Posted in creation, theology

Sprung fully formed

By Elizabeth Prata

The Creation account in Genesis is a wonder to me and energizing to my faith. It is obvious that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are meant to be a recounting of actual events. These two books are not poetry, though the language is lofty. It is history. The account is a complete one, at least as far as what God wants us to know. There is no place in those chapters for belief in evolution, gap theories, or poetry.

My Bible reading plan this year started with Job and then went to Genesis. It is a plan that brings the reader progressively from the oldest book (Job, then Genesis) to the most recent. (Revelation).

I’ve been mulling the creation account for a while. I enjoyed John MacArthur’s series on it very much a few years back. I’ll link to that series below.

What struck me are a few verses in Genesis 1 and 2-

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. (Genesis 1:11)

You know that old joke told by secular people, ‘What came first, the chicken or the egg?’ The answer is, the chicken. Or for the purposes of this essay, not the seed, but the plant.

The plants were created fully formed, with their seeds already in them to propagate to the second generation of flora.

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” (Genesis 1:29).

If someone doesn’t believe this is literal, then they must believe that the author is attributing words to God that He didn’t say. Who would put words in God’s mouth and write them down and then the Spirit inspire men to include them into the canon? Would the Spirit accept words into the canon that God didn’t say…that man made up?

Adam was made fully formed, a fully grown and functioning adult man. He was capable of speech and thought and will. Then God created Eve, another fully functioning adult with thoughts and speech and will.

Satan knew that the earth was created by God complete and functioning from the beginning. He was among the holy angels who shouted for joy when creation was performed. (Job 38:7).

Satan knew that it happened this way. When he invented a false religion for the Greeks, he even included an evil shadow of the true creation story in his pantheon of gods and origin stories. Athena was supposed to have sprung fully formed, and in armor, from her father Zeus’s head.

I affirm in joy the account set before us in Genesis 1 and 2, its true historicity and its wonderful language accurately describing this true event. God spoke, and plants, animals, light, sun, stars; all of it, sprung fully formed from His lips. I pray you have joy in believing this, too.

 

Further reading

John MacArthur sermon series: Genesis: Believe it or Not

Posted in creation, theology

“There is no such thing as transgender”

By Elizabeth Prata

Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. (Genesis 5:2)

Though some people these days (and fewer than we are presented with by the news) claim that there has been some sort of mistake, or that they don’t feel right in their gender, and abuse the medical profession to change that, there’s no such thing as mistakes with God. He made them male and female, period. If a person doesn’t feel right int heir own physiology, there is a mistake with them, not with God.

“You’re either XX or XY. That’s it. … This notion that you are something other than your biology is a cultural construct intended as an assault on God.” John MacArthur

Transgender is a rebellion against God because He made each person as He intended, male or female. Claiming that one wants to switch genders, or that there has been a mistake, is saying God isn’t God, That He is not sovereign, he doesn’t know what He is doing, and it’s OK to make one’s self their own god.

Here is a five-minute clip I thought answered the question of transgenderism sensitively, but heartbreakingly. When a person switches genders, they obliterate themself. Transgender folks are 19X more likely to commit suicide. If you or someone you know is going through a desired gender switch, or wants to, get them help immediately, and pray fervently for them.

 

Posted in creation, Uncategorized

Spectacular earth as seen in low flying drone photos

The headline hooked me

20 of the Most Spectacular Drone Photographs of 2017

The photos stunned me.

I have always loved the view from above. When I was small, maybe between 6 or 8 years old, we started vacationing on Cape Cod during summers. At some point we ended up in Provincetown. This is a town at the very tip of that arms that curls out into Massachusetts Bay. It’s the end of the Cape. At the elbow is a lighthouse called Wood End.

In one of these vacations, my father paid for a scenic plane ride. Barnstormers with biplanes were popular then and one of them appealed my dad and he and I and my brother went up. I’ll never forget the utter beauty of the scene. The winds were calm and so the Bay was calm too. Vivid blue bay with a curling arm of green dune grass fringed by tan sand until the tip, where the sand trailed off into the ocean like a dream fragment. The short lighthouse was at the elbow, dune grass waving all around it but the lighthouse motionless as a sentinel. One lone man sat nestled against the lighthouse, his back to it and knees drawn up, staring out to sea. It was a serene moment, and the memory of it from above stays with me.

