CBD-Infused and THC-Infused
With the onslaught of the legalization of recreational marihuana, it is important to understand the difference between CBD-infused products and THC-infused. Both CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are products of cannabis plants (e.g., marijuana and hemp). Both are therefore called cannabinoids, but there is a major difference. THC is intoxicating, whereas CBD is not. CBD will not create euphoria or a state of “high.” CBD also does not have the negative side effects of THC, such as addiction, psychosis, long-term effects on learning, cognition, and personality, “amotivational syndrome” (lethargy and loss of interest in achievement), bronchitis and respiratory infections, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Many medical benefits are claimed for CBD, but the only CBD product to receive approval by the Food and Drug Administration so far (June 2018) is Epidiolex, which is used to treat forms of epilepsy. The marketing of CBD-infused food, which is just beginning, will doubtless be a bridge for some to THC. For example, the creator of Jelly Belly jelly beans is marketing a CBD-infused edition. ABC News reported on this with the opening line, “Jelly bean aficionados will now be able to experience something stronger than a sugar rush” (“Creator of Jelly Belly released cannabis-infused jelly beans,” ABC News, Mar. 20, 2019). Also, Carl’s Jr. is testing a CBD-infused sandwich in Denver which is named Rocky Mountain High Cheese Burger Delight. The very name seems to promise an intoxicating effect. The way these products are marketed gives the false idea that they are a bit intoxicating, and it is probable that some customers who fail to get an expected “buzz” will be tempted to obtain the “real thing.” The legalization of recreational marijuana will have major, far-reaching negative societal ramifications.
(Friday Church News Notes, April 26, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
The First Gospel
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
As we have already seen, God asks questions in order to give opportunity to repent. So, after their sin, God first questioned Adam because, as our federal head, his sin was imputed to all humans. Then he questioned Eve because she too had the opportunity to repent. Although Adam’s sin is imputed to all of us, we each need to repent of our own sins and come to God through Jesus our Savior.
There is no questioning of the devil because he was not made in the image of God, so he has no opportunity to repent. Turning to the devil, God proceeds to pronounce the verdict. In so doing, God announces the Gospel by stating that one day there would appear the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent even though the serpent would strike his heel.
In the Old Testament, whenever God is speaking face to face with people, this is what is known as a theophany – a pre-incarnation appearance of the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son. Because seed is normally from the man, the “seed of the woman” suggests someone who has a human mother, but who does not have a human father. This refers to the coming of the Messiah, and this is being related to the serpent in the hearing of Adam and Eve by God the Son Himself! This is the very first giving of the Gospel. After the very first sin, God did not leave us without a means of salvation, but sent His Son.
Israel's Mermaid Community
“Last year, Shir Katzenell made a drastic life change, leaving a prestigious job in the Israeli army to pursue a childhood dream: becoming a mermaid. Ever since getting hooked on Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ as a kid, Katzenell confided, she has longed to turn into one. While her friends moved on, Katzenell’s enchantment with mermaids endured. She fantasized about swimming underwater alongside fish in a 10-pound tail and sequined bikini. Then she actually gave it a try. Together with a friend and fellow mermaid-fan, Michelle Koretsky, she started an unlikely social scene: a group of aspiring mermaids in Israel, which has grown on Facebook to nearly 1,000 members. It’s the Israeli pocket of a worldwide community that she claims is gaining prominence. Now, as a 34-year-old ‘full-time mermaid,’ she sells brightly-colored tails, some with dizzying $800 price tags, and teaches people the skill of swimming in them. The tail-clad group convenes regularly to romp in public pools across the country and participate in demonstrations to raise awareness about ocean preservation. One of the clan’s few mer-men, Yuval Avrami, marveled at how his fabric fin flitted in the water, describing it as a ‘dream come true.’ He said he learned about the trend through transgender friends and became fascinated by ‘the transition from one species to another, the ability to inhabit a new, magical identity.’”
“A Tale of Tails,” The Times of Israel, Apr. 17, 2019
See also Fantasy Dangers, a free eBook available from www.wayoflife.org.)
