Honeybee on Purple Flower: USDA

Bees: Designer’s Showcase, Evolutionary Puzzle

Worker beesLast week, my dad gave me a article on the specialized members of the honey bee hive. Although I’ve studied some about these cool critters, I hadn’t realized just how many different roles the bees have to keep their hive functioning, so I thought it would be fun to pass it on to you.

We all know the basic subdivisions of jobs in a honey bee hive:

  • The Queen
  • The Workers
  • The Drones

But did you know just how many specializations the workers have? Throughout their lives worker bees have special jobs around the hive before they head out to collect the things the colony needs. They start out with housecleaning (sound familiar?), then move on to nursemaid, construction worker, grocer, undertaker, and guard. Only after spending about half their lifetime doing these inside jobs do they begin to venture out as foragers.

The most interesting job to me is the undertaker. I’m glad my family doesn’t need special people just to carry away our dead all the time! But it is a gift of God that these creatures are careful to protect their homes from germs and diseases that they have no way of knowing even exist.

Propolis in beehives Português: Própolis em co...

Propolis in beehives

Another help that God has given for times when the bees can’t remove something is Propolis. Pine trees and some other trees put out a sticky ooze called resin that just ‘happens’ to be antimicrobial [kills germs].  Bees and some ants collect this goo to protect themselves from getting sick. The bees mix the resin with their own wax to make the Propolis. Then, when something too heavy gets stuck in their hive (like a mouse that they sting to death), they coat it all over with Propolis and they don’t have to worry about the stink or illness! Reminds me a bit of what oysters do.

Check out some of these Fun Facts about Honey Bees:

 

  • Eating honey can help you [be] smarter! It is the only food to contain ‘pinocembrin’ that is an antioxidant that improves brain function
  • Many plants rely on insects like bees in order to be pollinated; which is why they provide nectar to say thanks

 

The Bible mentions honey 56 times. Maybe that’s because God knows how good this sweet stuff is for us.

Do you think plants are really smart enough to know they need the bees and invent a drink to “say thanks”? Considering they don’t even have a brain, it seems far more likely they were given the ability to make nectar by a very smart God who made them and the bees!

Honeybee on Purple Flower: USDA

When I started to research bees today, I plugged “bees + evolution” into my search engine. As I just mentioned, scientists find a number of things “surprising” about bees. They show up too early in the fossil record. They aren’t as dependent on the orchids that need them desperately as they should be. They can’t figure out why the other bees help the queen when it doesn’t help the workers.

Turns out bees were another creature that Darwin was interested in over a hundred years ago. Because he couldn’t find a bunch of fossil bees (we now have some preserved in amber, but they’re still bees!), Darwin made a story showing how they progress from simple to complex using bees that were all alive in the 1800s!

You’d think by now they would have all the answers with that much attention on how bees live.

But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people.  Leviticus 20:24

He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee. Psalm 81:16

For more:

Creation Revolution Articles 4 Kids: Bees: A Honey of a Problem for Evolution

Video:Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution: Melipona Bee Defies Evolution

Answers in Genesis: Honeybees Navigate with a Map of Polarized Light

ICR: Honey Bee Orphan Genes Sting Evolution

Ica Stone showing Triceratops and other dinosaurs, WikiCommons

Dinos and People: The Ica Stones

Ica Stone showing Triceratops and other dinosaurs, WikiCommons

I don’t share things like these often, and never carelessly, because the worst thing we could do is rely on false evidence when there is a world full of real evidence for God’s Word.

For those new to this site, I think you will enjoy one of my longest posts pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the case for the dino statuary of Mexico. It is quite a story when you become a serious detective who really wants to know the facts.

Today I’m going to send you to a Creationist website/blog I ran into on Good Search.

The site’s name is “Yec Headquarters 6 Day Creation.” YEC is short for “Young Earth Creationist.” In other words, someone who takes the Bible’s record as straight forward and accurate.They have an excellent article on the Ica Stones of Peru.

