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Friday, July 22, 2011

Changing water to wine. . .how can I learn to do that?

 

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“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.”
 Titus Maccius Plautus


Taking the mundane and normal of life,
to transform it into something new, different, and of different purpose
 is a gift that is God given.


 Often in life we are faced with the endless progression produced by the normal run of our life. Often we simply go with the flow!

 
Then along comes something that intervenes and causes stress!


 It is at these times we are provided with an opportunity and how we respond changes everything!

How should we respond?


 Today, I want to talk about a very simple story of Jesus being faced with something he didn’t really want to be faced with. Something he reluctantly responded to, but did!

 It’s a story told by one of the men,John, who knew him well. John probably got to speak to Jesus’ earth mother, Mary, more than any of the other disciples. When Jesus was dying on the cross (before he rose from the dead and brought us Holy Spirit) he told John, the disciple he loved, this. . .

  John 19:25-27 (NIRV)
Jesus' mother stood near his cross. So did his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

 Jesus saw his mother there. He also saw the disciple he loved standing nearby. Jesus said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son." He said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, the disciple took her into his home.

 So, John really knew Mary well and I think this story is perhaps one she told often. John was perhaps even there at the feast mentioned in this story. The story is found in John 2 and goes like this. . .

 On the third day there was a wedding. It took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."  "Dear woman, why do you bring me into this?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come."

  His mother said to the servants, "Do what he tells you."

  Six stone water jars stood nearby. The Jews used water from that kind of jar for special washings to make themselves pure. Each jar could hold 20 to 30 gallons.

 Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water." So they filled them to the top.

  Then he told them, "Now dip some out. Take it to the person in charge of the dinner."

    They did what he said. The person in charge tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He didn't realize where it had come from. But the servants who had brought the water knew.

    Then the person in charge called the groom to one side.  He said to him, "Everyone brings out the best wine first. They bring out the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink. But you have saved the best until now."

   That was the first of Jesus' miraculous signs. He did it at Cana in Galilee. Jesus showed his glory by doing it. And his disciples put their faith in him.

 
Isn’t that great?


  Jesus and everyone uses water every day! It was mundane, normal stuff we all know!

 
Jesus’ mother asks him to help make wine for a party!


 Okay, now I want to point out here God likes parties! Jesus brought his disciples to this wedding party before this. They came to a party! Also I know a lot of people try and point out in the bible where it says wine, actually means grape juice, but I want to say that at a wedding, handing out grape juice would have been a wimpy thing to do.  Today at communion we like to use grape juice instead of wine for one reason, that is because so many people have a problem with alcohol and we don’t want to give them strain. In those days I am pretty sure they were referring to real wine, perhaps not as alcoholic as ours, but real wine nevertheless.  So Jesus is at this celebration where there are people enjoying themselves.

 It turns out the guests were consuming more wine than the host expected! Sounds like quite the party!

 All is going along fine without Jesus.

Then his mother (who must have had some connection with the host to want to help) asks him to do something.

 Why did Mary ask Jesus and not ask her husband Joseph?

 The common thought is that by then Joseph had died!

 In the Jewish culture the oldest son took over the family business and the running of the house at that time. In Jesus’ family it was Jesus!
 
 So Mary, was appealing to Jesus as her son, and as the son of God, and as head of her household to do something!

 
That’s a fairly significant appeal!


 Now did Mary have doubt he could do something?

 Not even a little doubt! See the confidence that she has as she warns the servants they can expect the unexpected. "Do what he tells you." she says!

 Notice the word servants, or “diakonos” in the Greek!
 
 Do poor people have servants? Not really!
 
 This was not a house without means and money!

 Jesus’ mother was asking him to help someone who already was fairly well off.

 Let’s think of how this might have been experienced by Jesus who was starting out on doing His Father’s work and had a deep focus on helping the poor. Perhaps this is not exactly what he wanted to do?

 It says he comments "Dear woman, why do you bring me into this?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come."
 
 See the moment of stress, the moment of decision that Jesus is faced with.
 
