Is It Possible To Not Believe In Evolution And Still Hold A Position In Academia?

Leaf Fossil-Tracheophyta-vascular plant Tulsa C

(FreeImages.com/DaveDyet)

Check out this story.  It’s an old one, but it is so interesting to me that we so quickly dismiss someone’s observations or findings simply because it doesn’t fit with our belief system.  And yes, evolution is every bit as much of a belief as creation is.

Once again, a scientist is dismissed because of his personal beliefs rather than academia being willing to admit he might possibly hold evidence that support his beliefs because it is contrary to popular opinion. 

The scientific community, for the most part, is dead-set against believing in the validity of intelligent design and a young earth.  This then hinders the ability to actually perceive evidence accurately because a certain outcome has already been determined, and therefore, there is no room for viewing evidence with any other interpretation than according to the determined outcome.  This will indeed impede accuracy and transparency in science and the interpretation of scientific findings.

http://blog.godreports.com/2017/08/university-settles-lawsuit-with-scientist-fired-after-he-found-soft-tissue-in-dinosaur-bones/

http://www.nature.com/news/university-sued-after-firing-creationist-fossil-hunter-1.16281 — Interesting!  Yet, where are evolutionists trying to disprove evolution or an old-age theory?  The answer is, “They don’t.”

Lawsuit: CSUN Scientist Fired After Soft Tissue Found On Dinosaur Fossil

I don’t know much about the above scientist.  Up until his personal beliefs became apparent, it does seem that he was a respected scientist with a secure employment in academia.  That quickly changed once his personal beliefs became apparent.

I challenge all creationists to try to disprove creation, young earth, and intelligent design, and I challenge all evolutionists to try to disprove evolution.  It might be an interesting study!

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“Won’t You Open The Door?”

Knock Knock

(FreeImages.com/ricardo Santeugini)

I awoke early this morning, dreaming this:

There was a home-owner whose house was a mess. Dirty dishes were piling up. Laundry was in heaps. Floors and bathrooms were a mess…

A House-keeper came to his door because He knew the homeowner needed help. The House-keeper knocked. The home-owner called out from the peep-hole, “What do you want?”

The house-keeper told him, “I came to help get your house cleaned up. Can I come in?”

The home-owner said, “Well, I don’t know you. Besides, I saw a house that you own, and it was a mess. I am not sure I can trust you to get my house in order.”

The House-Keeper: “Really?” Which house?”

The home-owner: “The one the vandals broke into.”

The House-keeper: “Oh, that one. Well, the people living in that house decided that they didn’t want my help so they ‘kicked’ me off the deed. I am really sorry the vandals messed up their house, but that doesn’t reflect me.”

The home-owner: “Well, if you can’t take better care of a house you used to own, how can I believe you’ll take care of mine?”

The House-Keeper: “I take care of all the houses where the owners invite me to come in. I can fix your broken and run-down house, but you have to first let me in the door. I can’t promise that right now, you won’t have more dirty dishes or appliances breaking down. But, once you let me in, I will clean it up. I will show you how to keep your house in good repair. Oh, and someday, I have a very special mansion prepared for you, where thieves and vandals can never enter. It also never breaks down, never dirties, never gets disorderly. For now though, I want you to experience what it means to have me to help you. I want to teach you how to get your own house in order as you learn from me. On days, when life is too much, I will do it for you. But, you first have to open your door. Will you?”

“Do You Trust Me With Your Dreams?”

dreaming of

(FreeImages.com/EvgeniaPronina)

I was struggling…  Life was pulling me in many directions, but my real struggle was with something greater — the root of my struggle.  I was trying, pushing myself, and oh so stressed!  I was trying to force something.  That something is my dreams.

Then, God and I had a talk.  Well, it was more like He spoke conviction into my heart, and I knew it was truth.  It was this penetrating question, “Do you trust me with your dreams?”

I knew then that was the struggle.  I was trying to force my dreams in my strength, my time, and my way.

