Saturday, June 23, 2018

MYSTERIES OF LIFE:



I have this video conundrum on my website. Have a look.       https://www.pawsforlovemystery.com/mysteries     (This is what you'll see.  Put a blindfold on someone, take them to a park or a beach or a meadow and ask them to walk for as long as they can in a straight line. Then watch what happens) 

There are so many things in life we can't explain or understand. Like when you go shopping at Walmart on what seems like a slow day. Few cars in the parking lot, lots of available shopping carts...yet when you get in line to pay  every cashier has ten people in front of you. 🤷🏼‍♀️    I would include the "mystery" of bees on that same can't explain list. 

https://creation.com/dancing-bees.   


.
The top row shows the dance pattern which the bee performs to tell others in the hive the distance and direction to find the new food source.


Life is full of inexplicable and contradictory moments. But when I think of the blindfolded person trying to walk a straight line my brain immediately responded. When we have in our sights the mountain top of Christ we our guided in the right direction. Sure, along the way there will be the rain storms and earthquakes of life causing us to go off course a bit, but in the end we still make it to our destination. Eternity  in the New Heaven and the New Earth.  However, if we are blinded, distracted or ignore the mountaintop because of the things in this world then when the rainstorms and earthquakes of life hit we become disoriented. We think we know better, and besides that mountaintop seems so far away. We think, wouldn't it just be easier to make our own path whether its circuitous or not?  
I pray you won't walk in circles through life like the blindfolded man in the video, but you will set your sights on that thing that holds eternal value and will always set your paths straight. 


Proverbs 3:5-6 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.