 He is being asked to make some more wine so that people could consume it, (and probably get drunk), and is doing this to submit to his earthly mothers request! 

 He needs to do this or simply reject her request for “Godly” reasons!

 If we didn’t know the end of this story, we would easily have thought the pious and correct action was to explain to his mother that he couldn’t do it. Perhaps for reasons like this. . .

 
  • Making wine is not beneficial to God’s purpose in my life,
  • We cannot use ceremonial vessels built for cleanliness rituals for common party reasons,
  • Making wine will only lead to more drunken revelry and that is not Godly,
  • I have started to lead men and teach them God’s purpose for my life and this doesn’t align with my business plan,
  • Parties like this need to be encouraged to be less unplanned and should consume less alcohol.
  or, perhaps he could have said, “I will make only one more jar, 20 to 30 more gallons should be enough”.

 He doesn’t give these excuses!

 Instead what does he do?

 
He goes and makes 600 to 900 gallons of really good wine!


 Now, is that just enough to get through that evening?

 Not likely, that’s enough to go on partying for a week for quite a crowd.

 Notice that it’s not poor quality stuff either! This is one reason I don’t think it was grape juice, notice how the person in charge points out they should have brought out cheaper wine later. That’s because by then the guests would be a little to drunk to notice the difference in quality ( if the wine was alcoholic in nature).

 Jesus steps into the situation! He does his first recorded miracle with his disciples.

 
 It’s not done for great heavenly reasons. It is done for love of his earthly mother, because he was God and could do it, and because as head of his household he had a responsibility to help with festivities. It does bring him glory but from a simple persons perspective!

 So, when faced with the endless progression of the normal run of life, Jesus doesn’t simply go with the flow.

 
 Along comes his mother who intervenes and causes stress. It is at this time he takes the opportunity presented and not only does something completely different, something outside of his comfort zone for that situation, but something that shows us we too should be willing to face stresses in our lives, adapt and respond in ways that change everything.

 Holy Spirit lives within us! That is God in us!
 
 Our only challenge is to take of the layers of personal prejudice that blocks our ears and actions and let Holy Spirit enable us to make a difference in this world!

 Let’s celebrate God’s power in our lives today and take the true Godly way through the stresses it puts in our way.

 I pray for God’s blessing on your day!
Fri, July 22, 2011 | link          Comments

Thursday, July 21, 2011

“SGC celebrate”, helping our community, and why I am excited!
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I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.  I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. 
~George Bernard Shaw



      Today as we look at the world, we can easily see people racing through life trying to drain every resource, pleasure and energy from existence in a futile attempt to grab as much experience as possible before that grave monster “death” overtakes us, obliterating anything we have done into a silent emptiness.

 
Not so!

 We as Christians have great hope and if we see Jesus example when he walked around, we see celebration, joy, a focus on helping others to find our true value in life, with the promise of dashing deaths power forever and taking the joy of life into eternity.

 
What a difference!


 When Jesus lived, times were hard!


 
Resources were limited!


 People didn’t know where and whether their kids were going to have a future! The Jews living around Jesus were oppressed by a foreign military based power occupying their land. Some of them probably felt very much the same as those living under Gaddafi have felt for many years. We know that soon after Jesus’ died and rose again, a group of Jews (the zealots) rose up to try and overthrow that foreign power. They got destroyed and their main symbol of freedom, the Jerusalem temple, was smashed and burned.

 
Life was tough when Jesus walked around!

 

Life is tough now days!


 The reason I have excitement is that in the little community where I live most of the time, a little town with only 800 people year round, a new energy is developing.

Young people and community focused volunteers are starting to get together to investigate living in community in much the same way as the early Christians lived!

 
Their mission : Helping our community with heartfelt love while enabling them to find and follow Jesus!


 A small group of people have determined they want to meet in homes to form a basic church very like the early churches referred to in the holy writings of our bible. Like Philemon did. . .

 Philemon 1:1-2 To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker—  also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home.

 Like Paul that great ancient man who was friends with Jesus says Nympha did. . .

