The source of wisdom according to Job. Look up to the sky.

20 “From where then does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
And concealed from the birds of the air.
22 Destruction and Death say,
‘We have heard a report about it with our ears.’
23 God understands its way,
And He knows its place.
24 For He looks to the ends of the earth,
And sees under the whole heavens,
25 To establish a weight for the wind,
And apportion the waters by measure.
26 When He made a law for the rain,
And a path for the thunderbolt,
27 Then He saw wisdom and declared it;
He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out.
28 And to man He said,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.’” Job 28:20-28 (NKJV)

These are the words God gave Job, originally written in old Aramaic, before Moses wrote the Torah. We do not know much about him, but this we know: Before the law was given, God revealed Himself in his creation and how the environment works. Job even knew and wrote about his redeemer: “I know that my redeemer liveth“, and his language and images are from nature in all its form.

This is where it hit me. Even in this, the oldest book of the Bible they grasped the source of all wisdom: Fear God and shun evil. Truth comes from God and is manifested in His creation, even in the way water vapor plays a role in keeping the earth not only watered, but in ecological balance and prevents the earth from overheating no matter how much damage we as humans do to it.

Let me explain. If there was no water the earth would be a dry planet with the average temperature much colder than today at the poles, but warmer near the equator. The night would be more than 100 degrees colder than the day and no life would be possible. With water the oceans act as a stabilizer, and at sea there is really not much difference between day and night temperatures. What does matter is if you are in the sun or in the shadow. In the winter you welcome the sun, but in the summer “All sun makes a desert” as the Arabic proverb says. Thanks to clouds there will never be a risk of the earth overheating, or even get warmer than it was 6000 years ago during the Holocene peak temperature between the ice ages.

People living in the country side can and do look up to the sky to see what the weather is going to be. When they see the cumulus clouds (the fair weather clouds) form they know it is going to be a pleasant morning. Those clouds reflect up to 300 W/m2 of the sunlight back into the sky, heat that would otherwise warm the air.  This is a major reason the earth will not be overheated. Yes, water vapor is a greenhouse gas, and keeps the earth at an optimum temperature for plant growth and as long as there is enough humidity to produce clouds. The best example is the monsoon in India.  Springs are unbearable hot. The air is dry and temperatures can reach 120 degrees F during daytime. Come summer the monsoon arrives,  thunderstorms roll in and temperatures return back to the low 90’s, still uncomfortable because of the humidity, but the rains water the plains and produce a rich harvest.

People living in cities seldom make the connection that the clouds are the major temperature governor of the climate. In the tropics it works nearly perfectly, and as long there are clouds the amount of CO2 does not matter much, in fact a doubling of CO2 will heat up the earth much less than one degree.

Yes, people living in the country can see daily how the clouds work and keeps the earth from overheating. People living in the great cities are experiencing the urban heat island, it is getting warmer and warmer, and they are more likely to believe climate change leading to all kinds of catastrophes.

In short, next time you see a cloud forming in the sky, thank God for arranging everything so beautiful. If you see a thunderstorm, thank God, but get inside, if you are expecting a hurricane take precautions, if you are expecting a tornado take cover, but above all, in everything give thanks, for this is is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

If you are interested in a more technical explanation read  https://lenbilen.com/2017/04/10/thanks-to-clouds-the-temperature-governor-is-alive-and-well-on-planet-earth/

 

 

Thought for the day. The Pope, The Trump, walls and bridges.

He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. (Proverbs 25:28)

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”  Pope Francis.

The Vatican City’s old wall.Vatican_City_map_EN

A sign they’re not Christians at all?

For the Pope said as much

about Trump, walls and such.

Humpty Dumpty did fall, I recall.

The moral of this story: Be careful not to make off the wall remarks.

Joking aside, I took a look at how many times the word wall was used in the Bible and where it was used. There are so many tidbits we can learn from a word study. The first is in Leviticus 25: 29-31 ‘Likewise, if a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then his redemption right remains valid until a full year from its sale; his right of redemption lasts a full year. But if it is not bought back for him within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city passes permanently to its purchaser throughout his generations; it does not revert in the jubilee. The houses of the villages, however, which have no surrounding wall shall be considered as open fields; they have redemption rights and revert in the jubilee.

This is old Mosaic law, and gives clear guidance that the law in a protected place with borders is different from the law in places without borders, and property rights are clearly established. As a civil society we no longer follow Mosaic Law, that would be as ridiculous as if anyone demanded we should follow Sharia Law.

Moving on, there are the walls of Jericho, the wall of Jerusalem, Nehemiah rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem and the watchmen on the wall.

