9/22/15

From Gary... The Bible


There is nothing like the Bible!!! God has a way of putting into words what we really need to live a life that is pleasing to HIM!!!  The above picture reinforces the fact that God word is supreme. 

Consider the following passages...

James, Chapter 4 (WEB)
 7 Be subject therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  9 Lament, mourn, and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom.  10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you. 

2 Timothy, Chapter 3 (WEB)
12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.  14 But you remain in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them.  15 From infancy, you have known the holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus.  16 Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness,  17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 

And God's word in our hands has the power to defeat our greatest adversary- the devil.  Do not be deceived, Satan is powerful; he will look for any weakness in your nature so that he trick you into joining him in HELL. But, if we resist him, he will flee and God will win. God has said it and I believe it- I hope you do as well!!!

From Mark Copeland... "THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM" The Entrance Into The Kingdom



 "THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM"

  The Entrance Into The Kingdom

INTRODUCTION

1. In our previous study we surveyed just a few of the blessings of the kingdom...
   a. Blessings in the present
      1) God's forgiveness
      2) God's care
      3) God's family
      4) God's Spirit
   b. Blessings in the future
      1) God's eternal kingdom
      2) God's eternal city
      3) God's eternal presence
      4) God's eternal care
   -- Truly the news about the kingdom is "good news" (gospel)! - e.g., Mk 1:14-15

2. Do you desire to enjoy the blessings of the kingdom, both present and future...?
   a. You must be in the kingdom present
   b. You must make your calling and election sure to be in the kingdom future

[How does one enter the kingdom?  Bearing in mind that the kingdom
involves the rule and reign of God in the person of Jesus Christ, we
should not be surprised that it...]

I. REQUIRES OBEDIENCE

   A. OBEDIENCE TO THE WILL OF GOD...
      1. We must do the Father's will to enter the kingdom of heaven 
         - Mt 7:21
      2. It is not sufficient to be religious, even in the name of Jesus
         - Mt 7:21-23
      3. As illustrated in the parable of the two sons - Mt 21:28-32
      -- To enter the heavenly kingdom in the future, we must have done
         the Father's will

   B. OBEDIENCE TO THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST...
      1. The Bible often speaks of obeying the gospel - Ro 10:16; 2 Th 1:8; 1Pe 4:17
      2. Such obedience is not meritorious, but still necessary - cf. Lk 17:10
      -- Thus obedience is not incongruous to the gospel of the grace of
         God, for it involves the obedience of faith - Ro 1:5; 16:25-26

[What is the will of the Father that we must obey?  What obedience does
the gospel of Christ require?  From the very beginning of the
proclamation of the kingdom, we note that it...]

II. REQUIRES REPENTANCE

   A. REPENTANCE FROM SIN...
      1. Note the preaching of John and Jesus - Mt 3:1-2; 4:17; Mk 1:15
      2. Paul makes it clear what will keep one out of the kingdom 
         - 1Co 6:9-10; Ga 5:19-21
      -- One must therefore make that decision of the mind to turn from
         sin and turn to God

   B. REPENTANCE INVOLVING SACRIFICE...
      1. It requires commitment - Lk 9:62
      2. It requires endurance through trials - Ac 14:22
      3. It may require great personal sacrifice - Mk 9:47
         a. Such as leaving family, even one's wife - Lk 18:28-30; cf. Mt 19:12
         b. Such as leaving wealth - Mt 19:23-24
      -- Whatever would keep us from turning to God must be left behind

[When one turns from sin and turns to God, they find that God's will for them...]

III. REQUIRES SANCTIFICATION

   A. SANCTIFICATION WITH A HIGHER STANDARD...
      1. Sanctification means to be holy, set apart
      2. As God is holy, so we must be holy - cf. 1Pe 1:14-16
      3. Our righteousness is to surpass that of the scribes and
         Pharisees - Mt 5:20
      -- This higher standard we shall examine more closely in our next lesson

   B. SANCTIFICATION WITH A NOBLER CHARACTER...
      1. For we have been called to be partakers of the divine nature 
         - 2Pe 1:4
      2. Thus we are to add to our faith various Christ-like qualities 
         - 2Pe 1:5-9
      -- This will ensure an abundant entrance in the everlasting
         kingdom! - 2Pe 1:10-11

[But who is able to live such holy lives?  No one without God's help! 
Thus we find Jesus teaching that to enter the kingdom...]

