Sunday, May 16, 2010
Note: It is hard for me to believe that it has been a year today since I made my first blog post, The Perfect Coffee Mug and the God Who Makes the Impossible Bow. I have so enjoyed this place to share about my life and things God is doing in me and showing me. I can't thank, enough, all of you who have followed it, and all of you who have seeded into my life. I encourage you to continue and to make generous use of the comment feature on the blog—I value what you have to say, and I know that what God has to say through you is of value to others as well. (If you are having trouble making comments you can click HERE for a post I made some time back walking readers through the comment process. If you are just visiting here and have not subscribed your email to receive notifications of new posts I highly recommend it. I know that there are many blogs out there I have good intentions of returning to and often let fade off somewhere, and getting an email that says there is a new post is a blessing to me. You can use the box in the right column to subscribe.)
Yesterday we had a wonderful day at the 15th Annual Oak Shores Kid's Fishing Derby. It is sponsored by Oak Shores Christian Fellowship and is in honor of its founder, Ron McKibben, who loved God, loved kids, and loved fishing. Eighty one kids took part and the weather and the lake (Lake Nacimiento) were perfect.
It was so wonderful to hear Pastor Ed open the derby in prayer and to know that eighty one kids and their families heard thanks lifted to God for His Creation we were about to enjoy, and to hear petitions to God for our safety and enjoyment! God's precious presence was felt there, and I can't say enough how special the atmosphere and day were. Our family was blessed to have our friend Rich Lingor bring his boat over for us to go out on. He helped us fish, and blessed us with his love, patience, and skill.
Bethany caught eight White Bass, a beautiful Catfish, and a really nice Spotted Bass. Abigail had a glorious day, catching 6 White Bass and a prize winning 2.9+ pound Spotted Bass (not to mention winning a really cool pink full-sized fishing pole in the drawing held after the tournament!). Abigail ended up winning the largest bass trophy for the Junior category, and her bass turned out to the largest caught in the whole tournament! Her bass was so big she even placed 3rd overall in the combined weight bass category, competing against others who had caught up to five Spotted Bass total! (The girls actually caught more Spotted Bass, but threw back ones under the 12'' legal size.)
I thank God for the time with my girls, for fellowships like Oak Shores that reach their heart out so generously, for friends like Rich who love our girls and seed in to their lives, and for all of the precious people He has surrounded us with past year who have loved us, had grace for us, encouraged us, and stood beside us. It has been a good year, and a year of deep growing—our first year of homeschooling, the tenth anniversary of my pastoring, our 17th wedding anniversary, a time of wonderful new people coming in to our lives, and a time of pain and hurt as others have left our lives. Through it all, God is good. He is a mighty, awesome, all powerful, all loving God who we have clung to often in this year past, and who is forever faithful and never lets go.
Friday, May 14, 2010
A few years ago I had a chance to take a walk along the path beside Morro Rock, in Morro Bay, California. (In 2008 I got to go on a helicopter ride around Morro Rock and I have included a picture of it that I took then.) I remember reading the posted "official" informational signs which talk about millions (or maybe billions, I don't quite remember that exactly) of years and asking God something to the effect of, "Why, when You knew of the amazing scientific advances your creation (man) would be making, and You knew how old those advances would date your work, did You create all this such a short time ago while knowing we would date it in such direct opposition to Your Word?"
I can remember so clearly the thought I had, which I believe was God speaking to me, which said, basically, "Because faith will always be required. I have created it such that there is no middle ground (theistic evolution which says that God started it but evolution took it from there). Man's word/wisdom and My Word/wisdom will stand in such opposition that each and every man (generic "man") will be required to choose who, or what, he will believe and stake his life on."
It was one of those moments that spoke to me so clearly and powerfully because I had been thinking a lot about faith in that season and suddenly I knew that God would require each of us to choose. In this day and season of attack on our faith, man's "wisdom" and God's Word stand so diametrically opposed when it comes to the Creation chapters of Genesis that we are truly forced to decide which we shall believe—and that is a decision about where we will put our faith.
I found our visit with Rick and Susan Oliver (A Blessed Time) to be very refreshing for many reasons—one of them being Rick's repeated returning to the fact that either stand, evolution and an old earth, or Creation and a young earth, require faith.
If we are honest with the evidence and present it all, the evidence for intelligent design is overwhelming. When we observe phenomena such as occurred at Mount St. Helens 30 years ago this month we realize that the foundations of evolutionary theory that require us to embrace long, long ages are faulty. Long time is not required, just powerful forces being applied to the land (i.e. a global flood with the deep opening up, subsequent volcanic activity, and the overwhelming weight alone of the water covering the earth's surface). To the contrary, Rick shares a time when he asked a room of 600 scientists for ONE instance of empirical evidence for evolution (according to one dictionary, the word "empirical" denotes information gained by means of observation, experience, or experiment). They could not give him one.