God was asking me if I trusted Him enough with my dreams.  I then realized that was the issue.

That question helped me to recognize again that all of life comes down to one penetrating question, “Do you trust God?”  And the answer is almost always a definitive “no” if you don’t really know He loves you.

God then flooded my heart with so many reminders of His love, but the greatest one was the cross.  This is what He spoke to my heart, when I asked myself, “Do I trust Him/believe He loves me enough?”:

He spoke this to my heart: “Because I was willing to give my life for you.”  If He was willing to sacrifice everything, including His relationship with His perfect Abba Father and suffer the ultimate of all suffering for me, then I know.  I know He loves me enough.  He loves me enough for anything life might send my way.

The point is, dear ones, the problem is not with our faith — our faith in His power.  The problem is with our awareness of His love.  The truth is we often don’t really believe or comprehend His love for us.  We are still measuring it by the tragedies of our life, by the false earthly representations, and by the twisted thinking of those who claim to represent God.

What God spoke to my heart this morning was this:

As the parable of the father in the Prodigal Son, so He will always pursue me — no matter what I’ve done, always desiring to bring me back to Himself.  And with that, I whisper, “God, don’t ever stop pursuing me and bringing me back within the security and fullness of your Love.”

Wrote this to friends this morning:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgGUKWiw7Wk — And then I finally found Love — Love so perfect, so infinite, and I am reduced to an unashamed curtain of tears … to this overflowing, overwhelming awareness that I am “found,” “seen,” “heard,” and complete within Love. We all yearn for perfect, infinite Love… we want someone or something to truly know us and to truly love us within that vulnerability and transparency, allowing us to blossom within the security of unfathomable, immeasurable Love! Within the embrace of lavish love, my heart unfurls, and the fragrance, vibrancy, and life blooms!

My heart is coming unfurled.

I may be accused of being more emotional, but the truth is my heart is learning that it can be more vulnerable.  My heart is being allowed to feel more because I have found a “Safe Haven.”  I can “risk” my heart when I know there is truly no risk with God. 

How about you?

Do you trust God with your dreams? 

Do you trust Him with your heart?

Faith… I Am Finally Getting It!

Leap of faith

(FreeImages.com/DaveShields)

This year, the prevailing theme God has been teaching me is that of faith.  I often see how understanding (“sight”) seems to come in “layers.”  God shows me something; then, He shows me another “layer” to the truth of that thing.

God had showed me some profound truths in regards to faith a few months ago.  I wrote about it in these blog posts: https://graceinthemoment.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/what-we-view-as-faith-in-god-is-often-not-about-god-at-all/ and https://graceinthemoment.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/.

Each of those blog posts was another “layer” to what God was showing me concerning faith.  He was showing me that faith was resting in God.  He was also showing me that God doesn’t quantify our faith; because it’s not about how much faith we have but that we have faith, period.

In my devotionals, I was reading that faith is confidence. In fact, I recently heard that the root for confidence is confideo, which means in faith.  They are directly related to each other.  Makes perfect sense when we think about the usages of both.

Yet, this amazing and profound truth just “nailed” me this morning!  It is this:

Faith is confidence in God.

So simple, right?  Yet so profound and life-changing!

I used to view faith as something that I had to do or stir up in myself.  I always wondered if I would have enough faith to get me through certain types of trials.

Now that I am finally getting it, the profound truth about faith is completely “revolutionary” to me!

Faith is confidence in God!

It’s not about me.  It’s about Him — the Object of my faith.  It’s because of Who He is that I can have complete confidence in Him — no matter my circumstances.

Wow!  Doesn’t that take the pressure off!

God has been leading me into a much deeper walk with Him, and as He does, my love for Him and personal understanding of Him has grown.  That is also why at the same time, my faith is also growing.

Faith grows parallel with a personal and accurate understanding of God.

As I am growing in my love and an accurate understanding of God personally, my faith is also growing.

