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Friday, June 25, 2010

LAW, absolute power? Is the G8/20 security line law justified?
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LAW, absolute power?
Is the G8/20 security line law justified?

 
Today reading the news I found out that our Canadian parliament quietly established a law that’s in place while the world leaders meet at the G8 and G20 summits here in Canada.

While temporary, it give the police huge power and it goes like this  according to the
CBC. . .

The new powers are in effect on the streets and sidewalks in and around the security fence.

Under the new regulations, anyone who comes within five metres of the security area is obliged to give police their name and state the purpose of their visit.

Police, at their discretion, can deny access to the area and "use whatever force is necessary" to keep people out.

Anyone who refuses to identify themselves or refuses to provide a reason for their visit can be fined up to $500.

The new rules also give police the power to search anyone who approaches the fence.

The regulation also says that if someone has a dispute with an officer and it goes to court ‘the police officer's statement under oath is considered conclusive evidence under the Act.’


So this almost gives the police the right to be prosecution, judge and jury in case of an incident.
 

Interesting! I wonder how the public would have reacted if they had known of this beforehand.

Firstly the government abuses all the downtown businesses by taking away their profits by excluding people from the downtown core, then they take away their rights to come to their businesses without being exposed to body searches, and then, they have their right to go their removed (the police have to ability to say “no”).
 

I know we have to protect world leaders but this is a bit much!


Where is the land where the rights of everyone is respected? Where people can expect a fair trial? Where it takes a few witnesses to support evidence?
 


Throughout history governments have reacted this way when under pressure.
I remember being in South Africa when detention without trial was occurring and we had NATO, and the west (including these G8 nation representatives) saying how wrong it was.

Then 911 happened and we know that the U.S.A instituted almost the same type of law.  Now, here in Canada for way less we get the same type of law.

Civilized?
 

When it comes down to it people and governments give into fear easily.

Fear seems to  cause random and sometimes unethical actions.
 


Fortunately the good book gives us some good advice.
It says in 1 Peter 3:13-15 (New International Reader's Version)

 
Who is going to hurt you if you really want to do good? But suppose you suffer for doing what is right. Then you will be blessed. Scripture also says, ‘Don't fear what others fear. Don't be afraid.’—(Isaiah 8:12)”

 
At least here in Canada I feel comfortable that if a person has the right attitude and intentions the police will treat them fairly. That’s because we have a great police force.

 
God is ultimately in control anyhow.

I think of those Romans who abused Christ to maintain their political perspectives. Nero who killed thousands of Christians thought he was winning, but eventually the Roman Empire fell and Christianity is still strong. God wins in the grand scheme!

 
That’s why we need to pray when we read about abuse of power!

God can correct and fix anything if we ask of him!

Let’s ask him to keep the crazies away from the summit and keep our world leaders safe.

Let’s ask him to give them an agenda that they will agree on and that will significantly help our world.

Let'[s pray they will agree on keeping our world cleaner and less polluted.

Let’s pray they find a way of levelling the economic playing field. 8 nations cannot use 60% of the world resources leaving the rest of the world(the majority) to struggle by on 40%.

Let’s pray we will each do our bit to support what has to be unpopular decisions by these leaders.
 


Let's make today a day of prayer!

Fri, June 25, 2010 | link          Comments

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Earthquakes, are you ready?
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Earthquakes, are you ready?
 
In Ontario Canada we don’t really expect to have an earthquake, yet yesterday a rumble ran through the province as an earthquake of magnitude 5.5 occurred.
 

I was up in an office block at the time and due to my training in geology and experience of living on mines where blasting occurred knew immediately we were experiencing an earthquake and not a shockwave due to a blast. (Blasts are more of a shudder than a wave that earthquakes produce). The building heaved a little and their were a lot of confused faces that suddenly popped up over cubicle walls as questioning glances were cast to and fro.

