Missing God in Baby Jesus

Missing God in Baby Jesus

Missing God in Baby Jesus

Christmas time is a time for celebration. As humans, we look for things to celebrate or to party for. We want a break from our normal lives and want to participate in something larger than ourselves.

As Christians, our focus should be on the birth of Jesus and not Santa Clause, gifts, Christmas lights and a tree to decorate. We reflect on the baby in the manger and we may even understand what it took for Mary and Joseph to arrive at that place in time and space along with the shepherds and wise men.

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us” John 1:14

This baby had made His entrance into the world in all the usual ways that all human baby’s show up. He had grown inside of Mary from the smallest organisms. Did God inject Himself as a sperm into her womb and then fertilize her egg that started the whole process? We know Jesus grew all his body parts in His human mother and when He had come to term, He was born on a specific moment in time.

If so, that sperm made Him fully God and that human egg from Mary made Him fully human. That sperm had all the DNA and knowledge of God Himself in this teeny tiny package that would mix with the human egg cell with all of the DNA of humanity.

Wrap your head around that.

Why God decided to design human life to exist on this planet in this solar system in this universe is only something He knows. The possibilities must have been endless. God’s Middle knowledge is something only He has. When you factor in man’s ‘free will’ this existence that we are living in realy is the “Best Possible of All Worlds”. 

I know I am playing Monday morning quarterback here because I know how this story ends but for all those people that lived and had contact with Jesus, I do not think anyone truly understood what they had in their midst until He died and was resurrected from the dead.

Here was a small helpless baby with many different types of people staring down at Him. Each one of them had thoughts dancing in their heads of who and what this baby represented and meant for them and everyone else, but I think the full understanding was elusive to them.

Missing God in Baby Jesus

Missing God in Baby Jesus

 

Can you imagine being right there and hearing this baby cry or watch His mother feed and change His dirty diaper? God in the flesh? Who can grasp that concept? One moment you could gaze down on this little helpless human baby wrapped in small blankets and the next you could walk outside of their dwelling and look up into the nighttime sky and realize that baby made ALL of that!

A sky that was so clear and, in a place, and time that no city lights could dim the view of the universe. An amazing perspective with the billions of galaxies all swirling about just out of reach above your head.

“The heavens declare the glory of God” Psalm 19:1

To many of us, we have heard this story of the birth of Jesus so many times that its true impact can be lost on us in the mundane. I try to unpack this truth not only at Christmas time but at other points in time when I am trying to understand the creator of this universe and what He has done for humanity and me in particular.

I am trying to make it fresh. Peel away the God onion and look deeper into what it is we worship. I love exploring God’s universe and checking out all His creative ways. The natural world just cries out Intelligent Designer from the largest to the smallest and everything in between. The complexity of it all is truly breathtaking in its scope.

Who is this entity that we call God?

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon, and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” Psalm 8:3

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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The Jesus I Never Knew Book Review

The Jesus I Never Knew Book Review

The Jesus I Never Knew Book Review

“There is no writer in the evangelical world that I admire and appreciate more” — Billy Graham

 

What if everything you thought you knew about Jesus Christ was flipped upside down. What if there was so much more that you were never taught in the church or just what you have understood about Him from scripture?

Because of our culture today is so different than His Jewish heritage was when He walked on this planet two thousand years ago much was bound to be missing from His majestic story. Our understanding of Him has been limited.

What If I told you that a book was written by a great Christian author by the name of Philip Yancey that thoughtfully explores many hidden treasures of Jesus who was fully God and fully man? Would you want to read it?

From inside the book “The Jesus I Never Knew”…

“Philip Yancey helps reveal what two thousand years of history covered up. What happens when a respected Christian journalist decides to put his preconceptions aside and take a long look at the Jesus described in the Gospels? How does the Jesus of the New Testament compare to the ‘new, rediscovered’ Jesus—or even the Jesus we think we know so well?

