God’s Slow-then-Quick (STQ) Style

stq_style

I know.  The title sounds like a Kung Fu special move.  Well, it’s not.

First, watch this to get in the mood:

I’ve noticed the Lord God, being the God that He is has a certain ‘style’.  It seems somewhat disrespectful to say the Lord has ‘style’ but I can’t think of a better way to explain it.  He does certain things a certain way more than once in the Bible and one of them in particular caught my attention.

I was reading about brother Joseph who ended up in the slammer for a really long time for trying to do the right thing.  I mean, he avoided being trapped in adultery (or even the appearance of it) by fleeing the scene and ended up getting imprisoned for a false accusation.  Not cool at all.

But the drama continued.  One day the ol’ Baker, Cup Bearer and the Candlestick Maker (ok the last guy wasn’t there) show up in jail.  Brother Joe correctly interprets their dreams and the Cup Bearer is free to go and promised to promote Joseph to Pharaoh.  No dice.  The Cupster forgets.  And Joseph gets the joy of spending yet more time in the slammer for the same crime he didn’t commit. Very, very uncool.

I was thinking about how much bitterness towards God could have filled his heart and about how many hours he must have spent in sadness and depression over his never-ending jail sentence.

But then it happened.  He was probably sitting there zoned out staring at the wall thinking about how much he wished he could get out of his hopeless life when it happened (underline added):

Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved [himself], and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. (Genesis 41:14)

I picture the episode looking somewhat like this:

The servants of Pharaoh storm in, yell for him, find him, drag him full speed upstairs, throw him in the bathtub, drag him while he’s still buttoning up his last button and toss him in front of Pharaoh where he promptly interprets his dream and becomes Pharaoh’s right hand man.  Just like that.  Boom.  Done.

Real slow…

SLOW

slow_golfer

then a lot of quick..

QUICK

quick_old_golfer

But that wasn’t the only example of the STQ style.

Right after Joseph we see it again when the entire Hebrew Krew get stuck in Egypt as slaves for over 60 years.  This is real slow if you were wondering.

SLOW

slow_golfer

Then, Moses shows up out of nowhere and over the course of a relative blink of an eye this happens:

And thus shall ye eat it; [with] your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it [is] the LORD’S passover. (Exodus 12:11)

Not even time to pack a lunch or shut off the gas valve or turn down the hot water tank and the Lord has them driven out of slavery and out of the land of slavery.

QUICK

quick_old_golfer

Get my point? That’s the STQ style.

I have not done an in depth study on this, but what I expect to find out in my own life and through the experience of others is that the ‘slow times’ make us aware that the fast thing is from the Lord.  Perhaps if the slow wasn’t slow enough, we wouldn’t appreciate the fast deliverance?  I’m not sure.

But what I do know is that the Lord definitely has the STQ style…

Please reply in the comments to add more biblical examples of the STQ style.

 

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Seeking Truth

confidential

In the world there are many lies: some proven, some unproven, some spoken, some unspoken.

At one point I started collecting all of them here in my conspiracy catch-all post.  Sorry for the lack of updates, by the way.

There are negative terms created for people who have an interest in either exposing lies or seeking truth. Even if these terms appear positive, they are applied with a hint of mockery. Terms like ‘conspiracy theorists’, ‘tin hatters‘, ‘truthers’, etc.  I have not yet found a positive term for such a person, incidentally.  Perhaps the the least negative term I’ve heard is ‘eccentric’.

But one should not be surprised.  Satan (if you believe he exists) is the father of lies and has much authority here on earth until a certain undisclosed date at which point his kingdom and power shall end.  Until then, however, it should come as no surprise that people who live and promote lies seem to enjoy favour and benefits.  Conversely, it should come as no surprise that someone who investigates any of these potential lies too deeply would be girdled with negative titles and even ostracized as those with the most to lose, tend to be in control.

And for sure, I just lost at least 50% of the readers who won’t entertain the concept of a Creator or God in their lives.  No problem.  I welcome you back later to read this post.  All in due season…

Everyone on earth has a subconscious knowledge that everything is broken and corrupt to the core.  For some topics (ie. a presidential election, 9/11, privacy invasions, government controls, the monetary system, GMO foods, fluoride in water, etc) the issues have so many clear proofs and/or affect their daily lives so they are unable to avoid them and ultimately need to acknowledge them, possibly even taking action.  For other topics (ie. chem trails, flat earth, the existence of God and Satan, aliens, etc) there is either a lack of data available and/or the topic requires faith – a substance which cannot be purchased or conjured up.