Where Are You, Adam?
“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” (Genesis 3:8-9)
We have already discussed why God asks questions. God knows everything, so He does not need to ask questions to gain information. God knew exactly what both Eve and Adam had done, and He also knew that Adam – having not been deceived, but having sinned anyway – had carried out the greater sin. So, if God’s questions were not for His own benefit, they could only have been for the benefit of Adam and Eve. The humans had the opportunity to confess and repent.
Initially, Adam’s first reply was only a half-truth. It is true that he was afraid and hid. But he needed to be honest about what had happened. So God prompted him, asking if he had broken the one commandment that he had been given. Even then, Adam was not prepared to give a straight answer. This was the measure of how sin had gripped him. Yes, he had eaten the forbidden fruit, but it was all the woman’s fault! No, more than that, You gave me this woman, God, so it’s partly Your fault as well! But we must remember that Adam had not been deceived. He committed this sin with his eyes open. Nevertheless, God now gave Eve the chance to repent. Eve told the truth: “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat” … but she was not yet repentant. Then God turned to the serpent – the devil.
And God did not ask the devil a question. That is because there was no opportunity for the devil to repent. That is an opportunity afforded only to those made in God’s image.
“An Australian rugby star who makes more than $1 million per year is set to be fired in the coming days for posting a Bible verse about homosexuality on social media and urging his follows to ‘turn to Jesus.’ Rugby Australia said April 14 that Israel Folau was in breach of the players’ code of conduct and had 48 hours to accept the sanction or have the matter referred to a Code of Conduct hearing. The incident warranted ‘termination of his employment contract,’ the statement said. The meeting could occur next week. Speaking after church Sunday, Folau said he would not apologize for the Bible-centric social media posts on Instagram and Twitter and would be content walking away from rugby. Folau signed a contract in 2015 that paid him nearly $1.5 million U.S. per year. He signed an undisclosed new deal last year, and made at least one list as the highest-paid rugby player in the world. He plays for the Wallabies Australian national rugby team and the New South Wales Waratahs in the Super Rugby League. ‘First and foremost, I live for God now,’ Folau told The Sydney Morning Herald Sunday. ‘Whatever He wants me to do, I believe His plans for me are better than whatever I can think. If that's not to continue on playing, so be it. In saying that, obviously I love playing footy and if it goes down that path I'll definitely miss it. But my faith in Jesus Christ is what comes first.’ The controversy started April 10 when Folau--who is known for his Christian faith--posted an image on Instagram that referenced Scripture and read, ‘Warning. Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolaters. Hell Awaits You. Repent! Only Jesus Saves.’ He wrote next to the Instagram picture, ‘Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him.’ He also quoted Galatians 5:19-21: ‘Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.’ The post received 44,000 likes. The same day, he linked on Twitter a story about Tasmania allowing those ages 16 and over to change their birth certificates or to remove gender from the certificates altogether. He wrote: ‘The devil has blinded so many people in this world, REPENT and turn away from your evil ways. Turn to Jesus Christ who will set you free.’ That post gained 4,000 likes. Raelene Castle, chief executive of Rugby Australia, said Folau had been warned in the past about his social media posts.”
ChristianHeadlines.com, Apr. 16, 2019
Metalworking Before the Flood
“And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.”
The first metalworker recorded in history was Tubal-Cain.
Neither bronze nor iron is found naturally, so this shows that Tubal-Cain must have developed technologies to extract the metals from their ores. Since we are referring to a time before the Flood, we must also assume that the ores containing these metals were placed in the crust during the Creation Week as part of the original bedrock of the Earth. We refer to such rocks as Plutonic Rocks.
At first sight, we would imagine that two metals were being worked. In fact, there must have been at least three because bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. Copper and tin are relatively easy to extract from their ores just by heating with a source of carbon, such as charcoal. Iron is a little more sophisticated because it requires a blast furnace, heated extra hot by blowing air into the furnace, with the ore and carbon, probably by bellows.
The use of a forge suggests that Tubal-Cain was able to work these metals, perhaps by working the alloys and also by molding the molten metal and beating the solid metal.
