Compass Trip to Israel

I just returned from a trip to Israel, and I’m waiting right now for that next-day 3:00pm jet lag feeling to hit. Just a few more minutes, I think. I took 1300 pictures; I plan on posting a few of them in the next couple of weeks with my thoughts.

But before I do that, I want to put in a plug for Bill and Susie of who organized a flawless Mediterranean cruise to the Holy Land sites. Transportation, food, and stimulating bible studies were all provided so all we had to do is show up, eat and pray.

Before we booked this trip, I searched the web for reviews of Compass. I didn’t find many, which is a shame since they’re approaching 50 trips to Israel. So here’s a plug for this fine organization.


Last year I traveled more than usual. I mean, I traveled a lot. I paid Italian income taxes, and the Customs agents at Schipol Airport know me by name.

And when I started traveling, I stepped down from teaching bible study at my church. They have this weird rule that if you’re not there, you’re not allowed to teach.

But last night I had a dream. You know that dream almost everybody has that they’re just arrived in their university class and they didn’t study for the test? I had that dream, except I showed up to teach but I hadn’t studied. The topic was on ‘Trust’ and I was going to have to wing it.

I think that means it’s time to volunteer again.

God Satisfies

It’s a rainy Monday, Labor Day afternoon. I’m reading, surfing, playing, working, whatever I feel like. If only every day could be like this – spend a couple of hours working, then when you feel like it, see what’s going on in the Texans kicking team, checking movie schedules, writing a snooty email to a vendor.

But in my surfing – and I still know how I got here, I clicked here then here then here – I came across a paragraph that stopped me. Enough to make my first post in over a month, too.

When I am lonely, I ultimately want God. When I am sad, only God can bring true joy. When I am afraid, it points me to the promises of God. When I feel rejected, unwanted, unloved, alone, in all these needs, God alone will bring true and lasting peace.

But, when I’m hungry, I want a cheeseburger and some fries.

We turn to God when we are emotional or spiritually hungry. When in the pits of despair, many of us have learned to turn to God to sustenance that only He can provide.

But when it comes to our bodies, well, hey, that’s different. That’s my body to do with as I please. It’s mine, I tell you.

God has bigger plans for all of us. Most of those plans sit unused while we whine to God for Him to open a door for us. But time after time in the bible, God shows His will by guiding His ceation, not by pushing His creation. Take a look at Joshua 3:1-17 sometime; the Levites were to cross the river Jordan. But God had the priests step into the river first, then God stopped the water. God is there, but faith and trust in Him often requires *us* to open the door. Trust me, God will let me know if I’ve opened the wrong door.

Our bigger plans are often thwarted because we don’t trust God to meet those physical needs. We’re good with giving Him our fears and loneliness and pain – or at least, sometimes we are – but when it comes to physical needs – intimacy, hunger, a job – well, we’ll handle that ourselves, thank you very much.

I cansee where I’ve taken control of my own life, and I resolve to do better to trust in God to meet all needs, not just pick and choose needs that God is allowed to have. He knows better than I what I need, it’s time to trust in Him to provide.

Town Celebrates Christmas Without Any Christianity

The town of Dundee has decided to celebrate Christmas, but is removing any reference to Christmas or Christianity. Christmas lights are now Winter Night Lights.

Then there’s this –

And, instead of the traditional nativity story, the festival will feature a solar-powered disco, a continental market, a circus and a fairy on stilts.

Oh good. Baby Jesus replaced by a fairy on stilts.

Go get your own dang holiday. Christmas is for Christ.

Conviction versus Tolerance

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12: A wreath of pla...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

My wife showed me an article this week; I *think* it was from the Museum of Natural History, but I can’t be sure. The article was mostly well-written and talked about how by a very early age, 6 months, humans begin rational thinking. Babies know that hidden objects haven’t disappeared but are still there, that sort of thing.

Then the author went into how some knowledge is influenced by our environment and is wrong, though it takes critical thinking to see the flaws. Children know that object fall down, but trying to picture us on a spherical planet is harder, and children want to know why people on the other side of the planet don’t fall off.

Then the author discussed how also at a very early age we learn to trust adults over other children and some adults more than others, and how we trust our parents over scientists.

Then came the twist. Most Americans believe Darwinism has flaws, and God created the world. Children believe God created animals, even if they are the children of atheists.

The conclusion was that humans that doubt Darwin must be flat-earthers and must be trained to trust scientists over their parents. Obviously I have a problem with that.

Dr. Young has a wonderful essay today in the Houston Chronicle about the intolerance of the psuedo-tolerant and how we can stand by our convictions and yet be tolerant of those intolerant toward us. But part of his essay lists scientists who doubt Darwin.

Darwinian evolution is a major doctrine in the humanist religion at whose altars so many of America’s supplicants of political correctness bow. The keepers of the high PC religion apparently don’t want students to know that scientists like Henry Schaefer (nominated five times for the Nobel Prize), Fred Sigworth, Robert Kaita, Dean Kenyon, Carl Koval, William Dembski, Siegfried Scherer, David DeWitt, Theodore Liss, William Pelletier, Muzaffar Iqbal, Walter Bradley, Theodore Saito, Marvin Fritzler, Keith Delaplane, Clarence Fouche, Hugh Nutley, Fazal Rana, and 82 others signed a statement reading, “I am skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

I would suppose, if the museum article had read this, that the author would then suggests that not all scientists are trustworthy and must be vetted against Political Correctness first. Which is also Dr. Young’s point, that those with convictions are systematically being excluded from the secular debate because people with convictions infuriate those that call themselves “tolerant.”

This is why I am not only against government intrusion in my life but I also want a realistic alternative to government funded public schooling. The government will choose what our children are taught, regardless of whether the parents care for that teaching. *And* we’re forced to pay for it through our taxes. I want to redirect my taxes toward schools that reflect the morals and values I hold.

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