Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Glory of God: Cosmos, Biology, Nature & Optical Phenomenon

Photograph of the Aurora Borealis in Anchorage, AL cc 2.0
Message Audio:

Moses said to God, “Please show me your glory.” -Exodus 33:18

Every moment, literally, is filled with the glory of God. Here in our little lives we get to experience some of the glory of God. But we experience it everywhere, if we’ll tune our minds and hearts to it. I see the glory of God everyday, if I have the right eyes to see it. When I’m at work, I experience it in others. When I’m at the nursing home volunteering I see it. When I’m at home, and I look at my cats, I’m seeing a little piece of the glory of God. When I look at the stars at night I'm seeing God's glory.

The glory of God is most certainly beyond our full conception. But, we can perceive some of it. But what exactly is the glory of God?

John Piper, a prominent theologian of our time defines it like this: “the glory of God is the holiness of God made manifest.”

The glory of God is the manifestations of God’s greatness, beauty, and wonder. It is the awe inspiring effect of His mysteries. The glory of God is the effect of his holiness and infinite nature. 

In fact the scriptures themselves display the glory of God. Yet God’s glory is also present in the natural world.

The word of God says, “The Heavens declare the glory of God.” I certainly think that’s true. When we look up at the sky at night, or at the sunset, or the sunrise, we are admiring a piece of God’s glory.

For ages man looked up at the stars and wondered. In our age, they built telescopes, like the Hubble and have taken magnified photos of far off galaxies.

Like this one. They aimed the Hubble telescope toward the center of our galaxy, and took this photo. The heavens declare the glory of God. God gives us a look at his glory when we look at the stars and galaxies.

Here is another photo aimed toward a different region of our galaxy. God made this. It’s out there right now, a massive reflection of God’s glory. This cluster of forming stars is much larger than our entire planet, or even our entire solar system. An image of God’s glory, describing just how much higher his ways are than our ways. Our ways focus on our home, workplace, the city we reside in, maybe even national news and some deeper thoughts, but the mind of God deals not in cities or countries, or even in entire planets. God’s thoughts span star systems, galaxies, nebula, and dimensions beyond our comprehension. 

Here’s another photo. These are all photographs, not doctored in anyway, simple snapshots. Could this be a Hubble telescope photo of some far away galaxy? Nope. This is in fact a photograph of brain cells, the little engines in your brain, taken by a microscope.

In fact, you yourself are a manifestation of the glory of God. Your body, the structure of your being, your anatomy and physiology are reflections of the glory of God. They are manifestations of his creative genius and propensity to develop beautiful and harmonious structures in the world. You are a creation of God. In fact, you are a dream in the mind of God.

Habakkuk 2:14 ESV says: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

Scientists have been increasingly realizing that the universe we exist in seems to be an artificial reality. Some astronomers speculate that the universe is being artificially projected from black holes, because the event horizon of black holes is actually 2 dimensional. Almost like a projector screen. These scientists are now directing more and more of their efforts to trying to “break out” of this artificial universe. Additionally, as scientists look deeper and deeper into cells, they find that the resolution of the universe itself isn’t high enough for them to look any deeper. In other words, its like examining a painting close up and you start to notice the brush strokes of the painter.

And I have to laugh. They recognize that the universe appears to be a designed reality. They recognize that something has put it all together. But they are so obsessed with resisting the notion of a creator, of God, that they have to resort to thinking we live within some sort of videogame reality that they need to break out of.

We fight so hard as humans to escape the inevitability of divine accountability. Yet once we go through that wormhole, we find the very meaning of life and the ultimate purpose of our existence. It’s worth the price.

This is a microscope photograph, via Discovery Magazine of an enzyme produced by your body, called insulin. My goodness when I first came across this photo and stared at it, at the shape of the insulin crystals, I was aghast.

I had to mockingly ask myself the question: Does that look designed!? Of course it does. It looks intelligently generated in the starkest terms. Those crystals are produced by your body, automatically! It is absolute madness to suggest some sort of evolutionary route over billions of years to get this sort of ordered complexity. Madness. Insulin is designed by the creative and scientific genius of God almighty. Nothing could be more obvious, yet nothing is more intellectually resisted. That’s in your body right now, regulating your sugar levels, ensuring the most precise balance to sustain your internal organs and blood functioning. Evolved indeed, such silliness! 

