Monday, December 24, 2012

Tis the Night Before Christmas.

      December 24th at about 3pm in the afternoon.  I'd had some smooth sailing through getting the sink plumbed and the drain hooked up in the second bathroom at my place.  I've been waiting for a break in the nursing classes to get back at it.  I was driving to Rhinelander after some more materials I needed, listening to a CD which I had piled all sorts of Celtic and Irish Christmas songs and carols onto, enjoying "Unto Us a Child is Born".

      I thought, "Yes", this is good.  I'm feeling the joy here.  God, in this baby boy whom we ponder over on this day every year, coming in the person to reconcile the world back to Himself.  What a day, what a time in eternity, it was when God came to visit one of probably His many worlds, and let them know that He is out there, and that all of His creation means something to Him.

      But then I thought, "Would I be feeling this joy if it were not for this great piece of home-made fruit cake I'm chewing on?".  "This great music on a pretty good car stereo system?" Or the memory back through the years of all of the good worldly lusts and pleasures I have satisfied during the Christmas season?  Without those, would I still be feeling this joy?  About the child born unto us?  No, it would be a different sort of joy.  Much, much greater.  Much more real.  Much more joyous.  I mean, scream and get out of your mind kind of joy.  Now.  That's joy.  And if it turns into a memory, get rid of it.  And turn your mind again to the living God.  Jehovah!!!  Jesus' Father.  Our Father, who calls the ones who are led by Him "His" children.  Who made us with the ability to both love Him in return, or reject Him and follow after our own misconceptions, and be left behind. So we follow Him, through the Bible, where He reveals His Spirit to us, and our spirit to us, and offers to join His Spirit with ours, and make us His sons (male and female);  in such a way that, "...All who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14).  "But though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. (2Co 4:16 NAU)  

"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,...".

      He finally brings us truth -- knowledge of the existence of the Father, and who the Father is.  He brings us news of something greater.  'Good news', which is the very definition of the word 'gospel'. News that can produce a work of a different sort in us; news that makes the 'once invisible' now 'visible'.  Full of life and light.  An invisible yet tangible presence in our understanding, in our inward parts; a discernible presence that wants us to become familiar with Him.  The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  (Romans 5:5)   

"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."
(John 15:11)

      It pleased God that "unto us" a Savior would be born to call us back to Him, our Creator and Father, that our joy may be made full, and that the kind intention of His will toward those who love Him be made known to them.  He made us not just to return to dust, but to chose to return to Him.

Something that can make one turn away in astonishment and awe from the cookies.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Big Universe -- Voyager 1

      SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - NASA's long-lived Voyager 1 spacecraft, which is heading out of the solar system, has reached a "magnetic highway" leading to interstellar space, scientists said on Monday.
      The probe, launched 35 years ago to study the outer planets, is now about 11 billion miles (18 billion km) from Earth. At that distance, it takes radio signals traveling at the speed of light 17 hours to reach Earth. Light moves at 186,000 miles per second). Voyager 1 will be the first manmade object to leave the solar system.
      Scientists believe Voyager 1 is in an area where the magnetic field lines from the sun are connecting with magnetic field lines from interstellar space. The phenomenon is causing highly energetic particles from distant supernova explosions and other cosmic events to zoom inside the solar system, while less-energetic solar particles exit.
      "It's like a highway, letting particles in and out," lead Voyager scientist Ed Stone told reporters at an American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco.
      Scientists don't know how long it will take for the probe to cross the so-called "magnetic highway," but they believe it is the last layer of a complex boundary between the region of space under the sun's influence and interstellar space.
      "Our best guess is it's likely just a few months to a couple years away," Stone said.
Voyager 1 hit the outer sphere of the solar system, a region called the heliosphere, in 2004 and passed into the heliosheath, where the supersonic stream of particles from the sun - the so-called "solar wind" - slowed down and became turbulent.
      That phase of the journey lasted for 5.5 years. Then the solar wind stopped moving and the magnetic field strengthened.
      Based on an instrument that measures charged particles, Voyager entered the magnetic highway on July 28, 2012. The region was in flux for about a month and stabilized on August 25.
Each time Voyager re-entered the highway, the magnetic field strengthened, but its direction remained unchanged. Scientists believe the direction of the magnetic field lines will shift when the probe finally enters interstellar space.
      Other clues that Voyager has reached interstellar space could be the detection of low-energy cosmic rays and a dramatic tapering of the number of solar particles, Stone said.
      Voyager 1 and a sister spacecraft, Voyager 2, were launched 16 days apart in 1977 for the first flybys of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
      Voyager 2, traveling on a different path out of the solar system, has experienced similar, though more gradual changes in its environment than Voyager 1. Scientists do not believe Voyager 2, which is about 9 billion miles (14.5 billion km) from Earth, has reached the magnetic highway.

