EVIDENCE. I NEED EVIDENCE.

One year ago…

It started as a battle of wits, a competition of words.

“I definitely believe that there could be a creator. I simply don’t see any evidence of it. And I certainly don’t see any connection between a creator of the universe and the god of the bible.”

I replied, “I don’t understand your criteria for evidence. If I find a puddle of water on the floor, I know there had to be a cause: a spill from someone before I got there, an undisciplined dog, a leaky roof. If I find a watch in a field, I assume a designer, as well as a bereaved owner.”

He responded, “The evidence I require is simply science based: when collected and interpreted in accordance with the scientific method. Anecdotes, such as what I find in the christian bible, are wholly insufficient. For example, studies by Pew research show that 93% of the members of the US Academy of Sciences do not believe in God. That would be the level of evidence I want to see.”

Me: “That could be pretty compelling. I wonder, though, when the first scientist proposed a global earth instead of flat, what percentage of scientists may not have agreed. High percentages don’t always insure truth.”

No responses after that.

I looked up the US Academy of Sciences.

It currently has about 2290 members.

That means, according to this data, that there are approximately 160 members who believe in God.

That’s not bad.

Especially considerings that they have a maximum yearly election number of 84 new members.

They can only be nominated and chosen by current members.

Members who are 93% atheist , or agnostic, who would sincerely doubt a scientist’s credibility as a scientist if they knew that he believes in a god that cannot be seen, observed, or duplicated by scientific methods.

And, yet, somehow there are 160 members of this select group who see a possibility of an unseen powerful god.

I would bet the percentages would be much higher over the whole spectrum of scientists.

But, back to the evidence.

I would bet that most of these scientists believe in the evolutionary process proposed by Darwin.

Based on observational assumptions.

Not on personal observation of an event happening.

Not on a duplication by some scientific method of experimentation.

We all begin with some previous assumptions that we seek to prove.

The sad result of the conversation I had was the realization that most people don’t really want to know what is true, but only how to prove what I believe is true.

And, I feel deep, deep sorrow that I am not able to point someone to the Light, the Life, the Joy that I found in 1978, when I let the God that made me have me.

For His purpose.

Not mine.

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SO MANY ERRORS….

Isn’t it wonderful how many wonderful memes we can find on Facebook, and how easy it is to click that Share button, and how easy it is to Like?

It doesn’t even have to make sense.

So…I can’t possibly believe in God because I can’t see him, or see any evidence that he exists.

Really?

DNA is science, right? Show of hands…how many Christians out there believe DNA exists and that it is considered to be the basic building block of all living beings, deciding, by a design code, every aspect of a creature’s makeup?

Well, you must not be a Christian, because that is science, and everyone knows that Christians don’t believe in science.

And sexuality…obviously that is unchristian…we all know that that is simply a part of the evolutionary process…you know, when sometime in the eons of billions and billions of years, some creature that had previously reproduced by, I don’t know, mitosis or mirror imaging or whatever, suddenly happened upon a being like himself, but somehow, a little bit different, and , hubba hubba, come on baby, and everything changed, for everyone.

And freethinking…there can’t possibly be a god if I can’t see him…I can only believe in what I can touch, taste, see…That is freethinking?

And skepticism…show me your proof that God exists, but don’t use anything stupid like the Bible, or how he “changed your life”, but show me something that I can believe…because we KNOW that the earth is billions and billions of years old and that everything evolved from a simple one-celled organism…there is proof…science has proven it…I can’t get my hands on it right now…but if you don’t accept that, well, you are just a superstitious so and so who cannot see the truth.

Call me skeptical.

And gender equality?…seriously…what genders are we talking about?…the scientific ones or the ones that we are deciding we can choose for ourselves?

Questioning? Every time I ask a question of these people that say there is no god…I get blocked…

Tolerance?…Every time I state what I believe, I get blocked. (Not really every time. Some people still like to argue.)

But, that picture of a big man holding a wee man over a fire to force him to love him…

“God loved the world so much that He gave His ONE AND ONLY SON, so WHOEVER believes, in Him will not perish but have EVERLASTING LIFE.”

Anyone…an eternity with a creator that made this beautiful place with all these beautiful things to enjoy, to love, to feel, to experience …or an eternity without him and all the wonderful things He created for you to enjoy.

You get to choose.

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GUN CONTROL

(FEB 8, 2015)

Over the last couple of months, Wendy and I have been going with Wendy’s parents, Blair and MaryJane Wright to Tyler for doctor appointments. I have come to really look forward to these times, because I get to listen to the worlds greatest personal historian and storyteller, Blair Wright.

Here’s one:

” Me and my best friend, Odom, would go hunting. One day, we were walking down a country road near the old Taylor place (outside Lindale, where Blair lived growing up) and a roadrunner shot out in front of us.

‘Odom, I oughta shoot that roadrunner, so we can have sump’n to eat.’

