In the beginning, God did not create Pokémon!

In the beginning, God did not create Pokémon!

Lately, “Pokémon Go” has captured the hearts (and minds) of children (and adults) around the world. In just the first 30 days since its release, the Pokémon Company has garnered approximately $250,000,000 in gross revenue.* With its first 30 days behind it, Pokémon Go is now bringing in almost $2,000,000/day, with an additional 170,000 app downloads daily (more players = more revenue).*

How does that happen? Almost 30% of players (and some businesses) have spent money on in-app purchases to either gain weapons, store “inventory,” or attract other players (companies can pay to be a Pokémon stop, hide-out, or to house rare Pokémon in an effort to attract people to their business).

As an avid i-phone game player, I don’t get the attraction of Pokémon Go – an “augmented reality game.” However, it is apparently an attraction to almost 10 million people who are active daily in the app.*

My question, or challenge to all of us then, is how do we attract this kind of following to God?

I’ve done a lot of research on Bible Apps and religious games that are available, and have never found one that is as engrossing as Pokémon Go is to the general public. You may not be an app developer, but if you can come up with an idea for a “Jesus-mon Go!” app, there are enough people out there that have the resources and expertise to support it.

It’s our job, as given by Jesus in the Great Commission to bring people to Jesus. Somehow the Pokémon Company has done it. Let’s learn from what they did, and create something for Jesus. Let’s get people out there looking for Jesus, and not Pokémon.

*Data taken from a variety of un-verified (but trusted) internet sources.  Pokémon, Pokémon Go, and The Pokémon Company are probably all registered trademarks or some other legal term of the respective owners, … and other legal jargon required…

Unknown #4

Unknown #4 – Dinosaurs in Biblical times? Yes!

Yes, Dinosaurs did exist (the scientists got this one right).

God speaks in Job 40:15-18 (NIV) about a “Behemoth” as follows:

15 “Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox.
16 What strength it has in its loins, what power in the muscles of its belly!
17 Its tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,its limbs like rods of iron.

Later in Job 41:1, 8-34 (NIV) a “Leviathan” is also described:

1“Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope?   . . .
If you lay a hand on it, you will remember the struggle and never do it again!
Any hope of subduing it is false;  the mere sight of it is overpowering.
10 No one is fierce enough to rouse it.Who then is able to stand against me?
11 Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.

12 “I will not fail to speak of Leviathan’s limbs,its strength and its graceful form.
13 Who can strip off its outer coat?  Who can penetrate its double coat of armor?
14 Who dares open the doors of its mouth,ringed about with fearsome teeth?
15 Its back has rows of shields tightly sealed together;
16 each is so close to the next that no air can pass between.
17 They are joined fast to one another;they cling together and cannot be parted.
18 Its snorting throws out flashes of light;  its eyes are like the rays of dawn.
19 Flames stream from its mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.
20 Smoke pours from its nostrils as from a boiling pot over burning reeds.
21 Its breath sets coals ablaze,and flames dart from its mouth.
22 Strength resides in its neck;dismay goes before it.
23 The folds of its flesh are tightly joined;they are firm and immovable.
24 Its chest is hard as rock,hard as a lower millstone.
25 When it rises up, the mighty are terrified;they retreat before its thrashing.
26 The sword that reaches it has no effect,nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.
27 Iron it treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood.
28 Arrows do not make it flee; sling stones are like chaff to it.
29 A club seems to it but a piece of straw;it laughs at the rattling of the lance.
30 Its undersides are jagged potsherds,leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
31 It makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 It leaves a glistening wake behind it;one would think the deep had white hair.
33 Nothing on earth is its equal—a creature without fear.
34 It looks down on all that are haughty;  it is king over all that are proud.”