How incredibly encouraging it is to know that I don’t have to worry about my ability to trust in God.  I need to look at my God and why He is so worthy of all my confidence/trust!

I just need to have confidence in Him.

That, I can do, because I know my God!

What Is Your Identity?

crocuses

What is identity, and why is it so important?

Your identity is what defines you.

Our identity does not just represent us, but it is the “substance” of who we are.

We will live out who we believe we are.

If you want to know where you find your identity, look no further than the things that give you purpose and where you find “fulfillment.”  That’s what you believe is your identity.  Note: this can be a false identity, but this is the identity you have taken as your own and are living as.

When asked about yourself, what is your regular explanation?  How do you introduce yourself?  What is the summary of your life?  How do you spend your time — the majority of it?  The answers to each of these questions will tell you a lot about the identity you are living as.

Examine that identity next to the identity that God gives to you.  Is your identity truthful?

 

It’s Not A Matter Of How Much Faith — Rather It’s A Matter Of Having Faith

Mustard Seeds

(FreeImages.com/tijmen van dobbenburgh)

Twice today, I read references to the Matthew 17:20 verse that speaks of having faith as a mustard seed.  At first glance, it’s easy to overlook the significance of the analogy used in referring to faith.

So often when we think about faith, we want to quantify it. 

We worry about having enough faith to face certain situations or whether we have “enough” faith to be used mightily by God in a situation.

That’s why the analogy given in Matthew 17:20 is so insightful.  The mustard seed was one of the smallest seeds known to the common people during Jesus’ time on earth.  Jesus tells the people that if they had faith as [small as] a mustard seed, they could command a mountain to move, and it would.

The mustard seed wasn’t known for its greatness of size but rather for the opposite.  It was known for being insignificant in size; yet, it existed.

The analogy or truth being made is that it’s not the size of our faith that matters; it’s the fact that we have faith.

If we’re honest, we’ll recognize that when we are trying to determine whether we have enough faith for God to use us, move in our lives, or respond to a request, it’s really not about having more faith.  It’s really an issue of having faith, period.

The fact, we are doubting our faith may indicate that our faith itself is at risk.

God doesn’t quantify our faith.  He just tells us we have to faith.

That’s why we are told that we just need faith as a mustard seed.  The point is: we just need to have faith.

If you are struggling with trusting in God, perhaps the question you need to ask yourself is, “Who is my God?”

Start reading about Him and getting to know Him personally.  Let Him speak to your heart and reassure you that He is indeed a God in whom you can trust.

Matthew 17:20

20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief;[a] for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

 

Science Is Based Upon Many Abstracts Just Like Our Faith…

Abstract Motion

(http://www.freeimages.com/photo/abstract-motion-1182097)

I find it fascinating how God reflects His story and existence within every part of His creation.

It is amusing to me that so many atheists are proclaimed scientists, who wish to base all their beliefs on scientific reasoning and formulas.  Yet, science itself is based upon many abstract concepts that cannot be proven by all five senses.

My son and I are studying the chapter on “Energy & Motion” in his science book.  In this chapter, we are studying how forces are necessary for motion.  Without forces, life wouldn’t exist nor continue.

I loved this one quote from the science book:

Forces themselves are invisible.  They cannot be smelled or tasted.  Forces can only be felt. — Investigating God’s World

So much of our physical world functions on invisible forces.  We acknowledge these invisible forces because of their results or effects upon tangible objects.

As a Christian, I believe in God’s existence because I see the effects of His influence and “force” upon life itself, in my own personal experience, in the experiences of others, in the tangible Bible, and in the concepts of love and goodness.

I believe that so many scientific concepts have their parallel in spiritual concepts.  Take gravity, for instance.

Gravity is the force of attraction that exists between any pair of objects.

Investigating God’s World

My faith in God exists because of the “force of attraction” or love that God has shown to me, which has caused me to respond to Him.

There are also forces that work against each other in the physical world.  Friction is the force that resists motion.  There are positives and negatives to friction.  Friction is necessary for the function of many objects.  In fact, friction can impede the performance of some forces of motion, but it can also enable other forces of motion.

