Jul 21, 2017 4:06 PM
Life stretches you.
Three words that combine into a common saying—easily rolled off the tongue in precise moments of reflection—which belie the pain threading them together. Experience grows. Empathy increases. Wisdom...comes. But, to the one on the rack crying out for it to stop.
It is a common saying for common circumstances. Until the pain is yours. Then it is unique to you.
If circumstances in your life are stretching you beyond your ability to cope, be encouraged that God has not left you alone. He does not desire suffering or defeat for you. In fact, He has always designed a path to victory for those who trust Him.
When God created the earth and its universe, He did so with man on His mind. Everything spoken into existence was particular to the needs of and for man’s life and pleasure. God specifically designed the world to run from the words He uttered so that He needn’t re-create the world everyday. Having established the perfect environment, He made man and declared him sovereign over the creation. Man wasn’t treading water on day one or gasping for oxygen on day two. God had a plan.
He still has a plan. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “ ‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” (NIV)
Takeaway #1. God is not the problem. He is the answer.
The important thing is God provided for our success from the beginning. He didn’t ask us to do something that He hadn’t provided the means for us to accomplish it. Life is hard, and if you are a Christian, you are living in enemy territory. But Jesus said to cheer up because God’s Kingdom is at hand, close by ready to help. If you’re not a Christian, God’s Kingdom is close by, ready to help. Acts 2:21 states that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. This is a continuation of God’s promise in the Old Testament (Psalm 50:15 is one example) to call on Him and He will answer.
Takeaway #2. Knowing what God’s Kingdom offers requires knowing God.
Knowing about God and knowing God enough to love Him are two different things. Embrace this challenge staring you down as the doorway to a new way of life. Take charge of your circumstances by taking the time to read the Bible and applying what it says to you.
Takeaway #3. Your attitude toward challenges will determine your success or failure.
I like the advertisement for the Marines: pain is weakness leaving the body. Let the word strengthen you for life and its...moments. “Just believe,” Jesus said to Jairus, and Jairus’ daughter was raised from the dead. Anything is possible with God. (Matthew 19:26) Not knowing what God is about hinders our ability to receive what we need.
Here is a verse that you can pray and speak aloud over yourself: I am being filled with the knowledge of God’s will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (Colossians 1:9 paraphrased)
Image by Tim Mossholder courtesy of StockSnapi.o
Jun 30, 2017 6:48 PM
Recently, my daughter showed me a Huffington Post article reviewing the book Noah, Man of Resolve. It is a fictional story based on events in the Bible and written from a creationist worldview. I haven’t read the book, and I hope people understand it is a beyond-the-Bible representation of Noah, but it does make the effort to show a realistic setting. The article took the liberty of correcting the viewpoint with evolutionary “real” science, and comments were vicious in their criticism of creationism.
What was not considered is the increasing discoveries in science that present problems for evolutionary theory. It is said by evolutionists that the similar DNA of man and chimps and gorillas proves there is evidence of a common ancestor. The difference in the similarities is about 4% which makes us seem very close indeed. A closer look, however, reveals that while the percentage seems small, it represents 125 million differences. Trying to explain these differences proposes another problem called Haldane’s Dilemma. And that is only scratching the surface of their claim.
Many believe, mistakenly, that science, in its modern interpretation of the method of knowing, has proven the Bible wrong. But it is science that has proven to agree with the Bible. Matthew Maury who wrote the first book on modern oceanography saw the reference in Job 28:25 that refers to paths in the sea. He decided to investigate and ended up charting the currents in the Atlantic. Ironically, this verse also points out that air has weight. Maury said, “…though the fact that the air has weight is here so distantly announced [in Job], philosophers never recognized the fact until within comparatively a recent period, and then it was proclaimed by them as a great discovery.”
Indeed, scientists have discovered that stars sing (Job 38:7), the universe is wearing out (Psalm 102:26), which points to the fact the universe had a beginning (Genesis 1:1), the quantity of energy and matter in the universe remains constant (Genesis 2:1-2), the field of quantum physics (Hebrews 1:1, Genesis 1:3-4, 2Peter 3:8, 2Corinthians 4:18) and that man is what he thinks in his heart and truly, the power of life and death is in the power of the tongue. Scientists have even discovered the medical wisdom behind the dietary and cultural practices of the ancient Israelites. God even promised them in Psalm 91 that the sun would not harm them by day nor the moon by night, a kind of supernatural sunblock.This is a short list.
Our worldview affects all areas of our life. In the academic world it affects all disciplines: science, math, history, grammar. It is the lens that interprets the discoveries. But what if this lens is flawed?
Skeptics point out that if the Bible is known to be in error concerning science and the chronology of history, then it must be in error when it speaks of the spiritual nature of man. But this premise has been proven false again and again by science and archeology.
In the field of archeology, a relatively new science that had its origins in claims the Bible made concerning ancient empires, cities and people groups, new developments are upsetting the Traditional Chronology of Egypt based on evolutionary theory and the history of man. A revision may soon be coming that will set their timeline back to agree with the timeline of the Bible. The effect will be revolutionary.
It seems that truth really is springing from the earth. (Psalm 85:11)
In fact archeology has shown its skepticism to be invalid concerning the Hittites and other empires, King David, King Solomon, a slave population of Asiatics in Egypt, the names of people groups, their cities and gods, and…etc.
The point is, the Bible cannot be shoved to the side in our modern era. If the premise is in error and we use the skeptics’ logic, that if the Bible is wrong about science and history then it is wrong about the spirituality of man, what can we conclude if the Bible is right about science and history?
Christians need to know the answers to the debate intended to undermine their confidence in the Bible.
The lens we use to view our world matters. It is the difference between fact and fiction. But like a Picasso painting, evolution has rearranged the truth into an alternate reality. It is a view that will never give us an accurate view of our world.
Image by Hans-Peter Gauster courtesy of StockSnapi.o
Jun 23, 2017 9:47 AM
Kate Breslin has crafted a suspenseful story involving the Allied Underground in her book, High as the Heavens.
Evelyn Marche is a nurse during WWI who endures the horrors of German occupied Brussels in her native Belgium. Her German bosses have no idea of her true identity.
Evelyn and other characters in this historical fiction are based on real people and real events. It is a satisfying read with more than one surprising twist. 4 stars