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Friday, July 15, 2011

Gen 1:9 Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place. Let dry ground appear.
GodCreatesLand.jpg     

God creates, science elaborates, man aggravates!

 When we walk around, we rarely think of the fact that this world of ours was once upon a time without land. It was covered with oceans!


 At that time the earth’s mantle solidified in places, distorted and pushed up out of those oceans.

 Have you heard of earthquakes? Do you know that they exist because one piece of the ground parts and moves against the other, a bit like a rubber band breaking. The ground bounces and shakes!

 That happens because under our feet, deep down there are hot powerful forces at work (No, I am NOT talking of hell and devils! :) )

 The stuff that flows from volcanoes as lava is called magma when it is still under the ground and our earth has lots of it. In the center of this earth, it moves and churns.  Now and then it forces its way to the surface as a volcano when it pushes the ground aside.

 In many parts of our earth, this happens all the time! Today, deep under the Atlantic Ocean it’s happening right now! It’s growing apart at about 25mm per year right now! Doesn’t seem much until you think of how long a distance is growing by this much!

 So, there is a mid oceanic ridge developing as I write this!


MidOceanridge.jpg

   This is not new! This is how the original supercontinent of our earth appeared and then broke apart.

 This first supercontinent was named Vaalbara by the scientists and they believe it was established around 3billion years ago (give or take a bit for measurement errors). As an aside, I was born on this piece of ancient earth, today its remnants are found in South Africa.

 This was the first of many supercontinents. The earth mantle pushed the land apart into pieces with sea between them and then pushed them back together again to form Kenoraland 2.8billion years ago.

 The same happened to produce Columbia 1.8 to 1.5 billion years ago, Rodinia 750 million years ago and the one most of us know called Pangea 200 million years ago.

    Pangea then split into Laurasia (a northern continent) and Gondwana (a southern continent). These then split up to make the continents we know.

 Interesting isn’t it?

 Now Genesis 1:9-10 [NIRV] simply says. . .

 God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place. Let dry ground appear." And that's exactly what happened. God called the dry ground "land." He called the waters that were gathered together "oceans." And God saw that it was good.

 It is good isn’t it?

 So, today as I walk around and enjoy the stability under my feet I want to give glory to an amazing God who designed and guided the forces of nature to make my life stable.

 How about you?
Fri, July 15, 2011 | link          Comments

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day two of Genesis: Collision between Hebrew and Egyptian God’s
GodNotShuOrTefnut.jpg

     
Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.  
-Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997)


Everyone looks at Genesis differently!

 Some see it as some geological, evolutionary record of the Earths creation supported by science, some see it as proving God’s existence, but most forget it was written for escaped slaves from Egypt (see my blog Christian creation: Who was Genesis written to anyhow? )

 Each day of Genesis was written by someone (probably a guy called Moses) who wanted to contrast and show these escaped slaves that the God they held in honour was not the same ones that the Egyptians had held as important.

 So, Moses deliberately wrote words in a way that countered Egyptian god beliefs.

 On the second day (Gen 1:6-8) he says

 God said, "Let there be a huge space between the waters. Let it separate water from water." And that's exactly what happened. God made the huge space between the waters. He separated the water that was under the space from the water that was above it. God called the huge space "sky." There was evening, and there was morning. It was day two.

 Seems fairly logical we would say!

 Yet it was a rather radical statement when compared to what those escaped slaves had been taught by their Egyptian overlords of the day.

 The Egyptians considered the Earth was square supporting the sky overhead at the corners, by mountains and floating on an infinite sea, the god Nun.

 A day one blog discussion of Egyptian Gods describes how this initial earth was believed to originate (see Genesis 1:3 The creation of light, Nun, Naunet and Ra  )

 Ra the sun god comes from this Nun sea (details in that same blog).

 Then, on day two of ancient Egyptian belief, Ra creates the air God Shu. Now there are many forms of Egyptian ancient religion and so please don’t say I got it wrong, that it was something else, I am simply using the one that existed at Heliopolis as an example. Here Ra is tightly connected to Ra-Atum and Ra-Atum is the source of the powers and forces and elements of the earth. Ra-Atum gives rise to Shu and Tefnut. Shu being male and Tefnut being female.

 Shu is the god representing the space caused by air as was a calming placating influence. Tefnut is a goddess of moisture, dew, water and rain.

 So, if I use the Hebrew God name “Elohim” in the biblical text and add some words to help us think of what went on in the Hebrew slaves minds as they read and remembered the words we understand, Moses when he wrote the events of day two was saying something like this. . .

