Monday, November 30, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


In case you haven’t heard about this..go here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Marred Vessel

From the devotional, "Beside Still Waters", by Dr. Hughes Day, this one made an immediate impression upon my heart this morning. Don’t misunderstand...I have no immediate sickness, nor any extraordinary suffering, nor any inordinate sorrow. Perhaps someone does:

The vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. (Jer 18:4)

When the road is long, the days are dark, and storms threaten to overcome our souls, we are prone to cry, "Lord, why? Why this sickness? Why this suffering? Why this sorrow?"

How often we pray that the beauty of the Master be formed in us and yet we forget that God often maketh it from ashes. We pray for the fruit of the Spirit but we cry out against the Husbandman’s pruning. Our hearts desire a steadfast faith that will shine as gold, but we dread the purging of the dross! We long to be made in the Potter’s image yet we resist when He would mold us and make us after His will. We do not desire to be broken or pressed against the Potter’s wheel.

But sickness and sorrow and suffering are the instruments the Potter frequently uses, and He makes most beautiful vessels with these tools. The most precious gold is that which passes through the refiners’s fire. The fruits of the Spirit form abundantly when the Husbandman prunes with His knives.

Take courage. Your part in these trials is to draw close to Christ and trust Him. Joy comes in the morning. The trial of faith does not always last. Though the waters are deep, yet the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow. Strive not against His expressed will. Hinder not the Holy Spirit. He will yet fill your life with the beauty of Jesus and make you fit for the Master’s use.

(Hughes W. Day, MD., originator and founding director of the world’s first Intensive Coronary Care Unit, at Bethany Medical Center, 1962 in Kansas City, KS.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


One of my favorite illustrations came back to haunt me the other day. Let me first give the illustration and then I’ll show how it was used to poke a little fun at ol' Dad.

I have been rather proud of the fact that, as near as we can determine, the Rev. John Witherspoon, Presbyterian Pastor and signer of the Declaration of Independence, is a 1st cousin, 7 times removed, of my wife.

Here’s the illustration:
One incident in the life of Dr. John Witherspoon (a signer of the Declaration of Independence and president of what later became Princeton University) may offer some insight into the matter of God’s providence and care. A neighbor of Dr. Witherspoon burst into his study one day and excitedly said, "You must join me in giving thanks to God for his providence in saving my life. As I was driving, the horse ran away and the buggy was smashed to pieces on the rocks, but I escaped unharmed." The college president replied, "Why, I can tell you a far more remarkable providence than that. I have driven over that road hundreds of times. My horse never ran away, my buggy never was smashed, I was never hurt. God’s providence has been for me even more remarkable than it has been for you."

Now, my daughter, who is very much prone to excitement, much like Dr. Witherspoon’s neighbor, is always telling me about how the grace of God has been worked out in her life in various ways or in the life of someone she dearly loves. She truly loves to share these wonderful stories with me of God’s marvelous grace. Now here lately, each time she tells me one of these tragic stories and how God’s grace and providence has been manifested in the midst of great tribulation, I have facetiously adapted the Witherspoon story above and told her that the tradgedy described never happened to that God’s grace was manifested even more in my non-event.

Now here’s how my facetiousness came back to bite me. For the last month my entire family, my son and his wife and three children, my daughter and her child, and my wife have all either had the H1N1 flu bug or some seasonal variant. Whichever it was, each had their own story of just how cruel this little bug treated them. I was rather proud, even to the point of boasting, that this little bugger completely by-passed me. Yes, that is until about a week or so ago. I awoke in the middle of the night feeling rather weakly and went to the other end of our house for a cold drink of water. While there, a sudden fever came over me and in the space of about 30 seconds my temperature must have gone up five degrees. I broke out in a cold sweat and attempted to return to the bedroom. On the way, I lost consciousness and fell on the hardwood floor where I awoke in a pool of blood near my head. I had, evidently, first collapsed to my knees and then fell forward and hit my head above my right eye causng a sizeable cut. After getting my wife’s attention we treated and bandaged the cut and from there I went through the usual and customary effects of this very nasty flu bug.

The next day I was describing to my daughter how the grace and providence of God during my collapse had spared me of what could have easily been two lost front teeth..or even a broken nose or something worse had I fallen just slightly differently than I had. She said to me, "Dad, I’ve got an even more remarkable story about the grace and providence of God.....that’s never happened to me." All I could say was, "Touché"

Friday, November 6, 2009

Turning Worm ??

Definition: From an ancient proverb, "the worm will turn when trodden upon", meaning the meekest among us will fight back when provoked. It can also mean a change of fortune.Turning Worm 1

Monday, November 2, 2009

Time Changes Things..or Vice Versa

"Light from a star that exploded 13 billion years ago has been detected, becoming the most distant object in the universe ever observed. The light from the distant explosion, called a gamma-ray burst, first reached Earth on April 23 and was detected by NASA's Swift satellite. Gamma-ray bursts are thought to be associated with the formation of star-sized black holes as massive stars collapse." (FOX)

How do "young earthers" explain stories like this?