 

My daughter’s friend was in an apartment about sixty kilometres from the epicentre and reported items falling from shelves and people exiting buildings in the city.

 

It was a “little” earthquake that caused little to no damage. The formal description according to the IRIS Seismic monitor is MAG 5.5 23-JUN-2010 17:41:41 SOUTHERN ONTARIO, CANADA. The location was shown as indicated below.. .


earthquake1.jpg

 

Why were we surprised? Earthquakes occur often in other places but in our area of the world they are very uncommon.


 

What I hadn’t expected was for the Earthquake to be felt so well so many miles away from the source. I thought it would be close to us in Toronto, but it was over 300km away!

That was my first surprise, the second was how many earthquakes occurred over the last two days. I took a look at the world map on the same site and found the following. . .


eartquake2.jpg
I counted nine occurrences on this map. Earthquakes occur all the time and we can see there are some places in this world where we just get them on a more or less continuous basis.


 

This got me thinking of the big one and I am not necessarily talking of the San Andreas fault. Do you know there is a prophecy regarding a major earthquake in the apocalyptic writings of the bible? In fact there are a number of time God used earthquakes to achieve significant events.  The tombstone in front of Jesus tomb was rolled away by an earthquake (Matthew 28:2), they were used to help Christians escape unjust jailing (Acts 16:26), but it is the apocalyptic writings of Revelations that have the most frightening description.


 

“I watched as he broke open the sixth seal. There was a powerful earthquake. The sun turned black like black clothes that were made from the hair of a goat. The whole moon turned as red as blood. The stars in the sky fell to earth. They dropped like ripe figs from a tree shaken by a strong wind.”( Revelation 6:11-13)


 

This must a significant one! Sun goes black (ash), moon red(dust), stars “fell to earth” maybe a reference to a disturbance in earths rotation.

Nasty!!!


 

Then there is another metaphorical scene where it says “Then the angel took the cup and filled it with fire from the altar. He threw it down on the earth. There were rumblings and thunder, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.”


 

There is not much description of the impact this time, but it’s again a result of God’s workings.


 

The worst of all earthquakes is described in the delivering of God’s anger upon the earth in the last days.

There are six different sets of events before the final nasty event set. In this last set it says “Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, thunder and a powerful earthquake. There has never been an earthquake as terrible as this since man has lived on earth. The great city split into three parts.”( Revelation 16:18 )


 

This will be worse than the one previously described. Not something I want to be around for!


 

Okay so with all this doom and gloom, can we say that earthquakes are ALWAYS a judgement of God?


 

I really don’t think so! I think it is naïve and silly to say this! God built our planet with forces that hold it together and enable it to function. Some of these natural forces cause changes in the earths crust over time, and this causes some parts to be squished under other parts (San Andreas), or parts to build and thrust upwards (Mid oceanic ridges), and sometimes there are land masses in the middle of this and they get the odd shakeup (like yesterdays little thump we encountered).


 

While God does not use earthquakes as a means of anger except in the last days, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use the opportunity to stop and think a bit.


 

I chuckled at an email that passed my desk. It was about some computer testing and it said,


 
“Test results for the system are enclosed … sorry for the delay but when I was looking into the database, the earth began to shake … wasn’t sure if they were somehow related”

 

This was a tongue-in-cheek comment but shows that these events cause us to think differently. That’s good! Sometimes a good shake-up gets us out a rut and facing problems a different way.


 

God is incredibly powerful and we as humans mock him too easily. Just a slight annoyance on his side can destroy our lives. Maybe we should get right with Him and get him to smile on us instead?


 
I was glad to see that he smiled on many people in Ontario yesterday. We were blessed it was a normal day. Sometimes normal is good isn’t it!


Hope you have a good normal day today!

 

Thu, June 24, 2010 | link          Comments

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Let’s investigate Noah’s flood, fact or fallacy? – Extent and timelines
Let’s investigate Noah’s flood, fact or fallacy?
– Extent and timelines --
  


Genesis 3:16 on says “So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.   So make yourself an ark of cypressc wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.   This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.d   Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.   I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish.”