Romans 1:20 

20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

22 Reasons Jesus Rose From The Dead


22 Reasons Jesus Rose From The Dead





A. He predicted he would rise from the dead
Because he was the Son of God, he knew about his coming death in Jerusalem. But he also knew about his resurrection. In John 2:19-22 he said that he would be raised in three days—although the disciples did not understand it at the time. In John 10:17-18 he plainly said he had the power to lay down his own life and then to take it back up again. At the moment when Peter declared, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus told his disciples for the first time that he must go to Jerusalem, that he would be put to death, and that he would be raised to life on the third day (Matthew 16:21).
Anyone can predict his own resurrection; only the Son of God can fulfill such a prediction.
B. Jesus really died
The Romans were experts at killing. Everything they did to a victim was calculated to make him suffer unbearable pain and then to die an agonizing death. No one could have survived what Jesus suffered. He was dead when they took him down from the cross.
C. His body was embalmed and then buried
Jewish burial customs of that day involved a complex mixture of spices and resin that, when placed between the layers of the graveclothes hardened to produce an impenetrable shell. The primary purpose, of course, was to keep robbers and animals out, but in this case it has the additional purpose of keeping the dead man inside. It also prevented unpleasant odors from spreading. The total weight of the winding cloth with the spices and resins would be 75-100 pounds.
The evangelists note that Jesus’ body was taken down and hurriedly prepared for burial in the last few moments before sundown since Jewish law forbade touching a dead body on the Sabbath. He was buried in a newly-dug tomb provided by Joseph of Arimathea. He and Nicodemus, along with the women, prepared the dead body for burial. Afterwards Pilate ordered the tomb sealed and then placed a squad of soldiers in front of the stone as a precaution against mischief of any kind.
Although it is not often noticed, the gospel writers actually give quite a few details regarding the handling of the body and the preparation for burial. The only possible conclusion must be that Jesus was in fact actually dead on Friday evening.
D. The disciples didn’t expect a resurrection
In my mind this is one of the most telling points. Even though Jesus had repeatedly predicted his resurrection, somehow that truth simply failed to sink in. Either they didn’t understand it, or they didn’t want to think about what it implied (Jesus’ death), or they forgot it in the emotion of watching him die. All four gospels make it clear that before the crucifixion, none of the disciples understood Jesus’ references to the resurrection.
E. The women saw him first
In our modern culture we don’t appreciate the significance of the fact that the women came first to the tomb. No first-century fiction writer would have put the women at the tomb first because women weren’t considered reliable witnesses. The only reason to say that the women saw him first is because that’s what actually happened. No one would have made up such a strange detail.
F. No one believed it at first
Not only did the disciples not expect a resurrection, Luke 24 makes it clear that the men didn’t believe the first reports from the women. Discounting them as unreliable, they decided to check the tomb for themselves. Remember, the disciples went into hiding after Friday because they feared for their own safety. They last thing they expected on Sunday morning was a resurrection. In the beginning, it wasn’t just Thomas who doubted. None of them believed the early reports and all of them had to be convinced over and over again that Jesus had risen from the dead.
G. The Jews tried to cover it up
Why try to cover up the resurrection if the body is still in the grave? The cover-up and the payoff only make sense if the tomb really was empty. Otherwise, they just trot out the dead body of Jesus and the resurrection becomes just another story with a bad ending.
H. The stone was rolled away
Josh McDowell goes into this at some length. First, the stone itself was three to six feet in diameter and weighed two to five tons. It took several strong men to roll it into place. Second, the New Testament uses several prepositions that indicate that the stone was not just rolled away; someone picked it up and physically moved it. Third, the seal on the stone could only be broken by a Roman official. Anyone else caught breaking the seal would be put to death.
Who rolled the stone away? The disciples? The Roman guards would have stopped them. The Jews? Same thing. The Romans? Not likely. They had no motivation. And who would risk death to do such a thing?
Who rolled the stone away? God did, because he’s the one who raised Jesus from the dead.
I. The angels testified to the resurrection
To the Jews angels always signified a special message from God. In the Old Testament angels were sent by God to announce very important events. In this case the angels announced the most important event of all time—the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
J. The graveclothes were still in place
When John wrote his version of the Sunday morning events, he includes the fascinating note that when he and Peter entered the tomb, they found the graveclothes lying in place with the linen head cloth folded next to it. Evidently the spices and resins had hardened into the shape of Jesus’ body, leaving the appearance of a cocoon after the butterfly has escaped. How do you explain that fact? Grave robbers would have taken the body without unwrapping it or they would have unwrapped it and thrown the winding sheets to the side. No one steals a body and then rewraps the graveclothes.
I believe that when Jesus rose from the dead he literally passed right through the graveclothes leaving behind the linen wrappings just as John and Peter found them.
K. The tomb was empty
It’s interesting to note that all the contemporary witnesses agree on this fact. The disciples, the Jews, and the Romans all knew that the tomb was empty. It’s true that each group viewed that fact differently but no one disputed the basic assertion that on Easter Sunday morning Jesus was no longer in the tomb.
L. No one ever found his body
Again we come back to the fundamental issue. The Jews never produced his body. In fact, they concocted the first Easter conspiracy precisely because they didn’t know what happened to it. The Romans went along with the conspiracy because they didn’t know what happened either. If anyone—anyone at all—had produced the dead body of Jesus, the entire Christian movement would have gone the way of so many other short-lived religions across the centuries.
No one has ever found the body of Jesus and no one ever will. The skeptics simply can’t answer the question, “What happened to his body?”
M. He appeared to many people
Taking the gospels together with 1 Corinthians, you get a list like this: First to the women, then to Peter and John, then the disciples on the road to Emmaus, then to the disciples in the Upper Room, then to the disciples and Thomas one week later, then to the disciples in Galilee. And somewhere along the way he appeared to 500 people at once. There were other appearances as well that we cannot date precisely.
Taken together, the list is impressive enough that it cannot be cavalierly dismissed as wishful thinking. Writing some 30 years later, Paul commented that most of those who saw the risen Christ were still alive and ready to testify to what they had seen.
N. He showed his wounds to Doubting Thomas
When Jesus appeared to Thomas a week after the resurrection he offered the ultimate apologetic proof. Spreading forth his hands, he said, “Touch my wounds. See for yourself.” When Thomas saw the wounds, he knew at last that it must be true.
O. He ate with the disciples
Luke 24:42, 43 tells us that Jesus ate broiled fish in the presence of the disciples. A ghost doesn’t eat fish. Neither does a dead man.
Ghosts don't eat fish.
P. He stayed with them for 40 days
Forty days is a long time. If Jesus had only appeared once or twice, we might be tempted to discount it as a hopeful vision. But Jesus “showed himself alive” according to Acts 1:1-3 by “many infallible proofs.” He stayed long enough to convince all his followers that he had indeed come back from the dead.
Q. The disciples were utterly transformed
Here is one of the most remarkable facts surrounding the resurrection. Whereas before that Sunday the disciples were unsure, timid, doubting, and in general a lackluster bunch, afterwards to a man they were utterly, radically and completely transformed. They were quite literally new men. Suddenly these timid souls became first-century Billy Grahams, totally dedicated to spreading the good news to anyone who would listen. Persecution didn’t stop them, opposition didn’t faze them, hatred didn’t intimidate them, hardship didn’t slow them down, the threat of martyrdom didn’t intimidate them.
To a man they became dynamos of Christian evangelism. In the words of the Bible, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. These were the men who turned the world upside down.
What made the difference? I submit that the only possible answer is that these men met the risen Christ and he changed their lives forever.
R. The early Christians all believed he had been raised
This is nothing more than a simple historical observation. All the early Christians—without exception—believed that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. The Jewish Christians believed, but so did the Gentiles. Wherever the gospel went, it produced converts who joined in proclaiming the risen Christ.
S. The resurrection was the centerpiece of their preaching
It’s interesting to read the accounts of the early Christian sermons from the book of Acts. They all centered on the truth of Jesus’ resurrection. We today tend to focus more on the death of Christ. But it was not so in the beginning. The first Christians understood that without the resurrection, the crucifixion had no meaning.
T. They died testifying to the reality of the resurrection
Church history tells us that of the eleven original disciples (not counting Judas) plus Paul, all died violent deaths for their faith in Jesus. The one exception was John, who spent his final years imprisoned on the island of Patmos. Beyond that, thousands of Christians died in the various Roman persecutions.
Why would men and women die for a myth or a legend? Why would the apostles die for Christ if they knew he had not risen from the dead?
U. For 2,000 years no one has produced a convincing answer to the question, “If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, what happened to his body?”
This is the ultimate unanswered question. Where is the body of Jesus? No one throughout 2,000 years of history has provided a credible answer to that question. In fact, I will go so far as to state that no one ever will. I’ve been to the Holy Land and I can tell you that you can start in the north and dig to the south or start in the east and dig to the west. You’ll find bones everywhere you dig. But you won’t find the bones of Jesus because they aren’t there.
V. Today over one billion Christians unite to proclaim that Jesus Christ is alive
This morning we join with Christians around the world to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. We stand in a long line of believers who proclaim with the angel, “He is not here, for he is risen, just as he said.”

