the mutation on changes completely. Muscular dystrophy can be caused by a “frameshift” mutation like this.  Many of the problems a developing baby can have are caused by these kinds of mutations.

a hospital room (Denmark, 2005)

Some of the best known mutations are caused by a single letter switch. Sickle cell anemia with horrible problems including pain, a weak immune system and other serious problems is caused by one of these “single point mutations” where a letter is traded out for a different one.

Other mutations are caused by a small set of added letters. Huntington’s disease (a serious brain disorder) is caused by extra copies of a single 3 letter word. Tay-Sachs disease causes death within a few years of birth by not having a working cell cleaning enzyme. The enzyme can be messed up by a number of mutations, some removing letters or sections and others adding a few base pairs. You can learn a lot about how the enzyme is supposed to work HERE.

All of these problems are enough to make you cry, but this is what mutations do in the real world. When I looked around for examples of “beneficial mutations” or, mutations which do good things, I found Sickle Cell Anemia as one of the best cases. There’s one other which can protect you from getting AIDS by breaking a cell entry point, but it also leaves you with a high chance of developing a serious liver disease.

These were the only two human mutations (out of more than 100,000 known) I’ve run into which are supposed to be good for us. Other examples show how creatures can lose switches to turn processes on or off.  These changes can help them survive things like antibiotics or pesticides. But they are not going to help them turn into anything new or even survive better in ordinary situations.

Scientists have never once seen a mutation create something new. If they had, you would hear about it all the time and run into it in every Evolution textbook. But, nature serves its true master, the Creator God!

But ask the animals, and they will teach you.
    Or ask the birds of the air, and they will tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you.
    Or let the fish in the sea tell you their wisdom.
Everyone knows
    that the Lord made these things. Job 12:7-9 Easy-to-read Version

The Ancients and the Year

May - Oct 2006 Calendar

Today, we know the earth comes back to the same position around the sun every 365.2425 days, but, did you know the first post Flood civilizations all used a 360 day year? They also used the cycles of the moon to measure out months (the word “month” means “moon”).  Some people, like the Egyptians, realized quickly things didn’t stay in line without adjustments. Others continued to use the old system for thousands of years.

When you compare the Bible’s use of days and months with years, you will find it uses the 360 day year all the way through. In Revelation, 3 1/2 years is used to measure the same length of time as 1,260 days. To find the length of a single year, you divide those days by 3.5 which equals 360 days.

Why would something so badly off from what we see today be so common?

moon-in-phases

If you start from the idea that people are getting smarter and smarter, this is easy to solve: people back then were too dumb to figure out the months and years weren’t matching up.

 

But, since we know the ancients were really smart, we’ve got to look further. Let’s start with the first time we hear about the 360 day year in the Bible:

On the 17th day of the second month, when Noah was 600 years old, the springs under the earth broke through the ground, and water flowed out everywhere. The sky also opened like windows and rain poured down. Genesis 7:11

The water continued to cover the earth for 150 days. Genesis 7:24

After 150 days the water was low enough that the boat touched land again. The boat stopped on one of the mountains of Ararat. This was the 17th day of the seventh month. Genesis 8:3,4

(7 months and 17 days) minus (2 month and 17 days) gives us exactly 5 months. We are told these 5 months equal 150 days. 150 divided by 5 gives us 30 days per month, which matches the 360 day year. It looks like all these early civilizations got their calendar from Grandpa Noah.

Now we’ll think about why this man, smart and godly enough to build the greatest floating zoo ever, didn’t use a 365.2425 day year.

  • Some creationists side with the evolutionists and say he used the 360 day year even though it was never accurate. This doesn’t make them bad, but I see no reason to believe Noah was so careless
  • Others say Noah was probably using what was accurate up to the Flood. The Flood was a massive, world-wide event. It could easily be powerful enough to have messed up our year

So, how could the earth have changed? There are two possibilities:

  • The earth might have slowed down the circle it makes around the sun so it took longer
  • The earth could have started spinning faster so it took more spins to get to the same point
And Spin...

And Spin… (Photo credit: Sangudo)

We’re pretty sure the earth’s circuit around the sun hasn’t slowed down because it would take such a gigantic force nothing would have survived. But, getting the earth to spin faster isn’t nearly as difficult and can be explained by the changes of the Flood year.

Here’s the idea. If you go ice skating and spin around in place, you can change how fast you turn by sticking out your arms or leg (to go slower), or by pulling them tightly together (to spin faster). So, if the earth had a way to pull its weight closer to the middle, it would speed up in the same way.

