Thought for the Day
Sorry, last week I was so busy with Hamish’s birthday, I didn’t get a chance to spill the beans on the great day we had together.
It is a Hippolite whanau tradition that I take Annual Leave on each of the children’s actual birthday, so that just the two of us get to spend the day together. We (Fiona and I) believe we are creating childhood memories that will serve us well into the future. Each child looks forward to their special day alone with Daddy.
The day usually starts with their preferred breakfast, specially purchased (Hamish chose fruit loaf toast with hazelnut spread), then we get dropped off in Johnsonville to purchase some gift with money received from relatives. We would normally train into town, but the J’Ville line is down at the moment, so we bussed in instead.
First port of call is to purchase our movie tickets. There isn’t usually a lot of choice of children’s films during school time, but we’ve never had a problem finding at least one. This year, Hamish was pleased to accept Bolt.
Because we’re already in the Reading complex, lunch is usually ordered from the food court there. Then the fun activities begin. In the past, I have taken the kids:
- video gaming (boy, 7 years)
- beading (girl, 7 years)
- rock wall climbing (8 years)
- Laser tag (9 years)
- bowling (10 years)
- go carting (11 years)
Any thoughts for other age-appropriate and gender-appropriate activities would be gratefully received.
So Hamish and I went to the new Lanes Bowling Alley on Wakefield Street for his first time. He got a very respective 87 (using ramp and guides), and I got a measly 107. Lots of fun.
My kids also love going to Te Papa any chance they get, and we hardly ever go on the rides there. They’ve recently updated their rides to “The High Ride” – a bird’s eye view of modern NZ, and “The Deep Ride” – a submarine view of a volcano. The Deep Ride is definitely more sedate, and if you’ve been eating snacks before hand, you might want to give the High Ride a miss – I felt distinctly green afterwards!
Hamish had his Hip Hop Dance Class at 5pm that we had to get to, then it was home for his birthday meal. This year we were able to share with a couple of family members and friends, because my brother is up from Christchurch, doing some computer training on behalf of Ace Trainers.
This week’s letter is a little different. Instead of being inspirational words from an overseas dignitary, I reproduce here an email exchange between myself and the NZ contact for a visiting speaker. I will let the exchange speak for itself first, then bring a final word beneath it.
Kiaora Jeff Tallon,
I have just been given the flyer for the "Burning Issues" lecture coming up in Wellington. As contact person, I wonder if you would mind answering a couple of questions about issues that were not clear from the information given.
- Is Prof. White a climate change believer or sceptic?
- If sceptic, then I presume a couple of things:
- The lecture is about real science and real faith and therefore should be quite interesting to listen to.
- We’ll poke fun at the extremist true climate change believers, but discuss what Good Stewardship really means
- If believer, then I presume a couple of different things:
- He’s a scientific popularist, going with the majority rather than the facts
- He’s likely a religious popularist too, therefore not a Creationist like me.
Listening to that for an hour would likely greatly bore and/or agitate me
And finally, if (3) above is true, will Prof. White be taking questions from the audience? Alternatively, I’d be happy to submit a list of questions prior to the lecture, if he would prefer time to prepare a response. I would definitely be interested to come and hear responses to real sceptic facts, rather than strawman arguments. I’m not interested in point-scoring nor protesting against heresy. That would be a waste of my time and efforts. I am interested in Truth and the discovery and worship of Him.
In Christ’s name, blessings,
Bob would describe himself as an orthodox evangelical Christian and an orthodox scientist. That means amongst other things that he believes passionately that God is Creator of all that we see and don’t see and it also means as a scientist he has an open mind and is well experienced in weighing up evidence for and against propositions. He has a very strong evangelical ministry amongst scientists and academics in the UK. He has been a key person in starting up and growing several new Anglican churches in the City of Cambridge.
But be careful of presumption. There are more options than what you state. And we are, as Christians, morally bound to weigh up risks on both sides of a question and to take action where others lives and interests are endangered.
There will be questions after his talk.
- If you are interested to attend this, by all means please do, don’t let my little rant put you off.
- I try to be respectfully blunt. I’m afraid I merely come across as rudely blunt. You, dear reader, may not agree with my wording, but can you understand my frustration?
- All I see is compromise with a corrupt regime of humanistic materialism. “There is no God, the universe is all there is, therefore we better look after the world we’ve got, or there’ll be nothing to hand on later.” What rot.
