Sunday, March 26, 2006

In a Science Class Near You By: Mark Dickson (TFC Entry)

In a Science Class Near You (OUTLINE)

To prove by presenting evidence, facts, and logical argumentation that intelligent design should be taught in schools.

I. Acknowledgement of the problem
1) Only evolution in schools
a) No opposing theories
b) Evolution isn’t proven
II. History of the problem
1) Roots of evolution
a) Hypothesis of Darwin
b) Laws govern changes
2) Roots of creation
a) Based in Genesis
b) God created life
III. Continuation of the problem
1) Disagreements between scientists
a) Formation of earth
b) Formation of man
c) Age of earth
2) Contradictions with science
a) Vertical evolution
b) Billion year-old earth
c) Evolution of man
d) Dinosaurs before man
e) Big Bang
IV. Resolution of the problem
1) Two theories in schools
a) Both theories taught
b) Students can choose

In a Science Class Near You

America’s schools are being overrun with evolutionary theory, while no other theories are even being taught. In every public school science class in America, students are expected to learn and know about the theory of evolution. Any other theories are deemed as unscientific and are barred from being inserted into basic curriculum. One of these rival theories is intelligent design, the idea that a supreme being created and governs the universe. Evolution being the only theory allowed in schools is definitely something that needs to change, because most of the people in America believe in God and the Bible instead of relying on evolution. “Just one in ten Americans believes in the Darwinist evolution position that man developed over millions of years from less advanced life forms and that God had no part in the process (Belkin). More than one theory should be allowed in public schools. Intelligent design should be allowed in science classes, and evolution’s validity should be challenged.

The way public schools are dealing with evolution is definitely a problem. In almost every public school science class, the students are expected to learn about the theory of evolution and what it teaches about the development of life. This is problematic in that there is no absolute proof that evolution is happening or ever did take place (Swinney). Many of what is a part of the theory of evolution completely contradicts the rules and laws of science itself. So, in order to accept the theory of evolution as it is, we must also accept things that have been deemed impossible in the field of science. A few of these things include: Living organisms coming from non-living material, mutations helping and being beneficial to organisms, and complete randomness forming into a world of law and order. These are all things that have never been recorded in science, yet students are expected to know and except them every day. The problem with this is that there are other theories that compete and hold their own against evolution in the scientific community, but are not allowed in public schools. Eighty years ago, attorney Clarence Darrow argued in the Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee that denying the right to teach Darwinian evolution in schools violated fundamental academic freedom. Ironically, evolutionists now say that their theory should be the only one taught in schools. One of the theories that rivals evolution is intelligent design and a subordinate form, creation. These theories state that God or a superior being created the world and all of its inhabitants. Evolutionists are fighting hard to keep creation out of schools even though a large majority of the population believes God created the earth. This battle has been taking place for a long time.

Both theories, evolution and creation, have grown through the years. Charles Darwin contributed more to evolution than anyone else. He was born in England on February 12, 1809. In 1831 he joined a crew on the H.M.S. Beagle and traveled around the world. During his travels he made observations about many different plants and animals, and was fascinated by all of the different kinds. He collected information and came up with a hypothesis about how life changes over time (Sekulow). Creation, on the other hand, is much older. Back thousands of years ago, a Hebrew man named Moses wrote down the first five books of the Bible. One of the books, Genesis, has its own story of how the earth was formed. It states that God created all life within a six day time period. This is also what creationists believe. “Evolution says that what we see today, what happened a billion years ago, and what will happen a billion years in the future are all a set process and everything that occurs happens because of the laws that govern nature. Therefore, evolutionists say Noah’s flood and the return of Christ did not occur (Swinney).”
Now, the two opposing theories have creationists and evolutionists debating.

