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Been busy- so, this is a week late and my friend Father Timothy Fountain beat me to the punch. I’ve noted several times on my other blog that we are praying for God’s mercy in the Gulf with regard to the oil spill. This is the jist of the prayer I’ve posted a couple times already and have been praying publicly and privately:
We are praying fervently that God would have mercy on us in relation to the BP oil spill in the Gulf; specifically that he’d release wisdom to plug the leak and creative technologies to clean it up, and that he’d expose what he needs to expose right now in our hearts and especially in our corporate and national leaders.
Now the New York Times reports the oil spill is vanishing fast. Apparently God has been answering our prayers in a way far beyond what we can ask or imagine. One of the main causes of the dissipation is the presence of oil eating bacteria in the Gulf water. In response to that news Father Tim posts… “Dare I say that lots of people have been praying?” In the comment string following Father Tim’s post, our yet unbelieving far far left of center friend Cory at Madville Times writes… “Tim, is that headline saying what I think it’s saying?” Father Tim responds in part in this way:
Cory – people of faith will consider unexpected improvement a blessing and an answer to prayer. Favorable natural phenomena and successful human effort are not ignored – in fact they are the primary means through which God would be understood to answer prayer in most faith traditions.
Cory thanked him and noted that was the thoughtful answer he was looking for. Here was my contribution to the discussion:
Tim – You beat me to it on this post. I’ve been busy, but not to busy to notice all those who are now praising mother nature, micro-bacteria and the tiniest members of the ecosystem! And who can we thank for that perfectly ordered natural healing design? That’s right… Darwin! O wait, he’s dead. I lack the blind faith the evolutionists possess… and I chuckle when people praise the ecosystem instead of the one who ordered it perfectly. I can’t even look at a tiny little bird without thinking of the stunning foolishness of those who swallow the dangerous delusion that it is a product of uber-billions of years of unguided random mutations. [It's dangerous because the ideology devalues human life and holocausts and genocide have been the historical result of the deception that some are more human than others - and that only the more fit should be allowed to survive. And, teaching it to kids communicates they are accidental, just the next random mutation, and we have no intrinsic value. Cory will likely take these words and try to make a campaign issue out of them for me. I think we ought to teach evolution as one of the theories explaining origins and point out it's both unproven and flawed.]
I am grateful for the legislators in LA who, painfully aware of the arrogant emptiness of the ideas of man, had the humility and wisdom to ask for Divine Aid. [It would now be appropriate for a Louisiana legislator to call for a Day of Thanksgiving in gratitude to God for saving us from ourselves. If it's appropriate for us to bestow our gratitude and honor any earthly scientist for their great contribution, it's appropriate to thank and give due honor to the Grand Architect of the Universe for having the foresight to hardwire the creation to heal itself. Too bad he didn't think to hardwire the universe to also deal with human Co2 emissions ;-) Perhaps Al Gore will save us there.]
…Though this nation deserves no favors from heaven, we continue to pray God’s mercy on every living thing in the Gulf. And we pledge to better steward the wonders of his creation.
Had God prompted a scientist somewhere to solve this problem I would have been praising God while the world bestowed awards and honors on the man. Surely God wearies of the boasting of man. These micro-members of the ecosystem have risen up as one of the little mercies of God and ironically, as simple as they are, they are presently confounding the wise. That too is evidence God is behind this dissipation. [Don't think for a moment that this God who knows when every sparrow falls to the ground has no concern for the masses of oil-covered pelicans.]
All week I’ve been focused on the notion of “little mercies.” In terms of the millions of gallons of oil disappearing I’m not really sure this qualifies as a “little” mercy. But it seems appropriate to designate oil-eating, micro-bacteria as a little mercy.