 God(Elohim) not Ra-Atum said, "Let there be a huge space between the waters. Let it separate water from water." There is no Shu as a space or Tefnut the water! God(Elohim) does exist and created the air and water. And that's exactly what happened. God(Elohim) and not Ra-Atum made the huge space between the waters. He separated the water that was under the space from the water that was above it. God(Elohim) called the huge space "sky." There was evening, and there was morning. It was day two.

 In simple terms Moses was saying “don’t get conned by the Egyptian false Gods!”

 The Hebrews walking through the wilderness would have been impressed by the huge open spaces and they would have been thirsty a lot of the time.

 It would have been easy to fall back into asking those Egyptian gods of Shu and Tefnut to supply their needs.

 Moses was saying “There is no Shu and no Tefnut! The true God (Elohim) is your saviour!”

 So, perhaps Day two was written not only to explain creation, but to warn us not to entertain false influences on our lives.

 Perhaps that’s something we need to consider today. What’s a false influence on our lives. What is easy for us to believe in and replace belief in the true God? Money, success, science, security, sex, superhero’s, romance?

 Everyone has their temptations! The winning path is in admitting that and moving onto truth.

 That’s my plan today! What’s yours?
Thu, July 14, 2011 | link          Comments

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
deathandresurrection.jpg
“The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms”Lao Tzu
 
   
Everlasting life! The search of man since the beginning of time!


 
I often wonder why this is a desire of men, don’t you?

 
 For many of us life is a struggle, a fight for existence in a world teaming with challenges that hold us back every day. Why would mankind as a whole, search to extend this beyond the limited lifespan we have?

 Perhaps we want eternal life because we are eternal beings and this is inherently our destination from the moment we are conceived in our mother’s womb. It was that great scientist Blaise Pascal (who is remembered daily in our measurements of pressure) that said
 
 “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus”
 
 Is he right? Do we have a deep desire for an eternal destination that can only be supplied by Jesus?

 Paul writes about death in the following way, 1 Corinthians 15:25:

 “Christ must rule until he has put all his enemies under his control. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”
 
 
 We know that we are not made for death, but most of us must pass through it at some point.
 
 We can go back in time to 10-34 seconds after the big bang and investigate events before our birth, but no-one can go forward past their own death to do the same. To us, this is a closed door until our lifespan runs out.

 John, a guy who walked with Jesus and who Jesus loved, explains that Jesus who lived outside time, came into time and lived within a human lifespan to enable us to understand something of eternity.

 He reports Jesus as saying in John 6:51. . .

 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Everyone who eats some of this bread will live forever. The bread is my body. I will give it for the life of the world."

 This is understood when we read the words of a companion of John and the apostles called Luke. He explains that the communion bread and wine meal that is celebrated at the Passover refers to Jesus and reports Jesus as saying in Luke 22:16

 “I tell you, I will not eat the Passover meal again until it is celebrated in God's kingdom."

 This gives us a glimpse of the fact that there is to be eating and drinking and celebrating in heaven.

  Our knowledge is limited by our intellect.
 
 Knowledge is bound by what Jesus could explain to our limited understanding. Yet, through Paul a companion of Luke, we get some interpretation of this difficult subject.

 He explains, “Death came because of what a man did. Rising from the dead also comes because of what a man did. Because of Adam, all people die. So because of Christ, all will be made alive.”

 Everyone will come into a new life after death. No matter who we are and what we have done on this Earth. Whether we believe Jesus is the son of God the father, or not. All will be alive again.

 The original man, Adam, who had God consciousness was selfish, ignorant and nasty to God, by ignoring God’s gifts and selecting to dishonour God.
 
 Adam and original woman brought the pain of life upon us, because of the desire for knowledge of Good and Evil.
 
 Death was introduced to limit the pain this causes us, and Jesus came to remove the eternal sting of death and enable us to move into eternity having got rid of evil.

 The problem is we need to make the decision of how we want to live out eternity before we get to the point of death.
 
 There is no re-incarnation according to the letter Paul wrote to the Hebrews that explains this.
 
 It says in Hebrews 9:27

“People have to die once. After that, God will judge them.”

 So, with this in mind it is important to understand the choice is here and now.

 
 In fact, if you are reading this you can choose immediately. Accepting Jesus is the son of God and that our life is his to direct, is the only choice that is significant.
 