I love photos from above.

So, intrigued, I clicked on My Modern Met’s link of the spectacular drone pics of 2017. With drones becoming a personal item even the layman can use, photos from above are becoming more popular. I looked at the pictures, admiring the loveliness of God’s earth. I love maps, topography, satellite photos, all of it. Drone pics are right up my alley.

The photos display the wonder and variety of earth. If you think about Genesis 1, God made it all inside of a week. It’s astounding to think of His creation from the perspective of a saved person. I can attribute all of it to Him, which is a relief and a joy.

I wonder what God thinks of us as he looks down. We truly are children from His daunting perspective. Even from the perspective of a few hundred feet up, we look like children on a playground.

I hope you enjoy these photos, and there are more at the link. Praise our God for His creaive wonders of earth, plants, seas, flowers, animals, and people. Enjoy His might in upholding it all with a word. Just enjoy the prettiness.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
Psalm 33:6

More at the link

dronestagram-best-aerial-photos-2017-4

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Posted in creation, Uncategorized

What is ‘earthquake music’?

I came across a lecture to be given last week at University of Southern California Library in a series called Visions and Voices. It grabbed my attention because of my curiosity about the music of the spheres, a concept I’ll explain down below. Here is the blurb for the lecture. To my knowledge, it was not recorded or transcribed so I don’t know the specifics of what was said, though I did email the Lecture people to ask after it.

The earth hums along to its own soundtrack. If only we could listen to it. 

When the ground beneath us shifts, as it is prone to do in Los Angeles, it unleashes enormous quantities of energy as seismic waves. Packing a destructive punch, these waves race through the earth like sound waves through air. In fact, seismic waves bear many remarkable similarities to sound waves. But though we feel them as earthquakes, we can’t hear them; their frequencies are simply too low for the human ear to detect. What if we transposed earthquake waves to an audible frequency? This fascinating event will bring these normally inaudible sounds to life through a panel discussion, scientific demonstrations of how seismic waves affect our built environment, experimental sonification of seismic data, and creative musical interpretations. 

Participants include seismologist Lucy Jones, known to many Angelenos as the longtime public face of earthquake science for the U.S. Geological Survey; composer and USGS geophysicist Andrew Michael (Earthquake Quartet #1); USC Dornsife College earthquake geologist James Dolan; USGS physicist Stephanie Ross; and sound artist DJ /rupture. The discussion will be moderated by Josh Kun of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

I like Dr Lucy Jones. I’ve listened to her explanations regarding earthquakes. I’ve read some of her articles, too. I noticed that the Lecture was to include geophysicist Andrew Michael who is part of something called Earthquake Quartet #1, so I looked that up. His info is located at the United States Geological Survey (USGS). It states in part,

Earthquake Quartet #1 is an outgrowth of a lecture that I have been giving since 1997. This lecture, “The Music of Earthquakes,” mixes performance and lecture, music and science, acoustic instruments and computer generated sounds. A musician controls the source of the sound and the path it travels through their instrument in order to make sound waves that we hear as music. An earthquake is the source of waves that travel along a path through the earth until reaching us as shaking. It is almost as if the earth is a musician and people, including seismologists, are the audience who must try to understand what the music means.

The excerpt above has a sample of the music. How interesting!!

That led me to explore more and I learned about sonification, which was also mentioned in the excerpt of the Visions & Voices Lecture at USC. This is a link to an absolutely fascinating 7-minute interview on how, with today’s technology, scientists are turning data into sound (sonification). Take a listen to data that plots median income in Manhattan turned into a song. Meanwhile, here is an excerpt of the article and interview below:

How do you turn a pie chart into sound? That was the problem faced by NASA scientists who found challenges with conveying data to astronauts who were unable to process it because of movement and sight issues in space. But where visuals failed, sound showed its practicality. 

