Monday, December 25, 2006

A Fitting Present

A Christmas devotion for this special day.

A Fitting Present

Read: Matthew 2:11-15

Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God.

A little boy was somewhat perplexed by all the exchanging of presents on Christmas morning, for he had been taught in Sunday school that it was the birthday of the Savior. Finally, after a long period of silence, he asked, “Mommy, when are we going to give Jesus His present? I thought it was His birthday!”

Strange, isn’t it, that most of us give gifts to everyone but the One whose birthday we celebrate. A good question we might ask ourselves is this: What am I going to give to the Lord Jesus this Christmas? If you have never trusted in Him as your Savior, the thing He desires most from you is a believing heart. Why not put your faith in Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross so you can be saved from your sins?

If by faith you already know Christ as your Savior, then the most wonderful thing you can do this Christmas is to present to God the one gift He most desires to receive from you—your body (Rom. 12:1).

Our bodies are to be used for God’s purposes. Because we have accepted the gift of salvation from Him, it’s only reasonable that we should present ourselves to the Father. When we give ourselves, we give the one Christmas present that truly fits the occasion! —Richard De Haan

What shall I give for Christmas
To Him who gave Himself for me?
To Him I give my life, my love,
For time and for eternity. —Anon.

Give your all to Christ; He gave His all for you.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Do Living Things Show Evidence of Design?

The late Isaac Asimov (an ardent anti-creationist) declared, "In man is a three-pound brain which, as far as we know, is the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the universe." It is much more complex than the most sophisticated computer ever built. Wouldn't it be logical to assume that if man's highly intelligent brain designed the computer, then the human brain was also the product of design?

Scientists who reject the concept of a Creator God agree that all living things exhibit evidence of design. In essence, they accept the design argument of Paley, but not Paley's Designer.

For example, Dr. Michael Denton, a non-Christian medical doctor and scientist with a doctorate in molecular biology, concludes:

It is the sheer universality of perfection, the fact that everywhere we look, to whatever depth we look, we find an elegance and ingenuity of an absolutely transcending quality, which so mitigates against the idea of chance...

Alongside the level of ingenuity and complexity exhibited by the molecular machinery of life, even our most advanced artifacts appear clumsy. We feel humbled, as Neolithic man would in the presence of twentieth-century technology...

It would be an illusion to think that what we are aware of at present is any more than a fraction of the full extent of biological design. In practically every field of fundamental biological research ever-increasing levels of design and complexity are being revealed at an ever-accelerating rate.

Dr. Richard Dawkins, holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, has become one of the world's leading evolutionist spokespersons. His fame has come as the result of the publication of books, including The Blind Watchmaker, which defends modern evolutionary theory and claims to refute once and for all the notion of a Creator God. He states the following:

We have seen that living things are too improbable and too beautifully "designed" to have come into existence by chance.

There is no doubt that even the most ardent atheist concedes that design is evident in the animals and plants that inhabit our planet. If Dawkins rejects "chance" in design, what does he put in place of "chance" if he does not accept a Creator God?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Christian Colors

After a refreshing break from the blogging world, I have decided to let you all know what I have been doing. In the past three weeks I have changed jobs. I now work at a local Sherwin-Williams paint store. It has amazed me how God has moved through this whole situation.

The Humane Society was a very good first job for me. It required me to have a quick, expedient work ethic, and to have a pleasant attitude towards the public at all times, no matter how irate whoever you are speaking with is. All these traits are so necessary to a job well done at Sherwin-Williams, it now seems that, looking back on everything, I was being prepared for this job while working at the Humane Society.

My job at Sherwin-Williams came to me quite by surprise. I was happy with my job at the Humane Society, and wasn't looking for a job elsewhere. A friend of mine told me about an opening at Sherwin-Williams, and said I should apply if I was interested. At the time, I wasn't. I prayed about it, however, and felt Gods leading to pursue the job further. I applied, and in the end, as you know, was eventually hired.

As I was being trained, I noticed how much color matching we have to do. People bring in an item that has a color they want to use as a paint, and we patiently work and tweak the paint base with pigments to achieve a perfect match.

That process of color matching reminded me of the Christian life. We, as Christians, are to attempt to become a perfect match, or imitation, of Christ. We must patiently work and tweak our habits and personalities to imitate Jesus' until the world cannot tell the difference between Him and us. We don't change our habits all on our own though, we use love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (Gal. 5:22 - 23).

Also like the color matching process, we don't start from scratch, just guessing at what to do, in our Christian lives. At the store, we use color cards and a color matching computer. In life, Christians use, first and foremost, the Bible, and the writings and experience of other more mature Christians.

And finally, in the same way the color doesn't matter until the paint is well shaken and put upon wall, our Christ-like habits don't do us any good until they are tested and put into practice every day.

Written by: Zachary J.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hurry Sickness

A devotion for today.

Hurry Sickness

Read: Philippians 3:7-16

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on.

"Hurry up!" "We're late!" "You're too slow!" How often do impatient words crop up in our speech, revealing our fast-paced life? If we're not careful, we become people living in the fast lane, demanding quick arrivals and instant results. Stress experts call this "hurry sickness."

In Philippians 3, the apostle Paul's testimony of lifelong growth reminds us that Christian maturity can be encouraged but not hurried. In his book Overcomers Through the Cross, Paul Billheimer says that just as God takes time to make an oak tree, He takes time to make a saint. Christian growth is a life-long process.

Billheimer writes, "An unripe apple is not fit to eat, but we should not therefore condemn it. It is not yet ready for eating because God is not done making it. It is a phase of its career and good in its place."

Are you feeling impatient over your spiritual growth? Remember, God is not finished with you—nor does He expect to be until He calls you home. Make sure that your goal is to know Christ and to become more like Him. Then slowly but surely, under blue skies and stormy, He will bring you to maturity. It's His sure cure for "hurry sickness." ~Joanie Yoder

O God, make me one of those rarest souls
Who willingly wait for Thy time;
My impatient will must be lost in Thine own,
And Thy will forever be mine.

There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

How Do We Recognize the Evidence of Intelligence?

Why do scientists become so excited when they discover stone tools together with bones in a cave? The stone tools speak of intelligence! The scientists recognize that these tools could not have designed themselves - they are a product of intelligent input. Thus, the researchers rightly conclude that an intelligent creature was responsible for making these tools.

In a similar way, one would never look at the Great Wall of China, the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., or the Sydney Opera House in Australia and conclude that such structures were formed after explosions in a brick factory!

Neither would anyone believe that the presidents' heads on Mt. Rushmore were the products of millions of years of erosion! We can recognize design! We see man-made objects all around us - cars, airplanes, computers, stereos, houses, appliances and so on. And yet, at no time would anyone ever suggest that such objects were just the products of time and chance. Design is everywhere. It would never enter our minds that metal, left to itself, would eventually form into engines, transmissions, wheels and all the other intricate parts needed to produce an automobile!

This "design argument" is often associated with the name of William Paley, an Anglican clergyman who wrote on this topic in the late eighteenth century. He is particularly remembered for his example of the watch and watchmaker. In discussing a comparison between a stone and a watch, he concluded:

...that the watch must have had a maker; that there must have existed, at some time and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers, who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer; who comprehended its construction, and designed its use.