First, let’s see what Wikipedia thinks of these carved rocks with lots of dinosaurs and people on them:

English: Ica stones” In 1975 Uschuya and another farmer named Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana confirmed that they had forged the stones they gave to Cabrera by copying the images from comic books, text books and magazines.[2] Later, Uschuya recanted the forging story during an interview with a German journalist, saying that he had claimed they were a hoax to avoid imprisonment for selling archaeological artifacts. In 1977, during the BBC documentary Pathway to the Gods, Uschuya produced an Ica stone with a dentist’s drill and claimed to have produced a fake patina by baking the stone in cow dung.[3] That same year, another BBC documentary was released with a skeptical analysis of Cabrera’s stones, and the new-found attention to the phenomenon prompted Peruvian authorities to arrest Uschuya, as Peruvian law prohibits the sale of archaeological discoveries. Uschuya recanted his claim that he had found them and instead admitted they were hoaxes, saying “Making these stones is easier than farming the land.” He engraved the stones using images in books and magazines as examples and knives, chisels and a dental drill.[9] He also said that he had not made all the stones. He was not punished, and continued to sell similar stones to tourists as trinkets.[3] The stones continued to be made and carved by other artists as forgeries of the original forgeries.”

English: Ica stonesDo you thing it more likely that he (like they say the Mexicans did) made these stones by studying comic books and such, or do you think these are ancient originals along with some direct copies?

Our beliefs as Christians are not based on blind faith that cannot stand the stress of careful examination. Go ahead, read for yourself what the deniers claim, then compare it with the evidence for their authenticity.

Remember, it is possible for someone to admit that dinosaurs were alive not too long ago and still refuse to submit to the Creator God. My prediction is that soon the evidence will be so overwhelming that the Evolutionists will be forced to change their story. But they will never abandon their worldview. Some people will escape the snare and find Jesus’ life, but not everyone.

The people were burned by the great heat. They cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues. But they refused to change their hearts and lives and give glory to God.

The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast. And darkness covered the beast’s kingdom. People bit their tongues because of the pain. They cursed the God of heaven because of their pain and the sores they had. But they refused to change their hearts and turn away from the evil things they did.  Revelation 16:9-11 Easy-to-read Version

Want to see more artifacts people made showing they knew what dinosaurs looked like alive? Check out the awesome book, Dire Dragons.

Devils Tower, WikiCommons

Devils Tower: One Cool Inselberg, Part 2

Devils Tower, WikiCommons

Today we get to cover an Inselberg (see Part 1) that came from a hot (vs. mud) volcano!

I’ve never wanted to go see “Devils” Tower because of its name, but it turns out the man who interpreted the Native American name for it didn’t get it right and we should be calling it “Bears’ Lodge Tower.” So, next time I’m out west I’ll try to stop by between Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone.

Devils Tower in the northwest corner of Wyoming is one of the most extraordinary of the basalt rock formations. But columns like this are not uncommon features around the world. Giant Crystals has some cool pictures and an interesting description of the puzzle these types of rocks in Europe set for early modern geologists. The Biblical Geology website tells us about another formation in Victoria, AU. Then, for a real treat have a look at these pictures from around the world.Giants Causeway showing hexegonal columns, WikiCommons

How did such giant columns get clumped together to tower over the landscape like they do? Hanksville Geology’s Page is short and to the point with nice drawing of the processes that probably formed Devils Tower.

Lava was being forced up toward the surface, found a narrow opening and squeezed up. As the lava cooled and shrank into basalt, it splintered into all those separate columns. The newly cooled basalt was much harder than the fresh Flood sedimentary rocks which got washed back toward the ocean leaving the basalt standing.

Devils Tower is just unusual in how tall it is and that it stands alone.

The page on Devils Tower I used points out that the Missouri Buttes [b-you-ts] nearby were formed at the same time. I’ve driven out west and there are places where basalt column layers run along the cliffs for mile after mile.

To see why, visit this page from ICR and look for the map (about 2/3 of the way down) of the lava flows that cover the American west. Those lines running through the map are state borders. You’re looking at about half the width of North America covered the light blue eruption!