IV. REQUIRES A NEW BIRTH

   A. A BIRTH INVOLVING CONVERSION...
      1. We must be converted - Mt 18:3; cf. Ac 3:19
      2. In which we become like little children - Mt 18:3-4
      -- A conversion to a childlike humility is what takes to submit to
         the will of God and make the changes He desires

   B. A BIRTH INVOLVING WATER AND THE SPIRIT...
      1. As Jesus told Nicodemus - Jn 3:3,5,7
      2. In which one is born of both water and the Spirit - Jn 3:5
         a. Which takes place in baptism, by the grace and mercy of God
            - Jn 3:5
         b. Which occurs as we rise with Christ in baptism, by the
            working of God - Col 2:11-13
      -- Thus we find the call to baptism to be the proper response to
         the gospel - cf. Ac 2:36-41; 8:12,35-38

CONCLUSION

1. How does one enter the kingdom of God?

2. To enter the kingdom present one must be born again...
   a. Involving faith, repentance and immersion in water on man's part
   b. Involving grace, mercy, and the renewal by the Spirit on God's part
   -- Such are conveyed into the kingdom of God's dear Son - cf. Col 1:
      12-14

3. To enter the kingdom future one must make their calling and election sure...
   a. With a righteousness that surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees
   b. With diligence in growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ
   -- Such will receive an abundant entrance into the everlasting
      kingdom of Jesus Christ - cf. 2Pe 1:10-11

Our next study will review the righteousness of the kingdom expected of
those who submit like children to God's will.  But before you can be a
child of God, you must first be born again.  Have you obeyed the gospel
of Christ, which is also the gospel of the kingdom...? - cf. Ac 8:12


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The Beni Hasan Tomb Inscription and the Patriarchal Period by Dewayne Bryant, M.A.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=4811

The Beni Hasan Tomb Inscription and the Patriarchal Period

by Dewayne Bryant, M.A.


[EDITOR’S NOTE: Dewayne Bryant holds two Masters degrees, and is a doctoral candidate at Amridge University. He has participated in an archaeological dig at Tell El-Borg in Egypt and holds professional membership in the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Archaeological Institute of America.]
The patriarchal narratives of Genesis are some of the most beloved passages in the Bible. They are also some of the most heavily criticized. Before the middle of the 20th century, many scholars assumed the historicity of the patriarchs. In the 1970s, two minimalists published what is regarded by many in academia as one of the greatest of one-two punches in the history of biblical studies. John Van Seters (Abraham in History and Tradition, 1975) and Thomas Thompson (The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives, 1974) each questioned the historicity of the patriarchs. Their study was so influential in academic circles that, since that time, few scholars have written in support of the historicity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Van Seters and Thompson are much like other critics who feel quite comfortable in approaching the Bible with a level of academic condescension and suspicion that is nearly unparalleled in other disciplines. Although their work was helpful in weeding out faulty assumptions and recognizing instances of misuse of archaeology, their objections go too far and are flawed. Scholars have answered them accordingly. In his book The Bible in its World (1977), Kenneth Kitchen first tackled the objections raised against the historicity of the patriarchal narratives. Others scholars have followed (see Millard and Wiseman, 1983; Yamauchi, 1994).
Ancient Near Eastern scholarship has continued to vindicate the patriarchal narratives. One particularly interesting piece of archaeological data comes from the modern village of Beni Hasan, which lies 160 miles south of Cairo. It is home to 39 monumental tombs of Egyptian officials from the Middle Kingdom Period (2050-1650 B.C.), in addition to a few tombs from the Old Kingdom Period (2686-2186 B.C.). The tomb of a nomarch (governor) named Khnumhotep II is particularly interesting for the study of the patriarchs.
The walls of Khnumhotep’s tomb contain paintings portraying scenes from his life. The most famous, however, is a depiction of a caravan from Canaan. The accompanying hieroglyphic inscription indicates that there were 37 members of this caravan. The exact purpose of their visit is debated among scholars, but most agree that it was some kind of commercial venture (Hoffmeier, 1996, p. 61).
The differences between the Egyptians and the Canaanite merchants depicted in the scene is immediately obvious. While the Egyptians wear their customary white linen kilts, the merchants wear multi-colored garments. The clothing worn by the men is a sign of their wealth. This calls to mind thepassim of Joseph that sparked jealousy in his brothers (NOTE: the Hebrew word passim, or “coat,” is difficult to understand because it appears only twice in the Old Testament. While interpretations include “long-sleeved,” “multi-colored,” and “decorated,” it would appear that being multi-colored would be an attractive possibility, since to have such a garment would be quite costly). The merchants also have full heads of hair with beards. This differed from Egyptian men, who shaved their heads and faces (cf. Genesis 41:14).
The Beni Hasan tomb painting recalls two important details about the patriarchal narratives in Genesis. First, each of the patriarchs spent time in Egypt. The fact that they traveled in groups—as in the case of Jacob prior to his encounter with Esau (Genesis 33), as well as his move to Egypt with the extended family (Genesis 46)—also fits the biblical text.
Second, the fact that the merchants move relatively freely in Egypt is reminiscent of Egyptian-Canaanite relations prior to the Hyksos invasion. Prior to the arrival of the Semitic rulers known as the Hyksos (c. 1750 BC), Egyptian rulers allowed settlers from Canaan to settle temporarily in the northeastern corner of the country during times of famine (although they did build a line of forts to regulate the visits of these visitors). The border was permeable, and visits from Canaanite people were often permitted. This changed after the Egyptians drove the Hyksos from Egypt.
The Hyksos were foreign rulers who took control of the northern part of Egypt. Scholars are uncertain whether they came to power by peaceful infiltration or military invasion. What is indisputable is that this takeover engendered hatred on the part of the Egyptians. After the Hyksos had been expelled by pharaoh Ahmose I (c. 1560 B.C.), the Egyptians became somewhat xenophobic and had a particular dislike for Canaanite peoples (often calling them “wretched Asiatics”). The fact that the book of Genesis preserves this memory of Egypt’s permeable borders means that the stories had to exist prior to seventeenth century B.C., when the Hyksos invaded. Later Hebrew scribes could not have known these historical details and would have had no reason to invent them.
Although the patriarchs are not mentioned by name in any extant historical or archaeological sources, this should not be cause for concern among Christians. Archaeology rarely speaks to any single individual, especially when it comes to those who are not nationally or internationally known (e.g., kings, high-ranking political officials, and important religious figures). It also shows that the narratives in Genesis fit with the proper time period. Later scribes could not have known some of the details presented, meaning that the text of Genesis is not a later fiction as many critics attempt to claim. Far from showing the unreliability of the Bible, archaeology has proved to be one of Scripture’s strongest allies.