For example, you cannot drive a car or write with a pencil without friction.

This might be a stretch and certainly there are more and better analogies to this concept, but I believe that the diversity of God’s character works the same way.  His mercy and justice, His grace and truth, and His holiness and love are all “forces” that work in perfect harmony and contrast to make our very existence possible and to bring us into the fullest measure of “functionality” within His purposes.

We may not be able to physically touch God, but we can see His effects.  His existence can be felt!

Finding The Real Deal This Year

My Prrrreeeciousssss... 
*LOL*

Foto que eu fiz para uma campanha publicitária para o mês dos namorados.

<i>Photo I took for an advertisement at Valentine's Day</i>

(http://www.everystockphoto.com/photo.php?imageId=10728&searchId=449de323485c7ad045f6af2e284cd81b&npos=20)

 

This short story is taken from The Pearl by Angela Hunt:

“There was once a king who had three sons.  He also had one ring of pure gold.  Concerned about rivalry among his sons after his death, he had two rings fashioned from false gold and upon his deathbed, he ordered his wise men to give the three rings to his sons.  Calling his sons near, he told them the truth: one ring was real, two were false, but the person with the pure ring would always be kind, good, and blessed of God…

All three sons strove to be kind and good because each of them wanted the people to believe he had been blessed with the real ring.

…Anyone who practices good will be regarded as good by those who can’t see the secrets of the human heart … But all the good in the world won’t change the truth — only one son had the real ring.  The other two were living a lie.  Think about it.”

Matthew 13:45-46

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

To Behold

Skye Island, Scotland

(http://www.everystockphoto.com/photo.php?imageId=2518178&searchId=6cad826248cd3f4e93da71e7b49928e3&npos=29)

The words seem to spill out of their own volition.  My heart is overflowing.  There is this awareness of so much goodness — overflowing abundance of goodness…

There is this insatiable hunger.  I can’t seem to get enough of Him.

I met Him and became aware of His love for me, and I fell in love with Him… not the passionate selfish kind of one’s youth.  Instead, it’s a love that makes me complete, content, overjoyed, awe-struck, captivated, inspired, strengthened, at rest.

Before seeing His love for me personally, I had a relationship with Him but it was distant, based on what I had heard or read.  It was built on a lot of “theories” and “head” knowledge.

My worship was related to what I knew about Him with my “head.”  It sounded nice with many fancy-sounding words, but it was a worship of knowledge.  Oh, I had my moments when there was some heart to it…

I was His after all.  Yet, something was missing, and I didn’t know what it was.  I didn’t even know really for awhile that something was missing — how can you when you haven’t had it before?

Then life happened, and with it came pain, hardships, and the ever seeking for a new sense of being.  I tried to be something alright.  I tried to be the most “godly” daughter I could be.  I thought I could be more acceptable to Him if I was more.  I thought He wanted my performance.  Later, I would find out He wanted my heart.

I knew I wanted Him.  I wanted His approval, but most of all, what I was really seeking was His love.  I wanted to feel loved.  So I did or tried to do all the right things.  I was the “good girl”.

What I didn’t realize was that my “godliness” was only “godlified-moralism”.  I would discover that godliness isn’t something you can put on or wear.  True godliness is from Him. 

I didn’t realize that every time I tried to be godly I was doing it in my own strength, with my own ideas and perceptions.  I carried a heavy weight of guilt because I just could never be “godly enough” on my own.

I had trusted Him to be my Savior from my sins, and I knew He loved me enough to die.  My love though was based more on a past-tense event then on a present-day awareness of love.  I didn’t fully realize that He didn’t just die for my sins (which was more than enough) but that He also wanted to take the sinner and transform her to become like His Son.  I didn’t realize all my “inheritance” as His daughter — all that I have in Him.

As the years passed, I became more and more hungry to experience fullness of life in Him, but all I knew was this endless struggle of trying to be godly and falling short.