Ears were found to detect patterns in places where even visuals failed, according to Bruce Walker, director of Georgia Tech’s Sonification Lab, who worked on that initial project when the field was just getting started in the early ’90s. Data sonification is now a full fledged academic field, with a growing number of daily uses. Brian Foo, an application developer for the New York Public Library Labs, is pushing it to new boundaries…

The clip does provide audible sounds for data that are usually visually presented on a pie chart. It’s fascinating. What does data sound like? Listen and you will hear a sample. Meanwhile here is one definition of what sonifcation is

Data sonification means representing data as non-speech sound.  The basic principles are similar to visualization, but where visualizations use elements such as lines, shapes, and colours, sonification relies on sound properties such as volume, pitch, and rhythm.

source

The original premise above was the lecture with earthquake and geophysical specialists who say that seismic waves are similar to musical waves (sound waves) and thus the earth possesses a music all its own. This reminded me of the Music of the Spheres, Musica Universalis, an ancient philosophical notion. I wrote about it in a multi-part essay here. The following is an excerpt.

This is My Father’s World is a hymn written sometime in the 1800s by Maltbie Babcock, a preacher in upstate New York. It was published after his death in 1901, and set to music by Frank L. Sheppard. It references Psalm 104; Psalm 24; Acts 4:24; Acts 4.

If you ever heard the hymn “This Is My Father’s World” there is a lyric in the first stanza that mentions the “music of the spheres”. Hymnary.org explains the hymn’s lyric in context-

 The text is a confession of faith and trust, a testimony that all creation around us is the handiwork of our Father, who made the creation (st. 1), charged us to take good care of it (st. 2), and continues to exercise his kingship over it … The phrase “music of the spheres” in stanza 1 refers to the ancient belief that the planets made music or harmony as they revolved in the universe. 

Pythagoras, Plato, Kepler, Bohr, and Pastor Babcock all brushed up against the same order and harmony in creation in math, astronomy, and music, and each of these people throughout the centuries reacted to the divine knowledge of this creation differently, just as Romans 1 said they would. Some saw harmony and order in creation and worshiped it, while others saw harmony and order in creation and worshiped the Creator.

Musica Universalis is the Latin term for the Pythagorean philosophy called Music of the Spheres. Pythagoras initially developed the thought that the planets made music. This notion is not as far off as it sounds- Pythagoras was really on to string theory.

Does the earth make music? Does the universe make its own music? How can we “sonify” the inherent order and harmony of the created universe? Can we tune in to it? As RC Sproul said in his online class Recovering the Beauty of the Arts,

His word of order triumphed over the chaotic abyss present in Genesis 1:2. Any example of creation points to His majestic artistry.

The orderliness of God in His majesty, set to music, or, extracting the inherent music within His harmonious order. Either way, both are interesting notions.

Now wait a minute, did I read that above correctly? The NY Public Library has labs? Now I’m off to explore THAT rabbit trail! Happy earth listening!

Posted in creation, encouragement, God, universe

How big is the universe? How small is the smallest known object?

A friend sent me a link to a video where the scale of the universe is compared. We start with human size and drill down to the smallest known length/size, which is a string of String Theory.

NOVA – Official Website | A Sense of Scale: String Theory says of a string,

The strings of string theory are unimaginably small. Your average string, if it exists, is about 10-33 centimeters long. That’s a millionth of a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a centimeter. If an atom were magnified to the size of the solar system, a string would be the size of a tree.

Then the scale increases to compare larger objects, and ends with both the known universe’s size and the estimated universe’s size.

It is estimated that the diameter of the observable universe is about 28.5 gigaparsecs (93 billion light-years, 8.8×1026 metres or 5.5×1023 miles), putting the edge of the observable universe at about 46.5 billion light-years away. (Source)

God is bigger than all that.

The reason the video is fascinating is because of the comparison. It makes more sense to compare objects to determine relative size. If I’d have written “The observable universe is 28.5 gigaparsecs” you’d have gone, “hunh?!” But seeing the sizes of known things and pondering their sizes is easier and more productive when you have a known to latch an unknown onto.

Now, when I was a non-saved person, I’d have eagerly learned these facts about the scale of the universe. It is mystifying and wondrous to see the sizes of these things, a string to a neutrino to a DNA strand to a molecule to… and so on. But just knowing the facts for the sake of knowing them is self-glorifying.

The key for the saved person is making the comparison. God is not only bigger than all that, He MADE all that. In six days. There’s the difference.

When we compare everything to Christ things begin to assume a supernatural element which awes and fascinates.