A couple passages of Scripture come to mind. There is the story Jesus told of the ten being healed of leprosy and only one returning to give thanks. Maybe the others were praising natural processes. What I like to show people are the dangers of ingratitude and how big a deal this is to God when we boast in ourselves. In the oft-quoted Romans 1:21-25 passage about the iniquity in the world, few notice how fundamental ingratitude was the issue and not iniquity. It was because of ingratitude that God turned the world over to it’s own destructive course:
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
When the military honor guard officer handed me the flag that draped my father’s coffin, he looked me in the eye and said with these words… “On behalf of a grateful nation…” For sure our nation is filled with gratitude for those who give their life in service of their country. But beyond that, I’m not sure it’s true we are a grateful nation any more.
One other thought… recently I dropped a quote elsewhere on this blog regarding how American Christianity has digressed to nothing more than a “moralistic therapeutic deism.” In light of that, it’s no surprise that most church leaders are silent on these kinds of topics. As they have resorted to offering popular therapy over unpopular theology, they’ve digressed into deism and no longer have a theology of a God who acts or personally intervenes in our world today.
Today I woke up and decided to send out a little tweet (which quickly goes to my Facebook page) and I’m told this little tweet was a bit cryptic. So, since I’m not limited here to 140 characters, I thought I’d explain myself. But first, here’s the tweet:
WAS thinkin Urbana w/caleb insteada Onething cause KH/I, KHs dad went 80s/60s. Not goin aftr seein religusleft influence
And, here’s my explanation which I also dropped on my Facebook:
Urbana is the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship sponsored missions conference for college students that has been held every three years since 1946. It’s held in Urbana IL, thus the name. Kristen/I went there in 1984 and 1987 (Billy Graham spoke) and we were powerfully impacted. Kristen’s dad, now a retired pastor, went as a college student in 1962ish. So I thought to break from our norm (going to OneThing in KC) and take Caleb (age 19) to Urbana – figured it would be a three generation family tradition and a good way to add fuel to his fire to reach the world.
Urbana has always been about reaching the lost, aka evangelism, and the call to go into all the world with the Gospel. And I can see from the materials that is still the central thrust of Urbana. But now there is a mixture in the message. Now the gospel includes “the Mission of Healthcare” both domestic and international. And, “environmental stewardship.” Shane Claiborne is speaking.
Don’t misunderstand, creation care is vital and Biblical. And medical missions is too. But I’m not dumb, this is a chance to further hype the global warming hoax. And domestic health care? You can be sure the religious-left friends of Jim Wallis will be waxing eloquent about our “moral duty” to pass Obamacare and there will be no tolerance (or platform time) for anyone who points out the evil “details” of letting the elderly die and funding the unbridled slaughter of the unborn.
A missionary to mother nature is more welcome at Urbana now than a missionary to the unborn.
The hand of God is on OneThing. I’m not sure what has gotten hold of Urbana.
Felt like we had a video production company here this morning. Had to prepare another short video of me greeting the folks back home at CATG for this Fourth of July weekend. And, Thomas has some great video stuff on his blog from yesterday. Here is his toboggan video. And he has new video installment for his blog series – What Should We Get Pastor Dennis? We frequently find stuff that makes us think of Pastor Dennis when we are in gift shops. Also, Thomas is now offering vitally important Tourism Do’s and Don’ts tips on his blog.
Kaitlyn has some great pics on her latest post, especially the last pic of the Swiss flag outlining the mountain. I think it’s a great shot and we, being puzzle people, just may turn that one into a puzzle. Kristen hit a home run on a meal the other night and has a post about this delicious German meatball thing she whipped up.
Thanks to Caleb for putting together the following video clip from our visit yesterday to the Guinness Book of World Records Largest Rolling Ball Clock.