Anyone who takes the step to explore truth about any of these topics, is free to do so.  They are told by most people in their circle of influence things like, ‘it’s a free world’ or ‘fill your boots’ or ‘go to town’.  At this point the truther (let’s use this term because quite frankly I like it) is somewhat encouraged and starts to dig deeper in the topic.  They start to share their ideas with friends, family and co-workers, and some of the truthers rock their proverbial boats and the status quo while ruffling their proverbial feathers, if you will.  It is at this point where the mighty chasm is dug.  As they peel the layers of lies away they realize there really is something here – and the feel compelled to share their findings with others.  I mean, after all, if you care about those around you and you’ve discovered that the air they are breathing is poison, it would only seem reasonable to offer them a gas mask to spare them from imminent destruction.

But, sadly, it seems non-truthers (I need a better term for that… lie-lovers? Nope. Too insulting… Even-Keelers? Nope.  Not clear enough.  Sheeple? Nope.  I don’t like the negative terminology as the Bible says we are the sheep of God’s hand. Lemmings…. really close but still a bit insulting.  Rat-racers?  Close again but used associated more with economics… The problem here is that there are ‘partial truthers’ out there and lots of them. They just may not be willing to look at some specific topics because the implications are too great.  We need a clear term to apply to someone when they are not ready (yet) to investigate (in detail) a topic.  Pardon the digression but I believe I have found a good term:

“The un-inclined” (hyphen added for clarity)

“an un-incliner”

I like this term because it simply means ‘not ready or willing to look at this topic (yet)”

Back to the topic…

…But sadly, it seems that the un-incliners of the world need to be in the right season of their lives, or have something happen to them to entertain the topic.  Whether you are discussing the existence of God or whether the earth is flat or round, it requires someone to be inclined to look at the topic in a certain amount of depth.  Some of the topics out there have too many implications to investigate and/or the person has already established a seemingly unbreakable position and there is little or no reason to discuss the topic with said person.

Example 1

A man was a drug addict unable to break the chains of addiction.  In his direct experience an unseen God enters his life, transforms him and removes his desire for the drugs.

It would be quite difficult to try to explain to this man that God is not real.

Example 2

A man has spent all of his life studying about the cosmos in accordance with the textbooks of modern science.  He has invested his time, his money, and his reputation into this topic.  He has even written articles with theories about how there could be life on other planets and how black holes might exist.  He knows everything about this topic and has acronyms after his name to back it up.

It would be a challenging conversation to try to have him entertain the thought that the earth could be flat and that the cosmos may not work the way he and the people around him believe it to work.

I have been thinking about how there has been no other generation like ours.  The only comparable generation I could find was the one that existed when the Gutenberg press came out.  The ability for us to instantly insert the thoughts and questions of our minds into a search engine and find someone who agrees or disagrees with us is absolutely incredible.

The ability for institutions to control, restrict, or limit truth has been nearly extinguished.  On the other hand, the ability for like-minded people to assemble (whether virtually or in person) and share their information and findings is difficult to stop.

It is most exciting when I go out and I hear people talking about stuff that might otherwise be hidden from public view.  Although it by nature carries with it the probability that liars can and will propagate a lie just as quickly, or a way of thinking, it also allows for those who seek the truth on a topic to find it on their own and with others on the same path.

Jesus said: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”

Jesus Himself is the foundation of all truth.

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Flat Earth: Can We Trust Maps and Directions?

ball_meets_gleason_image

I was reading my Bible today when I encountered scripture that used the word ‘north’.  In the past, as soon as I would hear this word, the following two images would pop in my head:

compass

map_flat

My mind would automatically do this:

map_flat_north_up

But today, I started thinking about computer programming. If you code something in a computer to spit out a certain result, it doesn’t necessarily mean the result you see is true.  You could create a computer script that does this:

  1. Display question on screen: “2+2 = ?”
  2. If the person types “4”, then display on screen: “Sorry. You are incorrect. The correct answer is 3.”
  3. If the person types “3” then display on screen: “Correct! You got it right, champ!”

And so at the end of the day, if we are using a system created by man, we must, to a certain extent, trust the man and the system, which is, as we all know, problematic.

And so I starting thinking.  What if the face of the compass was shifted under the glass?  The physical needle still moves but the man who makes the compass simply shifts where the “N” is.  Suddenly, if we trust the compass, the world could look like this:

map_flat_north_shifted

And that is just the 2D map.