That this sort of advanced technology existed before the Flood shows that an evolutionary view of human progress is not correct. It also explains how such technologies could be quickly reproduced by early civilizations after the Flood.
“This Magazine has not been conducted in a timid, crouching spirit, neither have we pandered to popular tastes. Some of our articles have brought down upon us upbraidings which we have borne without regret. Our reviews, when we have felt conscientiously bound to censure, have cost us many a postal lecture. We are not, however, penitent; we have nothing to retract, but doubt not that we shall sin again; we would not needlessly irritate, but we will not be silent in the presence of error, neither will we bespatter with flattery where honesty demands denunciation. A magazine which is not outspoken, and is destitute of principle, is a literary nuisance. We use the trowel wherever we can to aid every good cause, but we have a sword also and mean to use it. We expect to receive blows, and therefore when we do we are not overwhelmed with dismay. Christ’s truth is too dear to us for us to flinch from its defense. In the widespread defection which is now so sadly apparent in certain quarters, we see not only signs of coming struggles, but calls to duty, stern and arduous, from which only cowards will desire to be excused. The ancient faith, assailed by foes on all hands, must not lack for champions.”
Charles Spurgeon, The Sword & Trowel, 1870
Fast Water, Quick Canyons
“And the waters returned from off the earth continually….”
Visitors to the Grand Canyon will recall the Park Rangers saying that it took millions of years for water to carve out the Canyon. We have looked at examples of rapid canyon formation in previous programs, and today we have one more example.
Back in 1926, a canal in the desert of Walla Walla, near Washington, became clogged with tumbleweeds. When heavier-than-normal spring rains occurred, water began to back up. So workers diverted the water to a ditch leading to a nearby creek. The old ditch was not large, six feet wide and never more than ten feet deep, but the large water flow – 80 cubic feet per second – began to carve out the ditch. The fast-moving water soon created what many have called a miniature Grand Canyon. Over six days, the water moved five million cubic feet of dirt and rock. The result is a canyon over a quarter of a mile long, 120 feet deep and 120 feet wide.
Canyons throughout the world have undoubtedly been formed by large volumes of water moving a large amount of rock in a short time. While none of these canyons are as large as the Grand Canyon, the return of waters to the ocean after the Genesis Flood provides more than enough power to carve a feature as large as the Grand Canyon.
The following testimony is by Don Whitecar, former missionary to Belize who is currently starting a church in Pocatello, Idaho: “After one year in Belize, we had a little over 100 saved and in various stages of Christian growth. The attendance was consistently over 100, and a few had grown to the point to be workers in classes, etc. It was at this time that I used Way of Life’s 52 week One Year Discipleship books . I gave every family one that they read and answered the questions during the week. In the Sunday evening service announcements, I would go over the answers. We had great participation, and it is this effort that grounded the largest group that made up the foundation of that church. After that point, I used those discipleship books by assigning a newly saved person to a grounded Christian who had already been through the book. They would work through the book together. Before the service began on Sunday evenings, it was common to see several places around the auditorium where people were going over the books. That church has used over 250 copies of that text. After the second anniversary of the church I began a Bible Institute to teach more in depth. We met on Monday evenings for 1.5 hours per class (2 classes). My wife offered speech classes (Bible story telling, etc.) for the ladies. Our classes were always well attended, and Way of Life’s Advanced Bible Studies books were always the text (for the Bible classes). The students were turning in their answers to the review questions for homework. We went over the answers in class. The questions from the homework became possible test questions at the end of each section, in addition to the information from my lecture notes. Later, I added to this. We picked a textbook, and I assigned due dates (always Sunday evenings) for the review questions to be due. We offered this to the entire church. We had upwards of 40 to 50 reading and answering the questions. This method was my favorite because it brought the information to so many more people. In December of 2017, just before I left, I remember going in to the evening service and overhearing two of our church ladies commenting to each other of how hard a life the Waldensian Christians had to live. Most Christians around the world don’t even know who the Waldensians were! Thank you for the hard work to provide these materials for our ministry. We are using the discipleship book again here in the new work, and one of the ladies is reading the history of the churches already. Your Sowing and Reaping book is another great tool to train new workers. I taught through that in Belize on Saturday morning visitation meeting. I pray every day for your ministry, and I am thankful for your enormous efforts to put out good material.”