(Taken from:   http://www.keepbelieving.com/sermon/1996-04-07-The-Easter-Conspiracy/)

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Age of the Earth



       My sister has taken up the challenge of leading a bible study on the "young earth" theory. It is a challenge I do not envy, because it is fraught with a lot of scientific facts, which seem to require a doctorate in physics or biology to completely understand. Having said that, its easy to be childlike and simply take the bible at face value.  "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Genesis 1:31   However, if you wish to challenge yourself (or non-believers if given the opportunity) with a myriad of facts proving our world really is young, i.e. approximately 6,000 years, then check out this article https://creation.com/age-of-the-earth to see 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe.



"Many indicators for younger ages were discovered when creationist scientists started researching things that were supposed to ‘prove’ long ages. The lesson here is clear: when the evolutionists throw up some new challenge to the Bible’s timeline, don’t fret over it. Sooner or later that supposed evidence will be turned on its head and will even be added to this list of evidences for a younger age of the earth. On the other hand, some of the evidences listed here might turn out to be ill-founded with further research and will need to be modified. Such is the nature of science, especially historical science, because we cannot do experiments on past events (see “It’s not science”).
Science is based on observation, and the only reliable means of telling the age of anything is by the testimony of a reliable witness who observed the events. The Bible claims to be the communication of the only One who witnessed the events of Creation: the Creator himself. As such, the Bible is the only reliable means of knowing the age of the earth and the cosmos. See The Universe’s Birth Certificate and Biblical chronogenealogies (technical). In the end we believe that the Bible will stand vindicated and those who deny its testimony will be confounded." 








Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ALL SEATS PROVIDE EQUAL VIEWING OF THE UNIVERSE



Have you ever been to a planetarium show? It's usually held in a circular theater where everyone sits in a chair that leans back so as to have a comfortable view of the projected sky above. It doesn't mater where one sits, all seats provide a great view. This is good advise for Christians. In Ephesians 2:6 it says, "And God raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus". We are, as Christians, already seated in a perfect place. We don't have to strain to look, or yearn for a better seat or view, we're already there.

Psalm 8:3-5 When I consider your heavens, the works 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? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.

I don't know about you, but when I walk outside on a starry night I am always amazed at the wonder of the Lord's creation -- the stars, the moons, the planets. We bought ourselves high powered binoculars last Christmas. The first time I took them outside, and set them upon a tripod for stability, and looked up at the moon, I was awestruck. I could actually see the moons craters.
It made me take pause, and for a moment I couldn't even breath for the sheer wonderment of seeing something with the naked eye. I mean, it's nice to be able to view our universe on TV shows or the internet, but seeing it first hand is so much more inspiring. I wonder if that's how it will be the first time we meet Jesus? Will we run to him like a long lost friend? Will we revere Him by falling to our knees, or we will simply stare in awestruck admiration and love?  Who knows, but isn't it a totally mind-blowing thought? I mean as cool as it is to see craters on the moon, or spy the rings of Jupiter through a large reflective lens, remember, you are merely looking at a tiny portion of Gods creativity and ability. That's why we should look, think, and fearfully worship him. Not in an -- I'm scared to death kind of way -- but in a full of awe and reverence kind of way. 

So, next time you look up at the night sky or sit back to watch a planetarium show, remember who made and placed all of those sparkling beauties in the universe. And then remember, Psalm 139:14  "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well". Humans are not a product of chance or haphazard construction as some evolutionary biologist will have you believe. We were His plan from the beginning of creation. We were made to bear His image -- in mind, will, and emotion. That is, He gave us knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. What we do with it is up to us.

Pretend you are an astronaut looking back at earth from just past the gravitational pull. Your spaceship then begins to move away...farther...farther. Past Neptune and far in to the Milky Way where you pause to look back at our planet. How small it looks, it's a mere sparkly blip. Kind of makes you feel insignificant, doesn't it? Here's the catch, we aren't. We are greater than any moon, or star, or universe combined. Hard to believe, I know. But every hair on our head is far more valuable than any stellar nebula.


Luke 12:7  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Every one of us is a sparkling star who will shine brighter the more we know and trust the Lord. Shine on friends, shine on.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Thank you CMI  (Creative Ministries International) for all of your valuable insight into biblical questions many of us ask. 

HAPPY EASTER. HE HAS RISEN! 

Why did Jesus wear a crown of thorns?

thorns
Published: 25 March 2016 (GMT+10)
In Genesis 3:17–19 we read;
And to Adam he [God] said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
The thorns and thistles introduced in Genesis 3 pose significant problems for Christians who do not take Genesis as real history, as it is intended.
In God’s originally perfect creation Adam and Eve, when created on Day Six, were placed in the Garden of Eden. Here, they were given one commandment; they were not to eat from ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ (Genesis 2:17). In the above verses from Genesis 3, after Adam and Eve had disobeyed God’s command, thus bringing sin and death into the world (Romans 5:12), God explained to them some of the fuller consequences and effects of their sin: the Curse. The Curse was not merely imposed upon them, but upon all creation, over which they had been given dominion.1 Contained within this Curse is a specific reference to the introduction of thorns and thistles into the now fallen creation. In the immediate context—that is, Adam and Eve and the predicament they now found themselves in—“Adam’s sin has spoiled his environment, and it suffers along with him”.2 As Henry Morris wrote, “The earth which had previously cooperated readily as the man tilled and dressed it (Genesis 2:5-15), now became reluctant to yield his food. Instead it began to yield thorns and noxious weeds, requiring toil and sweat and tears before man could eat of it.”3 The effects of the thorns and thistles have continued from that day to now, as any farmer or gardener well knows.4 Before the Fall and Curse, all would have worked together in perfect harmony. Adam could have taken pleasure watching plants grow with ease and producing an abundant source of food. However, what would have been a joy-filled task for Adam in the Garden of Eden now became laborious, requiring toil and struggle.