This clock is found in the Bucherer Store in Lucerne, Switzerland. The clock is four stories high. It runs on rolling glass marbles and kinetic energy. It took twelve people an entire year to make it. Here are some more details:
One marble ends up in the ring every minute, until 60 of them finally make up an hour. A polar opposite to this ongoing motion is provided by a giant crystal ball on the ground floor, which oscillates once every quarter of an hour. The mechanical components, all perfectly geared to one another, are fascinatingly combined to create a clock system that is precise, completely self-contained and infinite. The installation extends to all four floors in the Bucherer store, is 11.6 m (38 ft) high and 6 m (almost 20 ft) wide. In the entire system, 150 crystal balls measuring 30, 40 and 150 mm (1.2, 1.6 and 5.9 in) run along 297.8 m (977 ft) of track.
More pictures can be found here. Check them out as they have pictures of how all the parts are handmade.
Those following the blog know I’ve posted a few times so far on Swiss watches and clocks – banks, army knives and watches are huge things here. I’ve learned these are “time measurement systems.” I’ll get right to the point… as big and mind boggling as this huge clock is, it only measures God’s time. Try to wrap your mind around the Providence of God and you’ll truly be blown away. But even in the natural order, every time measurement system invented is a mere human attempt to capture what no amount of random unguided chance could have possibly arranged and set in such complex yet precise and perpetual motion. Jeremiah 31:35 tells us that it is God above who “appointed the sun, who decrees the moon and stars to shine at night, who stirs the seas so that its waves roar.” Job 37:12 tells us how God is the One who set the elements of the earth in motion and they do “whatever he commands.” The planets, the seasons, the tides of the seas – he’s behind it.
Let this thought speak to you… he’s never late. But, it is possible to not “keep in step” with Him. Make sure you do. Synchronize your life in Him. Seek to know and discern his shifts in times and seasons. Check out pages 86-90 in my Momentum book for how to discern the sacred rhythms and pace of the Spirit. You’ll find what is written there no where else – I’ve looked – and, not finding anything, I decided to write this critical stuff down myself. You’re welcome. There is a “moment” in momentum’s development that we must discern. Many are at a spiritual standstill today because they are oblivious to discerning these key moments.
I think I’m going to preach on this topic this weekend. Read this. And, then read how the adversary tries to change God’s times and seasons (or at least get us out of sych with them). Here’s a great clip for those of you who want to reflect on this more.
The forecast today was 70% rain – we discovered that means seventy percent of today it was pouring down rain. We now have forty Swiss franc’s worth of umbrellas to bring home.
Also, I discovered that if you keep driving for a while after the gas light comes on… it starts flashing at you. Maybe some of you who love to live close to the edge thought the rest of us already knew that. Not so.
We also learned that if you buy a can of corn in Germany, the words “4 stück” on the side of the can means it’s not kernals but four ears still on the cob. All would have been well if the can had 5 stück, but 4 stück means that one of the five of us went without.
Among other things today we went back to Zurich to the Beyer watch store. It’s like there is a magnet drawing me there. Here’s a picture of the front of it and here’s what our travel book says about this location; “Banhofstrasse – some call it the finest street in Europe -along its path is an impressive display of wealth – the head offices of the “Gnomes of Zurich” (the five largest banks in Switzerland) – this is the center of Switzerland’s opulence – everything you can never afford to buy is sold there.”
Since I can’t buy I decided to covet instead. You know, covet, as in the tenth commandment thou-shalt-not-covet. Not to worry, I hardly covet a thing, ever. But watches are hard for me. And this one in particular kept winking at me as I went by. I think it’s The One. Kristen says Dream on, she’s way out of my league.
I have no idea if anyone else is interested in this but I for those who are I want to show you another amazing clock from the Beyer museum.
This one is called Pendulette de table avec Planetarium (aka Planetarium Table Clock). It keeps time. AND, the earth rotates around the sun in perfect real time. AND, the other nine planets rotate as well, around, up, down in relation to the etched constellations of precisely positioned stars on the crystal globe, which if you are smart enough will reveal what season it is. (You can see the stars better in this pic). I have trouble getting my watch’s date feature to not switch at noon each day and here’s some guy back in 1770 had the whole universe gracefully moving in precision.