Creationists and evolutionists disagree on a number of issues. Some of them include: how the earth was formed, how people came about, how old the earth is, and many more. “Creationists generally believe that the earth is around ten thousand years old, while evolutionists believe that it is billions of years old. Creationists say that God created man, and evolutionists argue that man is only the product of an animal that evolved, such as an ape. In discussing how the earth was formed, creationists believe that an all-powerful God simply formed it, while evolutionists say that many random events occurred and formed what is today earth (Swinney).” These are not even close to being the only issues creationists and evolutionists disagree on. They are only a few of the most basic ones. The battle is not even close to being over, because each side is working hard to disprove the other. The problem is that there isn’t enough evidence of any one theory that it completely proves that the other is false. However, even though both sides have their strong and weak points, evolution is still the only theory allowed in most public schools today. Whenever the government even considers inserting intelligent design into the science books, evolutionists fiercely oppose them and say that it is violation the separation of church and state. Creationists fight back by saying that there is scientific evidence of intelligent design, and that evolution should be taken out of curriculum because it is unscientific.

The theory of evolution contradicts science itself. Many of the items that compose evolution are contrary to everything ever observed in science. Because of this, scientists cannot say with certainty that evolution occurred. Evolutionists expect us to believe that everything developed from a single-celled organism. According to NASA scientist Stan Swinney there is no evidence of vertical evolution, only horizontal. No scientist has ever seen vertical evolution- something changing into another species. He also says that if vertical evolution happened, it could be seen in the fossil record, which it has not. According to Swinney evolutionists expect us to believe that at one point, a warm little pond was hit by an electric bolt and created a living organism. No one has ever been able to begin life with a bunch of gases and an electric spark. Scientists have been able to get amino acids from gases and electric sparks, but not life. Swinney says that no scientist on this earth can explain with certainty how DNA and RNA came into being. Evolutionists say that if given enough time, anything can happen. That is their defensive explanation of how evolution took place over billions of years

Evolutionists also say that the earth is billions of years old. This can be disproved scientifically. It is proven that the earth loses half of its magnetic field every 1,470 years (Sekulow). If the earth were 4.5 billion years old, the magnetic field would have been so much stronger that it would be impossible for anything living to survive. Also according to evolutionists, life will continue in the future as the laws of nature govern. If this is so, then the future is bleak. By 9000 AD, the earth’s magnetic field will be completely gone allowing cosmic rays to kill off everything on earth. Another fact that helps to disprove evolution and point to a young universe involves the sun. The sun shrinks at a rate of one tenth of a percent each year. Three million years ago, the sun would have been larger and would have burned up the entire earth (Swinney). According to evolution, organisms evolved over billions of years. Since the sun would have annihilated all life on earth three million years ago, basic organisms wouldn’t have had enough time to form into more complex ones.

Evolutionists believe that some organism slowly evolved into a human being. Creationists disagree, saying that all men and women are descendents of Adam and Eve. Evolutionists try to disprove creationists by saying that there were cavemen or underdeveloped humans. In one of the findings that scientists called Neanderthal man was found a flute with seven notes on it, which is the same musical scale we use today. According to the Bible, modern men were created on the sixth day of creation, not after thirteen steps of evolution from monkeys to modern men, as evolutionists would show you in the textbooks. Creationists state that man was around when the earth was six days old, not billions as evolutionists claim.

Ancient dates are all speculation. Mt. St. Helens erupted twenty years ago. Sixteen years ago, lava sand began to develop as a result of the eruption. After taken by evolutionists and being scientifically dated, this lava sand is already being recorded at 340,000 years old. It is also being dated 350,000 years old according to radioactive dating (Belkin). The scientists that tested the lava did so without knowing where it came from. This can help prove that the methods used for dating are not always accurate. Evolutionists use the same methods to date things such as dinosaur fossils as they did with the sand.

