Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, November 15, 2013
Looking past the quantum phase of life
“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but
it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien
Fri, November 15, 2013 | link
Today the speed of research is going up exponentially
as is our knowledge.
Our internet allows information to be captured and researched in ways that open up the world to millions
of people in ways never envisaged before. Yet, true to our God given ability, we adapt and what is new becomes old and normal
within a few years.
Where are we going?
This week the quantum computer hit a milestone of being
able to be stable at room temperature for 39 minutes and now the ability to process at speeds about 500 000 times faster than the
fastest computers to date is becoming possible.
With it comes complex abilities that will develop
into visual differentiation, voice processing and our computing will evolve into a personalised and personality based interactive
friendship between man and machine.
Machines will be used to develop machines and soon
machines will be able to deal with complexity and variety that no human brain can process.
What then? What when they get
to the point that they outstrip our human thinking capability? ...and
Will we be redundant?
As Christians we have no fear of this because we know we are more than flesh blood and
We are part of the God of the
universe and have spiritual worth that computers will come to recognize, but can never get to themselves.
I have great confidence these mega-brain machines will understand that we as humans have something they could
never have and will want us around to provide
that spark of spiritual life that is not based on logic or mathematical certainty. They will need us simply because we are
in God’s image and connected to the deeper creative force of our universe.
are wonderfully made!
We are always connected to God’s Spirit...
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in
the depths, you are there.
I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light
become night around me,”
the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. Psalm
This is wonderful isn’t it?
Computers have no such spirit
and so cannot achieve this connection despite the fact they will get to be much more intelligent that ourselves in the not
so distant future.
Computers will not find us redundant but rather important factors in creativity and necessary to establish true growth of knowledge and truth. The
moral guidance of human spirit outstrips any logic that can be applied by science.
We are wonderfully made! We can say to God...
For you created my inmost being;
me together in my mother’s womb.
praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of
when I awake, I am still with you.
Let’s pursue scientific discoveries with confidence knowing
they lead us back to the eternal God.
What else could they do?
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Tired and ill, whatís Godís purpose in illness?
Thu, November 14, 2013 | link
sickness from God? Not always, the bible gives us a picture of how Satan and the evil spirit are involved
Remember how that boy who had seizures and was suffering was brought to Jesus
who healed him? That time it was evil spirits. (see Matthew 17)
Then there is that time that a women with a spinal deformity
was near Jesus. He saw her and took pity on her, touched her and her back was healed. (Luke 13). The important religious
leaders got upset with him and in his response to them he points out Satan had held her in the pain for eighteen years.
are more illustrations in the bible, but from these we see that evil can cause sickness. Yet, sometimes God allows
sickness for different reasons. One key purpose of being sick is that it slows us down and forces a re-evaluation of priorities.
What is really important becomes evident to us when illness overtakes our lives!
the illness causes introspection and reveals something we need to change. Sometimes it is as simple as that we have not been
treating our bodies correctly and so it responds by getting ill to tell us to quit doing the wrong things and start doing
the right things.
Of course there are serious illnesses that left unchecked can result in death. These are the ones
that people fear more than others. Particularly if there is pain involved.
In these circumstances the person if they
have a right heart draws closer to God. When they finally go to heaven, it can be a time of relief for those around as they
know where the person is and that they are no longer in pain. This drawn out death is sometimes a way of giving people time
to come to terms with the situation and that they will no longer be with that person.
Sudden deaths can be scarring and traumatic,
leaving much unsaid. Illness leading to death is sometimes a process that helps everyone deal with life’s problems and
Illness is not good, nor bad! It is a force upon our lives that we need to use positively.
If it is someone near us who is ill, we are to show compassion and try and assist as Jesus did.
Prayer is critical in
these times. If people don’t know how to pray, these are good times to learn.
In summary, none of us likes illness, but
it can definitely have positive influence if approached from the right perspective.
So today if you are well, lets thank God
for that, if not let’s use this time wisely and prayerfully.
Have a wonderful day no matter what your
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Devastation, disaster, dread and fear are all topped by loss of hope.
Devastation, disaster, dread and fear are all topped by loss of hope.
Tue, November 12, 2013 | link
They say the death toll will get
to about 10000 people. Let us pray they will not lose hope. Let us pray they will receive aid. Let us send
Today I have
the flu. As I had a warm bath, got into warm clothes, had a cup of warm tea and some orange juice, sucked on a Halls cough
candy, all I could think about was those people who are cold, standing without shelter in a stinking environment, with no
food, no medication, no possibility of knowing what tomorrow will bring.
Typhoon Haiyan is now notorious as the strongest typhoon to
have a landfall in measured history.
It came aground in Tacloban, a city with about 220 000
people. The force was three times that of hurricane Katrina that hit the USA
a few years ago and the country is far less capable of responding.
In Tacloban people need help. We need to send it. I was happy to
hear the Canadian government has sent their disaster relief team out. I hope Canadians will donate as the government has said
it will match dollar for dollar each donation made.
Let’s get involved now!
Nine million people are effected! The Samar province is worst
hit. One town is totally destroyed. In other areas 80 to 90% of the homes are destroyed. In places ships were washed ashore.
According to the BBC
“Haiyan brought sustained winds of 235km/h (147mph), with gusts of 275 km/h (170 mph) and waves as high as 15m (45ft).
