Observations on life; particularly spiritual

Christian

Queen Elizabeth’s funeral service

The State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth's funeral service, Westminster AbbeyExtracts from the Order of Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19 September 2022. The service paid tribute to the Queen’s “remarkable reign and lifetime of service”.

The sentences

Jesus said to her [Martha], “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (Jn. 11:25-26NIV, see Appendix A). (more…)


Sin bin Sunday

NRL players going to the sin bin in Sydney on 11 Sep 2022Yesterday was called “Sin bin Sunday” by the Sydney news media. Seven players were sent to the sin bin (Appendix) in a game for the first time in Australian Rugby League history. (more…)


The logic of cause and effect

A cause is an antecedent, and an effect is a consequentWe live in a cause-and-effect universe. Every effect has a cause. It is common sense. And the scientific method is based on cause and effect. Logic is the study of correct and incorrect reasoning (Appendix A)

If A causes (or implies) B, then A is the cause or antecedent and B is the effect or consequent. This means that A is necessary for B. It can also be referred to as a conditional statement, “if A, then B”. (more…)


Be who were born to be, a child of God

Be who were born to be, a child of GodWhat would your ideal parent be like? This question may feel a bit awkward or even painful to answer, but I invite you to consider it for a moment. If you’re anything like me, your character list of the ideal parent might go something like… caring, gentle, wise, compassionate, capable, stable, fun. Then, if I was really going all out with a wish list I might add powerful, rich and well respected. (more…)


The Frankfurt declaration of Christian and civil liberties

Are we heading towards 1984?People are beginning to wake up to the rise of totalitarianism. Civil liberties and human rights were taken away during the COVID-19 pandemic. This declaration has been prepared by Christian leaders from Europe, America and South Africa.

Christians, against the abuse of power

In the course of human events, it sometimes becomes necessary for people of good faith to speak out against the abuse of power. This should be done only after serious and prayerful deliberation, and even then, in an attitude of humility and with respect for the authorities that have been established by God. Such protest should be expressed in the hope that civil authorities who are found to be eroding rights and liberties may yet fulfill their responsibility as their rightful guardians. (more…)


Jesus put Nazareth on the map

Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox 2007-2016Raised by a single mother in a New York City housing project, Ursula Burns worked hard at school. After graduating from high school, she earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. She worked as an intern at printing company Xerox, before being hired permanently. She rose through the ranks to become CEO in 2007-2016, earning the distinction of being the first black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. So her background didn’t limit her career.

A change in status

Nazareth was a small farming village between the sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea. In about AD 30 when Nathanael was told that Jesus was from Nazareth he asked, “Can anything good come from there” (Jn. 1:46NIV). But why did Nathanael say this? Was Nazareth insignificant, isolated, remote and outside the mainstream of Jewish life? Were most of the people poor? Or was his skepticism, scorn and derision inter-town rivalry –  Nathanael was from Cana (6km north of Nazareth)? (more…)


Lord’s Supper rebuke

Chest pain is the most common warning sign of a heart attackPain is part of our body’s warning system. If you touch something hot, it hurts so you automatically pull away before it does much damage. And chest pain (angina) is the most common warning sign of a heart attack. Pain is an alarm and warning signal to the body. It indicates that something needs our attention.

In 1 Corinthians 11 there is a description of the Lord’s Supper (v.23-26), followed by a rebuke (v.27-32). (more…)


Many scientists believe scientific theories religiously

Many scientists believe the Big Bang model religiously, not scientificallyThis post comes from Dr Jay Wile.

Those who understand the formation of our universe using the Big Bang model are forced to believe that the vast majority of the universe is made up of material about which scientists know absolutely nothing. As shown in the picture, to believe in the Big Bang model today, you must believe that all the matter involved in all the experiments done by all the scientists in history makes up only about 5% of the universe. 72% of the universe is composed of dark energy, a form of energy that was completely unknown until the 1990s and is so far undetectable and not understood at all. The other 23% is made of dark matter, which is matter that we cannot see because of the limitations of our experimental capabilities. Scientists have been trying to detect dark matter for decades, but so far, nothing has been found. (more…)


What the Bible says about nature

Hopetoun falls, Queensland AustraliaNature is made up of atoms and molecules that we can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. It is essential for living, providing such things as air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, and materials to use from farms, mines, forests and factories.