Praise & Worship (lead by Cheryl Soukotta)
- Glorious is our God
- Strength will rise, as we wait upon the Lord
- Turn your eyes upon Jesus (healing prayer)
- Hosanna in the highest
Baby Dedication: (by Mike Knott)
- Andy & Robin Ray’s twins (christening gown over 100 years old)
- An acknowledge of stewardship (we only have our children for a season)
- An appeal for help (from the community)
- A declaration of intent (to raise them in the ways of the LORD)
- Madison Grace (girl) & Joshua
- (apparently there were difficulties getting these children – of which I am completely and happily unaware – for which we give thanks to God for overcoming)
- Presentation of Children’s Bibles – to be read every night – until they are old enough to read it back to their parents
Welcome to newbies (by Selwyn Jackson)
Things You Need to Know (by Ike Graham)
- Two morning services next week. 9am, 10:45 & 6pm
- 1st March, Michael Murphy, Shirelive Sydney
- Pancake Tuesday, 5:30pm, Feb 24th, before Breakthrough worship & prayer
Crunchies (by Selwyn Jackson)
- Honour God for keeping an inner city fire under control – no fatalities
- Ran a half-marathon
- Got a job x 2
- New, first time here
- Jump Start brochure for parents of toddlers
- Birthday (5 years, 5 years, 3 years, Aaron)
- Vanessa from Malaysia, visiting
- Thomas Peries’ daughter Zerina committed her life to Christ, and made House Captain
- “Mummy’s got a baby in her tummy”
- Elaine Scott 5 weeks ago today had a 3 hour operation, didn’t know if she would live or die. It didn’t matter (to her) either way, she had great peace about it. Glory to God!
- Just back from Niue and New Caledonia
- I went forward because: gave successful presentation “to geeky audience” and published author “of geeky article” this week
Message (by Mike Knott)
- A New Season
- (SCRUBS series, part II)
- The earnest, continued, heartfelt prayer of a righteous person makes tremendous power available, dynamic in its working.
- James 5:16, Amplified
- Stop breathing, you die physically
- Stop praying, you die spiritually
- Mike saw a documentary about a desert land, which got a bit of rain, the fruit blossomed, fell from the tree, fermented and the animals ate and got drunk. Very funny, but also an illustration: the Holy Spirit is like water, in that it brings refreshing to parched lands.
- Numbers 17:8 (The Message)
- Moses walked into the Tent of Testimony the next day and saw that Aaron’s staff, the staff of the tribe of Levi, had in fact sprouted – buds, blossoms, and even ripe almonds!
We Also are Affirmed
- 2 Corinthians 5:20 (NLT)
- Se we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
- Isaiah 11:1-3 (NIV)
- A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
- The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him – the Spirit of Wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord –
- And he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
Romans 4:17-21 (NIV)
- As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”
- He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed – the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.
- Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall you offspring be.”
- Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead – since he was about a hundred years old – and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.
- Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in this faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
- God has given us everything we need to represent Him
- Skills, gifts, talents
- Glorify Him
- Maintain your integrity
Prayer and Benediction (by Mike)
It’s a beautiful day in the capital today.
NZ wins world school debating champs – The Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team has won the World Schools’ Debating Championships after defeating England in the Grand Final, in Athens.
- Stop the Copyright Act S92 going ahead on February 28.
- Are property rights a human right? – The NZ Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation at Victoria University has published this paper on property rights as human rights. They find that in the OECD, we are one of the very few countries that don’t have some sort of constitutional protection of our property rights. In fact only Australia and NZ do not. Dave Farrar and I certainly support that at a minimum property rights should be included in the Bill of Rights Act 1990.
Irate Professor Censors and Threatens Christian Student –
Attorneys with the Alliance Defence Fund have filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jonathan Lopez, a student whose class presentation was cut short by an irate professor who berated and threatened to get him expelled for giving a pro-marriage speech as a class assignment. "Public institutions of higher learning cannot selectively censor Christian speech," said ADF Senior Counsel David French. "This student was speaking well within the confines of his professor’s assignment when he was censored and ultimately threatened with expulsion."
Why I Am A Creationist
Summary of Origin of Life Problems
- Spiralled DNA is necessary for life but does not form spontaneously, or naturally. In fact, when DNA forms in a glass beaker (without other pre-existing DNA on which to build), the DNA strand does not assemble in the proper helix spiral and is, in other words, deformed.
- Scientists estimate that 18,000 letters of DNA would be necessary for life to begin, but DNA naturally forms in strands of only 20 letters long.
- Even if DNA could assemble with hundreds or thousands of letters spontaneously, or naturally, the letters would have to be in the correct order to functional. The odds of 18,000 letters of DNA assembling in the correct order are 1/4 x 1/4 x 1/4 and so on (four possible letters of DNA) eighteen thousand times, or 1/1,200 followed by 10,837 zeros. (A trillion has 12 zeros.)
- Proteins are necessary for life, but they do not form spontaneously, or naturally.
- The theory of evolution suggests that life may have begun in the ocean, yet water prevents the formation of proteins.
- Oxygen prevents amino acids from forming spontaneously, or naturally. Yet, in nature, oxygen, in the form of ozone, is necessary to protect proteins from the sun. This contradicts the Miller experiment and is, in fact, a paradox of nature itself.
- Heat is necessary to form proteinoids, but heat destroys (denatures) proteins.
- Amino acids would have to assemble in a specific order to form a functional protein spontaneously, or naturally. Yet the odds of 6,000 amino acids lining up in the proper order to form the 20 proteins necessary for life to begin, according to evolution scientists, are infinitesimally small. The odds would be 1/1,500 followed by 13,006 zeros. To put this number in perspective, the odds of winning the national Powerball Lottery every day for 365 days are 1/4,244 followed by 2,881 zeros.