Paley thus believed that just as the watch implied a watchmaker, so too does design in living things imply a Designer. Although he believed in a God who created all things, his God was a Master Designer who is now remote from His Creation, not the personal God of the Bible.

Today, however, a large proportion of the population, including many leading scientists, believe that all plants and creatures, including the intelligent engineers who make watches, cars, etc., were the product of an evolutionary process - not a Creator God. But is this really a defensible position?

Sign of Design: Real science depends on measuring or watching something happen, and checking it by doing it again.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Is There Really a God?

God - an Eternal Being?
In our everyday experience, just about everything seems to have a beginning. In fact, the laws of science show that even things which look the same through our lifetime, such as the sun and other stars, are running down. The sun is using up its fuel at millions of tons each second - since it cannot last forever, it had to have a beginning. The same can be shown to be true for the entire universe.

So when Christians claim that the God of the Bible created all the basic entities of life and the universe, some will ask what seems a logical question: "Who created God?"

The very first verse in the Bible declares: "In the beginning God..." There is no attempt in these words to prove the existence of God or imply in any way that God had a beginning. In fact, the Bible makes it clear in many places that God is outside of time. He is eternal, with no beginning or end - God is infinite! He also knows all things, being infinitely intelligent.

Is it logical, though, to accept the existence of such an eternal being? Can modern science, which has produced our technology of computers, space shuttles and medical advances, even allow for such a notion?

What Would We Look For?
What evidence would we expect to find if there really is an infinite God who created all things as the Bible claims? How would we even recognize the hand of such an all-powerful ("omnipotent") Creator?

The Bible claims that God knows all things - He is "omniscient"! Therefore, He is infinitely intelligent. To recognize His handiwork, one would have to know how to begin to recognize the evidence of the works of His intelligence.

Sign of Design: Historically, most scientific disciplines were founded by great scientists (Newton, Pasteur, Faraday, to name but a few) who were all creationists.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Don't Miss the Message from Heaven!

God has sent mankind a clear message of hope and terror. There is coming a time when sorrow will cease, a time of eternal peace, a future Edenic state, but only for those who have obeyed Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

For those who continue to worship the created world instead of the Creator, God warns that they "shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8).

This is God's message from Heaven. Each of us has a choice. We need to heed His warning and flee to His Refuge, Jesus Christ!

Sign of Design: In the United States alone, it is conservatively estimated that there are upwards of 10,000 professional scientists (the vast majority not officially linked to creation organizations) who believe in biblical creation.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Empire Building

A devotion for today.

Empire Building

Read: Daniel 4:28-37

Those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

After being warned by Daniel about his pride, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was struck with insanity. The Lord restored his mind, but only after he spent 7 years in a field thinking he was a wild animal.

Nebuchadnezzar went from boasting, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for . . . the honor of my majesty?" (Dan. 4:30) to a humble prayer: "I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven" (v.37). He had repented of prideful empire building.

Bible teacher J. Vernon McGee expressed concern about empire building in the church today. He advised Christian leaders, "Don't try to build a little empire of your church. I started out with that viewpoint, and I had never been more unhappy." He encouraged them to "build into the lives of people" and leave the results to God.

When a church devotes undue energy to statistics, buildings, and programs, pride can enter in and the needs of God's people can be forgotten.

Jesus never forgot the importance of individuals. He invested His time in 12 men (Mark 3:14). Paul discipled Timothy who in turn discipled others (2 Tim. 2:2). God's kingdom grows when we invest in people. ~Dennis Fisher

Churches grow when people pray
And pastors preach the Word,
When love for Christ seeks out the lost
To win them to the Lord. —D. De Haan

Poor is the church that values programs above people.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Voyager 1 and 2 Send a Mistaken Message to the Heavens

The Bible tells us that man will accept a lie rather than admit to the truth that God Created all things, that man is a sinner and must bow down and accept his Creator as Lord of his life. To avoid the truth, man has "changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things" (Romans 1:23).

What better way to show how man has done this than to look at the two Voyager spacecraft, launched in 1977 and sent barreling towards the outer reaches of the solar system. On each ship is a gold-coated phonograph record, offering a message to extraterrestrial civilizations.

This message includes pictures of the "evolution of man" from molecules, via fish, reptiles, ape-like creatures, to humans. It also presents the "evolution of man" in sound - a series of sounds in an evolutionary progression: music of the spheres, volcanoes, earthquakes, mud pots, wind, rain, crickets, frogs, birds, hyenas, elephants, chimpanzees, wild dogs, footsteps, heartbeats and laughter. There is also the sound of fire and speech, of stone tools, a tame dog, Morse code, ships, a train, the F-111 aircraft and so on.

The Voyager craft also offer greetings from representatives of nations around the world. These messages bring greetings from Earth, calls for help, offers of friendship, pleas for peace and promises that man is thinking about them (the extraterrestrial intelligent beings), calling these supposed beings out there "great ones."

And just to make sure they were communicating, scientists included a greeting from some whales! In the book Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record, by Carl Sagan and others, we read about the "whale greeting":

We listened to it [the whale greeting] many times and always with a feeling of irony that our imagined extraterrestrials of a billion years hence might grasp a message from fellow earthlings that had been incomprehensible to us.

United Nations delegate Wallace R.T. Macaulay of Nigeria made an impassioned plea in his massage carried by Voyager. "To extraterrestrial intelligent beings: We are supposed to inhabit this planet alone but we know this is not quite so. In Africa, we want to believe that we have you and you are all-knowing, and perhaps possess high intelligence and therefore can help us solve the many problems of our world here."

Why don't they listen to the message from God? Psalm 121:2 tells us where to look for solutions: "My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."

Sign of Design: Consider the incredible improbabilities involved in getting the whole evolutionary scenario started in the first place. People talk as if it were somehow an observed fact - but the fact is that no one really has any sort of scientific explanation for how the complicated, information-bearing molecules required for even the simplest conceivable "first life" could have arisen without outside intelligence. And there are good scientific reasons for believing this to be impossible.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Man Has Rejected the Heavenly Message

Man is crying our for purpose and meaning in life. But he is not listening to God. In fact, he doesn't want to listen. As we read in Ephesians 4:18: "Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart." In 2 Peter 3:5, the Apostle tells us that man is "willingly ignorant" - he deliberately rejects the truth about creation.

This great, infinite Intelligence - the Lord God of the Bible - sent His prophets, and man stoned them. God sent His Son, and man nailed Him to a cross. God gave us His Word, and man has burned it and its preachers at the stake. Man cries out on one hand for there to be something more, but then shakes his fist at God. Why? Because man really wants to make his own god - he doesn't want to acknowledge that he is in rebellion against his Creator, or that he will have to answer his Creator for the things he has done.

Sign of Design: There are unsolved problems and unanswered questions in the creation model, but the same is true for evolution. Billions of tax dollars are spent each year trying to solve evolution-related questions; a pittance, by comparison, is spent on real creationist research.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Pursuing God's Kingdom

A devotion for today.

Pursuing God's Kingdom

"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."


Seek - pursue relentlessly - God's Lordship over your life and the righteousness that he demands in your daily life. The other stuff you pursue is all temporary. Only God and his Kingdom remain. In the process of pursuing God's kingdom and his righteousness, you will find that the God who gives you his Kingdom and righteousness, also will bless you with the things in this life that you need.


