Friday, February 29, 2008
Maki and I feel blessed to be a part of a team of people who love the Lord and are seeking to spread his Name and salvation in the spiritual swamp of Japan. Take a moment to read through the bios of our missionaries and then take a longer moment to pray for us and for our work. We need it, and we need your prayers.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 16, 1999, No.2
"A Chinese paleontologist lectures around the world saying that recent fossil finds in his country are inconsistent with the Darwinian theory of evolution." His reason?
"The major animal groups appear abruptly in the rocks over a relatively short time, rather than evolving gradually from a common ancestor as Darwin's theory predicts."
When this conclusion upsets American scientists he wryly comments:
"In China we can criticize Darwin but not the government. In America you can criticize the government but not Darwin."
Evolutionists slight of hand with the fossil record:
Take a look at the chart below, taken out of the most recent copy of the Britannica Encyclopedia. All of the light red lines and the dashed lines refer to fossils that have NEVER BEEN FOUND! These lines represent "inferred" fossils! In other words, evolutionists cannot offer a single example of an ancestor of the dinosaurs. Of course there is no chart of ANY animal showing true fossils of missing links. They are ALL missing!
My recommendation: Let us return to the Bible for truth and not to these fables.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
"I'm not an atheist. I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written these books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws."
Walter Isaacson, "Einstein and Faith," Time Magazine, April 5, 2007.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Often times we hear that the reformers, especially Calvin, were not interested in missions or evangelism. Some even go so far as to say that their theology prevented it. This article reaffirmed my disagreement with these ideas. People who are soaked in the Bible, as were Luther and Calvin, cannot help but be deeply concerned with all the nations God has made.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
When we were at a homeschooling conference last November, I asked Brett & Alex Harris (Joshua Harris' brothers) a question about helping kids live with a passion to "Do Hard Things". (Which by the way is the title of their forthcoming book.) How do I raise my son Noah to have a passion for sharing the good news with lost souls when we see so little fruit from such activity here? How do I inspire hope in an often discouraging task? The story Alex told me was something that I believe is worth sharing with you. Please click on the link above to read - and be encouraged! I was!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
True stories from the mission field of Japan
From a missionary friend named Bryan:
M is an over-achieving, fourth-year electrical engineering major. During his summer break in September he decided to investigate for himself the single, most nagging problem that bothered him about the Bible – the “preposterous” account of creation found in Genesis. M, just like every other student in Japan, was taught from early childhood that evolutionary theory is scientific fact and that it accurately explains the origin of life and species. So, from morning till night M spent two full weeks scouring the university library as well as the internet for answers to his questions. When his research finally came to an end we met at Starbucks, and here’s a summary of what he told me:
“I can’t believe how many problems there are with the theory of evolution… It takes more faith to believe evolution than it does to believe there’s a Creator… Japanese students aren’t thinking for themselves; we’re being brainwashed by our education system… I want to make a presentation to the entire campus club to share my findings.”
So on the last Friday of January, M gave a one-hour PowerPoint presentation outlining what he thought were the most critical flaws in the theory of evolution. Nearly 30 club members attended and most of them were amazed by what they heard from M. After the presentation we held small group discussions where the students got to share their responses to M’s talk. Most of them were motivated to reconsider their blind trust in the theory of evolution and its atheistic outlook.
Monday, February 18, 2008
"Scripture, not science, is the ultimate test of all truth. The further evangelicalism gets from that conviction, the less evangelical and the more humanistic it becomes." - John MacArthur
My own opinion is this: Science, even the best science, changes. Before Einstein no one questioned Newton and his laws of motion. Let us not give up the simple reading of Genesis (nor the rest of the Bible) for ever changing theories and "laws". We need to beware of being sucked in by pop-culture and humanistic philosophy and its view of the world.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
(from Z's blog)
Listen to this very moving story of a former porn producer that has become a Christian. ThinkChristian.net reports:
I listen to this on the way to work this morning. I recommend it highly. May we rejoice in God's work in this brother's life.
“Do you believe in transformation?” That’s the question being asked in this interview with former porn producer Donny Pauling. After a short introductory message by pastor Jake Larson of Arcade Baptist Church, Donny talks about his Christian upbringing, his reasons for rejecting Christianity and his active hatred for Christians, his involvement and life in the porn industry, and finally his spiritual transformation. It’s a riveting (and sometimes disturbing) testimony. There’s a shorter text version of the interview as well.
Pauling now works closely with the XXXChurch team, and writes periodically for a blog about the porn industry at the XXXChurch website. Much of his message focuses on the damage that porn does not just to porn consumers, but to the people working in the industry.
See also Pauling’s personal blog.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Plaxico Burress, a wide receiver for the newly-crowned champion team, the New York Giants, told reporters on Sunday that God deserves the glory for his game-winning touchdown catch, reports John Connolly, LifeSiteNews.com.