When Paul preached to the Gentiles, he always began with creation. Gentiles didn’t know or care about the Hebrew scriptures, but every Gentile who walked the earth knew that an earth existed. Who made it? In Acts 14:14-15, the Gentiles thought Paul and Barnabas were gods. Paul told them in Lystra:

Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 

In Athens, Paul said,

For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. (Acts 17:23-25)

It is so sweet to meditate on creation balanced against the immensity of the fact that our God made it. And His attributes are just as immense, infinite, actually. His love and mercy and omniscience and power and grace…

Posted in creation, God, valley of vision

Hovering over chaos, order came to birth: Valley of Vision

My morning devotional includes reading one prayer from the phenomenal book “Valley of Vision.” These are Puritan prayers, collected and compiled by grand subject. Today’s was “The Spirit’s Work”. For me, these prayers are utterly moving, piercing, and beautiful with a lyricism of writing and a stirring of the soul that is unmatched, except by the Bible. Here is today’s, and I comment at the end:

The Spirit’s Work (from The Valley of Vision)

O God the Holy Spirit,
Thou who dost proceed from the Father and the Son,
have mercy on me.

When thou didst first hover over chaos,
order came to birth,
beauty robed the world, fruitfulness sprang forth.
Move, I pray thee, upon my disordered heart;
Take away the infirmities of unruly desires
and hateful lusts;

Lift the mists and darkness of unbelief;
Brighten my soul with the pure light of truth;
Make it fragrant as the garden of paradise,
rich with every goodly fruit,
beautiful with heavenly grace,
radiant with rays of divine light.

Fulfil in me the glory of thy divine offices;
Be my comforter, light, guide, sanctifier;
Take of the things of Christ and show them to my soul;
Through thee may I daily learn more of his love,
grace, compassion, faithfulness, beauty;
Lead me to the cross and show me his wounds,
the hateful nature of evil, the power of Satan;

May I there see my sins as
the nails that transfixed him,
the cords that bound him,
the thorns that tore him,
the sword that pierced him.

Help me to find in his death the reality
and immensity of his love.
Open for me the wondrous volumes of truth
in his, ‘It is finished’.

Increase my faith in the clear knowledge of
atonement achieved, expiation completed,
satisfaction made, guilt done away,
my debt paid, my sins forgiven,
my person redeemed, my soul saved,
hell vanquished, heaven opened,
eternity made mine.

O Holy Spirit, deepen in me these saving lessons.
Write them upon my heart, that my walk be
sin-loathing, sin-fleeing, Christ-loving;
And suffer no devil’s device to beguile
or deceive me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I read the line that says,

When thou didst first hover over chaos, order came to birth, beauty robed the world, fruitfulness sprang forth.

It brought to mind a metaphor. When all three Persons of the Triune God were intimately involved with the earth’s creation, it made me think of a metaphor of how the Triune God is intimately involved in similar work to hover over us, order coming to birth, beauty robing our soul, and fruitfulness springing forth. He creates out of the formless void of our disordered heart peace, calm, rest, fruitfulness. All three Persons of the Triune God are involved in creating in us an interior world of light.

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:2-3)

May the perfect and loving God who created earth and soul, bring you truth and comfort today. Let the Light of His love and Word illuminate your soul.

Posted in creation, encouragement, fall, God, seasons

First day of fall: God’s glory in creation continues to awe

The next three months are among my favorites of the year. The hot-hot-hot summer is done. The sticky humidity is over. The skies have cleared of that summer haze, and the stars are again bright at night. There is a new vigor and freshness of the days and a crispness to the evening where it feels just so good to draw up your blanket and cuddle.

The Lord ordained the seasons in their progressions since the very beginnings. The cycle is one that is both useful and beautiful. He could have made everything gray and rectangular. But He didn’t. The diversity of foods, lands, stars, trees, and seasonal changes is gloriously gorgeous. The display of leaves during fall, the harvest bounty, the stars glittering above in the clear night sky…all useful,yes, for signs and growing and timing … but beautiful too.

Our God is creative and His works are to be praised.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, (Genesis 1:14)

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)

He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. (Psalm 104:19)

Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest. (Exodus 34:21)

He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes. (Psalm 147:16)

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Posted in creation, encouragement, jesus, universe

The brightest light in the world

Long argued about, long wondered of, discussions ranging from “it was real” to “it’s a myth,” historical records mention it (In the second century AD the writer Lucian said Archimedes destroyed ships with fire. Anthemius of Tralles wrote of it also… Hmmm! Even the MythBusters attempted to replicate its power of reflected sunlight … eventually the class of 2009 at MIT sketched and constructed and tried it.

