Archive for the 'Supernatural' Category

Your Spiritual Footprint

Some time ago, I was studying the Word and I was distressed over our climate and how we seem to be gradually destroying our environment. In particular, I was thinking about those articles that talk about reducing your carbon footprint to help out the environment. Now, I try to be a good citizen and neighbor and I’m constantly trying out more energy-efficient and earth-preserving things, like fancy light bulbs (and solar power for the house, which we have), recycling, growing food, pesticide-free gardening to help the bees, but it all seems overwhelming. I mean, after all, who am I but just one person? Do I really make a difference?

Then I heard the Lord say, “Okay, I get what you’re thinking about your carbon footprint, but what about your spiritual footprint? What are you sowing for others in our kingdom? What are you doing to spread my love and my word?”

This got me thinking hard about the term “spiritual footprint”? If our actions, in this world, create a physical “carbon footprint,” doesn’t it make sense that our actions, thoughts, behaviors in the world also create a “spiritual footprint?” More importantly, our spiritual footprint affects not only the supernatural aspect of things, it can also definitely affect how you continue to participate in the natural world. Think about it, spirituality is largely invisible and so is the supernatural world, and so, of course, what we do spiritually is going to have some effect there. But we also see the manifestations in our physical world of things we do in and for the spiritual world. In fact, there’s a huge overlap. For instance, prayer is activated in the physical world and the spiritual world at the same time when we pray out loud or silently, but then the answer to prayer, which might be immediate in the supernatural, becomes part of our natural world manifestation of the whole act. Thus, our spiritual footprint is affected in both realms.

We create our spiritual footprint by everything we do in the world, — whom we touch, whom we are kind to, how we act toward all of God’s people (saved and unsaved), how we share the pearls of wisdom given to us by God, whether we act selflessly instead of selfishly. In fact, every seemingly insignificant thing can affect your spiritual footprint. Moreover, each of those things can have enormously good or devastatingly bad consequences. By the way, watch out for the bad stuff – it’s like throwing a tiny cigarette butt out of a car window that can’t even be seen from the road, but that leads to an enormous forest fire. Every tiny, seemingly insignificant action forms at least a part of our spiritual footprint. Because these actions can be positive or negative, it’s up to us to constantly see what we’re doing in the natural world and thinking about ramifications in the spiritual world.

And sometimes it’s not the action itself, but the motivation behind it. I might give to the homeless, but if my motivation is one of glorifying myself, then I’ve messed up my spiritual footprint even though I’ve done something that the world might say or think is good.

Lately I’ve been taking an inventory to write down what I’ve done for others or when I’ve shown or talked about God to others, along with my motivations. Also, I’ve been writing down the instances when I can remember being unbecoming of a follower of Jesus. I try to do it daily, and then I ask, “Which list is bigger?” When I have things on the negative side – the list messing up my spiritual footprint – I ask the Lord to forgive me and to bless anyone on that list whom I have harmed. Then I tear it up. That’s how I remind myself of God’s forgiveness, which is a reminder of God forgetting our sins as an act of grace.

One day we’ll meet the Father and we’ll become instantly aware of the entirety of our spiritual footprints. Let’s work together to make sure they’re the kinds of footprints that reflect our belief in God and our following of Jesus Christ.

What’s Up — Your Library

Over the weekend, Tim read an obituary in which the writer said, “Every time a person dies, it’s like a library burns down.” The gist of that statement was that each person, at any particular time in their life, has a huge amount of knowledge, skills, talents, gifts, and revelations – provided to them by God – that don’t necessarily get experienced by anyone in this world after the person’s death. Think about yourself. You have this huge amount of knowledge – true gifts that nobody else has – that we would lose if you were to die tomorrow. This struck me as an even bigger tragedy based on the high cost of our losing over 100,000 people to Covid-19, seeing innocent persons murdered by police, and noticing the unnecessary loss of life for any other reason on any particular day.

The good news is that as followers of Christ, this information – these skills, talents, gifts, and revelations – are not lost when we die, but continue on as we get to live in eternity with Christ. Nevertheless, I’m interested in seeing the things in your library in this life. And to make sure I walk the walk, I’m going to start putting more information on this blog (like shorter pieces) just to let you see a bit of what’s in my library. I’ll probably just title these things “What’s Up,” like I did above.

