Monday, March 28, 2011

Did God Create Evolution?

The ongoing discussion of creation versus evolution is of great interest to me.  It has forced me to think about what I believe, what others believe, and what I want my kids to believe.

The thoughts that I will try to convey here are simple, yet they are not simple.  In trying to personally describe what I am about to say to a friend, I either failed miserably, or he didn't read it too well.  I am personally not sure which.  But I will try to outline it clearly here, because I think it is of the utmost importance for those who admit belief in a God.

First of all, I believe that to many, evolution needs God.  The attempts to explain it without Him have fallen short.  Why?  Because the continuing anthem of an evolutionist is that you can explain (prove) evolution with science, but that the idea that God created man in His own image is contrary to how we interpret the fossil record.  Not an idea that I agree with, but I will indulge you for the time being.  An evolutionist can look at the fossil record and make assertions based on what he sees.  He can classify Australopithecus as a transitional organism with great confidence in his ability to make scientific connections.  But, he cannot explain the big bang, or the assembly of nothing-into-DNA because it has never been proved, duplicated, replicated, etc.  Thus, he needs one of two things 1) The faith to believe that the answer to this quandary will appear someday or 2) an intelligent designer to set the process in motion.  It is a fact of science that we have never seen DNA assemble itself without the help of a designer.  Maybe in another million or two years we will see it, but in the meantime, it remains an unproved theory. 

So, upon examination, it would be much easier just to say that God used evolution to set His creation in motion.  But I will attempt the explain the flaw in logic that I see in that.  As I see it, you have 3 options:

Option 1:
God is a powerful God who is able to create something out of nothing, and used evolution to set creation in motion yet He hides from us who He really is, and leaves it up to us to decide what He wants from us. 

Option 2: 
God created us in His image and loves us.  He is powerful enough to communicate who He is to us through the writings of men that He has inspired.  Since He is powerful enough to create an orderly universe and man, He is also powerful enough to give us a glimpse of who He  is through His Word.

Option 3:
There is no god.  We are just floating here by chance.  We are animals that have evolved from slime.  Morals are relative because there is no one to be accountable to but ourselves.  Someday we will figure it all out.

I will attempt to explain why I believe that only options 2&3 are valid.

Option 1:
If we say, "I believe in God, and that He used evolution to set the world in motion, but I do not believe that there is any one religion that holds truth," (because all writings are of men and essentially flawed),-- then we are saying that God is powerful enough to create all of this, but He is not powerful enough to communicate to us who He is.  Or maybe you would argue that God hides from us who He is so we can figure it out ourselves.    The same way He hides the order of science from us?  I think not.    If we look at all of the world religions today, we can plainly see that they cause more strife among men that any other idea.  Most of the religions contradict one another.  People kill each other over their faith.   Yet we continue to assert that God, who created an "orderly" system of science, left us with a disorderly idea of why we are here, who He is, and what is right or wrong. 

Option 2:

If we say that an orderly God explains an orderly universe, and He gave us an orderly system (Scriptures)  for knowing Him and why we are here, it makes much more sense. It would make sense that one of the many world religions would hold the truth, or that one of the Holy Scriptures that man claims to have been inspired by God might just be true.

Option 3:
We can say that there is no God.  We don't know how DNA made itself and we can't prove that the big bang occurred. You are a highly evolved animal. 

Options 2 & 3 are more valid.  I will explain why I believe that.

Option 1 says that the nature of God is orderly, but only in science.  He then becomes a bit more disorderly when it come to Himself.    If we say that we believe in God, yet we know very little about Him, other than He created an orderly system of science, then essentially we have no one to be accountable to.  When we  are open to interpret God however we want, then we "make for ourselves god"  or AKA and idol.    This basically elevates ourselves above God and makes him nothing.  You can say this if you are Buddhist, because Buddhism is nothing more than a watered down version of atheism.  If god is in everything, and everything is god, then there is no god.  But can you say that you are a Christan and make those claims logically?  Is not Christianity based on the Bible?  Is the God of the Bible powerful enough to create the universe, yet impotent to pass a God-inspired Book of writings to you?  Why even believe? What about Jews? Or how about a Muslim?  Do they not believe their Scripture to be god-inspired and flawless?   Are they leaving god open to interpretation?  Not the Muslims I know.  Most certainly not. 