Then came the day when it all changed.

I remember those moments like I am watching a Cinema movie.  I can recall myself trembling as I awoke to God’s Spirit convicting me and telling me what needed to change — that I needed to find my identity in Him.

I remember crying out to Him and begging Him to tell me what He thought of me because I was forever trying to prove myself to Him, trying to win His acceptance — even though I already was His child.

Then, I remember.  I remember standing there singing those beautiful words to the song “I’m Overwhelmed” by Big Daddy Weave and then it was as if He was singing them to me.

I remember getting up and leaving in the middle of the song to go to a private spot where I could pray.  I remember those gut-wrenching sobs as I began to cry out to God.  As I began to cry out to Him, He began to answer me.

I “saw” that I was no longer running after Him, begging Him for His love.  I saw that He was running towards me.

It was then that my heart ran smack into the heart of God, and I truly came home.

I have never been the same again.

I have this sense of completeness, strength because I have experienced His love for me — so perfect, complete, unconditional.  I no longer live to prove something.  Life no longer has to be a struggle.  It is instead a surrender.  As I surrender to a God I know personally and can trust because He loves me completely, I find all of His gifts and resources at my disposal.

Godliness is not something I achieve.  It’s something He gives/bestows on me as I simply abide in Him. 

Godliness comes from being in His Presence.  Godliness isn’t something I produce.  It’s something He produces in me.

He just wants me — me yielded to Him so that He can transform this broken vessel into something out of which His glory can spill.

My heart yearns to forever be in His physical Presence.  I can’t wait to behold His smile and to look into His eyes and to be lost in them.

I can’t wait to dance in the Presence of the One who made me.

I can’t wait to sit at His feet and to simply soak up His Presence.

I can’t wait to walk with Him and talk with Him… to see the nail prints and to know they are an eternal symbol of His eternal love for me.

His love has changed me.

I wish there were adequate words to describe the depth of my gratitude for Him.

I wish I could help all to see and recognize His love for them — for each and every one of His creation.

With every waking breath, I can’t seem to restrain myself from wanting to share the wonder of this with everyone.  Think me strange or something else, but what I know is once I was “blind” but now I “see.”

I personally see His goodness, His glory, His grace, His love, His transforming truth, His life…  I see Him!

Job 42:5

“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
But now my eye sees You.

And this…

Life-Changing Focus

Remember <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._C._Escher" target="_blank">M.C.Escher</a>?

What you see is the celebration hall of the columbiadamm cemetery in Berlin, Germany. If you speak german, then you find ...

(http://www.everystockphoto.com/photo.php?imageId=701282&searchId=c77848cc02fefd0c360ce733a4affd93&npos=132)

“Knowing the love of God and who we are in Christ affects how we live our lives, as I John 3:1-3 reveals…  Knowing God is the most important part of our belief system.”  (Freedom From Fear by Neil Anderson)

“The cross was where the work was finished, dealing a death blow to sin and death.  The empty tomb was where the work was vindicated, assuring us of eternal life.  The presence of Jesus in heaven is where the work will be glorified…”  (Freedom From Fear by Neil Anderson)

 When I look at my circumstances, I become stressed or falsely secure.  When I look at my possessions, I either become discontent or proud.  When I look at myself, I become discouraged or selfish.  When I look to others, I can be either insecure or judgmental.  When I look to the Lord, I am made full of His goodness, and everything else dims.

 Who is the Lord and what is He like?

Jehovah-jireh (The Lord will provide.) Gen. 22:14

El Shaddai (The One Who is mighty to shed forth and pour out sustenance and blessing) Gen. 17:1-2

Jehovah-Sabaoth (The Lord of the hosts of heaven) Ps. 24:10

Jehovah-rophe (The Lord our healer) Ex. 15:26

Jehovah-shalom (The Lord is peace) Judges 6:24

Jehovah-rohi (The Lord our Shepherd) Ps. 23:1

Jehovah-shammah (The Lord is there) Ezekiel 48:35

Jehovah-nissi (The Lord is my banner) Ex. 17:15

Jehovah-tsidkenu (The Lord our righteousness) Jer. 23:5-6

(Freedom From Fear by Neil Anderson)

 

It is so easy to get stuck looking back at the past, with all its failures, hurts, and wounds.  We need to bring those hurts and sins to the Lord, but then leave them with Him.