One of the most sacred reflections of God’s glory we see here. This is a human embryo, 3 days old. Simply astounding. Glory to God. This is someone’s baby picture. That was you, just after conception. A clump of cells or a sacred human life?

Whether by the telescope or the microscope, life itself declares the glory of God.

The scriptures say in Revelation 4:1-6: “Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” 2 And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it. 3 The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—like jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow. 4 Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven torches with burning flames. This is the sevenfold Spirit of God. 6 In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal."

Notice the rainbow is mentioned as part of this incredible description of God’s throne in heaven. Maybe it looks something like this.

I remember I would look up at the rainbows I’d see as a child and I’d be filled with wonder. Then as I began going to school I recall they tried to give us textbook “Scientific” definitions of the rainbow. Something to do with natural gases and blah blah blah. They always do that don’t they? They try to find some way, some reason to take the wonder from life. They try to explain everything away, until we’re nothing but materialist meat puppets fulfilling evolutionary Darwinistic desires for propagation and survival. Science is wonderful is how it can analyze our world, and help make our lives easier. But when science moves into the area of philosophy and starts trying to define the meaning and purpose of all life, it fails to produce accurate results. The rainbow is a reflection of God’s glory, and his promise.

But perhaps the greatest manifestation of God’s glory is in Jesus Christ our savior. The scriptures say: “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” -Hebrews 1:3 ESV.

Jesus himself, in his infinite glory holds the universe together.

I couldn’t help but think of that scripture when I came along this photo. This is a photo of an optical phenomenon often referred to as “glory.” Though scholars debate how exactly this phenomenon forms, it has something to do with the rays of the sun interacting with water particles in the atmosphere.

Yet maybe it gives us a little glimpse of the idea of what it means for Jesus Christ to hold the universe together by the word of his power.

Bu it’s interesting how scientists tend to make discoveries that support the word of God. In fact Scientists in the past 20 years discovered the Higgs-Boson particle, a particle that literally holds the universe together, and allows for mass. It quickly garnered the nickname “the God particle.”

Indeed the natural world is full of magnificent sights that fill us with awe and amazement. This is a photograph of the largest hot spring in the United States. It’s simply amazing. In fact, as I gathered these photos together for this presentation, I found myself increasingly haunted by the fact that despite being such disparate representations of creation, from galaxies to brain cells to rainbows and the natural world, the thought kept coming to my mind that they all look quite similar in aesthetics. As if they were all designed by the same artist.

Our job today, tomorrow, and everyday is to live like Jesus. And to live for Jesus. Jesus being number one. And in so doing, we become like sun, the moon, the stars, nature, animals, and the very cells in our bodies, we become walking manifestations of the glory of God.

So we are called to reflect the light of the son of God. In fact, when are saved, reborn, regenerated by Jesus Christ our Lord he actually comes and lives within us, and we become his hands and feet on Earth.

Colossians 1:27 says regarding this: “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

And John 1:14 says “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

So we see that God makes his glory known through the creation. And we see that God makes his glory known through Christ in us.

And finally, we see that in the future we will see the ultimate representation of God’s glory in the eternal city of heaven. When we move past the veil of tears, and our lives end here, we will awake in glory, in the eternal city prepared by Christ for us.

Revelation 21:23 says “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” In our coming reward, our coming eternity, for all time, our future coming existence, which will never end, will be a place lit by the full glory of God. We will see the full glory of God himself, and live within the eternal bask of our creator’s wondrous glow. And in the lamp light of our savior Jesus Christ. Our destiny is to live within the glory of God, the expansive, incredible, joyous glory of God.