When we elevate ourselves to the position of God, we are essentially saying that there is no God. 

How do we know right from wrong?  What keeps us from just slaughtering the neighbor who's land we want for ourselves?  If we are simply evolved animals, there is really nothing.  Now god is open to interpretation and so are right and wrong.  Yet the God of the Bible tells us that He has written it on our hearts.  I would propose to you that option 1 is no more than a cop-out.  A mere attempt to remove any kind of accountability to anyone but ourselves.  An illogical attempt to say that God is logical with His science, but when it come to Himself, He is the author of utter confusion. He will just spend millions of years letting His children "war it out" and kill one another over who He is.

When we remove one authority that the Scriptures might hold (creation) then we can logically remove any other authority that it might have over us. (right from wrong) 

There are really only 2 sides to this fence.  I find it much more honest to say either God is all-powerful, or that He doesn't exist and we are just not fully "evolved" enough to figure it all out yet.  Either way, we are admitting limits to our human knowledge and that is honest. The first option attempts to wedge ourselves into the place of god and only use him when he is convenient to our argument.    It assumes that everything we think we know is correct, and that there can be no other option.

It isn't really a valid option, because it is option 3 in disguise.  If you are god, then he is not.

What do you believe?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Are You Burdened?

Matthew 11:25-30   Then Jesus prayed this prayer; "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth to those who think themselves so wise and clever, and revealing it to the childlike.  Yes Father! It pleased You to do it this way!  My Father has given Me authority over everything. No one really knows the Son except the Father, and no one really knows the Father except the Son and to those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.  

Then Jesus said,  "Come to Me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you.  Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light." NLT

Jesus identifies the Jewish leaders as the wise and clever, and followers of truth as childlike.

To quote John MacArthur:  "Note that this is an open invitation for all who hear-but is phrased in such a way that the only ones who will respond to the invitation are those who are burdened by their own spiritual bankruptcy and the weight of trying to save themselves by keeping the law."

The greatest moment in my life was when I realized that the burden of sin wasn't mine.  That weight was lifted by the true knowledge of the Messiah.  I have found rest for my soul in Jesus Christ.  I hope you find it too. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Eulogy

Have you ever thought about what you want people to say about you after you are gone?  I know it sounds a little morbid, but it is something to think about.  Our Sunday School teacher was reading a portion of "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan this past Sunday.  It was a story of a 14 year old girl who's life ended tragically early, but she left behind an incredible legacy of love and living out the Gospel.  At 14.  Amazing.  I started to think this week about what people might say about me when I am gone.  No, not a selfish thing, an introspective thing.  If people were really honest, what would they say about you?

I think it might be helpful to us to think about what we would like to "be," so I put some thought into it for myself.  I figure I have the rest of my life to live up to it.

My Eulogy~

Lori was first and foremost a lover of Jesus.  She craved truth.
Even at the expense of her own pride or prejudices.
She wanted to be everything that He wanted her to be.
She was never one to be ashamed of the Gospel,
Even in the face of intimidation and persecution.

Lori spent her life learning how to be a better wife and mother.
She loved her husband very much.
She also poured her life and energy out into the training of their children.
She was passionate about teaching them truth, discernment, knowledge,
But most of 

Because of her deep joy and contentment in the Lord,
Lori brought joy to everyone she touched.
She had a deep desire to see the same joy and peace in everyone she knew.

She wasn't afraid to "give until it hurt."
She understood that nothing in this life really belonged to her,
Rather all things belonged to the Creator.
She lived her life with the intent of storing up her treasures in heaven-
Rather than on earth.
She opened her home, talents, and wallet to anyone in need.

Lori's deepest desire is now fulfilled as she rests in the arms of the One who says:

"Well done, thy good and faithful servant."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Teacher Teaching Theory of Intelligent Design Silenced

The whole creation/evolution debate amazes me.  One theory can be taught, the other discredited as religion.  The religion of secular humanism is so strong and people are so blinded to the fact that their faith in science is merely that:  FAITH.  The overwhelming need for these people to silence any other theory speaks for itself.

