Memoirs of Mountains, in Light of Psalm 148

SANGRE DE CRISTO RANGE in Colorado, near Westcliffe (photo credit: Steven Garufi)
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satellite image showing Sangre de Cristo Range (and Westcliffe) in Colorado

Memoirs of Mountains, in Light of Psalm 148

Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps; fire, and hail; snow, and vapors; stormy wind fulfilling His word; mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars; beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl; kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth; both young men, and maidens; old men, and children.  Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven. (Psalm 148:7-13)

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SANGRE DE CRISTO RANGE in Colorado, near Westcliffe (photo credit: Steven Garufi)

All of creation honors the Lord, one way or another, yet we humans can honor Him consciously and voluntarily and gladly. And we can appreciate His glorious Creatorship – including the majesty and splendor of mountain ranges (such as the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado) as we honor Him!  For many summers, throughout the past couple decades, my family has gone to the Sangre de Cristo range, outside of Westcliffe, for a mix of recreation and revival.  Even now I can remember those good times as I reflect on how wonderful God is.

THANKS FOR THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS, GOD!

    (REMEMBERING TIMES IN COLORADO’S SANGRE DE CRISTO RANGE)

The Rocky Mountains are fun to hike,

Or ride a horse, or maybe bike;

What a landscape! Oh, what views!

To hike’s a joy – like good news!

The Rocky Mountains, I surely like.

(See also my poetic record of adventures hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire  —  posted at  https://rockdoveblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/alpine-trek-along-the-appalachian-trail/ —  summarizing a weekend along the Appalachian Trail.)

Big Bang Mythology: Deceiving and Being Deceived

Big Bang Mythology:  Deceiving and Being Deceived

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

RosettaNebula-galaxy.Pinterest

Some Get a “Bang” Out of Fables

The Bible, to read, some are able,

Yet prefer to read a false fable;

    Though God’s Word says “6 days,”

    A “Big Bang” gets their praise,

Their doctrine, therefore, is unstable.*

Earlier today a false teacher in Chennai (India), via email, arrogantly offered to teach   —   on behalf of a Biblical graduate school in Texas (!)  —  the so-called “Big Bang” cosmogony (a popular fake-science myth invented by a Bible-rejecting Roman Catholic priest named Georges Lemaître).

In other words, the fake-science charlatan wanted to academically promote anti-Genesis mythology, as an instructor representing a Biblical college!   What brazen audacity!

That evolutionist academic was not only a deceiver, he was himself deceived.

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving [planôntes – present active participle], and being deceived [planômenoi – present passive participle].  (2nd Timothy 3:13)

Should we be surprised when false teachers are themselves also deceived?

No, if we read Paul’s Epistle to the Romans,  —  because those who deviate from truth-telling are themselves callous and careless about recognizing what is really true (versus what is untrue).  Part of that ugly reality is linked to how God judicially punishes false teachers, nowadays, for their sinful deceits.  (Notice that this is a form of punishment that occurs on Earth; this punishment’s imposition does not wait for the hereafter.)

Rejecting Gods’ truth comes at a price – and part of that price is, tragically, a “reprobate mind” (as Paul teaches in Romans 1:28).

God provides evidentiary proof of His creatorship to mankind. Some may think that they, like Pontius Pilate, are putting the Lord on trial as they decide what to do with His creation evidences, but they are the ones on trial—He is testing them.

When skeptics choke on the idea of acknowledging how creation proves God’s workmanship, He gives them over to a “debased mind” (Romans 1:28). There is a logical connection between disapproving God’s creatorship and being abandoned to a corrupted mind. That connection is rooted in a New Testament Greek verb, dokeô, because two words in Romans 1:28 derive from it:

And even as they did not like to retain [ouk edokimasan, literally “did not approve”] God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased [adokimon, literally “unapproving”] mind.

The common root verb, dokeô, means “to approve,” i.e., to accept the proof of. It denotes the following two-step process:  (1) considering the available evidence;  and  (2) accepting the truth of whatever the reliable evidence shows. In English, we have the related words “prove,” “proof,” “probate,” “probative,” “approve,” and “approbate.” Like the Greek, these terms point to mankind’s mental ability to reasonably recognize and weigh evidence, using analytical logic for arriving at sound evaluations. But this ability is corruptible and is damaged whenever the clear proof of God’s creatorship is irrationally disregarded.

Biblically speaking, a “reprobate mind” (“debased mind” in NKJV) is a mind that can’t discern what is right, true, or good—it is morally corrupt and deprived of good judgment.