What about the supposed pictures taken by NASA of our earth from space?  This next composite images are famous and shows that the continents and their proportions never look the same twice:

2015-how-bigisthe-earth_nasa

Then, I went back to my Bible and started to look up the four cardinal directions to discover the following, and please click the links to see the Hebrew roots:

North: ‘tsaphown‘ meaning both ‘north’ and ‘hidden, dark, obscure region’ or even ‘northward’

East (1): ‘qidmah‘ meaning both ‘east’ and ‘the forward/front part’

East (2): ‘qedem‘ meaning both ‘east’ and ‘antiquity’

South: ‘negeb‘ meaning both ‘south’ and ‘dry and parched’ and ‘the southern area of Judah called ‘Nekeb’

West: ‘yam’ meaning ‘west’ and a whole list of seas (named) and ‘sea’ in general and – go figure – ‘mighty river (Nile)’ as well.

Hopefully by now from the list above you can make the connect between these cardinal definitions and my point about the compass.  If not, here are some probing questions:

  • Who made ‘north’ north?
  • Should the word ‘north’ have been translated as ‘cardinal hard direction north’ or ‘dark hidden region’?
  • Is ‘north’ the same for everyone on the earth?
  • Upon which map was ‘north’ plotted?
  • Is this map correct?

Let’s start with the map to make sure you caught up to speed.

Is the current map we use even the correct map?  Here is an enjoyable intro video to the topic to make sure you have not assumed ‘yes’ to be the answer:

Here is a fairly exhaustive link to a whole bunch of maps that are all, according to the author, incorrect:

LINK TO OVERVIEW OF MAPS AND THEIR ACCURACY AND TRUTH

But there is another map missing from this article and most other discussions and that is the Gleason’s map which is arguably not only more accurate but very intriguing in the fact that it perfectly matches our 24 our clock face – as do the time zones.  Take a few minutes with this flat earth-minded person who discusses the map and does some comparing and contrasting to our currently taught map:

Now let’s circle back (pardon cheap pun) to the compass.

If the very maps we use have clear problems including lies, opinions, political and social agendas, and more, and it is upon these maps which the coordinates of where we are and where we are going are plotted, then one really needs to ask oneself:

WHERE IN THE WORLD AM I, ANYWAY?

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Wayne’s Random Vegan Lowish Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Vegan. Low(ish) sugar

+++ Wayne's Random Dairy-Free Somewhat Low-Sugar Oatmeal Cookie Things +++



 ** In a small/medium mixing bowl, stick a strainer thing on top and add:

-->1 cup of whole wheat flour

-->1 teaspoon (or more?) cinnamon

-->1 pinch of nutmeg

-->1 teaspoon of baking soda

**In another bigger bowl add:

-->1/4 cup brown sugar

-->1/4 cup white sugar (note that some have reduced this further with satisfaction)

-->1/2 cup of oil (I use whatever kind of oil is there, ha)

**Cream that bad boy up with your whipper machine thing that beats (note that some use a manual whisk...)

**Add to this liquidy oily mess:

-->1 teaspoon (maybe?) of vanilla extract fake stuff

-->2 breakfast cereal spoons of almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk or I
guess milk-milk if you like drinking cow milk

**blend it again.

**Dump in the flour mix.

**blend it again

Fold in:

-->3/4 cup of oats and then

-->1/4 cup of raisins (or more... or less..depends on how much you love raisins?)

make cookie balls

flatten them on a cookie tray (or don't) and then bake those bad boys
for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees (F? C?)
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Flat Earth vs Globe Earth: Why it Should Matter to Christians

flat-earth-image

You may have read my more general post called Flat Earth vs. Globe Earth and Why it Matters to You

This was a more generic discussion of the topic focusing on some of the challenges one faces when starting down the journey – Bible believer or not.

I would like to now address a more specific matter: Why the Flat Earth Should Matter to Bible Believing Christians.

I used the word ‘should’ for a very specific reason: there are many, many things in the Bible that form answers to the question “Who am I?”  Does the question ‘Who am I?” matter to you?  If not, there’s an exit at the back of the hall with the sign ‘Refiners Fire’ above the door.  Go there and then come back when you’re done.  You need some more time in the flames and disappointments of life, apparently.  For the rest of us who have already figured out that there must be more to life than the duplication of cells on a petri dish, let’s continue.

I have heard the following statements from well-meaning believers around town when I asked them to consider the flat earth:

  • It’s not a priority topic like salvation through Jesus
  • The Bible is not meant to be a scientific book
  • It doesn’t affect my faith in God so it’s not a priority for me

Does the answer to the question ‘who am I?’ matter?  It matters more than life itself.  Some people will cross continents, jump out of planes (with parachutes), do wild and death-dancing drugs, get married more than once because the one they married wasn’t their ‘soul mate’, etc, etc.  Some will even, tragically, kill themselves should they not in time find the answer to the question.