 

So the word Earth is the key to unlocking the floods extent. We need to investigate this word as originally written, and look at its original meaning to the original readers and hearers of this story.

 

EarthInHebrew.jpg 

Using Strong’s concordance and other tools we can disassemble the texts and get at the original meaning.

Many people who study Hebrew agree this word for EARTH, which is ERETS, can mean many other things other than “the whole earth”.

In fact the word “land” is the most common usage! It probably really meant the flood covered the whole REGION and to the primitive people this may have been extrapolated as time went by to mean the “whole earth” since the word can mean both in the original! (We as humans also do love to make things bigger than they really are when we tell stories don’t we
J ? Try a few thousand years of stories before they get written down. The estimate is a minimum of about 4000years!  Laughing)

 

There are plenty stuffy scientific like arguments both for and against this. If you want more detail there are books by Witcomb and Morris and Van de Fliert but I think it’s probably best to say that overall the Flood is not understood to be worldwide.
 
Nothing in evidence is consistent in saying that there was a worldwide flood!

 

If a REGION that was covered, an extraordinary flood would be expected! This could have provided this text with its full meaning. So, we don’t have to have a world wide flood to make the text true!
 

Some aspects that point against a world wide flood are:

  1. There isn’t sufficient water on Earth to cover the mountains of the Earth at that time.
  2. The argument that a huge quantity of water was above the earth as an ice canopy and came down can be shown to be outlandish. It would have had to have been traveling at 17000miles and hour in orbit and on re-entry would caused heating of the earth by 10 000C. (not likely)[1]
  3. Limestone deposits that are sometimes used to argue for a flood show organized layers of fossils. With a flood of this extent the nature of those fossils should be that they would have been oriented at all angles. Most limestone can be shown to have grown slowly over long times.
  4. The argument that waters came from some abyss in the Earth and returned there afterwards are not valid since they would still need to be in the abyss and with today’s techniques we would be able to detect such a large abyss very easily. It doesn’t exist! [Although I do want to discuss the lockup of water in glaciers being released]
 

So the summary of opinion seems to be for a regional flood. Is this aspect even reasonable?

 

There are a number of theories that do support this option and if we discount the “covering of the mountains by the flood” requirement for now we can discuss one such option.  I will explain the covering of the mountains when I talk about the “tower of Babel” in a future piece of writing. For now, lets just know that there is a clear explanation of that as well J! Explanation coming in a future blog!


Let’s briefly talk about ice and water during ancient times as summarized from the discussion on this in Rodger Dalman’s YAHWEH'S SONG: A HANDBOOK FOR UNDERSTANDING OLD TESTAMENT HISTORICAL THEOLOGY.


14,000 BC and 11,000 BC:  Polar weather front and the winter sea ice limit had covered the whole north Atlantic from the center of Spain northward.
11,000 BC  Alleröd Fluctuation brought warmth to the region. The area began to resemble a garden. A wide variety of pollen types appeared in soil cores from the Alleröd in the region. During the Alleröd, the ocean surface was still around 40 meters below its current sea level. The Dover Straight between England and France was still dry ground. The flow of sea water from the Atlantic Ocean into the Mediterranean Sea was reduced by 30%. (Maybe Garden of Eden time - just a thought!)
9,000 BCYounger Dryas was colder period, much of the forest land north of Palestine died out and was replaced by tundra vegetation. People struggled for a living. Villages that had been formed by Cain's descendants gradually disappeared because of the drought. Ice levels increased again.
Approx 8,000 BCYounger Dryas/Preboreal transition may have been accompanied by far more than normal flooding. Great Conveyor currents brought warm water into the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean basin. This warm water may have produced clouds of evaporated water. These clouds may have struck the cold air masses in the northern hemisphere, and dropped as rain. Vast amounts of rain may have fallen on  the whole region until Europe and the Near East warmed up enough to stabilize the climate system
 

To make sense of these words you need to know the Alleröd Fluctuation is a name for a swing in temperature of the whole earth from cold to hot.