Then in the New Testament walls are not mentioned at all in the Gospels (In the parable of the tenants in Matthew and Mark it is literally a hedge, not a wall) and only Revelation describes the walls of the new Jerusalem. So the Pope is right, building walls does not appear in the Gospels. Neither does the word bridge appear anywhere in the Bible, so that part is extra-biblical, if one is to take his admonition literally. So if Sarah Palin as Governor refused to build “the bridge to nowhere”, does that make her a non-Christian? (A Limerick from way back comes back to memory)

Sarah Palin did not even think of Nantucket

when plans for that infamous bridge kicked the bucket.

But profligate waste

and spending with haste:

She ordered the spendthriftest Congress to chuck it!

Joking aside, the Pope probably meant spiritual walls and bridges, but by saying it right near the U.S. Mexican border it is easy to assume he meant a literal border. If so, where is the literal bridge?

 

 

Thought for the day. Is it for Christ or in Christ?

51i+Y3xmiiL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_“Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”  C.T.Studd.

Only what’s done for Christ will last. This verse has often been used to motivate Christians to get on with it and join in the work for the Lord. And so it is, we get excited and work what we believe is for the Lord.

Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse? We can see in Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

The old hymn-writer John Newton understood this. The old hymns have a reverence for God and how we can praise and worship Him with the proper perspective.

So it was one crisp fall evening on the night of a full moon. Our church had a family hayride through the countryside, and we sang the old hymns, one after another. The next night, when it was time to put the children to bed, as it was time to sing the good night song for my five year old daughter she said: “Daddy, daddy, sing Crazy waisy.” There was no way I could figure out what she meant, but she said “We said it yesterday at the hayride” I was clueless so she helped me: “You know the one about lost and found”. This rang a bell so we both sang:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

This is what separates true Christianity from all other religions. It is not man seeking God. It is God seeking man.

Thought for the day. Jesus Christ and gravity waves.

 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  (Colossians 1:15-17, NIV)

In 1905 Albert Einstein proposed that the speed of light in vacuum is the same, regardless of the speed relative to the observer. That being the case, if the relative speed of light does not change, then something else must change. After much thinking and a few false starts he determined the dimension that changes is time, and published the theory of specific relativity. He then spent 10 years  trying to include acceleration in his equations and published his theory of general relativity in 1915. In it, he determined that massive objects cause a distortion in space-time, which is felt as gravity.

The equation for general relativity is elegant in its simplicity:

Rmn – ½ gmnR = 8pG Tmn.

It is not as simple as it seems, the suffix mn  describes curved space-time and the equations grow until the whole blackboard is filled, and then, that was just the beginning.

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On Feb 11 it was published that Einstein’s prediction of gravity waves were confirmed. A billion dollar set of gravity detectors verified gravity waves from a pair of rapidly rotating black holes. This was a giant step forward of science, we now can understand mathematically what holds the universe together.gravity-probe-b

gravity-wave-spaceAt the other end of the space-time spectrum is the question: What holds the nucleus of an 1d4e605e0

atom together? Using the curvature of space-time as a model the scientists derived mathematically 11 total dimensions that can explain the glue that holds everything together. They stopped there, for the 12th dimension would be  an alternate time, and since we are bound in space-time there is no way to verify the existence of alternate time.

All of these mathematical formulas describing the universe and how it is stable assume that the laws of Physics are unchangeable through time and space. This is the universal question: If the laws of Physics cannot change, how come we exist? There must have been a creation. Current scientific thinking is the Big Bang, creating the whole universe out of a singularity, and maybe an anti-universe as well filled entirely with anti-matter. But even this indicates there was a beginning, during which time the laws of Physics were established.

This begs the question: Are we really only a product of time plus chance plus nothing? The probability of this being the case is much less than finding the needle in a haystack, more like finding the right elementary particle in the universe. Yet, that is what is taught in school.

It is far more reasonable to assume the existence of a God, a God that created it all including the mathematical formulas which rules the universe.

The Bible explains Creation in the first three verses of Genesis: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

To believe the Biblical account requires a step of faith; it is free from all scientific explanations, concentrating on the spiritual truths. In the first three verses it introduces all three members of the Godhead, the Father, the Word and the Spirit. (In other passages of scripture Jesus Christ is described as the Word: And the word became flesh and dwelt among us.)  Reading the Bible from a spiritual perspective made a believer out of me, and this explains the meaning of Colossians 1:15-17.

Now the little song for kids makes perfect sense:

He’s got the whole world in His hands,
He’s got the whole world in His hands,
He’s got the whole world in His hands,
He’s got the whole world in His hands.