Indeed the answer to the question is more important than life itself.  We are here for a short time and what we do here is dictated by who we are.  If you think you are a meaningless piece of randomness floating through space just lucky enough to have ended up on the one floating ball with life on it, you will probably view the world a certain way and behave in accordance with those beliefs.  On the other hand if you believe that the earth is a flat stage and the entire cosmos  with the sun and moon was designed for you, spins around you, and was designed for you, you might act in yet a different way.  If you thought you were the afterthought of a ballot box shook up and thankfully chosen to not not exist, you might act one way.  However, if you thought that a Great Composer composed your life as a dramatic symphony for you, or an Amazing Artist painted this world as a piece of artwork for you and with only you in mind, you might think and act differently.

The answer to ‘Who am I?” is more important than life itself for if you don’t know who you are and why you are here – how then can you live at all?

So who are you anyway?

Have you heard both versions of the story, or have you only heard the story of your random nothingness?

What story are you going to believe when neither can be proven in a petri dish?

Here is a bullet point list of what I believe about who I am, by the grace of God, thanks to the faith He has given me:

  • there was a creative God of love who always was
  • at some point in eternity past, He sovereignly decided to create a place called earth
  • the purpose of God’s creation was to create a home for a new creation called humans with whom God Himself will commune and share His love
  • With amazing glory (see the cosmos), with unspeakable creativity (see how many variations of bees there are as a starter), and with great power (see Genesis 1) He, with His own matter-generating words of wisdom and power, spoke our earth into existence.
  • in Genesis and many other places throughout the Bible this place is described as an immovable flat plane on a solid foundation upon which lie the depths of the oceans and the breadth of the land and over which the stars, moon and sun circle and where a solid firmament exists – far above us and separating us from the waters above.
  • God crafted us with his hands, shaped us into His own image, and placed us at the pinnacle of His creation and then breathed His very life into us separating us from all other creation
  • God made us the focal point of His everything – the centre of His attention – the apple of His eye
  • This whole life is simply a stage upon which we act out the bitter-sweet scenes on our way to eventual and complete redemption

But there are those who cannot believe what I believe.  I don’t have the answers as to why, other than they have not received the faith to believe.  I now find anything that conflicts with the above set of beliefs to defy logic and the very heart that is found within me.  It goes against everything my intuition, conscience and even mind is able to tolerate.

And so this topic of the flat earth and cosmology matters greatly as it speaks clear answers to the question “Who am I?”

Our world has failed us time and time again.

The lure of ‘scientism’ and their wild and spiritual faith-based theories has done nothing more than to leave us empty and thirsting for the truth.  The more and more we thirst, the more and more they craft up theories to leave us more thirsty.

I have found the answer to who I am and now my life is incredible, and (bonus) my faith in my God of the Bible has reached levels I have not yet experienced.

I hope and pray that you will gaze into the cosmos and ask the question again:

“Who am I?”

 

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Flat Earth: Where did the Ball Earth Idea Come From Anyway?

convex_flat_concave_earth_curvature

To consider that some of the most fundamental things you believe about the very earth you live on may be on a sandy foundation is a very difficult thing.

To even open your mind to this idea means that you are willing to consider that the world is even worse than you originally thought it was.

From my experience, it seems that most people are willing to entertain that 9/11 was an inside job fairly easily.

They are also willing to accept that the world’s financial system is built by masonic buddies with some clear and secret agenda involving governments and big companies.  They  know there is something up with this ‘illuminati thing’.

They are very easily able to accept that greedy corporations and corrupt governments make decisions that hurt the masses and benefit a small few.

There are also countless people who have very little difficulty believing that no one has been to the moon.

There are, however, very few people who are willing to entertain the idea that the earth is flat and that humans are the very focal point of everything that is.

For the latter group, it seems that they know that if they take that step and start considering the possibility that they will end up in a canyon of disappointment, despair, and sadness too large to bear.

And so instead they ridicule the idea and rule it out without reviewing the case in court.  They regurgitate the fallacy that the flat earth was dead hundreds of years ago and that only fools or tin hat folks would believe this.

News flash: The Flat Earth Is Not Dead!

For those who wish to start looking at this topic with logic, intelligence and an open mind, I recommend the following video which is a buffet of good information, specifically the history of how the ball earth dominated what was scientifically, at the time, as flat as a pancake.

