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Posts Tagged ‘Life’


Michael Meyer, NASA scientist, questions how life on Earth began.  In his comments about how life might have begun on Mars, he says that we know that meteors from Earth have hit Mars.

I’d like to know what evidence there is that any meteors from Earth have hit Mars.  Any impact that could cause a chunk of this world to be expelled into space surely happened before man was here to witness it–and live to tell.  The odds that a chunk escaped our gravity and made its way all the way to Mars are extraordinary.  And I have yet to hear of any findings on Mars that supports this claim.

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In researching this, I found this CNN opinion article in which the author states “But organic molecules get delivered to planets all the time from impacts by small and large asteroids and comets (like February’s fireball impact above Chelyabinsk, Russia), providing the last key ingredient for habitability.”

Really?  So where is the evidence of these organic molecules?  I also researched the Chelyabinsk meteor and fail to find any mention of organic matter.

As usual, it’s amazing that science states information as fact without the generally accepted level of evidence to support it.  If it’s said enough times, it must be true.  Otherwise, they must be operating on hope and faith.  And if that’s the case, then it’s religion, not science!

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The iceberg has been hit!  The ship is taking on water!

You are part of the crew and are responsible for helping save the passengers.  Now consider:

  1. You can debate whether the ship is going to sink,
  2. You can debate whether some of the passengers are worth saving,
  3. Or You can simply do your job and save as many as possible.

As Christians, we have a Bible and a doctrine that teaches us that the “ship” has already hit the iceberg and is doomed.  We aren’t here to debate the size of the iceberg, whether we hit it, the rate at which the ship is taking on water, or whether the ship will sink.  It’s not our place to try to determine which passengers are worthy of being saved.   Our mandate comes from One who wants all of the passengers saved.

There are some who are in the water and don’t believe they’re drowning.  There may be others on the deck who refuse to believe the ship will go down.  Still others may be convinced that the ship is in trouble but they’re afraid to jump.  We need to reach them all and as with the Titanic, time is running out.

It is not enough to say “I’m in a lifeboat, I’m good!”  No!  We are tasked to pull as many into the boats as we can.  Convince those who need it to jump into the water.  But convincing others of the peril and doom they face without a change in their situation is our job.

We have a Titanic opportunity before us!  All hands on deck!

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Do you get what you want for Christmas?  Last year I did!  It’s rare that I ask for anything.  Usually, it’s just something from my son—something bought at the school Christmas bazaar.  For instance, this year, it was a miniature, magnetized, reversible screwdriver.  How thoughtful of my 9-yr-old!

So this year, no-one has asked me what I want.  Not sure what I’d ask for.  I would enjoy a new subscription to Ancestry.com!  I would love two tickets (me and my wife)  to England.  I’d be ecstatic over two tickets to Israel!  But then I might as well just wish for a million dollars while I’m at it.  None of those is likely as a gift this year or any year!

I guess I shouldn’t complain though.  Several people will get presents they don’t want.  Some of them will even return them.  Of course, that should surprise no-one.

The very first Christmas present was kept for 33 years before it was torn, battered, and utterly rejected.  It was a gift the whole world (then, now, and future) needs, yet was despised by those who had it in their presence.  It was the PERFECT gift.  It was the original gift that keeps on giving. 

So when you give a gift this year, stop and think about your loving Father who gave us all such a precious gift—that the world continues to reject.

If I gave my son something as simple as a Hot Wheels car and he tossed it aside, I’d be heart-broken over the rejection.  How much more is God heart-broken over our rejection of His gift, Jesus!

The reason for the season, as trite as that has become in recent years, is the Gift of Life through the Gift of Jesus!

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A Sad Little Man


Stephen Hawking is again in the news.  He declares there is no Heaven and that there is no afterlife.  He likens the human mind to a computer—when it shuts down that final time, that’s it.  No reboot.  No Geek Squad to come fix it.  No pearly gates on the other side.  He is a sad little man.