Philip Yancey offers a new and different perspective on the life of Christ and his work—his teachings, his miracles, his death and resurrection—and ultimately, who he was and why he came. From the manger in Bethlehem to the cross in Jerusalem, Yancey presents a complex character who generates questions as well as answers; a disturbing and exhilarating Jesus who wants to radically transform your life and stretch your faith.

The Jesus I Never Knew…

…uncovers a Jesus who is brilliant, creative, challenging, fearless, compassionate, unpredictable, and ultimately satisfying. ‘No one who meets Jesus ever stays the same,’ says Yancey. ‘Jesus has rocked my own preconceptions and has made me ask hard questions about why those of us who bear his name don’t do a better job of following him.”

To me this was more than a book review. It was something that expanded my perception tenfold of who this man Jesus was. He was not only a man but creator of this universe. My heart longs for this connection with Him.

This book was well worth the time to read. I guarantee you will not look at scripture the same.

 

You can purchase “The Jesus I Never Knew” from Amazon New Here and Used Here.

 

The Jesus I Never Knew Book Review

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity

Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity

Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” — Charles Darwin, Origin of Species

 

Irreducible complexity is an argument, by some scientists who believe in intelligent design (creation/God designed), that certain life systems are too complex to have evolved from simpler organisms, through natural selection or evolution.

Bacterial Flagellum

Modern biology has discovered that cells are like tiny factories that function using machines. So, irreducible complexity means that inside all living things are very small machines that perform complicated and extremely detailed tasks. Bacterial Flagellum are tiny machines that are living and breathing.

Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity

The bacterial flagellum is a cellular outboard motor that bears the marks of intelligent design.

Long before today’s modern technology, students of biology compared the workings of life to machines and recently, this comparison has become stronger than ever.

Why is all of this important?

Because origins (beginnings) do matter! How we look at how the world and how it functions matters just as much. The universe is very complex, in not only size but how it functions. The universe of the small cell is also very complex – complex beyond all understanding, even for our scientists today.

Darwin’s Black Box

In his 1996 book, “Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution”, biochemist Michael Behe explained the surprising discovery that life is based upon machines!

Life is based on machines – machines made of molecules! Molecular machines haul cargo from one place in the cell to another along highways made of other molecules, while still others act as cables, ropes, and pulleys to hold the cell in shape. Machines turn cellular switches on and off, sometimes killing the cell or causing it to grow.

Solar-powered machines capture the energy of photons and store it in chemicals. Electrical machines allow current to flow through nerves. Manufacturing machines build other molecular machines, as well as themselves. Cells swim using machines, copy themselves with machinery, and ingest food with machinery. In short, highly sophisticated molecular machines control every cellular process. Thus, the details of life are finely calibrated and the machinery of life enormously complex,”

Amazing! All of this is going on inside of my body? In the body of every living thing? Wow!

Behe then posed the question,

“Can all of life be fit into Darwin’s theory of evolution?” and answered, “The complexity of life’s foundation has paralyzed science’s attempt to account for it; molecular machines raise an as-yet impenetrable barrier to Darwinism’s universal reach.”

Again, I ask, why is all of this important?

Psalm 19:1 says “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” We, as humans, do not need a telescope to see the glory of God. All we have to do is look at the nighttime sky and gaze out at the stars and marvel. A telescope does help to see how absolutely huge and complex it is.

In the same way, the inner workings of life on a very small scale, with the use of microscopes, has also unlocked this vision of complexity. You could say, “The living creatures declare the glory of God; the molecular machines proclaim the work of his hands.”

Fine-tuned for Life…

…is another term that is used by believers of intelligent design, including many scientists today. It means that a fine-tuned universe, to have life, has to have conditions that can only occur when found or lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of these conditions were only slightly different, the universe would be unlikely to have life.

This fine-tuning is found not only on the very largest element, like the universe itself, but also found in the very smallest cellular level of all life. When they talk about a very narrow range that life can be sustained or even form, it is very narrow indeed. One example would be planet earth, where we call home.