The Younger Dryas is a swing from hot to cold and the Preboreal transition is the opposite.  

The Great conveyor currents are currents that flow around the Earth from the warm Indian Ocean to the cold Artic ocean and back. You may indeed have heard about these in relation to discussions on climate warming that are revealed in the news every now and then.

Sorry to get so technical, but we want to be able to explain how such a big flood could occur!

The summary of all this is that glaciers released a huge amount of water into the air that precipitated as rain until the temperature stabilized. This in turn impacted the oceans salinity and that impacted the conveyor currents.

So it’s a total possibility that a huge flood occurred in the Ancient Middle East around 8000B.C!

I hope you found this interesting! I certainly did! It helps me picture how God could have switched on the flood to stop men’s evil. I guess another interesting topic would be the investigation of evil in mankind around that time. Perhaps that will be a future study, or maybe someone else could look into that?

Our next subject in this series needs to discuss how the waters covered the mountains! That’s the Tower of Babylon discussion that we will look into in a future blog!

Meanwhile whether you agree with this theory or not do me a favour, please don't mock the theories others bring forward since none of us have absolute knowledge.

Belief in a world wide flood by someone always interests me. I always want to hear why they believe it. For some they have "blind faith" and thats good for them but not for me. God gave me an inquiring mind and a good amount of common sense and I want to use it.

However, I do believe a patient interest in what others believe while foming our own opinion and talking to God about it is all that God wants from us! Have a great day!


[1] Walter T. Brown Jr. "Did a Water Canopy Surround the Earth and Contribute to the Flood?" (Phoenix: Walter T. Brown, 1992).
Wed, June 23, 2010 | link          Comments

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Let’s investigate Noah’s flood, fact or fallacy? – Non- Biblical texts - PART 2
Let’s investigate Noah’s flood, fact or fallacy? – Non- Biblical texts - PART 2

Okay, so everyone wants to get to the bit about the world wide flood, is it real or not? What are the theories around this? Are they valid?

Well, that explanation is coming, but right now I am taking a final look at the last of the ancient three famous flood accounts that are non-biblical and how the Christian and Jewish bible aligns to these non-biblical accounts. (I would guess Moslems also accept this Genesis account but cannot be sure, perhaps someone could let me know?)

 
We have looked at two of these accounts yesterday, and this is the third. These accounts all have components that support each other.


The Eridu Genesis is the last of these and is a text originally written in the 3rd Millennium BC but copied and re-written and our copy dates to ~1800 BC, this can be found at http://www.livius.org/ei-er/eridu/eridu_genesis.html and it maybe the oldest text. It has some gaps in the writing so it's not just my typing that is in error Laughing.

Here is a peice of it. Maybe its tough reading but read the bold anyhow Smile :

"And as Ziusudra stood there beside it, he went on hearing: "Step up to the wall to my left and listen! Let me speak a word to you at the wall and may you grasp what I say, may you heed my advice! By our hand a flood will sweep over the cities of the half-bushel baskets, and the country; the decision, that mankind is to be destroyed, has been made. A verdict, a command of the assembly, can not be revoked, no order of An and Enlil is known to have been countermanded, their kingship, their term, has been uprooted; they must bethink themselves ...
Now ...
What I have to say to you ..."
[Lacuna; Enki orders Ziusudra to build the ark and load it with pairs of animals.]
All the evil winds, all stormy winds gathered into one and with them, them, the Flood was sweeping over the cities of the half-bushel baskets, for seven days and seven nights.
After the flood had swept over the country, after the evil wind had tossed the big boat about on the great waters, the sun came out spreading light over heaven and earth.
Ziusudra then drilled an opening in the big boat and the gallant Utu sent his light into the interior of the big boat. Ziusudra, being the king, stepped up before Utu kissing the ground before him. The king was butchering oxen, was being lavish with the sheep,
barley cakes, crescents together with ...
... he was crumbling for him"


While rather strange and a bit difficult to read and understand, this account also has similarities to Genesis,

• The building of an ark,
• The animals being kept safe,
• The animals being paired
• The flood,
• The ark opened to see the new world
• The sacrifice afterwards.