And the next planet it would come to is 40,000 years away.  Really, a trifling speck of time in terms of eternity.  An interesting proposition for those that love the Lord.  And His visit.  And His promise.

40 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."


   He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him(John 1:10)

He was here!  And His promise and His Spirit He has left here with us!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Election, in my opinion

      "No ideas" was beaten out by "No ideas with a level head".

      Times are not good.  America is being outdone economically. The "American dream" is being forced to now slowly come awake.  "It's not good to live in a dream world" and we see why now as we look at what our country has become.  The prosperity of inheriting a big wide open land full of valuable space and resources has ultimately made us lazy both physically and mentally.  Our industry has left.  We mistake Christian values for Mormon values (Mitt Romney), not knowing the difference.  Not even knowing how to define or practice marriage ourselves we have let it fall into a mere legal category.  We sit around at every chance we get and watch games and stories on t.v.  So what would we expect from all of that?  I think it is reasonable to expect a society with "no ideas".

      We do indeed need to tear a lot of things down in this country and start from scratch in many ways, but we need to do it carefully, because everything that is there is there for some important reason.  The only way we can succeed in going through the changing process is to do it in a deliberate and unified manner...  and the way things are going, that's the new "dream world".  The new sound track would probably have to be, "To Dream the Impossible Dream". 

      We are going to have to change the way we think, and who we listen to.  In fact, we are going to have to "think", and then we are going to have to "listen", or we continue down take the low road whereon the foolish dream becomes a very real nightmare.

      The real beauty is that God was in Jesus letting His creation know about Him and how His economy works.  And that there is yet one more new world to journey to for those who listen to God's call to them.  Not to be left behind.  

      The nursing program I am in is consuming all of my time right now.  That will eventually change.  See you then.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Vitalists - Seeing God in Nature

      Vitalism would be one of the earliest branches of science.  And it may just be the last one standing in the end.  Generally, these days it is held in low esteem.  And rightly so in many cases.  Vitalists tend to conclude that there is some final unknown force out there in creation driving everything else, which is apart from what can be scientifically explained, . Secular science would call that unscientific. Are these men "cranks" (quacks)?  Mainstream science would try and have it seem so.  Vitalists are however yet some of the most brilliant men in the halls of scientific reasoning.  Some are godless, others are god seeking, and others even God lead?  So are they merely seeing God in nature, or not?  What is going on there?

      Since there is this so-called "unknown" involved in the explanations contained in the scientific doctrine of "vitalism", it opens itself up to many a form of scientific quackery and conjecture - things that sound good to some men but still cannot be explained rationally or convincingly.  These conjectures one can quickly wade through and get out of the way. Yet, that same "unknown" still exists.  It is there, for both the Christian believer and the unbeliever...waiting to be reckoned with.  It is there, this unknown vital force.

      It is there.  Every man can see it.  It is that power that we find as we get farther and farther toward the end of the hierarchy of particles we know as forming "matter".  The very end of this chain of matter - is not the end.  The sequence of things getting smaller and smaller, and smaller, far beyond something that which even our imaginations can keep up with.

      Those electron fields which we now know make up the atom and determine matter (matter as we know it) are unimaginably more complicated than the known universe.  How these tiny particles rearrange themselves to form all of creation, we don't even begin to understand - we just know that they do.  They are but the tip of a vast iceberg of yet smaller and smaller particles. The mindless interplay of atoms (or so scientific limitation concedes) tells us almost nothing meaningful about the make-up of creation which lies beneath them.   If anything, it exposes to us more of what we do not know. And inevitably, it is that very "correct" scientific reasoning which we use day in and day out that both takes us beyond those electron fields, and into the unknown, and to our chagrin, also leaves us there.  "Where is it?", "What is it?", "Where did it come from?".  It's there! There to the Vitalist's conclusion, that "the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining" - the Creator His self?  The Creator's version of life! It is, and by the very God who told us that His name is, "I Am" (I simply Am), it is.  All agree that it is there.  This vital force that determines.  It is no mystery, and it is beautiful.  

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."
(Paul's letter to the Romans, chapter 1, verse 9)

      And He has not left us here alone.
"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever ;  that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans ; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 
          (As spoken by Jesus regarding He and his Father, the Godhead, the Creator Himself, in John chapter 14)

      Nor has He left us here as orphans.  And as we can see,  He has some very long-term plans for us (a "vital" interest), our Father does, the Father of the universe, unencumbered by science.

      Just a few quick thoughts this morning.