Infinity and Forever

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Folks keep telling us to do the math…

So, let’s do a little math to drive home a crucial point about God; A point so strong that grasping just a fraction of it drops me to my knees.  It will do the same to you.

My apologies to the math haters, but I promise you will see a tiny bit of God’s infinity.  Here we go…

Light travels at 186,000 miles per second and there are 31,557,600 seconds in a year. If you multiply those two numbers you come up with almost six trillion miles.  That is one light year. That’s a huge number, so huge in fact that most of us don’t realize the immensity of it.

So, let’s get some perspective with–you guessed it– more math. Buckle up now, cause this will blow your mind.  A standard piece of notebook paper is around 5/1,000 of an inch thick or .005 of an inch. So, one thousand sheets measure out to five inches, one million sheets is five thousand inches or almost four hundred seventeen feet, one billion sheets is almost four hundred seventeen thousand feet or 78.914 miles. Are you following me?  A stack of one billion sheets of paper would reach almost seventy-nine miles into our stratosphere, beyond it actually, into our mesosphere.  I just learned that word.

Okay, brace yourself.  A stack of one trillion sheets of your standard notebook paper would stretch almost 79,000 miles into space, a third of the way to the moon. Six trillion sheets would reach almost four hundred seventy three thousand miles, twice the distance from the moon to the earth.  That is six trillion times the thickness of a piece of paper.  I am not wrong; check my math if you like.

Now… try imagining six trillion miles!  That is one single light year; ONE!

You better sit down.  I don’t want to be responsible for any injuries if you pass out… According to NASA, this picture is of a dwarf galaxy one hundred million light years away!  Multiply that one incredible distance of one light year by a hundred million!

No human can say for sure but it appears from our spec of a galaxy that our universe is infinite; it never ends, unimaginable as that is.  So, really, the numbers don’t matter at all.   A space telescope capable of seeing a hundred trillion times as far as the Hubble will see no closer to infinity?

Sometimes, when I ponder the unending immensity of this universe, I feel like I am shrinking.  The further my imagination travels into infinity the smaller I become and soon I will be in danger of disappearing altogether.  If you walked that mathematical path with me, I know you understand.  I think, though, that feeling smaller because we have a slightly better understanding of infinity is backwards.  Because the Creator of Infinity treasures us.  That is awesome enough, right?  But that is nothing, because the love He has for us is as infinite as this universe, as infinite as forever!  We shouldn’t be shrinking–we should be growing, because the Infinitely Powerful God has a love for us that never ends.

How Awesome Is Our God?  There are no words.  Let’s just say–INFINITELY AWESOME! It is as close as we can get.

A.J.

 

 

Imagine Infinity

Not to kick a dead horse…
I know I said something about this a few weeks ago, but seeing God as the creator of our planet sells him waaaaay short. He is the Creator of billions or trillions of stars and planets… or more, each one of them different than the others. Is there an end to His universe? Is there an end to His Power?

If our heart’s perspective is ignorant enough to see God as small in any way, these pictures should remind us that we are incapable of grasping the tiniest fraction of His infinite power and greatness. They are real photos from the Hubble Space Telescope of parts of our universe so far away that trying to imagine the distance will make you pass out.

A.J.

Click the link this time———-> https://www.nasa.gov/mission_p…/hubble/multimedia/index.html

arti-kh-777924-unsplashMore than meets the eyeDisco lights from a galaxy clusterarp299

The Myth of Atheism

I am gonna kick a hornets nest, though I am not sure if any hornets are paying attention.

Before I do, let me say:  Consider carefully who may see this before you share.  I wrote it years ago when I was angry at those who say there is no God, and before I had a clue how gigantic God’s love is for those people.  Nevertheless, I still believe this is all true.  It is sorta long, so read it when you have time, or skip it altogether.  Okay, put your hornet-proof suit on,  cause here we go…

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Did you know that God says there are no atheists?  He says he made his existence plain to every one of us.

The “atheist” says,  “I don’t believe in God.”  Can we take him at his word?  To deny the existence of God implies that you believe the universe and everything in it came from nothing, that man and every other creature evolved out of pond scum which came from nowhere.

When speaking to an “atheist”, he may tell you how mankind happened just by chance, and that we evolved into what we are today over millions of years.  They point to changes within a species (microevolution) as proof that macroevolution took place.

They speak of the “Big Bang” in which nothing exploded to create everything.  Or, they will tell you that everything in the universe, every one of the billions of stars, the planets that surround them, and every last thing on or around those planets was compacted down to the size of the head of a pin.  They say this infinitely compacted mass began to spin faster and faster until it exploded, and well… here we are.

If you ask them where this mass and the force that made it explode came from they will shrug.  They try to get clever with their words and dance around the question.  Flustered and angry at this point, they will often blurt out, “Ww..well, where did God come from?