Holy Lord, only in you do I find what satisfies my soul's desires. The things that have captured my eye are boring after only a short while. The artificial things I have pursued, all of my addictive pursuits, have left me empty and enslaved. I find hope and help only in you. Please be near to love, correct, discipline, lead, and mold me to your glory. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Written by: Phil Ware

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My Job and My God

Around a month ago, I got a new part-time job. I now work for my local Humane Society. I can see God's hand at work almost everyday, though my non-Christian co-workers are completely oblivious to it. Dogs and cats are saved from roaming the streets, owner's are reunited with lost pets, and many other such occurrences happen every week in this small, humble, temporary home for pets awaiting owners.

I believe God is the reason that I even have this job. For awhile now, I have been praying for a more steady job that wouldn't force me to stop the work I do for some older people around my town. Unknown to me, a young volunteer/employee of the Humane Society of 4 years had decided to quit and move on (hopefully) to be a veterinarians assistant. That opened up a position that was advertised in the newspaper to be around 20 hours a week. My Mom suggested I apply for the job, and I did. That is when I said I wouldn't be around the blogs much.

I went in for the interview, and afterward, left unsure of whether I still wanted the job. The hours described in the interview sounded like many more than what was advertised in the newspaper. At the time my prayers changed, I now prayed that if I got the job, my schedule would even out. The Humane Society told me that I would be called in a few days if I got the job. Those few days came and went.

A week later, I received a call from the Humane Society telling me that they had filled the position I had applied for, but were wondering if I was interested in a position with much fewer hours. I accepted the job and worked those hours for the rest of that week. I enjoyed the hours, and was thankful that they didn't interfere with my other jobs, but the hours were few enough and the gas prices high enough that costs were just a little less than the benefit.

When I returned the next week, I was called into my boss' office and told that the person who had taken the position I originally applied for quit, and if I was willing, I could take their place. I prayed about it and talked to my parents and my boss over the next few days. I felt led to take the hours change and accepted the position. Now, my hours are almost perfect for this season of my life.

Three times through this experience I was tempted to doubt God. I couldn't see how I would have a more steady job without settling for second best. I couldn't understand how I could have a job without interfering with the other jobs I know God wants me do. I couldn't comprehend how once I had the job, I would rationally justify the cost I felt it was going to take up. And I could never have believed it all would have slid into place as well as it has. It is only because of God I have this job, and it is only Him I have to thank.

Written by: Zachary J.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Bad

A devotion for today.

The Bad

READ: Nahum 1:1-8

"The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble."

Nineveh was in trouble with God. Big trouble! Despite the good work of the reluctant prophet Jonah, Nineveh had returned to its evil ways. The Ninevites had oppressed other countries, worshiped idols, and performed acts of cruelty.

God saw this evil, and through the words of Nahum He spoke of Nineveh’s coming destruction, using words such as wrath and vengeance. Nineveh was about to face judgment.

Why would God’s prophet tell the people of Judah about this? How could Nahum’s frightening words help those who lived in the Promised Land?

There is help for answering those questions in Nahum 1:7-8. His prophecy of the destruction of those who reject God stands in sharp contrast to God’s promise to those “who trust in Him.” The godly, rather than facing judgment, would be cared for. They would have a refuge in Him.

God is not one-sided. He provides refuge, help, and comfort for those who trust Him, and He also sends judgment against those who disobey His standards.

The message for us is the same as it was for Judah. Through trust and obedience, we can enjoy the comfort of God’s refuge—even in times of trouble. ~Dave Branon

How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe,
I have fled to my Refuge and breathed out my woe;
How often, when trials like sea billows roll,
Have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul. ~Cushing

Everyone must face God as Savior or as Judge.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Crocodile Hunter

~ By Ray Comfort

It's not often that someone from down-under is the lead story on primetime TV. The fact that presidents from other countries die is a big deal, but they don't get to head the news. Some don't even get the tail. But when Stephen Robert Irwin was suddenly killed on September 4th, 2006, he was number one.

Steve Irwin was an Australian naturalist, wildlife expert, a well-known and colorful personality, and was best known for the television program "The Crocodile Hunter."

But his death didn't come as a shock to most who knew of him. How he died, did. Like many others who had watched him get up close and personal with dangerous animals, I thought it was just a matter of time until he would be mortally attacked by a crocodile or bitten by a poisonous snake. But that didn't happen. Instead, he was tragically stabbed through the heart by a stingray that was apparently only trying to defend itself. His distraught manager and close friend said that he "lived beyond the edge but seemed invincible." But none of us are invincible. Time will prove that to be true.

I become frustrated when I hear of the sudden unexpected death of any famous person. I want to grab this blind and unthinking world by the ear and shout "Hey, wake up. Death is a reality. It will come to you. You are not invincible. Please open your heart to the gospel." I want to seize the moment before the shock of another celebrity death wears off.

The Crocodile Hunter was passionate about the preservation of any endangered species--even if they were snakes and crocodiles. Perhaps you are a compassionate person and also have a deep concern about preserving animals. Then may I encourage you to do your part to preserve a forgotten endangered species--the dying human race. Doing this will not only make your life count for something in eternity, but it will also cater to you, if you are one who likes to live on the edge.

There is a forgotten and effective way to do this. It is something that Jesus did. It's also something the Apostle Paul, Peter, Stephen and John did. It's something that was done by Charles Spurgeon, George Whitefield and John Wesley. It's arguably scarier than jumping headlong out of a plane or messing with snakes and crocodiles. It's called "open air preaching."

Open air preaching is where you stand up in front of a God-hating world and preach His message of everlasting life. There's no applause. There's no pat on the back from an appreciative world. You probably won't make the lead on primetime news. Not even if you die doing it.

Steve Irwin left a huge and lasting legacy, and now that he's gone his words have become even more meaningful. Death tends to do that. He said, "I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message." This is true. Of all the things a Christian should be passionate about, saving sinners from Hell has to be high on the priority list. So educate yourself on how to reach them, and then educate the world on how and why they need to be saved.

When Steve died he was described by the CEO of Queensland's Royal Society for Protection of Cruelty to Animals as a "modern-day Noah." We tend to forget that Noah was more than passionate about preserving endangered species. He did something about which the world rarely hears. Scripture calls him a "preacher of righteousness." He was an open air preacher. He faithfully pleaded with a sinful and violent world to get right with a just and holy God, and warned them that God was going to judge them in righteousness. They laughed at Noah and his ark then, and they laugh at Noah and his ark now. Despite the mountain of evidence, most deny that there was even a world-wide flood.

We are living in the days that Jesus called "the days of Noah," and as in the days of Noah there is violence throughout the earth and the imagination of men's hearts is continually evil. These are dark times, but like Noah, we must be faithful preachers of righteousness, and if demons hiss and sinners snarl--if the endangered species fights against us, we have a strong consolation. Jesus said, "Behold, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

So while you are still in the land of the living, live on the edge of eternity. Don't listen to your fears. Listen to your faith. Be passionate about reaching the lost. Learn how to show this world that they are in mortal danger. Convince them that they are not in a place to argue with God--that a drowning man should keep his mouth closed. And follow the footsteps of those who through faith "stopped the mouths of lions," and never forget that "the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly."

Friday, September 08, 2006


A devotion for today.

