Etched into the Stone

One of our weaknesses as humans is the tendency to think that our past is like a fleeting puff of smoke, a short-lived remnant of our deeds. Perhaps this is not the driver for a continuance of actions done in error, but it surely accommodates them. The quicker we dismiss the guilt, the sooner we can move on to the next misdeed. We even declare to our own minds and to each other that our dark actions are acceptable, right, and even deserved.
Over the last two weeks, I have periodically enjoyed looking at a book with lots of pictures of stonework. This morning I browsed a few pages of carved and etched stone. Fascinating! You can tell a story in the stone. Its a relatively permanent way to preserve our message. But I wonder if our past is more like a carving in stone than a puff of smoke. It is etched, done, recorded, and on display to Him who sees all. We have set our stones in the forest, to be hidden. It is safe there, we think. But the forest will burn, and all will be laid bare before Him, to whom we will have to give an account. Our history is etched. It is a despairing thought.
But a New Stone has been set. On it is masterfully carved another story. Near the center of this historical stone is the the cross which bore Jesus, stained from His own blood. Then is depicted upon this stone another stone which appears to have been rolled away from the entrance of a tomb. I pause to ponder these etchings and also think of my own stones and the dark story that they tell. I look further on the stone and see a depiction of my stones. On it the Master Carver is there. The depiction shows me trying to fix my own stones. Nothing works. But as it depicts me looking to Him and He is pointing to the scenes of His crucifixion, I am depicted with arms stretched to Him. In the next scenes, He is washing my stones with His own blood. The surge of excitement to see the result overcomes me. His blood is the only agent that is capable of dealing with my stones. Knowing what I have done on my own stones, I am drawn to look back at my own real stones. It has been a while since I looked. All the guilt and shame that once overcame me when I would look back, is no longer there. To my exhilaration, they have been washed, cleaned by the blood of the Master Carver. He loved me so much as to come and clean my stones. I am awed by His Love. I could never have cleaned my own stones. My tools cannot alter those stones. But now it is done.
As now I have the opportunity to walk with the Master Carver each day, I often pause and thank Him for what He did for me. He reminds me:
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1
But as I look around, I still see many whose stones depict their sins. They are laboring with all kinds of things to try to fix them. Some have turned to Eastern meditations, some have turned to the moon god, who disguises himself in various forms as an angel of light, deceiving many into Islam, Freemasonry, and even straight out Satanism. Some have pursued a false savior who looks like Jesus, but they are still left to their own devices.
There is power only in Jesus to have your sins forgiven. All others are impostors claiming to have the solution and drawing you into their grips. Ultimately, those grips are from the father of lies, Satan, whose natural language is lies, spewed out all over the world to deceive many into false hopes. There is but a little time left in this age of God's grace where you can have your sins forgiven, your stones cleaned, if you will. The Master Carver calls us to turn to Him, to believe in Him. He will keep His word.


