Lizards are coming !

The  lizards  are  coming !

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.  (Genesis 8:19)

Earlier this week some co-workers spotted a Spiny Lizard creeping around, inside a building that I work in  —  so I wrote this limerick, about how the lizards are coming! 

Should we panic, trembling as we await invading lizards?   This is a semi-sarcastic attempt  to mock recent trends of panic-in-the-news  (“the-sky-is-falling!”)  hysteria.

Desert-Spiny-Lizard.TucsonHerpetologicalSoceity

Desert Spiny Lizard (female) / Tucson Herpetological Society

THE  LIZARDS  ARE  COMING!

Phrynosomatids  are such fun;

Now here, their visits, have begun;

     As Eastland knows well,

      These can heartily dwell *

If  overbred,  we’ll  be  overrun!

(Regarding Texas’ most famous phrynosomatid lizard, “Ol’ Rip” of Eastland, see this Wikipedia entry:    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ol%27_Rip_the_Horned_Toad/  .)

Usually  Texans are more concerned  about hailstorms  than lizards.

But, it’s not a bad idea to keep an eye out for phrynosomatid  lizards  —  such as spiny lizards, horny lizards (a/k/a horny toads), California rock lizards, fringe-toed lizards, earless lizards, zebra-tailed lizards, and other creepy reptiles.   (But don’t be fearful.)


 

India’s Under-appreciated Hero: Colonel Ole Bie

Colonel Ole Bie, A True Friend of India (Especially India’s Widows)

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.   (Psalm 102:18)

Here is my limerick about the under-appreciated contribution made to India, about 200 years ago, by Colonel Ole Bie, Norwegian-born Danish trade colony governor of Serampore, a Lutheran who supported Baptist missionary William Carey (and other Christian missionaries) in their efforts to share the Gospel of Christ in India (including Bible translations and the establishment of Serampore College)   —   as well as to promote the Genesis Mandate (by politically opposing the then-prevalent widow-burning custom called “sati”) for Adam’s descendants to “be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth”.

In time, after much lobbying of the British colonial government, a political victory was gained (to protect the lives of India’s widows).  Consequently, many families in India today can trace their genealogical existence back to widows who were allowed to remarry — and who, as remarried, later gave birth unto children (of their second marriages).

baby-in-the-womb

COLONEL OLE BIE, A TRUE FRIEND OF INDIA

India, long ago, traded with Danes;

‘Twas win-win, with both nations’ gains;

Labored Bie, Carey, and Roy,

Sati’s threat to destroy —

Ending those life-quenching banes.

See James J. S. Johnson, “Contending for the Faith and the Genesis Mandate”, ACTS & FACTS, 43(5):19 (May 2014), posted at  https://www.icr.org/article/contending-for-faith-genesis-mandate  .

Because every human life is precious to God, even if a single (and “unsung”) life is a inconspicuous as a water-drop.  [ See  https://pinejay.com/2019/12/05/is-your-life-like-a-drop-of-water/  .]

OleBieChurch-Serampore-India.monument



 

 

Is the Septuagint a backdated scam?

Forensic / Linguistic Judgment:  the “Septuagint” O.T. Translation-Texts are Backdated Misrepresentations

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.   (2nd Corinthians 2:17)

LXX IS AN UNRELIABLE BACKDATED GREEK TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE’S OLD TESTAMENT HEBREW TEXT

(limerick by JJSJ)

Septuagint texts often err;

Did translators just fail to care?

A provenance sham?

A forgery scam?

Check out its history, if you dare!

Image result for septuagint david daniels

YouTube  by  DAVID W. DANIELS  (re Septuagint’s misrepresented provenance)

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBFXozZ_Zhc  

For a surprising report of Biblical text research and forensic analysis, of what is commonly called the “Septuagint” (or “LXX”), check out this journal article:

https://creationresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/crsq-summer-2019-tomkins.pdf

“Extensive Messianic Prophecy Corruptions and Flood-related Chronology Errors Disqualify the Septuagint (LXX) as a Reliable Source for Creationist Research”, Creation Research Society Quarterly (summer 2019), 56(1):40-47, by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, David W. Daniels, & James J. S. Johnson.