So, over the weekend, I started watching free online classes from Dallas Theological Seminary, which you can find here. There are about 16 of them so far, but I’m going through the one on Revelation while I also press into a bunch of my more, shall I say, “spirit filled” materials. One thing this pandemic has done is open my eyes to all the resources out there from which you can press into God. Lots of seminaries are doing lots of great things, so check it out. I asked Tim what he watched yesterday, and he said he “went off on a tangent” by watching one of his favorite apologists – William Lane Craig – in a fascinating interview about all manner of things by a guy named Matt Frad on a show called “Pints With Aquinas,” which you can find here.

What was interesting about the two things was that we had a short discussion on miracles, modern-day prophets, and healings, and realized that we came up with the same answers on various theological issues despite our different paths.

Keep pressing into God, Saints!

A Supernatural 2016 Election?

I’ve been really busy and so I’ve been having a hard time lately with this blog. For the most part, that’s because I really only ever wanted to talk about positive things, and not get down in the negative gutter about Christian issues. Even though I occasionally rag on Darwin Speak, I do it to uplift people so that they won’t let anyone tear God down.

But lately the only stuff in the news deals with the ugliest presidential election I’ve ever seen. This has been weighing on me, so I’m going to post this one negative blog and be done with it.

The other day, Donald Trump was at a rally where he asked all “Conservative Christians” to raise their hands. Apparently, he thinks all “Conservative Christians” are for him, because when some didn’t raise their hands, he said, “Well, I suppose we can let them stay,” or something like that. In the story about this meeting, the reporter also talked about Trump’s support by “Evangelical Christians.” All these labels got me thinking about a few basic notions.

I’ve posted this first notion many, many times, so it shouldn’t be a surprise; I’m sick of the term “Conservative Christians.” If Jesus were here, he would undoubtedly show people that he is extremely conservative on some things, and extremely liberal on others. People who identify as “Conservative Christians” only, are thus missing exactly half the message. “Conservative Christians,” to me, are probably better defined as “Political Christians,” and I would never want to be called that. Political Christians use the Bible only when it suits their interests. They pick choose, and in no way did Jesus ever say, “You can use whatever suits you – feel free to disregard some of my teachings if they don’t line up with your world.”

This next notion, though, is new to this blog, which deals with what it means to be an “Evangelical Christian.” To me, if you’re an Evangelical Christian, then you believe in the Bible and all it teaches, and you feel you have a responsibility to help others understand the good news presented in it. That much is clear. But if you believe in the Bible and all it teaches, you must be able to see that the Republican nominee for president is about as far away from the Bible and what it teaches – about as far away from Jesus as a model – as someone can possibly be. In a previous blog, I already wrote that one of the central tenants of Donald Trump’s existence is his belief in doing unto others as or before they do unto you, which is, by the way, a central tenet of Satanism. And since I wrote that blog, I’ve seen one thing after another that makes me think that he could care less about any person other than himself. Certainly not his neighbor, and certainly not God. In short, there’s virtually nothing that this nominee does that in any way looks or feels like something Jesus would do (by the way, I wrote this draft about a week ago – before the amazingly vulgar things reported yesterday). The Bible talks about recognizing certain people by their fruits, and by fruits it doesn’t mean money, or structures, or any other natural world things. It means by their spiritual fruits. Unfortunately, in the case of Mr. Trump, the fruit tree is incredibly barren, maybe even dead. Yes, God loves Donald Trump, and yes, Evangelical Christians should attempt to reach him and minister to him. But for goodness sake, they should never vote for him.

Now this last notion is based on the fact that this blog is designed for Christians, and, in particular, Christians who are charismatic and open to the supernatural in their lives. If you aren’t, then I can guarantee that you’ll simply find what I have to say silly. But here goes. In supernatural and charismatic circles, I’m what’s called a prophet in the church, which only means that I’m really good at sensing good and evil in people and situations around me. And folks, let me tell you that the Republican nominee for president of the United States is operating mostly – if not entirely – out of evil. Some say he has a demon, which is probably true since most demons are incredibly dumb and often tip their hands, which makes them easier to spot. No, I don’t think he’s the antichrist, because the antichrist is supposed to be pretty smart.

But here’s the bigger deal, supernaturally speaking. We all know that God runs everything, and so if this nominee – a person who continually, day after day, does about a million things that would normally disqualify any other candidate for doing only one – actually wins this election, you will most definitely know that it’s a supernatural event. And if it’s that much of a big-deal, supernatural event, then watch out because that means that God wanted him in there for a reason. I believe we’re getting quite close to what we all call the End Times, and electing a president who is more capable than most of triggering events leading to those End Times is something that actually makes a bit of sense in an otherwise crazy, nonsensical election.