Chasm Park with Flood Basalt Cliffs, WikiCommonsI found an article just on Devils Tower at ICR answering some questions I hadn’t even been asking yet. They start out talking about how the lava squeezed up, but then they deal with some of the objections Old Earth geologists have. They claim if these enormous lava flows had just happened a few thousand years ago, they still wouldn’t be cool. That tells you just how much lava there was, doesn’t it?

What the slow and gradual geologists forget is that this was during and right after the Flood. What do we use to cool our nuclear reactors with? Water. It is God’s natural coolant, and it was everywhere during the Flood. Then there was the Ice Age with all its snow, ice, and rain just afterwards.

Thank you, God, that the west isn’t still too hot to walk on!

As for the earth, out of it comes bread: and under it is turned up as it were fire. The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold. Job 28:5,6

Next time I’m going to take you through a government educational page on Devils Tower. 🙂

More info:

Creation.com: Devils Tower Explained

Wyoming Tourism: Devils Tower National Monument

Super Mutant Drawing

Mutants R Us???

I recently received a comment highlighing the importance of this topic, so I thought it was time to share this with you again. You can also check out a clue from the Bible HERE:

One of my earliest articles on this blog was on the question of whether dark-skinned people moved south to be comfortable and the other way around, or if we changed to match our environment.

I’ve been looking for the answer ever since and am rather surprised by how little we know about this, at least for people.  In fact, this draft has been sitting in my stack for some time while I’ve tried to puzzle out just what we know about the variety of features we see in people around the world.

When I first started looking at what we know about adaptations (the ability an animal or plant has to change), I was getting very confused. Turns out bacteria can adapt quite a bit, very quickly to the environment they are put into. But after just a little time that ability to keep changing slows way down.

In fact, bacteria being able to survive environments specially designed to try to destroy them is one of the Evolutionist’s favorite ways to show that Evolution must be true.  What they don’t tell you is that there has never been a case where new pieces of DNA (the tiny books inside every cell) got written from nowhere.

But this doesn’t tell us much about ourselves, because we sure don’t see people adapting to a new climate the way bacteria do.  In fact, there are a number of populations that have been transplanted (willingly or not) from the kind of environment you expect to see such people in, to very different ones.  It’s been over 200 years since dark-skinned Africans have been living in North America, and some of them have been living in England and Canada for well over a hundred years.  There have also been pale people originally from Europe living in Australia and across Africa for several hundred years.  In each of these places, unless they marry local people who have different skin color and such, their great, great grand children still look the same as their overseas cousins when they’re born (of course, you’re more likely to later get a tan if you live in a sunny, warm country, but that’s not changing your genetics).

What’s going on then?  How did we get from Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives to all the variations we see today?

Evolutionists have one answer for this.  The only reason anything is different from an amoeba is Mutations.  They have no other answer, don’t want there to be any other answer, so they don’t look for anything else.

But what about Creation Scientists?  I’ve been studying and asking around the Creationist community for a couple of months now and was starting to get frustrated.

Disclaimer:  The following rant is all me.

First, I refuse to accept the idea that the reason some people (like me) have freckles is because we’re mutants!!  I don’t see how God didn’t pre-plan for some of us to have really curly or super-straight hair, almond-shaped eyes, very light or dark skin, or extra narrow or wide noses.  These things are not caused by mutations, but by variation in our DNA books.

Think about what we know of God’s nature.  He doesn’t make the same snowflake twice! No one claims they are different from each other because they’re all mutants.  Study the planets and stars.  Not one of them is the same as another, but, like the snow flakes, they don’t have any DNA to mutate.  Yet God made them all different.

God is a God of variety and uniqueness.  Sometime, when I find the right pictures, I’m going to post about how a potter uses the same clay to make many types of objects.  Usually, you can tell they were done by the same artist, but they are never exactly the same.  Why should we be any different?  If you study out the chances of there being a person exactly like you in existence, the numbers of zeros behind the odds are mind-blowing!  These statistics aren’t based on mutations but on the complexity of human DNA.