Evolutionists say that dinosaurs were extinct far before man existed while creationists say that everything was created in the same week. There have been at least seven findings in the United States of human footprints with or within dinosaur footprints (Swinney). Recently, a large T-Rex bone was found that had not been fossilized. This bone was cut in have, and it still contained red blood cells. If these bones were millions of years old, there would have been no remnants of red blood cells (Swinney). A few years ago, pictographs were found in the Grand Canyon. Indians had drawn these pictures. The pictographs showed a T-Rex being killed by a hunter. Amazingly, the skeleton was found nearby (Swinney). Creationists are finding examples like these to disprove evolution and at the same time prove the validity of the creationism. They also try to find items that do not go along with what has been accepted in science.

One of the areas that contradicts science is what the evolutionists call the big bang. It states that there were materials floating around in space that randomly came together and formed everything. “The big bang theory relies on a growing number of supposed entities; things that scientists have never observed- inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the best examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. The big bang theory cannot survive without these factors. In no other field of physics would hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the evolutionary theory (Wieland).” What is more; there are no predictions in the big bang that have later been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory’s supporters consist of its ability to look back and fit observations with a steadily increasing array of flexible boundaries. One of the boundaries that they are not increasing is how many theories can be taught in science class.

I believe that creation as well as evolution should be taught in America’s schools. Just as there are specific chapters about evolution in science books, there should be chapters on creation and intelligent design. People should have the benefit of listening and analyzing more than one theory so they can choose what they want to believe for themselves. Intelligent design should be included in science rooms because sixty percent of the American public thinks creation is as good a theory as evolution (Wineke) This is the United States, and students should not be forced into learning and taking tests over the evolutionary theory alone.

In America, science class needs to change. Evolutionists cannot prove that their theory is right, in the same way that they can’t prove that the earth is three hundred billion years old. However, creationists cannot totally prove their point either (Swinney). Many items in intelligent design are accepted through faith, something not everyone is willing to do. It is most likely that neither side of the fight will ever be able to prove that their theory is one hundred percent correct. The battle between creation and evolution has been occurring over many years, and it will probably continue to do so before any new resolutions are made. “Educators must keep up with science. It is science that is pointing to the inevitable conclusion that an intelligent creator was the architect for this magnificent universe (Sekulow).”

Belkin, Douglas. “God vs. Darwin.” The Post 22 Aug. 1999: 1-4 Clear Lake Schools. Sirs. Clear Lake IMC Lab, Clear Lake IA. 22 Aug. 1999

Sekulow, Jay. “Intelligent Design Is a Worthy Rival to Theory of Evolution.” Maryland Press April 2002: 1-2 Clear Lake Schools. Aclj. IMC Lab, Clear Lake IA. April 2002 <>

Sekulow, Jay. “Theories That Challenge Evolution.” KRT 29 Sept. 2005: 1-2 Clear Lake Schools. Sirs. Clear Lake IMC Lab, Clear Lake IA. 29 Sept. 2005 <>

Swinney, Stanley. “Creation Vs. Evolution” Faith Baptist Church, Mason City, IA. 3 Nov. 2003

Wineke, William. “Great Debate, The.” Wisconsin State Journal 2 Feb. 1997: 1-5 Clear Lake Schools. Sirs. Clear Lake IMC Lab, Clear Lake IA. 2 Feb. 1997 <>.

A Light In the Darkness By: Mark Dickson (TFC Entry)

The sun had long departed, and now the revealing light it brought was finally gone. The moon did not rise that night nor did the stars shine. It was as if God Himself had snuffed out all natural light and thrown a blanket of darkness over the land. The energy and noise which had filled the streets earlier had disappeared and been replaced with utter silence and absolute stillness, but no one gave it any thought. Besides the occasional officer on patrol, all were comfortably tucked away into their beds, wiping away fatigue from the tough day of work. One by one the lights in the houses started flicking off for the night, signaling the hooded figure to make his move.

