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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Intelligent Design

Earlier this evening, I caught a little bit of a TV show in which we were informed that a shark can reach speeds of 50 mph (80 kph) in the open sea. Marine scientists are apparently aware that what slows human beings down, in the water, is “drag” – the way in which the water swirls around and along the body (and here I was, thinking that it had something to do with my advancing years!!)

So, the obvious answer was to examine the shark and, when sharkskin was placed under a powerful microscope, it was seen to be composed of what were described as small “teeth” with clear channels running between them. The next move was to copy this design in the form of swimwear in order that speed records might be broken and, indeed, in a very simple test, a champion swimmer knocked almost a full second off her time for just a single length of the pool!

Two thoughts occurred to me. One was that, nowadays, sporting records seem to be broken more by improved technology than by physical prowess! Specially designed swimsuits; tennis rackets; bicycles; golf clubs (and even golf balls); etc. have enabled many long-standing records for speed and/or distance to be totally destroyed. One wonders what some of the sportsmen and women of an earlier generation might have achieved if they had had access to such hi-tech equipment!

The other thought was that there was apparently no question about how the shark arrived at this amazingly precise, and highly effective, design. The dyed-in-the-wool evolutionist – of the ilk of David Attenborough and Richard Dawkins – will insist that it is all the product of chance mutations that took place over millions (if not billions) of years. I honestly find that just too silly for words! The evolutionists seem to take some initial stage, and the final stage; add some exceptionally long time-scale; mix well; and state that “science has proved” their point. The fact of the matter is, of course, that it has done no such thing! Real science depends, for its verification, on both demonstration and repetition. That means that whatever my hypothesis (my “idea/speculation”), I must be able to demonstrate it to my peers, and repeat the successful experiment on a number of occasions. No evolutionist can do either – as, indeed, no creationist can do with the alternative. Both are beliefs, by which we may live and direct our lives. But neither is a “scientific fact”!

The Bible gives an equally plausible, and true-to-ALL-of-the-evidence, explanation: “And God said, ‘Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.’ So God created great sea creatures and every sort of fish and every kind of bird. And God saw that it was good.” (Gen.1:20-21)

What we believe effects how we behave. Society, in general, is the strongest evidence against the Godless teaching of the past 150 years!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

A woman named Susan.

If I had written this post a couple of weeks ago, I suppose that very few people outwith the West Lothian village of Blackburn – and that would have included me – would have any idea as to the identity of Susan Boyle. Yet, after her appearance on the Britain’s got Talent Television Show, she appears to be known by at least half of the world’s population. The YouTube video of her performance, singing I dreamed a dream from Les Miserables has been viewed over 50 million times (and counting!); she has been fêted by such well-known figures as Oprah Winfrey; directors are clamouring to cast her in films; promoters are preparing bids to lure her to Vegas.

So what’s the big deal? Simply that she has a voice that is totally belied by her appearance. I don’t watch the show, but I am one of the folk who has helped amass that amazing total of YouTube hits and I heard the comments, and saw the faces of the audience when this 47-year-old spinster came on to the stage. However, I have also watched the dropped jaws, the saucer-like eyes, and the standing ovations – even from one of the judges (and this was before Susan had finished her song!).

I was reminded of the old adage that “Beauty (the physical sort) is only skin deep”, and its close relative “Beauty don’t last, cookin’ do” (yes, I am fully aware of the poor grammatical structure of the latter!). Susan Boyle may never be a regular “pin-up”, but she has displayed a beauty of personality that will neither fade nor wrinkle.

I was also reminded of some words of the Lord Jesus: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” (Jn.7:24).

What the future will hold for Susan Boyle is something that only God knows. I just hope that this quiet, and apparently genuine, woman will not allow herself to be taken over by the “makeover brigade”, but that she will be an inspiration for the many who have a dream, but fear that their physical appearance, or lack of recognisable qualifications will mean that those dreams will never be fulfilled.

I hope, too, that more of us will be less eager to judge by appearance; and that we will follow all of the additional instruction of Jesus – especially that one that injures our pride: “You must be born again.” (Jn.3:7)

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Funeral Music!

Back again after a super week’s holiday with our good friends the Randag family in the Netherlands, and including a great day with our other Dutch friends, the de Kosters. Good friends; good food; good weather; and lots of interesting things to see. The only sad part was having to leave it all behind!

One of the news items that caught my ear this morning was that, according to Britain’s biggest funeral director, Co-Operative Funeralcare, (Christian) hymns now make up only 35 per cent of funeral music.

“So what?” I can almost hear someone ask! Well, there is a sense in which it maybe doesn’t matter that people want secular music played – when the funeral is a secular funeral! However, if a Christian funeral service is requested, then surely that is what should be provided – and expected! When some people apparently request songs such as ­“Highway To Hell" by AC/DC, sadly, from a Biblical perspective, that is exactly the route that has probably been taken.