I was very pleased when my newest edition of Acts & Facts from the Institute for Creation Research came this week. In the middle there was a short article on Genetic Diversity by Dr. Jeffrey Tomkins.  He was very honest about what we know and don’t understand yet.  Like me, Dr. Tomkins sees God using existing DNA to allow for and cause much of the variety we see in living things.  He said, “Clearly, genetic variability is part of God’s design for plants and animals, but it is employed as an engineered system with limitations. These systems of genetic variability are just beginning to be understood.”

The last thing he mentions is, “Biology researchers at ICR are currently reviewing creationist and secular literature on non-coding DNA to determine new venues of research into the field of genetic diversity and the role it plays in adaptation.”  This tells us scientists still have a lot of studying to do to understand what’s going on in genetics.  Unfortunately, since all the work done by Evolutionists is going to assume all change is caused by mutations, Creation Scientists will have to do a lot of screening to find the truth.

Now, there are certainly things we carry in our bodies that are mutations.  Anything that causes us to get sick, develop a disease or be at risk for early death is caused by the curse on Adam and his race.  There are also some variations, such as the ability to still digest milk as an adult that seem to be caused by mutations.  There are even some people who are born with pale skin and hair to dark skinned parents with no known pale ancestry.  This is probably in the same category as an albino.  But that doesn’t prove all pale people are just albinos!

God is a great and powerful Creator.  We are still just beginning to understand just how wise and deep His design truly is after several hundred years of really trying!

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.  How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Psalm 139:13-18

NOAA-Storm from space

Magic vs Miracles: Storms

Continued from Magic: Part 1 and Part 2.  Now I can finally get to the exact question I was asked on facebook!  “Can [non-Christian powers] cause storms?”

Giant waves on the seafront at Seaham, County ...

But the Lord brought a great storm on the sea. The wind made the sea very rough. The storm was very strong, and the boat was ready to break apart…The sailors were very afraid. Each man began praying to his god.

The captain of the boat saw Jonah and said, “Wake up! Why are you sleeping? Pray to your god! Maybe your god will hear your prayer and save us!”

Then the men said to each other, “We should throw lots to find out why this is happening to us.”

morro-rock-big-waves_mg_2346So the men threw lots. The lots showed that the troubles came to them because of Jonah. Then the men said to Jonah, “It is your fault that this terrible thing is happening to us. Tell us, what have you done? What is your job? Where do you come from? What is your country? Who are your people?”

Jonah said to them, “I am a Hebrew. I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the land and the sea.”

Jonah told the men he was running away from the Lord. The men became very afraid when they learned this. They asked Jonah, “What terrible thing did you do against your God?” Jonah 1 Easy-to-read Version

English: Four coloured 6 sided dice arranged i...Here we have magic and God’s power face to face.  The men knew that the gods could cause storms, especial out of season (the Mediterranean has a storm season just like the monsoon and hurricane seasons).  They knew the gods would show them who was the “guilty one” by using lots (something like short straws, dice or other “chance” objects).

Look at how they reacted when they realized it was the “God of heaven who made the land and the sea” who did this.  I would have been “very afraid,” too!

If you continue reading, you will see that as soon as they sacrificed Jonah to God by tossing him in the water (It is nice to see they hated to do this, they were honorable men), the storm stopped immediately.

North Pacific storm waves as seen from the M/V...This reminds us of someone else who could do the same thing: Jesus (Mk 4:39; Matthew 14:32).  In Mark’s story of Jesus’ nap, He just spoke, “peace, be still,” and the winds and water obeyed (the water had to obey, or the  waves would have continued for some time).  In Matthew’s account of Jesus foot-surfing to the disciples, Jesus didn’t even have to talk; it just calmed down as He climbed into the boat.

I’m sure there are a bunch of other stories about people groups who are familiar with demonic power (we call them animists), but this one will have to do for today.