Nature is a part of creation. The definition of some terms used in this article is given in Appendix A. (more…)


Climate totalitarianism

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Repentance – turning around to follow the true God

We had to turn around 180 degrees to reach our destinationIn 2013 a friend and I walked through Glenbrook Gorge in the Blue Mountains to Lapstone Rail Station. I had a map to follow. Outside the gorge we reached a junction, but I didn’t know where we were on the map. So I didn’t know whether the station was towards the left or the right. We walked right towards the north for about 15 minutes and then repented (turned around) because we realised that the station was probably towards the south! We had to turn around 180 degrees to reach our destination. As we wasted at least half an hour because of this mistake, I decided to get a mobile [cell] phone so I could use a GPS like Google maps to show where I was on the map. (more…)


Strangest thing – Jesus will return

Strangest thing - Jesus will returnThe day of reckoning – it’s an exciting moment in the movie or TV show we’re watching. Finally the wrongdoers get exposed, the evil monster is overpowered and defeated, justice is served. It appears to be a universal longing played out in film and television across cultures and time. We also hope for a judgement day in the real world as we watch televised court cases about abusers, big corporations causing harm in the interest of making money, corrupt politicians using their power for personal gain and the actions of despotic dictators. But when it comes to a universal, ultimate day of reckoning we’re not so keen. The Christian doctrine of a final judgement day is often seen as archaic, incompatible with a loving God or just plain laughable. (more…)


Nature Psalms

Earth DayNature includes the air we breathe, the water we drink, the places and wildlife we love. Nature can inspire Christians to praise and worship God. But nature can turn unbelievers from God – there is no mention of God on Earth Day. And unbelievers can see nature as a god that they can become obsessed with.

The psalms were songs used by the Hebrews to praise God. Nature psalms praise the Lord as the creator and sustainer of the physical universe (Estes, 2005). God is separate from nature because He created it. This made Jewish beliefs different to the common beliefs of ancient times that various objects in nature are divine. Just think about the gods of Egypt, Canaan, Greece and Rome. The theological description is that God is “transcendent”, which means He is independent of the creation. But the creation (nature) is also sustained by His mighty power; He sustains “all things by His powerful word” (Heb. 1:3NIV). And the creation (nature) declares (shows) God’s greatness (Ps. 19:1). (more…)


Two scientists who left atheism for Christianity

Rosalind Picard - Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MITThis post is based on two articles by Dr Jay Wile.

Professor Rosalind Picard

Rosalind Picard (1962 – ) is a Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who invented a new branch of computer science called affective computing. Picard was raised an atheist, but converted to Christianity as a young adult. When she was a school student she believed that smart children didn’t need religion. So she promoted atheism and dismissed people who believed in God as uneducated. (more…)


God’s glory for all to see

The Grose Valley, Australia - sculpted by the flood & site of spectacular hikesA look at Psalm 104

I had an uncle who lived at Katoomba, who was an avid bushwalker (hiker) in the Blue Mountains. When I was young, I made a bush walk near our house on a farm. It had a sign at the beginning and included a bridge across a hole I had dug in the ground. Maybe it’s not surprising that bushwalking (hiking) is one of my hobbies. (more…)


Strangest thing – Jesus rose from the dead

Strangest thing – Jesus rose from the deadThe existence of another dimension. A character with the ability to influence and change the physical world without physical force. A powerful evil monster out to kill. These are the elements of a science fiction narrative. But what if there is truth in them?

The message of the Bible is pretty strange. It talks of a spiritual dimension – angels and demons and an all powerful, all knowing God in control of it all. This spiritual dimension is generally unseen by us ordinary humans with our physical eyes. But the Bible records a special time in history when the supernatural burst into the world in the very natural form of a new born baby. Jesus’ birth, life and even His miracles are recorded in numerous ancient historical accounts. Turning water into wine. Healing a paralysed person with only His words. Bringing a man who has been dead for four days back to life. This is not the kind of thing we see outside of science fiction and fantasy. (more…)


The benefits of Christianity

The benefits of ChristianityThe media generally presents a negative picture of Christianity. But what does history tell us?