 Colossians 4: Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

 And like that Roman church of Priscilla and Aquila that Paul refers to in Romans 16. . .

 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. Greet also the church that meets at their house.

 
Why meet in homes?


 It is biblical, we looked in the bible and could not find any New Testament guideline saying as Christians we should build buildings and accumulate assets as a Christian group, but found plenty of examples of people offering their homes for the purpose of serving their community and gathering resources for sharing with their community.

 
This is the intimate environment we want to re-establish and out of which we want to serve our community.


 It is the simplest way of meeting, where we can be sure to take every cent we can gather for helping our community without having to waste it on buildings and assets that we feel Jesus would want sold to meet the needs in the society anyhow.

 
Why form a small celebratory church group in the homes of our community?


 Galations 5:13 says this (The English in italics is my modernised translation of the word “flesh”)

 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the stupid, nasty and ignorant state of human beings in opposition to Holy Spirit rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

 This small group church (SGC) plans to be free of constraints holding down traditional church groupings, and having got rid of this bondage, to serve the local community as a mission. It is made of Christian volunteers who want to help those in the community with their resources and time.

 
It is to help those that for various reasons cannot help themselves.

 Not all Christians have the same ability to help.

 The younger and elderly both have a similar problem, that of low income and funds. The elderly have problems of lacking physical strength but having plenty wisdom and little opportunity to pass it on.  The youth have physical strength and energy, but need wisdom. This group will put these together with a focus of living the life of Jesus into our community, young people helping more physically, the older with wisdom and special skills, but all focused on helping others.

 One powerhouse of support is the middle aged who have established themselves and met their needs, but perhaps have less time due to these commitments. This group may be supporting mainly with a little time and more with financial gifts.

 Our younger generations are tired of what they consider “all talk and no action” from western churches who sit in the community, pay lip service to really helping and become clubs for those who never say it, but feel they are better than others. (I know this is a “perception” and is often not true, but perceptions are true to the perceiver!)

 Older generations can sometimes not even get to church, and instead are locked into their homes away from being involved in anything due to physical constraints.

 Using the internet, from our home church group, we will enable those that can get to the SGC in a home to do so, while letting those who are unable to, to instead take part and contribute to discussions, teaching opportunities, and decisions virtually. They will be able to help on decisions of how to distribute the money and muscle power that does come into the SGC across the needs in the local community around us. What better people to advise than those who experience some of the pain!

 
Instead of talking Christianity, we plan to do it!


 Now there is a new force at work!

 Perhaps it is the power of God unleashed by a young person who weekly goes to an invalid’s home to help them cut grass, not because they are paid to do it, since the invalid cannot afford it anyhow, but because they have got to know the person. Perhaps because that invalid is now a friend who has had input to the group from their own home using internet technologies.

 Perhaps it will be loading wood into the basement for a person to warm their home in winter because they don’t have the strength to do so themselves.

 Perhaps it will be helping community associations with volunteer support.

 Perhaps it will be going as a group to distribute food or help in food banks, looking after widows and the poor of our community.

 Whatever it will be, there will be no money wasted.

 Every cent will be directed to the mission of helping our community with heartfelt love while enabling them to find and follow Jesus!

 We understand that have to have a clean heart.. As Jesus explained to the Pharisee who was doing the traditional church thing of the day by focusing on church traditional law by making sure to wash hands (probably multiple times) before a meal, we need to be generous to the poor. . .

 When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.
  Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. [Luke 11:37-41 NIV]

 We want to be generous to the poor in our community! Those poor in abilities to help themselves, those poor in financial sense, those poor in spirit who are downhearted and find the world a tough place.

 To those, we want to bring a celebration into their life each week.

 
 It’s a small thing we can do, but we believe every little action count, and when we gather in groups of more than three, these actions multiply.

 So, in great excitement at being able to assist develop a service based small group church(SGC), I look forward to what can be done for others today.

 What about you? What are you doing to help others in your community today?
Thu, July 21, 2011 | link          Comments

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why is talking to God such a challenge? [Questioning prayer]
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“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

 Mahatma Gandhi


        Chatting to my best friend a question comes up, “So why doesn’t God answer me like you do? I find that confusing!”