 

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Flat Earth: Why the Blue Screens, Nasa?

astroNOT_tim_peake

When I was young, my dad made a joke.  I said something about man walking on the moon and he said “How do you know they walked on the moon?” Honestly, he was joking because my dad today actually believes that man walked on the moon. I laughed then at his joking but when I walked away I couldn’t stop thinking about it. How do I know?

My next thought went to the automobiles of that day.  The supposed moon landing was July of 1969.  Here are a few pictures of the cars on the road at that time to help you get a visual reference:

1969_car_01 1969_car_02 1969_car_03 1969_car_04

If those were the best technology and mechanics had to offer in 1969, I thought, how in the world did man get out of the atmosphere and to the moon and back?

The answer turned out to be much easier than I had expected.

“They” didn’t go to the moon.

A quick search online for ‘NASA’ and ‘hoax’ and/or ‘fraud’ should give you more than what you need to review the conspiracy, but of all the videos I’ve seen lately on the topic, nothing is more damning that this one.  If you know even the slightest bit about how blue screens work, this video should send a veritable shiver down your spine if you care whatsoever about the truth.

However, there is a very good chance that you will bury your head very deep when you watch this and you won’t be alone. I tried long and hard to bury my head.  The implications are far too devastating to one’s world view.   The implications will ultimately lead you to question *everything you’ve ever been taught about anything*.

And ‘everything’ and ‘anything’ are items things most people are not willing to put on the line.

For those who care to at least entertain the thought that the world’s foundation is built on sand and possibly the very foundation of your life, please watch this video and let it sink in:

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Flat Earth: The Firmament, Cosmoloy, Space, and the Bible

convex_flat_concave_earth_curvature

As I continue down this most exciting journey of cosmology and figuring out how things really work out there, I am continually pulled back to the truth of the Bible on this topic.  Every time someone presents a view that opposes the Biblical position on cosmology, it starts to fall apart, or does not sufficiently convince me to move away.  Do I have any biases?  Yes, indeed. I believe that the Bible is true.  In times past I used to somewhat suppress certain scriptures to help me cope in a world that opposed them and presented weird options, but as I age, I realize this is absolutely the wrong approach and that I can confidently continue to stand on the Bible in every aspect of my life: spiritually, physically, scientifically, etc.

There are two camps of Bible believers, I have noticed: the first camp says ‘you don’t have to think about this stuff, just believe, brother” whilst the other camp (of which I’m obviously part) says “Don’t just believe it but inquisitively question and marvel at how all this works”.  An example to demonstrate the two camps would be the scripture where Jesus walks on water.  The first camp would say ‘Don’t think, just believe’ whereas I would say “Believe, then marvel at the omnipotent God who dominated the physical realm, then consider, for pure interests sake, what natural/physical laws or norms were trampled for this miracle to occur!”  The more I investigate what God has done, the more I marvel.

And with that background, let’s continue.

Today I had a eureka moment while I was meditating on Genesis 1.  I’m not entirely sure how I have seen so many videos about this, read these verses countless times, and yet never quite ‘seen’ it, but that seems to to be how the Word of God works.

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so. (Genesis 1:6-7)

The key is the word firmament so first click this link here to study this word from the original language before continuing.  Now, take a minute (promise it doesn’t take much more) before reading my comments and really visualize what is happening here.

Here’s what I see happening, and feel free to correct me in the comments below as usual, if I’m off base:

  • There is at the start a unified mass of water
  • Then, a firm, supportive, strong firmament is created and inserted somewhere in the middle of this mass of water
  • The firmament is raised way up thereby dividing the waters below from those above the firmament thereby leaving a vast space in between being the space in which we live and our atmosphere (or atmos-dome if you don’t like the round earth vocab)

A while back I stumbled across what I thought was one of the funniest things ever – some dude out there actually thought that there was water up where space was purported to be.  Water? In space? Give me a break!

But now I truly have to consider this theory based on the above.

Then, as it would be, I stumbled across something incredibly relevant to this topic.  A ‘star in a jar’.  Take a moment, and while watching this video, consider how many interesting connections can be made to the scriptures:

I just happened to be in Matthew chapter 1 on the same day as Genesis 1 (God bless those Bible-in-a-year programs!) and the wise men leave Herod and behold a star was there to lead them.  Was this a new star?  Sure seems to be.  But how could that be?  Based on the star in a jar, it would take nothing more than concentrated sound on a bubble in water to provide this convenient beacon of hope.