REFERENCES

Hoffmeier, James L. (1996), Israel in Egypt (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Kitchen, Kenneth A. (1977), The Bible in its World: The Bible & Archaeology Today (Carlisle: Paternoster Press).
Millard, Alan and Donald J. Wiseman (1983), Essays on the Patriarchal Narratives (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns).
Thompson, Thomas (1974), The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter).
Van Seters, John (1975), Abraham in History and Tradition (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press).
Yamauchi, Edwin (1994), “The Current State of Old Testament Historiography” in Faith, Tradition and History. Alan R. Millard, James K. Hofmeier, and David W. Baker, eds. (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns).

Mars Rock Update by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=251

Mars Rock Update

by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.


In 1996, a team of scientists stunned the world by announcing possible evidence for fossil life in Martian meteorite ALH84001 (McKay, et al., 1996). In my first report on their findings, I said that the claims were very tenuous (Major, 1996), and I continue to hold that opinion. Over the intervening months, skeptics and supporters in the relevant fields have published articles and given presentations at professional meetings. At this point, the scientific community remains divided.
Alleged proof of fossil life in this meteorite came primarily from chemical remnants of past biological activity. In other words, there seemed to be evidence that living things once lived and died within this piece of rock. Most of the evidence was found in deposits of carbonate minerals. This led researchers to speculate that bacteria-laden, mineral-rich waters had entered cracks and pores before hardening into carbonate. The authors also presented pictures of round, elongated objects under extremely high magnification. In light of the other evidence, these objects were highly suggestive of bacterial cells.
The debate today centers on three main questions. First, at what temperature did the carbonate minerals form? Clearly, if the original fluids were at very high temperatures, then there is no way that they could have supported any kind of life. McKay and colleagues pinned their hopes on oxygen isotope ratios that suggested temperatures at formation of 0° to 80°C (it is thought that bacteria on Earth can survive at less than 150°C). They rejected two other results indicating a temperature of around 700°C. Subsequently, the low temperature range was revised upward to between 40° and 250°C, but there remains no conclusive evidence of carbonate formation at the lower, bacteria-friendly end of this range. To the contrary, further studies on ALH84001 suggest rapid, intense melting at the time of formation (Scott, et al., 1997).
Second, do chemical analyses reveal evidence of past life? This problem is the source of greatest ambiguity because both biological and nonbiological processes can explain certain features of the meteorite’s composition. MacKay’s team offered three main observations, and critics have challenged the significance of each one.
  1. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Organisms can leave behind these oily, organic compounds when they decompose. However, PAHs could have come from inorganic sources or, as many critics believe, from contamination with terrestrial sources. Luann Becker and her colleagues (1997) suggested that the PAHs may have come from melted Antarctic ice. This seems unlikely, but there is no direct evidence of organic origin either.
  2. Magnetite. This iron oxide mineral was thought to be a by-product of bacterial activity. Although some studies have shown a similarity to magnetite grains deposited by bacteria on Earth, other investigators disagree. Most of the criticism is coming from John Bradley and coworkers (1996), who believe that the shape and structure of the grains within this rock suggest an inorganic origin at very high temperatures. Other workers have not confirmed these results.
  3. Iron Sulfides. McKay and his colleagues thought that iron sulfides were remnants of sulfur-eating bacteria. However, there are different varieties of sulfur that come in slightly different atomic weights. Bacteria tend to consume more of the lighter kind, which means they should be concentrated within the iron sulfide minerals, but this is not the case (Shearer, et al., 1996). I am not aware of any convincing counter-response, so far.
Taken together, these observations were supposed to offer compelling evidence of biological activity. However, one (based on PAHs) is ambiguous, one (based on magnetite) is questionable, and another (based on iron sulfide minerals) is contradictory.
Finally, are the rounded or elongated objects really fossil bacteria? To prove this, researchers would have to find organic molecules or unequivocal signs of cellular structures. Currently, such evidence is lacking. When the results were announced last year, critics immediately pointed out that these objects, at less than 0.2 microns in diameter, were several times smaller than the smallest known bacterial cells. If they are genuine remains of living organisms, their size would negate almost everything we know about cell walls, genetics, and the chemistry of life (Harvey, 1997).
All this speculation concerns a single potato-sized piece of rock. By now, scientists may know a lot about the composition of ALH84001 but, as we have seen, the NASA team has not succeeded in backing up its extraordinary claims.

