Monday, December 31, 2012

Laws, Laws, Laws


After returning to the United States from many years in India I’ve noticed some changes. One was an increase in the number of laws and rules. Recently, a lawyer friend said, “You get new officials elected, and they feel they have to do something. So they make new laws. Then another group comes in, and they make more laws. We’re getting really technical.”

With the passing of each law we lose a little bit of our freedom. We become more “technical.”

By law, in Pennsylvania, I must stop for a pedestrian at a crosswalk. Good law, right? Absolutely.  But for me, I feel stripped of the opportunity to do the right thing. Now there is no virtue in stopping. It’s the law. I’m penalized if I don’t stop. My freedom to choose to do right is now legislated.

I’m not against the law or authority. We need laws. I happily stop at crosswalks. But more laws = less freedom and less personal responsibility. Nearly everything in life is governed by rules, policies, regulations, and conventions. It's the fabric of reality.

There are traffic laws. Mathematical laws. Natural laws. Football and basketball have rules. Mom and dad usually had some do’s and don’t’s. The state tells you what to do. The Federal government has laws. The TSA officials have rules. Nightclubs have rules. Restaurants are regulated and their employees have procedures. Banks have rules. There are patent laws, visa rules, and unspoken social taboos. Prisons have rules. Schools have rules. Universities have rules. Congress has rules. Judges have rules. The military, ditto. Even gangs have rules.

Some sort of “rule of order” seems to be constant.

Why?

Certainly the need for order is part of it. In society with billions of free-willed people, there has to be some agreement on what is acceptable and what is not. Even natural laws like gravity bring security to us. I can count on gravity, the freezing point of water, etc. If you try to break these, they break you. Do laws create security in us?

What’s behind it all? The Bible tells of God initiating a law to Adam and Eve. “… of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat…”[1] That was quite possibly the first law. It forced a response by the first couple. That's what laws do. 

I suggest God is the Basis of law, both moral and natural. He had no source, outside Himself, to refer to in giving the law. His Law is based on His own character. Has he placed that in our being too? Thousands of years later David said, “Thy Law is within my heart”[2]

Can it be that the inevitability of rules demonstrate God's character and our likeness to Him?






[1] Genesis 2:17
[2] Psalm 40:8

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Who Makes the Rules Around Here?


The Apostle Paul wrote to Christians, “let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”(1)

Paul is talking about a “rule” that Christians are to live by. For Christians, there is a “rule” of life or a standard. Not everyone likes the Christian standard. But we do have a standard. 

Having a standard does some cool things. For one, it judges our behavior. Can you imagine the injuries if there was no pass interference rule in the NFL? Receivers would be helpless. Secondly, a common set of rules brings a kind of general agreement about how we should live. Generally everyone agrees murder is not acceptable. Thirdly, acceptance of a standard means recognition of some kind of authority, such as the NFL or the American judicial system.

Some say Christians can’t even agree as to what their standard is. Probably true, to some extent. But in the wider society of all types of people, the divergence of standard is far greater.

Christians often get accused of trying to force our standard on everyone. Again, true in some cases. This is rooted in a Christian’s belief that our standard is the best one. Remember the hullabaloo over the replacement NFL officials earlier this season? Most everyone agreed the authority of the old, experienced officials was best.

What hurts my claim that our Christian standard is the best is when we Christians talk but don’t live up to it. Sadly, I’ve done that at times. Not good.

As I said, everyone has a standard. The thief has a standard, the Muslim has a standard, Christians have a standard. They differ and this causes friction in society. Since each standard implies recognition of some kind of authority, the issue goes to those authorities or worldviews. We march to different drummers. The gay activist and the evangelical Christian have different standards under different authorities. The issue is who or what is the standard setter? Is it the Bible? The Quran? My self? Popular opinion? Tribal traditions? A supreme court justice?

My point is everyone has a standard. It’s interesting. No one lives without some set of rules or guidelines, determined by some authority.



What we see in real life lines up with the biblical account of origins. The Bible says God made us and established the first standard when He told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God was the authority. It was up to the first couple as to whose authority they would recognize.

Have you asked yourself, “Who makes the rules around here?”





(1) - Philippians 3:16 (New American Standard Bible)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Billee's Story


One of the greatest evidences of the reality of Christ is in lives he's changed. Take for example my talk with Billee.