Also, this book  (by  scholar  David A. Daniels)  is highly recommended:

DWD-book.Did-Jesus-Use-LXX


POST-SCRIPT:  for a limerick regarding how Biblical texts were corrupted and advocated, by Westcott & Hort, and their ilk, see “Critiquing the ‘Critical Text’ Critics”, posted at https://pinejay.com/2019/01/10/critiquing-the-critical-text-critics/ .

Remembering … Junior High Years

REMEMBERING  …  JUNIOR  HIGH  YEARS

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’.   (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

Remembering Peer Pressure Testings  during Junior High Years,  in Reisterstown and Wards Chapel, Maryland

When I think back, on days gone by,

Such as my years, in junior high:

Peer pressure dares, and snobby sneers;

God’s grace my guide, not foolish peers

Rich victories won, as time hiked by.

This limerick begins a “Pilgrim Geography” series, recalling how God has providentially blessed me in various places, along life’s journey as I trek about this earth as a “pilgrim” belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ.

During my junior high years I was confronted with a lot of ugly peer pressure (i.e., opportunities to sin), which repulsed me and nudged me toward the more-independent pathway of “daring to be a Daniel”  —  when peers mocked my teen-aged piety (as if I had a loser lifestyle, as a “jerk” who would never become “popular”) saying NO to opportunities for immorality.

(Although one doesn’t always know who is watching  —  https://wordpress.com/post/leesbird.com/95265   —  personal moral integrity is often showcased when “no one” is watching.  Besides, it’s never true that “no one” is watching, because God always observes us, even when human eyes and ears don’t.)

Needless to say, I have no regrets that I repeatedly refused “dares” to compromise my personal integrity for the fleeting comfort (and false “value”) of peer “acceptance”/approval.

For a few Old Testament Scriptures, that inform God’s children of their privileged calling as “pilgrims”, see Genesis 47:9; Exodus 6:4; and Psalm 119:54.  In the New Testament, see especially Hebrews 11:13 and 1st Peter 2:11.

By God’s grace, since becoming a Christian (during autumn of my 6th grade year), my earthly pilgrimage (which has included a lot of Providential geography) has been an ongoing mix of life experiences that provide character tests and opportunities to grow in serious loyalty to (and fellowship with) Him, always being enabled by His indwelling Spirit’s all-sufficient grace and guidance (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:30), spiced and seasoned with a generous sprinkling of surprises, learning, adventures, joy, and abundant life (John 10:10).

Thank You,  LORD,  for being with me — and shaping my young life then —  through those precious years.


 

When in Scotland, Eat Well!

When In Scotland, Eat Well!

Nevertheless He [i.e., God] left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and He gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.  (Acts 14:17)

full-Scottish-breakfast.TripAdvisor

Good food is a proof of God’s providential care and power, as Acts 14:17 indicates.  [See my analysis, of this truth, in “Our Daily Bread:  How Food Proves God’s Providence”, ACTS & FACTS, 40(4):8-9 (April 2011), posted at  https://www.icr.org/article/our-daily-bread-how-food-proves-gods/ .]

So, here is my Scottish-memories limerick, to help me recall some wonderful food that I ate while in Scotland, including many “full Scottish breakfast” buffets (with hot black teas), plus gourmet later-in-the-day treasures like Norway Lobster (a/k/a “Langoustine”, Nephrops norvegicus  —  a marine crustacean resembling a mini-lobster, i.e., a crawfish that tastes somewhat like a prawn-sized shrimp), haggis (which looks like a large egg roll — and tastes like Pennsylvania Dutch scrapple), venison, Isle of Mull mussels, scones (with clotted cream),  sea scallops (e.g., “Queenies”), salmon, haddock (as part of “fish and chips”), haggis-&-cracked-black-pepper potato chips, Irn-Bru ice cream, and more!

Isle-of-Mull-scallops

Recalling Scottish Cuisine, in the Highlands & Hebrides

Scallops, haggis, fish and chips

Are well welcomed by my lips;

Norway lobster, steak of deer,

Scones and tea  give me cheer;

Scallops, haggis, fish and chips!