As you begin to take in all the different parts of the complex puzzle that make up life you have to ask yourself a question. Can an unguided theory like evolution and natural selection account for life on any level?

To this day scientist have no idea how life got its initial start.

They CAN NOT reproduce any kind of life in a laboratory from non-life. They have not figured out the mechanism for triggering life from non-life. Whole life forms turning into completely different life forms as in Macro-evolution is also not been proven.

They can test small adaptations as in Micro-evolution and watch small changes occur within animal and plant life. That is one species adapting to its environment but not one species turning into a new species.

Many scientist across the world are coming to this same conclusion about Darwinian Evolution and are now making their voices heard. Dissent from Darwinism are over 1,000 scientist with objections. 

Fine-tuned is also found in the universe on a much more massive scale but that is for a future article on The Big Bang and Intelligent Design.

Today I was just staying in our own backyard.

Video on Amazing Flagellum : Michael Behe and the revolution of Intelligent Design

 

Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

“But we in it shall be remembered, we few, we happy few, we band of brothers…” William Shakespeare’s play Henry V – St Crispin’s Day Speech

 

Men are very different than women in many ways, but when it comes to relationships it is most evident. We can be real loners. We do not connect well with other men when it comes to deep ties that bind. Women do this almost by instinct as if it was woven into their DNA to connect with other women on another level. That’s because they are relationship oriented.

Men are not.

Sure, we will be all about it when we are watching sports and cheering our favorite team but when it comes to being transparent about our daily lives and what is going on in our marriage and family or other struggles in our Christian walk, we are silent. We endure these trials and hardships alone and isolate out of fear and pride. 

We have no safe place to go and never had.

It’s almost like a red badge of courage that says we are strong. “I am a man and do not need anyone as I work through my life.”  We trust no one with those deep feelings and insecurities. If we say anything we will be thought of as less than. No man wants to be looked at as less than by another man. That is what was drummed into us as we grew up.

We go through our lives with this mindset as different issues begin to pile up making a mountain out of a molehill, day after day year after year. It gnaws at us, but we cannot quite put our finger on the source. We desperately want to feel better about ourselves, but our anger overtakes us. Escaping through alcohol, drugs, pornography or a million other diversions is a temporary fix with many men ending their lives with suicide. 

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Many of us have come from abusive families, bad religious experiences or both that have colored our world dark. I know mine was. I had anger issues. Anger was my addiction of choice.

I have left a path of destruction behind me because of my anger, especially with my wife and family. The things I said and the way I acted were an embarrassment to not only those closest to me but myself. It was like some demon took hold of me from the inside. I would become this Raging Incredible Hulk. I did not do this most of the time but in those times I felt heavy stress. Enough times that my wife and I had to separate on numerous occasions throughout our lives together. 

I think much of my anger came from fear.

Fear has been a part of my life in one form or another. When I was a child, I was fearful because my family fought all the time. I had a hearing disability that made my parents and teachers think my mental IQ was very low. 

I was kicked out of two Catholic grade schools and had nuns beat me up because they could not control this bad kid. I was fearful most of my adult life because I was always trying to prove that I was not stupid. I desperately wanted to show I had a talent of some sort that I could call my own and show to others.

Throughout my adult life, I have always wanted a mentor.

Someone that could show me the ropes in life. My dad was not much good at this. I think he suffered from the same issues I did so how could he teach me to navigate this minefield of human relationships. 

The truth be told, I needed something more than a mentor but other Christian men that I could trust. Spill my guts about my fears and insecurities. What was happening to me? 

Where do you find such men?

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

 

I do not think that I was aware for most of my life that I needed men in this capacity until I joined a group at a local church that dealt with these issues. Men that could come together without fear of being judged because they also had the same problems and had left a path of destruction in their own lives. I was not alone. I was not crazy.

