God purposefully made the moon.

God purposefully made the moon.

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Genesis1.16-PPT-ruleGod made the moon to rule the nighttime, just as is clearly reported in Genesis. (See Genesis 1:14-18; Psalm 104:19 & 136:9; Ezekiel 32:7.)  But how and why did God make the moon, such as how does it “rule” the nighttime?  By His own command By His own command, on Day #4, God made the moon to give light, especially light to help us (and to help animals) to see, during nighttime on Earth.  Moon-rules-Earth.PPT-gravitational-tides

Also, the moon “rules” many activities on Earth due to the moon’s gravitational pull (in combination with the sun’s similar gravitational pull) on the earth and on its inhabitants, such as animals and people, and even on the waters of the oceans — producing the repeating and rhythmic movements of the oceans that we call “tides”. Moon-ocean-tides.PPT-governor-rulesThis action of “ruling” can be compared to a speed-limiting “governor” installed on a truck’s engine; the truck engine’s “governor” is not a person but it forcefully and controls the behavior of the engine in a way that limits the speed of the truck, to accomplish the intentions of the clever inventor who designed the truck engine’s “governor”.  Governor-rules.PPT-CanadaDry-truck

In a similar (yet much superior) way, God cleverly invented the moon’s gravitational traits, with the intention that the moon’s gravity limits various activities on Earth, via the moon’s complicated movements and their related gravitational attractions on the earth (in relation to interrelated and complicated motions of the sun and earth), from different directions at different times — resulting in an ongoing choreography of gravitational attractions between those heavenly bodies. The moon’s periodic movements, as the moon moves around the earth, in a regular cycle (called lunar phases), also affect how all plants grow and how all animals behave. ChristmasIsland-RedCrabs.PPT-moon-tidesExamples of animal behavior being affected by moonlight (or its absence) include the timing of Pacific salmon going downstream to the ocean, the timing of Christmas Island red crabs going to the ocean to dump baby crabs into the water, and the tidewater movements that bring floating food particles unto filter-feeding oysters.  [For more about how the moon “rules”, see my article “The Moon Rules”, ACTS & FACTS,  44(9):21 (September 2015), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/moon-rules  .]oysters-filterfeeders.PPT-need-moon-tidesThanks, God, for making the moon!


 

In Appreciation of Dr. Brian Tompsett’s Royal Genealogical Data Website, Now Quashed by University of Hull Management

In Appreciation of Dr. Brian Tompsett’s Royal Genealogical Data Website,

Now Quashed by University of Hull Management

Dr. Brian Tompsett/ Univ. of Hull photo

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.   (Romans 13:7)

Here is an open letter (the original of which has been mailed overseas) to her royal majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, by which I am trying to apply the principle of Romans 13:7 — giving credit where credit is due — recognizing the valuable family history contributions of computer genealogist/professor Dr. Brian Tompsett, of the University of Hull.



Dr. James J. S. Johnson
[contact information omitted]

21st December, A.D. 20017

Her Majesty The Queen
Buckingham Palace
London SW1A 1AA
England, U.K.

Re: Royal Genealogical Data website,
formerly posted by Prof. Brian Tompsett / University of Hull

Dear Queen Elizabeth, your Royal Majesty:

Greetings, from the other side of the Pond – may your CHRISTmas season be filled with gladness and joy, as you contemplate how the Christ of Bethlehem, in His all-wise beneficence, selected you as Great Britain’s monarch, for all of these many years. May He continue to bless your reign and your Realm.

The glorious heritage that you have and represent, unto your Realm and to the world (which continues to be providentially blessed by the deeds of the British Empire, its leadership, and its language), has been a personal blessing to me for more than 60 years now. As a descendant of John of Gaunt, I share some of your forefathers and foremothers, so I have a personal interest in appreciating the family history that you biogenetically connect to, by God’s grace and providence. Dr. Bill Cooper, of Staines in Middlesex, introduced me to the wonderful world of British royal family genealogy, and I am all the richer therefor.

Thereafter I came upon the magnificent blend of historical research and computer science, the Royal Genealogical Data website (which was provided online pro bono publico) produced by Professor Brian Tompsett of the University of Hull – the informational wealth of which cannot be priced in pounds or dollars. For many years I used the Internet-accessible data of Brian Tompsett’s Royal Genealogical Data website, as a historian who has taught in American universities and colleges, as well as on 9 different cruise ships – and in all of my teaching years I have tried to promote goodwill for the British royals.

For example, I used Brian Tompsett’s Royal Genealogical Data within this online article: “Christmas, Vikings, and the Providence of God” [posted at  http://www.icr.org/article/christmas-vikings-providence-god/   —  which refers to genealogies linked to the Battle of Stamford Bridge, and also to the Battle of Hastings], showing that Viking ancestors begat progeny, including descendants providentially responsible for the English Bible (AV) and even for George Washington, the historic father of America.)

Sometimes, sad to say, one isn’t properly grateful for valuable information until it disappears.