Peaceful Anxiety

READ: Philippians 4:4-13

The peace of God . . . will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I was scheduled to teach at a Bible conference outside the US and was waiting for my visa to be approved. It had been rejected once, and time was slipping away. Without the visa, I would lose an opportunity for ministry, and my colleagues in that country would have to find another speaker at the last minute.

During those stressful days, a co-worker asked how I felt about it all. I told him I was experiencing “peaceful anxiety.” When he looked at me rather quizzically, I explained: “I have had anxiety because I need the visa and there is nothing I can do about it. But I have great peace because I know that, after all, there is nothing I can do about it!”

It’s comforting to know that such things are in our Father’s hands. My inability to do anything about the problem was more than matched by my confidence in God, for whom all things are possible. As I prayed about the situation, my anxiety was replaced by His peace (Phil. 4:6-7).

The problems of life can be taxing on us—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Yet, as we learn to trust in the Father’s care, we can have the peace that not only surpasses all understanding but also overcomes our anxiety. We can be at rest, for we are in God’s hands. ~Bill Crowder

Oh, the peace I find in Jesus,
Peace no power on earth can shake,
Peace that makes the Lord so precious,
Peace that none from me can take. ~Beck

When we keep our minds on God, God will keep our minds at peace.

P.S. This is my one-hundredth post! And I hope to return to normal posting sometime next week.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I Know It But I Can't Explain It

A devotion for today.

I Know It But I Can't Explain It

"But he, willing to justify himself, said to Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?'"
LUKE 10:29

Oldies but goodies: "The pedestrian had no idea which way to go, so I ran over him." That, says the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, is among a list of explanations the company has received for automobile accidents.

Others include:

"The other car collided with mine without warning me of its intention."

"I had been driving my car for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had the accident."

"As I reached an intersection, a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision."

"I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment."

"The telephone pole was approaching fast. I attempted to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end."

"The guy was all over the road. He had to swerve a number of times before I hit him."

"The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth."

But Metropolitan says the strangest reason of all is, "An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car, and vanished."

I guess, like the lawyer who questioned Jesus, it's a human trait that too many of us want to justify ourselves whenever we do wrong or fail to do what we know we should.

However, it's only when we admit our mistakes that we can learn from them, grow, and find forgiveness—from God and others. As Solomon put it, "A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance." ~ Dick Innes

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be mature and honest enough to admit when I make a mistake, quit playing the blame-game, and accept full responsibility for all of my actions. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Life's Little Frustrations

A devotion for today.

Life's Little Frustrations

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand."

Paul Dickson discovered that the size of the cut he inflicted on himself while shaving was directly proportionate to the importance of the event he was shaving for. That led him to an interest in other "universal laws" evident in daily life. The following are a few of the many he has collected:

1. "No books you lend are lost except those you particularly want to keep.

2. "There are three ways to get something done: do it yourself, hire someone, or tell your kids not to do it.

3. "You can throw a burnt match out of the window
of your car and start a forest fire easier than
you can start one under dry logs in your fireplace
with a box of matches and the complete edition
of the Sunday newspaper."

Let's face it, more often than not it's life's little annoyances that get to trigger our "worry / frustration button" and cause us to overreact in one way or another.

As one of my favorite ditties goes:

"It's the little things that bother us / and put us on the rack / you can sit upon a mountain / but you can't sit on a tack."

Most of us have at least one worry / frustration button — and as long as this button is active, it's a good reminder that I still have some growing to do — and will until I get to the place where I quit worrying and overreacting and learn to trust God for everything!

Hmm. I see I still have a ways to go! ~ Dick Innes

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to keep growing in 'faith and love and every grace' so I can get to the point where I can accept life's frustrations without getting my buttons pushed, and trust you in every situation. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Double Standard Part 2

Continued from: A Double Standard

Well, they don't need to waste millions of tax dollars searching for an intelligence somewhere out there. Without the aid of even a telescope, look up at the night sky and what do we see? "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard" (Psalm 19:1-2).

Take a microscope and look at our DNA. And what do we see? "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood be the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1-20).

Man knows there is a higher intelligence - he realizes there is something more. The knowledge that there is an infinite God is written on man's heart and is obvious from everything around us. Scientists need neither telescopes nor electron microscopes to see what God has already revealed about Himself and the world.

Sign of Design: Gouldian finches exhibit a fascinating design feature. In the young nestlings, there are two pairs of pearly-iridescent, blue-purplish nodules at the margin of the beak. In conditions of dim light, such as would occur on most occasions inside the nest, these nodules readily pick up and reflect the faint light from their surrondings. Although they produce no light of their own, they appear to "glow" in all but total darkness. Their obvious purpose is to act as guides for the parents of the youngsters, so they can unerringly find the right spot into which to place the food they bring to their offspring. The nodules are not apparent in the adult, in which they are no longer needed.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Double Standard

Do you see what is so illogical about the search for nonhuman intelligence? If these same scientists would exchange their telescopes for microscopes, and look down into the DNA making up the chromosomes, they would see the most complex code, the most complex language in the entire universe. They would look at this and say, "Chance!" Yet if they receive the simplest ordered sequences possible from outer space, they are prepared to say, "Intelligence!"

Nobody has ever seen a complex language like DNA evolve by chance. Scientists know it takes information to get information, but they refuse to consider that an intelligence is responsible for life here on Earth. They refuse to accept the possibility that God, as spoken of in the Holy Scriptures, is that intelligence, the infinitely intelligent God of creation. Why? It would mean that this Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, is Lord over them. They would have to kneel and worship Him and accept responsibility for their sinfulness and their need for salvation.

As these scientists look into outer space, it is as if they are shaking their fists at Jesus Christ, defiantly saying: "We refuse to accept you as Lord over us!"

Sign of Design: God designed the rib, along with the periosteum. He would certainly have known how to remove the rib in such a way that it would later grow back, just as ribs still do today - without requiring any sort of special miracle. Adam would not have had any permanent area of weakness in his rib cage, but would have had, for all of the hundreds of years of his life, the same number of ribs that you and I have today.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Forest of Life

"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
PSALM 16:11

Where I live, not far from a lazy meandering river, most of what I can see when I step out my back door are trees. The trees are tall, regal, and towering (I know there are much bigger trees in the west, but 40 - 50ft is towering for my area of Oklahoma). From the almost perfectly straight, pole-like Black Walnut, to the haunting Blackjack Oak that keeps its rough and jagged dead branches, all the varied trees have a beauty of their own.

Though when I go to work for an older lady that goes to my church, who lives on a high hill that overlooks the meandering river that cuts through the sea of green (or mostly green) trees and fields, I see all the things that are hidden behind the trees. Down in the trees, I can admire their individual beauty, but will become easily lost without guidance. Up on the high hill I can see clearly where I should go.

In the same way, as God leads us through life, we can become lost if we don't ask Him for guidance, and once in awhile, God will lift us up to the heights to let us have just a glimpse of how He sees the forest of life. As I travel through life, I "admire" many of the experiences I am able to have, but will find myself lost and confused, unable to see through the mist that constantly flows around me, and unable to understand which way I should go. That is when I must stand strong on God and trust Him to guide me through.

I relish the few chances I have to be on the "high hill," as close to God as I can get. But I know that trusting God and accomplishing what He wants me to do, requires boldly trekking into the forest of this world, proclaiming the good news of Jesus, with His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, guiding my every step.

Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.
PSALM 17:3-5

Written by: Zachary J.

P.S. Many exciting things will be happening in my life, so for the next few weeks, although I will continue to post on a regular schedule, I am going to be very busy and won't be able to do much commenting, if any at all.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Behind The Scenes

He must increase, but I must decrease.
JOHN 3:30

People around the world instantly recognize Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch from the children’s TV show Sesame Street. But Caroll Spinney is not a well-known celebrity, even though he has brought both characters to life on the popular program since 1969. A skilled puppeteer, Spinney has been content to work behind the scenes.

I believe God calls every follower of Jesus to take a similar approach in making Him known to the world. John the Baptist told his listeners: “I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ . . . He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:28,30). John acknowledged that he was not the bridegroom, but only His friend (v.29).

Oswald Chambers reminds us: “Goodness and purity ought never to attract attention to themselves, they ought simply to be magnets to draw to Jesus Christ. A beautiful saint may be a hindrance if he does not present Jesus Christ but only what Christ has done for him; he will leave the impression—‘What a fine character that man is!’—that is not being a true friend of the Bridegroom; I am increasing all the time, He is not.”

Jesus the Savior is onstage. We must be behind the scenes. ~David C. McCasland

When you share the Lord with others,
See that He is on display;
For the world to see Him clearly,
We must not get in the way. —Sper

He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A New Beginning!

There's something so...

There’s something so special about a sunrise, something that transcends the beauty of the deep, bright, alternate colors.... Something that goes beyond the breathtaking simplicity of each beam of sunlight as it breaks its way through the early-morning fog and shines onto our gazing eyes. There’s something incredible that fills our hearts as we stand and watch each drop of mist burn away and a new day begin. It’s a new beginning.

There’s something so amazing about a new-born child, something that can never be put into words. Something in those pure, trusting eyes, something about those perfectly formed little hands, as they reach out and grasp a hold of your finger. There’s something about the helplessness, the utter-dependence upon a greater strength, something so peaceful. It’s a new beginning.

There’s something so mind-boggling as we watch as tiny seed sprout and grow, slowly, surely, breaking its way through the hard soil and showing its first little leaf, soaking in newfound sunlight, newfound energy. There’s something about the first cracking of a rosebud, just as the earliest bit of color shows… there’s something that burns its way deep down into our heart as we watch it slowly open and for the first time display its full beauty. It’s a new beginning.

There’s something so far-fetched about a freshly hatched butterfly, with the almost ugly beauty of its short wrinkled wings. There’s something so awesome as we watch the wings unfold, expand, and flutter in the breeze, something so icy-fresh that our whole being tingles with the anticipation of a new, beautiful creature. It’s a new beginning.

And, you know, without new beginnings, we’d all die. There would be no new day, no new chance to try again, no new opportunity to trust, no new heart from above, no new life to live. Nothing. We would die a ghastly death, because we would realize so quickly how much every new breath of air means to us.

Yet, in this world all around us so many people have never tasted life. They have never felt the fresh air of mercy and grace upon the hot, dry desert of sin. They have never felt the icy-fresh waters of divine love upon their parched, cracked, and bleeding hearts. They have never felt the wonder of forgiveness, the comfort and beauty and sorrow of repentance, and the inexpressible joy of a heart cleansed, cleansed white, whiter than snow by the crimson blood of Jesus Christ. What shall we do!? Let us grasp them by the shoulders, let us pick up their hand, let us point their eyes towards their Savior and cry,
"Look! The New Beginning!"

These words are simple and true. We were nigh unto being destroyed, and God came in His mercy and rescued our wreched souls. With that in mind, do we ever look at the things around us? Do we look at our world like someone who just received life? I admit that don't very often, but when I do, David expressed how I feel perfectly. Thank Jesus we have can have a new beginning!

There's something so... ~David Boskovic
Used With Permission. (c) 2006 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

How do we keep our youth in church?

The article below was written by Matt Friedeman, and I agree with him. We, as Christians, do not effectively reach the youth of our day, not because we aren't like those we're trying to reach, but in my opinion, we are acting too much like them. We give non-Christians no reason to want to change and become a Christian.

"In 2002, the SBC's Council on Family Life reported that roughly 88 percent of evangelical children are leaving the church shortly after they graduate from high school."

But why?

I wonder if it is not for these three reasons:

First, we give students what they want, instead of what they need. Some say this is making the gospel relevant to youth. But how relevant is the gospel if, once you are away from your parents, your head has a tough time leaving the pillow for ecclesiastical environs on Sunday mornings? One has to wonder if we have gone too far with age-segregation (which is hardly relevant in the "real" world), catering to perceived needs of teenagers (again, not relevant in later life), and isolating kids in an evangelical subculture (that is laughed at, actually, in "real" life).

Second, when Jesus made disciples of young men (and John was called "a youth and almost a boy" by one early church father), He challenged them to "Follow Me." Teenage discipleship in Jesus' day meant spending time with an adult. Initially, that was with a parent who worked your tail-end off on the farm while talking about Deuteronomy (see Deuteronomy 6:4-9). If you were blessed enough later in life to receive teaching from a rabbi, it meant attaching yourself to the teacher and learning adult lessons with adult methodology. There were no cool websites, lock-ins, hip-hop bands or youth organizations pulling out the stops to come up with neat, new (actually, frequently gross) games to capture attention before a quick three-point Bible study and then pizza.

Third, I wonder if we don't significantly cheat our kids when we suggest that vital discipleship can exist without a life of evangelism and compassionate service. Again, discipleship Jesus-style meant gathering a small group and putting them to communicate the gospel and work among the needy of the community. Together they challenged the lost, touched the sick, healed the lepers, reached out to the hungry and ministered to the poor. In one of his last lessons on earth, Jesus warned His disciples that anyone who wasn't involved in this kind of activity risked "the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:31-46). How is it our youth, and by extension our churches, miss that message? And then, are shocked that our lack of mission fails to capture the imagination of a burgeoning adult making his own time and commitment choices?

Could it be that youth see right through it all? Could it be they know our faith is a farce? Could it be that staying home on Sunday mornings is just as relevant to the Kingdom as attending a church that makes a joke of ministry, specifically youth ministry?

Article was copied from - Here

What do you think? Do we need more games and entertainment? Or should the youth of our churches work closely with the godly adults of the church who have experience living in this evil world?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Why the Ongoing Search for Little Green Men?

Pulse... pulse... pulse... pulse... What could it be? It was so regular, flashing every one-and-a-third seconds, keeping exact time. Nothing like this had been seen before.

Jocelyn Bell-Burnell and her supervisor, Prof. Antony Hewish, were at Cambridge University when they discovered this peculiar phenomenon. Jocelyn, during an interview, said, "One of the ideas we facetiously entertained was that it might be little green men - a civilization outside in space somewhere trying to communicate with us... It did seem to be a little bit going off the deep end to say we had detected signals from another civilization. But the name stuck. We referred to this radio source as LGM-1"

And what had they found? It was a rapidly rotating neutron star, now called a pulsar, broadcasting without artificial aid. That briefly summarizes how the first pulsar ever discovered was named LGM-1.