Burress, who only caught two passes during the whole of the Super Bowl, said he prayed hard when his number came up, with the game on the line and only 35 seconds left to go in the fourth quarter. The Giants had been waiting all game to get Burress into one-on-one coverage against Ellis Hobbs, the Patriots cornerback, and the desired match-up came at the ideal time.
"I gave him a slant fake, he bit it, Eli put it up and I came down with it," said Burress. "I just said, 'God, if you could just get me out of here tonight, based on what I've been through all year with my knee and ankle and the back and everything.' I'm just so grateful for the opportunity and I just told myself [if] I can come out here tonight and compete, I would give God all the glory."
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Saturday, February 09, 2008
The elementary kids were so excited to go up into the mountains for snow camp.
One of my students, Kaushik (originally from India) had never seen snow before! (Can you see the look of satisfaction on his face?) He came in from the snow after about an hour and a half saying, "What does it mean if you can't feel your feet?" I don't think he had ever experienced frost-bite before either!
Today it also snowed the most in Kyoto it has for as long as people can remember. I realized that I actually miss the snow we get in Iowa! If it is going to be cold it might as well snow, I think.
OK, I admit it. I'm a proud daddy. My son Noah stood by himself for about 10 seconds today by himself and he is not even 8 months yet! Maybe we can go skiing together next winter!
I have been trying to get the perfect video of Noah saying, "Hi Daddy" - His new favorite words. See the progression below. I wish I had some of his cutest moments on video - Aw well, they're all cute anyway!
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Rudy Vaughan, a wonderful pilot missionary friend has done it again. For two years Rudy has been working hard at his own commercial piloting job and in his extra free-time he has been visiting and encouraging missionaries around the world. In his extra-extra free-time (whew!) Rudy has been making a great website with videos of missionaries and their stories! We are truly thankful for Rudy and his wife Shelly and their dedicated love for the Lord and for the nations.
I am pleased to show you a 14 minute video of Maki and I and our ministry that Rudy made called, "Meet a Missionary". I pray that it encourages you today also to gain a greater heart for the world that Christ died to save.
(The video may take a couple minutes to download properly.)
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
There are other mountains that are taller and bigger, but what makes Mt. McKinley so glorious to people who see it is that it is very close to the ocean.
Viewed from sea level, a 20,000 foot peak, literally jutting out of depths of water, can be KNOWN more fully and the fullness of the beauty of Mt. McKinley can be ENJOYED more fully. I argue (as Paul seems to in Romans 9:22-23) that God's mercy and grace would not be enjoyed properly or adequately if we did not readily know the overwhelming baseness of our sin and the sin of those around us - (if we were not in the ocean of sin, as it were) and the horrible judgment sin brings - both now and in the world to come.
If we didn't have real sinners apart from Christ around us we would fast lose the awareness of the wonders of God's glory in His grace to save us, who are no different minus grace. (I believe our memory of this in heaven will be fresh) As we see the depravity of our own hearts as well as those apart from Christ around us, we are drawn into greater awe at the great mercy and grace of God to save such TOTALLY unworthy clay pots at all. It truly is CRAZY, prodigal love! The preciousness of this love is seen and experienced in the fact that it is a narrow door and a narrow path that leads to life. If all around all we could ever see were Mt. McKinleys, Mt. McKinley would be less valued and cherished and less awe-inspiring. God will not deny His children the HIGHEST pleasure in the universe - the fullness of God Himself seen clearly in the holy display of justice, mercy, wrath and love in contrast with the sin of His creatures. God Himself, displayed in the incarnation of Christ, is the infinite and eternal Mt. McKinley our souls long for.
Two wonderful role-models, Alex and Brett Harris (19 year-old twins), recently sat down for an interview. These guys are the real deal. I am was very impressed with them when Maki and I met them at a conference in Japan. Any young person, especially teenagers, will benefit by following these guys!
Look at their website here.
Order their book here.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Augustus Toplady wrote this hymn on a playing card when he found shelter from a storm under a rocky overhang near England's Cheddar Gorge. (See picture) These words moved me today to consider the safety, shelter and salvation that the Lord has magnificently and gratuitously given to me.
"Rock of Ages, cleft for me; let me hide myself in Thee. Let the water and the blood, from Thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure, save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labors of my hands can fulfill Thy law's demands. Could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone. Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling; naked, come to Thee for dress; helpless, look to Thee for grace; foul, I to the Fountain fly. Wash me, Savior, or I die! While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyes shall close in death, when I rise to worlds unknown, and behold Thee on Thy throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me; let me hide myself in Thee."
Oh what a debt I owe to these great men of God from the past. They seriously stir me to love God.