Some people have argued that these verses describe an alligator, hippopotamus, elephant, or even a whale. This is a pretty good comparison of Job and living creatures of today. But if you recall from Job 40:17, the first animal God is describing has a tail that sways like a cedar. One could presume that a cedar tree was quite small during Biblical times, except when one recounts the following passages:

Psalm 92:12 – The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon

Isaiah 2:13 – for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan,

Amos 2:9a – … I destroyed the Amorites before them, though they were tall as the cedars and strong as the oaks.

Because cedars (even then) were described as extremely tall, I don’t agree that any current day animals compare to the animal described in Job 40 as the Behemoth.  The Leviathan described in Job 41:18-21 has flames coming from its mouth. I don’t know of any current day animal that fits this description either, except for dragons which don’t exist today (did they in Biblical times? It sounds like it).

So, why is this important. Well, if God used these creatures as a comparison to Job, it would stand to reason that God believed Job had knowledge of them. Whether they were called dinosaurs, dragons, behemoths, or leviathans, man apparently knew of their existence and stature. Does this mean scientists were wrong about man and dinosaurs co-existing? It’s possible.

Moral: Don’t believe everything science tells you. (After all, there used to be 9 planets, now there are only 8).

By the way, these 2 animals are also referenced elsewhere in the Bible such as Isaiah 27:1, Job 3:8, Psalm 74:14, and Psalm 104:26.

Do you have more faith than your atheist friend? I think not!

Today, I was listening to a posting on Facebook (yeah, I know, not necessarily the most academic place to learn). However, an evangelist posted a video in response to an atheist about creationism vs evolution.

The video is in response to those who try to debunk creationism with the supposition that it requires faith to believe in creation. However, as the video points out, the “theory of evolution” is just that – a theory. That means it cannot be proven. Theory is based on observation and experimentation. However, because evolution has never been observed, it cannot be a basis for a theory. No one has ever observed evolution in the sense it is used to apply to the beginning of our world. Only Charles Darwin ever observed what might have been micro-evolution with finches on the Galapagos Island (which was really more of natural selection). HOWEVER, this supposed evolution may have also been evidence of various species of birds, not evolution , as some scientists of his times have reported.

It is even noted that Charles Darwin never once denied the existence of God. He was more known as agnostic, although he was somewhat active in the church, including having church on his private property. Furthermore, he admitted in his own books that if evolution was true, that fossil evidence should be found, which of course, has not been. He found a limited number of fossils which led him to believe in natural selection, but purely admits that the small amount he found is hardly enough to even establish a theory, much less prove one.

So, if we can’t observe evolution, then it requires faith to believe it.

In fact, modeling the theory of evolution:

1) chaos on earth

2) big boom

3) life springs forward

… would result in the following effect: watching a tornado pass through a junk yard and then at the far end, see that in all the chaos of the wind and garbage being blown about, that a well-oiled complex 747 airplane was put together ready for flight after all the destruction. Ok, if we want to be honest, maybe only a 1 seater was thrown together by the tornado, and then it slowly, over millions of years (as the theory goes) turned into a 747 with more garbage and tornadoes hitting it. Sounds like non-sense to me. But people who believe it sure do have faith in it! And I believe it takes more faith to believe that, then it does God!

The Glory and Mystery of it all

Many of you know that I am in the middle of finishing our downstairs basement. During the contracting process last year to build our house, we made the decision to leave our basement unfinished to save money. And I believe we have saved lots of money by doing the work ourselves.

As I continue to work through the rooms – designing, wiring, framing, and finishing the walls, I have discovered a revelation. Without blueprints, it’s hard to know what to do, where, and when. Although I have the general layout for each room complete, the minor details of where to place light switches, electrical outlets, and built in shelving continues to slow down my progress. We have even changed our mind several times on which section is the priority downstairs. And I’ve changed my mind on where to put outlets, and which circuits they’ll be on. I’ve thought, and rethought how I’ll design the ceilings. The list is endless on the changes and delays we have incurred.

And then it hit me….

I’m only doing a basement! So far, it’s taken me about 6 months (granted real work time is more like 2-3 weeks, however….)