BTW, Praise God, He doesn’t insist that we get our act all together before He helps us.  None of God’s earthly children are perfect, but He cares for us anyway!

Here are some quotes from the Plymouth Pilgrims during their first Summer in New England:

Bradford wrote, “the Lord seemed to blast… and threaten… sore famine unto them, by a great drought which continued from the 3. week in May, till about the middle of July, without any rain and with great heat…  the corn began to wither away.”

Its raining in my backyard-Hooray

Its raining in my backyard-Hooray (Photo credit: aussiegall)

“they set a part a solemn day of humiliation to seek the Lord by humble & fervent prayer, in this great distress. And he was pleased to give them a gracious & speedy answer, both to their own & the Indians admiration, that lived amongst them…. toward evening it began to overcast, and shortly after to rain, with such sweet and gentle showers, as gave them cause of rejoicing, & blessing God. It came, without either wind, or thunder, or any violence,…  the earth was thoroughly wet and soaked therewith. Which did so apparently revive & quicken the decayed corn & other fruits, as was wonderful to see, and made the Indians astonished to behold.”

An Indian named Hobamak who witnessed this event said to a Pilgrim: “Now I see that the Englishman’s God is a good God, for he hath heard you, and sent you rain, and that without storms and tempests and thunder, which usually we have with our rain, which breaks down our corn, but yours stands whole and good still; surely your God is a good God.

The Indians could get their gods to send rain, too.  But when it came, it was as bad as the drought.

Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
Who covers the heaven with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow upon the mountains.
He gives to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.
The LORD takes pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.  Psalm 147:7-9,10

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream Church Window, Wikicommons

Science in the Bible: Magic Part 2

Continued from  Part 1:

Jesus said, “False messiahs and false prophets will come and do great miracles and wonders, trying to fool the people God has chosen, if that is possible. Now I have warned you about this before it happens.”  Matthew 24:24,25 Easy-to-read Version

Hieroglyph for “Magician”

Today it’s time to learn about “magicians” in the Bible.

The first and last mentions of magicians are really interesting (Genesis 41:8; Daniel 5:9-11), both tell about how magicians were expected to interpret dreams and couldn’t do it for real.

The strongest magicians in the Bible were those who mimicked Moses before Pharaoh.  They were able to:

  • Turn rods into snakes (Exodus 7:11,12)
  • Turn water into blood (Exodus 7:22)
  • Brought frogs up on the land (Exodus 8:7)

That last one is highly questionable since God was doing the same thing all over the land.  How would you know whether it was the magicians or God?  After that, they had to give up.  Only God could produce lice, hail and all the other terrible plagues.

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream Church Window, WikicommonsThe other magicians in the Bible served the Babylonian king.  Their job seems to have been to tell the king what his dreams meant.  But, when God really did send a dream, these men were helpless to respond.

Next, we have the word “sorcerer.”  This word is used to describe the magicians, is also mentioned in the law and here:

[King Manasseh] caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.   II Chronicles 33:6 KJV

This is almost an exact quote from Moses’ command to never do these things in Deuteronomy 18:10.  King Manasseh’s willingness to kill his own children was directly tied to the rest.  What do they mean?

  • Observed times: remember all those observatories the ancients made?  They believed that when the stars and planets were in special places it was very bad/good to do certain things.  It also can mean to watch for shapes in clouds or other nebulous things (crystal balls?)
  • Enchantments: augury: to observe signs and omens.  Black cats, comets, and other stuff would be in this catagory
  • Witchcraft: the Bible doesn’t really tell us what this means except that it is bad enough to earn you the death penalty under the law.  All dealings with unholy spirits would be included along with drug/poison use (Revelation 9:21)
  • Dealing with a Familiar Spirit: we have one clear example of this with Saul and the woman of Endor (I Samuel 28:7-25).  This tells us that people would try to talk to the dead through such people.  The amazing thing is, when the dead Samuel actually showed up, she was shocked and realized what was going on right away.  This shows that whatever usually happened, real humans weren’t involved.
  • Wizards: those who practice all of these things

All of these in themselves are a big pile of nonsense, but there is a power behind them.