REFERENCES

Becker, L., D.P. Glavin, and J.L. Bada (1997), “Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Antarctic Martian Meteorites, Carbonaceous Chondrites, and Polar Ice,” Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 61:475-481.
Bradley, J.P., R.P. Harvey, and H.Y. McSween, Jr. (1996), “Magnetite Whiskers and Platelets inALH84001 Martian Meteorite: Evidence of Vapor Phase Growth,” Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 60:5149-5155.
Harvey, Ralph P. (1997), “Nannobacteria: What is the Evidence?,” naturalSCIENCE, vol. 1, article 7.
Major, Trevor (1996), “Life on Mars?,” Reason & Revelation, 16:78-79, October.
McKay, David S., et al. (1996), “Search for Past Life on Mars: Possible Relic Biogenic Activity in Martian Meteorite ALH84001,” Science, 273:924-930, August 16.
Scott, Edward R.D., Akira Yamaguchi, and Alexander N. Krot (1997), “Petrological Evidence for Shock Melting of Carbonates in the Martian Meteorite ALH84001,” Nature, 387:377-379, May 22.
Shearer, C.K., G.D. Layne, J.J. Papike, and M.N. Spilde (1996), “Sulfur Isotope Systematics in Alteration Assemblages in Martian Meteorite ALH84001,” Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 60:2921-2926.

Design Rules by Jerry Fausz, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2182

Design Rules

by Jerry Fausz, Ph.D.