The Archimedes Sun Death Ray

Was it an ‘urban legend’? Or did Archimedes really build a death ray using the sun? The legend goes that Archimedes constructed a series of mirrors, that when pointed at an oncoming warship in unison under the Mediterranean sun, would ignite the ship into a fire that would subsequently sink it. And it would not take long to do, either. Above is a fresco at the Uffizzi Gallery in Florence depicting Archimedes’ Death Ray at work.

The class of 2009 at MIT wrote up a super witty essay of their experimental efforts, complete with lots of photos, here- The Archimedes Result

The experiment worked! Here is one shot of the fake ship they constructed, burning up!

We know that God created the sun. He did that in Genesis 1:16. But have you ever wondered why God put the sun on His creation schedule on Day 4 and that He said “Let there be Light” first thing on day 1? (Genesis 1:3). He IS the Light! He doesn’t need a secondary entity to illuminate His universe. His Light is first, strongest, brightest, and eventually will be the only Light filling the entire Universe. (Revelation 22:5).

It’s impressive that Archimedes used the sun’s light and power to shine a ray that could ignite a warship in under ten minutes. That is one strong light. But… how bright is God’s light? I am mindful of the verse in Matthew 24:27,

For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Or Luke 17:24–

For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.

To compare, how bright is lightning? The average lightning strike peaks at 1 terawatt which is equal to one trillion (1012) watts. 10 to the 12th power means 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10. That’s bright!

The metaphor for Jesus’ return being as lightning evokes both the suddenness and visibility of it, and also the brightness. IMAGINE! His glory at more than full trillion wattage! No, it’s unimaginable.

If we as Christians reflect (or emit) one tiny fraction of all that glory He has given us no wonder the Apostles turned the world upside down! If mere mirrors reflecting the sun can burn a ship within 10 minutes, imagine the light of a God so big He exceeds the universe’s brightness of all its lightnings and suns! God’s glory-light is so much brighter than the sun, than lighting, than the sun and lightning combined! Our future dwelling place will be where there is no night, where the glory of the light of Jesus Christ illuminates every iota of every atom everywhere. That’s bright. And He is our Savior and friend. What a Savior He is, in Him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

O Splendor of God’s Glory Bright

1 O splendor of God’s glory bright,
from light eternal bringing light;
O Light of light, the fountain spring,
O Day, all days illumining.

2 Come, very Sun of heaven’s love,
in lasting radiance from above,
and pour the Holy Spirit’s ray
on all we think or do today.

Posted in creation, discernment, God, paul, southern lights

What do Aurora Australis, Romans 1, and Apostle Paul have in common?

In Romans 1, the famous passage in which Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit describes the pagans’ reaction to experiencing the God of Creation, begins in verse 18.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20)

How does this play out, exactly? How are His invisible attributes seen and known? How is it that what can be known about God is made plain to people whose minds are darkened?

I was watching a very excellent documentary called “Antarctica: A Year On Ice”. It follows the people who live and work through a year’s cycle at the various scientific stations on the most remote and brutal continent on the planet. The continent is staffed with about 1100 people at various international stations up and down the Antarctic coast. The largest is the United States’ McMurdo Station. In most documentaries, they show the scientists working. Penguins, climate change, volcanic action, geology…but this documentary features the people who staff the stations in support of the scientists’ work. The regular folks.

The documentary further features the many hundreds of regular people who both work there during the summer, and who “winter over.” They man the store, staff the fire station, fix tractors, cook the meals, wash the dishes, take inventory of all the equipment, etc. When the last plane out at the end of summer leaves, they stay. Thus, the wintering over experience is unique to only a few individuals each year, as the full swell of 1100 during summer dwindles to only about 200 souls spread out among 30 scientific stations during winter in the Antarctic.

Living where there is no hope of departure for 6 months, in brutally cold and windy conditions, in darkness as the sun disappears below the horizon, with only a few dozen people around you…is something that only a few are allowed to experience.