But the moment I considered this I asked another question: What exactly is the purpose of the stars?  I noticed in this scripture the purpose of that star was to guide the wise men to the birth place of Jesus.  But what about the rest? The answer is found here:

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good. (Genesis 1: 14-18)

The whole Bible is about *purpose*.  Everything has a purpose: life, death, joy, pain, suffering, sickness, marriage, child birth, blah, blah and blah.  Although our minds aren’t able to understand the fullness of the purpose, there is a purpose, no doubt.  With the stars, moon, and sun, however, he didn’t leave anything to the imagination.  He told us straight up why he made them and here is the bullet list:

  • to divide the day from the night “Oh look, stars. It’s night time. Cool.”
  • for signs: a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.:—mark, miracle, (en-) sign, token. “Look! A star leading us to the birthplace of Jesus!” or “Woah.  Look at the stars… man.  There MUST be a God!”
  • for seasons: appointed place, appointed time, etc “Look at the stars.  It must be June.”
  • for days: a 24 hour day, a period of time, a measurement of time, etc “Hey, it’s 4pm.”
  • for years: a measurement of time, a year. “I am 37 years old now.”

And so the stars in general, and the star the wise men saw, fulfilled and continue to fulfil their purpose for which they were intended.

Some believers responded to my proposal that the firmament may still be there with water above it, by saying that the firmament was destroyed at the point of Noah’s flood and that’s where the water came from (when the whole dome collapsed). But from my understanding and study, the Bible didn’t say that it was ‘destroyed’.  It said the ‘windows of heaven were opened and the fountains of the deep’.  It’s an assumption to believe it was fully destroyed versus a hole (literally translated to a ‘window’) opening in parts and letting the waters from above through into the space where we are below the firmament.

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. (Genesis 7:11)

The word ‘window’ above means “lattice, window, sluice” and from my understanding, windows were designed to be opened and closed so it’s a much stronger argument to believe that the firmament is still there and the windows were simply opened and closed at some point.

Let’s look at Genesis 1:14-18 again:

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good. (Genesis 1: 14-18)

I have only one point of study left that I need to somehow find the answer to.  In English the above is translated to ‘in’ the firmament.  However, when I looked up the original there is no translation for the preposition ‘in’.

So could the physical location of the stars, moon and sun be below or above the firmament (the stars)? Possibly.  I currently tend to favour the position that all of it sits either *in* in the firmament or behind it.

Let’s keep the journey going, shall we?

 

Keywords: Space, Stars, Moon, Sun, cosmology, firmament, flood, canopy, windows of heaven, star in a jar, creation, Genesis, Bible

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Sinners Sin: Dealing With Disappointment in Myself and Others

sun

“What do you expect? Sinners sin.” – Unnamed Pastor, 2001

Struggling with disappointment in others and in myself seems to be a never-ending theme in my life. Deep in my heart and in my mind has always been the very keen awareness that there does exist somewhere perfection.

The concept of perfection is set deep in all of our consciousness. We all know things were supposed to be perfect but they aren’t. Some people seem to be able to cope better in this imperfect world whereas people like myself take imperfection very personally (and sometimes hard).

In myself, I have a strong desire to live in a very perfect and systematized world where I go to the cupboard, open it, and find exactly what I need and instantly because it’s perfectly organized. When I leave the cupboard, it should close by itself because why would a cupboard that doesn’t close itself even exist in a perfect world? It simply wouldn’t. I desire also that the food items in the fridge would be in a perfect rotation (like what you would have in a retail environment) so that old food moves to the front so that food wastage is reduced to zero. My alarm would always work perfectly and I would always be up before 4am so that I could maximize the day – reading my Bible and spending time in prayer so that I would then have the strength to go to my wife and kids, and love them with all that I have – encouraging them and being a great inspiration to them.

I would then start my day and I would call people, leave them a message of value, and they would call me back when they got my message. The suppliers that I work with would supply everything on time and the communication would always be predictable. Inside the company, everyone would be on the same page and things would never have to be repeated twice because even children don’t require that kind of babysitting usually. One email sent would conclude the matter and I could move on. Balls would not get dropped because everyone else also wants a perfect world, surely. Surely it’s not just me who wants a perfect world and a world without fights and tension.

In all facets of life, when something is communicated transparently and clearly such as ‘this is very important to me’ then no person would throw that aside and do exactly what would upset or hurt me because I have clearly explained to them how to not upset or hurt me.  I made it impossible for them to hurt me…

Yet everything and everyone is broken.

Broken, broken, broken.