[writ by JJSJ while leaving Scotland, 21st July AD2019]

Norway-Lobster.DailyScandinavian

Tired Feet, Refreshed by Cold Tidewater

FOOTWASHING, IN COLD TIDEWATER, CAN BE VERY REFRESHING

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Jesus saith to him [i.e., Peter], He that is washed needs not, except to wash his feet, but is clean every whit; and ye are clean, but not all.   (John 13:10)

Iona-MartyrsBay-beach-wideangle

After a lot of hiking along Martyrs Bay, on Iona island (19th July AD2019), a small isle in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, I refreshed my feet with a good foot-soaking (for about 5 minutes — as long as I could tolerate the cold!), in the frigid shore-waters of the Iona’s shore.  Hence this limerick, by which to remember that very cool experience:

AFTER HOURS OF HIKING, SOAK YOUR FEET IN THE FRIGID SHORE-WATERS OF IONA SOUND

Hiking for hours, on Scottish ground,

Fatigued feet trek, toward Iona’s Sound;

Footgear off — pants cuffs rolled,

Step in sea-water — c-c-cold!

“Freezing” tired feet, in Iona’s Sound!

Iona-MartyrsBay-shoreline


 

In Real Life, It’s Survival of the Fitted

© Jay Fleming

IN  REAL  LIFE,  IT’S  SURVIVAL  OF  THE  FITTED

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Know ye that the LORD, He is God:  it is He Who hath made us, and not we ourselves;  we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.   Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise;  be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  (Psalm 100:3-4)

JJSJ-with-Dungeness-CrabDarwinists cluck, with affection,

Darwin’s phrase, “natural selection”;

Science fiction’s sales pitch,

‘Tis a slick bait-and-switch;

It’s a fraud, by-passing detection.

 

Whene’er the real world we inspect,

We observe real cause and effect;

The “fittest” can’t survive

Till at first, they arrive;

Blind nature can never “select”.

 

If nature is deaf, dumb, and blind,

It won’t birth a lucky “design”;

Half-baked, mutants aren’t “fit”,

When they, gene-codes omit;

Such changes won’t make a new “kind”.

 

So whom have the Darwinists kidded?

And whom have such sophists outwitted?

Nature’s “favor” won’t wait

For a new, wannabe trait;

To survive, life must be God-fitted!


© AD2010 James J. S. Johnson


What’s the real “why” and “how” behind creation?  Check out Revelation 4:11.

Wise-men-still-seek-Jesus.silhouette

For some specific examples of “survival of the fitted”, see my creation science article “Survival of the Fitted: God’s Providential Programming”, ACTS & FACTS, 39(10):17-18 (October 2010), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/survival-fitted-gods-providential-programming   —  including Arctic Tern migrations, chicken egg hatching, mustelid embryology, Melipona bees pollinating vanilla bean flowers, etc.

In fact, the evolutionary phrase “natural selection” is a deceptively misleading bait-and-switch metaphor, as has been documented and clarified by Dr. Randy J. Guliuzza, “Darwin’s Sacred Imposter: The Illusion That Natural Selection Operates on Organisms”, ACTS & FACTS, 40(9):12-15 (September 2011), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/darwins-sacred-imposter-illusion-that/  .

See also, accord, an example of an evolutionist effectively admitting this awkward reality, saying:  “Evolutionary biologists routinely speak of natural selection as if it were an agent” but then again “Many evolutionary biologists, in fact, assure us that the idea of a selecting agent is ‘only a metaphor’—even as they themselves succumb to the compelling force of the metaphor…And so we are to believe that natural selection, which ‘is not an agent, except metaphorically’, manages to design artifacts; and the organism…is not, after all, a creative or originating agent itself. Its [the organism’s] agency has been transferred to an abstraction [natural selection] whose causal agency or ‘force’ is, amid intellectual confusion, both denied and universally implied by biologists. Natural selection becomes rather like an occult Power of the pre-scientific age…”  [  Quoting admissions by evolutionist Stephen L. Talbot, “Can Darwinian Evolutionary Theory Be Taken Seriously?”  —  posted on  natureinstitute.org  on May 17, 2016 accessed September 14, 2018 (emphasis in original), at    http://natureinstitute.org/txt/st/org/comm/ar/2016/teleology_30_TMP.htm   ]


white-ibises-birdbook-webel-backyard-ad2016The Rock Dove Blog is a humble attempt to honor God with a beginner blogsite, so your patience (hopefully) will be rewarded, in due time.  At present the sole author on this blog is Dr. James J. S. Johnson (a/k/a JJSJ), a fan of rock doves (a/k/a “pigeons”)  — as well as an appreciative worshiper of the God Who made them (and also the rest of creation, including us humans, for whose benefit the Lord Jesus Christ became mankind’s crucified-and-afterward-resurrected Kinsman-Redeemer.  Addicted to reading since childhood, JJSJ has earned (over time) several academic degrees (including natural science degrees) and government-issued post-doc certifications.  But the greatest truth is “Jesus loves me, this I know; for the Bible tells me so” — which is summarized in John 3:16.


