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Saturday, November 05, 2011

I am a Christian. Therefore I have joy. The Opus.

Melissa and the poem.

My young friend Melissa is married to one of my "godsons", who is now a 6' 4" National Guardsman who works on helicopters and is being sent over to the "Sandbox" time and time again.  They have a beautiful toddler daughter (who is very tall for her age so I betcha she'll be a basketballer like her daddy) and live currently in California.  Funny thing, I moved to California and most of my family followed me out there, then I left and came back here.  Chuck and his siblings grew up here (and spent a LOT of time at my house eating my food and listening to our music and going with us to play ball or go camping and so on and so forth).  He and Melissa moved to California and my brother and sister also live out there so I have to make a road trip soon.  My son joined the military, put in five years and came home to go back to college.  Both of the boys of that family joined the military (one NG, one AR) and the girl married an Air Force guy.  All three are married in fact.  They will always be family to me.  

Chuck and Melissa marriage picture

Anyway, Melissa found some source called "Pinterest" and from that was inspired to share the following:

"When I say "I am a Christian"...
I am not shouting "I am clean living"...
I am whispering I was lost
Now I am found and Forgiven.

When "I say I am a Christian"...
I don't always speak this with pride
I am confessing that I stumble
and that I NEED Christ to be my Guide.

When I say "I am Christian"...
I am not trying to be strong
I am professing that I am weak
and that I NEED His strength to carry on.

When I say "I am a Christian'...
I am not bragging of my success.
I am admitting that I have failed (many times in fact)
My flaws are far too visible
But, My God believes I am worth it.

When I say "I am a Christian"...
I still feel the sting of pain,
I have my share of heartaches,
So I call upon His Name!

When I say "I am a Christian"...
I am NOT holier than thou,
I am just a simple sinner,
Who received My God's Grace Somehow...

I actually know how the Cross on which Jesus Christ Died Upon and through that cross I am forgiven- I am not perfect, not Christian is. We do the best we can, when we can."

Melissa finds the National Guard dragging her husband off to Iraq, and gets ill and yet has a small child to care for and the money gets tight and she misses her man and she has trouble finding a babysitter sometimes.  She has to pray that he comes back to her in one piece.  His brother is a captain in the Reserves and, when he is called overseas, he is an IED hunter in charge of Humvees patrolling the roads looking for the bombs Islamoterrorists leave in cars and trucks and even (miserable curs) toys!  Imagine how his wife feels every day he is out there putting his life and the life of his troops on the line.  Even though now a captain, Cecil always went out on patrols himself.  He has yet to lose one man! 
I was a soldier and my dad was before me and my family tree is loaded with men who wore the uniform for the sake of the good old USA.  I also know lots of young men who have recently been over there, including my oldest son, and many more who are there now or are getting ready to go.  In combat zones, everybody gets together to pray.  I have yet to meet a soldier who did not pray with his fellow troops before going over the wire.  Some of them come back home and then forget about the very God they prayed to with all their hearts when death was hanging overhead.  

My oldest son in Afghanistan

There are no atheists in foxholes

Possibly one reason you are a Darwinist if you are one is that you have never had to face death on a regular basis and you have not given it much thought.   It seems to me that to be a Darwinist requires far more faith than it does to be a Christian, since you have to depend on nothing and in fact count on nothing and no purpose and no reason for existence.  Because if there is a reason and a purpose and a Maker of all things, you will be answerable to Him.  It takes a brave man indeed to bravely go forth into death depending on the assertions of a bitter old man (Darwin) who had a complete hypocrite as a father and a wife who believed in a very watered-down and illusory kind of God.  He lived amongst the gentry, able to go out on voyages without being worried about money, to spend countless days studying nature without having to make a dollar to feed his family.  Being allowed to be idle, he became a scientist who made many observations, some of which were quite apt and many of them stolen from others, from which he began to produce books that became the basis for the worldview of Darwinism.  Funny that every single thing he asserted has been disproven, isn't it?  I mean, finch beaks change back and forth, they even have built-in switching mechanisms to help the beaks change to accomodate changing conditions and he didn't even realize all the birds he studied were finches!  He depended on a liar named Lyell for his assumptions about a geologic column that does not actually exist.  He therefore depended upon uniformitarianism which no educated scientist now believes.   He was bulwarked by one of the infamous Huxleys who immediately began authoritatively revealing life forms to the public which turned out to be shams and loudly proclaimed the veracity of a hypothesis which could not even be tested at the time.