 With that, we choose our attorney for the great judgement that comes after death! At the judgement, Jesus stands up for us and as the son of the judge, gets us acquitted from the sentence of our abusing our lives and the lives of others.
 
 Can we honestly say we haven’t abused our lives in some way or another?

 I cannot, can you?

 So, when placed in front of every living memory, man and beast, all in the incredible courtroom in the eternal hereafter, where there is time to investigate every action we have done and word we have uttered, how can we say we are not guilty.
 
 The evidence is too great!
 
 Only Jesus can plead my case sufficiently, because he has already paid the price of the sentence.

 I don’t think I fully understand that, nor that I ever will, but I am sure grateful!

 So today as I go about my work and activities, I realise I need to try and be as careful as possible to not introduce further pain in this world and instead to try and perhaps help someone else to understand and achieve eternal life with power and love.

 May Holy Spirit enliven your day today! May God bless you!
Wed, July 13, 2011 | link          Comments

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Genesis 1:7 God called the huge space sky
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“The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.”
 
Buddha


The sky has not always been here!

The bible says so and so does science!



 Genesis 1:7 And that's exactly what happened. God made the huge space between the waters. He separated the water that was under the space from the water that was above it. God called the huge space "sky."

 I know God can tell us about it because he was there doing it, guiding the process at the time, but how can science possibly know about something that they say happened not millions but billions of years ago?

 Scientists have a number of ways of telling age of items. Sometimes they use how different things layer themselves over the years, sometimes they measure the amount of radioactive decay in substances that allow that measurement to occur, and when they get a whole group of these techniques coming up with similar answers, they get approximate ages for the items in the investigation. It’s a rather logic process, but does have many assumptions.

 The interesting thing is that different approaches give similar answers. This leads to a common understanding on age of the items in discussion.

 Now, nobody was there so there is no proof of the age that is conclusive but we can accept these facts. We do this all the time.

 Let me give you an idea of what we accept as facts without proof, simply due to information provided to us.

 What is the highest mountain on earth? Everest? Okay, so do you actually know anyone who has seen it or climbed it? Have you measured it’s height? If they climbed it, did they measure it’s height?

 
No?

 I think this shows how we accept things based on evidence from other people, doesn’t it?

 So, we must allow the scientists the same latitude. Arguing against their logic is a bit like arguing Everest doesn’t exist. That’s highly unlikely. Arguing about the details of exact dates is like arguing about the height of Everest. Is it a cm or inch off?  That type of argument is more acceptable ,right?

 So to come back to the sky God created, how does science track this creation?

 Well they infer the atmosphere from the amount of proxy materials, that is materials that need the atmosphere in order to form themselves. Things like certain rocks or mineral types, charcoal and fossil information of stomata(breathing parts) of leaves. This they find these in geological deposits.

 By the way, the water is determined in a similar way. That they say that was evident about 3.8billion years ago!

 The original atmosphere was thought to be a mixture of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and methane with almost no oxygen.

 Then a blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) formation got oxygen being produced. They think that was about 2 billion years ago.

 So water in the atmosphere is separated from water in the oceans.
 
 Sky and ocean!

 This is the scientific view of the formation of the sky. It ties in well with Genesis.

 Now to say the guy (probably Moses) who wrote Genesis knew this exact view of creation is a stretch at best. Holy Spirit would have guided his words to enable this meaning to be determined by us now.

 The ancient Hebrews considered the earth and sky very differently to us today.

 Middle Eastern cosmology believed in circular earth with a solid top that had water above it and below it.
 
 Here is in part why I say this;

 Isaiah 40:22 (NIV)
“He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
 
   and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
   and spreads them out like a tent to live in.”

 1 Sameul2:8
"For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's;
 upon them he has set the world."

 Exodus 20:8
"You shall not make for yourself a carved image,
or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above,
or that is in the earth beneath,
or that is in the water under the earth."

 These beliefs suggest a different view of the world to ours, but sometimes the view suddenly has a perturbation that aligns with ours

 Job is thought to be written at the time of Genesis and says

 Job 26:7
“He spreads out the northern skies over empty space;
   he suspends the earth over nothing.”

 showing a view closer to that of the science of today!

 We need to keep an open mind and look at ALL of God’s word.

 We need to understand that Christians that are scientists and will not go against their beliefs to lie! Perhaps these are the courageous people, because the scientific community persecutes them and often so does the church. They are real heros!

 When they say the original earths atmosphere has CO2 it’s not a guess, its based on facts that they have gathered together.