"The greater the ignorance, the greater the dogmatism."  ~Sir William Osler

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Planting Seeds of Righteousness

It was a tough week.  I am not sure why, but my kids decided to test all limits this week.  I was tired, frustrated, and heartbroken that my "training" wasn't sinking in.  I was so tempted to just tune myself out and hide.

BUT- just when you think that your words are rattling off of empty walls in empty rooms, a glimmer of hope appears.  The softening of a heart.  Repentance.  A total 180 degree about-face.  A sacrifice made to meet the need of a sibling rather than focusing on "what I want"

 ....My heart sings!

Galatians 6:9 "Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." 

I reminded myself of that verse in the morning.  I reaped the benefits that afternoon.

God is good.

Motherhood is good.  We can't grow weary and tune out.  We need to be tuned in with our their hearts.  Moms know.  Maybe today you will join me privately in the quiet of a bathroom or bedroom gently thumping your head against a wall, but if we persevere, we will reap the blessings of our training.

Patience. Seeds don't grow overnight.

There is a season.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Words are Powerful

A thought occurred to me today.  My daughter proudly announced that she was not going to go outside on this glorious day and play......because I didn't have to.   I asked her what she thought I was doing inside, and she said talking on the phone all day....reading.....doing nothing.....  I told her that her sense of injustice has greatly skewed her reality.  I then offered to let her fold laundry, do dishes, and mop my kitchen floor.  She quickly disappeared.

5 minutes later, I sat down at the computer to browse Facebook, and I saw a petition posted by a friend stating that wicked Republicans want to cut off aid and starve pregnant women and children.  I suppressed a comment and moved on to the bedroom to fold laundry, but then a thought occurred to me.  When we make statements about people that try to pervert their motives for the sake of our own ideas of injustice, then we are, in fact, acting childish.  Not only that, we are breaking the 9th commandment by bearing false witness against our neighbor.

When I first gave in to the world of Facebook, I was still in a learning process of how to "measure" my words.  Not that I have graduated that process, but I think I have gotten much better.  I usually do not argue politics anymore because I have learned that it gets ugly and heated and in the end, unproductive.  The only thing left at the end of the day is hard feelings.  But one thing I noticed lately is a lot of name calling.  Tea-partiers are fruitcakes.  Obama is a baby killer.  Republicans hate women and children.  I think we really need to ask ourselves if these statements are really productive.  Are you going to change a conservative's  political views by calling them a fruitcake?  Are you going to change Obama's view on abortion by calling him a murderer?  Are you going to incite healthy debate by telling someone opposed to abortion that they want to starve women and children?

Can I get a resounding NO?


All you are doing is provoking anger and hate.  

Politics.  The grow-up form of school-yard logic.  Will we ever be able to develop a healthy dialogue in America without attempting to pervert the motives of our perceived enemies?  I do hope so.  I love a healthy debate.  

Can I get an Amen?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Making a Model Solar System!

I love teaching science!  I am fortunate that my kids love science too.  In our home school co-op, we spent several weeks learning about the solar system.  I wanted the kids to have a hands-on project to take home with them.  So here it is!

You will notice that we didn't use the same size balls I suggested.  Simply a cost thing...

Material List:
1 36" dowel rod
1 used up CD disc that you don't want anymore
Paint-- red, orange, blue, white, brown, black, green,
10 paper clips
yarn or string
9 styrofoam balls of varying sizes:
         Pluto----optional---we used a ping-pong ball!

1 balloon
glue and water
metallic gold or silver glitter
2 thumb tacks

You can skip the paper mache sun if you want to spend the extra money to buy a very large styrofoam ball for the sun.  I did this project with 7 kids, and it was way too cost-prohibited, as one large ball costs $5!  So we started by making a large sun out of paper mache.  Blow the balloon up.  Tear strips of newspaper  and dip in a mixture of 50% water and 50% Elmer's Glue.  Wrap the balloon with the paper strip, smooth down, and allow to dry.

Next, talk about each planet as you paint.

Mercury is rocky and fairly barren.  It's appearance is much like the color of our moon.  Mix some black and white paint to make gray, and paint Mercury gray.

Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system.  It has an atmosphere of swirling clouds heated by the sun.  It appears very bright in the night sky.  Paint Venus Orange/gold/brown swirled.

Earth is a beautiful green and blue.  You know what to do!

Mars appears red because of the rusty colored rock found there.  Paint Mars red.

Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system.  It has a large red spot that is a hurricane-like storm that has been swirling for at least 300 years!  Jupiter has lots of swirled colors.  Paint it gold/brown/reddish pink--and don't forget the great red spot.

Saturn is known for it's beautiful rings.  Cut one of the 3" balls in half, making sure the surface where you cut is as smooth as possible.  Paint Saturn similar to Jupiter in color.  Paint the CD a brown or orange color.  Allow to dry.  When it is dry, spray with spray adhesive (or you could use Elmer's glue and smear it)  and sprinkle with gold or silver metallic glitter.  When it is dry, spray glue (or use a stronger glue) onto the flat sides of the ball.  Place the bottom of Saturn face-up, stick a tooth-pick into the center, place the CD over the center, and press the top on, holding the planet together firmly until the glue is somewhat set. 

Uranus appears to be a light blue.  Mix some blue paint with white to make a lighter blue and paint Uranus blue.

Neptune is a brilliant blue.  This is thought to be partly because of the methane in the atmosphere, but Uranus has close to the same amount of methane as Neptune but isn't as deep a blue.  Scientist are not really sure why.  Maybe another element or compound exists here that we don't know about?  Neptune is the stormiest planet in the solar system.  It has a large storm similar to Jupiter's that appears as a white swirl instead of red.

Pluto is optional.  I still love Pluto even though it has been de-classified as an actual planet.  We used a ping-pong ball (because it is cheaper!)

Now come back to your sun and paint it yellow and orange.  You might want to add some dark sun-spots for good measure! 

When your planets are dry, take paper clips and twist them in half.  Push the "U" that you now have down into the styrofoam, tie string to it, then push it in as far as it will go.  For the ping-pong ball, poke a hole with the end of a full un-broken paper clip.  Stick the tip down into the ball, then wrap the paper clip around the ball and push it into the ball until you only have a "u" left.  tie a string to the "U" and then twist it like a twist-tie so that the string won't slip off.

For the sun, You might be tempted to tie the string to the end of the balloon sticking out----don't do it!  I made that mistake...the balloon popped and shrank, and the sun slipped off and cracked.  Instead, poke 2 holes into the sun a couple of inches apart and thread a long piece of string through it, and tie it in a knot.

When you are finished, tie all of the planets on the dowel rod in order, starting with the sun.  When you have finished, tie yarn to either end of the rod.  Tie a knot in the top of the string and push a thumbtack through the knot and into the ceiling.  Repeat with the other side.

The Problem with "Soft" Doctrine

I made a confession of faith when I was 10.  I believed I was saved.  I can now honestly say, that I didn't know the truth until I was 19 and I was introduced to the concept of grace.  You see, no one ever told me that I was a desperately wicked sinner that could not "earn" salvation on my own.  I spent 9 years of agony trying to be good enough for God.  Believe me, it is the worst way to live!  What began the change in my heart was understanding that I am a sinner-deserving of death- but the Jesus took my place on the cross.  Confessing that I couldn't do it on my own....what a relief! 

Now, let me define what I mean by soft doctrine.  Soft doctrine is teaching that refuses to acknowledge Jesus as the only way.  Soft doctrine takes hard concepts in the Bible- like hell- and tries to eliminate them through human reasoning.  In the pursuit of love, soft doctrine misses the forest for the trees.  It says: "we can explain God in human terms that makes more sense to us than God's Word."  Essentially, it makes an idol out of God.

Isaiah 55:8-9  "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts,"

Love is the most important thing.  But love does not just tell you what you want to hear.  Love tells it like it is.  When a pastor refuses to take a stand, or "tell it like it is"  for the fear of offending someone, or making them feel unloved, he has done them a great disservice.  I am glad someone told me.  My eternity depended on it.

It is wise to be discerning of truth.  It is wise to raise an eyebrow when someone hesitates to proclaim it.  Especially one who's career is to teach it.  I believe that it is the responsibility of those who teach God's Word to be extremely clear about what they believe, rather than throwing out a bunch of questions that they never mean to answer fully. 