And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Revelation 9:20 

The idols couldn’t walk, but there was something else there: demons.  Get yourself some good missionary stories and find out what’s going on here.  I highly recommend Otto Koning’s CD series where he came from a denomination that didn’t even believe in demons, but he learned better (and the power of Jesus over them in the 20th century).  My kids and I just finished reading Joanne Shetler’s story of translating the New Testament for the Balagao people of the Philippines, powerful and encouraging stuff.

Notice, these magical arts never helped anyone.  The best people could hope for was to be left alone so bad things wouldn’t happen.  Demons want you scared, weak, poor and eventually dead.  God is the one who loves you enough to help you in big and small things.

Parents, you aren’t doing your kids any favors pretending there isn’t a war going on in the unseen realm.  If you don’t prepare them, the Enemy will still do all he can to entice them.  Knowing that there is real power lined up against us, but our God is far stronger is the best protection we can have.  It’s how the Bible deals with these things!

“The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”  I John 4:4 EtrV

 

open Bible

Science in the Bible: Magic Part 1

Magic Hat and BatonA repost, but the Bible hasn’t changed since 2012!

Someone asked what I thought about magic on facebook last week.  There was no way to fit a  response into 2 or 3 sentences, so I saved my answer for today.

The KJV Bible doesn’t even use the word “magic” or “magical.”  It does call certain people “magicians” in the Egyptian and Babylonian culture (more on them next time).  But the Bible does have a lot to say about this type of thing.

Magic, n.: 1. the art of producing illusions as entertainment by the use of sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc.; legerdemain; conjuring: to pull a rabbit out of a hat by magic.

2. the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature.

We’ll start with God’s power:Man doing a Card Trick

 

Can you tell me any place in the Bible where God Himself, or one of His servants did “sleight of hand” or “deceptive devices”?  The Scriptures tell us over and over that such things are completely opposed to God’s character.

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; Titus 1:2

God doesn’t need to do anything fake to prove He’s powerful.  He IS powerful.

Colorful Ice Cream ConesAs for definition #2, I’ve heard of people who think saying “in Jesus’ name” works like a magic spell, but does it really?  If you say, “God, give me 200 ice cream cones right now, in Jesus’ name!”  Is there any hope that He will answer such a demand?  Not a chance.

God isn’t a genie in a lamp who has to give us three wishes.  There’s no way He’s going to bow to anyone and jump to obey.

There’s also the idea of using some sort of magical object to get power.  Although the church in the middle ages was obsessed with relics (bits of stone, bone, or wood) did they really help? Does God listen better when you clutch a cross or pray in front of a saint’s tomb than He does otherwise?

There is one odd thing in the Old Testament that seems like magic: the Urim and Thumim.Clickr Question Mark Graphic

And [Joshua] shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD:  Numbers 27:21

David used this unknown way of asking God questions several times.  You can see how this worked for yourself in I Samuel 23:6-12.  But all it seemed to do was say yes or no when God felt like answering.  When God was fed up with King Saul, He refused to answer with this system (I Samuel 28:6).

But this was so rare you probably never heard about it in Sunday School.  But what do we learn about God doing?  Miracles, wonders, and signs.

Yesterday, I read II Kings chapter 4.  This one chapter includes a lot of the types of miracles God does:

English: Wedding at Cana (top), Resurrecting t...