[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was written by one of A.P.’s auxiliary staff scientists. Dr. Fausz holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech and serves as liaison to the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. (All images in Dr. Fausz’ article are Courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies, www.mems.sandia.gov.)]
One of the most fascinating areas of modern engineering research is the development of what has become known as MicroElectroMechanical Systems, or MEMS. Imagine a closed-cycle steam engine no bigger than a pinhead that operates on a single drop of water (e.g., Frechette, et al., 2003, pp. 335-344), or mirror mechanisms for micro-optical systems with structures that can be obscured by a single dust mite (McWhorter, 2001; McWhorter, 2006). These devices are so miniscule that their operational performance has to be verified through a microscope. MEMS devices are used to actuate airbags in automobiles, precisely control optics in digital projectors and video cameras, and perform a variety of other functions (see “SAMPLES Program,” 2005; “MEMS Technology,” 2006). Yet, we have barely scratched the surface of possible applications for MEMS.
spider mite
Spider mite on mirror assembly
The fabrication process for MEMSdevices is the epitome of exacting, painstaking effort, requiring the highest levels of intricacy and precision. Built on technology developed to fabricate integrated circuits, the procedures for building MEMS must follow methodical rules and be carried out in a tightly controlled environment. This requires very expensive, high fidelity robotic assembly lines operating in clean rooms with extremely low contaminant concentrations (one speck of dust could be the proverbial monkey wrench for these mechanisms). As in the case of micro-chips, MEMS fabrication controls must be followed strictly for the devices to have any chance of carrying out their design functions once their fabrication is complete (“SAMPLES Program,” 2005).
Thus, in the design, fabrication, and operation of MEMS devices, it is clear that “small” is not synonymous with “simple” or “easy to understand or fabricate.” As seen through the microscope, MEMS parts are easily as complex as their counterparts on the larger scale, if not more so. Furthermore, due to the strict requirements imposed by the meticulous fabrication process, theMEMS designer must exercise much more care in laying out the configuration of his design than would a designer working on a larger scale.
clutch
The incredible MEMS clutch mechanism. The miniscule gears are 50 microns across. Keep in mind that there are 25,400 microns to an inch.
To aid the designer in accounting for the tight constraints of a particular MEMS fabrication process, the developers of that process typically provide him a set of design rules to follow in laying out the design. In turn, these rules usually are incorporated within the fabrication process itself through software that checks designs against these rules, and will not admit a design that violates them (“SAMPLES Program,” 2005). So, we see that the design rules and the fabrication process work together to produce devices that ideally will fulfill the desire of the designer throughout its operational life. The design rules characterize fundamental aspects of the fabrication process and, thus, leave an indelible imprint of those process characteristics on each and every new design. These design rules, then, represent a bridge between the mind of the designer and the finished product, in a sense “guiding” the design through the fabrication process.
It is amazing that many of the engineers and scientists who have worked to make MEMStechnology a reality believe that the vast, intricate, mechanical workings of the Universe, a Universe that appears to conform to immutable natural laws, came about through mostly random processes. They have witnessed the microscopic complexity of MEMS, yet they admit reasoning that suggests the galaxies, solar systems, planets, and stars evolved from “simpler” particles of matter that somehow came into existence at the beginning of time. They hold these beliefs in spite of their understanding of the painstaking process that is required to design and fabricate a single MEMS mechanism.
transmission
Fully-functioning MEMS transmission
Scientists continue to discover with increasing clarity that the elementary particles of matter that make up everything in the observable Universe, though extremely small, are far from “simple.” In his book, A Brief History of Time, well-known physicist Stephen Hawking states:
Up to about twenty years ago, it was thought that protons and neutrons were “elementary” particles, but experiments in which protons were collided with other protons or electrons at high speeds indicated that they were in fact made up of smaller particles. These particles were named quarks by the Caltech physicist Murray Gell-Mann, who won the Nobel prize in 1969 for his work on them.... So the question is: What are the truly elementary particles, the basic building blocks from which everything is made? (1988, p. 65).
Since science so far has been incapable of even identifying the most elementary components of the Universe, it is unreasonable to conclude that “small” means simple or easy. Given this unexpected complexity at the sub-microscopic (quantum) level, it is incredible that otherwise reasoned thinkers would conclude that everything we observe resulted from random processes.
vernier
Close-up view of one vernier; the teeth are two microns wide and the spaces between them measure four microns.
Likewise, small structures in biological study exhibit extremely high levels of order, complexity, and information content. Now that scientists actually are able to observe single-cellular life, accounts of the immense complexity in these “simple” life forms are becoming increasingly abundant. Consider Dean Overman’s summary of the research of Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe in his monograph, A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization:
ratchet
Sitting atop some MEMS gears, this spider mite is the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
Because there are thousands of different enzymes with different functions, to produce the simplest living cell, Hoyle calculated that about 2,000 enzymes were needed with each one performing a specific task to form a single bacterium like E. coli. Computing the probability of all these different enzymes forming in one place at one time to produce a single bacterium, Hoyle and his colleague, Chandra Wickramasinghe, calculated the odds at 1 in 1040,000. This number is so vast that any mathematician would agree that it amounts to total impossibility.... [T]he total atoms in the observable universe are estimated to be only approximately 1080 (1997, pp. 58-59, emp. added).
The performance observed in such a system (a bacterium) is so intricate and complex on such a small scale, that so far humans are incapable of duplicating it—MEMS is about as close as science has come to doing so. Yet, in stark contradistinction, many scientists seem to accept that a “simple” life form must have organized by accident and, in turn, given rise to all of the life that we observe on Earth.
ratchet mechanism
Complex MEMS ratchet mechanism
The complexity inherent in MEMS, especially in comparison to larger scale systems, suggests a more natural conclusion regarding the existence of the Universe. If one were looking through a microscope in a science class, or working in a laboratory, and unexpectedly saw tiny gears turning or pistons moving, what would he conclude? This scenario actually has been used as a story line in multiple science fiction shows, and the conclusion reached was not that the microscopic machines had evolved naturally through random processes. Besides the fact that such a conclusion might make for a rather boring story, it is simply an unsound conclusion under the circumstances. Complexity on such a small scale, as we have noted, is not easy to design, so why would we ever conclude that it came about by accident? As in the science fiction scenario depicted, the intricate complexity that we observe on such a small scale is not only evidence of a designer, but also evidence of an incredibly advanced design capability—not of undirected random processes.

