Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Poetry: The Grain Field

This is a poem I wrote in February, inspired by Matthew 9: 37-38.


The Grain Field

The grain is ripe

The day is new

It's time for the harvest

But the laborers are few.

The Master stares

As the sun climbs high

No one's coming

The grain will soon die.

Midday passes

Dusk draws near

No one is willing...

No one is here.

Shadows lengthen

The day is gone

It's too late

For another dawn.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Recalling 9-11

Note: This was written for a presentation in October of 2008


Seven years is not very long.

For many of us, we've lived more than twice that long. And for some countries that have been around for thousands of years, seven years is nothing; like a fleeting breath in the time line of eternity.

Yet seven years is how long it's been since September 11, 2001. Why then, do we Americans treat it like so long ago?

The answer is simple: we haven't been around for thousands of years. Even though our culture was drastically different when the United States was first formed, it truly hasn't been very long since then. Sometimes we treat two hundred years ago like ancient times; but in reality, it's nothing compared to many other nations. When it comes to time, we're only a baby country.

So, seven years seems to be a lot longer than it really is. However, once we realize that it practically happened yesterday, we see that tragic day with completely new eyes.

And we realize that the terrorists could come back.

My parents remember that day better than I do. I asked them a couple questions about their experiences; first, how they had found out the attacks were happening on that fateful day. According to Mom, she was on the computer when someone sent her an instant message, telling her about what had happened, and to turn on the TV. Dad also called her from work. He had found out about the attack, as he remembers, from someone in the hallway who said, “Something's happening in New York.” However, Dad's first reaction to the news was not that this might be a terrorist attack. “What an idiot,” he thought. “Who would fly into a building!” But this was when only the North Tower of the World Trade Center had been crashed into; when another airplane seemed to come out of nowhere and crash into the South Tower as well, Dad's attitude changed.

There can't be two accidents,” he realized. And it was then that he understood we had been attacked by terrorists.

By the time Mom could turn on the TV, both towers were already crashed into and smoking like monster bonfires. “I was shocked, scared,” she said about her first reaction to the sight on television. “I immediately realized it was terrorism.”

Meanwhile, news reached Dad's ears that the Pentagon building had also been crashed into. “I questioned whether it happened,” he said. “There was no footage yet, and there was a lot of confusion as to what was going on.”

When the videos of the burning Pentagon finally appeared on the news, Mom started to panic. “I tried to reach Dad,” she said. “because [the attacks] were so close to us. [This made me] more afraid, and I just wanted to know where Dad was... The cell phones were overloaded... and I couldn't reach Dad at first. I was feeling very fearful.”

During our interview, I asked Mom what she had thought about the people jumping from the 110-story-Twin Towers. “It was horrid,” she said. “I was literally watching people jump to their deaths. [I figured] they were surely not committing suicide; they must have thought they would survive. There was no other way out [from the flames], perhaps they thought it was their only way to escape. It was horrible watching it. It was just awful.”

Neither Mom nor Dad, however, ever suspected that the towers could collapse. “No, never,” Mom said when I asked her. But the towers did fall. Instead of tipping over though, they collapsed on themselves; story by story crushing beneath the weight as they crumbled to the ground. After one fell, the other toppled down in the same way. Dad was surprised. Mom recalls: “I was completely shocked. Dumbfounded. Just... dumbfounded.”

Apparently the terrorists were not content with just three attacks. Another plane, possibly headed toward the capital building, was on its way; but before it could reach the hijackers' destination, it was taken back by the passengers and crashed into a field. I asked Mom what she remembered about that incident. “I remember wondering how many more there was,” she said. “How long would it last? I just wanted Dad home. I didn't know how many more attacks there would be.”

Finally Dad did come home, safe and sound. There were no more attacks that day. Since we lived near the Pentagon, we were able to drive past it later to see the ruins. Mom remembers her feelings when she saw the crumbled, black remains: “Disbelief... seeing it in person. That we had been attacked on American soil... just disbelief, sorrow for those who died, prayerful that we'd catch the terrorists.”

Almost three thousand people were killed on 9-11-01. Solely based on what happened that day, I asked my parents if they thought we as a country should be at war.

