“Will the real creationists please stand up.”

I got an email from a friend of mine earlier today.  The text of it said “Will the real creationists please stand up.”  I felt it was fitting.

Earlier this week in Cleveland, a woman named Val Thomas, from whom the doctors had “removed all tubes” and given up to death, began speaking.  I don’t know if the doctors were in her room when they were talking to her family about donating organs.  But my imagination takes me to a hospital room where an elderly lady awakes to interrupt a conversation about the harvesting of her internal organs.

She said that she is back by the will of God, that the Lord has something left for her here.  Well, He has already floored me simply with the event of her “return.”  I say praise the Lord.  And I hope this would cause some who are a part of the “culture of death” to, like Val Thomas, open their eyes to life.

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Why It Is Time for the Democrat Party to Change Its Name

The United States of America has the longest lasting current government in the world. It is based loosely on principles first set forth for governing by the ancient Athenians of Greece. The system they used was called Democracy. Under that system, all male citizens were afforded one vote each. The city-state voted on a great number of issues. It was ruled directly by the people.

Recently, the California Supreme Court, has struck down the ban on same-sex marriage in the state. This decision was fought for and widely supported by the members of the Democrat Party. It is in line with the party’s stance on marriage and other social issues. The ban was instated in 2000 when the issue came before voters. Citizens of California voted for the ban overwhelmingly – a 61% majority favored the ban.

I find it ironic that the “Democrat” Part – a term reminiscent of ancient Athens and their democracy – has used the pre-formed opinions of just 4 judges to overturn the will of the people.

It would seem that a party whose moniker hearkens back to direct democracy would favor a smaller government. Instead, they favor a big government which takes greater influence, or shall we say control, in the lives of the people every year.

I think its time for a name-swap. I think the term Oligarcal Party would fit a little better. An Oligarchy is a government which is ruled by just a handful of people. These people exert their will against that of the people, regardless of what the people believe. The most well known form of Oligarchy was the South African Apartheid which fell in 1994.

It would seem that if the will of the people is consistently crushed by the decision of the courts, then this longest running government of ours will not last much longer. The founders never intended the Supreme Court judges to legislate from the bench. If we fail to get things turned back around, there will be some mighty big changes for the future of America.

Billions of Missing Links – Evidence for a Creator

I read this (by Geoffrey Simmons) and I had to laugh:

The wombat has an upside-down pouch. Scientists presume, and it makes sense, that position prevents dirt from entering the pouch when the wombat is digging in the ground. Could there have been transitional species with pouches situated sideways, or did the first wombats have to scoop dirt out of their pouches every day?

For the Purpose of Godliness… Bible Intake

So I’m back to start the next chapter: Bible Intake Part 1.

The alternative to discipline is disaster. No spiritual discipline is more important than the intake of God’s word. There is no substitute for it. Lord, I confess that often I honor you with my lips but neglect you in my heart. I am often far from your word. I confess this and repent of it. Lord, I will strive to grow in the disciplines, especially this one of Bible intake. Grant me strength and will. For I can do no good thing apart from your power. Amen

Hearing God’s word is an important aspect of Bible intake. Luke 11:28 and Romans 10:17 both speak favorable of hearing God’s word. A church is a good place to do this. But other means are good too, such as recordings. Consider tape lending services and short wave radio. 1 Timothy 4:13 speaks favorably of corporate Word reading, preaching and teaching. Private “golf course” worship is possible but not a viable replacement. It is important that we prepare our hearts and minds to hear the word of God. This is true in church. We should hold hearing the word with higher reverence than we do. This is a discipline to be cultivated.

Reading God’s Word is also important. Since “all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” shouldn’t we read it? This must be a discipline. John Blanchard wrote on how often we should take in God’s Word. How often do we face problems, temptation, or pressure, need instruction, guidance, or encouragement, or need to see God’s face again? Everyday. DL Moody said a man can no more store up grace for the future than he can eat for six months at a time or breathe once for the rest of his life.

Practical suggestions for reading the Word regularly: Find a time. This takes discipline. But it is worthwhile. If it is when you are tired and sleepy, you will retain little. Find a plan, a schedule. Meditate on at least one word or phrase during each reading. This deepens understanding and helps us remember what we have read.

Reading God’s word gives us breadth, but studying gives us depth. Studying is very important. Consider Ezra who disciplined himself to study Gods word, to apply it, and to teach it (Ezra 7:10). Let us not fail to study God’s word. When you read, write things down. Cross reference. Outline, a chapter or paragraph at a time. This will give a strong understanding of the text. Read books by others but do not fail to explore the Bible for yourself.