Piston
The world’s smallest functioning triple-piston steam engine. One piston is five microns across or 1/5080 of an inch.
The fact that the Universe operates under seemingly immutable natural laws is further evidence of a designer. We have noted that MEMS designers utilize design rules to ensure the viability of their designs. While science has not fully characterized the rules that govern the Universe, or even proved their existence, scientists firmly believe in them. Countless observations and experiments have demonstrated that the Universe appears to behave in repeatable and predictable ways, indicating that there is an inherent yet unobservable constraint being enforced on that behavior. Similar to MEMSdesign rules, the natural laws of the Universe determine what structures can viably exist in the system (Conservation of Matter and Energy), how they will behave (Causality, Laws of Motion, Relativity, etc.), and how long they will last (Thermodynamics). It simply is no more reasonable to assume that random processes gave rise to the behavior of the Universe than to assume that random fabrication processes could give rise to operational MEMS devices.

drive gear
Drive gear chain and linkages, with a grain of pollen (top right) and coagulated red blood cells (top left, lower right) to demonstrate scale.
Indeed, experience with MEMS illustrates that the ordered complexity we observe at every level within the Universe, but especially on the small scale, is indisputable evidence of a Designer whose capability far exceeds human accomplishment. MEMS research is impressive and fascinating, but pales in comparison to what we observe at the microscopic level, and what we theorize at the sub-atomic level. The science and engineering of mankind has not come anywhere close to duplicating the intricate functional complexity that exists in the realm of nature’s small scale. The Designer responsible for these micro- mechanisms fully understands the fabrication process parameters that are required to bring them into existence and sustain their operation, and has used that process to its utmost effectiveness in the creation of everything we observe. Furthermore, the “design rules” that have been employed to accomplish this are nothing less than the natural laws that, in turn, continue to constrain and direct the ongoing operation of His design.


REFERENCES

Frechette, L.G., C. Lee, S. Arslan, and Y.C. Liu (2003), “Design of a Microfabricated Rankine Cycle Steam Turbine for Power Generation,” American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Mechanical Engineering Congress, International Meeting on Energy Conversion Engineering, pp. 335-344, November.
Hawking, Stephen (1988), A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (New York: Bantam).
McWhorter, Paul (2001), “Intelligent Multipurpose Micromachines Made at Sandia,” Sandia National Laboratories, [On-line], URL: http://www.sandia.gov/media/micro.htm.
McWhorter, Paul (2006), MEMS Image Gallery, [On-line], URL:http://www.memx.com/image_gallery.htm.
“MEMS Technology” (2006), [On-line], URL: http://www.memx.com/technology.htm.
Overman, Dean (1997), A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield).
“SAMPLES Program” (2005), Sandia National Laboratories, [On-line], URL:http://mems.sandia.gov/samples.

Introducing Homosexuality To Kids by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=2406

Introducing Homosexuality To Kids

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has affirmed that public school teachers in Massachusetts have the constitutional right, not only to instruct their students regarding the alleged normalcy of homosexuality, but to do so without notifying parents (Parker v. Hurley, 2008). On January 31, 2008, circuit judges Lynch, Stahl, and Howard ruled in favor of the Lexington, Massachusetts public school system and upheld an earlier ruling of U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf, who believes “it is reasonable for public schools to attempt to teach understanding and respect for gays and lesbians” (Unruh, 2008), and to do so without teachers needing to consult parents.
So, if first grade teachers in Massachusetts want to read books about Daddy’s Roommate or Jack and Jim to their six- and seven-year-olds, they not only have every right to do so, but are even encouraged by the state to promote such materials. According to both the judicial system and the Lexington, Massachusetts school system, if teachers want to read a book about a prince who rejects all of the princesses who wish to marry him, and instead, chooses to marry another prince (shown kissing on the last page of King and King), teachers are free to expose youth to such material. Parents can “quibble” and Christians can object, but such is the way of life in Massachusetts public schools.
Amazingly, the plaintiffs in Parker v. Hurley were not even challenging the use of “nondiscrimination curriculum” (i.e., books that depict and celebrate homosexual marriages) but simply “the school district’s refusal to provide them with prior notice and to allow for exemption from such instruction” (Parker v. Hurley, 2008, emp. added). Since Massachusetts courts believe that reading books about men kissing and marrying men is not a “human sexuality issue” or “indoctrination,” parental notice is unnecessary.
Among the many things Christians should learn from these latest court rulings is the need for parents, especially those with children in public schools, to instruct their children in what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. Young people are learning earlier and earlier in life about this subject from someone somewhere, perhaps even in their public school classroom. We at Apologetics Press believe that one of the best ways you can teach your children at home about this sensitive issue is by acquiring our book Does God Love Michael’s Two Daddies? The book promotes God’s love for all individuals, while at the same time showing, in a loving way, that homosexuality is sinful (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:9-11), and not something to be “celebrated.”