The Irresistible Song

Music is a very mathematically quantifiable field. In this realm of our existence, generally the nature of sound that we can hear involves frequencies in the range of 20Hz-20000Hz. But how those frequencies can be combined with various amplitudes and rhythms to produce a whole myriad of unique and interesting types of sounds is awe-inspiring. That God would gift us with this capability to hear and discern music and voice is truly a blessing.
In the intimacy that we share with our spouse or parent or friend, we often take for granted that we can distinguish them by their voice characteristics or even their style of footsteps. You may have seen moments where deaf people have been given devices that let them for the first time hear their loved ones. The emotion and tears are often uncontrollable. But what if our lives are like that. What if we have lived in this world and never before had the sense of knowing God? What if suddenly, this sense was awakened in you, how would you react?
The Lord Jesus has a “song” that has been playing in His creation since the beginning. But for all of us, it has been obscured by our fallen nature and that of the resulting fallen creation itself. We don’t recognize the song. Rather, we hear a noisy and confusing song, which often drives us away from the notion of knowing the Creator. In fact, we may hate the possibility of His Existence and Presence so much that we shake our fist at Him. We are listening to the noisy chaos of our own song, and we have derived some form of pleasure from it. We are scared to not listen to it, for we don’t know what will happen without it.
But what if in the midst of that painful noise, a song emerged that for the first time caught your attention. What catches your attention is that the song is playing with the same struggling tune that you have been hearing in your life. That song speaks of the painful circumstances that Jesus endured after having given himself in service to so many people around Him. But the song takes a sudden turn into the most despairing tune you’ve ever heard. That the Creator of the Universe has been subjected to the same horrible song that has been ringing in your head grabs your attention. But then something happens. The song has stopped. In the midst of wondering what is happening, you realize that Jesus died. With it, He ended the song that has been troubling you. The dramatic pause is so suspenseful, for now there is no song playing at all.
When all seems lost, the most beautiful song becomes discernable to your ears. It is a curious song. It is a new song. You are immediately filled with the desire to not let this song get away, for you never want to breathe another breath without it. It is a song of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The song speaks of His irresistible love for you. It speaks of never having to fear again, even in the midst of dire circumstances. It speaks of life, like you have never heard before. It promises eternal life with the Musician playing the song.
No thing from this world is of any true value as you sit in the presence of the Musician playing the beautiful song. Suddenly you are aware that you are not alone listening to this song, for surrounding you is a group of others enjoying the song. After some time, the Musician calls your name and asks you to play the song as well. You are concerned that you will mess it up. But he assures you that if you keep listening to His song, you will be able to play it. Others are playing it as well, and this encourages you. Of course the old instruments that you liked to play music with are worthless in this new song, because they are not able to produce the notes and sounds. You find yourself learning more and more of the song. Its intricacies seem endless. Your purpose in life becomes clearer. Your goals have changed. You are now more aware of what goes on around you. As you continue your life, you share the song with others, but you quickly realize that they are listening to their own horrible songs. You play it carefully and respectfully that others might finally hear. And you ask the Musician that He might allow them to hear it as well. It is a beautiful song. It is now even irresistible. It is the song of True Love.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” John 11:25


The importance of eternity right now!

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” Epheshians 3:8-11 (NKJV)

Paul writes of several grand topics in this rich passage. Let's look at just a few:

God who created all things” and “according to the eternal purpose” are key phrases here that help us to discern some of the fallacious arguments made by runaway scientists.

On a recent trip to the “2nd & Charles” bookstore with my family, I went to the physics and science section and almost immediately picked up a book to preview. It was a book from a secular atheistic scientist who scoffs at the notion of Special Creation. I dug in to read his opening conclusions and discern his premises. The book presented his version of the concept of the “Multiverse”. In simple terms, the Multiverse theory suggests that our Universe is just one in a sea of many, many universes. Our universe just happens to have the right “settings” for physics and chemistry to produce the place and the means for life, evolving from simple chemicals to simple creatures, to more complex critters, and finally and eventually the whole way up to you and I. The theory promotes that many other universes might exist with different “settings”, which might not be able to produce life, but ours did. It sounds very fantastic, and in a time when people love the imaginative ideas that man comes up with, there is a “hope” that this might further our understanding of existence and meaning and purpose.

But let us examine this idea more closely. Why would there be a need for such a theory? First, the current mainstream astrophysics academics look into the stars and interpret the data to say that our Universe is expanding from a Big Bang event. They theorize that all matter and energy were concentrated into a very small point that erupted into our Universe. At that beginning point, it is challenging to say what was going on in the theory. But the question of what was before that point is what is so tricky. Did the point come from nothing? Or was there something prior that precipitated it. The objection to the “nothing to something” is that it leads immediately to a “why”. Why would nothing burst into something with all the rules and all the means to form us? Where would the rules come from? From a purely naturalistic worldview, this would require a big amount of “faith” (or else it is merely an imagination to rattle around in your head until you go into oblivion).

From this dilemma, some scientists have been suggesting that the Multiverse is the explanation. But this obviously begs the question of "How did the Multiverse come to be?"