Now we can say with authority that organisms are irreducibly complex and could not have evolved.  It is statistically impossible and it is also chemically impossible.  No reasonable person would happen upon a computer and think it resulted from a tornado spinning through a junk yard.  But Darwinism is far less likely than that.  So if you are a Darwinist, you certainly have great faith because you are sadly lacking in evidence.

The children of God come by humble faith and live in awe of Him

Because I am a Christian, it is Christ who has turned my life around rather than me.  I only had to agree to the things God was doing in my life.  Those who consider me brash or rude fail to see that I am only trying to help you.  You are heading down a road that crosses a river and the bridge is out.  Jesus Christ is the bridge from death to life and if you do not take him down the road with you, you will plunge into the river of death and remain there as it is actually becomes a lake of fire and torment.  Exactly what a lake of fire and eternal separation from God and eternal torment means in the post-material existence is beyond me.  These are descriptors God used to describe Hell.  I would think the human mind would go insane in such conditions but it may be that insanity is a kindness to those on Earth who have gone beyond themselves and it may not be available in the afterlife.  One observation I can make that I can understand is that the man who is now in Hell is missing something all humans possess while alive - hope.  Once you are separated forever from God in Hell you have no hope of anything ever changing.  This is a horror beyond any changing faces or chainsaws or aliens the most horrific horror stories can conceive.  An eternal death of suffering and separation and absolutely no hope at all.  Is it a steady state of torment?  Is it a constant barrage of more fire and waves of desolation?  How can I know this?  It is beyond me to comprehend fully.

I cannot define Heaven because I am a four-dimensional man.  I am bound by those dimensions.  Somehow God has entered my life and connected me to the eternal and therefore the supernatural but I cannot understand the Universe from beyond it for I am bound within it presently.   I therefore cannot define Hell appropriately either.  I can only comprehend what God says about Heaven and Hell in the Bible and He knew He was giving information to the finite minds of His created beings.  We are sentinent and we think abstractly and can imagine beyond the four dimensions that bind us.  Is it not amazing to you that you can travel in time within your mind?  You can remember things from fourth grade and from yesterday and you can imagine things five years from now.  You can create stories that never happened, you can imagine scenes that do not exist, you can paint or write or sing or act out what is not as well as represent what is.  This is the final condemnation of Darwinism, for there is certainly no advantage to being able to paint in the Cubist style or write free verse.  Singing in three-part harmony will not take down a deer for the family to eat or build a shelter from the cold.  The creative power of mankind is the hint of the greater Creator and Darwinists fail to take it.  

Hell?  I did not accept Christ or ask forgiveness for sins to avoid it, in fact I was not even considering it.  I wanted to know the Truth.  I wanted to know whatever meaning there was in life, if indeed there really was meaning.  One must cast aside pride to be saved, because you must admit that nothing about you is able to save you and humbly ask Christ to do it in your stead.  I was not running from Hell, I was seeking after Heaven and the Maker of the Universe.   Whatever that Maker intended for me I wanted to know it.  Whatever purpose there was to existence I wanted to understand it.  It did not matter to me whether it was one religion or another or from whence it originated.   Jesus was born in the Middle East.  Buddha was an Asian.  Frankly Free Will or Satanism had more Anglicized roots than did Christianity.   Christianity ruled in the Western World in large part because Christianity is true and the truth shall set you free.  The Bible gave literacy to the peasants.  The Bible gave foundation to the great scientists.   The Biblical laws were the basis for the legal system of England that began taking power from the monarchy and assigning it to men.   They were the basis for the writing of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  It is said that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.  Occupy Wall Street is the typical mob rule used by socialists and communists all over the world to try to bring about anarchy so that tyranny can take control.   There really is nothing new under the Sun.