 

ESTONIA: With God’s Favor, After Times of Weeping, Comes Joy!

ESTONIA:   With God’s Favor, After Times of Weeping, Comes Joy!

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

In His [i.e., God’s] favor is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.  (Psalm 30:5b)

Tallinn-Estonia-city-panorama.KaupoKalda-photo

Tallinn (f/k/a Reval) is the ancient capital of Estonia (f/k/a the Swedish Duchy of Estland).  Since the Viking Age Estonia has suffered at the mercy (or lack thereof) of its occupying neighbors, including Baltic Vikings, the German Sword Brethren,  Denmark, Danes, Prussian Teutonic Knights, Russians, the Germany-based Hanseatic League monopoly-merchants, Danes (again), Germans (again), Lithuania-Poland, Russians (again), Danes (again), Poland (again – with the Protestant Reformation spreading throughout Estonia – in part, after AD1525,  thanks to the influence of Walter von Plettenburg, Master of the Livonian Order), Sweden (with the Protestant Reformation further spreading throughout Estonia – in part, after AD1525,  thanks to the influence of, Poland (again), Russians (again), followed by a short taste of freedom (during AD1918—AD1940), then Stalin’s Soviet Union Russians  —  finally leading to political independence in AD1991, as the providentially miraculous “Singing Revolution” succeeded!  [For more on Estonia’s turbulent history, as well as its valuable culture, see my “Heritage Highlights:  Estonia”, Baltic Heritage Review (volume 2006, issue #6), pages 1-12, used with lectures aboard Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas, hopefully to be republished via online postings, D.v.]

Estonian-folk-costumes

So here is my limerick to summarize those centuries of suffering and oppression, ending in freedom.

Tallinn’s Longsuffering till Freedom in AD1991

Reval’s been a city oft-fallen,

Many seized it prior to Stalin;

Dozens came to invade,

Hansa once ruled its trade —

But now it sings,  as free Tallinn!

Tallinn-port-cruiseships.Estonia

It was a privilege, therefore, for my wife and I, during AD2006, to once briefly visit Tallinn, and to gaze upon its centuries-old (some dating back to the Dark Ages of medieval “Reval”) city walls, including its conspicuous towers “Fat Margaret” and “Tall Hermann”, plus the (Russian Orthodox) Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Lutheran Dome Church [“Toomkirik”], and St. Olav’s Church [“Oleviste Kirik”, previously Lutheran but now a Baptist church], just to mention a few of Tallinn’s old-city landmarks.

Yet I cannot forget, also, seeing beautiful birds in Tallinn, fleet-flapping and fluttering about (catching insects), especially the so-called Common Swifts that darted and zipped about, almost in choreographic patterns, near the roof edges of Tallinn’s buildings: “Making a Joyful Noise in Estonia’s Tallinn: A Quick Memoir of Common Swifts”  —  https://leesbird.com/2016/10/04/making-a-joyful-noise-in-estonias-tallinn-a-quick-memoir-of-common-swifts/ .   (Yes, I realize that the Barn Swallow is Estonia’s official bird  —  but it was a flock of Common Swifts that I saw in AD2006.)

COmmon-Swift-flock.Biopix-JCSchou

Meanwhile, may God mightily bless Estonia, land of the Singing Revolution!

Tallinn.Estonian-choir-kids


 

Are Family Lines Like Relay Races?

ARE FAMILY LINES LIKE RELAY RACES?

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

 This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.   (Psalm 102:18)

RelayRace-Starting.little-girl

A relay race requires a team united in their efforts to reach a destination within a certain timeframe. Each relay runner runs part of the race’s total distance.  Besides running, relay races may involve cross-country skiing, swimming, ice skating, or even race-car driving.  A relay race is a team sport – if the team doesn’t work well together, the unsurprising result is a failure to win.

