Hebrews 12:1-2

"..let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." - Hebrews 12:1-2

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

10,000 Reasons - TuesdayTunes

I've loved this song since I first heard last fall, but I have forgotten to post it.
My father reminded me of it yesterday.

Lyrics for "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) " by Matt Redman

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

[Chorus x2]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
Lord, I'll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
I'll worship Your holy name

(HT: Dad)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Cosmological Theory Questioned

Here's an example of when science does not discover what it expects to discover and scrambles:

Scientists cannot find many of the galazies that should exist around the Milky Way galaxy.
According to cosmological theory, says MIT astrophysicist Simona Vegetti, "there should be thousands of dwarf galaxies in the Local Group." That's because the earliest days of the cosmos were not a tidy time, and after the big galaxies came into being a lot of debris ought to have been left behind — "debris," in this case, meaning little galaxies, made partly of what's known as cold dark matter. The fact that we don't see the galaxies, she says, is due to one of three things: Either they're simply too faint to detect, or there's something unusual about the local cosmic neighborhood that would explain why it departs from the larger rule. Or — and this is the troubling alternative — maybe the theory itself, which has been generally accepted for the past 30 years or so, is fundamentally wrong in some way. 
So what does this mean?
The cosmological theory may be fundamentally wrong - as in, incorrect.  

The presented alternatives as to why these galaxies are missing are as follows, with my response:
1. These galaxies are just to faint to detect.  It is hard to believe that some of our closest neighbors would be invisible to the technology that allows us to peer across billions of light years to incredibly distant galaxies.
2. Our galaxy doesn't follow the cosmological rules for some reason. It seems difficult to accept that there may be some mysterious reason why our galaxy might not have behaved as every other galaxy is expected to during its creation.
3. The theory is fundamentally wrong in some way. I think this means that scientists are discovering that they cannot prove one of the fundamental things that should exist if the Big Bang did indeed form our galaxy. They aren't willing to state that they believe the theory is incorrect at this point, just that it may be flawed.

Here are a few unanswered questions that I have after reading this brief article:
1. Have the expected "debris" been seen in other galaxy neighborhoods? If not, then why is this theory even proposed? Does the theory itself exist strictly on the basis that the Big Bang would have had to result in such "debris" existing?

2. If "debris" has been documented elsewhere, were those galaxy neighborhoods larger or smaller in size when compared to the Milky Way? If the answer is yes and the neighborhood is larger than the Milky Way galaxy, then it leads me to alternative #2 above, which naturally points us to alternative #3. If the answer is yes and the neighborhood is smaller, then I fail tun understand why we cannot find our own "debris" and dismiss alternative #1 to land at #3, after a brief time at alternative #2. If the answer is no, then it leads me directly to alternative #3.

From my own personal Christian perspective, I believe that this leads me to the alternative not mentioned, which is that God made it all and placed it all exactly where He wanted it to be. Perhaps the reason they cannot find the "debris", which resulted from quickly moving masses colliding with one another to form galaxies over time, is because it didn't happen that way. Perhaps these galaxies were created in space as they are by a God who wanted to display His magnificence and splendor on a canvas that is wider than mankind ever imagined was even in existence.

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished..." - Genesis 2:1

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" - Psalm 8:3-4

Thursday, January 12, 2012

We Meet to Meet

"When an organization has more of its decisions made by committees, that gives more influence to those who have more time available to attend committee meetings and to drag out each meeting longer. In other words, it reduces the influence of those who have work to do, and are doing it, while making those who are less productive more influential." - Thomas Sowell

I have found this to be incredibly true.

If you look around your company, you can probably identify several people who seem to be on all sorts of project teams or committees or groups or whatever they may be called at your place of employment.

The natural response to recognizing this fact is usually "How do they have time for all of that?".

The answer to that question is quite simple: they either don't have enough work to do or they don't do the work they are supposed to do, usually pushing it off onto other people.

The sad thing is that managers love to see people who are "great team members" running from meeting to meeting to meeting and are so busy. Although they might never accomplish a single thing of significant value, the effort and time involved in those meetings is valued far greater than the value of the person with his head down in the cubicle cranking out work that adds to the bottom line of the company. In fact, more often times than not, the person in the cube is also carrying the workload of the meeting monster next door.

It's a shame that managers who love to meet for the sake of meeting breed people who meet for the same reason. Meetings do not get work done. While it is useful to pull groups together from time to time to strategize how the workload will get completed, most meetings that are on the schedules of many employees are not helpful and add little, if any, value to the bottom line of the company.