Ultimately when we talk about the glory of God, we’re talking about living in the presence of God. The glory of God is what the joy of heaven is. It is living in the joy of seeing God at all times. And living in full peace, becoming so much more than we are now. It is the full coming into the fullness of what we are as people, made in the image of God, restored, having given glory to God, now welcomed into joyousness, the presence of God. We get little tastes of the glory of God, the joy of God today as we carry the gospel and love others, but in our eternal future we shall experience the full glory of God, beyond anything we can fully comprehend. And we ought to look forward in great hope for that day.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

10 Awesome Political Videos that Cut through the Lies

Politics is the art of seeing through the lies and to the truth of any given situation. This is never easy. There are layers to each issue, there are talking points put out by candidates, and then there is the reality of the situation. There are often distortions and half truths mixed in. In many situations politicians will say one thing and do the opposite once in office. Many times an issue is displayed from a certain perspective to make a course of action seem appealing, but in reality this is an attempt at deception. It's very tough for us as everyday americans to see through the lies and recognize the truth. But I hope I can help, by sharing videos like these, from people who speak truth to power. Enjoy.
1. Mark Levin: Do we need a new Republican party?

2. FRC Action Party Platform

3. D'Souza has a word for Christians not Voting this November

4. Clinton Cash, the documentary

5. Supreme Consequences: Good Judge, Bad Judge

6. What is the Future of America?

7. Trey Gowdy slams Obama's senior advisor

8. PragerU - Can you trust the Press?

9. Nigel Farage ends Hillary Clinton

10. Hannity analyzes the Wikileaks Email Dump

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Five Hilarious Political Satire Videos

Trump vs. Hillary caricature via wikimedia commons
Political satire isn't just funny. Though it certainly is quite entertaining. But perhaps the most refreshing thing about political satire is that it quenches an angst deep within us. This angst I believe relates directly to political correctness, and the creation of an almost flawless environment where lies and half truths are portrayed as the mainstream views of society. They of course are not, but the media sphere is so attuned to this false reality that it comes off as a sort of intoxicating cloud of mental BS. We're left with an aching in the soul and a deep inner frustration that somehow what is being put forth to us is quite wrong. 

Then bursts forth the political satire that mocks openly these half truths and lies, and points out the actual truth and like a flood comes this joyous relief, that I'm not alone in the universe, I'm not crazy, I'm not confused, there really is a cloud of lies out there and the truth has just broken through in the most unexpected manner: through humor. Enjoy these presentations. Remember that some of these will contain content not suited for children, some negative language, and lewd content. To me, it's a small price to pay for the liberation of humor that speaks truth to the power of our time.

1. Louder with Crowder - Hillary Wikileaks

2. Reason Magazine - Star Trek Libertarian Edition

3. Remy - Shake it Off: Obama Version

4. Louder with Crowder - Trump is Hitler?

5. Paul Joseph Watson - Gary Johnson is a Complete Idiot

Additional Political Satire Videos:

Modern Educayshun
DEBUNKED: Top 5 "Climate Change" Myths
Don't Tell 'Em (Obamacare edition)

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Friday, October 14, 2016

God Loves a Lost Cause: Mainstream Media Power & the Burgeoning New Media Movement

The symbol of leftist media bias, the New York Times headquarters, via Wikipedia.
To me it seems like the mainstream media has been able to steal another election for the Democratic party.  The same thing seems to happen every election cycle.  I used to be in the dark about this little arrangement.  I used to jeer the very suggestion of liberal mainstream media bias, but usually right after we'd get done jeering we'd wink to each other.  Or smirk while reading an article on CNN or NBC, noticing a clear bias, but being pleased to ignore it since it was for our team. Well, then one day you wake up and realize you were indoctrinated into the wrong team.  

If academia, the scientific community, the mainstream media, celebrities, and late night talk shows have all aligned to tell me to vote Democrat against the evil GOP, well, I might just be a little brainwashed.  Amazing how one can feel edgy and alt on a college campus by supporting the politicians supported by everyone else on campus, television, teachers, and media pundits.  Very interesting, very interesting.

