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

NOAA-Ocean-Waves James Irwin, Lander, and Flag on Moon

Creationist Astronauts

Astronaut James Irwin gives salute beside U.S....

Astronaut James Irwin gives salute beside U.S. flag during lunar surface extravehicular activity (EVA) (Photo credit: George Eastman House)

The other day I saw an article over on Cowboy Bob’s Question Evolution website. He was talking about an article on one of America’s first astronauts, Colonel James Irwin, and his faith in Jesus, his Creator.

This got me thinking about astronauts and Jesus.

I’d remembered hearing the first broadcast from the moon was of the astronauts reading from Genesis chapter one. You can read about it on NASA: Apollo 8 Christmas Eve Broadcast. They hadn’t landed, but it was the first time human beings had orbited the moon and those verses are what they decided to share with the rest of us!

Here’s the audio people on earth heard:

 

English: Astronaut Edwin E.

Astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin

It turns out this event is just the start of the story. When the first two human beings did land on the moon, before stepping onto the surface, one of them took the time to celebrate his connection with Jesus. Buzz Aldrin had brought a little communion set (tiny wafer of bread and vial of wine) for when they’d safely arrived. So just before Armstrong stepped outside, telling us about his “one small step”, his fellow astronaut had dedicated himself again to his Savior and Maker.

These 5 men are just the beginning of the list of astronauts to recognize their Creator:

I found a treasure of info on The Christian Network:

Astronaut Charles Duke stated,

“I used to say I could live ten thousand years and never have an experience as thrilling as walking on the moon. But the excitement and satisfaction of that walk doesn’t begin to compare with my walk with Jesus, a walk that lasts forever.”

Addressing a joint session of Congress, September 16, 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong stated:

“To those of you who have advocated looking high, we owe our sincere gratitude, for you have granted us the opportunity to see some of the grandest views of the Creator.”

And more on this article by Chuck Colson:

To look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God is to me impossible.
– Astronaut John Glenn

It wasn’t just the first generation of space explorers willing to speak out either:

In 1983, Colonel Jack Lousma wrote about his experience of God in outer space and even the difference zero G had on his Bible reading routine.

Astronaut Michael P. Anderson, STS-107 payload...

Astronaut Michael P. Anderson, STS-107 payload commander, is pictured on the aft flight deck of the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Columbia.

Two of the astronauts who died when the Columbia crashed in 2003, Rick Husband and Michael Anderson, were members of the same church in Texas. I love this bit from the article remembering their lives:

“[Their pastor] said that although both men rarely told people that they were astronauts, they looked for opportunities to tell others about Christ.

English: Astronaut Patrick G. Forrester

Astronaut Patrick G. Forrester

Patrick Forrester, an astronaut on the shuttle Discovery in 2009, took a little piece of an airplane up with him. It was the plane Jim Elliot and Nate Saint flew as missionaries. Forrester thought this would be a great way to tell people about the need to go into all the world and tell others about Jesus!

Interestingly, I found out about Forrester on a page talking about the trouble atheists have given NASA for not muzzling the faith of their astronauts. The last thing the Enemy wants is for kids to find out how being in space makes God all the more real to many people!

I can’t find a page on this story, but you can listen to the broadcast like I did. Just back in 2013, an astronaut called Jim Dutton (who has piloted the shuttle Discovery), spent time on the International Space Station (ISS) and brought along some “light” reading on a CD. It was a copy of Dr. Walt Brown’s creationist book In The Beginning! How awesome is that?

This article is getting crazy long, but I have to include one last guy:

Colonel Jeffery N. Williams has spent a huge amount of time on the International Space Station. You can check out the badges he’s earned HERE.

What’s most exciting is you can read about his love for Jesus and outer space in a book he’s written called The Work of His Hands. You can order the book from the publisher, but I liked the Institute for Creation Research’s write-up about it best. Plus you can support their work that way.

Here’s a quote to get you started: First Things: An Amazing Story of Discovery and Faith: Colonel Jeff Williams’ Space Voyage

My relationship with God does not hinge on my looking at Earth from orbit and experiencing that “small whisper” that is so evident in creation. True, life-transforming faith in God and relationship with Him is based not on a whisper, but a shout—the shout of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in His work on the cross as revealed in the supernatural revelation of the Bible.

« To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. » The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork. Psalm 19:1

Extras!

There’s a Bible we left on the moon

Read about how God got through to Col. Irwin while he was on the moon to get him past just being a “bump on the log” Christian.

There’s a short article on Urban Christian News talking about all the Christians in space. Here’s the best bit:

“…religious objects–crosses, Bibles, icons, prayer cards–are among the most common personal items taken into space, said Johnson Space Center spokesman James Hartsfield.”

If you were on a tiny, thin, space craft, wouldn’t you want a close connection with the God Who is There- no matter where “there” is?