 Yeah! I guess we all feel that way sometimes don’t we?

 It would be very easy to simply become robots, doing whatever God told us to do, if we could hear the instruction set perfectly and perform the commands perfectly.

 Would we really like that?

 
We are communicating with the entity that made this universe aren’t we?

 Well, not really. . .God doesn’t refer to himself as an entity, instead God wants to referred to as a person. He chose the masculine form of a person, but from my experience of Holy Spirit, I know he has all the feminine characteristics as well.

 So, why doesn’t God just speak back to us in an audible voice?

 He does! Sometimes!

 I can say that because I have heard God speak audibly twice in my life. Both occasions changed the course of my life forever and substantially! The first time he used three words, the second time four!

 I learned God can speak powerfully with very few words!

 The communications in both cases were powerful, simply because he knew my very desires, thoughts, my unspoken words and questions in my head at that specific time.

 His words powerfully and compassionately spoken out loud answered all of these internal questions immediately and fully.

 I am fortunate and blessed!

 Not everyone gets to hear God this way and it is not the normal way he talks to me.

 God wants us to come to him by this thing that we call faith.

 That is, we have to believe first and see the proof afterwards.

 “Crazy!” Many would say! “..in our world it’s the other way around!”

 True, but if you knew that the most powerful force in the form of a person, a person who actually has to hold everything we know in existence together every nanosecond of time by his power, foreknowledge and ability, would you even consider not doing what he wanted.

 Probably not! We would immediately see how futile and stupid ignoring God would be and would simply comply. We would become automatons of a type.

 No! God want’s us to have free will!

 God does not want automatons, but friends and family!

 He wants us to choose to have a relationship with him and he wants us to discover his powerful love for us as we develop and mature.

 So, he provide sufficient evidence of himself that those that believe can see his work and influence without doubt, but not be overwhelmed by his awesome power and absolute control.

 God loves us!

 So, he chooses to talk to us by enabling our minds to understand words he has provided by people from the past. One of which was himself in human form (i.e. Jesus). Having revealed himself and his intensions in this way, he then had Holy Spirit sent to live within us.

 Have you heard people say they need to “center” themselves? Often this implies they look into their existence and try to find within themselves a peace and tranquility that will empower them to do the works of that day.

 For those that know Jesus, this “centering” is opening up our minds and thoughts to hear the suggestions of Holy Spirit.

 It is taking time to be quite, read some of God’s words in the holy writings, and then have God in some beautiful way, intertwine them with the questions in our mind and soul to give us a gentle feelings of his presence and guidance to move in the direction the holy writings indicate.

 Sometimes God allows circumstance to vary somewhat, to provide confirmation of these words, and sometimes we may even find a particular piece of that scripture may seem to come back to us again and again from different sources that could never have known about each other. God is speaking!

 Holy Spirit doesn’t shout, but rather whispers words of truth into our spirit. The words distil themselves down into our soul and make their way into our mind. It takes calm, peaceful and wilful listening to hear God well!

 All the way, we are carefully in control of decisions and our will as we do this. We are not overwhelmed by God’s immense love to the point we have to comply.

 What an amazing God to give us this very special gift of being ourselves and aware of each moment to the extent we can choose to listen to our Creator or go against him?

 So, God speaks differently and my friend, I am grateful he does!

 On the one occasion he started to show his love to me directly, prior to his speaking only those three words audibly, “What about me?”, I had no doubt that his immense love was so powerful that it could overwhelm my will with ease. Of that, I was left with no doubt!

 However, the moment I realized this, God pulled back my ability to see this love. It receded like the wave receding on the sands of the seashore.  It returned to the ocean and subsiding into the sand.

 In that second I knew the moisture of God’s love we can experience, implies the ocean behind it.

 That was when I understood how much God loves me! God loves me enough not to overwhelm me with that love!

 That is when I understood we communicate with God through our spirits.

