Space: A New Discovery

early-manned-spaceflight_939_600x450Mesmerized is the best word to describe my state of mind on May 5, 1961, and I was not alone.  There were another 44,999,999 other people glued to a black and white TV—all 45 million of us were fixated on NASA’s herculean effort to launch Mercury-Redstone 3 into space, and the heroic exploits of Alan Shepard, Jr.

Today, nearly 56 years, NASA will be holding a press conference to release information on a new discovery.   The space agency will share information concerning their “new findings on planets that orbit stars other than our sun, known as exoplanets.” nasa-kepler-452b

The word I find interesting in the paragraph above is “discovery.”  NASA has not created these exoplanets, they have discovered them; and this is true of all truth and scientific findings—they are discovered and not created.

The nature of truth is a frequent topic of discussion in the writings of Norman Geisler and Frank Turek:

  • Truth is discovered, not invented. It exists independent of anyone’s knowledge of it. (Gravity existed prior to Newton.)
  • Truth is transcultural; if something is true, it is true for all people, in all places, at all times. (2+2=4 for everyone, everywhere, at every time.)
  • Truth is unchanging even though our beliefs about truth change. (When we began to believe the earth was round instead of flat, the truth about the earth didn’t change, only our belief about the earth changed.)
  • Beliefs cannot change a fact, no matter how sincerely they are held. (Someone can sincerely believe the world is flat, but that only makes the person sincerely mistaken.)
  • Truth is not affected by the attitude on the one professing it. (An arrogant person does not make the truth he professes false. A humble person does not make the error he professes true.)

It was Jesus who said: “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Truth, according to Jesus, can be known; however, the fly in truth’s ointment is that people give little effort to knowing the truth, but they are fully engaged in the pursuit of happiness.

This cart before the horse perspective will only lead to the mire and the muck of Pilgrim’s slough of despond—the more one struggles to find happiness apart from God the more he is stuck in the mud.

I’ll close with this comment by Timothy Keller: “While other worldviews lead us to sit in the midst of life’s joys, foreseeing the coming sorrows, Christianity empowers its people to sit in the midst of this world’s sorrows, tasting the coming joy.”

Think about this truth; it just might set you free.

Awe-Inspired Goosebumps

usaf-thumb-450x355I was watching Kansas City play Houston last night, and during a commercial break I peeked at a video on YouTube.  It featured military jets flying low to the ground, and it reminded me of my time in the Air Force.

There were times that I didn’t want to drive through the guard shack and risk having my vehicle searched by the military police, so I would sneak on and off base through a little-known passage.  To navigate this route, I had to drive by the end of the runway.

Whenever a pilot saw my vehicle at the end of the tarmac, he would hug the deck until he was almost on top of me and then go full throttle. To be rattled by the power of the jets was an exhilarating and awe-inspiring experience, that left me covered with goosebumps.

I’m not sure if Isaiah was ever covered with goosebumps, but I do know that He had an awe-inspiring experience when he saw the Lord in His splendor and glory and heard the voice of angels:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” Isaiah cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” ~Isaiah 6

To emphasize the majesty, purity, and holiness of God, Isaiah didn’t say God is holy; he said God is holy, holy, holy.  This means the holy Creator is wholly unlike His creation:

  • He has never felt the pain of a stubbed toe.
  • The ups and downs of the stock market never worries Him.
  • He has never had an infection and never had a shot of penicillin.
  • His resources are limitless.
  • He has never been puzzled by a puzzle.

Our holy God invites the whole of His creation to approach Him in a time of need: We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin; therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time. ~Hebrews 4:14-16

It’s awe-inspiring to think that our mountain moving, mercy-filled, and gracious God, invites you and me into the realm of His glory with three simple words— “Come to me.”

The Quotable and Notable Game of Baseball

two_boys_bat_largerWhen I was a kid, many of my Summer days were spent at makeshift ball diamonds at Graham Park, Skelly School or the water tower by Tom’s house.  The evening hours would find most of us at the ball diamonds by McDonald’s Stadium—as in Jim McDonald, not the golden arches.

I have a pretty good understanding about the ins and outs of baseball, but one thing has troubled me for many years:  Why does everybody stand up and sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” when we’re already there?  

This is what I do at 4 AM of a morning:  I give a lot of profound thought to the perplexing mysteries of the universe.  I also try to search and discover the true meaning and purpose of life.

I may have found some answers to secrets of life in the quotes below.  Read these and study the stats on today’s sports page, and you might stay busy until game time:

  • There are three types of baseball players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happens. ~Tommy Lasorda
  • Bob Gibson is the luckiest pitcher I ever saw. He always pitches when the other team doesn’t score any runs. ~ Tim McCarver
  • Ninety percent of this game is half mental. ~ Yogi Berra
  • There are two theories on hitting the knuckleball. Unfortunately, neither one of them works. ~Charlie Lau
  • The way to catch a knuckleball is to wait until the ball stops rolling and then to pick it up. ~ Bob Uecker
  • I watch a lot of baseball on radio. ~ President Gerald Ford
  • I can remember a sports writer asking me for a quote and I didn’t know what a quote was.  I thought it was some kind of soft drink.                ~Joe DiMaggio

Here’s one final quote to illustrate the lack of sophistication in those who don’t love the game:  “The baseball mania has run its course. It has no future as a professional endeavor (Cincinnati Gazette editorial, 1879).”

Take Me Out To The Ball Game