(Friday Church News Notes, April 19, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
“Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.”
As science learns more about the universe, some are suggesting that they see basic mathematical principles that underlie everything. This principle, which one scientist has called “cellular automata”, might be at the root of everything from astronomy to zoology.
The leaves of plants have pores that let in carbon dioxide. However, if the pores open too far or remain open too long, the plant may lose too much water. How does a plant, that has no brain or nervous system, keep these factors in balance? Researchers had always thought that the pores work independently. However, close study has shown that patches of pores in a leaf open and close together. In fact, over several minutes, open and closed patches of pores move across a leaf in patterns. As scientists studied these patterns, they realized that the pattern they were looking at was what they call “distributed, emergent computation” or “cellular automata.” The individual cells of the leaves are working with each other to perform complex large-scale computations. In short, the cells of plant leaves are working together as a computer, even though they lack a central processor.
While evolutionists would hope to explain this built-in intelligence by chance, it is difficult to get around the fact that intelligence is built into the creation. Such intelligence can only be ascribed to an intelligent source, our Creator.
“Residents of Shenzhen don’t dare jaywalk. Since April 2017, this city in China’s Guangdong province has deployed a rather intense technique to deter jaywalking. Anyone who crosses against the light will find their face, name, and part of their government ID number displayed on a large LED screen above the intersection, thanks to facial recognition devices all over the city. If that feels invasive, you don’t even know the half of it. Now, Motherboard reports that a Chinese artificial intelligence company is partnering the system with mobile carriers, so that offenders receive a text message with a fine as soon as they are caught. The system is just one cog in the vast surveillance machine that the Chinese government has been building over the last several years. Its aim is in part public safety and security, but the information on citizens’ whereabouts and activities will also feed into China’s national social credit system. The social credit system, which will roll out in 2020, is intended to rate individuals according to a national scoring system for how trustworthy a citizen each person is.”
“If You Jaywalk in China,” Futurism.com, Mar. 30, 2018
“The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands….”
Normally, the desert locusts mentioned in the Bible are shy and reclusive and are green in color. What turns them into the multi-colored army that sweeps across the land, eating every leaf in sight?
Even the book of Proverbs marvels at how locusts, without any leaders, behave like a destructive army. Yet they live most or all of their lives as grasshoppers. However, there are seven species of these locusts that now and again can become a destructive swarm. It happens when their population spikes, usually due to an abundance of food. But what triggers the change? Researchers put a rolling ball around in a cage to jostle a solitary locust. After a few hours the locust was ready to jostle fellow locusts. Then researchers next took a small paintbrush and began to tickle various parts of the insect. After long, tedious hours of locust tickling they found that simply touching a locust’s hind leg made it ready to swarm. They concluded that when the locust population spikes, the insects begin to jostle each other, and that touching turns them into a destructive swarm.
One might conclude that when God wanted to punish people in Old Testament times with a plague of locusts, He simply blessed the locusts until they began to jostle against one another. Then they were ready to swarm at His bidding.
At Least 290 Selfie Deaths
“More than 250 people worldwide have died while taking selfies in the last six years, according to a new study from researchers associated with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a group of public medical colleges based in New Delhi. The findings, which analyzed news reports of the 259 selfie-related deaths from October 2011 to November 2017, were published in the July-August edition of the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. Of the 259 deaths, researchers found the leading cause to be drowning, followed by incidents involving transportation—for example, taking a selfie in front of an oncoming train—and falling from heights. Other causes of selfie-related deaths include animals, firearms and electrocution. 'The selfie deaths have become a major public health problem,' Agam Bansal, the study’s lead author, told The Washington Post. ‘Taking a toll on these many numbers just because you want a perfect selfie because you want a lot of likes, shares on Facebook, Twitter or other social media, I don’t think this is worth compromising a life for such a thing.’” (At least 31 selfie deaths have occurred since November 2017 - “List of Selfie-related Injuries and Deaths,” wikipedia.org.)