Let's play the fool a minute and suppose that we accepted their naturalistic theory. The consequences are then that there is no God. But to be honest, one would have to accept that there is no ultimate meaning. “Why”, you ask with your inquisitive mind. Let's start with the other end of the theory... The Big Collapse. In similar thinking to the “what goes up must come down” idea, the Universe will some day collapse into a point again, or just simply run out of energy to allow anything useful. Both of these results lead to a very bleak result for man (or whatever we would evolve into). Annihilation means that there would be no lasting remnant of our existence.

As a result, we could argue that mankind would never be able to persist. All meaning, effort, toil, learning, and whatever mankind would come up with would simply be destroyed. Whatever efforts we attempt to establish could not resist that destruction. Hence it is all meaningless.

But wait... our imaginative friends suggest that this is the very reason that we must pursue this in science, so that we can figure out a way to overcome the Big Collapse or Big Fizzle and heroically persist our existence! Sounds like a great movie, right?

Ready for the kicker? Are you sure you want to read it? Here it is: In a naturalistic universe with this theory, you cannot guarantee that there is a means to persist. There is no cosmic force that is fighting for us. There is no way of knowing whether it is possible to survive the collapse or fizzle. There is no happy ending that can be ensured. The laws of existence would not be driven by any mind or overseer. Even if you overcome this hurdle, there is no guarantee that the next hurdle could be overcome. There is no one to reveal ultimate meaning to us. There is no guarantee of ETERNITY. Additionally, each individual who dies would be gone and never realize the end result. They might be remembered, but would have no means to relish the remembrances of others.

Breathe a sigh of relief and return to reality... recall that the Apostle Paul said by revelation that God created all things and that there is an eternal purpose! Hallelujah! Sunny Day!!!

You see, the humanistic, evolutionary, Big Bang, Multiverse theory puts man as the potential hero with no guarantee. Mankind would always attempt to aspire to use his imagination for new ideas and efforts, but at the end of the day, it could all be gone.

But Christianity comforts us that God is the Hero through Jesus Christ to rescue man for his eternal purposes, which include us. Its a promise from the Self-Existent one, who declared to the Jews in His plan that “I AM THAT I AM”. This suggests that God Himself is the Framework for His own Existence. This is an awe inspiring bit of information. We obviously have a hard time comprehending this in our current existence. This is part of why the heavenly beings are crying out “Holy, Holy, Holy”. But God promises that “we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is”. Do you long for that transformation? Are you ready to enter into the things that God has planned for us?

But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'” – I Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

Our imagination has not yet come to the ideas of what God has planned for us!

It sounds like the makings of a really good movie, Right? Oh, but it is reality!!! Praise God! In the spirit of Pascal's wager, I say that I believe in Jesus, the Christ, who is God incarnate, and that Jesus' sacrifice of Himself for our redemption from our sinful state to His glorious resurrection to realize His eternal purposes, is ultimate reality. But for those who choose to reject Him now, they are left to their own imagination and if they are honest, their own destiny into it's oblivion. I shudder to think of what the reality of separation from God for eternity would be like. I prefer to patiently wait for the Revelation of Jesus Christ and occupy until then. Will you join in the Eternal celebration of Joy, or be satisfied for the temporal imaginations of man?


Will you lament with me?

Will you lament with me over the lost son, who has left his father and squandered his inheritance? He has said “I will break with the reasoning of my father, and I will do it as I will and in the way that seems right to me.” To the amazement of all their neighbors, the son left in a pompous march, celebrating his new found “freedom” from his father's corrections. This was not the first wrong choice that the son has made. On the contrary, it has been a slow descent, further and further from the will of his father. And yet, the son's path has been marked with points of blatant disobedience. Many who watched warned the son, others cried out that the son should return the inheritance and just leave, while others still encouraged him to take the inheritance so that they could join him in his celebration. The father knew the impending consequences of such actions and warned his son. These consequences have been clearly demonstrated by others in history. But he never imagined that it would ever happen... his son has left reason and dignity and has chosen to make a way for himself and others to indulge in unfit pleasures at the expense of the inheritance from his father. The father and all his friends will hope for the son to come to his senses and return to sanity. Many of the father's friends have volunteered to go and rescue his son before it is too late. The son refused all of their help and is determined that he will make his own way.