Here’s the thing – the universe is a billion times more complex than this mind blowing clock which is unquestionably the product of an amazing mind. I don’t know, I guess I just don’t have the faith to believe even this level of complexity could be in any way random. Honestly I felt like worshipping God after I saw this clock. And to think kids today are being taught they are just the next mutation in a unguided process. Sad.
I’m teaching my kids they are no mistake but rather they were conceived in the mind of God before the foundations of the world (as the Bible says) and God’s dream for their life only manifest in the flesh at conception.
My kids wonder if anyone else out there besides me who thinks of ways to hammer both on the theory of evolution and abortion while wandering around a clock shop.
We travel all week starting tomorrow AM and are not sure where along the way we’ll have internet. Stay tuned.
God revealed himself to me today as Creator while I was sitting outside in a lawn chair. Thomas and I picked a little group of trees to sit under – Thomas has plans for that spot as soon as he gets an extra $47.
I looked to my right to see one seed left on this dandelion. I thought to myself, “there is no freakin’ way that evolved. Oh the fantasy life of the evolutionists! To think that the first dandelion plant had the sense and ability to perpetuate itself, and then the genious to produce near-weighless seeds atop a launch pad each specially rigged to a umbrella/parachute-like lift system designed to catch the wind to transport the seed… ugh!” A fool says in his heart there is no God. If this doesn’t reveal the brilliance of a Creator I’m not sure what does.
That this was designed by a Designer is a plain fact – you hear that science community? Fact! Your theory is ridiculous fantasy. It’s remarkable to me that there is even a debate on our origins. The existence of a Creator is not religious dogma, it’s just a plain-as-day, open-your-blind-eyes fact. There isn’t even a remote chance this seed or anything else evolved. Please don’t offend my intelligence or force the children of the world to accept your fairy tale theories.
The US Census Bureau reports the world’s 6,666,666,666th person was born on May 10. Of course, overpopulation.net is reacting to this by bemoaning we have now “passed our sustainability” and that “reckless breeding humans” are responsible for the inevitable downfall of the species because we have ignored alarming facts about sustainable food limits that the earth produces relative to population. The Sierra Club wants to re-double its promotion of population control.
It’s hugely disappointing to me that key evangelical leaders like mega-church pastor Rick Warren and Christianity Today editor David Neff are signing things like the Evangelical Climate Initiative which was largely funded ($475,000) by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The Hewletts are major contributors to abortion and population control efforts.
All this panic over more people on the planet is soundly debunked by Steve Mosher’s latest book – Population Control—Real Costs, Illusory Benefits. Mosher leads the Population Research Initiative which is dedicated to objectively presenting the truth about population-related issues, and to reversing the trends brought about by the myth of overpopulation. PRI is a growing, global network of pro-life groups spanning over 30 countries. Get this… to date they have successfully eliminated $750 million in U.S. tax dollars to population control groups or programs. Praise God for PRI and Steve Mosher!
You can read a great review of this new book here. In case you are pressed for time, I’ll paste a taste here. The very first line of the book reads… “we have all grown up on on a poisonous diet of overpopulation propaganda.”
Mosher’s book is, first and foremost, an answer to the allegation that the human race is inexorably multiplying, hell-bent toward a giant demographic cliff like so many lemmings. The numbers show that the world is not, has never been, nor ever shall be, overpopulated. In fact, according to the world’s experts–even the ones advocating population control–birthrates around the world are dropping at a precipitous rate. The book thus torpedoes the lifeboat scenario, which argued that in order to survive, we had to throw some of the earth’s passengers overboard. But it is much more than this. The history of the population control movement is replete with human rights abuses. Those who were made to walk the plank of abortion, sterilization, and contraception–all for the supposed good of humanity–have some horrific tales to tell.