But I understand faith.  My faith in God was not really mine, God gave it to me only because I was willing to know Him.  I can take no credit for it.  My fondest desires on Earth have mostly been satisfied.  I have found the love of my life and will be with her until death do us part.   I have fathered beautiful children.  I have a host of friends who care about me and those who I do care about.  There are multitudes of young people who have listened to me teaching and preaching and confessing things of the Bible, things of life and things of science who are now teachers themselves, some of them, and some married and having children and some from long ago actually at possible grandchildren stages!   Most importantly, I know the God of the Universe and also know that His promise to me is this:  When I pass from this life to the next I will be capable of seeing Him face-to-face.  I will be able to comprehend Him much better than now, for I will be far more like Him than I am now.   Joy and peace come from being in the presence of God and knowing Him.  This is true now, how much more true and awesome will it be when I am no longer bound by these four dimensions and the material Universe will have passed away, burned up, gone?   How can that be, what is that like?   God promises a new Heaven and a new Earth.  You doubt that?

Yep, I was a youth pastor 15 years ago and I still do it and I am still goofy

Science simply confirms that God is and what God did

Read my last post.  Logic tells you that organisms did not create and design themselves and that the Universe did not make itself.  William Paley's pocketwatch example is still valid.   No one would happen upon a watch and imagine that all the intricate parts - the sprockets and springs and gears and etc. - would have simply *poofed* into existence.  But beyond that, the watch has been wound!   The Universe, like that watch, has been wound and we can see that the LOT tell us the spring is winding down and eventually will be entirely uncoiled.  There will no longer be energy converting to entropy.   There will be no longer order becoming disorder.  Physical laws tell us that the "heat death" of the Universe is coming and it cannot be prevented by mankind.  A bacteria could easier cast the oceans of the Earth into the Sun than man can stop the Universe from winding down.  Based on my reading of Big Bang theorists, a bacteria could cast the Universe into a hole the size of a pinhead before Darwinists could come up with a naturalistic cause for the Universe.  

We are those who inhabit the Universe that, like Paley's watch, was both made and wound up by a Watchmaker.  Some in the ID community do not care to try to identify that Watchmaker.  Creationists agree that it is the God of the Bible.  Darwinists pretend it *poofed* from nothing and then deny what they believe.  Nope.  You either have to believe that nothing created everything because you do not believe anything greater than everything exists, or, you have to believe a Greater Creator created something from nothing because only a transcendent God could have invented and produced the material Universe in which nothing is now being created or destroyed and everything is running downhill.   Do not believe a Darwinist when he denies the LOT.  When an atom is "destroyed" it is simply being converted from one state to another.  Energy within an atom can be released and if the right atoms are bombarded in the right way a great deal of energy is released.  But the equation remains balanced and the balance sheet always winds up with the entropy side of the ledger growing larger and the energy side getting smaller.  There is no escaping Thermodynamics.  There is no evading Biogenesis.  All the fairy tales in the world will never overcome this.  How many Dawkins can dance on the head of a pin?  Darwinism is comprised of unsupported science-y sounding stories.  

Mechanical pocketwatch

Free will?