So, as you can extend your imagination, the father and son here are representative of the government of the founding fathers of the United States of America, while the son represents the government of those in the latter half of the age of this nation. The father's wealth was from the concentrated efforts of Christian Liberty that birthed the nation and formed the foundation for government for greatness in this land. The founders often recognized the dangers that loomed in the future if the government should fall under control of corrupt people. They understood that this irresponsibility could come about if the people themselves failed to elect righteous men, and that this could happen, if the people began to be ignorant of the Creator, who endowed men with their rights.

So in this latter half of the age of the nation, a few of the failures of the government pertain to the extending of the Supreme Court's bounds to become a “Super-Legislative-Executall” power. So from a time at the beginning where the founders recognized that the Supreme Court could have its opinion, they would ignore its decisions because it was not the Legislative branch and certainly not the Executive branch. Now, it appears that the Supreme Court is assuming those powers, and the people don't know any better. The attacks upon the Christian principles over this period include Education (promotion of macro-evolution, and attack on school prayer), Parenting (abortion), and the Family (degradation of traditional marriage, by the inclusion of homosexual “marriage”). These were enacted for the benefit of the minority rather than the protection of the majority. Just a reminder, the nine jurors on the supreme court are not elected by a ballot presented for the vote of the people.

There are those who confuse the personal grace that is offered through Jesus Christ with a supposed need for the government to not deal severely with offenders. In other words, those who found the government recognized that the duty of government was to punish the offender. But they also demonstrated grace in encouraging the offender to repent and pursue God's forgiveness before they were to soon meet Him face to face via capital punishment. So in today's mixed up sentiments, they would accuse Thomas Jefferson of homophobia. Jefferson recommended castration for a man caught in sodomy. So rather than punish such a man, today's government has not only declared it to not be wrong, but now has legalized a “marriage” license for it.

Then there are those who would say that references in the Bible to “homosexuality” refer to those acts that are performed against someone's will or without love for the other person. Just because two people consent to a crime does not make it right.

So today, we have leaders (Supreme Court Justices, and at least one President) who must read the founding documents without understanding the authors' intentions (nor the Creator's). Consider this portion of the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Today's justices have declared the folly of a few to be legal and part of the “pursuit of Happiness”, while ignoring that the Creator's given right to pursue happiness does not include the degrading of their bodies in homosexual behavior.

Today's justices must believe that the term “Creator” means whatever each person wants it to be, whether it be “Evolution/Big Bang” of the atheistic worldview, or “Allah” of the Islamic worldview, or “Self” of the satanic world view, but certainly not only the “Creator” of the Judeo/Christian worldview, who was in the original intent.

I would like to share the passage from 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. It offers clearly the consequences of sin, but also suggests the remedy:

“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

I want to say to any readers from the homosexual community or supporters who may have suffered this far into this writing that Christians are not mad at you, for we all have failed God. We are not mad at you for what has happened in the supreme court. For we recognize that the father of lies, Satan, is a deceiver and has blinded and blindsided us all at one point. Just know that you are loved by God, who gave His Son, Jesus, as a payment for our sin debt. But also be warned that we must all give an account before God of our lives.

If you want freedom, your choice is in Christ. If you want to enjoy God's Freedom from Sin for Eternity, repent and put your faith in Jesus' saving work. If you want to “enjoy” freedom from God, then stay the course, and you shall be granted “freedom” from God for eternity.

For those in the “Diversity & Inclusion” movement, I hope that I will receive your welcome, because my worldview has now been relegated to the scrap pile by authorities. Or are you welcoming only those whose diversity is the same as yours?

In conclusion, I lament for what is happening in our nation. As my Pastor first put it, “I am first a Christian”, then I am a citizen of this land. For Christians, our first citizenship is secured in heaven, where moth, nor rust destroy. But for this time and place, I am also a citizen of the United States of America, and I will not lay down to let it fail. I will work and wait for the return of the son who has strayed. I will live courageously as a citizen, a husband, and a father. But foremost I will live courageously. I repent from my sin. And I will war against the forces that seek to destroy America by separating it from its heritage in Christianity. We desperately need God's mercy now during this age of Grace before this world enters into the age of God's wrath.