“More than 250,” The Washington Post, Oct. 2, 2018
Hornbills that Understand Monkey
“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus….”
With the exception of basic messages such as aggression, communication between two entirely different species has seldom been observed among animals in the wild. We know that many animals among the same species give each other specific warnings about an impending danger. However, scientists have never noted one species recognizing the specific warning given by a second species.
Diana monkeys on the Ivory Coast of Africa face two primary threats: leopards and crowned eagles. When one of these threats appears, the spotter gives a very specific bark-like call depending on the type of threat. Of course, the monkeys need to respond differently to each threat, whether it comes from the leopard below or the eagle above. So it helps them to know what they are facing. On the other hand, a bird named the yellow hornbill is threatened only by the crowned eagles. Researchers noted that these birds ignored the monkeys’ warning about the leopards. But when the monkeys signaled danger from the eagle, the yellow hornbill took defensive measures. Researchers confirmed their observations using tape-recorded monkey calls. The researchers were amazed that these birds understood the monkey warnings in an intelligent manner.
Such intelligence comes from the Creator, Who has given the gift of such intelligence to His creatures in a way that provides for their survival. This shows His loving care for His creation.
Israel's Moon Lander Crashes
Israel’s moon lander Beeresheet crashed on the far side of the moon on April 11. Beeresheet, meaning “in the beginning,” was the first attempt by a private enterprise to put a spacecraft on the moon’s surface. (The project was a joint project between the privately-funded SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries.) The craft successfully made the journey to the moon and entered moon orbit, but there was a glitch in the engine as it neared the surface. Morris Khan, president of SpaceIL, announced that a second attempt will be made. Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who had won his re-election bid the day before and was watching the landing attempt from the control room near Tel Aviv, said, “If at first you don’t succeed, you try again.” Beeresheet accomplished great things on a shoe-string budget of about $76 million with a team of less than 50 engineers. This is the cusp of privately-funded space exploration. On the same day as SpaceIL attempted a moon landing, SpaceX’s massive Falcon Heavy rocket made its second successful launch and all three of its boosters successfully landed back on earth to be reused. SpaceX’s are the first space rockets to achieve this goal, thus greatly reducing the cost of launches. This technology is a fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy about the time of the end, that “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Da. 12:4). The day is approaching when Israel will be converted and be the light to the nations that God intends that she be. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Isaiah 60:1-3).
(Friday Church News Notes, April 19, 2019, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
Fossil Inventory: Surprises for Some
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.”
Everyone will remember those school textbook diagrams showing the ever-upward progression of living organisms, including man. We recall the horse series, found in textbooks and the museum displays showing the evolution of the horse – the first stage as a small mammal and, after several transitions, the modern horse. The claim that fossils in the rock layers show a progression from simple life in the lowest layers to the most complex life at the top accompanies these diagrams.
Recently, the journal Science, reported that paleobiologists who study these fossils reevaluated all the fossil-bearing rocks that have been found in the last 180 years. What was their reaction to the meaning of the fossil record after their new inventory? “We may have been misled for twenty years,” said one scientist. Another commented, “For the first time, a large group of people is saying paleobiology has been making a mistake.” Why are they reacting this way? They have had to conclude, on the basis of the fossil evidence, that there never was an ever-upward progression of complexity of life forms as they had expected. The species that are represented in the fossil record show no evidence of the classic evolutionary development traditionally found in school textbooks.
In short, the fossil record supports the biblical claim that all the kinds of animals appeared about the same time.