REFERENCES

Parker v. Hurley (2008), [On-line], URL: http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/getopn.pl?OPINION=07-1528.01A.
Unruh, Bob (2008), “‘Gay’ Lessons Violate Civil Rights, Man Says,” WorldNetDaily.com, [On-line],URL: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=57298.

From Jim McGuiggan... Hosea 11:1-3 I fell in love with Israel

Hosea 11:1-3

 I fell in love with Israel

Commenting on Hosea 11 the Scots commentator George A Smith said this. "Passing by all the empires of earth, the Almighty chose for Himself this people that was no people, this tribe that was the slave of Egypt. And the choice was one of love only: ‘When Israel was young I came to love him, and out of Egypt I called My son.’ It was the adoption of a little slave boy, adoption by the heart; and the fatherly figure continues, ‘I taught Ephraim to walk, taking him upon Mine arms.’ It is just the same charm, seen from another point of view, when Hosea hears God say that He had ‘found Israel like grapes in the wilderness, like the firstfruits of an early fig tree I saw your fathers.’ "
This is how the Jewish Publication Society Version renders Hosea 11:1,
I fell in love with Israel
When he was still a child;
And I have called [him] My son
Ever since Egypt.
Theodore Laetsch renders it, "When Israel was young, then I began to love him, and from Egypt I called My Son." And G. Adam Smith points out that the verb stresses the point or moment at which something happens and renders it, in line with the previous two, "I came to love" Israel. The picture generated by the words in the text is clear. One day God was looking around at the nations he had created and his eye passed over powerful Assyria, sword in hand and with its lean and rippling muscles. Then he looked long at gorgeous Egypt with its wealth, culture and centuries of mystery before he caught sight of a little slave child. Helpless, bewildered and, to God, a lovely little boy. Here was a child with no power, no national history and no land to call his own and God’s heart went out to him at that time and he came to love him and adopted him as his son.
As the infant grew God taught him to walk (11:3). Hunkering down in front of him as fathers do, he rested the little boy’s hands on his own hands and arms and slowly backed away, allowing the child to support himself on his father’s arms. Looking like a little mechanical toy, with stiff legs as if he had no knees, he put one foot in front of another, grinning and gurgling as he staggered along. And when he stumbled and grazed his knee it was God that soothed and healed it (11:3). It was all so long ago. The little boy was too young to appreciate how dependent he was on his ever-present and attentive father but that didn’t matter because the joy of loving parents in their tiny girls and boys that toddle all over the place needs no special mention in those days. And so it was with the Holy Father, so these verses tell us. They spoke of days when all was warmth and affection and pleasure but now, as Hosea writes, Israel has grown old and suffers from senility and premature ageing (7:9) and God is pictured as a father pacing up and down the room anguishing over how to help him. (Compare 4:17 and 11:8, for example.)
The very reading of such texts makes it clear that to reduce the Story of the Bible to legal categories with an unhealthy stress on juridical words like "justification" is a crime. In light of truths told as Hosea tells them, to reduce the Bible to a book of wise maxims or a generalized moral code to which we must respond is tragic! It is more than a riveting romance, more than a Story of holy love reaching out but if it is more it certainly isn’t less!
I know the anthropomorphisms of scripture mustn't be taken too far! Of course! And isn’t it Hosea that reminds us that God is not a man (11:9)! So, okay, we’re not to take them too far but we’re not to forget that God wasn’t ashamed to liken himself to all that is best in fathers and mothers and that finally (praise his name!) he wasn’t even ashamed to become one of us.
The special relationship Israel had with God he was given in trust. It was for the world that Israel was called and it is for the world that the NT church is called. And when we read the description of the churches in the NT and wince, and as we look around at them today and wince we need to remember passages like this in Hosea.
Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