So you have an entire lifetime to make your choice.  However, you are not guaranteed the next breath nor can you be sure your heart will beat again.   I urge you sincerely that, before you put all your chips on Darwin and let the roulette wheel of your life spin, carefully consider the concept of the Transcendent Creator God of the Bible.  If there was indeed a Creator and a Good and Logical One, He would be sure that His creations could identify Him and have a relationship with Him.  God has made an entire Universe for the express pleasure of making you and then making your acquaintance into a friendship that is also a family relationship of complete love and acceptance.  He's placed enough conundrums in the Universe to clue us in to His Designs and frankly the creativity and humor of the world of organisms and planets and stars are meant to fill us with awe and wonder.  Science has been able to creep up to the edge of our understanding and found that we have limits.  Quantum Mechanics is to some extent incomprehensible.  The full complexity of the coding mechanisms of organisms just gets more and more complex the deeper we delve into it.  When you look carefully at a moon like Io (which is covered with active volcanoes) or at a Platypus you can see that God has a sense of humor.   When you view the Helix Nebula it is like God's eye looking back at you.  Finally there is the Bible, 66 books written over the course of hundreds of generations by a handful of God's servants inspired by God to write His message to His creations.  The most popular book in the world, the Bible fits together despite the disparate ages and times of its authors, for all authors were moved to write by the One Author and Finisher of our Faith.  

Here is where the rubber meets the road.  You cannot access God by knowledge alone.  All the study of all the philosophies of mankind will leave you puzzled.  All of the scientific findings of mankind come with opinions and how do you sort them out?  What yearnings of your heart are reliable and which of them are simply urges that, if assuaged, will get you in trouble rather than bring you happiness.  In fact, happiness is necessarily dependent upon what is happening.  The target is far beyond happiness.  What you want to attain to is joy.  

Inexplicably volcanic Io


Joy is hinted within the kiss of true love, the smile on the face of your baby and the clasp of his or her hand around your little finger.  It is there for a moment when you have made the perfect swing at a breaking ball that didn't break enough and you see the baseball fly over the fence and out of the very ballpark into the distance or when you have released a jumpshot and know it is going in before it leaves your fingertips.  You hear it for a second when your true love says. "I love you" and you feel it for a moment held within her arms.  Fleeting glimpses and hints of joy surround.  Joy is in the wonder of the clear night sky if you have camped far away from mankind and are out in the wilderness and the stars truly light up your night and hold your interest with their awesome majesty.

Three grandkids, one daughter, one son-in-law, wife, me...Christmas!

There was one night when I gazed up into the sky and knew that God was calling me.  I saw the stars as numbers all adding up to a sum that equaled God.  In my confusion and ignorance I was a bull in the china shop of life for many years looking for truth and alternately giving up on the search to concentrate on pleasing myself.  Yet every time I threw away the search for truth something would catch my attention.  I did not see the equation of my life being drawn on the blackboard and when I came to the end of the left side of it there was that big EQUALS sitting there and God was on the other side.   Dare I trust in the equation?  Would asking Christ into my heart make me a robot, an automaton, a brainwashed follower of simpletons, a person who had lost the essence of himself?  That moment when I knew that Jesus Christ was real and really Who He said He was I threw away my doubts and fears and threw myself down at the feet of the Savior, completely horrified at the depth of my sins and thoroughly sorry for my selfishness and faithlessness.  In an instant my attempts to humble myself were accepted and verified and joy flooded my soul and my heart knew peace for the first time in my life.  As I have often said, I did not know that I lacked peace until I had it and, once I had it, I knew I had God and God had me.  Then I knew joy.  Joy!  I was still me, but I wanted different things.  The more I read the Bible and the better I understood God, the more my "wanter" changed.  God didn't take away anything from me other than the weight of my sins and instead he added His constant presence with me at all times. 

Now I understand the fear and surprise and anger of my friends when their partner in crimes of drugs and drinking and lusts and excesses suddenly showed up with a huge smile and a sincere belief that they would also want this Jesus Christ in their lives. Au Contraire!!!!!   Some were angry, some sad, some confused and some refused to believe and kept trying to tempt me back into the old lifestyle.   I discovered that if I kept hanging with them some of that old lifestyle was hard to escape and that they did not want to know the truth, they just wanted to party.  So I had to make new friends and part from the old ones.  