Dad looked at me as if there was no question. “Yes,” he said.

Mom grew passionate as she answered, “Absolutely! I don't think George Bush is perfect, but I completely support his decision to be at war and whole-heartedly stand behind the military. I think they should be allowed to remain until the job is done, and do what they've been trained to do. And I think, had we not gone to war, we would have been attacked again.”

Does this country really want another 9/11? Of course not! Then why does it seem everyone is so anxious to drag our soldiers home?

The answer is simple. No one likes war. No one likes the fact that American soldiers, and sometimes innocent civilians, have to die. However, has it been too long that we've forgotten the 2,977 civilians killed on our own soil? We didn't start the war. It wasn't our idea that there should be death. We have powerful enemies whose religion tells them to hate us, and destroy us. Unless we want to die, it is vital that we defend. Are we not the “home of the brave”?

Friday, April 10, 2009

God's Amazing World!

Did you know...

- A single tornado can lift 83 tons?
- One small thunderstorm can have as much energy as an atomic bomb?
- A thundercloud can produce as much electricity as a nuclear power plant?
- A large hurricane releases as much energy as 400,000 atomic bombs in just one day?

Is that awesome or what??

Steele, DeWitt, and Gregory Parker, Science of the Physical Creation, Pensacola, Florida: A Beka Book, 1996

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Answers to the Quiz and An Easter Story

Okay, seems like I haven't fooled anyone. 100% of you answered "i: none of the above" for the quiz two posts ago. And you were correct.

Easter is coming up, so I decided to post a short story I wrote last Easter titled "Call of the Prince". Enjoy.


Call of the Prince: An Easter Short Story

The air was humid, the ground barren for miles. Gray, craggy mountains rose awkwardly from the horizon, the ground a wasteland stretching unto that point. Nothing lived, everything perished. The dirt was a hard dry brown, split with wide cracks running through its surface. Each crack was infested with dead vines bearing cruel thorns, creating stumbling blocks for the bare feet of travelers.

Travelers? Who would travel such a lethal, macabre wasteland? No one would choose to, but nonetheless, a train of prisoners appeared in the distance. Heavy chains clamped around their wrists and to each other to form a long line of weary, sweaty travelers from the faraway Kingdom on the other side of the mountains. Soldiers dressed in black, metal armor lead them along mercilessly. These were the criminals; they had been such since birth. Each had the mark on their foreheads, and each deserved to die.

Finally, they came upon a small, wooden cross jutting up from the earth. They had reached their destination, and their place of execution.

“Bring the first in line,” a soldier ordered in a gruff, harsh voice.

The first was a girl, no older than 18. Patches of dust and dirt sooted her face and clothing, and strands of thick hair clung to sweat on her forehead, just leaving her criminal mark visible behind them. She gazed at the cross, and her heart sank as she was pulled harshly forward. They bound her arms to the wood and stood back, sharpening a long sword for her execution. She watched and listened to the sound of metal scraping against metal. A large tear streamed down her cheek, picking up dirt from her face and becoming a dusty brown color before dripping off her chin and falling onto her shirt.

One soldier held up the sword, pointing it towards her. The girl sucked in air nervously, then closed her eyes, awaiting the feeling of a cold blade through her chest...

“Wait! Don't kill her.”

Her eyes popped open, and she, along with the other soldiers, turned their head towards the direction of the voice.

Appearing from behind a large rock, was a man. He appeared to be no more than another traveler. His simple, almost ragged attire hung unevenly from his body. He had bare, dirty feet, and long, unkempt hair fell around his face. It was obvious that he had had a long journey similar to that of the prisoners.

“What authority do you have?” a soldier demanded harshly. For such a lowly person to dare challenge authority, he had to have a very good reason or else he would be no better than the girl.

However, the man only smiled, though it was a somewhat weak and saddened smile. “You shall let her go,” he said, his voice commanding. “And, should they choose, all of them-” he swept his hand towards the other prisoners. “-if, you kill me; the Prince; in their stead.”

Immediately, the soldiers began to stare at him with a sense of fear and dread.