 In this case they do calculations estimating the amount of  solar ultraviolet energy radiation reaching the surfaces of the earth at the time, the CO2 in polar ice cores, and they model carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere.

 Bright people, with good ideas!

 When they also say God exists, Jesus existed and Holy Spirit guides them, we need to understand they know our God the way we do.

 In this case, to tell them they are lying is not a good approach. Maybe in some things their calculations are off, maybe they make wrong assumptions sometimes, but they do not lie. Science is built to reveal those who lie!

 So today as I look up into our blue sky and wonder why it wasn’t red or green, how God made it those many years ago, I thank God for strong wonderful people who love him.

 Don’t you?
Tue, July 12, 2011 | link          Comments

Monday, July 11, 2011

Some things we should just know are facts…!
ScaleLoveControversy.jpg
     
 
 “There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.” 

 Maya Angelou


  Ever got into a discussion with someone who seems to know everything about Christianity and talks with such authority that they seem totally believable, but the information they give out just doesn’t seem right?

 I have!

  It’s hard because we don’t want to explain they have it wrong, and the worst is when I am with a person who has not been with Jesus for that long and you can see by their expression they are finding it difficult to believe, but they are being taken in by the untruthfulness of the words (not the person).

 That really is a difficult time for me because then I have to try and make sure two people don’t get hurt by my words as I correct this untruth!

 Okay, so what I would like to do today in this blog is clear up a few common misconceptions. I will be using a list Bruxy provided in week seven of his “say what” series to help us track through this issue.

 Firstly, we know nothing about Jesus’ teen and early adult years. There is nothing in the bible or secular literature that can be respected as valid about those years. That means we can disregard anything that says it knows about these years of Jesus’ life.

 Secondly, it is misconception that religions disagree about core issues. Almost all religions believe in good, evil and there being a god involved. This is the most prevalent agreement among people on this earth. We aren’t only talking of Christianity here, but the vast majority of religions believe in these principles in some way.

 This means the most normal belief for a human being is to believe in good, evil and a god or gods!

 Thirdly, the Gnostic gospels do not provide truth about Jesus!

 What are these gospels? These are ancient manuscripts written decades to centauries after Jesus lived. They say things about him that are not said in the writings written by people who knew him and wrote things down very close to the time of his life. These are simply too late in time to be historically useful in understanding Jesus. They provide a lot of what may be interesting stuff, but it is not accurate or trustworthy as being true about Jesus. So, those writings of Judas, etc. are not to be trusted. Check the timing out yourself! Don’t take my word for it J

 Fourthly Jesus was teaching from a Jewish background, not an Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Eastern, or mystical background. So we need to understand ancient Jewish culture and particularly the culture and history leading up to the time of Jesus’ life if we are to understand his words accurately. There is a deep academic paper I have written on this subject for those interested. It is at called “Inter-testamental Period” and found in my “heavy writings” series. If you can plough through the academic nature of the writing it may help understand these times.

 Fifthly, having a biblically based faith does not mean “blind” faith! We want to be logical thinking human beings. Jesus himself asked question after question to force his audience to think for themselves. He KNEW all the answers but rarely gave them in a direct way. He WANTED us to think, so let’s not think he doesn’t want a thinking evaluation of our faith. What we do have blind faith in is the “personal” nature of our universe. God created it for us and our enjoyment and to prompt us to learn all the days of our lives. What a blessing! Do you think it’s good to enjoy learning about our world and God?

 I do!

 Lastly, many people say the failure of religion in our world disproves God. This is false! Jesus was an ANTIRELIGIOUS guy! See how he treated the religious people of his day! He was a personal relationship type of guy! He wants us to be the same!

 So, the failure of religion in this world PROVES the value of what Jesus taught!

 Christians have always been compassionate and wanting to help others (Sometimes they go about it in a very misguided manner, but the intent is there).

  Historically Christians have screwed up many times and we still do. If it was not for a powerful God who pulls us back onto the straight and narrow, over and over again, we would also have lost our way like many religions have.

 Holy Spirit is our one true guiding life and force, and is only encountered and enabled through God’s word, in our sacred writing the bible.

 So the most important aspect of facts is that if we read these biblical writings, think about them and apply them, God will take our fumbling attempts at living right and make them of eternal worth.

 A good way to realise we need to do things today to enable that to occur! Have a great day!
Mon, July 11, 2011 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

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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?

 

 

 
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  • Published: September, 2010
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