So we've found ourselves a few weeks from the big day when Donald Trump loses to Hillary Clinton, or so the media tells us.  The polls don't look too good though.  It's a difficult situation.  To grit one's teeth and vote for the outrageous blundering Donald Trump, well, that isn't an easy prospect.  Many are turning to Gary Johnson, some are turning to a guy named Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party, and still others are looking to Evan McMullin of Utah.  

Some of the establishment GOP are saying they intend to vote for Hillary Clinton.  Yes, they are that terrible.  It's truly amazing the lows that the establishment will go to.  Clearly, they are more leftist than conservative.  I'm sure very few are surprised.  

I'm really quite perturbed with people like Glenn Beck, Ben Shapiro, the Federalist, and the Resurgent. It's tough because these are basically the people who are the core inner circle of my political beliefs.  They represent exactly what we need, exactly the kind of zeal and principle we need to retake America.  These folks are in fact my team in every respect.  I'll be honest, I'm one of the original, earliest members of the Never Trump movement right when it started during the primaries, when it was between Cruz, Trump, and that little snail-like creature they call "John Kasich."  But I just can't abide the way these folks keep trying to undercut Donald Trump.  If you aren't going to vote for Trump, well that's fine, but do you have to be out there day in and day out trashing him?  Do you have to spend every day manically attacking Trump?  For what reason?  To do everything possible to slander and attack him?  I don't like him either.  In fact I despise Trump.  But I agree with Mark Levin's argument, this isn't about me, this isn't about me being right, this is about the future of the country.  These folks like to undercut the idea that this election is critical, saying you know they say that every election. Well maybe so, but the facts are clear, this election is critical, we are at a fundamental turning point.  The Supreme Court, they try to undercut that argument, but it's a solid argument. These leftist activist judges will take the 1st amendment, the 2nd amendment and much more.  They openly declare as much. Is that hard to understand?  No, it's quite clear.  In addition, if open borders continues, with illegal immigrants crossing the border, being pushed toward red states, well, soon the country will be unrecoverable.  It's not about you, your ego, or even your hatred for what Trump represents.  Put your country before your reputation.  

That's my thought on that.  Trump is a catastrophe, his comments about women are despicable.  But his policies and positions are reasonable in quite a few areas.  His tax plan is solid.  His SCOTUS picks are solid.  He's surrounding himself with people like Pence. The GOP platform is firmly conservative.  Will Trump follow it? I have no idea.  But I know exactly what Hillary will do.  And anyway, these people who refuse to vote Trump were willing to pull the trigger for people like John McCain and Mitt Romney, people who have supported the most radically high spending in the Senate, the most radical progressive agendas, they've rubber stamped and gone along with, with people like Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid.  Your telling me Donald Trump is worse on policy than those low lifes?  Maybe you don't fully understand what goes on in our House and Senate.

So we've got problems on our team, within the conservative movement.  But I firmly believe that conservatism is making a huge comeback.  We've seen wonderful things coming together, we really have.  We are seeing young people increasingly identifying themselves as conservative and libertarian.  We are seeing an increasing push back against the failed policies of the progressive left. We saw AFA and FRC fighting and WINNING the battles for the Republican platform at the RNC, creating the most conservative platform we've seen in recent history.  We still have that toad Rhence Priebus gathering untold power to himself and his office at the RNC, but in time we'll deal with him.  

We've seen principled folks, everyday americans, and Christians getting involved in politics again.  We've seen Reagan conservatives, Tea Party, evangelical voters, old guard, libertarians, and conservatarians all coalescing into a new and vibrant conservative movement.  We've seen liberals departing the left, becoming libertarians who are gathering with conservatives.  We've seen many who once considered themselves democrats turning to conservatism because the left has gone so far left.  We've seen the formation of all kinds of new media to challenge the left wing media, websites like Drudge, Breitbart, National Review, the Daily Wire, the Daily Signal, Life News, Life Site News, the Resurgent, the Federalist, Western Journalism, PragerU, The Stream, Charisma News, the Christian Post, the Daily Caller, and many others.  On the radio there is Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Glenn Beck.  Through Youtube and internet shows and radio we see great programs like The Andrew Klavan Show, the Ben Shapiro Show, Louder with Crowder, Rebel Media, The Blaze, Breitbart Media, the Eric Metaxas Show, the Dennis Prager Show, and many others.  But the truth is we're still not reaching enough everyday Americans to turn the tide.  That could change over time though.