The tragic and terrible reality is that being given over to a debased mind is not a punishment that follows death; it is a consequence in the here-and-now.

So truth is exchanged for a lie, and good is exchanged for evil. In this “mental leprosy,” people lose the ability to recognize correct information even to the point of self-destruction.

[Quoting from JJSJ, “The Truth Test”, ACTS & FACTS, 43(1):22 (January AD2014), posted at www.icr.org/article/7866 .]

Deception comes at us from almost all directions, sometimes leaping at us, sometimes slinking around like a snake or a creeping scorpion, sometimes parading in like a self-appointed “expert” —  so we must promptly recognize all such deceptions as the distractions that they are.  [See JJSJ, “Staying on Track, Despite Deceptive Distractions”, ACTS & FACTS, 41(5):9-11 (May AD2012), posted at www.icr.org/article/6757 .]


*The above-quoted original limerick first appeared in James J. S. Johnson, “The Religion-and-Science Connection Between Pseudônumos and Pseudomarturia: How Special Revelation Describes the Limitations of General Revelation”, presented at the Southwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, at The Criswell College, Dallas, Texas, March 27th, AD2009.

Photo credit above: Rosetta Galaxy  (Pinterest)

When Will this Airplane ever Take Off?

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WHEN WILL THIS AIRPLANE EVER TAKE OFF?

Our work’s done  —  time to head back,

But, our flight plan’s gotten off-track;

Does the airline care?

We’re going nowhere!

Belted in, we just wait, on the tarmac!

Scheduled departure time was 2:43 p.m., Monday, from Eppley Airport (code: OMA), in Omaha, Nebraska.  This limerick was written at about 4:15 p.m., Monday, while seated (and buckled in) in Seat 15F aboard Flight AA 1286, in a cramped-more-thank-justifiable S80 American Eagle “tin can” (full flight, of course):   supposedly bound for Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (in Texas), that is if, as, and when it ever departs from Omaha, Nebraska!

UPDATE:  the airplane finally lifted off at 4:19 p.m.  —  so we would get to D/FW, as they say “when we get there”, and not before!

Intentions and plans and schedules are one thing; if, as, and when they occur is quite another thing.  The New Testament epistle author James (half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ, according to the flesh) wrote of this fact of life, almost 2000 years ago, when he said:

Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain; whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  For that ye ought to say, ‘If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that’.  (James 4:13-15)

In the meantime, we need to practice patience (James 5:11).

 

 

Striving for Peer Approval, King Saul Falls from his ‘High Horse’

Striving for Peer Approval (and Stardom), King Saul Falls from his ‘High Horse’

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Envy and strife cause so much needless folly and tragic trouble.

Jealous Saul strives against David, to destroy David, but God providentially protects David.

Seeking Popularity and Vainglory Leads to Foolish Strivings

Haughty Saul, atop his “high hoss”,
Was so proud, of how he was “boss”;
David’s fans were so zealous,
That Saul became jealous —
Saul’s envy led to his own loss.

And the women answered one another, as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his 1000s, and David his 10,000s. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he [i.e., Saul] said, They have ascribed unto David 10,000s, and to me they have ascribed but 1000s; and what can he have more but the kingdom? (Quoting 1st Samuel 18:7-8 — see also, accord, 1st Samuel 21:11 & 1st Samuel 29:5)

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (James 3:16)

Some things don’t change all that much – certainly it is a timeless truth that “envy and strife” produce “confusion” and all kinds of trouble” (James 3:16). Even nowadays, in plain view, we see many examples of this tragic-but-true reality. And yet how ironic it is that David was so much more qualified to lead than Saul, his detractor, was. Although Saul seems, from outward appearances to be “head and shoulders” above his “peers” (an early example of how “peer review” is often an unreliable “veneer review”), it was David whom God recognized as qualified for carrying the responsibility of leadership (compare 1st Samuel 9:2 with 1st Samuel 16:7). Picking the flashy crowd-pleaser for leadership may seem like a “natural selection” (pardon the pun), but God makes intelligent and purposeful selections, based on His brilliant wisdom and moral judgment.

If we really understand our uniqueness as God’s creatures we won’t quickly fall for competitive strife and jealousy, trying to one-up someone else whose God-given assignments in life don’t belong to us anyway. Appreciating our own uniqueness, as God’s created and redeemed children, can help us to enjoy a life accented by gratitude and contentment.(1)

Peer pressure, whether it comes from singing “fans” or so-called “peer review”(2), is anchored in seeking to please other humans to gain “fame” and “popularity”, i.e., the approval of their peers.(3)  But that motive clashes with prioritizing God’s honor and approval (see John 5:44 & Ephesians 6:6).