Matthew 7:22-23   "Many will say to Me in that say, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'  And then, I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"

That verse is referring to people who claimed to be believers, not unbelievers.  That could have been me, had I not heard the truth.  The danger of soft doctrine is that there are people out there (like me) who won't get it.  They will spend their lives calling themselves Christians, but being deceived the whole time!  People who never experience true spiritual fruit in their lives.  People who never yield their pride to the molding Spirit of God.  People who long for the grace that Jesus offers, but never desire the Lordship that He commands. 

John 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments."

Although salvation is about grace, the Bible teaches that some will claim that salvation and not really have it.  See Matthew 7:22-23 above.  It is important that we know for sure. 

 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

Ephesians 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

Matthew 7:17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Therefore, by their fruits you will know them."  

Yes, love is of utmost importance.  And speaking the truth in love is an art to be mastered. (I have not yet...)  But love does not have to accept all theologies.  True love does not have to make everyone agree with it.  

True love speaks truth.....

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Book Review: unPLANNED

Abby Johnson loves women.  As a former clinic director for Planned Parenthood,  she spent several years of her life devoted to providing low-income women in the Houston area medical care.  She loved what she did.  Abby was well versed in the "talking points" established by planned Parenthood: "Our mission is to decrease the number of abortions needed through education"  "Planned Parenthood saves lives of women who can't afford to pay for health care."  Abby had counseled thousands of women in their options for dealing with unplanned pregnancies.  She had counseled several women that abortion was a safe medical procedure to remove unwanted fetal tissue that felt no pain. 

Over time, Abby began to doubt that Planned Parenthood's goal were what they said they were.  After being chided by her boss to increase revenue by decreasing the low-cost medical care and increasing the lucrative abortions, she began to doubt the bottom line.  Her world was rocked one day in September of 2009 when she was asked to assist in an ultrasound-guided abortion.  The opening chapter of the book describes in painful detail the horror she experienced as she watched the tiny child struggle to flee the pain of the cannula that was about to suck it into the the suction canister.  That moment was a breaking point for Abby, and now, she tells her story.  Here is an excerpt from the hearbreaking chapter:

"What was in this woman's womb just a moment ago was alive.  It wasn't just tissue, just cells.  That was a human baby-fighting for life!  A battle that was lost in the blink of an eye.  What I have told people for years, what I believed and taught and defended, is a lie."

unPLANNED gives a look into the world of the abortion industry from both sides of the fence.  Abby gives insightful looks at skewed thinking in both the pro-life and pro-choice camps.  Her amazing story begins with her decision volunteer and takes you through an unforgettable journey of friendship, heartbreak, betrayal, law suits, and healing.  It also does a great job a showing the true colors of a company that claims to be in the business of saving lives.  I recommend this book to anyone who really wants to understand the truth in the Planned Parenthood issue.  I recommend it to those not wanting truth, but I doubt they will take the risk of reading it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Keeping Your Computer and your Personal Information Safe

I had quite an experience yesterday when I was searching for images to download for my kid's co-op science class.  When I clicked on an image of the layers of the atmosphere, (which showed up in the image results of a Yahoo search...) , my internet shut down and a box popped up saying that I had several infected documents, shared documents, and so on.  It listed each "virus" separately and the threat level of the virus.  Then it proceeded to tell me to "click here" to remove these trouble spots.  I clicked the first button and a download started.  I was immediately worried.  It downloaded onto my computer faster than I could stop the download.  Fortunately, I never opened the actual download, so as far as I know, my computer is safe.

In the midst of all of this, I shut my internet down, immediately started a Malware Bytes scan, and attempted to contact a friend who specializes in computer problems.  I want you to know that this attempt to gain access to my information was VERY convincing.  Even to the point of warning me that my computer was at risk for crashing if I didn't do what they said.  BUT, I remembered a blog post that I had read by a friend that talked about "click-jacking" and scareware.  I wanted to share it with all of you.  Maybe you know about it already, but this was a first for me.

There is a lot of good information on this blog about safegaurding your computer.  You can get updated from Keith (the writer) when you like him on Facebook.    Hop on over there and show Keith some love!
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