 “So you’re going to get married soon?”

Billee laughed, “No, I already did, two months ago.”

“Oh, my bad. Congratulations!”

“It was a beautiful day. But you know, it takes a lot of adjustments,” she said.

“It does,” I said, “You have to be willing to bend for the other one.” (I decided I was going to help Billee.)

I’d seen her many times at this weekly Christian hot dog stand at a coffeehouse. Most of the folks who came were on disability, ex-druggies and drunks, pregnant or troubled teenagers, people with broken families, and deep emotional needs. Billee appeared somewhat different. Though weather beaten, she dressed well and drove a nice car.

Billee talked about her new husband, Joe. “Today was pretty challenging. But he apologized to me for being a little testy.” I could tell they were serious about making this marriage work.

As others waited for hot dogs, she began to tell me her story. 

 “I was raised in a Christian home, but I went away from it.”

As a young girl her parents split up and she was raised by her Uncle and Aunt. From age 8, her uncle began molesting her. This continued for eight years. “We would go to church. He would ask forgiveness, and then he would molest me again.”

She ended up getting married for the first time at age 16. On the night before her marriage, at 2 a.m., - her uncle molested her. Twelve hours later Billee was walking down the aisle.

The marriage failed. So did number two. “Number one and two should not have happened. I was too young.” She descended into drugs, drinking, addictions, and finally got married for the third time. Number 3 eventually became a Christian. He tried to convince Billee it was the way to go. She would have none of it.

No wonder.

Number 3 got cancer, fought it for five years, and then died. Then Billee got cancer. She’s been in and out of treatment four times. “I’ve been cancer free for a year,” the 48 year old told me.

Before number 3 died, a couple visited the apartments that he and Billee managed. Tim and Sarah were looking for a woman who had visited their church. They met Billee. They befriended her. Slowly they built a relationship.

“I resisted them and bad-mouthed them at first.” she said. 

Through the death of her husband, cancer, and revelation of her painful past, they stuck with Billee.  She came to faith. “No one ever helped me like Tim and Sarah did. They pointed me to Jesus. He loves me. He saved me.”

Still wanting to help her, I asked, “Why don’t you go to a church closer to where you and Joe live?”

“This is my church. I could never leave this church.”

I walked away from Billee realizing she had helped me. She has been changed.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Song of the Dunes


“There is sufficient evidence in a tree, a pebble, a grain of sand, a fingerprint, to make us glorify God and thank Him.”[1] When I read this last week I thought, “Really? Is there evidence in a grain of sand?” So I did a little research. Not a lot of research. If you want that, you’re on the wrong blog. 

I found out a couple of interesting things. Various professionals don’t all agree on the definition of sand. What is silt, what is sand, what is gravel? There are various measurements.

I liked these practical descriptions. “... sand is anything big enough to feel between the fingers and smaller than a match head.”[2] And this one, “sand is anything small enough to be carried by the wind but big enough that it doesn't stay in the air...”[3] Let's leave the size and definition at that.

I also learned that most sand is quartz, while some is coral fragments or lava. There are dunes, beaches, and cool sand bars called tombolo. (That’s not a sandwich) The facts went on.

“Okay, fine,” I thought, “but this doesn’t make me feel a need to ‘glorify God and thank Him.’”


Then I read something that got my attention: “Sand also makes music.”[4]

In several parts of the world from California to China a phenomenon occurs known as “booming dunes” or “sounding sand.” Evidently Marco Polo reported this in the Gobi Desert in the 1200’s, saying the sands, "at times fill the air with the sounds of all kinds of musical instruments, and also of drums and the clash of arms."[5]

As wind blows on the dunes, the dry, topical sands are blown, sand moves en masse, and the result is sound. The keys of G, E, or F to be exact. It’s music!

Melanie Hunt of the California Institute of Technology says, The sound is remarkable because “it is composed of one dominant audible frequency (70 to 105 Hz) plus several higher harmonics.”[6] Her team compared this to the music of a cello.[7]

How does this inspire me to praise and thank God?

The Bible says “The wilderness and the desert will be glad, and the desert will rejoice … with rejoicing and shout of joy…”[8] The "weeping prophet" Jeremiah wrote, “They have made my pleasant field a desolate wilderness… Desolate, it mourns before me…”[9] Paul told the Romans, “... we know that the whole creation groans … until now.”[10] And Jesus Himself told his disciples it was possible, “... the stones will cry out.”[11] 

Wow.