References

(1) See “Of Grackles and Gratitude”, Acts & Facts, 41(7):8-10 (July AD2012), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/valuing-gods-variety/  —  and “Valuing God’s Variety”, Acts & Facts, 42(9):8-10 (Sept. AD2012), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/grackles-gratitude .

(2) “Forensic Science Frustrated by ‘Peer Review'”, Acts & Facts, 44(2):18 (February AD2015), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/forensic-science-frustrated-by-peer/ .

(3) See also “Saul, a Tall Man, Short on Faith”, my earlier limerick blogpost posted at https://rockdoveblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/saul-a-tall-man-short-on-faith/ .

FALSE ACCUSERS IN THE SWAMP, ILLUSTRATING HYPOCRISY

In recent days the truth-dismissing opponents of President Trump have been using the phrase “obstruction of justice” as if they knew what the phrase meant (which they apparently don’t), notwithstanding never swinging that accusation at Democrat politicians who blatantly obstruct justice, both in public and in private — illustrating the timeless truth that hypocrites love to accuse others of “specks” when they themselves are guilty of 2X4 planks!

“And why beholdest thou the mote [i.e., speck, like a speck of sawdust] that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam [i.e., wooden plank] that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite! First cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

[Quoting Matthew 7:3-5, quoting the Lord Jesus Christ.]  May those who bear false witness be exposed, providentially (and soon), as the false accusers that they are!

Thus, recent politics were the subject of this my latest limerick:

ANTI-TRUMPERS BEAR FALSE WITNESS, ALLEGING “OBSTRUCTION”
Don’t look for sleuth Sherlock’s deduction
When hearing false cries of “obstruction”;
Fake innuendos fraught,
But with evidence naught
Just Dems, aiming at Trump’s destruction.

May the real truth be manifested, soon, so those who bear false witness be exposed as the at false accusers are shown to be the false witnesses that they are!  (See also, accord, John 8:31-32.)

Meanwhile, President Trump is not alone is being unfairly attacked by disgruntled Democrats. Recently, and rather ironically, an anti-American radical shooter attacked Republican legislators (in Alexandria, Virginia) from the 3rd base dugout — i.e., from the extreme “Left” of the baseball diamond (if you use home plate as your reference point). The main victim (Republican Congressman Scalise, the Republican majority whip) was caught in the middle (2nd base); soon it was clear that the safest place was the 1st base dugout — on the far “Right” of the diamond.  Although they got wounded in the fight, the defending and counter-attacking Capitol police officers shot back, from the Right (and protected those who were on the Right), eventually defeating the foe on the extreme Left. IT’S GOOD TO BE RIGHT, AND TO FIGHT EVIL, AND TO TRUST GOD TO PROVIDENTIALLY DETERMINE THE OUTCOME. May God bless all who were wounded recently (and who are still wounded), in yet another evil attack from the Left, on Republicans.

Trump Rejects the False Alarmism of the ‘Paris Climate Accord’ Scam

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)

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TRUMP REJECTS THE FALSE ALARMISM OF THE ‘PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD’ SCAM

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

While ‘global warming’ scams try to scare us
Obama signed a bad deal to snare us
A hoax on emissions
For crooked ambitions
But Trump dumped the agreement of Paris!

COMMENTARY:  As Genesis 8:22 indicates, God has established seasonal cycles that we can depend upon, allowing limited variety in climate, contained within bounds of resilience and regularity. At times the earth gets warmer (like the Medieval Warm Period, when the Viking Age flourished); at other times it cools (like the Little Ice Age, when the Hanseatic League saw its monopoly dissipate). But it is both empirical dishonesty (i.e., science fiction, mobilized by political funding) and quixotic silliness to suggest that mere mortals can change global climate patterns – much less control them! Yet such fake science is used to rationalize power-grabbing politics, with economic disasters imposed upon the so-called “little people”. Thankfully, President Trump batted one such scam away – as if striking it with a hockey stick – when he announced (on June 1st of AD2017) that America was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. One more victory for truth and justice – a win for America, for real-world science, and genuine “social justice”.


Fair Use photo credit (President Trump keeping campaign promises): Daily Signal

Political cartoon spoofing Obama’s “global warming” alarmism:  Branco

God made the cosmos with super-small details.

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.   (Hebrews 11:3)

God, through Christ, created the physical matter-energy cosmos out of nothing, and then God constructively shaped that physical matter-energy, at the super-small detailed level (i.e., what we today call “particle physics”), using particles and energy so small that we cannot see that level of detail with our human eyesight.   See Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3.)