We know there was a huge amount of underground water before the Flood. It was this escaping water which started the Flood with the rain helping out. Water’s heavy, but rocks are even heavier. As the water spewed out, the rocks began to fill their old spaces pulling earth’s weight closer to the middle.

There could have been other things going on at the same time causing the earth to spin faster, and we haven’t talked about the moon and its months no longer matching, but I’ve run out of space for today. What we do know for sure is there is no reason to look down our noses at our earliest forefathers for being silly enough to not figure out the true length of months and years.

I was reminded of this ancient reality by this article at the Creation Science Hall of Fame: 360 day year: no coincidence

High School Genetics Textbook

Description: This image shows the coding regio...

the coding region in a segment of eukaryotic DNA.

I’m researching Evolution for my book, which is a lot harder than the rest has been. Life and the rules for why creatures look and behave the way they do is mind-bogglingly complicated! Added to that, explanation about how life started and developed is at the core of the battle for our minds and hearts.

In the past I’ve wrestled with issues like, “are we all just a bunch of mutants, or did God design variation into our DNA?” But it’s been hard to find solid answers.

Today I ran into a paper from the Journal of Creation which is powerful and answers a lot of my questions. It’s quite long and fairly complicated, but not so eye-crossing as to be worthless to a non-scientist.

I’m posting the link here and will add this article to my For Teens page because if you really get what Dr. Robert W. Carter is saying, you will understand how biologists can accept God as Creator! You will also have a better grasp of genetics than the vast majority of people.

Can mutations create new information?

English: FRIENDS

I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well. My substance was not hid from you, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, yet being unperfect; and in your book all my members were written, which in their day were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are your thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! Psalm 139:14-17

Suffering and the Christian

I was going to just share this on facebook, but realized the topic is too important to let fall into the archives. You will be able to find this post whenever necessary under “Teens” (since working through issues like suffering are a big part of growing up).
Ivan Kramskoy- Unconsolable Grief

Ivan Kramskoy- Unconsolable Grief

Over and over the issue of a good God vs. suffering comes up. Unbelievers throw pain and injustice in the teeth of Christ’s followers, expecting them to crumple under the weight of sheer misery. Sadly, many of us do.

I’m recommending this interview to arm yourself to keep upright through the thorny, shadowed walk of life.

Author Talks with Shaun Tabatt- Paul Grimmond, Suffering Well

It doesn’t take long for most of us to realize you don’t have to be in physical pain to suffer. Suffering comes in many forms large and small. Why does it happen to us? Does God know? How can I love someone who lets us hurt like this?

All these questions are legitimate and deserve answers. God gave answers and encouragement in the Bible for those who will listen.

One of the reasons this particular talk is worth listening to is Pastor Grimmond’s realization that we need to start asking, and answering, these questions before suffering takes over. If we pretend nothing bad will happen to us as long as we can, we will be knocked down for sure.

Here’s an analogy:

Traffic

It wasn’t quite this backed up, so the cars were moving faster!

When my brother had just gotten his license, we drove to downtown Chicago on the freeway. It didn’t take long for bunches of cars to pass us by, including a pickup truck with a mattress set tied to the top. My brother said to me, “if a mattress like that ever falls off in front of me, I’m going to go straight over it rather than risk an accident trying to avoid it.”

Not a minute later we watched as the mattress flew off the truck and landed less than 100 ft [30m] in front of us. Sure enough, we went right over the top, felt a slight bump, and continued safely on our way.

Thinking thinks through

Brainstorming

  • when you aren’t stressed out
  • when your body isn’t screaming at you
  • when there is time to search for answers

is the smartest thing any of us can do.

Following Jesus means we don’t have to pretend bad things can’t happen to us. It means being able to stare down the worst life can throw at us and know we’ll make it because we’re not alone. Of course, it also makes us cling to our Savior like crazy, but isn’t that a good thing?

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

Creation Sunday Update

February 10th isn’t very far away!

The Creation Sunday blog has a reminder post about why speaking out for our Creator Jesus is so important in today’s society.

Best of all, they have a post on How to Celebrate a Creation Sunday with lots of ideas. There are suggested readings, hymns, sermon ideas and videos resources for all kinds of churches. Just pick the elements which fit best and plug them in.

I’m going to pass this on to my church. Those hymns are some of my favorites anyway and it would be fun to sing a number of them back to back. :-)

A Psalm of David. I will praise you, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will retell all your extraordinary works. Psalm 9:1

PS If you ever dabble in poetry or lyric writing, it looks like we could use some more Creation songs. All the ones they mention are over 100 years old; although I know Patch the Pirate and Buddy Davis have written a number of songs recently.