Planning and preparation—including division of labor decisions and logistical support– are important for successfully competing in a relay race. Who will lead off?  Who will run the next “leg”? Who runs the “last leg” of the race? Transferring the baton can “make or break” a success.   Dropping the baton can ruin everything.

RelayRace-passing-baton

Biogenetically speaking, our family lines are like relay races, except the “race” is much slower. Thankfully, our parents transferred the baton of life to us; we do the same to our children.  They must do the same for our grandchildren, and so on.  But what if our parents had “dropped” the baton, procreatively, when we needed them most—so they we would be conceived and born?

No one can “start” any “leg” of the multi-generational race unless and until God Himself procreatively makes that person. That requires literally thousands of years of God’s providential work—the details of which we never learn in this lifetime.  Yet God kindly chose to make each of us the exact individual each one of us is.  There is just one you.  That is how personal God is, as our Creator. Beyond that His Son has provided redemption for our sin.  That’s enough to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!

Psalm139.13-16-FamilyHistory-slide

What a start in life we each have, physically:  planned by God, procreatively constructed—microscopically—in the womb, by God’s own artistic embroidery-like needlework (Psalm 139:15).  And that’s just our physical life!

Psalm102.18-FamilyHistory-slide

Now imagine how God gives each of us a unique personality—a thinking mind, our emotions, our ability to make choices—all of those singularly human traits that pertain to being created in God’s image.  And even before our physical bodies were formed, by the miraculous union of sperm and egg, the spiritual redemption that we each so desperately need (as Adam’s descendants) is already provided for, by Christ’s finished death and resurrection—as a gift which we receive simply by believing His good news about it.  What an amazing start!

But, as members of a specific family, we are members of a team that must all run.  So having a wonderful start is no place to quit.  It is our duty to run with endurance, our assigned “leg” of the race, as we blend our part of the race with that of our family “teammates”.  That includes focusing on Christ Himself—Who is our ultimate goal (Hebrews 12:1-2), pacing our race with endurance (that He provides), refusing to be distracted (by the world), and doing our best to help the next runner(s) to get off to a good start.

RelayRace-ScottishKilts-fromGoogleImages

How well have you appreciated those who “ran” before you, and who (biogenetically) passed a baton that became a necessary part of who—in God’s providence—you are today?   What work did God do to make sure that your father was born the boy he was?  What details of human history made it possible for your mother to be procreatively created as the girl she was?  What about your mother’s parents—what work did God do, in history, to make them who they were?  Why and how did they meet?  What about your paternal grandparents, have you thanked God for their lives?  What family history can you pass on to the next generation, and the next, so they can know what to thank God for?

HudsonJohnson.AD2018-neonatal-hat

Does all of this stretch your mind?  — it should, but the next question is how can you honor God with your own family history? Can you think of something specific you can do, this week, about this?

<> JJSJ     profjjsj@aol.com

Bill-Sonia-and-kids.family-photo

Being Thankful About the Basics, including the Little Things

Being Thankful About the Basics, including the Little Things

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.  (Luke 10:20)

John14.2-pic

Being secure for eternity, thanks to having the Lord Jesus Christ as my Redeemer, is wonderful (John 3:14-16; Luke 10:20).  Yet I would have no eternity, either good or bad, if God had never created me (to be me) in the first place.

In other words, the most basic gratitude, that we should have, is being thankful that God chose to make us as the unique humans we are (Psalm 102:18).

PaloDuroCanyon-Mastodon-with-JJSJ

JJSJ birdwatching / hiking in Palo Duro Canyon, Texas Panhandle, during spring of AD2018 (photo-shopped Mastodon inserted by my cousin Don Barber)

So here is a limerick about appreciating being a creature (whom God chose to make), plus being grateful for some of the simplest things in life, such as good food (Acts 14:17).

THANK YOU, GOD, FOR BLESSING LITTLE ME

(AND FOR LITTLER BLESSINGS TOO)

O God, thanks for making little me;

Thanks, too, for littler blessings I can see:

Little gifts, like cherries red,

Liverwurst, dark rye bread —

Thanks mostly, You chose to make me!

Cherries-wild