The Men of Hope meets once a week. 16-20 men meet in the large group that goes around a large table setting and we all introduce ourselves and what has brought us to this place. New men show up all the time and are mixed in with men that have been meeting for a couple of years. 

Newcomers are almost in a state of shock for a variety of reasons. Most have never been in a setting like this before and for them to hear such honesty from the older members about their struggles and how God is helping overcome them. Just listening to others speak is amazing therapy in itself. I identify with the other men and I realize I am not so different from what they are going through. Being an isolated loner, I thought what I was dealing with was just me. 

There are usually a couple of smaller groups…

…meeting at the same time as the large group. These are men that are working through a 12-step book that helps them connect to our childhoods or other periods of pain usually in a setting of 6-8 individuals. These are men that have made a commitment to do the smaller group and have been going to the larger group for a period of time. We work the book together from start to finish. 

For many men, this is the first time in their lives that they are going back into their past for answers. Questions in the book are designed to peel back the onion of our history and emotions. We ask God to help us on this journey because He knows better than anyone what has brought us to this point in time.

Some men come just once, others come a few times then still others will come regularly and have for years. This is where strong bonds are formed. We become A Band of Brothers with our fellow journeymen on this Christian path. We learn what it is like to be a good husband, father and friend from each other with God in the center of it all.

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

 

Once a year a great number of men will meet for a weekend retreat where we enjoy each other’s company and listen to some great Christian speakers. Many men come away from this time energized and with new friendships.

My son and grandson both belong to The Men of Hope. We are three generations that are trying to be set free of the chains that bind us to a past that keeps us separated from God. Men in this setting become transparent and accountable to each other for the benefit of our wives and families.

Most men are not accountable to no one or anything. We have become these little demigods answering only to ourselves. Some of us have become tyrants in our own families.  

I recently read a blog post by Gary Thomas…

…called “Enough is Enough”. It took me on a journey of introspection of myself and my marriage. So many thoughts flooded through me as I found myself identifying with some of the men being described in this article.

His writing is about when is it OK to get a divorce from an abusive spouse. He is talking about a Christian marriage here. 

Gary says, “As Christian leaders and friends, we have to see that some evil men are using their wives’ Christian guilt and our teaching about the sanctity of marriage as a weapon to keep harming them.”

I do not want to go back…

…to being that angry man that is described in “Enough is Enough”. Men of Hope and my Band of Brothers are helping me do that. All those men that he describes in his blog and the comments the women made in the comment section are isolated men that answer to no one. They are accountable to no one.

Sure, it’s still a battle every day. It took me many years of isolation and being the prideful ruler of my life that God is teaching me a better way. A Godly way.

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Our churches need to be open to having men groups meet regularly and I do not mean for just bible studies but a safe place for men to come and connect in a deeply meaningful way. As men, we yearn for meaningful relationships with other Godly Men deep in our core.

We all want and need A Band of Brothers even though many of us do not know what that is or looks like.

I do now and I thank God every day for finding this group. 

 

The Men of Hope meets once a week at Mountain Park Church in Ahwatukee on Tuesday nights from 6:30-8:00. The church address is 16461 S. 48th St, Phoenix, AZ 85048. All are welcome if you go to church there or not. There is no charge.

 

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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The Crown Has Ecclesiastes Episode on Netflix

The Crown Has Ecclesiastes Episode on Netflix

The Crown Has Ecclesiastes Episode on Netflix

I have been a big fan of the Netflix series called, The Crown. There was much I did not know about the present-day English Monarch and this series was informative and compelling, as well as the great acting and photography, as it moved through the 20th century.

I have always been a fan of history, so this show was right up my alley. It follows the lives of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip from the beginning and how Elizabeth became the Queen of Great Britain. 

Much of the history of the Crown is very compelling because of not only what is going on behind the castle walls but also, what is happening to England and the world in general. 

How all this turmoil affected these people who, for the most part, did not want this position in life, how it has made their lives a goldfish bowl, with everyone watching their every move.