Wedding at Cana (top), Resurrecting the son of the Widow of Nain (bottom)

  • stretched existing food to meet the need (both the oil jug and the barley bread)
  • gave a woman a baby when it was naturally impossible
  • raised the dead (be sure to notice it was not any special action that made God decide to bring the boy back, it was Elisha’s passionate begging)
  • removed poison so people weren’t harmed

Other ways God showed His power:

  • Told people what cannot be known naturally (who Saul would be and where his dad’s donkeys were I Samuel 9:15,20; plus hundreds (thousands?) of future predictions throughout the Bible)
  • Hide/protected people from their enemies (Judges 7:10-15; I Samuel 26:11; II Kings 12:14-19; Acts 12:7-9)
  • Gave fire from the sky to establish God’s reality and approval (Leviticus 9:24; I Chronicles 21:26; II Chronicles 7:1; I Kings 18:38)
  • Sent plagues to punish and show His power over God’s enemies (Exodus chapters 5-12; Numbers 12:10, 16:49; I Samuel 6:19; Isaiah 37:36; Acts 5:5,10)
  • Made water do unnatural things (split: Exodus 14, Joshua 3:16, II Kings 2:8; hold people up while not frozen: Matthew 14:29)
  • Healed diseases (Numbers 12:14-16; II Kings 5:13,14; II Kings 20:7; all thru the Gospels and Acts)Whirl-fire
  • Burnt up people who were disobedient, rebellious, or servants of the wicked (Leviticus 10:2; Numbers 16:35, 26:10; II Kings 1:10,12 [note that the 3rd captain humbled himself and was spared])
  • Protected His own people from being burnt/eaten (Daniel 3, 6)
  • Rained “stones from heaven” Joshua 10:11.  This isn’t the word for hail, it’s the word for rocks.  God seems to have sent meteorites to help Joshua’s army.  But that was small compared to…
  • Made the earth stop spinning or go backwards a little (Joshua 10:12-14; Isaiah 38:8)

Oh, boy, I’m getting long.  Do you see a pattern here?  God cares about people’s needs and can supernaturally meet them, but He uses real things.  He knows the future as well as He knows the past.  He occasionally does dramatic things to prove He really is powerful, usually at the beginning of some new era.

He never does pointless, useless things just to make people’s jaws drop.

God is not under any person’s control, but He does listen when we beg Him for help.

Fear not, neither be afraid: didn’t I tell you back then, and announce it? You are my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yes, there is no other god; I don’t know of any. Isaiah 44:8 

We’re all Space Aliens! Not!!

Meteor Deep from Igdir

Meteor Deep from Igdir

From the archives:

I was going to do a post talking about Study the Word’s statistical probability of Abiogenesis happening.  But, it turns out that Sir Fred Hoyle, the mathematician who claimed that life is sure to happen if you just give it 4.5 billion years, isn’t too popular with mainstream Evolutionists.  They can’t deny his numbers, but they dare not admit that Earth should only now be forming its first microbes.

However, with Sir Hoyle’s help, scientists have again picked up the ancient belief in life from space.  This theory now has an official title, called Exogenesis (life from outside), or more popularly Panspermia which means “life everywhere.”  This doesn’t mean that they believe in space-travelling aliens dropping off protozoa on earth, but that the specialized ingredients for life came from meteorites and such.

Here’s a sample of what they’re saying from Physics of the Universe, “An alternative to Earthly abiogenesis is “exogenesis”, the hypothesis that primitive life may have originally formed extraterrestrially, either in space or on a nearby planet such as Mars. Such ideas have had many eminent supporters over the years, including Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule, and the astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle among others. These theories may go some way to explaining the presence of life on Earth so soon after the planet had cooled down, with apparently very little time for prebiotic evolution.”

They know how ridiculous belief in Abiogenesis is, but ANYTHING is better for them than believing in a Creator God!

You could do a web search and find page after page of links to stories about Panspermia.  Here are a couple to give you a taste:
KT Meteor The Australian News: Life came from outer space, says NASA “NASA scientists had previously found a disproportionate amount of the left-handed form of isovaline, an amino acid, in a meteorite sample. The latest study confirms that the previous sample was not a one-off. “This tells us our initial discovery wasn’t a fluke, that there really was something going on in the asteroids where these meteorites came from that favours the creation of left-handed amino acids,” said Daniel Glavin, from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The scientists believe that early in its history Earth was bombarded with meteorites containing left-handed amino acids, which led to the genesis of life about four billion years ago.”