Oh, and because someone once questioned my street cred, politically speaking, I should tell you that my family is and was incredibly political. My grandfather was Republican Party Chairman for Kansas and ran around with Alf Landon, who was the Republican nominee for President in 1936. My dad was the state’s youngest party chairman ever, and gave a nominating speech at the Republican National Convention in 1968. I grew up attending conventions, party meetings, and various political campaign events. I worked on countless campaigns before I knew any better, and a presidential campaign when I did know better. My brother worked on two. I’ve been registered as a Republican since I was 18, even though I don’t always vote that way and I vote so less and less every year.

I say all this merely to note that in the natural world I suppose I’m a Republican. In the supernatural world, though, I’m a follower of Jesus, which means I’m neither Republican nor Democrat. I’m a follower of Jesus. I suppose most would call that a Christian, and maybe even an Evangelical or Charismatic Christian, but I’m definitely not “conservative” or a “liberal” Christian. And in any event, I can’t possibly vote for Donald Trump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psychics and the Bible

psychic

I was reading a magazine on a plane when I saw an article in which a Colorado county boasted that it had “not one, not two, but three psychic and healing centers,” which offer classes for the “spiritually attuned.”  According to the article, the classes allow students to examine “chakras, past lives, and aura layers . . . metaphysical spiritual tools . . . and the ‘child spirits’ interested in the person.”

Unlike atheists, who would fundamentally disagree with me on practically all points supernatural, the people running these physic centers do believe in the supernatural, they just believe in a non-biblical version. I call it non-biblical, but that doesn’t mean that the Bible doesn’t recognize that these practices exist; indeed, in many places in the Bible people are warned not to practice the mystical, occult arts – the kind of supernatural practices that don’t always recognize God and that certainly don’t bring you closer to Him.

That warning is for good reason. When you realize that the supernatural is a real thing, then you see quite quickly that followers of Jesus practice a completely different version of it than people in psychic centers. Accordingly, you have to decide which version is correct. A psychic’s non-biblical version might have you messing around with spirit guides or inner children, fully believing that they’re good for you. But in the Biblical version, these spirits are likely demons, out to kill and destroy you. Revelation 21:8 warns that the price for those who practice the magic arts is the second death in fire. In the spiritual war, choosing the right side is a must.

God warns us throughout the Bible not to do a lot of things for our own good, like a good mother or father would warn their children in the natural world. And because He loves us, he even tells us the penalty for choosing wrong. And He’s pretty specific about the occult.

Denise’s book, 7 Spiritual Truths and the Lies that Hide Them, begins with the spiritual truth that the supernatural actually exists. Psychics know this, but by practicing the version condemned in the Bible, they’re undoubtedly – and clearly unwittingly – choosing the wrong side of the spiritual war.

Particle Physics and God

particle

I recently watched a fascinating documentary called “Particle Fever” that chronicles the search for the Higgs boson, which is sometimes called the “God Particle.”  The nickname is a bit controversial, but it shouldn’t get in the way of the substance of the documentary and the interesting all-or-nothing scenario that it set up.

You see, right now scientists explain the universe mostly by using a theory called the “Standard Model” of theoretical particle physics, which has been very good at predicting much of what experiments in physics have actually found. As described by the various scientists in the documentary, formulation of the Standard Model is the result of roughly 400 years of work, in which scientists have gradually found that the universe is something enormous yet simple, seemingly complex yet incredibly elegant and symmetrical. Indeed, symmetry (in the sense of how parts might integrate into a whole, might remain consistent and or unchanged despite any kind of transformation, and can exist independent of specific dynamics) is the kind of elegant order that begins to hint most strongly toward intelligent design, or God.

In addition, the Standard Model relies on what are called “fundamental constants,” which are numbers that determine the entire structure of the universe. Now these constants get pretty complicated, but for now just realize that everyone – from God-believing scientists to complete and total atheists – understand that these numbers are far too precise to be based on chance in just this universe. In the documentary, one scientist explained that his knowledge of this incredibly precise fine tuning naturally led him to question whether he was wrong about everything he had learned and believed on some fundamental level. What he meant was that it’s hard, if not impossible, to square this incredible precision with a Godless universe. It’s that exact.