Joy is not on every bucket list

It took awhile, but I remembered how I would work to avoid people who wanted to tell me about Jesus before I wanted to know.   Suddenly I realized I was on the other side!  Of course talking about Jesus was not what most people wanted to do because they were into pleasing themselves just as I had been.   I learned that there might be a world of horses and a big trough of water but very few of them could be convinced to take a drink.  God is calling but most of us let him go to voice mail.  I used to work at avoiding anybody that wanted to tell me about God myself, why should I expect other people to be any different?   We are odd things, people, determined to be the Masters of our own destinies and the Captains of our own fates yet, in moments of crisis we cry out to a generic God to save us.  A car is about to hit you...your child has a fever of've just lost your job...the girl you loved like mad has dumped are on the side of a mountain and you've just missed the foothold you were so sure are on patrol and suddenly you hear the angry bee-sounds of bullets whizzing by your head...and you pray and cry out to God for help!

Do you then forget when you survive?  What happens to the ones who fall off the mountain, whose child does not recover, into whom the bullets explode, by the car are crushed to death, who lose their homes when they cannot find another job, when your love never comes back and you cannot seem to find another?  All of these things happened to me in some form, some of them before I knew God, a couple of them afterwards.   I am still alive of course, so the bullet missed and car did not kill and love was found and child recovered and another foothold was just below where I thought it was.  I began a new career when the old one was gone. 

Life is full of hills and valleys.   I am thought to be proud by some because I proclaim truth confidently, but my confidence is from Christ and not myself.  I have pain every second I am awake and it is likely I will always have it until my moment of death.   The accidents that could have killed me have left me with nerve damage and arthritis and structural damage so that only a miracle will free me from the many pills I must take and the continual pain I must withstand.  Yet I have joy.  I do argue with Darwinists and sometimes say very harsh things to them.  They do not understand that I am calling out to them that the bridge is out!  They revile me and go back to their Darwinist blogs and say nasty things about me and those who are like me.  They make me a laughingstock amongst them and find great hilarity at the things I assert.  Why do I go on?  With so many things to do in this life, why take two hours in my Saturday to write down these words?  They do not understand that I love them, I have been like them, I have hope for them and I even know they don't want it and do not believe it and yet I do carry on.  

Helix Nebula aka God's Eye


Someday this blog will stop.   It is almost certainly because I am dead in this life.  I know many of the readers and commenters do NOT want God and are quite sure they never will.  I know many of them hate the very idea of God, of a superior being that they must answer to, so they are angry at those who proclaim Him and would love to shut us all up.  They cannot believe in joy, or they cannot conceive of it in association with knowing God, and they would prefer to just party like there is no tomorrow and damn the consequences.  (Did he just use a bad word?  No, I mean it literally).   Okay, fine, you can choose to be ungodly and throw yourself headlong into Hell.  I cannot stop you.  There will always be those who hate God and will go screaming into death shaking their fist at the Creator.  Yet they will get on their knees and beg forgiveness once they have left this life and find themselves before the White Throne of God.  At that point no one will be able to help them.  You only go around once.  One shot at life, one shot at doing it right, one chance to belong to God or turn your back to Him. 

Gods Grace on the mountain

But there is God's Grace now.   As long as you draw breath, you can change your mind.  I am quite sure some of my old buddies down in Texas cannot believe I became a Christian of all things.  Sorry, Lucky, I still owe you that suitcase.  I still have it in my closet.  But then again, you are probably dead now.  You and Kenny and Crazy Mary and Tim and Eddie and all of those guys were all meth junkies like I was.  Meth junkies age twenty years in five,  if they live five years before death or prison intervene.   I thank Mary and Kenny and Tim for each giving me a place to stay for awhile while I was heading for the gutter.  I saw you all following me down there.  Then again, it was you guys who got me into the group and started me injecting myself with speed so all I can say is I hope you got out of the life before it killed you.  I was so determined to get as high as I could I dropped faster than you all and hit bottom before you all and thank God decided to stop no matter the cost while you guys were still getting good at being strung out.  I always have been someone to go for it with all my might when I go for something.