 So, if we don’t hear from God clearly, there are two things we can do; develop our spiritual relationship by faith, and read God’s scriptures as this is the predominant way he chooses to speak to us, not the only way, but the one most of us experience daily!

 Today I want to go and experience the joy of Holy Spirit leading me minute by minute as I allow God’s word to enable what I have previously read to occur. To be recalled into my mind circumstance by circumstance.

 What about you?
Wed, July 20, 2011 | link          Comments

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Celebrating and partying the Christian way!

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 “Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!”
 Amanda Bradley


        There is nothing like a good celebration is there?

 We enjoy the food, the drink, the joy, the happiness, the camaraderie and the shoulders to cry on that we encounter at a party if the crowd is just right and the group is of like minded friends and family.

 Often when we hear the words, “let’s have a party!” we get that little jump of excitement!

 Do you know that was why early Christians got together?

 They wanted to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection with food and drink, singing and if the Israelites are anything like the people we come into contact in the Middle East today, with dance! They commiserated with each other and with compassion gathered money for the poor and widows. They discussed how to make their communities a better place over community meals. What a great time of celebration!

 If you think I just made all that up, let’s take a look at our sacred writings about that period. . .

 Hebrews 10: 24 Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works. Let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us cheer each other up with words of hope. Let us do it all the more as you see the day coming when Christ will return.

 Look at the advice

 
  • STIR one another up in LOVE
  
  • HELP one another do good WORKS
  
  • NOT GIVE UP meeting together
  
  • CHEER each other up with words of HOPE
  Where are some of the places they met to celebrate and a reason they got together?

 Acts 28:15
The brothers and sisters there had heard we were coming. They traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. When Paul saw these people, he thanked God and was cheered up.

 Did I read right? Did Paul get people to gather at the marketplace(forum) and the Three Taverns?

 Then we read. . . Acts 28:30
For two whole years Paul stayed there in a house he rented. He welcomed all who came to see him. He preached boldly about God's kingdom. No one could keep him from teaching people about the Lord Jesus Christ.

 Who rented what? Was it Paul who rented a house or the church people?  So the “church” didn’t rent and run everything, it was one man who paid for it by himself and had people come in as they pleased.

 A year long celebration? Sounds like it to me!

 You know that when I did a search for the word celebrate I found it ninety five times in the sacred writings.

 Were these short one hour parties? I don’t think so! Here is an example from before Jesus time. . .

 2 Chronicles 30:23 Then the whole community agreed to celebrate the Feast for seven more days. So for another seven days they celebrated with joy.

 SEVEN DAYS of CELEBRATIONS!

 By the way they consumed 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep and goats at that party! Quite the celebration I would say!

 Did they sing? Sure they did. See Psalm 147

 They will celebrate your great goodness.
      They will sing with joy about your holy acts.

 Who was the center of the celebration?

 In the Old Testament it was God the Father, and in the New Testament it is the same, except it is via Jesus, the Son of God who is central to celebrations. After Jesus died, rose and went to heaven, Holy Spirit came to live within all believers. Holy Spirit within the party goers enables them to do strange things at these celebrations.

 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to speak in languages they had not known before. The Spirit gave them the ability to do this.  Acts 2:5 Godly Jews from every country in the world were staying in Jerusalem. A crowd came together when they heard the sound. They were bewildered because they each heard the believers speaking in their own language. The crowd was really amazed. They asked, "Aren't all these people from Galilee? Why, then, do we each hear them speaking in our own native language? We are Parthians, Medes and Elamites. We live in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia. We are from Pontus, Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia. Others of us are from Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene. Still others are visitors from Rome. Some of the visitors are Jews. Others have accepted the Jewish faith. Also, Cretans and Arabs are here. We hear all these people speaking about God's wonders in our own languages!" They were amazed and bewildered. They asked one another, "What does this mean?"

   But some people in the crowd made fun of the believers. "They've had too much wine!" they said.