In some places, as much as 400mm (15.75 inches) of rain fell.”
What is the Christian response?
We pray, we donate and
help! We do what we can to help those who God loves and cannot help themselves. We respond in love, immediately!
Today if you have some spare change or money you can do without, please send the money to the Philippines.
They need it badly and it may save someone’s life.
We need to give hope...it's the only thing
many people can cling to in this disasterous time!
Monday, November 11, 2013
Seal on the stone
“The great seal of truth is simplicity.” ~ Herman Boerhaave
Mon, November 11, 2013 | link
Great men look for simplicity in the world around
solutions are often rejected simply because we know at some internal level that the simple things work best.
Einstein said there are “Three Rules
of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
world is one of clutter, one of discord, one of complexity.
Common sense, a deeply desired commodity of yesterday, seems to be an
item selected at random whenever the whim takes us. Instead we are flighty in thoughts, intensions and even in desires. Our goals are often selfish and our
Where is simplicity? How often do we desire to distil complexity down to a few finite elements? How often in looking for answers
do we also insist on truth?
Years ago the powerful leaders of the time had a problem. A complex problem! There was this person they considered was instigating
crowds to focus on the core truths of their religious system and in so doing was exposing the selfish money making schemes
that had come to reside in the traditional religious practises.
The got together and hatched a complex plan to have him killed. It involved two different
judicial systems that they had to convince to kill him. Contriving charges they undermined truth in first one then in the
next judicial system to get him killed.
Success! He was given a criminals death! A solution was at hand!
Then, they found they had another problem. He had said he would
come alive again after death within three days.
While this seemed ludicrous, they were not so sure.
In fact they almost believed that to be true. He had done such amazing things while alive. Here’s the
story, it’s in the bible in Matthew chapter 27…
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and
the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive
that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made
secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised
from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the
tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone
and posting the guard.
simple they thought. Lock up the tomb for the three days to ensure nothing happens.
They even put a seal on the entrance. Seals in those days were intricately carved cylinders that when rolled
across wet clay left impressions of words and images that were unique to the cylinder, making it impossible for other to copy
since touching the original destroyed it.
In all probability, they packed clay around that opening and ran that seal all the way around. The slightest
movement would crack that seal.
Then, to be very sure, they put a guard outside.
How many soldiers would that be?
Well, the minimum would be four
man then being capable of taking a three hour watch duty during the night while the others slept. Four seems to be a common
guard number John 19:23 seemed to indicate that as well when is said of Jesus on the cross.
When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they
took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was
seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
Seems to indicate four is just about right, doesn’t it?
So, here is this tomb, well protected and sealed. I guess the people wanting to protect their
selfish interests considered this a job well done.
Nobody was going to steal that body!
Simplicity is however the fact that this man
they killed was who he said he was, the son of God.
A mere seal and guard was not going to stop him!
the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the
Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like
lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like
It seems like these hardy soldiers passed
out from fear. It must have been very scary!
I assume the women arrived a few moments later, once the scariness was over, since the bible then says…
said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He
is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his
disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I
have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
The seal that was on that tomb
proved that Jesus had risen!
guard made this a absolute fact.
to undermine God, found they supported him.
So what about these guards? What happens to a guard that failed in their duty?
Let’s look to history for some facts, I am quoting from
a web site http://sntjohnny.com/front/guards-at-the-tomb-the-discipline-of-the-roman-soldier/2201.html
1928 academic work by Dr. George W. Currie titled The Military Discipline of the Romans from the Founding of the City
to the Close of the Republic systematically lists all examples of infractions recorded in a wide variety of sources,
groups them by periods, and describes what the consequences were. One of his basic conclusions is that the Romans were extremely
severe upon their own soldiers throughout their rule.
Salient examples include an instance in 390 BC when some Roman guards were asleep on duty
and the Citadel of Rome was attacked; the particular guard at fault was subsequently thrown from a cliff. In 322/295 BC, two
legions yielded their post. Men were selected from the offenders by lot, and put to death. In 280/271, guards were scourged
and beheaded, and their bodies dishonored. In 205 BC, guards allowed items to be stolen from a temple. They had to pay back
the value of the items two-fold, or else be put to death. A similar consequence was put upon the guards that allowed two ships
to be captured. In 39 BC, two centuries (presumably about 200 men) failed to prevent a lieutenant and his men from being ambushed.
The consequence was decimation: every tenth man was counted off, and the selected men were put to death.
Guards were not dealt with well if they failed to be disciplined. These four that
failed to protect the tomb would have been extremely scared, firstly by what happened, but secondly by what could happen
because they had failed. Notice how they react…
While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to
the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a
plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples
came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we
will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
They head to the priests who concocted the plans in the first place
because reporting to their superior could have meant death. By placating the people who would be most concerned, perhaps they
could save their lives. It worked. Yet the story they us is ludicrous. The stone would have had the broken seal on it. How
likely could some untrained men have overcome armed guards without injuring them?
Stole the body? What nonsense!
Then to prove this was nonsense, Jesus appeared
simples answer is the best. Truth is often found in the simple answer.
Jesus is the son of God and did rise from the dead!
It fits the facts.
Now here is another simple question…what will
we do about it now that we know this is a fact? How will that change how we do things today?
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May you be blessed today!