Can we prove that God created the world, and that He did it in six days not too long ago? No. Can evolutionists prove that there has been any evolution across kinds? No. They are both beliefs and both require faith. But, when we get past the bias and the censoring, when we lay all the evidence out and examine it, God's Word stands as a testimony of Creation that has a tremendous scientific base for believing it. Unfortunately, most of our children are not able to hear about the full scope of evidence and the latest developments in math and science that are undermining evolution's pillars, and strengthening the pillars of Creation.
Does this matter? Is this important? Yes! More than we may even realize! The societal, cultural, and ultimately eternal implications of the two theories are staggering. The value of life, the meaning of life, the purpose of life, the existence of God, the nature of God, and eternal life itself are foundationaly and radically different with each theory. It is absolutely critical, beyond measure, that we believe God's Word to be true as we stake our life (now and forever) on it, and the early chapters of Genesis have been one of the dominate places Satan has attacked our confidence in God's Word over these last centuries.
We are in a war for our faith and for the eternal souls of our children and neighbors, and evolution is one of the primary swords of the enemy. If we doubt Genesis 1:1 today, what else in the Bible will we or our children doubt tomorrow? The thing is, there is no reason to doubt the Genesis account. We just need to be aware of the full scope of evidence out there and we will see that it is, indeed, truly worthy of our full faith and commitment.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
In this day and age when our faith, and God's Word, are increasingly under attack, we had a most amazing and refreshing privilege over these last few days. Some friends of ours, Rick and Susan Oliver of Confound the Wise Ministries, came and stayed with us from Saturday until Tuesday. You can visit Rick's web site at www.confoundthewise.org, and you can read a post (Fossils, Fishing, and Faith) I made almost a year ago about their last visit at our home by clicking here.
Rick's testimony is amazing. In a nutshell, he has a PhD in Evolutionary Biology, plus Masters Degrees in both Geology and Education. He was once an avid, aggressive atheist and anti-Christian and Creation. His world got rocked at Mount St. Helens 30 years ago this May 18th when he was almost killed in the eruption and he saw, starting then and continuing for the next 7 years, things happening in minutes, hours, days, and months that he had been told and taught (and even taught himself) required millions and billions of years. The massive, instantaneous layers of sedimentation; the erosion of canyons; the fossilization and coalification of natural objects, the total inaccuracy of accepted dating methods; etc. all began for him a 7-year journey that led him to Christ. He struggled then, as a Christian, trying to match science and faith, beginning as a theistic evolutionist—one who believes God started it but then let evolution do the rest. Eventually he moved to the place where he is now—a young earth Creationist fully convinced of the truth of God's Word and of its literal account of a 6-day Creation.
Rick founded the Outdoor Science program at Mount Hermon, but a couple of years back felt God calling him and Susan to leave the comfort and stability of that job to travel and teach, as a scientist, about the FULL evidence we must examine if we are to accurately decide if Creation or evolution is true. Today Rick and Susan are seeing tremendous fruit in their ministry as hearts are refreshed and equipped and turned back to God and His Word as people are fully equipped and come to realize that God's Word is true, defendable, and literal. As Rick says, "I am not here to bash scientists. I am a scientist." From that place he then shares the full scope of evidence out there and, I can assure you, it is overwhelmingly in favor of Creation. In fact, were the full truth to be told, evolution is on its last legs as pillar after pillar of its tenets are crumbling under the application of math and the latest scientific advances. (I encourage you to check out Rick's web site for blogs from the road and lists of places he is speaking. You would be truly blessed to meet him and Susan, who is, herself, an amazing woman of God with so much to offer.)
I can not express how wonderful it was to share our home with the Olivers. It is so refreshing to be reminded of how true God's Word is, and it is just wonderful to be surrounded with Godly fellowship (not to mention their appreciation of our strong coffee!). My folks were even here for the first evening the Olivers were, and we were able to enjoy a bountiful BBQ in a day early celebration of Mother's Day for Mary Ann, my mom, and Susan. That evening we were able to watch one of Rick's DVDs with him right there to expand on it for us, and Sunday morning he shared with our fellowship what our fellowship's support has meant to them and some of the fruit of their ministry. We again fellowshiped Sunday afternoon and evening, and Monday morning we got our own, private homeschool class with Rick! Monday evening we invited one and all to come to our home for a time of visiting with Rick and Susan and of asking questions, and 18 of us (representing three churches) gathered in our living room for over three hours listening to Rick share, asking questions, and just enjoying this couple. They pulled out Tuesday morning on the next leg of their journey, sharing at churches in California, Oregon, and Washington in the coming weeks ahead. They left refreshed, and we remain here refreshed—it was a wonderful time for all.
I will try and blog in the next few days about some of the things I learned, or was reminded of, that affected me, but for now I wanted to share a slice of our life with you and encourage you to check out their ministry.
Note: If you ever doubt the level of opposition to God's message as declared in His Word, you may want to read the May 12 blog post by Albert Mohler, All Roads Lead to Heaven? — Kathleen Parker Does Theology.