Now if you make enough scientists question their worldviews, you’ll end up getting a new scientific theory so that they don’t have to question those worldviews anymore. And the theory that some scientists ultimately came up with to help them explain this incredible fine tuning is called the “multiverse theory.” That theory speculates that our universe is actually only one of multiple possible universes – so many, like millions or billions (the kinds of numbers evolutionists like to use) that those really precise numbers that make up our fundamental constants might still only be random. If you have a billion universes, so the theory goes, one might randomly end up like our universe – which looks so precise that it must have been created by some intelligent being, but which is really created by chance. This can get a bit complex, too, so if you want to see a more detailed write- up about the multiverse theory versus intelligent design, go here: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/multiverse-and-the-design-argument.

But for now, just realize that the Standard Model absolutely predicted something like the Higgs boson as one of its essential particles, and so the documentary that I watched showed scientists using the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva Switzerland to try to detect it. Everyone figured it was out there, but they had different theories about what it would mean to the universe and, indeed, to the future of physics. And all of that depended on not only finding the Higgs, but also learning its mass.

The reason scientists needed to know its mass was because a “light” Higgs boson is the kind of thing that would correspond to the symmetry of the Standard Model, and even helps lend credence to what’s called “supersymmetry,” in which additional particles might likely be discovered to build a complicated but even more elegant way of describing the universe. A “heavy” Higgs, on the other hand, would tend to point to various theories using the concepts of the multiverse. But here’s the rub: if, in fact, the multiverse theory were to be confirmed, it would mean that everything in our universe might be completely random, caused not by intelligence but chaos. And if that were true, then physicists could never be sure that they’d ever find answers to anything else because the answers to any number of questions in a multiverse theory might only be found in other universes, which means that we might never find them at all. In fact, most everybody in the documentary felt like a heavy Higgs might mean the end of physics altogether. Pretty dramatic, huh?

So the movie came down to this. If the Higgs mass was about 115 times the mass of a proton, it would point to supersymmetry. If it was about 140 times the mass of a proton, it would point to multiverse. Order and elegance versus chaos, or, as some people might speculate, God versus no God.

All of this is interesting, but sometimes I think that people miss the forest for the trees, or the universe for the particles in this case. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he wrote: “For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) We have been without excuse since creation, and now we have even less of an excuse to clearly see and know the existence and glory of God. Back in the day, scientists like Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Francis Bacon, Blaise Pascal, Louis Pasteur, and countless others worked within their knowledge and belief of the existence of God and with the notion that their discoveries were guided by God. The famous astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler, wrote, “I see how God is, by my endeavors, also glorified in astronomy, for ‘the heavens declare the glory of God.’” (quoting Psalm 19:1).

Why, then, do so many people miss what is so obvious to others? Why do they reject the notion of God so adamantly that they’ll create theory after theory to debunk any idea of intelligent design?  I think the reason is found in two separate scriptures. First, in 2 Peter 3:5, Peter writes that people will “deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.” And through this deliberate forgetfulness, since they “d[o] not know the righteousness that comes from God [and they seek] to establish their own, they [do] not submit to God’s righteousness.” (Romans 10:3) In short, people forget what is obvious to the rest of the world because they simply don’t want to serve anyone. They want to be their own god. But hey, as Bob Dylan once sang, “It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”

Anyway, back to the Higgs and the documentary. Now I personally don’t need to know the mass of a particle to convince me that God exists. And I assume that if the Higgs came back light and the multiverse theory was somehow discredited, people who simply don’t want to believe in God would figure out some other theory to cast doubt. But leave it to God Himself to remind us who is in control here. Because when they ultimately found the Higgs – and they did – its mass was exactly dead center between 115 and 140, which left both sides scratching their heads. We thought we had it all figured out. We thought it was all or nothing. But God said it was neither. It was something else entirely. It’s not so much the “God Particle” as it is simply one of God’s particles. Like everything else, God created the Higgs, and its mass is what it is. Now deal with it.

And finally, why in the world would I write about this interesting natural world drama in a blog about the supernatural? Well, because in the middle of the documentary, during one of the trial runs for the Large Hadron Collider as they were counting down toward the test, something truly fascinating happened. During that countdown from five to one, at just around minute 27:51 of the documentary, the camera cut to a young scientist waiting for the test to begin. And as the countdown reached three, she closed her eyes and briefly bowed her head. I think she prayed.


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