If the dunes raise a song, then I should praise and thank Him.






[1] James Montgomery Boice The Sovereign God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, 1978) 31
[2] Andrew Alden, About Sand (Internet: http://geology.about.com/od/sediment_soil/a/aboutsand.htm )
[3] Ibid
[4] Ibid
[5] Michael Schirber, Singing Sand Dunes: The Mystery of Desert Music, (11 January 2005) (Internet: http://www.livescience.com/3788-singing-sand-dunes-mystery-desert-music.html )
[6] Melanie L Hunt, Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Vice Provost, California Institute of Technology  http://www.hunt.caltech.edu/
[8] Isaiah 35:1-2 New American Standard Bible
[9] Jeremiah 12:10-11 New American Standard Bible
[10] Romans 8:22 New American Standard Bible
[11] Luke 19:39 New American Standard Bible

Sunday, August 26, 2012

4250, 4251, 4252, ... Uhhh, Wait a Second


“He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength;  His understanding is infinite.”[1]

Reading this verse the other day startled me. Wow! What a claim.

“He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.”

So, how many are there God? A quick survey of some of the Web sites that discuss these matters told me the answer. The most straightforward answer is “We don’t know.” Much verbiage is used to say this in different ways, although sincere, dedicated people seek an answer. Two of my favorite comments were, "about as many as the number of hamburgers sold by McDonald's,"[2] or the simple, “This is a lot of stars!”[3] 

Truly, when you get into Septillions, sextillions, powers of 10 , ‘a 7 followed by 22 zeroes’ and such, it really has no meaning to us. It simply means, “This is a lot of stars.”

Does God know their names?

There are more than six billion people on the Earth and they all have a name. No individual knows them all, but in the “collective knowledge of mankind,” (whatever that is), all 6 billion names are known.

But the collective knowledge of mankind does not know how many stars there are or their names.

To help us understand how many, some compare the stars to grains of sand. Sand is easier to estimate than stars because it exists in a limited area. One site says the number of stars are about the same as the grains of sand on earth. Another comments, “It's … about 10 times as many stars as grains of sand on all the world's beaches and deserts.” Still another, “… source (BBC) stated that there are about 1,000 stars to every grain of sand on Earth!!”[4] So, we see a wide swing here and we simply say, “No wonder I get sand in my swimming suit.”

The Bible gives an indication that God knows the number of the sands. “How precious also are Thy thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.”[5] His thoughts toward you are more than that number. Could be a septillion! Going back to our verse, “His understanding is infinite…” while the number is not infinite.

So He knows how many grains of sand there are. He knows how many stars there are. Jesus said, “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”[6]

Sand. Stars. Hair. Numbering?!? Why God?

The verse about numbering hair goes on, “Therefore…”[7] Therefore what? Therefore you are valuable.

So maybe the numbering is so that we would know that His loving thoughts toward us are ‘a 70 followed by 22 zeroes?’ That’s more concern for you than all the hamburgers sold by McDonalds! That’s a lot of love.






[1] Psalm 147:4-5 (New American Standard Bible)
[2] “How many stars are there in the Milky Way?” Astronomer  William Keel, http://www.faqs.org/faqs/astronomy/faq/part8/section-3.html
[3] “Ask an Astrophysicist,” Laura Whitlock, http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/970115.html
[5] Psalm 139:17-18 (New American Standard Bible)
[6] Matthew 10:30 (New American Standard Bible)
[7] Matthew 30:11 (New American Standard Bible)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

You Don't See Many Jewish Boys in Prison


Someone once made the comment, “You don’t see many Jewish boys in prison.” This simple statement made me stop and think.

It appears to be true. Consider the following: 

“Maximum-security prisons in the United States have relatively few Jewish inmates, according to the Aleph Institute, a Chabad-affiliated organization that reaches out to Jews behind bars. Most Jews in the prison system usually end up at lower-security facilities for crimes such as fraud or tax evasion.”[1] (With exceptions like Bernie Madoff (left) , David Berkowitz, and some mafia types!!)