Interested in astronomy? You’ll want to join the 4th Day Alliance. They’ve got lots of great info including links to NASA’s Lost Bible Quotations

NOAA-Ocean-Waves

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

Mossy Rock

Animal Family Reunion: Hybrids

Lambs

We’ve looked at how Biblical Creationists are said to believe in something called “Fixism” or, the idea that God created all creatures just as we see them today. Scientific observation will show anyone that idea can’t be true.

We also know Evolutionists believe every organism is part of one big family going back to a single ancestor (or very small group of single-celled ancestors). This also goes against everything we observe in science. Instead we see each creature having children close, but not identical, to their parents. Most of the time we have no problem saying they are part of the same species.

But sometimes things get really shaken up.

Genetic Relationships Among Human and Swine In...

 

We live in exciting times for Creation Science. With the help of DNA studies and all the scientific advances in the world, it is way easier to discover real family relationships. Even 50 years ago, most of what scientists had to go on was how a creature looked and acted. Today all kinds of organisms are being reclassified because we’ve found their genetics to be different from what we’d figured they had to be. (For an example, check out the confusion over the Giant Panda’s closest genetic neighbors).

BTW, what does this tell us about fossil creatures where we can’t possibly compare their genetics? How can anyone say it’s a fact that some things are related? They have no option but to assume the way the bones and other things look prove their case.

There is also a push right now to get a good idea of the kinds of animals God would have brought to Noah on the ark. This is an important thing to know. Did Noah need to take pairs from each of the 100,000+ species with him? If we thought he did, we would end up throwing out the whole story because there is no way they could all fit!

So, Answers in Genesis (who are saving up to build a full-sized replica of the Ark) and others are really studying these things. Here are some of the things they’ve found:

Swoose” Honking (Photo credit: OakleyOriginals)

 

  • Camels can have babies with Llamas (called a Cama, and are they cute!)
  • A Toothed Whale can have babies with a Dolphin (called a Wholphin)
  • A Swan and a Goose can have a baby (called a Swoose)

Many (but not all) of these hybrids can’t have babies themselves like a mule (a horse/donkey mix), but it does make you wonder. When the world was much closer to the “very good” condition God originally created and all creatures had a huge variety of genes for differences, could there have been one “super” creature for each of these groups?

What’s more interesting is when creatures separated by oceans can still have children together. When they can’t fly, like the camels and llamas, Uniformitarians will tell us they have been evolving apart for millions of years.

As with all origins science, we have to use our imaginations, make guesses, and try to check if our assumptions fit the facts. There were only a handful of eyewitnesses of the Flood, and no records of what the animals on board the Ark actually looked like!

They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.
And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. Genesis 7:14-15

For more, check out these articles:

Answers in Genesis:

Mammalian Ark Kinds (long, but lots of pictures)

Frog Kinds on the Ark (brand new!)

Creation’s Hidden Potential (a short talk about how Creation Scientists think about creatures changing)

Creation Ministries International:

Thinking biblically about termites and lizards

Ligers and wholphins? What next?

Identification of species within the cattle monobaramin (kind)

Conjoined Trees http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Monkredding_-_inosculated_tree.JPG

Convergent Evolution

A pod of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in t...Did you know dolphins/toothed whales and bats use the same kind of system to “see” with sound? Scientists call this ability “echolocation” [I bet you can figure out why: echo + location!] and it is really fun to learn about.

Here’s where things get tricky for an Evolutionist. They don’t believe there was a common echolocating ancestor for both dolphins and bats. So, how did such different animals both get the same ability?

English: Echolocating bats adjust their vocali...

We Creationists don’t have a hard time with this. We know the same Designer God used a really good idea to help two of His creatures. He programmed them both with the same type of skill to help one in murky water and another in the dead of night (or caves).

But, what about people who choose to believe the only way anything can do anything is because of mutations? Do they throw up their hands and say, “I give up. There must be a smart Creator behind such amazing things!” Well, a few have, but most just turn to another kind of “just so story” to explain these amazing similarities.

They call their story Convergent Evolution:

English: Phylogenetic tree showing evolutive r...

Phylogenetic tree showing evolutive relationships, genetic distance, and convergent evolution among waxbills (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dictionary.com: The appearance of apparently similar structures in organisms of different lines of descent. Origin: 1965–70

The Free Dictionary: The appearance of similar forms and/or functions in two or more lines not sufficiently related phylogenetically to account for the similarity.

The evolutionary development of similar structures in two or more species, often widely separated phylogenetically, in response to similarities of environment; for example, the wing-like structures in insects, birds, and flying mammals.

Does this really explain anything? Is it even scientific? Can you test this, observe this, experiment with this? Well, they’ve been trying, but haven’t gotten anything like “convergent evolution” to happen in a lab.

You might have your parents help you do a GoodSearch for “convergent evolution” and see the kinds of things this process is supposed to have done. Here are some examples I’ve found. Just be prepared for their unwavering confidence that convergent evolution actually happened:

Octopus eye

Octopus eye (Photo credit: Derek K. Miller)

Here’s the bottom line. No human being was around when the first dolphin, bat, or octopus began. We all have to believe something we didn’t see.