 Obviously some people thought this crowd had partied just a little to much! Yet, it was Holy Spirit who pumped them up and got them doing amazing things. Notice how the party is inclusive not exclusive. Everyone heard them in his or her own language and they couldn’t even understand each other! Amazing! What a celebration!

 We often think of the story of the prodigal son as one where a wayward person rejoins the family and is loved. How often do we miss out that the major part of that story is the celebration at the end where the father says. . .

  Luke 15:23 Bring the fattest calf and kill it. Let's have a big dinner and celebrate. This son of mine was dead. And now he is alive again. He was lost. And now he is found.' "So they began to celebrate.

 Yes! God likes a great party! Joy, happiness and good food are all just fine!

 We even forget that Jesus was partying that night before he died. They were actually celebrating his life and death and resurrection at the time and didn’t get it. He did though! This is what he said. . .

 Luke 22:16 I tell you, I will not eat the Passover meal again until it is celebrated in God's kingdom."

 This means that that evening was his last celebration until he celebrates with the apostles in God’s kingdom!

 We know they at least had bread, wine and meat at that feast! That’s what Jesus was pointing out when he did and said the things we are to remember him with. Those became what we call community symbols for Christians, or as we now say communion symbols.

 What did he choose as symbols? Food and drink! Jesus was a man for celebrations.

 As often as we celebrate he wanted us to celebrate his successful life, the joy of having Holy Spirit with us helping us celebrate the right way!

 Why do we do so little time to have fun and joy in what we as Christians do daily, weekly and annually?

 Nothing in God’s word suggests we should be doing anything other than the opposite!

 God wants us to have peace, joy, love and hope, all bound by faith and made possible by grace.

 What party are you planning this week? What celebration of life and living? Will you invite Jesus to that occasion as the guest of honour?

 I plan to!
Tue, July 19, 2011 | link          Comments

Monday, July 18, 2011

Egyptian Gods: Geb and Nut, or Supercontinents and Elohim?
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“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.”
 Rachel Carson
 
       


A few days back I quoted Jacques Cousteau as saying “Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”

 We pollute this world of ours continually!

We rarely try to find ways of working with our environments instead of fighting them. Jacques Cousteau could have added “land” to that statement on pollution. That is, if he broadened it past fluids! Yet even land is in some way fluid.

 Rarely do we consider land to be fluid, but we see evidence of this everywhere.  If you have been to, or seen, photographs of the Grand Canyon in America, you cannot but look at the layers in the rocks. Not all stay horizontal, some twist and turn don’t they?

 Look at almost any mountain range and find a cliff. When you at it you will find layers of rock, all bent, twisted and contorted. It takes big forces to do this doesn’t it?

 In my blog Gen 1:9 Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place. Let dry ground appear some of these forces are explained.

 We look at natural phenomenon and try to explain them, don’t we?

 This was the same for the Egyptians in the past. In a different blog Day two of Genesis: Collision between Hebrew and Egyptian God’s we looked at how Ra-Atum an Egyptian God supposedly gave rise to other Gods, two of which were Shu and Tefnut, the god of air, and the god of moisture.

 Now according to Egyptian mythology, Tefnut gives rise to two other Gods, Geb and Nut.

 Geb is the Egyptian God of the Earth. Nut the Egyptian God of the sky, originally only the night time sky, but later this extended to the daytime sky as well.
 
 This god, Nut, is often depicted as a long elongated naked women who curves her body, up over and around the land. A bit like an upside down U. She suckles stars from all points of her curved body. She represented a god that protected the dead when they transferred into the afterlife. Her fingers and toes were believed to touch the North, East, South and West points of the Earth.

 Geb was the god of the earth who helped crops grow and who had a laughter that causes earthquakes. His representation took many forms over time such as a bull, crocodile or snake. He becomes the husband of his sister Nut and was associated with the underworld and also with vegetation. He is a rather complex and peculiar god.

 Did the Egyptians by looking at those things around them construct these fantastic stories to explain the unexplainable to their children? We may never know, but the stories are known and the gods described.

 Those escaped Hebrew slaves walking through the wilderness would have had plenty time to think about Geb and Nut.
 
