“For “Scripture Sunday”:
Wars and Rumors of War
“America debates war action in Syria. What does it mean and how do you understand it?”
Hannah Montana Values
“From where do you draw your values? How much does entertainment influence you?”
The Fish That Shoots Down Evolution
“This unusual fish uses a specialized system to blast insects out of the air. How could this evolve slowly over time when there is no survival advantage without the whole system working perfectly?
In Asia, Africa and Australia lives a remarkable creature, the archerfish, that shoots down its prey from the air above it with a burst of water. It uses its tongue and the top of its mouth to form a groove similar to a gun barrel. Then, by compressing its gills, it squirts water up to six feet with deadly accuracy— in spite of the distortion caused by seeing the target from below the surface of water.
What's so amazing about the archerfish's ability to shoot straight? When light passes between air and water, it is refracted, which causes a distortion. If an archerfish simply aimed at the object where it appeared to be from below the water, it could never hit its target! Yet scientists have found that archerfish are able to strike their target when sighting upwards at angles of 40 degrees!
More amazingly, marine researchers have discovered that these fish can hit their prey whether the amount of refraction is large or small. They have also found that the fishes' binocular vision allows them to see clearly at considerable distances above them, an ability other fish do not have.
Here is an experiment. In a clear glass of water, hold a pencil at an angle halfway under the water and look at it from different positions. Notice how the pencil appears different below and above the water. That is the refraction of the light changing from the water to the air.
So how can the archerfish compensate for this distortion and know how to shoot at the right place?
Evolutionists don't know
Evolutionists still don't know how the archerfish got its amazing abilities. They can only wonder! Viewed through the distortion of evolution, they cannot explain how the archerfish gradually learned to not aim where its eyes see but to aim instead at a different spot where the target actually is.
Without its binocular vision, it could not see the object with such precision, and without the special shape of the upper mouth and a specialized tongue, it could not make the groove it needs to shoot the concentrated jet of water. Many factors have to appear together— and be perfectly formed—for this shooting mechanism to work. This, of course, goes totally against Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory, which is based on a gradual, step-by-step process.
Darwin wrote in The Origin of Species, "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" (1859, p. 171).
The archerfish offers precisely such an example, since several complex systems must all appear at the same time, perfectly and not gradually formed—binocular vision, a specialized mouth and tongue, specialized gills to compress and expel water and an aiming system based in the brain and not in the eyes. If any of these parts is missing, the mechanism will not hit the target and no survival advantage is created.
Shooting down Darwin's theory
When you get down to the facts, the archerfish with one squirt of its gills shoots down Charles Darwin's entire theory of evolution—and that by Darwin's own admission!
So evolution doesn't have the answer to this mystery. But the Bible does. Genesis 1:20-21  And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.  And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. See All... says that God created all the creatures that live in the water. He created a great variety of perfectly formed fish, including the archerfish with all its special features, such as binocular vision, other specialized organs and a built-in ability to compensate for the distortion of the water.” From: http://www.ucg.org/youth/fish-shoots-down-evolution/ Article by Mario Seiglie
Archer fish from weird nature
“Most mornings, shortly after sunrise, I take a short walk near our home in East Tennessee. Sometimes I pass by an outcropping of limestone, a sedimentary rock formed by the successive deposits of mud, sand and the shells of small prehistoric marine organisms. I learned the vast limestone formations in this area occurred about 460 million years ago when this region was covered by the sea. Whenever I see the multiple layers of rock, which were slowly laid down over millions of years, I marvel at our Creator's greatness and eternal presence (Psalms 86:10, Isaiah 57:15).
Limestone outcropping near the author's home. Source: John LaBissoniere
This leads me to consider the age of the universe, which astronomers estimate to be nearly 14 billion years old. When I compare that enormous span of time to the incredible shortness of our human lives, I am amazed. The Bible explains that "the days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years" (Psalms 90:10). Besides being so brief, our lives seem to pass so quickly. The patriarch Job remarked, "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle" (Job 7:6).
I'm 63 years old and in good health, but how much more time do I have? Maybe you ask the same question. Perhaps however, there is a better question we could pose. What are we doing with the time God has given us? Although our lives are busy, are we really accomplishing what is most important? Are we seeking "the Lord while He may be found" and carrying out our "Father's business" just as Christ did when He walked the earth (Isaiah 55:6, Luke 2:49)?