So, Genesis is not standing alone in supporting a nasty flood, although Genesis is the most comprehensive and least weird of all these accounts.

Genesis provides more detail and information than any of the other accounts.

It is also more compatible with modern understandings since we don't have to understand and process all these numerous "gods" doing weird things and being in various antagonistical relationships with each other. One ultimate and supreme God is all that is refered to in Genesis.

The Genesis account of the flood is almost three chapters long.

How it starts is very important for our modern society. Gen 7:5 says:

"
The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time."

Many would say that describes mankind today!

I wonder where you are on that continuum of thought about the world being populated by "people who are self centered and evil" to the world being populated by "loving people who care".

Personally I don't think we are at either extreme and all I would like to see is a tendency and potential to move towards the loving and caring side.

Unfortunately, I see most action towards the "self-satisfaction" and "upstaging of others to get what I want" side.

"The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain."

These words from the distant past directed at that pre-flood world could just as easily be directed at our world today.

Let's look at some news headlines to get a feel for the world today:

In China, Yuan News Is Muted‎   this article speaks of suppression of information and hiding of information from people who should get it.

BP Sinks: A Gusher of Bad News Flow‎ shows how we have abused the planet. How lies and greed have damaged our environment!

US Open Final Round News & Notes‎ Golf combat report! Probably one of the most positive reports today. Ultimately about the rich and powerful and how they make millions having fun. (What about those straving and unable to get a meal for their children today, how does it benefit them?).

Bus carrying Turkish military bombed in Istanbul, kills 4 , Story of violence, political strife and hate.

Gaza video game highlights enclave's hazards , use of a video game to manipulate peoples attitudes and minds in an explosive political atmosphere.


S.Korea: resolve ship, then consider nuclear talks sinking of other countries ships, demands, feuding relationships.

Refugees return to shattered Kyrgyz city hurt homeless people and their plight

Times Square bomb suspect pleads guilty to all 10 charges hate generated by hate resulting in jailing.

Top allied commander apologizes for magazine profile Poor judgement in statements about others.


Can we see from this simple news sampling that we are not so different to the pre-flood generation?

Can we agree that a God if supreme, loving and caring might see that "Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence.  God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways." as it says in Genesis!

But how does God deal with it now days?

No floods! No devastaion and punishment of the human race as a whole!

No, now God deals with it in love! He offers us his son as a ransom, the scapegoat to stand in for us for all this horrible stuff we do! He takes the rap for our dumb selfish mistakes and offers us a way to forgive others(and ourselves) and love unconditionally!

All we have to do is accept the gift!



Imagine if we did! If we actually truly forgave each other. If we truly tried to allow others to have free will in love. If we understood mistakes are not always deliberately made to damage us! If we were willing to have a sacrificial love!

The world would be a wonderful place!


 
That's my goal! To help us move towards that type of world! I trust it's yours as well!

Let's go make a difference today!

Tue, June 22, 2010 | link          Comments

Monday, June 21, 2010

Let’s investigate Noah’s flood, fact or fallacy? – Non- Biblical texts-PART 1

Let’s investigate Noah’s flood, fact or fallacy? – Non- Biblical texts - PART 1


The account of Noah’s flood is found in the biblical text’s in Genesis 1-11 (refers to 3rd Millennium BC text but was written ~1446 BC).