Another website says, “Jews in prison in the United States are a small group in absolute or relative numbers. In 1998, there were approximately 1,700 Jewish prisoners out of 1.5 million, according to Congressional testimony--a little more than one in 1,000.”[2] That is .00113% of those in prison. At one point only 10 Jews waited on death row.

Relative to Black, White, and Hispanic inmates, it seems to be true. "Not many Jewish boys go to prison."

Why? Are they better people? No. They’re just like everyone else. Is it because many of them are rich? That might be a factor but not the whole picture.

Jewish culture is largely based on belief in God and a moral code. Hard work, family, and faith are important concepts. The moral code applies to each member of the community. This is the root reason as to why few turn to a life of crime. They traditionally live by a moral code that includes God. That is my point. When people live this way, things go better for them.

You might think, “But many of the prisoners are Christians and Muslims, they have a moral code too.” True. But the vast majority of them come to those religious convictions after they are imprisoned. Crises like divorce, a near death experience, a hurricane, or going to jail - fuel religious conversion!

One study by a Department of Justice researcher noted, “A disproportionately high number of prisoners were not in any way practicing religionists prior to incarceration. That is, they exhibited none of the standard sociological measures of religiosity, such as regular prayer, scripture study, and attendance at worship services.”[3]

A lot of men and women come out of prison as Christians, but few start out that way. Desperation leads to change.

It is not people committed to a belief system and moral values who primarily end up in prison.

Which belief system? Which moral values are superior? The Christian Bible and ethic is unique and produces amazing results. That’s for another discussion.




Saturday, April 28, 2012

Have an Amazing Day!


As I began to walk away from the ATM machine, I noticed the final message behind the screen in front of me.

“Have an amazing day!”

Not “Have a nice day,” – but an amazing day. Let ‘er rip. Go for all the gusto you can get.

Can you name an amazing day you’ve had in your life? 

I think of the day I got married. I have an amazing wife. That was an amazing day. When my kids were born, that was amazing. I have amazing kids. When I was a boy, seeing Willie Mays hit a homerun, that was amazing for a 14 year old. Or should I say A-Mays-ing. The first time I walked on the streets of Calcutta was amazing. It was a-maze of streets.

But most days are not amazing. I don’t usually say “Amazing, I paid the phone bill today.”
Or when I say, “Got the oil changed, honey.” My wife seldom replies, “Amazing!” (Although she might in this example)

Overstatement

We Americans, and maybe other countries too, I’m not sure, have the trait of overstatement.

“That was an epic fail.”

“Your front yard looks awesome”

“I am super hungry.”

“He’s an incredible artist.” (If not credible or believable that he’s an artist, when in reality he is, would that be good or bad?)

Suppose I did have an amazing day. Maybe I walked away from a head-on. Or we won $21 million dollars in the lottery. (I don't play the lottery) Or what if my income was doubled? Tripled? Or Obama invited me to spend the weekend in the Lincoln bedroom? Amazing!

What if every day was amazing? The unexpected, the spectacular, - school debts paid off, a promotion, that motorcycle you always wanted (or that I wanted), trip to the Bahamas, our loved ones were with us,  -  became a daily "routine." What a run of good fortune! Life would be amazing! My ATM machine's wish would be fulfilled.

Or would it? If every day was amazing, that would become normal. Then what would we call amazing? If the extraordinary becomes the ordinary, then extraordinary has no meaning. Maybe the ordinary then becomes extraordinary? Like any drug, the extraordinary would have diminishing effect with continued use.

So we overstate things. We use exceptional words for ordinary things. 

If someone’s hairdo looks "awesome," then what word do we use when we see something that really is awesome? I’m sorry, but hairdos are not really awesome.

What things really are amazing, epic, awesome, or incredible?

There are many. A sunset. A tsunami wave. A reception in football. The taste of your mother's lasagna. God.

The Bible refers to Him in superlatives. Consider: 

“Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.’”[1] He did. He knocked down the walls of Jericho with a shout. That’s amazing.

“Who among the gods is like you, LORD? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?”[2] He had parted the Red Sea… now that is awesome!

“And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, ‘Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.’”[3] Healings that are not possible by natural means? Now that is amazing.

The ATM bids me to have a day like one that has  'never been seen...' If it happens, it would be great! But  it would be hard to sustain. That's one thing that's cool about Jesus, He is always amazing. Even when it' not an amazing day.

When Paul was running out of words to describe who God is, he said, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”[4]

There are some words that are only fit for truly special things or for God.

