Thursday, January 31, 2008

No Bounds to God's Faithfulness

It is hard to imagine that today is already the last day in January! 2008 is graduation year for me, so I am living in one giant "bend in the road." I am still seeking God's will about what follows the bend, and I am so thankful to God for the guidance, inspiration, and peace that he has given me as I enter this season in my life.

I am having a lot of fun reading the books I promised to read before graduation. The Beginning of the Republic by Clarence B. Carson is a fascinating read. I can't help but contrast the America of the early 1800's to the political environment today. So much has changed.

My life is not all study right now though. I am also working on a quilt that celebrates Oklahoma. The piecing is done; I am now working on appliquéing the border with the word “Oklahoma” on three sides and the dates “1907 – 2007” on the fourth side. The first “Oklahoma” was finished yesterday, so I still have a long way to go. I am enjoying every stitch (except for the ones I have to take out).

My study of the Bible has covered Exodus and Romans over the past few weeks. God’s faithfulness is awe-inspiring, and it is the theme that ties these books together. I cannot think of God’s faithfulness to Israel, the early Christians, and the founding of the United States without remembering God’s faithfulness to me and my family. He is always here for me, and I am continually shown evidence that He is my Greatest Friend, Loving Father, and Faithful Shepherd. Thank you, God!

Meanwhile, God is showing the beauty of His creation in a stunning snowstorm today!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Biblical Creationism

Some of the best books take the longest to read. Biblical Creationism by Dr. Henry Morris is one example. It took me much longer to read than it should have, but it was always a rewarding experience when I put away the candy-like reading of lighter books and picked up the nourishing meal of Biblical Creationism.

This book is an in depth, comprehensive study of the entire Bible from the viewpoint of Creation. What does the Bible say about the origins of the universe? Does the entire Bible affirm the truth of the first 10 chapters of Genesis? Did the Prophets and New Testament writers believe the story of creation?

Dr. Henry Morris unabashedly believes in the divine inspiration of the entire Bible from Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." to Revelation 22:20-21, "He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen."

The Bible teaches one uncorrupted word from God, and this book is a strong rebuttal to anyone who believes that the first part of Genesis can be interpreted as allegory without changing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For we learn that Jesus is not only the Savior of the world but the Creator of the world. He is the "I AM."

Almost every scripture that refers or alludes to the first several chapters from Genesis (including the creation, fall of man, flood account, and early men such as Adam, Seth, and Enoch) is quoted by Dr. Morris as he moves through each book in the Bible from beginning to end to affirm the unwavering truth of God's creating power.

Unlike some modern people who struggle with stories from the Bible such as Joshua's long day (when the sun stood still) and the parting of the Red Sea, Dr. Henry Morris finds every answer in an all powerful God who has the ability to create from nothing. The entire universe is sustained by Him, and the laws of nature are reliant upon Him.

Biblical Creationism teaches the importance of creation in evangelism. It references Paul, Peter, John, and others who rooted the gospel message in creation. When one understands that we were created by God, it should be clear that we are responsible to our Creator. Man needs a Savior.

I recommend this book. Dr. Henry Morris brought six decades of Bible and word origin study to the table in the writing of this book, and I think it is safe to say that the lie of evolution will find a deadly enemy in any Christian who arms himself with the Bible knowledge found within Biblical Creationism.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

... A Small Part

Those of you who are familiar with my blog or know me personally understand that Study.Quiet is but a small part of my life. This blog could not be used to outline my activities or interests, and it reveals little more than a peak into the things that matter to me and fill my time. Indeed, this blog does not even hold a fraction of the things I have written, for I write mostly in my journals, and this is not a journal.

It amazed me when I did a little checking and discovered what and how much I had written in 2007. My journal held 61,361 words. My blog made up 9,032 words. Articles for my friend Bonnie Faber and Abby Hawkins's Prairie Blossom Gazette held 2,541 words. There are also an unknown number of emails, letters, church notes, and other miscellaneous papers.

It is also interesting to note that 2006 was a better blogging year for me, but my journals felt a little more neglected than this past year. Fascinating.

On another subject, I have wonderful news! I finished reading Biblical Creationism, and I hope to write a review of it soon.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Straining Forward

"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead…"
Philippians 3:13b

Have you made your New Year's resolutions yet? Or maybe you aren't making any. There is an increasingly large number of people who are disillusioned by the "new start, new goals" mentality. I mean, does anyone keep their New Year resolutions?

I looked up Year Year Resolutions on Wikipedia, and the outlook was grim. In part, the article read:

"A New Year's Resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year's Day and remain until the set goal has been achieved, although many resolutions go unachieved and are often broken fairly shortly after they are set."

Isn't that sad? "Many resolutions go unachieved and are often broken shortly after they are set."

I have personal proof of this, as I am sure most of you do as well. January 1st is an optimistic day, but how many "resolves" have I begun that had little chance for success? Too many.

The fact is, I am essentially the same person I was yesterday. Nothing has changed about my personality or circumstances. So why should I hope to perform better?

The key is found in that we are incapable of "being better" on our own. We have no strength in and of ourselves, and what little we can accomplish is nothing if we fail to recognise that our righteousness comes not from our own successes but from faith in God. It is through the power of Jesus' death and resurrection that we can have a relationship with Him. We are nothing on our own!

Paul said it like this:

"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:8-11)"

Jesus Christ has made me His own. Resolutions are not to be entered into lightly. Are you trying to accomplish anything under the power of your own steam this New Year's? Rely on the Lord's strength. Only then can you resolve to do anything.

Yes, I am making New Year Resolutions this year. It is nice to have a fresh start -- even if I am the same person I was yesterday. The good news is that I won't stay the way I was yesterday. I am being conformed into the image of God's Son Jesus Christ. I pray 2008 will see great changes in my life, my attitudes, my relationships, and my spiritual walk. So put 2007 and its mistakes behind. Strain forward. He is faithful.