- Amino acids are necessary for life, but they do not form spontaneously, or naturally.
- The amino acids formed by the Miller experiment were a mixture of D- and L-amino acids yet today, D-amino acids are poisonous to living organisms. Miller would need to demonstrate how the first life could use both D- and L-amino acids and later change into an organism which used only L-amino acids.
- Cell membranes have never been shown to form naturally. Without a cell membrane to hold an organism together, life could not begin.
- In order for the first single-cell organism to form in an ocean, by a chance occurrence, enormous quantities of DNA and proteins would be required. In essence, billions of pounds of DNA and billions of points of proteins (both of which do not form naturally) would have had to be floating in the oceans in order to randomly bring enough of these materials in close proximity to each other to form a single-cell organism inside of a cell membrane, which also does not form naturally. If these materials do form spontaneously, or naturally, how could this happen?
from Evolution: The Grand Experiment, p208
Copyright © 2007 by Dr. Carl Werner
Evolution: The Grand Experiment
The Quest for an Answer
Dr Carl Werner
© Copyright 2007, Audio Visual Consultants, Inc.
Evolution has been dogma for so long, now many people consider it a foregone conclusion that life arose by random processes. Evolution: The Grand Experiment takes the unusual step of bringing together scientists on both sides of this cultural divide to present their findings. The reader is allowed to make up his or her mind as to which view is supported by the evidence. Intended for a general audience, the book is comprehensive, easy to read, and the conclusions are startling.
- The Origin of Life: Two Opposing Views
- Evolution’s False Start: Spontaneous Generation (322BC – 1859AD)
- Darwin’s False Mechanism for Evolution: Acquired Characteristics (Antiquity – 1889AD)
- Natural Selection and Chance Mutations
- Similarities: A Basic Proof of Evolution?
- The Fossil Record and Darwin’s Prediction
- The Fossil Record of Invertebrates
- The Fossil Record of Fish
- The Fossil Record of Bats
- The Fossil Record of Pinnipeds: Seals and Sea Lions
- The Fossil Record of Flying Reptiles
- The Fossil Record of Dinosaurs
- The Fossil Record of Whales
- The Fossil Record of Birds – Part 1: Archaeopteryx
- The Fossil Record of Birds – Part 2: Feathered Dinosaurs
- The Fossil Record of Flowering Plants
- The Origin of Life – Part 1: The Formation of DNA
- The Origin of Life – Part 2: The Formation of Proteins
- The Origin of Life – Part 3: The Formation of Amino Acids
- Conclusions – Evolution: Points of Controversy
- The Number of Fossils
- Dinosaur Evolution Chart
- Fish Evolution Chart
This is a beautiful, hard-cover book that my family will cherish for many years. I read it to my 11 and 9 year old boys, and it held their fascination for hours. Some of the in-depth scientific explanations were definitely over their heads, but mostly every chapter had very clear summaries (see example above). There are literally hundreds of photos illustrating virtually every page. Could I be even more effusive?
Bear in mind, this is a science text-book and not a religious text. Why do I make this distinction? Because it is arguing in the power of the scientific argument. This has merit, but is still subject to human fallibility. Hence, in arguing for a sudden explosion of life, as evidenced in the fossil record, it falls into the trap of using evolutionary terminology of “the Cambrian explosion.” However, I consider this infraction to be alleviated by its candid admission that “not all scientists agree with these timeframes” and leave it at that.
Week to 23 Feb 2009
- Deuteronomy 1:1 – 2:37
- Deuteronomy 3:1 – 5:22
- Deuteronomy 5:23 – 8:20
- Deuteronomy 9:1 – 11:32
- Deuteronomy 12:1 – 15:23
- Deuteronomy 16:1 – 19:21
- Deuteronomy 20:1 – 23:25
Week to 2 Mar 2009
- Deuteronomy 24:1 – 27:26
- Deuteronomy 28:1 – 29:29
- Deuteronomy 30:1 – 32:47
- Deuteronomy 32:48 – 34:12
- Joshua 1:1 – 6:27
- Joshua 7:1 – 10:15
- Joshua 10:16 – 13:33
Week to 9 Mar 2009
- Joshua 14:1 – 17:18
- Joshua 18:1 – 21:45
- Joshua 22:1 – 24:33
- Judges 1:1 – 3:31
- Judges 4:1 – 5:31
- Judges 6:1 – 8:35
- Judges 9:1 – 11:21
- METTLE is an acronym for Men’s Evangelical Team Together for Learning Experiences. We are primarily Christian businessmen from Wellington, who meet occasionally in the CBD to encourage each other in our daily walk with Jesus. This Weekly Collaborative Blog (WCB) is our primary means of communication. If you know of anyone who may benefit from this WCB, you are welcome to forward them along. Similarly, if your circumstances are such that membership in this distribution list is no longer relevant, then hit reply and type UNSUBSCRIBE to have it removed.
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