‘Blair, there ain’t no way you can hit that roadrunner!’

So I raised my rifle, looked through the scope, and by this time, it was pretty far down the road. I pulled the trigger, and saw that roadrunner just kinda fall over.

‘You got him!’ Odom hollered. ‘I’m gonna go and get him.’

‘No, just leave him there. I probably tore him to pieces anyway.’

‘No way am I gonna leave him there. You’d probably go back, tellin’ everybody how you shot him right through the eye. I cain’t take that.’

So Odom went down the road to get the bird. When he came back, he didn’t system much. We just started on home.

‘D’you get him or not, Odom?’

‘Yeah, I got him.’

‘Well, let me see him.’

‘Nah, it’s no big deal.’

‘Show me!’

Odom pulled that roadrunner out from behind his back saying, ‘You know, that thing was at least a hundred yards away!’

Randy, I had hit that roadrunner right in the head, didn’t hurt the meat at all.

Odom said,’Oh, man, you’ll never stop talkin’ about this!’

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ASKING THE WRONG QUESTIONS

(FEB 7,2018)

The conversation started with a question.

“So, you don’t think it is possible for a Christian to be gay? What would you say if I told you I have been in a committed, loving relationship for over ten years.”

“Well, that says a lot about your loyalty and strength of commitment….”

“What about a Christian that overeats? Isn’t he just as guilty for indulging himself, for giving into his desires?”

Good question, don’t you think?

What about one who is sexually immoral, or commits adultery, or puts some thing in has life ahead of his commitment to God (idolatry), or one who takes stuff that doesn’t belong to him, or one who still likes to get drunk, or high, or someone who gossips, or someone who is still a little bit shady in his business dealings?
Can this one still be a Christian?

Could we be asking the wrong questions?

C.S. Lewis would say that we are happy sitting in the mud in our backyard making mud pies instead of spending a holiday at the beach.

A Christian is one who has received a gift from His creator, a gift of life that goes on forever, that cannot die, that gives him the ability to see God, to see His kingdom, to drop his chains and become free to be what he was created to be.

Why would I want to live in the old way, desperately searching for a tiny morsel of pleasure in the dirt, when there is a path laid out for me that leads to a life of inexpressible joy?

If I am happy with life the way it is, the way it was before I “became a Christian,” then, maybe I haven’t yet received a new life.

Maybe, the questions I should be asking are, “Do I belong to the One who made me?
Is He still changing me into what He made me to be?
Do I want to please Him?
Or me?”

“You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6)

You will like the new you!

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CHURCH LEAGUE SOFTBALL, 1958

(FEB. 5, 2018)

I really loved baseball. I started playing when I was young, playing catch with Dad in the back yard, while my little dog, Jose, would run back and forth between us, every time we threw the ball, barking, turning , barking, turning. Sometimes, I marveled that he didn’t die right then of a heart attack.

Dad played outfield on the church team. They played in a fast pitch softball church league.

This was serious stuff.

The pitcher, Jerry Cone, told me some years later that teams would try to steal players from other teams. He said, he played on a business team in Garland, and a bank offered him a job, where he really didn’t have to do anything at work, as long as he pitched for the team.

But, when I was young, 6 or 7 years old, I didn’t know any of that stuff. I just loved the summertime night games at Central Park.

There was something magical about being out (not at home) after dark, when we would normally be in bed, and those bright lights around the field would bring a sense of a wonderful artificial daylight.

Foul balls were the best.

Whoever got to it first would take it back to the umpire, then go straight to the snack bar for a free snow cone.

We didn’t really watch the game…I liked to watch my dad bat…but we would usually run and laugh and play, until we heard the THRUUMMPP that sounded like a foul ball, then, our eyes went up, and the race was on.

But, there was one game that sticks in my mind.

Not because of the game, but because of the kid at the game.

We weren’t at the regular field. I was too young to know where we were, but, we had the lights, and the kids.

We were playing chase, running, laughing, running until my side was hurting . (Remember when you used to run so much, you would get a sharp pain in the side, you would stop, grab your side, and bend over until it stopped?)

There was this girl there, probably a couple of years older, who ran like the wind, laughing joyfully, running the whole show. She was the leader.

I had never seen her before.

I can’t remember her name, or what she looked like.

But there was something.

I was bewitched.

We had so much fun, the group of kids playing together. I don’t remember any faces, any names, only the joy of playing.

But, I remember one thing.

We had stopped for a bit to rest, and we were all standing around in a group .

This girl, this bewitching beautiful sprite was doing most of the talking.

“I have this rare disease,” she said, “and in a couple of days, they are going to have to cut my leg off.”

I never said anything, we went back to running, laughing, and playing.

I never saw her again.

But, this made me sad

I told my mom about this sad, sad thing, and she didn’t say much.

Just recently I remembered this event, and I wondered whatever happened to this girl?….