One thing Mr Hawking asserts is that people believe in an afterlife because they are afraid of the dark.  He suggests that people are afraid to die, adding that he is not.  I’m not afraid to die either.  I will be gone longer than I was here and that’s just how it goes.  There’s nothing I can do to stay longer.  Quite frankly, the way things are going in this world, those who want to live forever are probably fools.  The longer we live, the more pain and heartache we see.  The more depravity we see pouring out into the world.  Would I want to live a hundred years?  I would have lived to see the first moon missions, multiple wars, 9/11, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, Barack Obama, space shuttles—and in the end, what would I have gained?  Nothing more than some faded memories of events far from my life in most cases.  It’s kinda like the kid who finally gets to stay up all night and watches TV.  Big Deal!

No, it’s better that life isn’t forever in this form and this plane of existence.  I don’t look forward to an afterlife because I’m afraid of the dark—the dark is already here all around us.  Turn on CNN or MSNBC and check it out.  I look forward to an afterlife because of the Light. 

If Stephen Hawking were a Christian physicist, he’d perceive the Light of the World and would look forward to leaving this miserable human existence.  He is a sad little man to think that this is all there is.  He will be sadder still to get to the other side and to realize that his intellect blinded him into thinking this is the light and that the”afterlife” is really darkness.

MORE:

http://weirdnews.aol.com/2011/05/16/stephen-hawking-there-is-_n_862358.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl2%7Csec1_lnk2%7C63219

http://stephen-hawking-biography.blogspot.com/2009/11/stephen-hawking-biographystephen.html

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It’s a hot day.  You’re tired and sweaty.  Nothing would be better than a nice tall glass of some ice cold sweet tea.  So you stop at your favorite restaurant and order a glass.  Its brought to your table and just before you pick it up to drink it, the waitress adds a teaspoon of a dark liquid to it.  A bit surprised, you ask what she put in your tea.  She tells you it was a teaspoon of raw sewage.  The tea is pretty sweet she tells you–you shouldn’t notice.

So you drink the tea?

I think not.

Outraged, you leave and go to another restaurant and order a tall glass of ice-cold sweet tea.  The waitress brings you a glass of some dark liquid and adds what appears to be a teaspoon of iced tea to it.

You’ve had it—you leave.  You go home and make your own.

Whether it’s a teaspoon of sewage in a glass of tea, or a teaspoon of tea in a glass of sewage, neither one is worth anything to you.  A little bit of the bad stuff ruins the batch, and no matter how good the good stuff is, it can’t make that glass any better.

Fact is that a teaspoon of raw sewage added to a swimming pool full of water would make most people decide to get out!  And no amount of fresh water being added to a pool full of sewage would temp the average person to jump in.

So why is it that when it comes to our religious beliefs, we’re willing to compromise and accept pollution?

A family member visited a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church recently.  As I looked into what the church stands for, I was not surprised to find a doctrine of universal acceptance of religious and world views—a hodgepodge of beliefs that are not espoused by the church, but are condoned for the individual in his or her search for spiritual value.  The church holds to a belief that no one church or religion has a monopoly on the truth.  If that’s true, then the UU church must fall under that same statement.

The problem is that there is a truth out there.  And I believe that truth is what is in the Bible.

Paul, in his letter to the Believers in Rome, said “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”  (Romans 1:20)

What I believe is that man has been aware of the existence of a creator since man set foot on the Earth.  In his rebellion against God, man has found other things to worship and looked for other things to explain the world.  Anything but God!

Whether it’s Zeus and his followers, Jupiter if you prefer—or Odin—or a Great Spirit—man has attributed the creation to false creators. Man has looked at the evidence Paul speaks of and has made his own gods to explain the world.  Man has worshipped the creation rather than the creator.  And churches along the way have been adding their teaspoon of sewage to the glass.

I don’t believe God would set His mark in nature and a yearning for a significance beyond ourselves in us unless He also was going to give us some way to put it all together and come up with the right answers.  But just in case, a couple thousand years ago, He sent someone to help confirm and finish the story.  His name was Jesus and he told us that no-one comes to the Father except through him.

