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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Refuting Carl Sagan

Not too long after our family watched “God’s Not Dead”, I saw the following quote:

“If God is omnipotent and omniscient, why didn’t he start the universe out in the first place so it would come out the way he wants? Why’s he constantly repairing and complaining? No, there’s one thing the Bible makes clear: The biblical God is a sloppy manufacturer. He’s not good at design, he’s not good at execution. He’d be out of business, if there was any competition.” – Carl Sagan

I feel compelled to refute this. If someone were speaking negatively or offensively about someone I loved, I would stand up for that person – that includes my Heavenly Father. Speaking up against this quote is not something that is easy for me. I’m not a scientist, philosopher, or theologian, but I am a firm believer in the God who created us. He has not promised that my life would be easy!

Matthew 10:32-33 says, “Therefore everyone who confessed Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in Heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in Heaven.”

The quick answer to the first question Carl Sagan posed is – God did! But I know that simple answer will not appease.

God did start the universe the way He wanted it. He created a perfect world in the Garden of Eden, providing everything His creatures needed. The catch is that He also gave humans the gift of free will.

The Oxford Dictionary of English defines free will as “the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion”. God wants us to choose Him, but not because we are forced to do so. He wants us to come to Him freely. He already knows who will choose Him – those names are written in His Book of Life. He knows all – beginning, middle, AND end!

As to the second question, I don’t see God complaining, but yes…He is repairing. He knows we’re going to make mistakes & choose sin over His path for us. God allows those mistakes/sins, but has also given us a great tool that He uses in reparation – the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The last three sentences are the ones that truly offend me. 

“…if there was any competition.” There is no competition because there is no one greater than God. Never has been & never will be!

Sloppy? Not good at design or execution? I beg to differ! I see God in the beauty all around me – the palette of color in the sky at sunrise & sunset, the flowers & greenery that emerge each spring, the nighttime sky lit by those “billions & billions” of stars. Look at the miracle of childbirth, when a woman labors in pain – pain that is soon forgotten when that precious baby is laid in his mother’s arms.

How about the man in a nursing home lobby? He sits with his dementia-ridden mother who cannot speak. He rubs her knees & back, speaks tenderly to her with encouraging words, he brings her to her feet & carefully moves to the music only the two of them can hear.

God is not sloppy! Everything he has created falls in His grand design & plan. He has given animals & plants ways to adapt for survival – fur to keep warm, colors to blend in & be protected from predators, scents or special features to ward off danger (porcupine quills, poisonous skin oils on a poison dart frog, pine branches pointing downwards so that snow doesn’t weigh them down & also forms a protective home for various animals).
There is the cycle of life – conception to death, seasonal changes – all orchestrated by God, down to the tiniest detail.

Omnipotent – having unlimited power; able to do anything (Oxford Dictionary of English)
Omniscient – knowing everything (Oxford Dictionary of English)

Yes – God IS omnipotent & omniscient. What Carl Sagan misses is the fact that, even with these two descriptions, God still has given us free will. We can choose God & His ideal for our lives or we could choose to make our own path. What we need to learn (some of us more than once in our lifetimes) is that our choice to go against His plan keeps us from His Heavenly Kingdom. That Kingdom is the way He wants it to be & no one will enter until they have been perfected in God.

For those of you who have turned away from God, it’s not too late for you. Reverse your course & choose to follow Him. He wants nothing more than your love & willingness to follow Him.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Deo Gratias

"If the only prayer you ever say in your life is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhart

Colleen, from her inspiring blog Thoughts on Grace, hosts this wonderful meme each Wednesday. She says, "Deo Gratias is Latin for Thanks be to God. Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big & small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude!"

Each week, I join Colleen in remembering & sharing the many blessings in my life. This is such a great exercise for me, helping me to focus on the good that truly is happening in my life, no matter how many trials & stresses I may have.
1) Matt is taking the summer semester off & started a part-time job this week. Deo Gratias! 

2) We've been busy fixing misc. things around the house...painting, replacing a doorbell, having the carpets cleaned, etc. It's so nice to freshen things up a bit. Deo Gratias!

3) I mentioned replacing the doorbell...we now have one that actually dings & dongs, not just a faint ding that we can't always hear. It was so easy to replace, too. Deo Gratias! 

4) The Blessings had their final band concert for this homeschool year. I'm continually amazed at how well the bands have done w/ just one rehearsal per week. They have an incredible director w/ tons of energy! Deo Gratias!

5) The weather has been lovely lately. I've enjoyed sitting in my rocker on the porch, just relaxing or reading. Also, The Saint has spent a lot of time exploring nature...digging up worms, observing ants on the driveway, & more. Deo Gratias!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Light in the Darkness

"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle." ~ St. Francis of Assisi

Let us be that single candle, spreading light into a dark world!

Welcome to my Light in the Darkness meme! (If you missed my post on the inspiration for this meme, you can read all about it HERE.)

This is the place to share good things that are happening in our world...whether it's a link to a news article/video, something from your personal experience...anything good that can bring light into darkness!