Wait a minute!

She probably made the whole thing up.

How could she run so fast, if she had some disease in her leg that was so bad that they would have to remove her leg?

In a couple of days?

But, she was so brave.

Or some storyteller.

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LAYERS, IQ TESTS, AND DOG BITES

“How many shirts are you wearing?” Wendy asked.

“I don’t know. Four? No, five.”

“Seriously?”

“It’s cold outside.”

“Randy, it’s in the forties. Seriously?”

“Well…I would much rather be hot than cold…I can always take a layer off. ” (I seldom do)

“Wimp, ” she said in a non judgmental tone.

“Why does it matter to you? I just don’t like being cold.”

“You look kinda lumpy.”

Well, I guess that may be true.

Couple of weeks later…

“I want you to take this IQ test,” she said, a little too enthusiastically.

“Oh, I am way too tired to take a test tonight. Maybe tomorrow.” Maybe she will forget.

The next day, we drove to McKinney, then Frisco, then back home, arriving home about 10:00.

Changed clothes, settled down on the couch before I began my customary nighttime doze off, and Wendy says, “Take that IQ test….You will probably do way better than me.”

I picked up the box, took the three packets of cards out.
The first was the instructions.
60 questions, 45 minutes, answer all the questions.

Plenty of time.

“Tell me when you’re ready. I will set the timer.”

Why was she so serious about this? Something is fishy.

I numbered my paper 1-60. “Okay, I’m ready.”

“45 minutes…go!”

Man, I was streaking through the first few. Piece of cake.

Wait, what, what the heck does that mean?

I was stuck.

“30 minutes.”

Already?

There were two questions alike, and I couldn’t really feel certain about any of the answers, so I answered them, put a star so I could go back, and moved on.

I remember feeling a little bit of stress…I do not like failing tests, and some of these questions were really tough…and Wendy…well…let’s just say we are both competitive.

“15 minutes.”

Are you kidding? I kept getting stuck on questions.

“5 minutes.”

Aaarrrggghhh.

I finished with 1 minute to spare.

“Finished!”

“Okay,” she said, “now get the answer key and count your mistakes. Don’t read the correct ones yet…just mark the wrong answers.”

Why is she so controlling?

“I missed 8.” I told her my IQ. “How many did you miss?”

She wouldn’t look me in the eyes, but I could tell she was something other than disappointed.
“7.”

Her IQ was two points higher than mine.

The next day….

I was trying to figure out how to raise the water pressure at the lake house. Wendy’s brother, Craig had told me something to try.

It wasn’t super cold, so I just had on a thermal shirt and my expensive Rice University hooded sweatshirt.

I turned the water on at the meter, then I had to walk past the neighbor’s devil dog to turn on the faucet.

Back past devil dog to meter to increase the pressure valve.

Back past devil dog to check on the faucet.

I wasn’t looking at him as he lunged at the fence, and as the fence lunged toward me, his head, now over the fence, bit me on the upper arm.

Didn’t hurt that much, but I could tell there was blood.

But, to be bit by a dog behind a fence when you are three feet away from the fence…how does that even happen?

Wendy drove up.

“The devil dog bit me…I need you to take a picture of my arm.”

“Oh my gosh,” she said,”that looks awful. How did he bite you?”

I told her, we called the sheriff, and a little later I drove myself to the clinic just so they could check it out.

“Just a surface break,” the NP said,” We will get it cleaned up and get you some antibiotics. You were really lucky it wasn’t deeper than this.”

Lucky?

I don’t think so.

And, it wasn’t my IQ that saved me.

It was the layers.

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ANGEL OF LIGHT?

February 3, 2016

(still true)

First off, I do believe in a real being we call Satan. I believe he has a personality, thoughts, desires, and pride.
That said, I believe that He will display himself to most people in deceptive ways. He will make his ways seem to be good, caring, and to be looking out for the well-being of others.

Moving in the shadows, Whispering to your thoughts.
“Can you believe she treated you that way. Oh, yeah, she will be sorry.”

Obscuring the light, filling the silence with noise, replacing awareness with distraction.

“Let’s turn these lights down, turn on some music. Here, try these. These will definitely make you feel better.”

He will even appear to be religious at times.

“I believe in God, too. You have been misinterpreting the scriptures. This is what that really means.”

He will demonize those he considers to be his enemies, slander the one his enemies follow, and do everything in his power to destroy those who oppose his plans.

“You didn’t really lose. He cheated. You are the only one smart enough to figure that out. You need to tell them.”

He doesn’t need people to believe in him to succeed, only to have people fall for his message.

It is happening. Has been since the beginning of time.

What used to be considered good is called evil.
What used to be called evil is being called good.

The new idols of the world are the idols of self. If I want it, I have the right to have it.

“You deserve this. Go ahead. Taste it. This will make you better, stronger, smarter.”

In the last days, men will be lovers of self….

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