Curse incompatible with millions of years

Caleb Salisbury
Thorns-fossil
Christians who believe God’s infallible Word (no thorns before sin) cannot also believe in man’s fallible ‘word’ (millions of years of thorns before people).
The thorns and thistles introduced in Genesis 3 pose significant problems for Christians who do not take Genesis as real history, as it is intended. If, as long-age secular geologists claim, the earth took billions of years of slow and gradual processes to reach its current form, then we have to conclude that thorns found in the fossil record are also millions of years old. This would mean that thorns, and death, must have come before Adam’s sin and long before any human being arrived on planet earth. This is obviously problematic and leads to a re-interpretation of the plain reading of the biblical text through imposing the fallible ideas of man on to the text instead. In contrast, thorns in the fossil record are not a problem for biblical creationists, who believe the majority of the fossil record resulted from Noah’s Flood, which destroyed the earth as it then was. This catastrophic event happened more than 1,500 years after sin entered the world, so biblical creationists would not be surprised to find thorns in the fossil record. Rather, it would be very consistent with the natural chronology of the Bible.

Symbolism of thorns in Scripture

The crown of thorns vividly symbolized the curse of sin being placed on Jesus’s head. It immediately takes the reader back to Genesis, reminding us of why Jesus went to the cross, to take the penalty for sin on our behalf.
As well as thorns and thistles being a very real physical component to the cursed world that we all now live in, they carry further symbolic negative overtones throughout the Bible, firmly pointing back to the Curse in Genesis. Their symbolic meaning also creates problems for those who do not read Genesis as a true historical account, as the negative biblical overtones associated with thorns and thistles are integral to their historical origin at the time of the Curse. Without the connection to their historical origin, their symbolic meaning becomes empty and vague.
The numerous references to thorns and thistles5 throughout the Bible remind us of the historical Original Sin and Curse that followed. The negative biblical overtones associated with thorns and thistles after Genesis 3:18 are demonstrated in their representation as obstacles, punishment, or serving as a reminder of sin and its consequences. For example:
  • In Numbers 33:55, God warned the Israelites that if they did not drive out the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, allowing them to remain, the Canaanites would be an obstacle to them. They would be, “thorns in your sides”. Proverbs 15:19 again uses the imagery of thorns as obstacles, saying, “The way of the sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.”
  • In Isaiah 34:13, when God is speaking of the consequences of His judgment on the land of Edom, thorns feature as part of their punishment: “Thorns shall grow over its strongholds, nettles and thistles in its fortresses. It shall be the haunt of jackals, an abode for ostriches.”
  • The New Testament also uses thorns and thistles in reference to the inner workings of the worldly heart, corrupted by sin. In the parable of the sower, Matthew 13:3–8, some seeds “fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them” (v. 7). Also, the outward expression of that worldly heart which apostatizes from Christ is likened to a barren wasteland, which, “if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned” (Hebrews 6:8).

Jesus’ thorny crown

The ultimate fulfilment of the symbolism that thorns and thistles have in the Bible is found in Matthew 27:29:
“[A]nd twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ ”
Here the governor’s soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head, to mock him as the King of the Jews. Oh, if only they had known both what they were doing and the symbolism that their actions entailed! Thorns were not present in the original very good world, but the Roman soldiers didn’t have any trouble finding thorns to place on Jesus head. Thorns that were a direct result of man’s original sin are now found in abundance in a world that is steeped in sin. What the soldiers unwittingly did was hugely significant. There is nothing random in the Bible; every word that has been written in its pages is significant. The crown of thorns vividly symbolized the curse of sin being placed on Jesus’s head. It immediately takes the reader back to Genesis, reminding us of why Jesus went to the cross, to take the penalty for sin on our behalf.6 He died as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, so that the Curse that God had pronounced upon this earth because of sin, can be removed for those that believe in him, and that ultimately creation itself can be redeemed. “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:20-21). Christ’s actions will blunt every sharply pointed thistle and thorn as well as the other effects of the curse. The Christian can shout, “O death, where is your sting?”7
While the Roman soldiers may have mocked Jesus, just as many others do today, He is indeed the King of Kings, Creator and Lord of this universe. He conquered sin and death through his death and resurrection, so that all those who repent and believe on Him can be saved. This is good news to all people. Amen!