The heavens and Earth, that we see today, are only temporary — but they are “home” for now.

For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.  (Isaiah 66:22)

The present heavens — and Earth (which is our home, for now) — are finite and temporal; they shall ultimately be replaced by new heavens and new Earth.  (See also Mark 13:31; 2nd Peter 3:7-13; Revelation 21:1.)  All the more reason to live for the Lord Jesus in the here-and-now, so that  each day counts toward the hereafter.

So, even while living here (and now) below, we keep in mind our real homeland (Philippians 3:20).  For a creationist-ecologist’s perspective on appreciating “home”, see my article “Why We Want to Go Home”, ACTS & FACTS, 44(4):20 (April 2015), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/why-we-want-go-home .

The hugeness of the cosmos reminds us how valuable we are to God.

 

The hugeness of the heavens is a reminder of how valuable we are to God, because he chose to give us – as small as we are – the amazing value of having life as creatures made in His own image.

O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!  [Thou] Who hast set Thy glory above the heavens.  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength because of Thine enemies, that Thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.  When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained:  What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?  And the son of man, that Thou visits him?  For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou made him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet:  all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas.  O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!  (Psalm 8:1-8.)

Thank You, God, for caring about us humans whom You have made for Your pleasure (see Revelation 4:11).

 

Woods, Water, and Winged Wonders

Woods, Water, and Winged Wonders

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

He sends the springs into the valleys;
They flow among the hills.
They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild donkeys quench their thirst.
By them the birds of the heavens have their home;
They sing among the branches. … The trees of the Lord are full of sap,
The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,

Where the birds make their nests;
The stork has her home in the fir trees.

(Psalm 104:10-12 & 104:16-17)

Dan Dusing’s Wood Stork Tree up close

Wood Storks in treetop (Lee Dusing @ Circle B)

If rainfall is adequate trees thrive – and where you find trees you also find birds, many birds of many different kinds. Forests are homes for owls, corvids, hawks, doves, and more!

BIRDWATCHING IN FOREST HABITAT

Watch birds as they fly or they walk;

See their plumage and hear them talk!

Look for bird neighborhoods

In green, well-watered woods:

Homes for woodpecker, jay, owl, and hawk!

So, take a trek through the woods – you will like the hike!  Wherever woods and water abound, look for winged wonders, feathered descendants whose ancestors God made on Day #5 of Creation Week!


OTHER PHOTO CREDITS

Steller’s Jay (close-up):  Bennington Properties

Steller’s Jay in tree foliage:  iStock-Getty image

Sugarloaf Mountain view, in autumn:  Melanie Choukras-Bradley:

 

Real knowledge about the cosmos (and its origin) must be given to us by God.

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep; all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.  (2nd Peter 3:3-4)

Galaxy-w-stars.greenish-tone

Notice the scoffer’s assumption  —  that “all things continue as they were form the beginning of creation”  —  yet that assumption is FALSE.  Just as the embryology of a baby human is not representative of how a born human grows and develops, the origin of our cosmos, during Creation Week (which wonderful week of mighty miracles preceded Adam’s sin in Eden), was not then experiencing natural processes that are typical of (i.e., commonplace in) the cosmos we now live in.  How fast did starlight travel before Adam sinned?  The real answer is that we don’t know  —  yet we do know that the starlight that God made during Creation Week did accomplish His declared purposes for that starlight, which purposes required distant starlight to be promptly visible to mankind on Earth.   (Of course, this is why we need an open Bible to know real truth!)

However, if some theorist imagines and assumes (with a closed Bible) that the original starlight was limited in its transmission velocity, to what we today call “the speed of light”, that theorist could easily (though wrongly) infer that visible starlight must be eons older than the humans on Earth who see that starlight, after it arrives, visually speaking.  (But that “speed-of-light-is-always-constant” assumption is wrong when applied to Day 4 of Creation Week, just as uniformitarian assumptions also clash with many other miracles done by God during other days of Creation Week.)

So how old are the galaxies, and all of the stars in those galaxies?  Since those stars (and galaxies) were formed on Day 4, during Creation Week, we cannot know how many years ago that was  —  unless and until God, the only Eye-witness, chooses to tell us.  And, thankfully, God has done just that — He has told us about the chronology of His creation — in the book of Genesis.

Consequently, we stumble in the dark, about the true age of creation, only if we ignore the divine revelation that He has given to us:  the Holy Bible.    The Bible provides us with lot s of truth about many topics, including cosmogonical topics  —  so the real question is what will we do with God’s truth?

If we assume–wrongly–that distant starlight is only allowed to travel as the current speed of light, even on Day 4 of Creation Week, we err by committing the Uniformitarian Fallacy.  (This same fallacy would lead us to err in guessing the true age of Adam, at the end of Day 6 of Creation Week.)   Biblical creationists have no excuse for committing the Uniformitarian Fallacy  —  especially because that irrational fallacy was prophesied by the apostle Peter, who warned us that scoffers would assume that present processes are (supposedly) the key to knowing about unique events that occurred in the no-longer-observable past.  [For more analysis of how distant starlight makes sense in a created-mature cosmos, see Don B. DeYoung, “Mature Creation and Seeing Distant Starlight”, JOURNAL OF CREATION, 24(3):54-59 (December 2010).  For more analysis regarding the indispensable need for reliable eyewitness testimony, in forensic science, see James J. S. Johnson, “Genesis Critics Flunk Forensic Science 101”, ACTS & FACTS, 41(3):8-9 (March 2012), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/genesis-critics-flunk-forensic-science/   —  and “What Good Are Experts?”, ACTS & FACTS, 41(3):8-9 (March 2012), posted at  http://www.icr.org/article/7073 .]

Cosmos-SpiralGalaxy-space

UNIFORMITARIANS  STUMBLE  AT  DISTANT  STARLIGHT

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Deists pegged Earth’s years in the millions

Many stretch that, today, to the billions   —

Dismissing Day 4,

God’s Word they ignore,

Thus erring by margins of billions.

 

Assuming light’s speed stays the same,

The year-count’s a wild guessing-game;

But Day 4’s light-speed

Is what God decreed  —

And not what it later became.

 

Light’s speed, now, is not “key to the past”,

Since, on Day 4, it sped super-fast;

It flashed then, in an instant —

Yet its speed, now, is constant;

Displaying God’s power, unsurpassed!

Real knowledge about the cosmos, and especially about it origins, can only be learned by starting with God’s gifts of revelation – both Scripture and Scripture-based science – if we are serious about learning the truth about the cosmos. (See Psalm 19; Hebrews 11:3; John 5:44-47.)

cosmos-PopularScience-pic

Memoirs of Mountains, in Light of Psalm 148

SANGRE DE CRISTO RANGE in Colorado, near Westcliffe (photo credit: Steven Garufi)
Colorado-with-Sangre-de-Cristo-range.satellite-image

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)

Sangre-de-Cristo-mountains

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?

AA-S80-airplane.on-ground

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).