However, the University of Hull’s management dissolved Dr. Tompsett’s Royal Genealogical Data website – without warning it deleted the Royal Genealogical Data webpages [see below post-script] – so Americans (like me) no longer can use that online genealogical data now.

Please understand: this letter does not present a “personal” or “political” dispute. Rather, what is mentioned in the post-script (below) is provided only to give context to my appreciation for the online data (while it existed), and to show why I now miss it so. (Now that it’s gone, I better see its value.)

Perhaps your Royal Majesty could devise a way to provide that same electronic information, online to the world, so that Professor Brian Tompsett’s professional labor of love can live on, thereby gracing the cyber-world (including historian-professors like me), pro bono publico, with the genealogical heritage of your royal family. This user-friendly informational legacy is an asset worth salvaging!

Professor Tompsett does not know that I am writing this – I am writing on my own behalf, in hopes that you can and will do something to restore that Internet data to the world. (Maybe a Royal Family website could be invented.) In any event, I thank God for His providential workings in your royal family and kin.

In closing, I have the honour to be an American fan, of you and your regal family, and its illustrious kin (going back many centuries), all of whom our great God has so frequently guided and employed to implement His providential care and kindnesses unto Western Civilization and to the uttermost parts of the earth.

Most respectfully, one of your admiring fans in the State of Texas*
(*which adopted English common law as the foundation of Texas law,
by a legislative act during the 1st Congress of the Republic of Texas),

James J. S. Johnson
JD, ThD, MSGeog, CIHE, CPEE, CNHG
Chaplain, historian, lecturer, etc.

P.S., on information and belief, this is my (sad) understanding of how the University of Hull has – disappointingly – discontinued its prior practice of hosting the Royal Genealogical Data website that was laboriously produced by Professor Brian Tompsett and his team. Frankly, it seems (to me) like the wasteful burning of a cyber-palace (and I recall how horrible it was when your own palace burned), but this was destroying an imperial cyber-treasure of Britannic royal family heritage information.

The “management” of the University of Hull decided to take down all web pages except those used for advertising and recruitment. The website was considered a “marketing tool only” for use of the marketing department. Professor Brian Tompsett (and his computer science team) were not warned or otherwise informed, before their web-pages (i.e., those of all individual staff and students) were just canceled — with no advance notice. Even those web-pages, that Professor Brian Tompsett and his team (who teach web technology for the University of Hull) formerly used for teaching and research purposes, were removed as having “no strategic value for the institution”! Professor Tompsett was not able to timely move (or timely protest) the abrupt, arbitrary, and academic quality-quashing abuses of institutional authority.

Since Professor Tompsett’s Royal Genealogical Data project ran from ~ A.D. 1993 it is a terrible loss. The result of these wasteful actions are sad: your Royal Majesty’s family (and all of its dignified historical heritage, linking to all of the best of Western Civilization for many centuries), is cheated and discounted, depriving the Internet world of British Royal Family fans from the user-friendly ability to research and appreciate the God-blessed value of Great Britain’s historic role (and connectedness) for Western Civilization. This is like revisionist history by vandalism.


Of course, it is unlikely that her Britannic Majesty will actually get to read the above letter  —  Who knows?  —  yet it would be nice if Great Britain’s Parliament would declare that wonderful computer program as a national heritage treasure, like a historic castle, because that user-friendly royal genealogy information/program is truly an informational legacy worthy of preservation and public educational access.

Meanwhile, I have tried to “give credit where credit is due”.

Just thinking about all of that Providential history reminds me of Psalm 102:18, which says: “This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.”   [See also “People Yet to Be Created”,  Acts & Facts (November 2014), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/people-yet-be-created  .%5D


 

Eat Lightly Before the Lutefisk Banquet

“Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?”

(Matthew 7:10)

It is obvious that fish is a wonderful food; it is truly good to eat.  And lutefisk is a wonderful preparation of codfish!   (So eat a light lunch, to save room for a lot of lutefisk, if you are attending an all-you-can-eat lutefisk supper!)

EAT  LIGHTLY  BEFORE  THE  LUTEFISK  BANQUET 

(by  Dr. James J. S. Johnson)

Chocolate pie, for lunch, a snack brisk;

Also, for me, tomato bisque;

   But the dining highlight,

   that we had, that night:

Was all-you-can-eat lutefisk!

lutefisk-supper-road-sign-photo-by-jjsj

Previously I have blogged about the exotic Scandinavian cuisine known as LUTEFISK.
So, to learn more about this wonderful preparation of North Atlantic codfish, see:
“Bluebirds of Happiness, Plus Enjoying a Lutefisk Banquet” [at  https://leesbird.com/2015/12/11/bluebirds-of-happiness-plus-enjoying-a-lutefisk-banquet/ ]; and
 “For the Love of Lutefisk!”  [at  https://bibleworldadventures.com/2016/09/22/for-the-love-of-lutefisk/ ]; and
“Lutefisk for Christmas:  Cod at its Best!” [at  https://rockdoveblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/lutefisk-for-christmas-cod-at-its-best/ %5D.

Bon Appétit !

 

 

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).

 

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)