Despite its humble origins, Christianity has made more changes on earth for good than any other movement or force in history. To get an overview of some of the positive contributions it has made through the centuries, here are a few highlights (Kennedy and Newcombe, 1994): (more…)


Self-examination before the Lord’s Supper

Self-examination before the Lord’s SupperEvery year I have a medical checkup. But do you know about the weekly checkup?

The best description of the Lord’s Supper is in 1 Corinthians 11. It gives two reasons for celebrating it. The first reason was to remember what Jesus has done for us. The second reason is to “proclaim the Lord’s death”. As we partake of the bread and wine, we are declaring the importance of the Lord’s death. That Christ’s death on our behalf provides eternal forgiveness of our sin. (more…)


A warning about the Lord’s Supper

Warning signs of a heart attack

The warning signs of a heart attack include chest pains or tightness, discomfort in other areas of the upper body, shortness of breath, sweating, fatigue, lightheadedness, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting. If you think you are having a heart attack, someone should call emergency services immediately. Did you know that there is also a warning in the Bible about the Lord’s Supper? (more…)


Pray for justice, mercy and peace

Pray for justice, mercy and peaceWhen a maternity hospital is bombed; when a 55 year old woman with multiple sclerosis has to be carried from her home to escape shelling; when a 5 week old baby is shot dead with his family as they try to drive to safety… What words are there?

Whatever our political views, whatever our beliefs or our circumstances, in all of us something cries out in protest against the horror of the vulnerable and innocent people of Ukraine suffering. (more…)


Christians discovered and invented science

Isaac Newton has been described as the greatest scientist of all timeA common view is that there is a perceived conflict between Christianity and science. But this is erroneous because Christians discovered and invented science.

This post is based on a book by Dominic Statham.

Science

Scientists seek to gain knowledge of the laws which govern how the natural world works. They describe these laws rather than explain them. For example, we don’t know what gravity is or why there is attraction between positively and negatively charged particles although we can describe these behaviors. And science can’t tell us where these laws come from. (more…)


Revealed through creation

This is my Father's worldThis post comes from Lisa M Samra of Our Daily Bread.

In the 1901 hymn “This Is My Father’s World” (Appendix), pastor and poet Maltbie Babcock wrote of the delight he felt on his frequent outdoor walks, where he was captivated by breathtaking panoramic vistas. Writing of his fascination with the skies, seas, and creatures, he described sensing God’s presence and concluded, “He speaks to me everywhere”.

Although creation doesn’t have an audible voice, as His handiwork it’s one important way we learn about the One who “made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them” (Acts 14:15). In creation we see evidence of God’s glory (Ps. 19:1), as well as aspects of who God is, such as His “eternal power and divine nature” (Rom. 1:20). (more…)


Distant starlight and the biblical timeframe

The Bible makes it clear that the creation of the heavenly bodies was just as miraculous as the creation of the first peopleThis post comes from Dr Don Batten of Creation Ministries International.

The following question is often directed to Christians, ‘How can you believe in a straightforward biblical time-frame and explain distant starlight?’

The ‘problem’ is formulated thus:

  • The biblical time-frame is about 6,000 years since creation (“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”, Gen. 1:1)
  • There are stars that are millions and billions of light years distant that we can see. Travelling at the speed of light, the light from those stars would take millions or billions of years to travel to Earth, depending on the distance, so that we can see them.

(more…)


Natural selection is the opposite of Darwinian evolution

Natural selection can be proven to be true by the definition of the wordsThis post comes from Dr Jason Lisle of the Biblical Science Institute.

Natural selection is often claimed to be the mechanism by which Darwinian evolution occurs. And yet the scientific evidence shows that natural selection is actually the opposite of evolution.

What is Natural Selection?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines natural selection as “a natural process that results in the survival and reproductive success of individuals or groups best adjusted to their environment and that leads to the perpetuation of genetic qualities best suited to that particular environment.” Other dictionaries and biology textbooks also support this definition. Basically, natural selection is the principle that organisms that have traits well-suited to their environment tend to survive and reproduce in greater numbers than organisms with traits that are not well-suited to their environment. In extreme cases, the organisms that are less suited to their environment are driven to extinction. (more…)