Imperfect, screwed up and lost.

Everything.

Everyone.

Including me.

Yes. Including me – as much as I despise the thought of being ‘one of them’.

How can I possibly live like this?

How can I go on?

How can I not quit and get into despair and depression?

Everything is so, so broken.

Thankfully, there is hope and with this hope, I write the rest of this really to encourage myself. I hope that as I write this next part that someone else also benefits from what I believe will be deep revelation.

You can (and should) read about how there was a time when humans walked in the earth in perfection. They didn’t fight, they walked in the cool of the day with God and they had dominion over nature. Things were perfect.

But all men are sinners, thanks to Adam/Eve making a poor life choice.  Here is exactly how bad it is.  Read it.  Soak it in.  Really get a grasp on this reality:

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat [is] an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips: Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet [are] swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery [are] in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. … For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10-18, 23)

And so we have a pre-programmed hunger for that Garden of Eden perfection, yet we live in broken vessels full of wickedness. Here is how we live now:

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:20)

We *know* God is out there.  And we *know* He is perfect.  His creation all around it *proves* it beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Even our own minds have gone dark:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Rom 1:21)

And so this life remains a balance between grace and longing. We long to be with our Creator in perfect perfection forever, yet we need His grace to get there. Once we have this grace we can then possibly have the grace required to deal with others around us. Once we realize this incredible brokenness and weakness we are living in, it’s very difficult to expect others to be perfect. In fact, you would be downright surprised when they get anything right, or do anything good.

I’ll never forget this one time when I approached a pastor to vent my incredible disappointment towards someone. He asked me “Is he a believer?” I replied “No.” He then said the most simple thing that has helped me ever since when he replied back “Sinners sin. That’s what they do.”

He was perfectly right.  Our very nature is full to the brim of sin. Our only desire is wickedness and selfishness and our programming code is so messed up that all we know to do is wickedness.

Lately, I have decided to make this whole thing much more simple for myself. When dealing with myself and all the disappointments I have in myself, I’m going to remind myself that I’m not perfect, and that although it’s ok to long for perfection, it’s not ok to expect it on earth. I’m also going to spend more time asking God to totally change my nature. I know that it is a biblical promise for this change, and I need it real bad. The more that God changes my nature to be like him, the more grace I will have towards myself and others.  Here is the promise onto which I firmly grasp:

Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Until then, I’m going to simply one step further. I’m going to look at every person, no matter who they are and their background or current status in the world and say:

“Look at this poor, broken vessel. How much God loves this person and how much God wants to start the work of transformation him/her! But this person is broken and unable to do even the things they want to do. They, like me, fail themselves daily and others. When they fail you or disappoint you, never forget they are broken. God, help me to love them just as they are and help me, a broken vessel, deal with them the best I can with your strength.”

A to the MEN!

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Ubuntu: The Relationship Between Freedom and Quality in The Software World

wot_145px-mark-shuttleworth-ubuntu-fr-karmic

Unlike previous blog posts, I’m going to start this one with two exciting tables to get you thinking. In the first table, I increased freedom and in the second table, I decreased it so that we could look at the effect, if any, on other items. Sorry, they are just image screenshots:

wot_decreased_freedoms wot_increased_freedoms

Someone sent me over this article written by Mark Shuttleworth, chief of Canonical – the company behind Ubuntu.

Usually, Mr. Shuttleworth writes with excitement, hope, positivity and other such forward-moving adjectives. Unlike pretty much anything else I have read written by him, this article sounded more like a dad who was forced by his disobedient kids to lay down the hard law. Just the tone alone being so different from his usual, caught my attention.

It appears that some unnamed European corporation has taken the Ubuntu code (written for free by many coders and volunteers around the world and maintained by the for-profit company Canonical at their heavy cost of time and money), done a few ‘things’ to it, and published it as ‘their own’. For full disclosure, I haven’t done any of my own research like looking at the notice of claims against them. However, what I’m picking up from the article is that the soon-to-be defendantscontributed little or nothing to the base code that made ubuntu what it is today

  • invested little or no money to the ubuntu project
  • decreased the quality of the user experience
  • harmed the Ubuntu name
  • harmed Canonical by means of all of the above

If this is true, it should not be difficult to prove monetary damages for Canonical plus I’m guessing there will be a lot of angry programmers out there who would rally beside Mr. Shuttleworth for screwing up all their volunteer work.