More application. If your growth in godliness were measured by the quality of your Bible intake, what would be the result? What is one thing you can do to improve your intake of God’s word? The chapter closes with an exhortation from pastor Geoffrey Thomas to read the Word.

For the Purpose of Godliness… Discipline

Donald Whitney has written a book on spiritual disciplines. It is quite good. Here are my reflections on the first chapter.

Just opened my new book on discipline by Donald Whitney. This is a great book I’m looking forward to it. I will be writing more about it.

1 Timothy 4:7 says “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” NASB. (ESV says “train yourself for godliness’). Godliness needs training. You don’t fall into. You don’t trip over godliness when you walk down the street and take it home with you. You must be disciplined. “The spiritual disciplines are those personal and corporate disciplines that promote spiritual growth.”

God uses 3 main things to help us grow, to make us more mature spiritually. He uses people. Iron sharpens iron. He uses circumstances. Pressures, conditions, even weather. Opened doors. We have no control over these. We do have some control over spiritual disciplines and how they affect our lives. However, even in this, spiritual growth is a gift from God. But the disciplines are our means of spiritually “working out.” Consider Blind Bartimaeus who never gave up or Zacchaeus. Neither affected their own spiritual growth. But both did what little they could to work toward it.

1 Timothy 4:7 is a command. Holiness is not an option but a mandate. The means of obtaining holiness is not a suggestion but a command. Christ modeled discipline for us, his disciples. Fruit follows discipline.

One thing I like about this book is at the end of every chapter, there is a “more application” section. It is usually a great addendum to each chapter. It usually has some emboldened statements and then some elaboration. There is danger in neglecting the spiritual disciplines. Whitney then elaborates with a story about the author Coleridge who was apparently undisciplined. There is freedom in embracing spiritual disciplines. Quoting a man who compares spiritual discipline to athletic discipline, he says “Discipline is the price of freedom.” But it takes time. There is an invitation to all Christians to enjoy the spiritual disciplines. Discipline without direction is drudgery. So practice for the purpose of godliness. “Jesus was the most disciplined man who ever lived and yet the most joyful and passionately alive. He is our example of discipline. Let us follow him to joy through the spiritual disciplines.”

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday.  Happy Birthday to Me!

Marvel IV

Marvel vb \‘märv-ǝl\ : to become filled with surprise, wonder, or amazed curiosity

Having nothing to do with science.

Last week I posted that I had just finished my first year in Med School. This is just a little bit of an elaboration.

First in line is a little back ground. For all those who would believe that being a doctor is my life-long dream, you are wrong. For all those who think that I am doing all this for that doctor “lifestyle,” wrong also. I didn’t want to go to med school. I didn’t want to be a doctor. I just wanted to be a regular guy living in a regular town with a regular wife and some regular kids. I didn’t want any of this action. I didn’t have any aspirations or ambitions.

I also had no passions.

Then one day, on the mission field, the Lord called me into mission work. Now I’m not saying that I got some fuzzy feeling in my chest somewhere and that was the calling. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying that He made real to me the need for his Word and Truth and Grace in the world. I already understood that missions was what he commanded. And I was going to do some of that in my life. But it was then that I realized that my whole life’s purpose was supposed to be centered around the Great Commission – making disciples of all nations.

I would point out here that the Great Commission is for every believer. Not just some weird people (like me) who had no plans without it. If Christ’s call to cast your burdens on him and let him be your rest is a call for every believer, then his call to make disciples of all nations is too.

So I prayed about different things. Seminary was one. But the Lord shut every door to me except the one that he had already opened. I was in college at the time. I was pre-med (but I had no idea why). Now everything made sense to me. I knew the path that I was on was a path that God was making.

Fast forward to med school. It is hard. It is real hard. We have between 20 and 25 hours of classes every week, and these are 800 level classes. For those of you who think that some people are smart and stuff like this is easy for us, you are wrong. It takes studying. Its hard work. There were days I didn’t think I could go on. There were times when I didn’t think I would pass. There were times when I doubted the Lord’s call on my life and I doubted that he could even bring me through. I was wrong. He is a strong and mighty warrior.

There were times when I put my relationship with my wife after my studies. I was wrong. For that I am sorry. And the Lord is good to forgive. Thankfully, my wife, Maryem, is also.

As I posted earlier in a very short post, last week, I took my last test of my first year. What a relief it is! What a joy to be done with one year! I’m a year older. I feel ten years older. But I know that I could not have made it without the Lord. He gets the credit and the glory. To him is all my hearts joy. I just have to marvel, I just have to stand amazed at how good the Lord is. He is faithful and he is good. I have to stand in wonder at how good our God really is.