God's Grace kept me alive.  God knew I would eventually turn to Him.  He patiently sent me messenger after messenger that I pushed aside or faked out.  For those of you who have or do climb mountains, let me illustrate what you must do.  I was not a great mountain climber. I climbed in the King mountains and the Rockies and the Cascades. I was a free climber who did not use pitons or ropes or anything but hands and feet.  This was back in the 70's before and then again after I was a junkie (it is possible to regain your strength and abilities after being a junkie, the human body is amazingly tough) when we would pick a slope and decide to climb it with only hands and feet and a small back pack with a rope just in case and a camera to record the event but we figured we were climbing "old style" and that was the challenge.  In fact we were just amateurs playing at it.

Occasionally on a rock wall you knew that there was a foothold but your foot was reaching and not feeling.   Consider that scene.  Sometimes you had to believe the foothold you thought was there was there and step on air.  Probably if it wasn't you could hang from one hand and reposition yourself but maybe not, maybe you would fall and die. This was thoroughly stupid, of course, responsible climbers make sure they have a safety line in place and keep tethered to something except for the edgier freestyle climbers who get their thrills from challenging death.  Coming down is just about always harder than going up.  I quit trying the harder slopes after the last one that I had to do the blind foothold thing.  Taking the easy way up still gets you to the top of most mountains.   But when it comes to faith you are going to have to take a step into air, it is forced upon you.

So this is where you are when you choose your worldview.  You have your right hand grasping human understanding and your left hand holds your life.  Your right foot must leave it's place of childish ignorance behind and you are now a grown sentinent person who must decide to believe in SOMETHING.  To step out on faith, to stand on God requires a sight-unseen reach into the void and a release of your ownership of your own life.  If you can have faith to step out, He will be there and support you.  Or, you can step out towards Atheism or Buddhism or Mormonism or whatever worldview you like.  When life ends you have to let go and all of your weight will go onto that one foothold.  Do or die, win or lose, no second chances, you had better be right!

It is not intellectual assent.  You can look at a chair and call it a chair and tell people you own a chair and put it right in the middle of the room.   But it really isn't what you say it is unless you are willing to sit on it and allow it to support your weight.  If you won't sit on it, it's not a chair, it is just furniture.  So unfortunately a lot of ID proponents are not depending on God and they are in danger of losing everything when they die despite the fact they can see that life is designed!   David Berlinski, how is it you cannot affirm that YAHWEH begot YESHUA the Messiah and you have eternal life waiting for you every second?   You are far smarter and more degreed and accomplished than me, please don't waste all that wisdom and brilliance and wit and courtesy and let it all go to Hell!  Jon Woolf, you know a lot about the fringes of science and have compiled a huge inventory of Darwinist dogma.  But it doesn't work and how can you not know it deep inside?  Can you afford to believe in *poof* when you can see vast quantities of information and design in every cell?  

David Berlinski (r) discusses the implications of eugenics and evolution with Gerald Schroeder (l) and Ben Stein in front of the Berlin Wall.    

My prayer right now is that every reader would stop for just a minute and consider the veracity of their worldview.  How much of it is based on conjecture and stories and how much of it stands on something that has an eternal foundation?  That God created in six days and rested on the seventh was told to man from the beginning, carried by Noah along with his family through the Flood, handed down to Moses who was told to make sure it was recorded for all posterity, preached by Jesus Christ along with the Gospel and confirmed by the Apostles as they spread the news the Christ, the Messiah, was risen and that the promised way to Heaven was clear.   That message has not changed and those aspects of science the Bible speaks on remain true.  Mankind has, on its own, had a million explanations for life as it is and the naturalistic scientific consensus of ten years ago has been overthrown and it will be overthrown again, for it always changes and will continue to change.   It changes, not because man learns more truth, but because he keeps finding out what he thought was right is wrong.  Darwinism is trapped in a hopeless error cascade because it is wrong from the start.  Those of you who are wise will back up and consider things from the beginning.  Amen.