These people hate people. Don’t believe me? John Muir, the founder of Sierra Club had this to say about more people… “Man is always and everywhere a blight on the landscape.” John David the editor of EarthFirst agrees… “Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs.” Paul Watson, the founder of Greenpeace, said… “I got the impression that instead of going out to shoot birds, I should go out and shoot the kids who shoot birds.” Or this from Paul Taylor, author of Respect for Nature, “Given the total, absolute disappearance of Homo sapiens, then not only would the Earth’s community of Life continue to exist, but in all probability, its well being enhanced. Our presence, in short, is not needed.”
The Word of God says the polar opposite… that the redemption of the created order is dynamically tied up in the redemption of man. That all creation is presently waiting for us to get right with God. That the creations liberation from its “bondage to decay” awaits us. The salvation of the earth is not in the elimination of humankind but rather in the redemption of humankind. God has never rescended the mandate to “be fruitful and multiply.”
If you’ve yet to hear my message this past week on this subject you can download the podcast here. It’s titled “Changing Climates” and is about Rizpah in 2 Samuel 21. The key points are…
1. The number one thing we can do for the creation is acknowledge the Creator.
2. Blood pollution, more often than not, is the culprit in any climate crisis.
3. It takes an atonement to redeem and heal the land.
4. God uses intercessors to change the atmosphere.
Not recorded on the audio version are my comments on the We Get It Campaign which was launched on Friday. I encourage everyone to read the declaration and consider signing it and joining with others who are committed to finding pro-life strategies to care for the environment.
This past week alone I got sermon feedback from people in Washington DC, Hawaii, California and Iraq. Oh the wonders of the podcast. I’m told in three of these places my “Origins: God’s Green Earth” series is making the rounds and is quite a hit. Of course I appreciate feedback that is positive. Interesting to me, I’m getting triple the feedback I normally get in a message series and we are giving away hundreds of CDs. One lady on Sunday, a visitor, took a handful and plans to send them to her Ph.D microbiologist son with hopes that he’ll make room for God in his life. This morning I was mapping out the remaining messages in the series and had the thought… why quit so soon? There is so much more to say on this theme. I do believe it has end time relevance.
Also I know that those of you who attend CATG each weekend may never be able to run for President unless you disavow the crazy politically-incorrect things I’m saying right now and have said over the years. Actually we do need people in our midst to rise up and govern – that’s the Creation Mandate – rulership, dominion over the created order. Go for it! I promise to not pull a Rev. Wright.
Big thanks to my friend Steven M. Collins for this guest post. As usual, Steve opens the Scriptures in untraditional ways showing things we wonder why we didn’t see all along. Recently Steve gave me a preview of a fascinating paper he was about to post on his website – “Is the earth 6000 years old.” I’ve linked to the full paper here and also at the end of his guest post. After reading his paper a couple of times, I asked him to write a guest post here to sum that up and that is what is spelled out below. Steve lives here in Sioux Falls with his wife and family, has written five books on Israel, and is one of our life group leaders. More on his books and his blog on his website. Pray for Steve’s health – he’s unable to travel and take speaking engagements right now. Lord, touch this brother!
Pastor Steve, I am really enjoying your message series on “Origins: God’s Green Earth.” I agree it is critically-important that we understand the foundations of our beginnings in order to truly understand our Creator and his purpose for our lives. As you have been giving your “Origins” series, which has a strong emphasis on Genesis 1, I have been putting the finishing touches on an article which complements the subject matter of your messages. My article addresses the “Creation vs. Evolution” debate from an entirely new perspective.