Generally, the “atheist” isn’t stupid.  In fact, many if not most seem to be of above average intelligence.  So how can intelligent people hang there hat on the most ridiculous postulation that man could possibly come up with, something that goes against everything we’ve ever learned about science and nature?  Indeed, the Big Bang and evolution contradict the two most basic laws of science, the laws of thermodynamics.  Everything just popped into existence out of nothing?   Is there a single person who has observed anything popping into existence?  Do you know anyone who has?

Yet atheists say everything came into being that way.  One moment nothing, the next moment an entire universe, or a super-compacted pinhead-sized mass that, with the help of an amazing force (also coming from nowhere) blew up and became an infinite amount of galaxies, stars, planets, and everything else in the universe. Can any intelligent person actually believe that?  That is the real question here.

There is no doubt that most of the scientific community supports the stated views of the “atheist”.  But, when it come to the origin of the universe or the origin of living organisms the scientific community becomes rather unscientific to say the least.

True science has always relied upon direct observation, testing, and repeatable results before calling something scientific fact.  Proof.  But, when it comes to evolution or the Big Bang, speculation and conjecture are good enough to proclaim theories as fact.

Supposed missing links, some of which can be found in our children’s textbooks have proven to be hoaxes (Piltdown Man), without evidence (Peking Man), or simply mistakes (Nebraska Man).

Nebraska Man was the evidence used in the Scopes Monkey Trial supposedly proving evolution. They created complete drawings of “the missing link” half man, half ape.  They did all this out of one tooth.  That’s all there was of Nebraska Man, one single tooth.  Tell me there wasn’t speculation involved in the drawing of this “missing link”.  It was later discovered that this one tooth came from a pig now known to be extinct.

Yet our children are being taught evolution as a scientific fact and if any teacher dares to mention that there is an all powerful God who created our universe, that teacher may lose his or her job.

If evolution were true there would be innumerable transitional forms of every kind of living creature within the fossil record, but this is not the case.  Books, articles, and essays by those out there doing the research are filled with conjecture and supposition.  If those studying the subject did not have a predisposed bias, it would be clear that evolution is only a theory.  This bias and the reason behind it is the point of this essay.

The strange fact of the matter is that most who claim to believe in evolution have not studied the subject at all.  Sadly, I know more about the subject than they do.

I believe in an All Powerful Creator God.  I cannot prove his existence to you although I see proof everywhere I look.  My belief is by faith.  When the “atheist” says he believes in evolution; that is also a statement of faith, not of science, and the two should never be confused.

“Atheists” get angry when the scientific validity of evolution is questioned.  Why can’t they say: “I know it’s a theory but that’s what I believe?”

The answer is, they don’t want it to be a theory; they need it to be a fact.  Because, if there is a God they will have to answer to Him.

Evolutionist George Wald, Harvard biology professor and Nobel Prize winner said this regarding the possibility of a single cell coming to life: “One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that spontaneous generation of living organisms is impossible.  I choose to believe that which I know to be impossible rather than accept the unthinkable, special creation.”

I admire Mr. Wald’s honesty, but can you do that?  Can you believe something that you know to be impossible?  Obviously, the answer to that is no.  How sad to live a life avoiding the truth and trying to legitimize a view you know to be false.

In Romans chapter one, the Bible says “…what may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities –his eternal power and divine nature– HAVE BEEN CLEARLY SEEN*, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”  And later in the same chapter, verse 25 says,  “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised.  Amen.”

It is not actual belief in evolution.  It’s rejection of God.  It does not matter what facts suggest, the “atheist” will claim to believe anything rather than admit belief in God.  I don’t believe they are lying, exactly.  I think they are fooling themselves and they have buried the truth that they have CLEARLY SEEN.  They will not honestly consider the questions all mankind must ask:  “Where did I come from?”  and  “Why am I here?”

So, to the “atheist” who says I do not believe in God, I say;  I do not believe in atheists.

A.J. (a younger and more ornery version)

 

*The capitalization in the Romans verse is mine.

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Honestly, today’s A.J. is still a little angry at anyone who would dare question the existence of our incredible God.  But, I have to remember that if they truly and completely understood how God viewed them, that predisposed bias would go away and they would see all things through new eyes, and ponder all truth with a fresh heart.  If there is a single atheist who got this far without blowing his or her top, please read this one more line:  God is real, but He doesn’t want to judge and condemn you for all your wrongs; He wants to free you from judgement by paying your debt Himself because He loves you more than you could possibly comprehend.nasa-89125-unsplash

Watched

I hate to sound paranoid but we are being watched.  That’s right; every move we make, someone is there in the shadows taking note, ready to pounce—or turn away.

“You are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read, and your life is under scrutiny every day.” –John MacArthur

People are reading us.  So, what kind of story does our book tell?  Because, when something goes wrong at work, our frustration is bookmarked.  When someone hurts us and we jump to anger rather than grace, that page is dog-eared.  When we disregard real need, notes are made in the margins.  When bad things happen and we fall straight into our Chicken Little despair, our book is burned.  God’s book is burned.

