Month: January 2017

Atoms Display the Brilliance of God

“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” -Colossians 1:16

Did you know approximately 7 billion billion billon atoms are in your body? This number is virtually incomprehensible to the mind. To give you a mental picture of how incredibly small atoms are, imagine picking up a grain of sand at a beach. That grain comprises more atoms than the number of grains of sand on the entire beach.

Today, with a scanning tunneling microscope, we can take individual atoms and create images. The most famous example is the Japanese characters for “atom” were written with iron atoms on a copper surface. If all the words in the Library of Congress – 35 million books, occupying 840 miles, were written in letters the size of these Japanese characters, they would fit within a radius of a pencil eraser.

You might think the world we know can’t get any smaller, but it does. Within each atom, there are subatomic particles: electrons, protons, and neutrons. Protons and neutrons also have elementary particles that exist within them called quarks.

And electrons are crucially important because they determine how strongly atoms hold its electrons. For example, if electrons had a smaller charge, atoms would not be stable. On the other hand, if electrons had too great of a charge, atoms wouldn’t be able to form compounds and exchange and share their electrons. Without this diversity, life would not be possible.

Contrary to popular belief, the natural world cries out the brilliance of God. The sophistication, artistry, and complexity of the atomic world should turn any skeptic into an ardent worshipper of God. Unfortunately, despite all the evidence, people still deny the existence of their Maker. I do not pretend to understand the mind of a skeptic, but if I were a scientist in the natural world, my belief in God would be stronger than it is today.

When Jesus told his followers that even if “one were to rise from the dead” people would still be doubtful (Lk. 16:31). In other words, Jesus told the rich man that extraordinary events are not enough to convince a person the truth concerning God.

As I study Chemistry and immerse myself into the natural world, I find it to be more extraordinary than a physical resurrection from the dead. To sit here on a computer as a human being composed of billions and billions of atoms while writing letters in a logical sequence (that hopefully makes sense to my readers), blows my mind. Wow. God exists. To convince me otherwise would be a hard endeavor.

If you doubt God, study science. Explore the natural world. Think logically. I will end with Jeremiah 29:13. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” God bless you.

God Counsels with a Loving Eye

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” -Psalm 32:8

There are 4 key words in this passage: instruct, teach, counsel, and love. It is God’s love, however, that makes all the difference. Just as faith without works is dead (Jam. 2:14), instruction, teaching, and counseling without love is lifeless.

As a former pastor, I counseled a variety of people. I distinctly remember an older gentlemen who had complained about marital issues. His wife badgered him for not having a job, cleaning the dishes, and failing to pay the bills. His self-esteem suffered in the process.

He would come into my office with a barrel full of tears, crying: “I really wish I could help my wife out, but I am physically unfit. My multiple surgeries and heart issues deter me from accomplishing simple tasks.”

As a young man, I was intimidated to offer instruction and advice to an individual twice my age. But I reminded myself that God is the one who counsels. This thought alleviated my fear and I began to teach him from the Bible how to solve his circumstance.

I believe the most important verse I asked him to memorize in our counseling sessions was 1 Peter 5:7. “Cast all your anxiety on Jesus because he cares for you.” When he knew God cared for his marriage and anxiety, it made all the difference in the world.

No longer was counseling an impersonal psychological assessment. Instead, counseling became personal. God really does watch over our pain with a “loving eye.”

By simply reminding this man that God desires to build a relationship with Him, it brought to life why instruction, teaching, and counseling are meaningful. It’s because there is a God who wants “all things to work for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).” Do you believe this truth? Then share it with others!

Finding Joy in Pain is Difficult

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the Earth.” -Psalm 100:1.

The year 2016 was the most difficult year of my life. I was involved in a sledding accident that resulted in a mild concussion. A couple months later, my friend from high school passed away. For several weeks, my son Evan was having recurrent fevers and the doctors were unsure of the cause. Shortly thereafter, I resigned from a pastor position at a gracious and loving church for theological reasons.

My family then moved 1,200 miles to start a new life. We left close friends, family, and the town I grew up in. Through all of this, God enabled me to find joy in pain.

These trials, however, pale in comparison to a young man I met today. At the age of 21, he took a year off school to take care of his Dad. I asked him, “How is your Dad doing today?” He replied. “My Dad committed suicide a few months ago.” The only words that could come out of my mouth were: “I am sorry man.”

A few moments later, he shared his pain with me, a complete stranger. I reassured him God has a plan for all our circumstances, no matter how bad they get. He agreed. I also told him it’s okay to grieve. Grieving is a process. It takes time to heal.

After our conversation, I realized there are many people in this world who are hurting. They need to be reminded of what Jesus said in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” God desires to give you rest.

In the end, joy never promises 24/7 happiness, but it does promise hope and peace in the midst of difficulty. Imagine this: Joy is the dove on a tree in the midst of a storm. It offers inner peace, but the storms of life never go away.

Are you looking for joy? If so, cry out to your Creator. As the Psalmist says, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.” That includes you. I promise, you will receive an answer.