From Gary... Bible Reading September 22



Bible Reading 

September 22

The World English Bible


Sept. 22
Psalms 92-94

Psa 92:1 It is a good thing to give thanks to Yahweh, to sing praises to your name, Most High;
Psa 92:2 to proclaim your loving kindness in the morning, and your faithfulness every night,
Psa 92:3 with the ten-stringed lute, with the harp, and with the melody of the lyre.
Psa 92:4 For you, Yahweh, have made me glad through your work. I will triumph in the works of your hands.
Psa 92:5 How great are your works, Yahweh! Your thoughts are very deep.
Psa 92:6 A senseless man doesn't know, neither does a fool understand this:
Psa 92:7 though the wicked spring up as the grass, and all the evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever.
Psa 92:8 But you, Yahweh, are on high forevermore.
Psa 92:9 For, behold, your enemies, Yahweh, for, behold, your enemies shall perish. All the evildoers will be scattered.
Psa 92:10 But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox. I am anointed with fresh oil.
Psa 92:11 My eye has also seen my enemies. My ears have heard of the wicked enemies who rise up against me.
Psa 92:12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree. He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Psa 92:13 They are planted in Yahweh's house. They will flourish in our God's courts.
Psa 92:14 They will still bring forth fruit in old age. They will be full of sap and green,
Psa 92:15 to show that Yahweh is upright. He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Psa 93:1 Yahweh reigns! He is clothed with majesty! Yahweh is armed with strength. The world also is established. It can't be moved.
Psa 93:2 Your throne is established from long ago. You are from everlasting.
Psa 93:3 The floods have lifted up, Yahweh, the floods have lifted up their voice. The floods lift up their waves.
Psa 93:4 Above the voices of many waters, the mighty breakers of the sea, Yahweh on high is mighty.
Psa 93:5 Your statutes stand firm. Holiness adorns your house, Yahweh, forevermore.
Psa 94:1 Yahweh, you God to whom vengeance belongs, you God to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth.
Psa 94:2 Rise up, you judge of the earth. Pay back the proud what they deserve.
Psa 94:3 Yahweh, how long will the wicked, how long will the wicked triumph?
Psa 94:4 They pour out arrogant words. All the evildoers boast.
Psa 94:5 They break your people in pieces, Yahweh, and afflict your heritage.
Psa 94:6 They kill the widow and the alien, and murder the fatherless.
Psa 94:7 They say, "Yah will not see, neither will Jacob's God consider."
Psa 94:8 Consider, you senseless among the people; you fools, when will you be wise?
Psa 94:9 He who implanted the ear, won't he hear? He who formed the eye, won't he see?
Psa 94:10 He who disciplines the nations, won't he punish? He who teaches man knows.
Psa 94:11 Yahweh knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile.
Psa 94:12 Blessed is the man whom you discipline, Yah, and teach out of your law;
Psa 94:13 that you may give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit is dug for the wicked.
Psa 94:14 For Yahweh won't reject his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
Psa 94:15 For judgment will return to righteousness. All the upright in heart shall follow it.
Psa 94:16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will stand up for me against the evildoers?
Psa 94:17 Unless Yahweh had been my help, my soul would have soon lived in silence.
Psa 94:18 When I said, "My foot is slipping!" Your loving kindness, Yahweh, held me up.
Psa 94:19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me, your comforts delight my soul.
Psa 94:20 Shall the throne of wickedness have fellowship with you, which brings about mischief by statute?
Psa 94:21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
Psa 94:22 But Yahweh has been my high tower, my God, the rock of my refuge.
Psa 94:23 He has brought on them their own iniquity, and will cut them off in their own wickedness. Yahweh, our God, will cut them off.


Sept. 22
2 Corinthians 2

2Co 2:1 But I determined this for myself, that I would not come to you again in sorrow.
2Co 2:2 For if I make you sorry, then who will make me glad but he who is made sorry by me?
2Co 2:3 And I wrote this very thing to you, so that, when I came, I wouldn't have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy would be shared by all of you.
2Co 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears, not that you should be made sorry, but that you might know the love that I have so abundantly for you.
2Co 2:5 But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow, not to me, but in part (that I not press too heavily) to you all.
2Co 2:6 Sufficient to such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the many;
2Co 2:7 so that on the contrary you should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest by any means such a one should be swallowed up with his excessive sorrow.
2Co 2:8 Therefore I beg you to confirm your love toward him.
2Co 2:9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might know the proof of you, whether you are obedient in all things.
2Co 2:10 Now I also forgive whomever you forgive anything. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ,
2Co 2:11 that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.
2Co 2:12 Now when I came to Troas for the Good News of Christ, and when a door was opened to me in the Lord,
2Co 2:13 I had no relief for my spirit, because I didn't find Titus, my brother, but taking my leave of them, I went out into Macedonia.
2Co 2:14 Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and reveals through us the sweet aroma of his knowledge in every place.
2Co 2:15 For we are a sweet aroma of Christ to God, in those who are saved, and in those who perish;
2Co 2:16 to the one a stench from death to death; to the other a sweet aroma from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
2Co 2:17 For we are not as so many, peddling the word of God. But as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, we speak in Christ.