Jesus did not say we could get there through Brigham Young, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Sun Myun Moon, Bhudda, Hare Krishna, the Dalai Lama, Muhammad—the list of pretenders could go on and on.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6)

So here’s a challenge to you if you seek the truth.  If you really are seeking the truth, it is found in Jesus.

If you are seeking the truth anywhere else, you are looking for that teaspoon of water in a pool of sewage—you’re not going to find it.

If the UU church values the teachings of Jesus, then they cannot ignore his statement in John 14:6.  They are hypocrites to accept any other teaching.  

If they do not accept what Jesus said about himself in John 14:6, then they are fools to allow what they believe to be a false teaching in a church that wants its faithful to find spiritual truth.  They would be allowing what they may consider a teaspoon of sewage in their swimming pool.  

They can’t have it both ways and have any credibility.

True religion is typically not taught by any church.  Once a Christian denomination gets you to the point of accepting that we are all sinners and need the saving blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins—they add in all the other garbage that has come along with centuries of man making his own rules based on his own views on what the Bible says—or doesn’t say.

But the Bible itself says that “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”  (James 1:27)

As for what we should do, it tells us that too:  “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

In simpler terms, as if the Bible needs to be explained any better, the Christian faith is (or should be) about our relationship to God through His son, Jesus, and our relationship to others through Jesus.  It’s that simple.

It’s not about where you go to church, if or how much you give, or whether you sing a hymn or recite a prayer when prompted.  It’s about having the right relationships with those around us based on the guidelines given by the One who created us and knows what is best for us.

Of course, so many of us think we know what’s best and what’s right…

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After hearing a story on NPR this morning, I remember thinking that people do not want justice, they want retribution.  Unfortunately, this desire seems to drive people to accept any answer rather than the right answer, especially in cases involving violent crimes and the subsequent arrest and conviction of a perpetrator.  More to the point of this post, once a suspect is arrested, tried, and convicted, it is difficult to convince some that they may have the wrong man.

Case in point is the story of Troy Anthony Davis who was arrested for the killing of a Savannah, Georgia police officer, Mark Allen MacPhail, in 1989.  It should be noted that Troy Davis was not hunted down as a killer, but rather surrendered to police, claiming his innocence.  And not that it should matter, but in Georgia, reality is that it might matter—Troy is Black, Mark is White.  No, it really should not be about race.

There was no physical evidence to link Troy to the killing—no weapon, no DNA.

Nine “witnesses” testified against Troy Davis during the trial, leading to his conviction.  Seven of those nine have now submitted sworn affidavits recanting their testimony.  Citing pressure by police officers to name Troy as the killer, those seven are soon to face a new hearing in which they will have to explain their motives then for that testimony, and their motives today to tell the truth.

The case has drawn national and international attention with support coming from the likes of Amnesty International, former President Jimmy Carter (a Georgian and former governor), and Pope Benedict XVI.  Their position is not clear in news coverage, whether it is simply support for commuting the death penalty to life in prison, or more decisively for a new trial.  Regardless, the case will be heard by a Federal judge in Savannah.

But back to justice:  What is justice?  To the family of officer MacPhail, justice should be finding the killer responsible for taking a son, brother, husband, and father away from them.  Justice should be “knowing” that the killer is behind bars and suitably held responsible for the killing.  Justice should not be standing behind a 19-year-old conviction that is now questionable at best.

Justice is blind, but it should not be as blind as to say that once a person has been convicted, that the conviction is ironclad and error proof.  As has been seen in recent years, new forensics has cleared convicted prisoners.  According to Death Penalty Information Center, 138 convicts on death row have been exonerated since 1973 with either charges being dismissed, or the convict being acquitted or pardoned.  In 17 of those cases, DNA played a part in the case.  One inmate, Laurence Adams, was cleared after 30 years on death row.