This is not a buckle down and work your way to heaven talk.  Trust in grace.  Period.  Trust in Jesus.  But, we have a huge responsibility.  We have not been saved so we can hide our Savior, or misrepresent him.  Remember the parable of the talents in Matthew 25?  One talent was a large sum of money, equal to many years wages.  A man entrusted three servants with differing amounts of money(talents).  When he returned, the first two had doubled the amounts entrusted to them, and their master was very pleased with them.  The third, though, had dug a hole and buried the money for which he was responsible, fearing that he would lose it.  If you recall, it did not go well for that servant.

Listen, I write to learn, not to teach.  I am writing this for me more than any of you.  Most of the time I sit down to write I am thinking of ways that I am falling short.  Many of these posts are just me exhorting myself to be who God is calling me to be, so I am not throwing stones.  I am no great philanthropist, or evangelist, but I would like to be something great–for Him.

There is no way around it.  We are supposed to stand out in this world.  We are supposed to be salt when life tastes like cardboard soup.  We are supposed to be light for people who are in the darkness.  We are supposed to be that lamp up on its stand where it can do the most good.  People should see Jesus in our lives.  In how we talk to other people, in how we listen.  They should see him in our actions and our words.  Because…

“Out of one hundred men, one will read the Bible, the other ninety-nine will read the Christian.”  –D.L. Moody

It is both exciting and scary to know that God has allowed us and empowered us to have an influence on how others see Him.  What we do now, and how we do it, can reap eternal rewards.

A.J.sebastian-boring-1102719-unsplash

 

I need God-goggles…

Mostly, when I look at myself, I still see my faults, my sins.  The good in me doesn’t jump out of the mirror.  It is mostly the bad in me that I see.  I still see myself as a sinner; a saved sinner, but a sinner nonetheless.

God, on the other hand, views me as righteous, according to the Bible.  He actually looks at my life and sees it as perfectly sinless.  How can this be?  Is the All Seeing, All Knowing, Almighty God blind?  No, he saw it: the selfishness, meanness, lustfulness, pride, anger…  He saw every bit of it — and he took it away.

“…as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

I will go unpunished, but my sin did not.  Jesus took all of it to the cross with him.  The Totally Holy Judge of all Mankind looks at me as an innocent saint.  So, I guess that’s what I am.  You can’t argue with God.  I am who he says I am.  Period!

I just wish I could see me through His eyes.

A.J.

 

Wonder

Some days I can’t write a lick.  Every word comes off my keyboard with a yawn; even my name sounds boring.  Of course, when your first name is Average, you are at a disadvantage.

You would think, considering the subject matter (God), boring would be impossible.  How can anyone make GOD sound boring, right?  Miracles happen though, and you can call me the Miracle Man, cause sometimes I can make the Creator of Galaxies,  Star Clusters, and Supernovas sound as interesting as a roly-poly’s trip across the driveway.

There is something terribly wrong if there is no wonder in my words when I write of God.  People should hear the awe in my voice every time I speak of him, and although I may occasionally inspire someone to see some great truth about God, there are other times when all my words will inspire is a nap.

There is a country song that says:  “I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.”  This is the problem: I don’t feel so small anymore.  I am losing my sense of wonder.  I remember a time when I would find out something incredible about our world and I would be amazed, but that doesn’t happen so much anymore and when it does my amazement level doesn’t reach as high as it used to.

I am not sure why this is happening to me, but I don’t like it.  I suspect part of it is living in this internet age where every cool and amazing thing is uploaded for all to see.  Amazing things are no longer rare and special, they are commonplace.  Amazing is becoming ho-hum.  Isn’t that crazy?  The more amazing stuff we see, the more it takes for us to be amazed.

Pride will cloud our vision too.  The greater we see ourselves, the smaller others will look to us; even God and all he has done and created will appear smaller in a pride-twisted perspective on life.  It is hard to view things with wonder when we believe ourselves to be the most wonderful thing of all.

The fact is; God IS Amazing.  If we are not amazed by a God who makes every single thing that any human has ever done look about as tough as sitting down, then it is on us.  God has not changed.  His Greatness will never be less than it is.  If we can’t see it, it is because something is screwing with our vision, likely an ignorance of how awesome He is.

Close your eyes and take a ride with me.  Okay, figuratively close them.  Let your mind imagine… we are travelling away from Earth at unimaginable speeds, passing through galaxy after galaxy for millions of light years, billions, then trillions.  If you wrote down the number of miles we have travelled in normal sized type, the digits would cover the entire planet many times over.  Countless supernovas, spiral galaxies, nebulas, star clusters; countless things that they have no name for back on Earth.  But, there is no end in sight and you know there never will be.

The entire human race put together, from the beginning of time, knows nothing of the magnitude of God’s Creation.  Every one of us IS nothing compared to him.  We have seen just an infinitesimal bit of His artistry, but that drop-in-the-ocean knowledge should be enough to be thunderstruck by His Greatness and Power.

He is The God Of All Wonders!  If we don’t see Him that way, then we don’t know Him like we can.  He gave us a way to know Him better though, didn’t he?

A.J.

P.S.  These incredible shots from the Hubble Space Telescope helped me find some perspective again.

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/multimedia/index.html