 The land around them had sparse vegetation and nothing edible and the sky in the desert regions seems bright, close and infinite. It would be easy for those early Israelites to start  to think that by appealing to these god’s they would be able to save themselves some pain.

 Moses wrote Genesis chapter 1 to these people. He says in it [NIRV]

 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. Then God said, "Let the land produce plants. Let them bear their own seeds. And let there be trees on the land that bear fruit with seeds in it. Let each kind of plant or tree have its own kind of seeds." And that's exactly what happened. The land produced plants. Each kind of plant had its own kind of seeds. The land produced trees that bore fruit with seeds in it. Each kind of tree had its own kind of seeds.

   God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning. It was day three.

 “God created the land” is what Moses was saying. He had already said that God created the sky.

So he was making sure these men, women and children on their journey to the Promised land would not be confused about who did the creation, it was not Geb or Nut, it was the living God!

 So, as we look at our world, is it possible we create stories for our children that are just as weird and confusing as those the Egyptians created for theirs? Maybe!

 We need to try and check our stories out don’t we?

 So how about we look into the earth being created from magma, and the rock forming by layers upon layers of different types of rocks and processes? That’s how science says it was done! Fortunately the bible never says how, only that it occurred. Science tries to say how!

 Science also points out that these rocks were established long ago. How can people possibly know this?

 The two things scientists use are stratiographic principles and radiometric dating. Big words, big concepts, but I plan to simplify them so we can all follow.

  I already explained the idea that rocks form in layers and if we figure that volcanoes and larva form from original rocks (like we can see them doing in Hawaii today), then we understand that the oldest ones are at the bottom and the newest ones are at the top. Kinda logical right?

 That’s called the stratigraphic principle! Some layers are formed by stuff falling on top of the rocks and making up another layer. This is made up of sediments, so it is called sedimentary rock (as opposed to the volcanic type that they call igneous rock).

 Stuff gets caught and compressed into these sedimentary rocks and that’s what the scientists call fossils. Looking at the different layers, they find different fossils and figure out which layers were on top and which were at the bottom.

 In general, they can then get a plan to say which are the older rocks and which the younger (even when these rocks get bent and distorted by huge forces over many years).

 Okay, so what about this radiometric stuff?

 Here we find that they use radiometric decay to find out the time.  So what is radiometric decay?

 Simply there are some atoms that are not as stable as most others of the same type. These atoms want to get stable and to do so they have to let some energy go in the form of emitting a sub-atomic particle or energy. If we have a lot of this stuff, we can find the time it takes for half of this stuff to decay and form the stable atoms. That is the half-life of the radioactive material.

 So, by comparing the amount of the non-decayed to decayed material, we can figure out how long the material has been decaying. At least that’s what is proposed and it does make sense doesn’t it?

 Well, there are three basic types of radiometric decaying materials used to date stuff. Carbon which can be used to date up to about 60 000years, the decay of potassium into argon good for dating up to 100 000years, and the complex decay of uranium into lead for dating from 1million to 4,5billion years.

 This last decay is the one we use in our nuclear power stations!

We know a fair bit about it and need to know more, so millions of dollars have been spent studying this process and it is really well investigated.

 They date the rocks using these tools and figure out their ages.

Then from that they figure out how they distorted and what parts originally were together.

 Really interesting, really complex and if we want to criticise it we need to get university degrees because we need them, to understand it!

 This said, we just get back to the same point that God in Genesis said, the land wasn’t always here, it was created and then things started to grow.

 
Not complex, just a fact!

 Today, as I consider all this, I realise we need to allow people space to investigate and learn new things.

We need to promote scientific investigations. (If we didn’t in the past we would still think Nut and Geb represent truth)

We must however never forget the truth that God guides this process!

If we are to teach our children truth, perhaps we should also explain how Jesus, the word, God, created everything.

We need to teach them that God guides the forces of creation today! That they can be part of that process!

 Hey, have a great day!
Mon, July 18, 2011 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
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  • 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?

 

 

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

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse. Chapters

 
  
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