Monday, May 29, 2017

Going Bald


It's official. I'm going bald.

And the worst part is I had no idea. I've known about the receding hairline for several years; the left side is in a race with the right side to reach my neck first. It's the classic horseshoe pattern. But last week I came face to face with the back of my head, and was confronted with the spiraling bald spot at the crown. My wife had been dropping subtle hints ("Hey, I have a coupon for Rogaine, FYI."), but I wasn't getting the message. Sometimes she was more deliberate ("Didn't your Papa lose his hair young? What are your thoughts on toupees?"), but I still wasn't getting her drift. It wasn't until she told me to hold a mirror and see for myself that I saw the ugly truth.

It helps to have a different perspective, even if you don't like what you see. With our eyes focused outward, we can miss what is taking place on the inside. That's why we all need people who, in love, can point out something that is wrong. I'm not talking about the physical appearance, but those little habits that begin to creep up in our lives. That pinch of pride, that jar of jealousy, that bucket of bitterness--they can grow without us realizing it. We might not like it at the time, but we need accountability from our brothers and sisters in Christ who love us enough to pull us aside, hand us a mirror, and tell us to take a look.

Maybe you have been angry at someone for pointing out some flaw; get over it! They're only trying to help you. Deal with what they pointed out to you, and you will both be better for it. Maybe you see something in a friend's life that you know you need to address, but you are worried that they will respond in anger. You've dropped hints, but they aren't getting the message. Grab a mirror (the Bible) and force them to look at the problem.


My first response to my wife after seeing my bald spot was to ask, "Why didn't you tell me?" But I knew she had. I just didn't want to see the truth and thought that as long as I couldn't see it, it wasn't real. But everyone else could see what I refused to acknowledge. Don't let your sin be that way. Everyone else can see it, so just deal with it now instead of turning a blind eye. It's time to face the bald truth.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cavemen




"It's so easy a caveman can do it."

A popular insurance company boasts that saving money by switching to them is easy enough for a caveman to do it. While their commercials are humorous, they build on the popular notion that "prehistoric" people, or cavemen, once roamed the earth as the evolutionary precursor to our modern day humans. We've all seen the images--based on nothing more than the evolutionist's desire for them to have existed--of scraggly, hunched over subhumans draped in leopard print loin cloths, dragging clubs behind them. These unevolved imbeciles only grunt out broken English, "Me make fire."

Evolutionists need these cavemen to have existed to bridge the gap between primate and people. No sane person could ever believe that an ape turned into a man wearing a jacket and tie, and possessing complete mastery of a spoken language. These cavemen are just like all the other missing links or transitional forms between species; there is no evidence to suggest they ever existed. In fact, the evidence points towards the opposite.

As far back as we can trace human existence, mankind has been nothing less than smart, resourceful, and creative. Consider the pyramids, which date back at least 4,000 years. These magnificent structures are so precisely made that a sheet of notebook paper cannot be wedged in between the blocks. The blocks must have been hand crafted, with each layer needing a different sized block, with no margin for error. Evidently some ancient scaffolding was used to erect the pyramids that are still a marvel of architecture, measuring hundreds of feet in height.

Think about Stonehenge in England. A project begun around 3000 BC, each stone is an estimated 25 tons, standing 18 feet high, and some stacked on top of each other. This would be an incredible undertaking today; how was it done 5,000 years ago? No one knows.

As far back as we know mankind has had a written language, whether through alphabets or hieroglyphics, which only points towards intelligence.

Obviously people used to live in caves, but not because they were prehistoric idiots; caves make natural, durable shelters that remain cool in the heat. Just knowing people once lived in caves doesn't prove man evolved, because people still live in caves today, including 30 million in China alone. Does that mean they haven't evolved?

God created man in His image, intelligent from the days of Adam. We didn't evolve into who we are today, we have been this way since Day 1. We'll, actually Day 6.

 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Genesis 1:26

Monday, May 15, 2017

Special Relationships



In nature there are many special relationships, called symbiotic relationships, between different species. In some of these relationships the partnership mutually benefits both parties; these partnerships are known as mutualism. Evolution's answer to mutualism is simply that these creatures evolved together, but that answer is not sufficient.