My article strongly affirms a literal understanding and application of the scriptures, and I believe that by combining the account in Genesis 1 with creation accounts in other books of the Bible (Job, Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc.), we can actually reconcile the differences between the scientific community and the Christian community regarding the origins of the earth and life itself. We know that God has eternally existed. Have the creative efforts of an ageless Creator (in the physical world) been limited to only the most-recent 6,000 years, as many “young earth” Christians maintain? Read the rest of this entry »
Al Gore is a prophet who lives wealthy and hypocritically off the offerings of his followers. Global warming has become a religious belief – there are believers and unbelievers, infidels and apostates, proselytes, evangelists, hypocrites and corruption. There are rituals, creeds and divination. There is blasphemy and “truth” albeit inconvenient. There is preaching, prophecy and indoctrination. There are disciples (the media), and the professors have become the high priests and apostles of evolution. Their textbooks are now Holy Writ. The faithful vow to follow no matter what the true facts may show. Abortion is the sacrament. A global Crusade is underway with converts and casualties. A Jihad has been called against the only thing in the created order that bears the image of God. The salvation of the planet is only in the extermination of people.
So much for the “separation of church and state.” So much for NOMA – the “non-overlapping magisteria” of science and religion. But then again, what do you expect, this isn’t science anymore, these are faith-based initiatives.
Happy Earth Day! Perhaps you are aware I’ve been preaching for a month or so on the theme Origins: God’s Green Earth. The series is all about the earth, the environment and the end times. This whole creation/evolution debate is a worship issue in that it’s about who gets the credit, the glory and the praise. I encourage you to tune in via the podcasts if you are outside the area.
This past weekend was especially important as I connected the dots between the population control movement and the global warming movement. This is not just about how we all need to drive hybrids and use high effeciency light bulbs. What we have here is an evil, unholy end-time alliance. (DVD’s of the message are available – you’ll want that over the audio-only version as some key video clips and charts that I used in the message are only on the DVD.)
Here’s the deal, media mogal Ted Turner is pouring his billions into Algore’s three-year propaganda campaign. If you haven’t seen the Ted Turner clip I showed a few weeks ago, check it out for yourself. He says “we’ve got to stabilize the population – there are too many people.” He advocates getting the planet from 6 billion people down to 2 billion through global one-child per family policies like they have in China, through forced sterilization and by getting reproductive health care services within walking distance of everyone on the planet. Of course that is all code for “abortion.”
First, the problem the globe is facing is de-population not over-population. We need more babies right now not less. Second, we all want to save the planet, especially Christians. God gave us the mandate to steward the earth and we abdocated that mandate and the world has picked up the “green mantle” in a misguided way. Third, Satan is at war with God and, people, human-beings are the only thing in the created order that bears the image of God. Satan is a liar and a deceiver. He knows people won’t buy the “kill people” agenda so he’s packaging it “save the planet.”
All this fuss over whether it’s getting warmer or colder is just a smokescreen for something far more devious. It’s like the devil is distracting mom and dad by getting them to fuss over the thermostat all the while he is taking their children.
Jesus spoke of the convulsions in nature as sign posts of the end of the age. He said it’ll all be like birthpangs. We know there will be false prophets at the end of the age, but if it’s like “birthpangs” then we can expect some false alarms, some false labor. Just like years ago when I rushed my pregnant wife to the hospital and they sent us home a couple hours later because it was “a false alarm,” Jesus is saying “heads up, there will be some false alarms before this all comes to pass.”
Think about these things as one billion people today, earth day, sound the “alarm.”
Every spring, God’s green earth comes alive! This was God’s promise to Noah… “as long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” The verse also indicates this present earth won’t endure forever. Evidence abounds, our planet is fallen. Everything began with excellence at Creation, but the created order is on a path of degeneration.
Eco-gospel prophets like Al Gore are blowing the trumpet that we are in a planetary crisis – but, it’s confusing because their ideology is based on the belief that earth is evolving upward, from worse to better. (Evolution, mind you, isn’t a science; it’s a belief – a belief that actually runs counter to science and the evidence.)
Surprising some, science and Scripture agree about our origins. Once we understand our origins and God’s mandate that we steward creation in this age and the age to come, our identity and role in both come into focus. More to come this weekend at Church at the Gate…