From a bird’s eye view it seems like a suitable analogy for this behaviour would be something like this:

Imagine a grade 5 teacher creating a cool project where the students build a gizmo that’s valuable to the world – let’s say it creates clean drinking water out of thin air. Next thing you know, all the parents and grandparents are excited about the project and start volunteering their time to help build it and make it better. Next thing you know, a company (let’s call them Company A) picks up on the project and realizes that they can help improve the project by funding certain parts plus they can make some money as well because some industries will want an industrial version of these water-makers which is out of the scope of these volunteers time/money to build or support. So Company A starts investing time and money and builds a business around it while continuing to support the kids’ gizmo proliferation around the world. Out of nowhere, Company B, which has not participated in the project at all, shows up, takes the plans that all these volunteers made and improved on over the years at the cost of their time (and at Company A’s expense, too), and starts making their own industrial water-makers. They slap their own brand on it, change one or two small things and start making money. Then problems start happening. They don’t have a volunteer base of countless thousands who can jump in to improve or fix things when they go wrong, so this makes sense. Company B then routes all the problems of their customers to Company A saying “they have support over there, I think…”

I’m guessing that there would be lots of angry kids and grandparents and most people would agree to take action to stop Company B.

The question of this soon-to-be lawsuit will probably hinge entirely on the licensing of the software. Has this European company violated any software license agreements including the free software licenses of Ubuntu? What exactly did they change? Are they guilty of changing the code or are they guilty of not supporting the code? It will be interesting to read the claim, for sure (if you like reading litigation documents)

This also got me thinking about correlation between freedom and regulation. I know that one of the main reasons why myself and others moved to Ubuntu was for the freedom. We didn’t want to be told by bullies like Apple or Microsoft how we are going to be using our hardware and who will be accessing our private information. I started thinking about un-related industries and correlations between different things when you increase or decrease freedom. I thought it would be timely to share the quick charts that I built.

(review charts above again)

As you can see from the charts, it was an interesting exercise. It seems that in most cases clear changes occur in most columns – except one. I could not determine in any instance that quality increased or decreased with the increase *or decrease* of freedom. At a glance you might quickly disagree with my conclusions, but allow me to explain them.

Drinking water: Although you may increase regulation and decrease freedom to do what you want with your drinking water, it is debatable that the government controlled waters with chlorine, fluoride, and who knows what, is better for you that this or that in a free stream of water. The long term jury is still out on this one.

Voting: To clarify I am referring simply to the freedom to vote and having a regulatory system to govern the actual elections and voting procedure. By regulating or not, does it really help improve the final product (the person you are voting for)?  Point proven in recent elections in big North American country…

Guns: Perhaps you could say the quality of the actual physical gun might improve with regulation…. I don’t know enough on the topic, but it would seem to me that a nice old man building a gun in his shop could do just as well as a heavily-regulated gun factory.

Religions beliefs: the ‘negative event’ here would be something like a mass suicide with a cult. The Catholic church is heavily regulated, but is the quality of faith and the fruit of believers higher?

Marriage: I was thinking here free-love marriages versus arranged marriages. Although one might think that by choosing your spouse, instead of your parents choosing him/her might yield a higher-quality spouse/match, I believe the jury is still out on this. Look at the divorces in ‘love marriages’, for example.

So when it’s all said and done the only category where I felt freedom had a measurable impact on quality was in the realm of computer code. No one will deny that the fruity computer company typically has typically stable software which works on stable hardware. But on the other hand, very few of its users, when asked, deny that they feel stifled, controlled and possibly even spied on – if not totally ‘stuck’.

And so there seems to be a much more pronounced correlation between freedom and quality in the world of code.

And that also is why this will be a very interesting legal case to follow. Will Shuttleworth be tempted to pull in some of the freedoms of the Ubuntu code base in order to maintain the quality that Ubuntu deserves? Will a task force of lawyers be commissioned to seek and attack low quality Ubuntu publishers much like how a big proprietary corporation might do?

Until now Ubuntu has wowed the world with its ability to stay both free and yet maintain an incredibly high quality final product which I can boldly say is the same and better than competing proprietary systems in every category. The proof of this quality has been in the pudding with fast world-wide growth with more and more everyday users converting 100% to ubuntu and also in the realm of innovation (look it all up yourself because I don’t even know where to begin!).

On the one hand I’m completely in agreement that selfish individuals and corporations should be stopped in their tracks and made to pay for damaging others. On the other hand, I’m also keenly aware that the freedom of the Ubuntu code must remain of higher importance overall.

I find myself favouring the ‘whatever-it-takes-to-make-sure-ubuntu-comes-out-the-winner’ side but I will remain full open to all sides of this story.

 

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