Screen shot from “Antarctica: A Year On Ice”. Aurora Australis

Interestingly most of the people who “winter over” in the Antarctic love it. The landscape under the moon has a stark and glowing beauty. There is an astounding resplendence in the sky that only a few people are privileged ever to see. The stars, planets, Milky Way, moon, and of course the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis) dance across the sky in majestic processions, all the time, for there is no sun to hide their glories.

Now here comes the Romans 1 passage lived out among a Gentile. One of the workers described her experience seeing all this for the first time. Here is what she said:

I was out on the sea ice, and all of a sudden comes rolling these waves and waves of green like fairy dust. Giant curtains of fairy dust, just kind of undulating over me. It filled the whole sky and moved in waves across the sky. And I thought this is either what it looks like when aliens are about to abduct you…lol, because this is the green stuff coming down and you feel like you can reach up and touch it. Or if you are a person who believes in heaven, maybe this is what you see in heaven. I’m not sure.

But it was really an emotional, life-changing experience for me. I found myself, not believing I’d done it, when I’d figured out where my body position was, I was actually on my knees crying. That’s how beautiful it was to me.

She sounds like every other person who had an encounter with the Living God. She didn’t directly meet the Living God like John, Paul, Isaiah, or Ezekiel did, but she experienced His power through His creation. When you do, you grope for words. You fall on your face. She had a mental reaction and a physical reaction.

First, you notice she described her experience in supernatural terms. It was either aliens, and in context it was clear she was joking, or it was God (“heaven”). Here she was more serious. The blinded mind does see and know of the Living God when they perceive His qualities through His creation, and her description was exhibit A in this process.
 
She lives and works with scientists in a place that only exists to perpetuate science and to discover scientific reasons for the way the planet is and how it works. All her conversations with people on McMurdo are founded from that basis. That is why they are there in the first place. Yet when she encountered the creation power of the Living God, her first thought was heaven. She did not say “Wow the Big Bang all those billions of years ago manifested itself in perfectly organized ions that traveled over millions of miles in a beautiful display!” She said “heaven” … and who lives in heaven? God.

Secondly, you notice her physical reaction. She was so overwhelmed with glory of His creative power she became insensate. She didn’t know if she was ‘in the body or out of her body’. She had to ‘come to’ and when she did, noticed she had fallen to her knees. Do we fall on our knees when we detect a scientific principle at work? Are we so awed by the process of pasteurization that we cry tears of joy on our knees? Maybe Louis Pasteur did, but anyone else? No.

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.  (2 Corinthians 12:2)

Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking. (Ezekiel 1:28b)

screen shot from the documentary. McMurdo station under southern lights

In the Bible men and women fell down when they experienced the direct glory and power of the LORD. Peter fell to his knees when Jesus brought all the fish to the boat, for example. Isaiah fell down in his vision seeing the heavenly throne room. However, people also fell down when they encountered the near-glory of God, experiencing the things sent from heaven. John fell down at the angel’s feet. Cornelius fell down at Peter’s feet. Saul Saul, he fell down when the light from heaven shone around him. The difference as the Romans verse reminds us, is that we are not to worship the creation, not angels nor light nor other men, which are all created. We are not to worship southern lights or the sun or birds of the air nor creeping things.

But those who encounter a direct power from God through the creation react. This reaction is from a conscience which knows what they are seeing is from God and that He exists. This is what the Romans verses mean.

When Apostle Paul witnessed, he always began in the synagogue when giving the Gospel to Jews, reasoning from the scriptures. (Acts 17:2-3). With the Gentiles though, he always started with creation. He did this with the Lycaonians (Acts 14:6, 15) and the Greeks (Acts 17:22–31). Paul started with Creation and God’s attribute as Creator, and he exhorted Gentile listeners to see what can be seen in nature as the evidence for this.

Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry. (Romans 11:13)

That is because they know the truth. They know God has created all, but they suppress it. Knowing but suppressing, understanding but denying, is an ongoing mental and emotional struggle inside each and every Gentile. It takes energy to suppress the truth that manifests itself in unwanted forms, such as falling to one’s knees, becoming insensate, or crying. The question is, what will they do with the information afterwards?

That’s where we as Christians can bring some more pressure to bear on their internal emotional and physical tension. We are witnesses to the God of creation. Before I was saved I lived unplugged close to the land and on the sea, experiencing the natural world in many ways. It became obvious to me that there IS a God. Nothing of what I was seeing in His creation could have come about through haphazard bangs and solar wind and evolution. So, I knew God is real because I was seeing His invisible attributes. But that is where I became stuck. What now? What does it mean? Who is this God and what does He want from me?