“Can God make a rock so big that He cannot lift” is a classical skeptical challenge. It is based on the following line of thinking: “The Christian God is omnipotent, which means he can do anything. But God cannot create a rock so big that he cannot move it, therefore the Christian God is not real.” The challenge is based on ignorance of the Bible’s teaching about God. The simple answer is that God cannot make a rock so big that He can’t move it because He is all-powerful (Job 42:2; Je. 32:17; Mt. 19:26; Lu. 1:37), and God would not make a rock that He can’t move because He is all-wise (Ps. 147:5; Isa. 40:28; 1 Jo. 3:20). There are, though, things that God cannot do. He cannot lie or repent of His spoken Word. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Nu. 23:19). This means that the following Word of God will prove to be true in the life of every skeptic: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
(Friday Church News Notes, April 12, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
Cyber archaeology is a new field that recreates archaeological sites and artifacts using the latest technology. The first serious use of the technology was the recreation of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings in ancient Thebes (modern Luxor). It is an exact replicate of the 3,245-year-old tomb. The five-year project, competed in 2014, began with making a high-resolution scan of the tomb using 3-D laser scanning systems that measured up to one hundred million points per square meter (“Tut’s Tomb: A Replica Fit for a King,” National Geographic, May 20 2014). This computer data was used to create an exact copy of the tomb by means of computerized routing machines with a resolution of less than a quarter of a millimeter, silicone molds, resin casts, flatbed digital printers. The digital images can also be used in a 3-D visualization theater. Thomas Levy, professor of anthropology and archaeology at the University of California, San Diego, says, “We’re able to walk away from an excavation with the whole archaeological site on a hard drive. With this amazing data I've collected, I can then take you into a 3-D visualization theater and we can enter the excavation. I can be in San Diego and I can get a cup of coffee and I can throw in my 3-D data set with geo-reference pics of the actual excavation, and I can walk around in it again.”
(Friday Church News Notes, April 12, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“SpaceX successfully launched its Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:49 am EST this morning. Main engine cutoff and stage separation were confirmed by SpaceX at 2:52 am EST. First stage successfully landed on the drone ship platform Of Course I Still Love You at 3:00 am EST. The Crew Dragon is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station early Sunday morning. It will spend about five days docked to the station before returning to Earth and splashing down in the Atlantic. The launch marks the first time a private American rocket and spacecraft built for human passengers has ever been launched to travel to the space station. An upcoming crewed mission, Demonstration Mission 2, is scheduled for July.”
“SpaceX Launches,” Futurism.com, Mar. 1, 2019
The Early Bug Gets the Water
“To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man.”
How do you get the water you need in a desert in which it almost never rains? We have often looked here at how God’s designs in nature show us practical designs we may never think of. The water-hoarding beetle provides us with one more such example.
This particular beetle is found in southwestern Africa in the Namibian Desert where it almost never rains. Early in the morning, a fog settles over the desert. Any water that might condense out of it is quickly evaporated by the sun and daily winds that come later in the day. But the beetles are up early to collect the water from the fog on their backs. Their back shell has tiny bumps about a half millimeter in diameter. The tops of the bumps are covered with a material that attracts water. The valleys between the bumps are coated with a waxy material that repels water. So, when large-enough droplets of water collect on the bumps, they roll down into the waxy valleys, and down those valleys into the beetle’s mouth. Researchers have duplicated the beetle’s covering and found that such coverings will aid desert survival for man.
This design also teaches us that these beetles and all the other myriad living things in creation were not produced by mindless evolution, but by a loving, caring Creator.
“The most senior Catholic convicted of child sex abuse was sentenced Wednesday (March 13) to six years in prison for molesting two choirboys in an Australian cathedral in a crime the judge said showed ‘staggering arrogance.’ Cardinal George Pell must serve a minimum of three years and eight months before he is eligible for parole, according to the judge’s order. The five convictions against Pell carried a maximum possible sentence of 10 years each. ‘In my view, your conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance,’ Victoria state County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd said in handing down the sentence. Pope Francis’ former finance minister was convicted by a unanimous jury verdict in December of raping a 13-year-old choirboy and indecently dealing with the boy and the boy’s 13-year-old friend in the late 1990s, months after Pell became archbishop of Melbourne. … the judge also said that Pell had abused his position of power and had shown no remorse for his crimes. Kidd described the assaults as egregious, degrading and humiliating to the victims.”
“Cardinal Pell sent to prison,” RNS, Mar. 13, 2019
“By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.”