The Father gave His Son the vital mission "to preach the gospel to the poor…to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" (Luke 4:18-19). Upon His ascension to heaven Christ instructed His followers to carry on His mission (Matthew 24:14, Matthew 28:19-20). They were also "to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" while growing in "grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (Matthew 6:33, 2 Peter 3:18, emphasis added).
As Jesus' followers, how are we doing on these assignments? Shouldn't we examine our daily priorities to see how much they need to be adjusted? Perhaps a lesson from limestone can help us do so.” From: http://www.ucg.org/blog/lesson-limestone/ by John LaBissoniere
Prism - What Is Your View?
“Some say race is the prism through which we see things. As Christians, is this the case?”
The sermon on WGN TV this morning :
How to Stop a Porn Addiction
“Having invaded hearts and homes, pornography has become a prolific crisis. But people can break free! Discover how.”
On This Day:
Siege of Leningrad begins, Sep 8, 1941:
“During World War II, German forces begin their siege of Leningrad, a major industrial center and the USSR's second-largest city. The German armies were later joined by Finnish forces that advanced against Leningrad down the Karelian Isthmus. The siege of Leningrad, also known as the 900-Day Siege though it lasted a grueling 872 days, resulted in the deaths of some one million of the city's civilians and Red Army defenders.
Leningrad, formerly St. Petersburg, capital of the Russian Empire, was one of the initial targets of the German invasion of June 1941. As German armies raced across the western Soviet Union, three-quarters of Leningrad's industrial plants and hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants were evacuated to the east. More than two million residents remained, however, and the evacuated were replaced by refugees who fled to Leningrad ahead of the German advance. All able-bodied persons in the city--men, women, and children--were enlisted to build antitank fortifications along Leningrad's edge. By the end of July, German forces had cut the Moscow-Leningrad railway and were penetrating the outer belt of the fortifications around Leningrad. On September 8, German forces besieged the city, but they were held at bay by Leningrad's fortifications and its 200,000 Red Army defenders. That day, a German air bombardment set fire to warehouses containing a large part of Leningrad's scant food supply.
Aiming to tighten the noose around Leningrad, the Germans launched an offensive to the east in October and cut off the last highways and rail lines south of the city. Meanwhile, Finnish forces advanced down the Karelian Isthmus (which had been seized from Finland by the Soviets during the Russo-Finnish War of 1939 to 1940) and besieged Leningrad from the north. By early November, the city was almost completely encircled, and only across Lake Ladoga was a supply lifeline possible.
German artillery and air bombardments came several times a day during the first months of the siege. The daily ration for civilians was reduced to 125 grams of bread, no more than a thick slice. Starvation set in by December, followed by the coldest winter in decades, with temperatures falling to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. People worked through the winter in makeshift armament factories without roofs, building the weapons that kept the Germans just short of victory.
Residents burned books and furniture to stay warm and searched for food to supplement their scarce rations. Animals from the city zoo were consumed early in the siege, followed before long by household pets. Wallpaper paste made from potatoes was scraped off the wall, and leather was boiled to produce an edible jelly. Grass and weeds were cooked, and scientists worked to extract vitamins from pine needles and tobacco dust. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, resorted to cannibalizing the dead, and in a few cases people were murdered for their flesh. The Leningrad police struggled to keep order and formed a special division to combat cannibalism.
Across frozen Lake Ladoga, trucks made it to Leningrad with supplies, but not enough. Thousands of residents, mostly children and the elderly, were evacuated across the lake, but many more remained in the city and succumbed to starvation, the bitter cold, and the relentless German air attacks. In 1942 alone, the siege claimed some 600,000 lives. In the summer, barges and other ships braved German air attack to cross Lake Ladoga to Leningrad with supplies.
In January 1943, Red Army soldiers broke through the German line, rupturing the blockade and creating a more efficient supply route along the shores of Lake Ladoga. For the rest of the winter and then during the next, the "road of life" across the frozen Lake Ladoga kept Leningrad alive. Eventually, an oil pipeline and electric cables were laid on the lake bed. In the summer of 1943, vegetables planted on any open ground in the city supplemented rations.
In early 1944, Soviet forces approached Leningrad, forcing German forces to retreat southward from the city on January 27. The siege was over. A giant Soviet offensive to sweep the USSR clean of its invaders began in May. The 872-day siege of Leningrad cost an estimated one million Soviet lives, perhaps hundreds of thousands more. The Soviet government awarded the Order of Lenin to the people of Leningrad in 1945, paying tribute to their endurance during the grueling siege. The city did not regain its prewar population of three million until the 1960s.”
