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