We have a problem in the United States, quite a few actually, but the one key during this election is the mainstream media.  That's what I mean when I say the "old media."  The mainstream media as a term is often attributed to the firmly left wing television news companies including CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, and MSNBC.  Also included are big newspapers like The New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and Bloomberg.  One could also include radio like NPR and the CBS radio network.  More recently added to this conglomeration of left wing news are websites like the Huffington Post, Politico, Snopes, Politifact, Salon, Yahoo! News, Media Matters, Occupy Democrats, and of course, Gawker.  It's important to remember additionally that major search engines and social media sites also tend to lean hard left, most prominently Facebook, Twitter, Google, Wikipedia, and Yahoo. 

It's also important to remember that many of the largest and most powerful businesses in the United States are left wing.  Some of the largest include Microsoft, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Pepsi, Progressive Insurance, American Express, Starbucks, Pfizer, Ben & Jerrys, Liberty Mutual, Nike, Morgan Stanley and hundreds of others.  For a full list just Google companies that boycotted North Carolina for refusing to allow boys in the girls bathroom.  Or Google companies that directly fund Planned Parenthood.  If it feels like the whole world is against you, well, that's pretty much it.  
This is our problem to deal with.  And each of us can make a difference.  I cancelled my Cable a long time ago, and I encourage you to do the same.  Make use of the internet for your news.  Subscribe to alternative news sites, and encourage your friends to do so also.  Build a presence on social media and advocate for conservative and Christian values in the public square.  Many could've just thrown up their hands a long time ago, and said it's over these companies are too powerful, the television is too powerful, but conservatives never gave up, they took the truth onto the web and built a vast movement that is now challenging the leftist narrative on a daily basis.  Keep fighting, keep sharing the truth, keep praying, because God loves a lost cause.  

The tides are turning.  If it had been almost anyone else, especially a Ted Cruz or a Marco Rubio, this election would've been much difference.  But for now it looks like Donald Trump may lose to the awful, terrible, corrupt Hillary Clinton.  Hillary Clinton is truly terrible, her policies are a nightmare; more spending, more bailouts, higher taxes, inheritance tax, gay marriage, gender ideology, no vouchers for school choice, abortion up to and including partial birth abortion, and of course weak and naive foreign policy.  Hillary Clinton sold her position as secretary of state for donations to the Clinton Foundation.  Imagine a White House that sells itself to the highest bidder.  Imagine pay to play at that kind of level!  It's truly a terrifying thought.  People are afraid of a Trump presidency, because the left has gone so far as to call Trump "literally Hitler" but it's nonsense.  Trump is no Hitler, he's a business man, a lewd, nasty, immoral business man, but nowhere approaching the corruption of Hillary Clinton.

All that said, we will probably have Hillary Clinton as president.  Oddly enough this could be a good thing to the movement that is being formed through conservative organizations and new media.  But it will only be a good thing if we can somehow hold on to what little is left of the Constitution.  People make it out like somehow this is just an average election, a normal time to be an American, and all the talk of "the end is near" is overblown, well, much of it is. But then again, the facts are quite clear, the national debt is massive, the Supreme Court rulings are on the edge of chaos, the presidency has gathered far too much power, and the rule of law is in the toilet with most everyday Americans believing that there are two sets of rules, one for them and one for the elite.  This isn't normal, this isn't an everyday election, I think there is a solid case for the suggestion that we are at a pivotal moment in our nation's history.  The Constitution has never been under attack like it is today.  But maybe, just maybe, with the blessing of God we can turn the tide and form a new movement to defeat this leftist marxist nightmare threatening to turn America into a weak, second-rate nation of debt and big government control of everything. The danger is real, but the conservative movement is coming out swinging.

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  3. Five Political Presentations that will Change your Worldview
  4. An Appeal to Heaven: The Movement
  5. The Supreme Court, Same Sex Marriage, Religious Liberty
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