God is Dead?

I don’t generally jump on bandwagons when it comes to movies.  I appreciate them for what they are, but every now and then something that stands the chance to be truly remarkable comes out.  These often end up becoming my favorite movies – Gladiator, Glory, V for Vendetta, Braveheart, The Shawshank Redemption, etc…

My wife introduced me to a movie coming out in 2014 that I believe will shake the Earth.  It presents the premise of a Christian alone in a philosophy class having to not only defend his own faith, but to prove that not only is there a God, but that He is alive and active in this world.

Spread the word.

 

 

Thirst

Are you thirsty today?

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

Psalm 42:2

My oldest son is being used by God to show me something and it’s not subtle.  Everyone is born with fundamental questions within their soul that need to be answered.

Where do I come from?

Why I am I here?

Where am I going?

Why is there something rather than nothing?

Why is the world like this?

Is there a God?

What is good?

What is evil?

What is truth?

How can I be happy?

When you boil down every world religion and philosophy, they are all attempting to answer these questions.  There is a thirst for knowledge and truth within us all and the driving element in our life is our attempt to answer these questions.

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

Psalm 63:1

My oldest son has an intense focus on books and puzzles. Being four years old, he studies things incredibly and remembers the smallest details about these things that capture his interest.  He will spend hours in his room quietly playing with a single puzzle, memorizing every single piece to the point where I believe he could assemble it in the dark if he really wished to do so.  My son’s thirst is well-developed and he is attempting to quench it.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

Matthew 5:6

For Christmas, my son received a gift to help quench this thirst and encourage it to grow within him.  He received a bible for Christmas (mind you, he is not quite four years old yet).  Most kids would put the bible aside and attack the toys still waiting under the tree or already unwrapped.  He on the other hand promptly sat down and started to read.  It has only been a few short weeks since he received this gift, but he is addicted.  If this is the addiction (and we all have one) he suffers from in his life, praise be to God.

Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.

John 7:37-38

My son truly clings to the Word.  He wants to know where it is always.  He wants to bring it with him to everything we do (eating dinner, playing with cars on the floor, to the gym, or to Nana’s house).  He wants the Word close to him as often as possible.

Shouldn’t we all feel that way?  When the trials of life hit us, we may turn to the Word for reassurance, but do we do it daily?  Do we cling to it?  I thought I understood what Christ meant when he said the following.

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

Matthew 19:14

Children are able to put such amazing faith into things.  They believe them fully – Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Spiderman, and untold numbers of other completely fictional creations, but there is something else… children are not yet corrupted by pride or personal success, they have a thirst that seems so unquenchable that when they are exposed to the Wellspring, they fear to leave it behind as it is exactly what their souls need – knowledge, truth, strength, courage, faith, righteousness, perfection.

My son CLINGS to the Word at just shy of four years old.  Do I?

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters.

Isaiah 55:1

Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

John 4:14

spring-water

 

Debate Questions – Tuesday Edition

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 is the first Presidential debate of the 2012 campaign.  This first debate is one regarding domestic policy. The announced topics will be the economy, health care, the role of government, and governing.

Will they be worthwhile topics to explore each candidate’s philosophies or will they be so obscure as to leave both candidates enough wiggle room to answer however they choose based on the most recent opinion polling?  Will we really get a significant debate or just more rehearsed lines?  Will the moderator ask tough questions or toss softballs?

So in honor of this, let’s take a look at ten questions that I would like to see asked at the debate.  There are in no particular order.

1. Both of you claim to have the answer in terms of job creation within the economy.  What is the role of government in terms of job creation?  Where in the U S Constitution is that role specified?

2.  Explain in detail how you will eliminate first the deficit and then pay down the national debt.  What programs will need to be cut, what departments will be shut down, and what austerity measures do you think we need to take as a nation in order to avoid following down the path of Greece, Spain, and all of the other nearly-failing states?

3.  What is your understanding of the role of government?  What are the most crucial things that government does for the citizens?

4.  Explain how you think deficit spending helps or hurts the economy?  Is deficit spending necessary to “prime the pump” or is it a form of taxation that drains the energy from the economy at large?

5.  How do you propose to fund the hundreds of trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities that previous administrations have incurred by massively increasing social welfare programs?  Can they be funded or do we need to seriously curtail these programs in order to save the Republic from bankruptcy?

6.  What is the role of government in healthcare?  Can you cite in the Constitution where that role is indicated?  With the rapid growth of healthcare costs in the last few decades, explain how your administration would lower costs within Constitutional limits.

7.  Explain your personal beliefs of where the rights codified in the Bill of Rights originate.  Do you believe that they are absolute or not?  What modifications would you personally like to make?

8.  When you speak about job creation, each of you promises lofty job growth numbers that seem impossible given the current economic climate.  Explain what the typical job your plan would help generate would be.  Would it be a temporary job, such as road construction, or a permanent job such as inside a machine shop?

9.  Tell me who is a good leader in your mind.  Why?  Which of their characteristics do you want to emulate when governing?

10.  Do you agree with the following statement. Why or why not? “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it.’” (Thomas Jefferson)

Dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.

Psalm 22:28

What questions do you want answered?

Finding God

Have you ever opened your eyes to God literally?  God has designed his creation with a wonderful ebb and flow that can be observed, measured, studied and cataloged.  Have you ever opened your eyes and truly seen it?

Have you ever managed to get far enough away from city lights and other distractions to look up and admire the majesty of the universe.  Where I live, I could probably count the number of stars in the sky that are visible in a short amount of time.  When I first experienced an awe-inspiring moment of the grandness of creation (remember, we are but a speck) I was a teenager.  As a boy scout, I had spent dozens of nights out under the stars, but I had not yet opened my eyes.  For once, I did. I looked up and opened my eyes and God opened up the heavens and let me see how insignificant I really was when compared with trillions of stars, and it seemed like I could see them all.

At that age, I didn’t really know how to interpret what had just happened so I just mentally filed it away as “cool” and a “moment to remember.”  What astonished me is how God didn’t stop opening up the beauty of creation to me.  I had another such moment a few years later on vacation.  Imagine standing on a dock, without a visible light except for the stars and no visible moon in the sky, and a crystal clear night with trillions of stars reflecting off the warm waters around and below the dock.  The sensation was intense.  It was indescribable.

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them? (Psalm 8:3-4)

I have always been amazed by creation.  I believe we can learn quite a bit about God just by observing nature.  There is a logic to it.  There are rules and order.  There is Truth.

When Dan Brown wrote The DaVinci Code, he made a passing mention of something called the Fibonacci number (Golden Ratio, Golden Cut, Golden Mean, Golden Section, or Divine Proportion are all names for the same thing).  It came up a few times throughout the book, but when it first came up was the most profound. This ratio is found throughout nature in very divergent things. You can find it in DNA molecule size, shell growth patterns, seed propagation on sunflower heads and pine cones, to body ratios in ants, human beings, dolphins, the rings of Saturn, and the orbital constants of every planet in our solar system. This ratio is everywhere, even in the dimensions of the greatest works of architecture on the planet.  While I don’t ascribe to numerology, I do believe that God is just, orderly, and constant, so His creation must reflect those attributes and this ratio is just one example of His constancy.

Do you ever just stop and think about the little clues that God left in creation that point toward Him?  Do you ever open your eyes and look for it?

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voicegoes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:38-40)

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