Mention snakes or other crawly reptiles, and people usually shy away. Typically, snakes have a reputation for being dangerous or, at best, completely unable to show affection. New research shows us that in many cases this isn’t true at all.
A number of studies have now shown that at least some snakes take care of their young, have friends and even prefer to hang around with relatives. Mother pythons will stay coiled around their eggs for the two months they take to hatch, not even leaving them for food. Though she is cold-blooded, should the temperatures drop too low, she can generate muscle heat by shivering. A black-rattler mother will stay with her hatchlings for nine days. During that time, she can protect them from predators. The young snakes can barely see at all until they shed their skin at nine days, after which they set off on their own. Cage studies involving non-sibling and sibling rattlesnakes, showed that non-siblings distance themselves from each other. However, rattlesnakes that were siblings would touch each other frequently and often intertwined. Live-bearing skinks, found in Australia, are monogamous for life.
While evolution leads people to think of reptiles as primitive, here we see that their Creator, the God Who is love, blessed them with feelings for one another. This, too, is testimony of His loving nature.
“South Carolina lawmakers moved forward with a bill late Tuesday to ban abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. Following the lead of Georgia and other states, the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee passed the heartbeat bill in a 15-7 vote Tuesday night, the AP reports. State House Bill 3020 would require abortionists to test for a fetal heartbeat before every abortion and prohibit abortions if a heartbeat is detected. Exceptions would be allowed for rape, incest and threats to the mother’s life. It also would require abortionists to offer the woman the chance to hear her baby’s heartbeat and see the ultrasound. An unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable by about six weeks of pregnancy, though new research suggests the heartbeat may begin as early as 18 days after conception. If the bill becomes law and withstands a legal challenge, it could ban almost all abortions in South Carolina. WSPA 7 News reports the committee heard a number of heartbreaking testimonies prior to the vote. One came from a local chaplain who said she deeply regrets aborting her unborn baby. About 5,100 unborn babies were aborted in South Carolina in 2017, and most were later than six weeks of pregnancy, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. Pro-life Gov. Henry McMaster, who also is in a legal battle to defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, said he would support the legislation.”
“South Carolina Panel Passes Bill,” LifeNews.com, Apr. 4, 2019
Man and Creativity
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
There is so much to be gleaned from considering the fact that Man was made in the Image of God. There are many aspects, in consideration of this, which have more import than the one that I will address in this broadcast. Imago Dei implies a value to humanity, which is far beyond that of the rest of God’s creation.
Many have commented on how human consciousness, thought, intelligence and morality are all corollaries of our being created in His image. Another aspect of this, is our own ability to create.
Human creativity is obviously qualified by the fact that we must use pre-existing materials for our creations. It is only God who created ex nihilo. But the author J.R.R. Tolkien got this right when he stated that “In such ‘fantasy’, as it is called, new form is made; Faerie begins; Man becomes a sub-creator.”
One does not only have to consider novels that imagine new or different worlds. One can also include artistic creativity in the visual arts, in painting, in sculpture, or in aural arts, especially music. No such artistic ability or creativity would be possible if we were mere animals. This sort of creativity would not have arisen by blind, random, evolutionary chance. Where is the evolutionary advantage in creating “Lord of the Rings”, or Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony? Even those creations that we do not like – that may have been tainted by man’s fallen nature – are still explicable only by the doctrine of Imago Dei.
“A new report from the Public Religion Research Institute finds that strong majorities within all religious groups, including white evangelicals and Jehovah’s Witnesses, show sustained support for LGBT nondiscrimination policies. The newly released data from PRRI’s 2018 American Values Atlas, an annual survey of more than 40,000 Americans, showed that 69 percent of all Americans are in favor of enacting laws shielding LGBT people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing. The two faith groups least likely to support these policies, according to the survey, were white evangelical Protestants and Jehovah’s Witnesses, but even they were in favor of laws protecting LGBT people by small majorities, at 54 percent for white evangelicals and 53 percent for Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
“Survey: Faith groups maintain widespread support,” Religion News Service, Mar. 12, 2019