Little green men, indeed! Would scientists really even contemplate such a possibility? Not only did they contemplate it, but millions of tax dollars are being spent by NASA to search for intelligent life in outer space. And why are they searching? Is it because there is evidence that there are beings on other planets? Not at all. It is solely because NASA is so committed to accepting evolution as fact.

Just as Jocelyn Bell-Burnell contemplated "little green men" when she discovered the regular pulses from what we now know is a pulsar, so many scientists today get very excited with each new scrap of "evidence" for life on other planets. In their opinion, this evidence bolsters their understanding of how the universe, and life on Earth, evolved.

Sign of Design: The periosteum is a membrane that covers every bone, and it contains cells that can manufacture new bone. Thoracic (chest) surgeons routinely remove ribs, and these often grow back, in whole or in part.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I just saw that I had been tagged...

... so here goes nothing. (This wasn't done in one sitting, I started writing this earlier today, but had to stop and finish it later.)

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4 and write what it says.
~ TO DO: Trust in His promise to fulfill His purpose in you through the

2.Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What can you touch?
~ Well, if I stretch my arm out in front of me, I can touch my computer screen; beside me, our piano; behind me, nothing.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
~ The Weather Channel

4. Without looking, guess what time it is.
~ 3:30 PM

5. Now look at the clock. What is the actual time?
~ 3:14 PM

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
~ An electric fan and a ceiling fan working together attempting to keep our house cool.

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
~ about 15 min. ago, when I returned home from where I work.

8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
~ The world going by without me. :)

9. What are you wearing?
~ An old paur of blue jeans and light blue shirt that has few holes in it, both are just for work.

10. Did you dream last night?
~ Yep.

11. When did you last laugh?
~ Just a few seconds ago. When I realized that I had mispelled "pair" a couple of questions back. I decided to see if paur was a word, and my dictionary says that the most similar word to my mispelled word is: Pauropod - eyeless invertebrate with 18 legs.

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
~ Some nice paintings and a hanging wall clock.

13. Seen anything weird lately?
~ Yes, I saw two large planes, one right behind the other, flying very close to each other (I think one may have been refueling the other). I did get a picture of it (see right).

14. What do you think of this quiz?
~ Enjoyable so far...

15. What is the last film you saw?
~ I really don't remember.

16.If you became a multi - millionare overnight, what would you buy?
~ I don't know. A small country, maybe.

17. Tell me something about you that I don't know.
~ I generally only spend two hours (if that) on my laptop, closing the lid by 9:00, unless there is a project I really need to get done.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
~ This is a difficult question, I would probably have every Christian perfectly obey the will of God, as every Christian should seek to do.

19. Do you like to dance?
~ Haven't done it much, so I guess that's a no.

20. Comment to George Bush:
~ Seek the One who can solve all problems.

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
~ I think that decision depends partly on another person, and only God knows who that person will be...

22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
~ I think that decision depends partly on another person, and only God knows who that person will be...

23. Would you ever consider living abroad?
~ Yes, I will follow God wherever He leads.

24. What so you want God to say to you when you reach the pearly gate?
~ Well done, my good and faithful servant.

25. 3 people who must also do this quiz on their blog.

1. Brittleigh

2. Elizabeth

3. Matt

... and anyone else who wants to
answer these questions!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Wake Up And Live

A devotion for today.

Wake Up And Live

READ: Revelation 3:1-6

"I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead."

It happened more than 30 years ago but it still hurts. During a period of spiritual rebellion, I ran into a young man I had introduced to Christ. He was stunned to discover that I had walked away from the Lord and was no longer the person he had known. It is one of my most regretted experiences, and I still pray for an opportunity to make it right with him.

During those wandering years, I would have fit in comfortably as a member of the First Church of Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6). My dilemma, like theirs, was that people thought I was the person I used to be.

The risen Lord confronted the church in Sardis: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God” (Revelation 3:1-2).

Their reputation for being alive didn’t match reality. They were spiritually dead. But there was still hope. The Lord told them to wake up and fan the spark of spiritual life still in them. “Hold fast and repent,” He warned (v.3).

Pretending to be what we aren’t is a heavy burden to bear. Our Lord calls us to lay it down, repent, come back to Him, and live. ~David C. McCasland

O Lord, return to me Your power
That once by grace I knew;
Forgive the sin that grieved Your heart,
And help me to be true. ~Anon.

No matter how far you’ve run from God, He’s only a prayer away.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Secret Bases? Government Cover-ups?

Many UFO enthusiasts spread the "urban myth" of secret US government experiments on aliens, an idea reinforced by the movie Independence Day. Does a cover-up, however, make sense when, under the inspiration of atheists like the late Carl Sagan, the US government has spent millions of taxpayers' dollars listening "out there" for signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life?

Many other evolutionary humanists, like Sagan, passionately believe that intelligent life has evolved "out there" in addition to the life on Earth, and would pounce on any hard evidence for this idea. Consider the media frenzy about the "life in Mars rock" fiasco. To imagine that a much more exciting discovery would be kept secret for decades defies credibility.

Sign of Design: The thousands of vertebrate species on the ark emerged into a world with large numbers of empty ecological niches. They must have split many times into new species in the first few centuries thereafter, as the bear population, for example, gave rise to polar bears, grizzlies, giant pandas, and more.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Becoming Useful

A devotion for today.

Becoming Useful

READ: John 5:19-23

Jesus was fully God, yet He was fully man. As a man, His power, wisdom, and grace flowed not from His divine nature but from His utter dependence on God. “The Son can do nothing of Himself,” He said (John 5:19). How much did Jesus do apart from God? Nothing!

Jesus always depended on His Father. Luke reports that as news of Jesus’ ministry spread, “Great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed” (Luke 5:15-16). He knew He needed those quiet times to restore His soul.

What’s done in secret is what matters. It’s during those quiet times that we, like Jesus, are shaped and molded and made into people that God can put to His intended use.

“But,” you say, “I’m in a place where I can’t be useful.” Perhaps you feel that circumstances limit you drastically. Illness, financial problems, a difficult boss or co-worker, or an uncooperative family member seem to conspire against you. Whatever your situation, use it to grow closer to the Savior.

Learn to have utter dependence on the Father, just as Jesus did. Leave it up to God to make you useful in whatever way He sees fit. ~David H. Roper

O that my life may useful be
As I serve Jesus faithfully;
And may the world see Christ in me—
This is my earnest prayer. ~Hess

The measure of your usefulness is the measure of your faithfulness.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Cupcake Self-Discipline

A devotion for today.

Cupcake Self-Discipline

Read: Titus 1:1-9

"Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls."

An old adage says: “Next time you want a cupcake, eat a carrot.” The saying is good advice for dieters, but those who framed it may have had all of us in mind. By disciplining our desires when no moral principle is at stake, we prepare ourselves for those moments when we face a temptation to sin.

This kind of discipline is what Paul referred to when he used the term self-controlled in his list of qualifications for church leadership (Titus 1:8). We need this reminder today. Many people think they can live immorally now and suddenly stop when they want to. Because they do not consider the addictive power of sin, they find that living up to their good intentions is far more difficult than they had anticipated.

Proverbs 25:28 tells us that if we lack self-control we are as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls. Consistent self-discipline will build up our spiritual defense system against the forces of evil.