“Prince Jesua?” once inquired, shocked.

At that moment, the girl bound to the cross realized something horrible: the soldiers would agree and kill the only heir, after which they would kill the prisoners as well anyway. “Wait, Prince, no!” she cried. “You don't know what you're do-”

“We accept.” a soldier said, smiling sinisterly. He pulled the girl from the cross and pushed her to the ground, before stepping back and beckoning the Prince to come to where she had once been.

The Prince was unafraid. He did as the soldier asked, and allowed himself to be bound to the cross the girl should have rightfully died on. The girl, however, watched terrified, tears escaping the corners of her eyes. If the heir was killed, what would become of the kingdom?

As the sword was raised, the Prince turned his head towards the girl on the ground, smiled to her affectionately, and then fixed his eyes upon the sword before him; staring death straight in the face.

The blade came quickly. For a small moment, the Prince's face grew solemn as he felt the pain, but then, his eyelids drooped, and his head hung. The girl shook her head defiantly, and buried her face in her arms. The soldiers laughed.

“Next,” one said, half-commanding and half-joking. They started to turn towards the girl, but suddenly, a steady chorus of “click-click”'s caused them to freeze and stare at each other quizzically.

“The locks,” one mumbled. “How did all the chains unlock?”

They looked down the row of prisoners, and all of their chains; even that of the girl still on the ground; had been mysteriously unlocked. At least they weren't off, so as long as none of the prisoners noticed and kept them as they were, they were still captive. The soldiers shrugged, trying to put it off in their minds as just a strange happening, but the mysteries were not over; the greatest one was still to come.

It was the girl who noticed first. She saw that the binds around the Prince's body had disappeared, and he was slumped against the cross; unbound. She gasped, and the soldiers turned around to see what had happened, but before they could react; the rags on the Prince's body began melting together into elaborate attire with rich greens and purples and fine gold lining the edges. His hair swept back to reveal a sudden, golden crown, and his eyes opened; alert and alive with passion. Wounds and dirt wiped away like a cloth wiping away muck from a brass table. He stood up, smiling; even laughing, and held out his hand to the girl. The soldiers remained frozen in shock.

“Will you come with me, to a life in the castle where you will be my princess, my bride? The journey there may be difficult, but the rewards worthwhile; and I will be with you every step of the way.”

“But how can it be?” the girl exclaimed. “Those who bear the mark cannot enter the castle!”

Prince Jesua grinned. “Ah, but with my Father, all things are possible,” he insisted.

The girl hesitated, but then reached up and grasped his hand. Instantly, the mark on her forehead disappeared; and much like the Prince, the dirt and filth washed away to reveal clean, smooth skin, and her patched rags were replaced by a royal, blue dress flowing to her ankles. Prince Jesua pulled her to her feet, and then addressed her anxiously, “Hurry, we must warn the others to follow me to the castle and escape their coming death. The chains are unlocked; but unless they accept freedom, it will not be given to them.”

As desperately as they could, the Prince and his fiancé begged the prisoners to come with them. Many answered willingly, and allowed the Prince to slip off their unlocked chains... but many others were reluctant and skeptical.

Before parting and beginning their journey, the Prince gazed at his group of followers, then back at those who had refused to obey and were still in line for execution.

“Is this it, then?” he said with a mournful expression. “Will my children refuse to follow their Prince to the life they were truly born for? Alas... many are called, but few are chosen.”


Will you answer His calling? And will you make sure others hear it?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Secret of Strata: How the Fossil Record is Evidence of Creation

We read it in the textbooks. We see it on TV. The myth that strata actually proves Evolution is a serious misunderstanding. When examined closely, strata layers actually point to Creation!

The Evolutionists claim that strata (layered sedimentary rocks) are created over long periods of time. As millions of years pass, sand and other minerals are laid down, creating the layers that allegedly represent the certain periods of time they were deposited. For an example, one layer may have been laid down over a period of 50 millions years, the next over a period of 80 million years, and so on. According to their theory, these layers are like pages in a geological history book; we can find out about our earth 300 million years ago by examining the layer laid down at that time.