A path to a mark of the beast!

"He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
Revelation 13:16,17

Implantable Device?

For a long time, I thought the "mark of the beast" would be an implantable all-in-one device. In recent months, however, developments in technology have changed the possibilities. The transaction transmission system is already mostly in place, as cell phones and systems become more and more ubiquitous (means "present, appearing, or found everywhere" for those of you like me that usually have to look up that word). Perhaps only a few more technologies need to come to maturity. Perhaps they are further along than we know. Here are some...

A Need For a Better Way For You to Buy and Sell

Anyone ever get a call from your credit card company concerning fraudulent charges? I did several months ago and realized how easily someone could gain information and used it to make purchases on my card. Fortunately, the credit card companies implement means of detecting some of those charges. It takes a lot of effort to create software to assist in this matter.

But ensuring that you are the one making a purchase online or even in a store is complicated. What would it take to make this happen?

Unique You!

Quite simply stated, a system needs to identify you... not your credit card, not your phone, not just your PC, not your check... but you, using some means to pay. Can it do so with your fingerprint? Can it do so with your eyes? Weight? Height? Hair color? Voice? Heart rhythms? Or a combination of some or all of these? Many systems do very well with some of these parameters about you but not well enough to bring absolute certainty.

But your DNA coding is pretty high on the certainty level. It is pretty unique. It's weakness might be discerning identical twins and the like. Perhaps there are other metrics that could assist in those cases.

So when I saw this article,

3D-printed attachment turns any smartphone into a DNA-scanning microscope

I felt compelled to write this post. While the article touts the potential medical benefits, the obvious extension would be to use the DNA scanning capability for identification purposes.

Miniaturization and refinement of the technology to just be another component within a smartphone or reader device would not be far off... Consider this one from last fall (Not DNA scanning but...)

Now I don't want to trivialize this, there might be significant effort to determine what parts of your DNA to use for uniqueness without sending the whole sequence. Certainly, we would not want to scan you whole DNA strand and submit that every time you do a transaction.

Are you alive?

One good question is whether you are alive when you make a purchase! Even with just a DNA system, someone could kill you and steal your DNA to make a transaction.

So such a system must verify that you are alive and preferably not under coercion at gunpoint or the likes.

There have been several articles over the past few years pointing to such nano-scale technologies that could operate on the cellular level.

One area of interest is the material Graphene, which has tremendous potential for all kinds of uses. It is very strong with very thin layers. It even possesses some electrical qualities that may be of assistance. There are hurdles, but...

Here are just a few articles about graphene:

You might find other relevant articles with a google search.

Transmitting and handling the information

Last but not least... no system that can be spoofed or cracked by a hacker will be suitable. This requires some special information systems. The information from its point of transmission from you to the database in the bank or central system must be:

Uncrackable! No one should be able to break the information apart and use it to make purchases on your behalf. It should take into account your identification information, but at the same time not expose it to be used by anyone else. This involves the technology of "Data Encryption and Decryption". The means of hiding the real information during a transaction and of discovering it to be useful at the bank... from body to bank!

Here is an interesting article:

...and another about security using Quantum Physics (Title is somewhat misleading):
The Big Bang Theory of Security

In fact, the whole Quantum Computing arena has the potential to revolutionize computers and information systems.

A Mark of Allegiance

The Greek text of the word for "mark" is  "caragma". The Strongs concordance word lookup notes say "a scratch or etching". While it is possible that it could be as simple as a mark denoting allegiance. It could involve also some of the technologies mentioned above. The harmful and painful sores mentioned in Revelation 16:2 for those who bore the mark, could be a result of science gone bad and interacting with changes in the world in a negative way.

Most important for us who are watching for Jesus' coming is remembering that Jesus Christ is our Savior and God's Holy Spirit is the only "mark" that we need. Never compromise your allegiance to God by receiving a mark on your body to surrender your allegiance to another.

Just a glimpse

Well I bit off more than I could chew... so this still seems a bit sketchy to me. I hope to add future links as I see them and start a little "notebook" here.