Consider the clown fish and the sea anemone. Sea anemone defend themselves by stinging with their tentacles, but clown fish have a special mucus that protects them from the sting. Clown fish find protection, then, living among the tentacles of the sea anemone, which in turn finds protection from the butterfly fish that eat anemones (and the anemone benefits by eating the waste from the clown fish). How did the special mucus evolve in the clown fish? After seeing other fish get stung, how did the clown fish figure out a recipe to protect itself? Did it magically get it right the first time, or was it stung repeatedly until it finally got the mucus right? And if evolution is true, why is the clown fish the only fish that has developed this beneficial mucus?

The crocodile and plover bird are another example. The croc is unable to brush and floss, and over time the build up of decayed food causes pain. Whenever he feels the urge, the croc will open his mouth wide and wait; when the plover sees the invitation it will land in the croc's mouth and pick out the food around their teeth. The bird gets a good meal and the reptile gets a good cleaning. The most unusual part of the relationship is that the plover flies safely away although nothing prevents the crocodile from eating the bird. Survival of the fittest should result in the bird becoming dinner, not a dentist. How did the first croc know all it had to do was open its mouth and wait for help? How did the first plover know it could trust the croc, safely feed from the croc, and that the croc sought its help to begin with?

These questions cannot be answered by evolution, but they do point to an intelligent Creator. His name is Jesus.


 For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him.

Colossians 1:16

Monday, May 8, 2017

Hacksaw Ridge




Last week I wrote about Paul's body of death--that gruesome picture he used to portray his sin. He asked the question, "Who will rescue me from this body of death?" Today I want to focus on that word rescue.

The Greek word that the apostle used in that question carried the idea of a wounded soldier being rescued on the battlefield. It is a passive verb, indicating that the injured is helpless and at the mercy of the one sent to rescue him. That is how Paul viewed himself, laying in the field, hurt and bleeding, and wondering if anyone cared enough to come to his aid.

The real life story of WWII hero Pfc. Desmond Doss can be used as an illustration of how our Lord rescues us. In the events that inspired a book and subsequent movie, this conscientious objector and strong believer in Jesus wanted to serve his country but refused to carry a weapon. He was routinely mocked and called a coward, but he actually displayed more bravery than most. Trained as a medic, he repeatedly put himself in harm's way in Japan, crawling into the action and bringing to safety the very ones who mocked his courage.

Doss was given a Purple Heart and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among other awards. He stepped on a grenade to limit its damage, was shot in the arm, and endured other superficial injuries from shrapnel. In one day he singlehandedly dragged seventy-five wounded men from the battlefield to the hospital. At an award ceremony in the White House, President Truman spoke of his Doss’ heroism this way: "'I'm proud of you,' the President said. 'You really deserve this. I consider this a greater honor than being President[1].'"

Paul asked if anyone would rescue him. He answered his own question in Romans 7:25 by saying, "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" When we are laying there, like Paul, wounded in battle and dying from our sin, Jesus comes to our rescue. Reach up your arm and call out to Him today.



[1] Herndon, Booton, Hero of Hacksaw Ridge, Regent Publishers, Inc., p.89

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Body of Death




In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 1798 poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, an old sailor is forced to wander the earth for eternity telling his story to strangers. That story includes him shooting an albatross that his crew members thought gave them good fortune on the seas; as punishment for killing the large bird, he is forced to wear the carcass around his neck (that is the origin of the phrase, "albatross around the neck" when referring to something that is a turnoff to others).

While that poem is purely fictional, there is a story like it that is believed to be true. In the ancient city of Tarsus, where the Apostle Paul was from, there was a legend of a murderer being forced to wear the dead body of his victim until the corpse decomposed (nice, right?). It is believed Paul had that picture in mind when he spoke about the internal struggle he had with sin; Paul lamented the fact that he finds himself doing what he hates, and not doing what he knows is right: "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death (v.24)?"

The body of death to which Paul referred should paint a graphic picture. Some today greatly downplay their sin, saying they are free in Christ. They say, “Hey, Paul sinned too, so what’s the big deal if I sin?” Instead of trying to crucify the flesh, they give themselves a license to sin in the name of “freedom.”

No one understood that freedom better than Paul, yet he was still disgusted by his actions. We should view our sin as nothing less than a body of death, a foul, offensive corpse that turns people away from our God. Who could deliver Paul from that body of death? Only Jesus. Turn to Him for help today.