When we discipline ourselves to keep our ordinary desires under control, we make a habit of virtuous living and practice the reality of Paul’s words in Romans 6:18, “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” ~Herbert Vander Lugt

To gain self-control, give Christ control.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Staying on Track

Yesterday, amid the crashing of thunder, the howling wind, and rain that frantically tapped on our windows, there was suddenly blaring silence. A familiar sound was abruptly cut off. That sound was the subtle hum of electricity and electrically Lightningpowered devices. The lights went out, the tape player became mute, and computer screens turned black. An emergency radio told us that it wasn’t the storm, but a problem at the power station, which left over 20,000 people without lights for 3 1/2 hours.

After a few minutes of sitting with flashlights for illumination, oil lamps were lit and began casting their warm glow across the living room. Although the appliances were eerily quiet, my family and I weren’t. We talked and talked and talked, and even though the conversation under those two burning wicks wasn’t much different than normal everyday conversing, it seemed better than any under white hot tungsten.

Why? Well I think it is because that was our only focus. You see, I feel that all too often we don’t wholly focus on what we’re doing. For example, I consider myself fairly “unplugged”. When I get busy, blogging is one of the first things that I cut back on. But, I do find that I check e-mail from time to time while doing schoolwork, or even chores. I “multitask”. During normal conversation I can let my mind wander, mentally “multitasking”, instead of listening as I should.

LightningFor a person, I think most multi-tasking causes lower productivity; we just weren’t designed to think about multiple things at once. As Adrian Rogers has said, to this effect, “God made us with a one track mind, if you’re thinking about the right thing, you can’t be thinking about the wrong thing.” I want to think about the right things, I want to properly focus on what I am doing. When I’m doing schoolwork that is what I’ll do, when I’m doing chores, that is what I’ll do. I am purposing not to be distracted from what is really important, such as obeying God. Without Him as my desire, I am like the dust of the ground, trampled and beaten down, with Him, I can soar like an eagle.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Written by: Zachary J. of Wholesome Works

P.S. For some really good posts on the dangers of multitasking, read some of these posts on The Rebelution; Multitasking Intro, Part one, and Part two.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Is the Bible Reliable?

The Bible is God’s word. It is what He has told us about life. Therefore, just as it is important that we know that the Bible is scientifically accurate, it is very important that we know the Bible is completely reliable, and why.

The Traveler, after returning from World View Academy, has written some very good post on the reliability of the Bible.

Here is a small part of the first post:

“During my week at Worldview Academy (WVA), my favorite lecture was “Reliability of Scripture,” given by Jay Winslow. Although I’ve been brought up my entire life to trust the Bible, sometimes I’ve wondered why I should believe the Bible.

How do I know that it’s true?

Several months ago, during the first day of my sociology class, our professor told us to come with an open mind, leaving our religion and biases at the door. I believe she did this because it some sense, she did not believe that faith and reason are compatible. WVA lecturer Jay Winslow, pointed out a common assumption of unbelievers, ‘If you believe in the Bible, you’re a little bit wacky.’”

Read the rest - Here

Also read the Second and Third parts.

I think there will be more to come, so make sure you continue to check her blog!

Monday, July 24, 2006

So What About UFOs?

How, then, should one understand the UFO phenomena and all the associated hype? In the German magazine Focus, it was stated, “90% of UFO reports turn out to be humbug, but there is a residual 10% which are not easy to dismiss.”

The article quoted sociologist Gerald Eberlein as saying:

"Research has shown that people who are not affiliated with any church, but who claim that they are religious, are particularly susceptible to the possible existence of extraterrestrials. For them, ufology is a substitute religion."

The Bible, in 2 Thessalonians 2:9 - 11, goes somewhat deeper in this matter, identifying a supplementary cause and effect:

"Whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonder, and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, so that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."

The Bible gives a description of reality concerning all living things. The living God reveals Himself as the Triune One, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Heaven, there are the angels, powerful created beings who also serve mankind on Earth.

There is another kingdom, it is of the devil and the demons. Ephesians 2:2 talks about the "prince of the power of the air," whose reign is on Earth.

The devil has his own repertoire of deception in the form of various occult practices and a multitude of religious rites. It could be that behind those unexplainable UFO reports is the work of the archdeceiver.

UFO reports, by definition, remain nebulous and not identifiable. People who do not know Christ are easily fascinated by all sorts of phenomena that are difficult to explain. For Christians, there is Jesus’ warning, in Matthew 24:4, to "take heed that no man deceive you." What is the best antidote to deception? Paul exhorts us in 2 Timothy 2:15, to "study" the Scripture, so we might "accurately handle the word of truth."

Sign of Design: It cannot be stressed enough that what natural selection actually does is get rid of information. It is not capable of creating any thing new, by definition.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Vast Distances (part 2 of 2)

Continuation of 4. Vast Distances (part 1 of 2)

At the incredible speed of one- tenth of the speed of light, the trip to Proxima Centuri (Alpha Centuri C), one way, would still take 47 years. One would need, however, enormous amounts of energy for such acceleration, roughly equivalent to the total energy that the world’s largest hydroelectric power station, with all 18 of its turbines running, generates in 4 days.

Furthermore, in every cubic kilometer (approx. 1/4 of a cubic mile) of space, there are an estimated 100,000 dust particles (made up of silicate and ice) weighing only a tenth of a gram. But at such a velocity, colliding with even one of these tiny objects could destroy a spaceship.

Sign of Design: Even though the Bible's purpose is not to teach history as such, the history it teaches is true.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

4. Vast Distances (part 1 of 2)

Even if we assumed life existed somewhere else in the universe, a visit by extraterrestrials, to Earth, such as is claimed in UFO reports, seems completely impracticable, if not impossible. The distances (and therefore the likely travel times) are unimaginably vast.

The closest star to Earth, Proxima Centuri (Alpha Centuri C), is 40.7 trillion kilometers (approximately 25 trillion (25,000,000,000,000,000) miles) away. The Apollo flights took three days to get to the moon. At the same speed, one would need 870,000 years to get to this nearest star. Of course, one could accelerate (particularly unmanned) probes to a greater speed.

To be continued...

Sign of Design: One reason put forward for saying that Genesis is "non-scientific" is that the account is brief. But since when does brevity equal inaccuracy?

Monday, July 17, 2006

3. Life Cannot Form Spontaneously Anyway.

Without intelligent, creative input, lifeless chemicals cannot form themselves into living things. The idea that they can is the theory of spontaneous generation, disproved by the great creationist founder of microbiology, Louis Pasteur.

Without unfounded evolutionary speculation, ufology would not have its present grip on the public's imagination.

Sign of Design: Rape is the latest and one of the most serious sins to be assigned an evolutionary explaination. Despite the protests of many, the view that rape is "natural" - to be avoided, certainly, but fully attributable to evolved instincts - is currently getting a strong worldwide hearing.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Are Our Days on Earth Numbered?

Devotion for today.

Are Our Days on Earth Numbered?

King David prayed to God: "Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life."1

A Daily Encounter reader asks, "As the Bible seems to indicate that our days are numbered should we (and can we) attempt to extend our lives through better diet, surgery, and medications? And if our days are numbered, why should we pray for the healing of loved ones, our military, and others?"

Hi, Mike ... When David asked God to show him the number of his days, I don't believe he was implying that he (or we) had x number of days to live and that's it. As David indicated, it really means that life is fleeting and our days on earth are limited, so we need to do the best we can with the one life we have been given.