Have an amazing day!







[1] Joshua 3:5 (NIV)
[2] Exodus 15:11 (NIV)
[3] Matthew 9:33 (NIV)
[4] Romans 11:33 (NIV)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Coffee ... a bagel ...and God?


Coffee … a bagel … 

When I wake up, I feel hungry. Today I had a bagel with cheese and a cup of French Roast coffee. 

Later, I got dressed, , putting on a collared, buttoned shirt and khaki slacks.  I felt ready to go  for the day

A half hour later I sat down and talked to a relatively new friend for about 10 minutes. It was nice, I feel the friendship is growing.

I'm thinking about my needs. Hunger. A desire to look presentable. The need for friends. Each has a way of fulfillment. It's the same with sexual desire, the thirst for knowledge, and many others.

For all of these there's probably a right way and a not so good way of fulfillment. For example four bagels with cream cheese would not help me.

The desire for significance is often met by achievement, success, by loving our family, or in other ways.

The desire for knowledge is met by education and practical experience. It's met by reading books.

Interestingly, the things we desire all have a corresponding something to complete them. Whether it’s hunger, or to be a parent, to have justice, or to be liked, -there is provision for each one.

Coffee … a bagel …and God?


So would the same hold true for the desire for spiritual “connection?”

Simple observation tells us every ethnic group on earth is spiritual. 

All but about 8% of the world’s population have some belief about a power beyond what can be seen. Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, shrines, cathedrals, and stupas dot every nation in the world. Most of us say there is a God although there is no agreement on who God is. The Pew Forum reports that nearly 2.2 billion of the world’s 6.9 billion people are Christians,[1] making it the largest single belief system in the world. That’s one in three people who believe a Jewish Carpenter who lived 2000 years ago was God. So people definitely have a "spiritual" desire.

Once I took a dear lady to church. She did not normally go to church or practice any religious observance. The choir sang, “The King is Coming.” Tears flowed down her face.  She commented afterwards how touched she had been. What touched her?  Was it a desire to connect with something or someone beyond herself?

While still in Mary's womb, Jesus was prophetically called “Emmanuel” which means “God With Us.” He claimed to be the answer to that "God shaped hole" within us. He said he was the water for our thirst and the food for our hunger.

Doesn’t it make sense that there is a provision for our desire for something transcendent? British Bible translator J.B. Phillips wrote, “Arguing, as we must, from what we know to what we don’t know, we may fairly say that as food is the answer to hunger, water the answer to thirst, and a mate to sexual desire, this universal hunger for Truth is unlikely to be without its answer and fulfillment, however hard it may be to find.”[2]
  
That’s why they called Him “God with us.” He’s there.







[2] J.B. Phillips, “Your God Is  Too Small,” p. 71

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rules or Freedom?

I lived overseas for nearly 30 years. After returning to the United States, people often asked me,  “What is it like coming back after so long?” A number of times I’ve answered, “It’s a different country than the one I left.”

“Duh,” you might say, “that’s profound.”

Let me explain.

In a word, it seems rules are replacing our freedoms.

When I was a boy my neighbor’s black Labrador, “Midnight,” roamed the block. He always knew where home was. He kind of had a relationship with everyone on the block. I remember the day he and “Joey,” the big collie at the end of the street, got in a fight. In a way, “Midi” was our dog.

Last week my brother-in-law told me about local leash laws. If a dog is running free, that person is liable for a hefty fine. What’s the problem? Isn’t it good to protect people from belligerent dogs? Yes, - but a little bit of our personal freedom has been chipped away.

Rules replace relationships and self-responsibility to do right. They force desired behavior.

By the way, I’m not against rules.

There are building codes, fire codes, motor vehicle inspections, garbage recycling rules, background checks for employment, … commissions, agencies, councils, forms, waivers, ad nauseum.

You must yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. There is no satisfaction of doing it out of kindness because it’s the right thing to do. It’s only possible to break the rule, be glared at, or worse.

Is there virtue in doing what is required?

Today many people want smaller government, because more departments means more spending. But more departments also mean less freedom.

Before my decades overseas, Americans were more governed by inner moral absolutes than now.  Admittedly it had been waning for a long time even then, but society held a broad (if imperfect) consensus about right and wrong. It was the Judaeo-Christian ethic. We didn’t need as many laws because people broadly agreed about what was right.