 

 Isn’t that amazing? It covers over multiple chapters in one of the most important books in the world. Then, not only is the flood referred to in this book, but there are at least three other very ancient texts that also describe it in different ways that are not biblical at all.

 
  • Sumerian King List (refers to 3rd Millennium BC text re-written ~1700 B.C)             
  • Atrahasis Epic (Gilgamesh Epic) (refers to 3rd Millennium BC text but re-written 668 to 626 B.C.)              
  • Eridu Genesis (refers to 3rd Millennium BC text but re-written ~1800 BC)            

All of these texts are believed to be copies of earlier texts from about 3rd Millennium BC. So we have underttanding that they had been copied over the years as people transferred the knowledge from generation to generation.

Today I want to look into the criticism that people have regarding Genesis' usage of long lifetimes before Noahs flood as unrealistic. I also want to look into some aspects of the flood itself. If you don't know what Noah's flood is I highly recommend reading it in the bible, but basically it talks about how God covered the known Earth with floodwater, killing all the people except a small faithful group who he saved in a boat together with representativie animals. Prior to this flood people lived to ages as old as 900years but afterwards they had ages that are much closer to those we know today.
 
 

We will look at each of these briefly but lets get some more facts about Noah’s flood out the way first.

 

Firstly we need to acknowledge there is NO world wide flood horizon in the huge number of archeological digs that have occurred worldwide. This is not worth arguing about either. All digs would be using this as an universal layer to date with, if it was there or even slightly reasonable. It is simply not there! Not there geologically or archeologically! Sorry folk but I have to give it to you straight. That’s a fact!

 

Hmmm! So we have a dilemma don’t we?

 

I really enjoy investigating these apparent contradictions when I find them. There is nothing better than a good mystery to get my interest up. I trust you have a similar attitude as it helps us find out strange and wonderful facts others just skip over. In this case investigations into original language translations and non-biblical texts turned up some really interesting information.

 

What I did discover is that there seems to be a flood of significant proportion that occurred somewhere between 10 000B.C. and 8000B.C. in the Ancient Near East!

There are these other writings that agree with the bible and then as I have previous mentioned the river valleys became unpopulated for 1000years after this event!

Could it be that ancient man was afraid to live in low level areas?

Now we do know floods are common events, but all cultures in that region seem to remember this one significant flood!

 

Let us take a look at part of one account, the Sumerian King List  which is perhaps the second oldest text.  You can find the whole translation at http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/section2/tr211.htm if you want to read it all. An excerpt is as follows ( I cleaned up the variants to enable easier reading):


 
After the kingship descended from heaven, the kingship was in Eridug. In Eridug, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28800 years. Alaljar ruled for 36000 years. 2 kings; they ruled for 64800 years. Then Eridug fell and the kingship was taken to Bad-tibira. In Bad-tibira, En-men-lu-ana ruled for 43200 years. En-men-gal-ana ruled for 28800 years. Dumuzid, the shepherd, ruled for 36000 years. 3 kings; they ruled for 108000 years. Then Bad-tibira fell  and the kingship was taken to Larag. In Larag, En-sipad-zid-ana ruled for 28800 years. 1 king; he ruled for 28800 years. Then Larag fell  and the kingship was taken to Zimbir. In Zimbir, En-men-dur-ana became king; he ruled for 21000 years. 1 king; he ruled for 21000 years. Then Zimbir fell  and the kingship was taken to Curuppag. In Curuppag, Ubara-Tutu became king; he ruled for 18600 years. 1 king; he ruled for 18600 years. In 5 cities 8 kings; they ruled for 241200 years. Then the flood swept over.