The survey threw up some other interesting choices of secular music, with “top of the charts” being Frank Sinatra’s “I did it my way”. I can’t really think of a more accurate reflection of a society that – like its Prime Minister – seems to have totally lost its moral (and spiritual) compass. The Bible states, quite directly, that “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (Prov.14:12) and it doesn’t require a university degree in sociology to recognise that “doing it my way” simply doesn’t work.

In this bi-centennial anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, it is perhaps salutary to remind ourselves that we live in a world in which, prior to the promised return of the Lord Jesus, death is the ultimate destiny for every living organism – plants, tree, fish, birds, animals yes, and even human beings originally created “in the image of God” (Gen.1:27). It’s a fact of life, and one that we cannot avoid.

In his book The Great Divorce, C.S.Lewis points out that those who end up in hell will be there, not because a loving God sent them there, but because they lived their lives in such a way as to ensure that end for themselves. Indeed, he points out that, as those who have not recognised their own sinfulness (the result of that first sin of Adam: see I Cor.15:22) and accepted the salvation purchased for us at Calvary, on that first Good Friday, being in heaven – in the nearer presence of that loving God Who is holiness and purity – would be as bad as hell in any case!

So where am I going here? I suppose that I am trying to emphasise that the important question is not “What music would I like to have played at my funeral service?”, but “Where will I (the real me as opposed to just the mortal remains) be when my funeral service is taking place?” It’s a question that is, I would respectfully suggest, worthy of your consideration!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

It's Resurrection Day.

He is risen! The stone is rolled away!

Glory, Hallelujah!

May the joy of the resurrection, and all that it implies, fill your heart and mind this day - and every day until the risen Lord returns for His own.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Holiday!!

Tomorrow, my dear wife and I set off for a week's holiday. :-) Because of that, I may not be posting again until the latter part of next week. However, if the opportunity presents itself, I will try to add something before then.

If you are a new visitor, why not look back over some of my past posts - not every one is specifically topical! You might also want to listen to my dulcet tones at

http://www.revcbross.blogspot.com/

where a selection of audio messages is available.

Thank you for logging on; do encourage your friends to do the same!!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Now here's a thought!

The following arrived in the post, yesterday. I'm certain that it was written "tongue-in-cheek", but the point is worth pondering! It came as a graphic - unfortunately, when I scanned it it was too small to be easily readable! :-(
"Five ways to stay safe!
1. Avoid riding in cars: 20% of all accidents are a result of riding in cars.
2. Don't stay at home: 17% of all accidents occur here.
3. Avoid walking on pavements in the street: 14% of all accidents happen to pedestrians.
4. Avoid travelling by air, rail, or water: 16% 0f all accidents involve these forms of transport.
5. Above all, avoid hospitals: 32% of deaths occur in hospitals.

Of the remaining 1%, only 0.001% of deaths occur in a church building, and these usually involve people who are already very ill. Therefore, statistically speaking, the safest place to be is in church. Bible Study groups are also very safe, with an even lower percentage of deaths, or serious accidents.
So, for safety's sake, attend church, and study the Bible. IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE!!"

Of course, the life that is saved is not just saved for time, but also for eternity! If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact me through a "comment" (that will not be published), or even through my AllExperts page (see the side bar).

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Advice from a 7-year-old!?!

So! If further proof were needed that the world has gone completely mad, it must be the reports that a local radio station (Mercia FM, Coventry, England) has invited a seven-year-old girl to be its “agony aunt”, after she ’phoned in with some advice for a caller who wanted to dump her boyfriend! The broadcaster was apparently so impressed with her advice - to go bowling with friends and drink a mug of milk – that she was offered a weekly slot to give tips to thousands of adult listeners. Breakfast host Andy Goulding said adults responded to the child's straight-talking attitude.

Interestingly, on the same web page from which I gleaned this information, there was a link to an article that showed how the State examinations for schools in England (and Wales and N.Ireland) have been “dumbed down”. One has to ask if our society can be dumbed down any further than having a seven-year-old provide “advice” for adults. The very fact that so many appear to think that this is an acceptable state of affairs surely confirms that, as a nation, we are suffering from something much more serious than a credit crunch/recession. We are suffering from an increasingly steep decline in standards of morality, intellect, and plain old common sense! There is also, surely, a hint of cynicism about the whole situation. Are adults really taking this “advice” seriously, or is it more of a case of a certain type of adult finding it all very amusing that such a “cute” little girl should be coming out with seemingly adult responses?

Personally, I blame the parent(s) for permitting this little girl – who should be out playing with children of her own age group – to be exploited in this way. According to the writings of the Biblical Book of Psalms, “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from Him.” (127:3). Those same children should be raised up “…with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.” (Eph.6:4).

Perhaps someone, with sufficient influence, will act as “agony aunt” to the parent(s) of this little girl, and offer the advice that childhood is short enough and should be enjoyed as a child!