He’s got my brothers and my sisters in His hands,
He’s got my brothers and my sisters in His hands,
He’s got my brothers and my sisters in His hands,
He’s got the whole world in His hands.

He’s got the sun and the rain in His hands,
He’s got the moon and the stars in His hands,
He’s got the wind and the clouds in His hands,
He’s got the whole world in His hands.

He’s got the rivers and the mountains in His hands,
He’s got the oceans and the seas in His hands,
He’s got you and he’s got me in His hands,
He’s got the whole world in His hands.

He’s got everybody here in His hands,
He’s got everybody there in His hands,
He’s got everybody everywhere in His hands,
He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

Thought for the day. Real love on Valentine’s day.

 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)

Once at bible study as we studied John 15, a great chapter on love, this verse came up and the leader asked if we really were willing to die for someone we loved. Trying to be spiritual I volunteered I probably could die for my wife. She immediately answered “Oh no, you don’t get away that easy; you have to live for me.” She has a way to put things in perspective. I had forgotten all about that episode until one day I heard Ravi Zacharias speak on the air, and he said: All love is costly.   Suddenly I realized, this is true for all real love.

When we got married we gave our vows, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health until death do us part. There is no excuse. We have to live for each other. This is God’s plan for our lives.

Looking around at recent trends this seems to be more and more a minority view.

My grandson goes to preschool. As Valentine’s day approached his teachers came up with rules what to do on this very special day to celebrate its core message: Love. So the little ones were encouraged to make Valentine’s cards, but as they did, they had to write identical messages to every other person in the class, something like: Be my Valentine (printed) , make a heart and add the names. To do any less would hurt some student’s feelings, causing envy and strife. Group harmony must be enforced.

This is how far we have come in our understanding of love. We are only important as a part of a collective, no longer equal opportunity, but equal outcome. This seems to be designed to stamp out initiative and the entrepreneurial spirit from preschool on. They get indoctrinated in collective thinking, so by the time they finish high school they are convinced individual responsibility is no longer in, it has been replaced by collective thinking. That is in my opinion why so many of the millennials are ready to campaign for Bernie Sanders, even to the point of giving it all in the campaign.

What I still cannot understand is why so many New Hampshireans agonized over whether they should vote for Trump or Sanders.  All I know is that love has nothing to do with it.

Thought for the day. Finding God’s love in unexpected places.

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” (Luke 6:32)

After becoming a follower of Jesus Christ many years ago but as a mature man I thought I already knew what love really was, having a real wife, two wonderful children with a third on the way, a good job and no known enemies. Yet I knew, and everybody kept telling of God’s love, especially around Valentine, saying that God’s love is different.

Having joined the choir in church it became my passion to sing as often as possible, even to waking up in the morning with a song in my heart. This was nothing new, but the words and the melodies changed. So I volunteered to sing solos, but they were hesitant to add me to the roster, and instead suggested that I sang once a month at the downtown rescue mission. I had made the promise to God that what He wanted me to do I would do if possible, so I went. One thing led to another, and I became responsible for the music, and also to select a preacher for the service.

I complained to God: Why do you insist that this is the only opportunity I have to minister, I don’t even like those  down and out people? It was like I heard God answer: I never asked you to like them, I asked you to love them. So once humbled I persisted, and I did it faithfully for 15 years, until moving from the area. My pastor liked to coach a number of “preacher boys” and I got the privilege to present them one at a time as the featured preacher. The crowed really appreciated that since the boys only spoke for less than 10 minutes. We spent the rest of the time singing, and since I always had a good accompanist I took requests, trying anything they suggested. The audience was more than half black, some were good singers, and they sometimes  laughed at me for my lack of rhythm. They thought me a lot about singing in the joy of the Lord, and they  did it differently than I was used to. One time they asked to sing “Just a closer walk with thee” and I started in what I thought was a normal tempo, but was overruled by four young black men  starting to sway and slap their legs in a very slow beat. Suddenly the song took on a whole new dimension, and I found the joy of the Lord in the song. Looking at the men, happily and triumphantly smiling that their way of singing won the day, I felt a love for the men I never thought possible.

I never learned to like the men, seeing them destroy their lives with drugs and alcohol, estranged from family, and with no ambition to change their position in life. Some were repenting of their ways, but were usually back in even worse shape after a few months. During the 15 years I found they went under at a younger and younger age. What usually took 10 years to make an alcoholic could be accomplished in 3 with drugs.

Yet, with God all things are possible, and rescue mission fulfils an urgent need, standing in the gap.  The social agencies act too slowly and with a bureaucracy that sometimes makes matters worse. It is also far more cost effective than to involve the social agencies.