 
After the flood had swept over, and the kingship had descended from heaven, the kingship was in Kic. In Kic, Jucur became king; he ruled for 1200 years. Kullassina-bel ruled for 960 years. Nanjiclicma ruled for 670  years. En-tarah-ana ruled for 420 years ......, 3 months, and 3 1/2 days. Babum ...... ruled 300 years. Puannum ruled for 840 years. Kalibum ruled for 960 years. Kalumum ruled for 840 years. Zuqaqip ruled for 900 years. Atab ruled for 600 years. Macda, the son of Atab, ruled for 840 years. Arwium, the son of Macda, ruled for 720 years. Etana, the shepherd, who ascended to heaven and consolidated all the foreign countries, became king; he ruled for 1500 years.” 


Now something that is interesting in this account is the change in the amount of time the kings lived.


It is noticeable that before the flood men appear to have lived much longer than afterwards in this non-biblical account. What makes this interesting is that the biblical account also indicates the same type of pattern. People criticize the bible for being unrealistic not realizing all known texts of similar age are equally “unrealistic”.

Maybe its not chance but a factor of those early times or timekeeping?

 

We aren’t sure exactly why this happens, but it seems as if the time keeping measure is different before and after the flood. There is no indicators why this is but it is sure interesting and supports the Genesis account.

 

Let’s look at the next non-biblical account, the Atrahasis Epic (Gilgamesh Epic)  is taken from the Atra-Hasis: Encyclopedia BETA found at http://www.associatepublisher.com/e/a/at/atra-hasis.htm . This explains the text as follows:


 
The Atrahasis Epic, in Akkadian (the language of ancient Babylon), tells how the god Enki warns the hero Atrahasis ("Extremely Wise") of Shuruppak to dismantle his house (which is made of reeds) and build a boat to escape a flood with which the god Enlil, angered by the noise of the cities, plans to wipe out mankind. The boat is to have a roof "like Apsu" (a freshwater swamp near the temple of Enki at Eridu), upper and lower decks, and must be sealed with bitumen. Atrahasis boards the boat with his family and animals and seals the door. The storm and flood begin. Even the gods [priests?] are afraid. After seven days the flood ends and Atrahasis offers sacrifices. Enlil is furious, but Enki defies him, "I made sure life was preserved," and eventually Enki and Enlil agree on other measures for controlling the human population. The story also exists in a later Assyrian version.
 

The Epic of Atrahasis provides additional information on the flood and flood hero that is omitted in Gilgamesh XI and other versions of the Ancient Near East flood myth. According to Atrahasis III ii, lines 40-47 the flood hero was at a banquet when the storm and flood began: "He invited his people...to a banquet... He sent his family on board. They ate and they drank. But he (Atrahasis) was in and out. He could not sit, could not crouch, for his heart was broken and he was vomiting gall." 

 


Wow! What a complicated accounts with lots of gods and relationships between them, but notice there are core aspects that tie into the biblical account:
 

  • The building of a boat with a roof and sealing of it,
  • The animals being kept safe,
  • The flood,
  • The sacrifice afterwards.

These accounts all have components that support each other

So maybe the bible account is not that far off since other non-bibical accounts of the time agree with it's basic premise. Then, the ages of the people in the bible differ to what is normally accepted today, but the strange length of lives is corroborated in most texts from that period.

All this gives us confidence that this account is describing a real event and is not a made up story.

It's wonderful that God preserved this interesting historical account for us in our bible and ensured that we had supporting documents for the time period.

This account is to explain to us that we as mankind need to be saved from ourselves and the application to today is as real as it was 10 000years ago.

I think we can agree that this world has much evil in it. Today we look to Christ and to his saving of ourselves from ourselves. In those days God didn't deal with individuals the way he deals with us today. He cleared away the evil people to allow those that were not, to continue unhindered.

We need to align with Christ in removing evil from the world to make it a better place. That we do by submitting to God's wise guidelines and living lives that are a good as possible each day.

Today is the beginning of a new work week, lets try and live this week suppressing evil around us and loving others and building them up.

Have a great day!
 

Mon, June 21, 2010 | link          Comments

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Buying, without legalism, avoiding materialism?
...
Buying, without legalism, avoid materialism?