Furthermore, God said to Solomon in a dream, "If you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life."2 This indicates that if we live in harmony with God's Word, will, and ways (which includes healthy living habits), under normal circumstances we can lengthen our life. Also the fifth of the Ten Commandments says, "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you."3

On the other hand, there is no doubt that we can shorten our life by not living in harmony with God's ways, through an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, nursing grudges, an unforgiving spirit, unresolved super-charged repressed negative emotions, impaired relational conflicts, too much stress and anxiety, addictive behaviors and/or substances, and any of a score or more of other unhealthy habits and ways of living.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to so live in harmony with your will and the principles for healthy living as found in your Word, that my life on earth will be healthy, long, and fruitful for the glory of your Name. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

Scripture References:
1. Psalm 39:4 (NIV).
2. 1 Kings 3:14 (NIV).
3. Exodus 20:12 (NIV).

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Spiritual Checkup

This was my devotion for today.

Spiritual Checkup

READ: Proverbs 4:20-27

Examine me, O Lord.
PSALM 26:2

Given a choice, I’d probably not voluntarily visit my doctor for a physical exam. I’m inclined to assume that everything is okay and not bother my doctor about it. But since my wife is a nurse, I don’t have a choice. I go in for regular exams.

And given a choice, many of us are a little afraid of spiritual checkups as well. After all, if we check our spirit too closely, we might have to change a habit or two. We might need something like an “attitude-ectomy.”

I suggest that we get over our reluctance. With God’s guidance, let’s undergo a spiritual checkup, using Proverbs 4:20-27 as a checklist.

Ears (v.20): Are we hearing God’s Word clearly and with understanding? Are we doing what those words tell us?

Eyes (vv.21,25): Are we keeping our eyes on the teachings that will guide us toward righteousness?

Heart (v.23): Are we protecting our heart from evil?

Tongue (v.24): Is our mouth clean and pure?

Feet (v.26): Are we walking straight toward God’s truth without wavering?

How did you do on your examination? Are there areas where you need to take action? Regular checkups will help to restore your spiritual vitality.

~Dave Branon

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
Show me the way that Jesus has trod;
Then I will tell of Your saving grace,
Until the day when I see Your face. ~Hess

A spiritual checkup is the key to spiritual health.

Monday, July 10, 2006

2. Conditions Must be "Just Right."

Life on any planet can only survive provided a great number of very stringent requirements are met. For example, a planet has to be at just the right distance from it's sun, so as to be neither too hot nor too cold. In particular, it must be in a very narrow temperature range so that liquid water exsists.

Even if recent "findings" of planets around other stars are confirmed, it is extremely improbable that any of them would fulfill all the requirements needed for life. Just having liquid water is completely insufficient, despite the excitement created when such was possibly detected on the surface of jupiter's moon, Europa.

Sign of Design: Could God have used evolution? It depends. For the true God, the answer is no - for He cannot lie, and He told us plainly what He did.

Friday, July 07, 2006

What does Science Say?

1. Never a single contact with an "ET"

In 1900, the French Academy of Science offered a prize of 100,000 francs for the first person to make contact with an alien civilization... as long as the alien was not from Mars, because the academy was convinced that Martian civilization was an established fact!

Since then, not a trace of "little green men," or any kind of life for that matter, has been found on any of the planets that our probes have explored, including Mars.

Despite this fact, a great number of astronomers think that since life supposedly evolved here on Earth, it must have evolved near one of the many stars out there. Around the world, SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) researchers have scanned the sky, looking in vain for signals from intelligent beings. Despite all the listening, on thousands of frequencies over many years, nothing indicating intelligent life has ever been heard.

Sign of Design:When somone asks if God could have used evolution, the answer really depends upon what they mean by "God." Most notions of "god" are mental constructs designed to fit what one would like to believe.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Has Noah's Ark been found?

Recently, I read an article about the possibility that Noah's Ark may have been found on a mountain in Iran. Could this be true? Has Noah's Ark been found?

The article says:

How many times have you yawned at the claim “Noah’s Ark Has Been Discovered”? Right, you say, and Elvis has been sighted again, too. People who hoped to find the famous vessel and the legendary voice have been pretty much in the same boat (so to speak)—No proof. Until today...

Led by explorer, adventurer, and featured Worldview Weekend speaker Dr. Bob Cornuke, a fourteen man crew returned this week from Iran bearing stunning evidence that theirs is the long-anticipated even coveted discovery of the remains of Noah’s Ark...

The unusual object is perched on a slope 13,120 feet above sea level. After studying the discovery site, Bonnema observed, “These beams not only look like petrified wood, they are so impressive that they look like real wood—this is an amazing discovery that may be the oldest shipwreck in recorded history.”

Reg Lyle, oil and gas geologist said “the object appears to be a basalt dike, however, it is absolutely uncanny that the object looks like hand hewn timbers, even the grain and color look just like petrified wood….I really need to keep an open mind about this.”

The rest of the article can be read Here

I don't doubt that what they have found is pretrified wood, and I am not trying say this isn't Noah's Ark, it looks like it might be and I'm very excited to see what else they discover about this object. I would be cautious, however, in saying that this is Noah's Ark, even Mr. Cornuke has said, "We have no way of confirming for sure that this object is Noah’s Ark..."

The wood could be from another man-made object from before the Flood. The Bible doesn't say whether other people living before the Flood had boats, or how big the boats were if they did have them. It could be that this object is some pieces of lumber from large buildings. The Flood was a violent event that covered the whole earth, the remains of sea life can even found on Mount Everest! This object could have come from anywhere, so more research will have to be done.

There is also good evidence that the object is Noah's Ark. The mountain it was found on lines up with Scripture, the object is the right size for the Ark, and as the article points out, "...every ecosystem helpful to humans and the animals is reachable within a 25-mile radius of the ark’s location."

Is it the Ark? Or just another false alarm. Only time will tell.

Monday, July 03, 2006

God And Freedom

"Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people."
PSALM 100:3

When members of the US Second Continental Congress approved the remarkable document known as the Declaration of Independence, they plainly declared their belief in God. The drafters of this noble proclamation knew that the sweeping freedoms they were proposing could work well only in a society where the Creator is acknowledged. They affirmed that God has “endowed” all people with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” because He values each of us.

Thomas Jefferson, who would become the third president of the new nation, was distressed by the sin he saw. He wrote, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.” If he trembled then, he would have a violent seizure now!

The founding fathers of the US loved the concept of individual freedom, but they did not have in mind a permissive lifestyle that allows us to do anything we please. True freedom can never be enjoyed by people who refuse to fear God.

The psalmist said, “Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves” (Psalm 100:3). We are responsible to God, because He has created us in love.

Today, recommit yourself to living as one of God’s people. That’s the way to enjoy true freedom. ~Herbert Vander Lugt

Every blessing in our nation
Is a gift from God above,
But we cannot know true freedom
Till we trust His grace and love. ~Hess

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."
PSALM 33:12


"In its main features the Declaration of Independence is a spiritual document. It is a declaration not of material but spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man—these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We cannot continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just power from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth and their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction cannot lay claim to progress." ~Calvin Coolidge

"It [Independence Day] ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more." ~John Adams