The Netflix series seems…

…to have gotten much of the historical facts correct even though they may have embellished a bit. So much was going on in the 20th century with the two world wars, which put enormous stress on these people, their relationships with each other, the rest of the people in England and, the leaders of the world. 

At the end of season two, I was looking forward to season three with much anticipation. I had heard how they had made one episode about the first moon landing by the United States in July of 1969 and how it affected Prince Philip. 

I got much more than I bargained for.

The Crown Has Ecclesiastes Episode on Netflix

Tobias Menzies, right, has assumed the role of Prince Philip.

Without giving to much of the story away I will put it into context about what the Ecclesiastes Episode means. The book of Ecclesiastes from the Old Testament is like no other book of the Bible! It can strip away much of what we consider important in our lives and make them seem meaningless. 

Ecclesiastes is written from the perspective of a King who has sampled everything in his life and found it empty and void. Chapter one starts with him writing “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” The rest of the book goes on in a dark perspective from there. 

Ecclesiastes can seem very depressing until the book tells you and you fully realize that without God, all of life on this planet is meaningless. You live a few years and “poof” it is gone. Life is but a vapor.

Episode 7 of Season 3 is Called “Moondust”

It’s about Prince Philip and his fascination with the 1969 moon landing which is at the heart of the seventh episode, which “The Crown” uses to explore the duke’s midlife crisis.

Here is a man that has done and been a part of many things in his life that most people can only dream of. He does not understand what is missing in his life until after he meets with the astronauts from Apollo 11 at Buckingham Palace. 

Because Prince Philip was in the military in Great Britain and a pilot himself, he thought he had a lot in common with these three astronauts. The Prince thought these men could give him some insight into life itself because they had done something out of this world. 

The Crown Has Ecclesiastes Episode on Netflix

He was very disappointed with the meeting.

The astronauts had no special understanding of “life,” just because they had walked on the moon and viewed earth form this cold, desolate place that was void of all color. They wanted to know more about Prince Philip’s life and, what it was like to live in Buckingham Palace.  

What I found interesting was how the show sandwiched the astronauts meeting between two meetings that he had with new pastor. Dean Robin Woods had just taken over at the small church that was set up for the people that lived and worked at Windsor Castle including the Royals.

With one of the empty cottages on the property, Pastor Woods started a renewal center called St. Georges House for the exploration of faith and philosophy. It was at this location where Prince Philip met him and about eight other ministers that were in search of something more in their lives.  

The first meeting did not go well.

He accused the ministers of being weak men and in need of grabbing life up by its bootstraps and “get on with it” like the astronauts did. You could tell Phillip had been agitated in his life before the meeting. 

Right after the disappointing audience with the astronauts, is when he had his Ecclesiastes moment. He met once again with Dean Woods and the small group of men and apologized for what he said at the first meeting. He then proceeded to spill his soul to the group of men on how he was feeling about his life. 

He had realized that he had lost his faith and all life seemed meaningless. He wanted help.

The words he used in the episode were very powerful, coming from a lost man who had everything and no place to go for answers. Turns out that Dean Robin Woods and Prince Philip became lifelong friends for over fifty years after this.

I was not ready for this program to go…

…into such a deep philosophical and emotional direction. It came as a surprise because I do not find many programs on Netflix or other TV shows that will ask such heavy questions for people to ponder. Ask they did, but they also kept it highly interesting. The script was powerful and so was the photography.

Since I am deeply involved in Christian Apologetics, I understood what was happening to Prince Philip and the ministers that he met with. These are deep questions that humans have been asking since the beginning of time. I have been here myself. 

I believe God buries these questions in our souls to be asked at different times in our lives. We have need to connect with the creator of the universe that goes beyond simple human understanding.

Are we alone? Is this all there is? Is life meaningless?

How would you answer those questions?

 

The Crown Has Ecclesiastes Episode on Netflix

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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