 



 Buying a new car? A new iPad? New clothes? What do we evaluate our decisions against? How do we establish guidelines for ourselves that we actively use to make decisions daily?
 Normally the first words out of our lips if asked why we are buying something new contains the word “I”.
“I like…”, “I want…”, “I need…”

If this is not the case, then the wants are likely related to our family or a girlfriend or boyfriend or friend of some sort.

 
Do you know 8 countries out of the worlds 217 consume 60% of the worlds resources? USA consumes 21% all by itself? Canada is in the list consuming 2.85% of the worlds energy!

 
This means the minority of the people in the world consume most of the worlds resources. These are the “wealthy” countries. If all countries used as much per person the world would be in a very bad way very very quickly!

 
What does that mean? Does it mean we are currently stealing from the poor to supply our wants as a nation? Shocking question isn’t it!

 
Let’s make it more personal…who makes up a nation? You and me right? Who drives this great push to get more and to consume more? You and me right?

 
So I guess when Jesus says we should take care of the poor and needy, he is actually saying we need to downsize our WANTS hugely! The rich have to move their needs from “want to have” to real needs. Okay so let’s get it straight we all like to live well, but says it’s easier for a “Camel” to go through the tiny hole in a needle, than it is for us to do this downsizing and right thinking. Is he right? How do you feel about not acquiring that next “new” thing?

 
How are we going to make a difference? Can I suggest it’s by adopting the true Christian approach of only setting our lives up at the level on needs, that we should not listen to the marketing machine of our world that in simplicity says “desire more”, “consume”, “get it first”.

 
Let’s be people who live in the present, but don’t subscribe to “survival of the fittest” since this is a destroying pushing others down and kill them philosophy. Support a clean environment that is sustainable and those that are in need. Lets think of downsizing our energy bill, forgetting about “keeping up with the Jones’ “.

 
Let’s support nations that cannot help themselves, people who are suffering and in need! One of the reasons I love Canada is that it is a nation that does look to the rest of the world and help. I pray that continues and that Canada reduces its non-renewable resource and energy footprint.

 
But let’s make it personal as well. Next time we walk into our favorite shop to buy those clothes, electronics, cars, etc. Let’s ask if we could do without or with something smaller. Maybe put some of that money saved into helping someone in a country who has no clean water, insufficient food and clothing or no shelter. After all we have all that and more right?
Sun, June 20, 2010 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

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This suspense thriller centers on Kiara, a beautiful young woman pursued by a murderous group of people, who relentlessly and ruthlessly hunt her and her sisters. Kiara has no idea why she is being targeted! When Kiara and her family turn to the law for help, this fails. Her pursuers’ powers reach deeply into the political and law enforcement world. Family support for her dwindles when they too have to flee her pursuers. Can Kiara escape the clutches of both the law and dishonest big business? With the media broadcasting that Kiara and friends are dangerous and subversive, can Kiara clear her name and bring her pursuers to justice?

 

 
  

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 RiftInEvil.gifThe town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman to launch into an investigation that unveils an evil conspiracy.

A horrific mining accident results in Joshua Robyn's father being killed. Joshua struggles both with himself and his townsfolk as he tries to make sense of an incomprehensible situation. Is it an accident or a murder? Why is there a seeming link to evil? Why is his work environment suddenly threatening? What is the conspiracy about and what are they trying to do? As action moves dramatically from exotic African grasslands to the heart of North America's cities, the plot unfolds and the pace quickens. Will there be time? Why is a beautiful abused young woman in the center of this plot?

Evil tendrils tighten on their lives and the interplay between the visible and invisible world shows opposing forces at work.

Will there be a rift in evil?

Will they be able to stop the evil in time?

 

 

 
Click here to order Rift in Evil (ebook or Paper available)
  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse. Chapters

 
  
you can email me at Author@KenXBriggs.com
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