The Independent: We’re all aliens… how humans began life in outer space “Charles Darwin solved the mystery of life’s wondrous diversity with his theory of natural selection. But even he was flummoxed by the ultimate mystery of mysteries: what led to the origin of life itself?  In trying to answer the problem, scientists have turned to the stars, or at least the “builders’ rubble” of meteorites and comets left over from the formation of our solar system some five billion years ago. These space rocks, they believe, could help to explain why life began here on Earth.”

News Wales: Red rain may prove life came from outer space   “Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe and his colleague, the late Sir Fred Hoyle, argued that life on earth was originated by comets. Although greeted with scepticism at first, this theory is becoming recognised as eminently plausible.  Recent discoveries of complex organic molecules in comets and interstellar dust clouds have provided striking evidence of life originating on a greater cosmic scale than just on Earth. Microbiologists are also finding properties of bacteria that show they can survive the harshest conditions of space.

ABC Science: Life elements came from outer space  “A meteorite found in Antarctica adds extra impact to the theory that the essential building blocks of life on Earth came from outer space, say US scientists.”

What does all this mean?  As the Independent points out, one of the biggest flaws of the theory of Evolution is how do you get the whole process started in the first place?  The belief in non-life producing life goes against everything we’ve ever seen.

And after all that, they still want to make fun of our crazy belief in God!

A 3D ultrasound taken of a fetus at 17 weeks.

A 3D ultrasound of a baby at 17 weeks.

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.  How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. 

Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.  For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Psalm 139:13-20

Lacy Ferns

Reading Through the Bible, Genesis 1 & What is God Like?

An Antebellum era (pre-civil war) family Bible...

OK, so we’ve got colds, I’m potty training my youngest (yes, guys, this writer really is a mom), and we’re busy on top of it.

I just don’t have time to do justice to rock layers like I want to. 🙁

But, for years now, I’ve put reading through the Bible top place on my priority list. I don’t do anything else but physical necessities until God has spoken to me through His Word.

This year I was determined to find a plan where you aren’t reading 178 verses one day (Psalm 119) and 14 the next (3rd John). What’s more,it needed to be a mix of passages. If you don’t get bored reading the beginning of I Chronicles, kudos. I don’t want to endure that if there’s another way.

There are a bunch of other ways! Two years ago, I used M’Cheyne’s plan and liked it a lot except for reading the New Testament twice a year. I always read more than what’s required one way or another, I don’t like having even more “required” than necessary.

This year, I decided to look for an even better plan and ran into something called a Thematic Bible Reading Plan that’s brand new! You don’t have to start on January 1 or on the first Sunday of the year. Just jump in whenever you’re ready.

Here’s why I’m mentioning it: I love the passages he’s tied in to Genesis chapters 1-4. Psalm 148 is glorious and is making me rethink whether the idea of vast amounts of water beyond space is so crazy after all. Ephesians 1 is super exciting with the reminder that God chose believers before the world began.

Then there’s how well Ephesians chapter 2 ties in with our Fall. We are all born “children of disobedience” because of what our first parents chose. But, it’s not the end of the story!

And here’s the idea that inspired me to work up this post before I have to run:

Look at Genesis 1:3. What did God do? He “said”. He used words to create. If you keep reading you’ll find there was just one thing He created without simply speaking it into being (although God did talk about His plans): People.

That’s something we like to think about. It’s cool. But look at what God does in the next verse:

And God saw

English: Sun beams lighting up the glens Stron...

I don’t really know how it works out, but there is something about actually experiencing an event that applies to God just like it does to us.

We can plan things out and think things through, but there’s nothing like actually being somewhere and doing something. Have you ever dreamed you ate food? It has no flavor. You have to put real food in your mouth to taste it.

Genesis 1 isn’t the only place this idea comes out. Look at what happened to Jesus when He became a human being:

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; Hebrews 5:8 

Jesus experienced how hard it is to obey when your body is hurting and did it anyway.

I don’t know how it all works out, but God experiences reality something like we do. What a mind blowing thought!

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

 

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!