It is so easy to get stuck looking at our present, and we forget that there is a far greater and broader perspective that helps keep circumstances in proper focus.  It’s called the God of eternity.

It is so easy to worry about the future with its unknown possibilities, and we forget Who controls it.

“…our lives are changed as our minds are changed by the truth.”   (Freedom From Fear by Neil Anderson)

 Who else is God?

He is…

Advocate (I John 2:1)

Alpha and Omega (Rev. 21:6)

Amen (Rev. 3:14)

Anointed One (Ps. 2:2)

Apostle of our confession (Heb. 3:1)

Author and perfector of faith (Heb. 12:2)

Beginning and end (Rev. 21:6)

Beloved (Eph. 1:6)

Branch (Zech. 3:8)

Bread of Life (John 6:35)

Bright morning star (Rev. 22:16)

Chief cornerstone (Mk. 12:10)

Chief shepherd (I Pet. 5:4)

Christ (Matt. 16:16-17)

Counselor (Is. 9:6)

Deliverer (Rom. 11:26)

Door (John 10:2)

Eternal Father (Is. 9:6)

Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11)

First and last (Rev. 20:13)

God (John 1:1, 14)

Good Shepherd (John 10:11)

Guardian of souls (I Pet. 2:25)

Head of the church (Col. 1:18)

Heir of all things (Heb. 1:2)

High priest (Heb. 4:14)

Holy One (I John 2:20)

Horn of salvation (Luke 1:69)

I Am (John 8:58)

Immanuel (Matt. 1:23)

King of Israel (John 12:13)

King of kings (Rev. 17:14)

Lamb (Rev. 13:8)

Life (John 14:6)

Light of the world (John 8:12)

Lion of Judah (Rev. 5:5)

Living Stone (I Pet. 2:4)

Lord (John 21:7)

Lord Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:3)

Lord of lords (Rev. 17:14)

Messiah (John 4:25-26)

Mighty God (Is. 9:6)

Our Passover Lamb (I Cor. 5:7)

Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6)

Prophet (Deut. 18:15,18)

Redeemer (Is. 59:20)

Resurrection and life (John 11:25)

Righteous One (Is. 53:11)

Rock (I Cor. 10:4)

Root and offspring of David (Rev. 22:16)

Ruler (Matt. 2:6)

Savior (Luke 2:11)

Son of God (Rom. 1:4)

Son of Man (Matt. 24:30)

Teacher (John 13:13)

True vine (John 15:1)

Truth (John 14:6)

Way (John 14:6)

Wonderful (Is. 9:6)

Word of God (Rev. 19:13)   (Freedom From Fear by Neil Anderson)

“The main difference between ungodly meditation and Biblical meditation is the object of our meditation.”  (Freedom From Fear by Neil Anderson)

Do we focus on our past, our present circumstances, ourselves (our own faults, insecurities, fears, hurts), others, our possessions (health, looks, physical abilities, material possessions), or do we focus on the Lord?

The truth of God is the key to healing in all areas of our lives.  What truth about Him do we need to replace the lies in our minds and hearts that are hindering us from living the life God has given to us?

Jesus died to save us from our sins — its penalty but also from its debilitating presence in our lives.  Jesus came to give us life — His life that is abundant, grace-filled, peaceful (true kind), joyful (not reliant on our circumstances)!  If we are not living the “abundant” life He died to give us, then we must ask ourselves what the lies are we are believing, repent of them, and then ask the Lord to replace them with the truth.  The truth is found in Himself.

What truth about Him needs to replace some lies you might be living today?