Creationists have chosen to trust the God who was there and told us about what He did in the Bible. Many people don’t want to do this, so they come up with other ideas. But either they are the people who invented the ideas or they trust the people who did.

Who will you trust?

PS Echolocation is one of the things we’ve studied to use in our own technology. Know what we call it? Sonar. We’ve been using Biomimicry for way longer than we’ve been using the title!

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Romans 1:22-23

Some Creationist articles on convergent evolution:

Creation Ministries International: Are look-alikes related?

Answers in Genesis: Do Genetic Similarities in Bats and Dolphins Echo Evolutionary Convergence?

Institute for Creation Research: How Some Insects Can Eat Poisonous Plants

Evolution Made Cavefish Go Blind?

Kinds, Relatives, the Ark, & You

English: Phylogeny of craniates showing the ph...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

We’re used to Evolutionists telling us everything is related. From sponges to lizards, from apes to you is supposed to have come from one or a handful of original lifeforms. They love talking about how animals develop into separate species when something keeps one group from having babies together with another group.

We can see this happening today.

What they want us to think is that, in a couple dozen million years, one group will have turned into some brand new organism no one can yet imagine. At the same time, the fossil record shows us at least some organisms are basically the same no matter how far down you dig. What are we to think?

Part of the problem Darwin had with the popular science of his day was a belief called Fixism.

Family Portrait

(Photo credit: Soggydan)

Fixism is the fancy (and easy) name for the belief that the way animals and plants are today is the exact way they’ve been forever. (There’s another version of this for geology claiming the continents have never changed, either.)

This idea goes back a long time and was studied by early modern scientists who got a lot of their ideas from Greek writings. Grownups might enjoy learning more by reading this really long link.

The important thing to know is, those of us who believe God created all creatures are still said to believe in Fixism. But do we?

We obviously don’t believe people have “ape-like ancestors”. We believe all human beings have one set of original parents, Adam and Eve. But we aren’t shocked to see people who look very different from each other.

Today scientists can study the range of differences in our DNA giving our bodies directions to make all the variety we see in each other. At the same time we can see it only takes a tiny change to make these things happen. We are genetically super close to all people, even those from the other side of the world. Just like we were expecting.

IMG_9051

What about animals? It doesn’t take too much study to find all our dogs and housecats developed from an original version. Today the “breeds” look so different it’s hard to imagine how they could change so much. But we know they did!

You would need to ignore a lot of evidence in the world around to believe God created Persian Blue cats and Holstein cows on Day Six. Let’s take a minute to see what God tells us He really did during Creation Week:

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25

See that word “kind”? In Hebrew the word is “meen“. God used it 10 times in Genesis Chapter One. Noah used the word 7 times talking about the animals he took onto the ark.

Today, creation scientists have decided it’s about time we figured out just what God was talking about. They call this study “baraminology“. The “bara” means “created”, with the word for kind right after. So the word means the study of “created kinds”.

Just after Jacob Howard’s article on the American Badger, the Creation Magazine has a short article on the members of the “badger kind”. Hearing the list of animals they believe came from a single set of parents on the Ark was mind-blowing.

Turns out there is plenty of evidence for many animals to be related to one another back to what we usually call the “family” group. I’ve run out of room to talk about them today, but plan to write more soon!

In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him:
and the LORD shut him in. Genesis 7:13-16

For more, check out this post by Jacob Howard: A “Kind” Puppy

The Stones Would Cry Out

Rocks, Stones, and Dirt Cry Out & More!

The Stones Would Cry OutI read this verse the other day and noticed something rather odd. Have a look:

And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God. Joshua 24:27

This isn’t the only place the Bible talks about minerals listening:

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Deuteronomy 32:1

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. Isaiah 1:2

Now that’s some strange stuff! But pretty cool for geologists and astronomers.

c. 1150

c. 1150 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Turns out this is only the beginning of what the inanimate [unconscious] world does in the Bible. You might remember this first one from Palm Sunday:

And [Jesus] answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. Luke 19:40

And who can forget what happened when Abel was murdered:

Genesis 4:10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

But there’s more!

For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it. Habakkuk 2:11

If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain; Job 31:38

Well so far things have been rather distressing for the poor planet. Let’s see what it does when Jesus returns to set everything right again!

Háje, Prague, the Czech Republic. The farm of ...The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing. Psalm 65:13

Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: Psalm 96:12a

Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity. Psalm 98:8-9

See file nameThe wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. Isaiah 35:1-2

ButchartGardenBCCanada

Butchart Gardens BC Canada

Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. Isaiah 52:9

For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12

Sure, we are the only part of God’s creation made in His image, but God cares about everything He makes. Even the misuse the ground goes through because of sin today will one day be corrected.

Am I likely to start talking to the gravel out back now? Probably not, but these ideas give a whole new dimension to this verse:

Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Romans 8:21