So, how do they prove their point? It all has to do with the fossils buried in strata. Many fossils can be found in the layers of strata rock; fossils of animals, plants, shells, footprints and more. Evolutionists believe that creatures were buried and fossilized over time, and depending on which strata layer they are found in, so their age is. Excitedly they refer to this as proof of Evolution; every few million years, they see a newer, more complex organism in the strata record. A fish may be in one layer. Then a reptile in the next! This must be proof that fish evolved into reptiles! Well, I'll return to that thought soon.

But first, what do Creationists believe about strata? A Creationist view says that instead of millions of years, most of the strata were laid down in a matter of months. That's right. Months. Instead of sediments being slowly deposited, Creationists believe they were suddenly and violently packed together in a catastrophic, world-wide flood (Genesis 6-8). On it's own, that may sound hard to believe, but evidence for this idea is much stronger than evidence toward the Evolutionists' idea.

Firstly, in spite of how Evolutionists may argue, the fossils are rarely in perfect order, according to their theory. Many “more advanced” species have been found next to, or even beneath their “ancestors”. Secondly, Charles Darwin predicted in his book, The Origin of Species, that if his Theory of Evolution was correct, “the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [must] be truly enormous”. Yet never – I repeat, never – out of the 100 million fossils discovered in 150 years – has one single transitional fossil been found. There are no half-fish, half-reptiles, or half-monkeys, half-men. Certainly many fossils have been found that were thought to be transitional, but each time they were later rejected, and instead accepted as one species. Heribert-Nilsson, a scientist of Lund University in Sweden, said after forty years of studying paleontology and botany that “the deficiencies [the missing links] are real; they will never be filled.”

I can imagine that if Darwin himself were here today, he'd hold up his hands and say, “Never mind! My theory is wrong after all.” Yet scientists still devote their lives to finding those missing links – and as Heribert-Nilsson said, they will never be found.

Another puzzler for Evolutionists is the existence of polystrate fossils; fossilized trees that shoot upwards through layers of strata! If the Theory of Evolution is true, then these trees stood upright for millions of years while rock and sediments slowly covered them! Of course that is impossible, and such “mysteries” are mostly kept hush-hush from the public, lest faith in the Evolutionary Theory begins to waver.

Unknown to most people, strata actually can be created in a short period of time. An example would be the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, a volcano in Washington, state, where the hot ejecta flattened forests and gorged deep canyons, like mini-versions of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and created layers of strata that represented days and weeks – not millions of years.

Another thing most people don't know is that fossils don't just happen. In other words, if an animal dies, it doesn't stay intact as sediments slowly cover it and preserve it for millions of years. If scavengers don't devour it as soon as dies, it will rot instead, and it certainly won't become a fossil. Very special conditions are required for fossilization, including rapid burial and high pressure; both of which would be present in a world-wide flood.

Although fossils are not in perfect order according to the Evolutionary theory, they do tend to appear in the strata with smaller and slower animals generally beneath the larger and faster ones. Why is this so? Well, this makes perfect sense in a flood. As Vance Ferrell says in his pro-Creation book, The Evolution Handbook: “When the Flood overwhelmed the world, the first to be covered were slow-moving animals, the next to be covered were somewhat larger, somewhat faster-moving animals, and so it went.” The quickly rising flood waters would result in quick deaths, quick burials, high pressure, and ultimately, lots of fossils.

In conclusion, the strata record clearly does not point to Evolution, but to sudden catastrophe, and to the Biblical world-wide flood. And if the Bible was right about the flood, there's a fair chance it was also right about creation – and the Creator – and our submission due to Him.

Sources Consulted

Ferrell, Vance, The Evolution Handbook, Altamont, TN: Evolution Facts, Inc., 2005

Steele, DeWitt, and Gregory Parker, Science of the Physical Creation, Pensacola, Florida: A Beka Book, 1996

Richards, Lawrence O., It Couldn't Just Happen, Nashville, TN: Tommy Nelson, Inc., 1989

Mount St. Helens: Explosive Evidence for Catastrophe, (Steve Austin, Ph.D.), Institute for Creation Research