So managers - Kill the meetings and get back to allowing your employees to do some real work. Hold your employees equally accountable for the work that they are accomplishing, not the work they are talking about doing someday.

That is what the employee in the cubicle would love to tell you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Silence of God - TuesdayTunes

I absolutely love this song.

I have been reflecting on the sermon Pastor Bob delivered on Sunday (see Dan's Sunday AM Remix), particularly the section on waiting on God timing, and this song has been in my head throughout that process. Sometimes the silence we hear and feel when we seek direction/guidance from God can be quite unnerving. This is particularly true in cases where we approach God with a heavy emotional burden. And that is why I love the conclusion of this song:
And the man of all sorrows, he never forgot
What sorrow is carried by the hearts that he bought
So when the questions dissolve into the silence of God
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not 
Jesus understands what it is like to hear the silence of God. While in the Garden of Gethsemane, He pleaded for the Father to remove the cup of agony and pain he was about to experience from Him. (see Luke 22:39-46) Yes, we are told that an angel is sent to comfort Jesus, but the angel does not remove the suffering Jesus is encountering. Note that, after the angel appeared, Jesus then prayed more earnestly while still being in agony. "The aching still remained..."

Jesus then understood the silence of God in a way that we will never understand. While hanging on the Cross on Calvary, Jesus had His Father, whom He has been in communion with for all eternity past, turn his face from Him and pour out His wrath upon Jesus, as the sins of millions of people were cast upon Him and judged. In that moment of alienation, when Jesus Christ experienced the total silence of God, He cried out "Why have you forsaken me?" (see Matthew 27:45-46).

For years I always attributed this quote strictly as a natural response to that painful moment when Christ felt the absolutely foreign weight of sin cast down upon Him. However, in recent years, I have come to love the fact that Jesus was not merely responding to the moment, but was capturing it by quoting the beginning of a Psalm of David, which every Jew that surrounded Him would have instantly recognized and known how it progressed.

Read the following portions of Psalm 22 and see how Jesus was proclaiming His Deity and the faithfulness of God just prior to His death:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;

Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd,and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.

For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet -
I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

But you, O Lord, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog!

You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.
For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations even the one who could not keep himself alive.

Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
I can definitely relate to the "Where are you God?" portions of this passage. However, we must recognize, like the Jews on the hill that day, that Jesus was pointing out that the rest of this Psalm was His to proclaim as well. He was enduring exactly what was prophesied by David centuries before, so that he could also lay claim to final portion where the Lord is given the praise and honor that is due Him. Jesus wasn't merely proclaiming that He was missing God's presence in that moment; He was also proclaiming that He understood that the final outcome was that God would hear His cry and that Jesus would have his rightful place of authority restored.

This is one of the reasons why, immediately prior to his last breath Jesus cried out "It is finished." He had accomplished the task set before Him. He had endured the pain of the crucifixion, as well as the pain of judgement and isolation from God. There was nothing left for Him to do.

So the challenge that I have, that I place to you, is to consider "How do I wait on God?" Do I wait on Him with a sense of dread that He will not respond or that He might give me an unclear response, or do I understand like David and Jesus that God is faithful and He will fulfill all His promises to me? I struggle with remembering that my life is but a vapor and the only amount of significance that it obtains has been given to me by God, so that i proclaim Him to those around me.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. - 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

The Silence of God by Andrew Peterson
It's enough to drive a man crazy; it'll break a man's faith
It's enough to make him wonder if he's ever been sane
When he's bleating for comfort from Thy staff and Thy rod
And the heaven's only answer is the silence of God

It'll shake a man's timbers when he loses his heart
When he has to remember what broke him apart
This yoke may be easy, but this burden is not
When the crying fields are frozen by the silence of God

And if a man has got to listen to the voices of the mob
Who are reeling in the throes of all the happiness they've got
When they tell you all their troubles have been nailed up to that cross
Then what about the times when even followers get lost?
'Cause we all get lost sometimes...

There's a statue of Jesus on a monastery knoll
In the hills of Kentucky, all quiet and cold
And He's kneeling in the garden, as silent as a Stone
All His friends are sleeping and He's weeping all alone

And the man of all sorrows, he never forgot
What sorrow is carried by the hearts that he bought
So when the questions dissolve into the silence of God
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
In the holy, lonesome echo of the silence of God