American troops arrive in Korea to partition the country, Sep 8, 1945:
“U.S. troops land in Korea to begin their postwar occupation of the southern part of that nation, almost exactly one month after Soviet troops had entered northern Korea to begin their own occupation. Although the U.S. and Soviet occupations were supposed to be temporary, the division of Korea quickly became permanent.
Korea had been a Japanese possession since the early 20th century. During World War II, the allies--the United States, Soviet Union, China, and Great Britain--made a somewhat hazy agreement that Korea should become an independent country following the war. As the war progressed, U.S. officials began to press the Soviets to enter the war against Japan. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin pledged that his nation would declare war on Japan exactly three months after Nazi Germany was defeated. A few months later, at the Potsdam Conference in July and August 1945, it was agreed that Soviet troops would occupy the northern portion of Korea, while American forces would take a similar action in southern Korea in order to secure the area and liberate it from Japanese control. The occupations would be temporary, and Korea would eventually decide its own political future, though no date was set for the end of the U.S. and Soviet occupations. On August 8, the Soviets declared war on Japan. On August 9, Soviet forces invaded northern Korea. A few days later, Japan surrendered. Keeping to their part of the bargain, U.S. forces entered southern Korea on September 8, 1945.
Over the next few years, the situation in Korea steadily worsened. A civil war between communist and nationalist forces in southern Korea resulted in thousands of people killed and wounded. The Soviets steadfastly refused to consider any plans for the reunification of Korea. The United States reacted by setting up a government in South Korea, headed by Syngman Rhee. The Soviets established a communist regime in North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Il-Sung. In 1948, the United States again offered to hold national elections, but the Soviets refused the offer. Elections were held in South Korea, and Rhee's government received a popular mandate. The Soviets refused to recognize Rhee's government, though, and insisted that Kim Il-Sung was the true leader of all Korea.
Having secured the establishment of a communist government in North Korea, Soviet troops withdrew in 1948; and U.S. troops in South Korea followed suit in 1949. In 1950, the North Koreans attempted to reunite the nation by force and launched a massive military assault on South Korea. The United States quickly came to the aid of South Korea, beginning a three-year involvement in the bloody and frustrating Korean War. Korea remains a divided nation today, and the North Korean regime is one of the few remaining communist governments left in the world.”
After Wendy and I had our usual Saturday morning phone call, I got ready for church. Misty and I went to get Jay, as he was going too, and we had our walk down there.
Jay wanted to go to the new church where I had gone last week, as it is in the mornings, so Nala, my foster cat, couldn't get picked up by Chris for Adoption Day.
For me, it was a question of priorities, which was more important, Jay going to church, or Nala going to Adoption Day? Nala doesn’t like to go, and hides all the time she is there, anyway. Some cats reach out to people, but Nala is too shy, and doesn’t show well. I hope that someone falls in love with her through her webpage.
Jay seemed to like the service, and sang whole heartedly. He also saw two guys that he had met at the other afternoon church, who were there, too.
First, there were readings from the Bible, continuing on in Deuteronomy, and then Isaiah 55. Then, a talk about biblical doctrines from 2 Tim, 1 Tim, Titus 1 & 2, and Proverbs.
The sermon was about Psalm 119, you know, the long one.
“After exile, the Jews returned home and rebuilt the temple. They compiled the Psalms—some old, some new—to sing in the temple. One new one, Psalm 119, dedicates eight verses each to the 22 Hebrews letters. For example, verses 1 thru 8 each start with aleph, the first letter of the alphabet. Verses 9 thru 16 all start with the second letter beth. Verses 17 thru 24 all start with the third letter, and so on.
Besides alliteration, Psalm 119 repeatedly uses eight words for the law of God: word, saying, statutes, judgments, law, commands, precepts, and testimonies. Psalm 119 uplifts God’s wonderful law, and thus God’s character. Study for yourself and see how perfect, just, and loving God’s law is.”
Then we all went over to the dining hall for the potluck, which was great, (except my contribution of homemade cheese bites, as they didn’t reheat well!)
On the way home, Jay needed to stop at the bank in Krogers. The sky became really dark, and we didn’t make it out in time before it became a real gully-whomper. We, amongst many others, had to wait for over half an hour before we could even try to get out of the door. Finally, we made a dash for it, and drove through many big puddles on the 5 mile drive home. They are widening the freeway near us, and now they can really see where they need to put more drainage. It had hardly rained here at home, though.
Even though I got soaked to the skin, it was a great day.