Look at what God did in 6 days! “And on the 7th day, God rested1

Wow, He visualized, designed, and created all that we have; all that we are; all that we will ever be by Himself. And then he has continued to carry out His plan, without diverting from it. He decided thousands of years ago that He would design a world where we can have free will to make choices, a world that He knew would be infiltrated by sin (because of our choices), and a world where He knew that He would have to send His only Son to die in order to save sinners like me, even though I’m nobody. Why?

Because He loves us. He first loved us, and always will.2 Why does He do it? That’s the glory and mystery of it all!

 

1 – “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” – Genesis 2:2 (NIV)

2 – “We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19 (NIV); :neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:39 (NIV)

Evolution vs God

During our Wednesday night church services, we have been taking an Apologetics course.  Apologetics is commonly defined as justifying a certain belief (often religious) through systematic use of reason.

Instead of watching your nightly sitcom or news program tonight, I ask that you take the time to watch this video.  Sure, it’s a little lengthy – I won’t apologize for it, (yes, pun intended, sorry).  However, if you’ll give it just 5 minutes of your time, I think you’ll want to watch all of it.

It’s amazing what people really think about Evolution and WHY they think it.

One of the most illogical beliefs you will hear in this video is from an Associate Professor with a Phd from UCLA: “the problem with those who are unable to see evolution, I think is they don’t have imaginations.” Another Phd said “human beings are fish.” I’m not sure that these scientists are using reason.

Decide for yourself: Click below for “Evolution vs God”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0u3-2CGOMQ

(Mobile device users may have to copy URL link, or search youtube for “Evolution vs God”)

 

in the beginning…

As Kimberly studies astronomy this week, the “Big Bang theory” has come up in conversation. Therefore, I think it’s only appropriate then to discuss what happened one day . . .

One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell God that they were done with Him.

The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we’ve decided that we no longer need You. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don’t You just go on and get lost.”

God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the scientist was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this? Let’s say we have a man-making contest?”

To which the scientist replied, “Okay, great!”

But God added, “Now, we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.”

The scientist said, “Sure, no problem,” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.

God looked at him and said, “No, no, no! You go get your own dirt!”

You see . . .

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1)

There was no “big bang.” There was God! Nothing more or less. God created every bit of it. Astronomers claim that some kind of “forces” were present and that protons and electrons just haphazardly hit each other creating this world we have. If that’s the case, why don’t more protons and electrons keep hitting each other creating more big bangs?  Hmmm?  Maybe they just didn’t get it right!?!?! 

I’m interested in finding out whether a professor of astronomy can believe in God…  What do you think?


want to go camping with God?

As I prepare physically to go camping with the guys tonight, I stop to ask the question: Do you think God ever goes camping?

Maybe you think this is an odd question. Since God owns everything on earth, and is everywhere all the time, then “camping” may not be an appropriate word to describe what God may or may not do….

So why do I bring up the topic? Psalm 15 asks:

1 Lord, who can live in your sacred tent?

The Scripture clearly states “tent” (in the translation shown).

With this is mind, it reminds me of camping. However, many translations use the word “sanctuary” which I believe may be more appropriate in context to describe a place where one can feel closer to God. Yet, I do feel much closer to nature and closer to God while camping, and experiencing His great creation.

But what is the answer to the question? Who can dwell with the Lord in His greatness? The Scripture continues with a second question, and the answer to both:

      Who can stay on your holy hill?

 2 Anyone who lives without blame
      and does what is right.
   He speaks the truth from his heart.
    3 He doesn’t tell lies about others.
   He doesn’t do wrong to his neighbors.
      He doesn’t say anything bad about them.
 4 He hates sinful people.
      He honors those who have respect for the Lord.
   He keeps his promises
      even when it hurts.  – Psalm 15:1-4

Now you have “the rest of the story.” I hope each of you enjoy the pleasure of camping in God’s wilderness as much as I do. I look forward to enjoying God’s creation tonight with the youth! And I expect to see and feel God with us; He’ll be camping with us tonight.