Today we make laws.

If we can’t agree about what is right or wrong, then we have to make rules to protect individual rights. More rules reduce freedom. I’ll never know the “Midnights” of my block unless I go to the pet park. The focus is on protecting my rights by legislating behavior, not on freedom and responsibility to choose to be loving.

What’s the spiritual lesson in this?

In the Bible, Paul wrote, “For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.” Rules do not “impart life.”[1] The more rules we make, the further from real life we get.

If we’re guided by an inner ethic based on the common good, of which the biblical Christian ethic stands out unique in the world, then just a few rules will suffice.

That is one difference I see in the United States now. We are exchanging our freedom for rules.





[1] Galatians 3:21

Friday, January 13, 2012

Little Foxes Spoil the Vineyard


Recently I read the biblical account of Samson. In one part this incredibly strong man gets revenge on his enemies, the Philistines. He captures 300 “foxes,” ties them together by the tails in pairs, fastens torches to the pairs, and releases them into the Philistines standing grain to burn the crops. Sounds X-Men-ish.

I have to admit, I’ve always felt skeptical when I read that story. How can a guy catch 300 foxes, tie them in twos, burn the crops,  and still get home for Tebow’s weekly miracle? Is that possible?

The Hebrew word translated “fox” in the story means “jackal.” So it’s likely the animals were the Golden Jackals that proliferate in Southern Israel where the story occurred. They are apparently “more easily caught”[1] than foxes.  Jackals are more sociable and run in herds. They would more naturally run even bound to another.

Israel has jackals. One study shows, “From 2006 to 2009, the [Israel Nature and Parks Authority] culled the jackal population in the Golan Heights, shooting about 1,000 a year.” In spite of killing an average of 3 a day, “50 percent more need to be culled in order to significantly reduce the jackal population…”[2] In the Mateh Yehuda area each community with a dump supports about 50 jackals.

Did Samson work alone? The Bible seems to indicate this. But it’s possible he had help.

People catch jackals by baiting steel jaws, snares, or cages with food. A study that required the Golden Jackal to be trapped in the Modiin area of Israel reported a “high success rate in trapping”[3] 21 jackals. On average two nights with a trap set to capture each animal. New Hampshire trapper G. Malcolm Locke caught 200 foxes in 26 days in 1945.[4] If there is a record, it might be Pete Leggett of Maryland who took 1220 red foxes over 53 days in 2003.[5] That’s 23 a day. Less than two weeks to bag Samson’s quota.

Tying the tails together would have required restraining the jaws. Samson was pretty good with jaw bones.

In order to destroy the Philistine crops they must have been released over a wide area. The Palestine of today is more than 2400 square miles. Burning one or two fields wouldn’t have made much of a stir. The torches would have burned out soon, so the 150 pairs could not have been released all at once. I think it took time, but the Bible leaves us guessing.



In the movie “Evan, Almighty,” the animals just showed up at Noah’s Ark. God made it happen.

That’s the supernatural element.

In Samson’s case, God could have brought the jackals. He’s God.

But one thing we do know, there's nothing about the conditions in Israel or the ability to trap animals that rule out the biblical account.

Quotes of Note ... The Invisible World

“Spiritual warfare is learning to recognize the strategies, refusing to cooperate with them, and aggressively cutting off the schemes of the devil in Jesus’ name.” Dean Sherman

“those who protest that God cannot exist because there is too much evil evident in life… Evil exists; therefore, the Creator does not. That is categorically stated… If evil exists, one must assume that good exists in order to know the difference. If good exists, one must assume that a moral law exists by which to measure good and evil. But if a moral law exists, must not one posit an ultimate source of moral law, or at least an objective basis for a moral law? By an objective basis, I mean something that is transcendingly true at all times, regardless of whether I believed it or not.” Ravi Zacharias

“But the Devil is no big threat to God’s purposes; he is not even remotely comparable in power. He has been given a limited time before his final judgment to try to prove his case, just as all other moral beings who have chosen to live in rebellion against heaven.” W.A. Pratney

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I've served as a life-long missionary in Samoa, the Pacific region, India, and now in Pennsylvania. The Christian faith is reasonable and works in real life. It is true to the facts. Hope you enjoy some of the thoughts. I appreciate feedback.

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