That is where we can be effective in sharing the next step for the questioning pagan. That next step is sharing knowledge of Jesus, sin, and judgment. Paul used but switched their concept of the God of creation to the God of intimate, loving involvement in their lives, a God who demands holiness but provided the way to achieve what we could not.

Posted in creation, deep focus quake, earthquake

Strong, deep-focus earthquake hits off Japan coast

Strong earthquake hits off Japan coast

A powerful undersea earthquake south of Japan has shaken buildings in Tokyo. The US Geological Survey said the 7.8-magnitude earthquake was centred 874km (543 miles) from the Japanese capital, at a depth of almost 700km. It struck at 18:30 local time (11:30 GMT). Buildings in the capital swayed for almost a minute as the quake built in intensity, AFP news agency says. There are no reports of serious damage or casualties. No tsunami warning has been issued.

The unusual thing about this quake is its depth. What scientists call deep-focus earthquakes are an anomaly, they aren’t supposed to be able to happen. At least, according to the scientific theories of why quakes occur.

Deep Earthquakes: About.Com Education- Geology

Deep earthquakes were discovered in the 1920s, but they remain a subject of contention today. The reason is simple: they aren’t supposed to happen. Yet they account for more than 20 percent of all earthquakes.

Shallow earthquakes require solid rocks to occur more specifically, cold, brittle rocks. Only these can store up elastic strain along a geologic fault, held in check by friction, until the strain lets loose in a violent rupture.

The Earth gets hotter by about 1 degree C with each 100 meters of depth on average. Combine that with high pressure underground and it’s clear that by about 50 kilometers down, on average the rocks should be too hot and squeezed too tight to crack and grind the way they do at the surface. Thus deep-focus quakes, those below 70 km, demand an explanation.

And so all the articles go on and try and explain it.

A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, (Psalm 24:1)

Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me. (Job 41:11)

Shallow-focus earthquakes are quakes that occur between depths of 0 and 70KM below the surface.
Intermediate-focus earthquakes are quakes that occur between depths of 70Km and 300KM below the surface.
Deep-focus quakes are quakes that occur between depth of 300-700KM. (source)

So we can see that the Japan quake was the deepest of the deep-focus quakes. It was the deepest this year, being exactly 677.6 KM. There were 4 deep-focus quakes 4 in Fiji this year at 600-613 depth. All the other deep quakes that have occurred so far were shallower than 600KM.

There have been 23 deep-focus quakes this year so far. Here is a screen shot from my search on USGS for quakes between the magnitudes of 5.0-9.9 this year thus far exceeding a depth of 300K, AKA deep focus quakes at a meaningful magnitude. Click to enlarge.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) data presents an average number of annual quakes.

In the 5.0-5.9 range so far this year there have been 565.
In the 6.0-6.9 range so far this year there have been 52.
In the 7.0-7.9 range so far this year there have been 8.
In the 8.0-8.9 range so far this year there have been 0.

This article, Greatest Earthquakes of the Bible, by Dr Steven Austin at the Institute for Creation Research, is excellent. I recommend it. Here is Dr Austin’s conclusion:

Conclusion

A review of the 17 earthquakes listed above shows that virtually the entire story of the Bible can be summarized by its association with earthquakes. Biblical events emphasized by earthquakes are creation, Noah’s Flood, separation of Abraham and Lot from judgment of the wicked cities, the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, authentication of the leadership of Moses, God’s provision in the conquest of Canaan, vindication of the messages of Hebrew prophets, the crucifixion of our Lord in Jerusalem, the resurrection of our Lord, the ministry of the apostles and the church, the modern “birth pangs” sign of the end times, the national conversion of Israel, and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. History, archaeology, and geology appear to confirm independently many earthquakes mentioned in the Bible.

Earthquakes have been used distinctively by God to highlight some of the most important events of the Bible. The three main purposes for biblical earthquakes are judgment, deliverance, and communication. The lesson is obvious—God does not do anything really big without emphasizing it with an earthquake! In our fast-paced, man-centered, technology-based society of the twenty-first century, God would have us pause and consider His sovereign nature and the program He has been accomplishing in the world.