It seems that opponents of new trials are stuck on the results of the initial trial, blindly believing in a system that has noted flaws, unwavering in their hatred for the convict due to the pain and loss the family has suffered.  They hold to the fact that a conviction was handed down and refuse to consider that it may have been in error.  But as noted in some of the cases reported by DPIC, evidence can be withheld or manipulated in order to give police and prosecutors the “win” they so desperately seek in order to look good or to quell the local clamor for an outcome.

Don’t mistake my position here to be supportive of letting criminals off for technicalities.  That’s a sad side to our Constitutional values.  No, releasing ANY criminal due to a technical error is a matter of injustice.  I’m squarely on the side of being sure that law enforcement officers, lawyers, and the courts act in an honest and honorable manner so that convictions are correct and appropriate when handed down and so that there is no doubt that the guilty are held accountable.  Justice is not synonymous with holding “someone” accountable unless that someone is the right person.  Let’s get the justice system fixed so that what we get is truly justice—not just a conviction.  Let’s get justice for the MacPhail family lest they be tortured by the question of Troy’s innocent life being taken for their benefit.  IF Troy is eventually released, it’s my sincerest hope that the true guilty party is found, convicted, and punished.  I would add to that wish that there be final peace and closure for the MacPhails.

But peace does not come at the price of a human life.  Regardless of who is convicted and executed, the MacPhails are wrong to believe that they will find peace through it all.  I clearly do not support the death penalty anyway, but looking for peace this way is not the answer.  I would not want to be in a position to think that a convict was put to death for a crime he or she did not commit, while the real guilty party was still out on the streets, free to commit other crimes. 

The MacPhails may not want to relive any of what happened, and may be content to accept what they were told and shown years ago, but true justice will not be served until the new evidence is reviewed and evaluated once again.  If in the light of that new evidence Troy Davis’ conviction is upheld, justice will have been served. 

MORE:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128017555

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/innocence-list-those-freed-death-row

http://www.troyanthonydavis.org/call-to-action.html

http://savannahnow.com/troy-davis/2010-06-23/mark-allen-macphail-remembered-tuesday-hero-who-gave-his-all

http://markallenmacphail.org/

http://www.odmp.org/officer/8410-officer-mark-allen-macphail-sr.

***********************************************

Mark Allen MacPhail, Sr:

Mark A MacPhail

Officer Mark MacPhail was shot and killed while working an off duty security job at a bus station. He was shot while attempting to break up a fight in the parking lot of a nearby fast food restaurant.

The suspect shot him underneath his vest and then again in the head as he fell.

The suspect was sentenced to death.

Officer MacPhail was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Savannah Police Department for three years. He was survived by his wife, 1-year-old daughter, infant son, mother, and siblings.

Source:  http://markallenmacphail.org/

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This was due out in January.  Unfortunately, there were some challenges to overcome and it’s late.

There are some blog aggregator services out there that do a nice job of driving traffic to a blog and I am happy they’re available.  I’ve gotten more exposure through them than I can begin to count.  But I felt that the services were too complicated for easy use, or asked for money from users to be kept in the rotation, or worse still, sold subscriptions!

I want to bring a free service to bloggers that had a clean and simple look and feel.  That’s what Ecritage is.

Ecritage is built to support eight languages:  English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, and Japanese.  It also utilizes Google translation so that any page can be read in one of these languages.

Ecritage is also broken into ten areas of interest under each language:  Life, Sports, Political, Entertainment, General, Financial, Leisure, Faith, News, and Travel.

Using Ecritage is fast and simple.  To submit your blog, choose a language page for it to appear on, type or paste the URL for your blog and then choose the area of interest.  Hit submit and you’re done!

One of the nice things about Ecritage is that you can submit your entire blog or just a particular post.  For instance, my blog is about anything and everything.  I might want to submit it under “General”.  However, if I write a post about President Obama, I may want to submit the URL for just that post under “Politics”.  You get the idea.

Please!  Go give it a try and check out other bloggers’ content while you’re there.

Keep in mind that this is a new service and there may be only a few blogs per language or channel until it gets going.

Have comments?  Use the “Contact” option on the site to provide feedback.

Thanks!

MORE:

www.ecritage.com

www.condron.us

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