We know two things: God’s Word clearly indicates 24 hour periods for the explanation of creation in Genesis. What is the point of instituting the Sabbath Day in Exodus 20?: "But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God:.....For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth....and rested the seventh day". Are we to rest for long ages of time before the sabbath day is finished? What about genealogies in the New Testament that go back to Adam? The use of the word day in Exodus is exactly the same as in Genesis (yom). Six times in Genesis it is stated, "...and the evening and the morning were the (1-6th) day." Surely if God intended for us to understand it to be great periods of time, He could have expressed this thought in words that would make it clear. It seems it was very easy for the Holy Spirit to direct the writer of Genesis in verse 38:12 "And in the process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah’s wife died..." This clearly states an extended process of time; not a 24 hour period. Therefore, as far as the process of time is concerned from the vantage point of earth-time.., creation occurred in 6-24 hour periods.

The second thing we know is that we know very little about "time". All of us understand that "time" was created when the universe was created. And we know that time is relative to space and matter. We also know that time is relative to gravity and mass. For instance a clock poised atop the Himalayas ticks at a different rate than clocks at sea level. This is a confirmed fact. Scientists call this phenomenon, "gravitational time dilation". Einstein wrote, "the rate of a clock is accordingly slower the greater the it’s neighborhood". (The Meaning of Relativity, pg 92) All matters of time relate only to the physical universe. God is outside of time. He is the creator of time. He is timeless.

Dr. D. Russell Humphreys has written a marvelous thought-provoking booklet entitled, "Starlight and Time" in which he attempts to show the relativity of time in God’s early creation. Both "billions" of years for distant galaxies and twenty-four hour earthly creation periods can co-exist, he says, depending on your location. Our location has always been earth-bound. Therefore the Bible speaks to us in terms of the natural rotation of the Earth’s axis and its movement around the Sun. To condense this booklet into a few sentences may be a difficult task, nevertheless I will attempt it. By the way, the mathematical equations stated in the booklet that are involved in this theory are well beyond my feeble understanding, and many equations are given. I would suggest you invest the $8.00 or so and buy a copy. One thing that both random chance ‘big-bang" theorists and God directed "creation" proponents would agree on is that during the formation of our universe science was much different than we know it today. Has the speed of light ever been different than it is today? Perhaps! What happens to time and light when the space in which it is contained is expanded or stretched? We are told in the Psalms that God stretched out the heaven like a curtain. If the universe is "bounded", i.e., has a limit or an edge and the universe has expanded or been stretched equally from the center in all directions during the creation period what we have is a "black hole" in reverse. Humphreys calls it a "white hole". No matter which direction we point our telescopes there appears to be as much matter in all directions, which would indicate that we are at the center point or near center point of the universe. Would God create the universe with the Earth at its center? There is no proof either for or against this idea. The universe appears to be 15-20 billion light years no matter which way we point our instruments. Is this because space is curved and we can only see to the horizon? Good question! Admittedly, it is conjecture, just as much as it is that we are not at the center.

During the process of creation, i.e., the 6-24 hour periods, EST (Earth Standard Time) God stretched out the heavens in all directions: "Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain" Ps 104:2; "He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion." Jer 10:12...and there are many many other verses indicating a stretching out of interstellar space. "As a consequence gravitational time dilation caused clocks (and all physical processes) both inside and outside the event horizon (the border of the white hole) to tick at vastly different rates from one another in different places" (Starlight and Time, pg 79). What is an event horizon? "In general relativity, an event horizon is a boundary in spacetime, most often an area surrounding a black hole, (in our case..a white hole ) beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer. Light emitted from beyond the horizon can never reach the observer, and any object that approaches the horizon from the observer's side appears to slow down and never quite pass through the horizon, with its image becoming more and more redshifted as time elapses. " (Wikipedia) In the black hole everything is packed so densely that even light cannot get out. As more and more matter falls into a black hole the event horizon beyond which light cannot escape expands. The gravitational effect is so great that even light cannot escape.

In a "white hole" all the matter is escaping outward rather than inward as in a black hole and the event horizon eventually shrinks and disappears. As the matter escapes, the event horizon becomes smaller and smaller until it eventually disappears to zero. In our "white hole" scenario, as the event horizon approaches toward the earth, time, compared to the outer edges of the expansion, is slowing to a crawl. "The shrinking event horizon reaches earth early on the morning of the fourth day. During this ordinary day as measured on earth, billions of years worth of physical processes take take place in the distant cosmos." (ibid, pg 37) If an observer could look outwards into distant space during the creation process he would see clocks whirring at phenomenal speeds while his own would be ticking along at a normal pace. In short, the booklet attempts to show that 24 hours on earth is possible while at the outer reaches of the universe plenty of time (billions of years) is available for the light to reach the observer on Earth. "God stops the expansion before the evening of the sixth day. Therefore, Adam and Eve gazing up for the first time into the new night sky can now see the Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy and all the other splendors in the heavens that declare the glory of God." (ibid pg 38)

Now here is my caveat. I am certainly not prepared to defend the proposals made by Humphreys in his book. The sole intent and purpose for this particular blog is that you may know that there are highly trained intelligent physicists that are thinking and writing about the possibilities of our origins based upon an understanding of God’s Word. We assume that God’s Word is just that and that it has meaning and purpose and that it conveys to us the truths as God would have us understand. After all, He (our Triune God) was the only one there when these creative processes were begun. God asked of Job, "Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its dwelling place, that you may take it to its boundary and that you may discern the paths to its home?" (Job 38:19-20) Our desire is to understand truth as God understands it. A noble goal!