The night scene of the silent street was a collage of dim streetlights and shadows. One shadow, out of place, did not shift with the wind as the shadows of the trees, but neither did it remain in one place as the shadows of the buildings. It was creeping, crawling, traveling down the street toward a little shop with the sign “Van Den Brooke Watches”. It carefully evaded streetlights, instead embracing the safety of the concealing blackness. The shadow arrived unnoticed at the watch shop and slipped quietly down the alley to the side door. It expertly picked the lock and the door easily swung open. The dark form took a cautious step inside; the old wooden floor creaked much louder than what the figure would have preferred. It remembered to be wary, for old man Van Den Brooke and his family lived upstairs.

In mere moments the valuables were all in a bag and the shadow was ready to disappear, but the figure froze when faint voices started coming from above. It sounded as though the Van Den Brooke family was getting ready to go somewhere, quite strange for this hour. The intruder took no chances and bolted out the door. It dashed out of the alley and crashed into a man who came unexpectedly from around the corner.

A large police officer, being violently thrown to the ground by the unknown person, quickly rose to his feet to identify the cause. He noticed scattered pieces of gold and silver and knew he had a lawbreaker on his hands. As he tried to figure out who it was he made the mistake of looking into the dark person’s face, for what he saw cast a paralyzing fear over his body. He had seen many things before and was by no means a coward, but the look of evil in the eyes of this hooded figure could have unnerved a rock.

The shadow took advantage of the delayed movement of the officer and dashed into the street. The policeman, finally coming to his senses, yelled for assistance. A fellow officer quickly came to his aid.

Now hearing two pairs of footsteps, the thief paused for an instant, wondering where to go. With acute sensitivity, an instinct, the figure instantly vanished around the corner of a building, melding itself into the wall, and became undetectable there in the dark. It didn’t speak or move, but watched with a piercing gaze as the officers passed by, both winded. With a clear path to safety, the shadow silently took off for the woods only a short distance away.

“Stop thief!” The two officers shouted in unison. They had caught a glimpse of the dark form. It darted into the forest for shelter, where it was undetectable under the gloomy cover of darkness. The police gave up chase at the tree line. They knew that they had no possible way of finding the ghost-like figure amidst the trees.

The figure kept on running, unaware that his pursuers had given up the chase. While flitting in and out between trees, the dark person failed to notice the almost invisible barbed wire fence. It struck the thief, sending air exploding from his lungs while his head was sent sprawling into an unfriendly rock. Everything in sight became a blur, and the mysterious figure drifted into sleep.

“He’s awake!” A man shouted.

“Where, where am I?” asked the dark figure worriedly.

“You’re fine; you’re with friends,” answered the man. “Just stay still. You’ve got a nasty cut there on your head.” The man left to join the group.

The dark figure knew he couldn’t stay. He couldn’t risk being caught, so he struggled to his feet and his head began to swim. At the moment he was in a clearing, probably in the forest, and there were about twenty other people of varying ages gathered around a fire. They spoke softly, as though they too were trying to remain unnoticed. He couldn’t figure out what was going on.

The group formed a circle around the small fire, joined hands, and started singing. The music was soothing to the battered man as he tried to make out the words. The song was about some man named Jesus. That was it! He finally understood what was taking place in this small, deserted clearing. He didn’t know many details, but he knew that here in Germany it was illegal for some types of Christians to have church. He had heard rumors that fanatics were disregarding the law and risking their very lives to worship in secret places. Why they would put their lives on the line for some dead Jewish man was beyond him, but at least he knew he was at safe with fellow lawbreakers. For the meantime he didn’t need to worry.

“All right, settle down. It’s time for the sermon,” bellowed a large man, the leader of the group. The dedicated assembly then began to hold hands and earnestly pray. The sermon started and the injured man lie drinking in every word spoken, unable to quench his thirst.

“So, what did you think of the message?” asked the same man who had tended the newcomer earlier. The message had been amazing! If all of what the speaker had said was true, he had been missing out on something too wonderful for words. However, he had quite a few questions that needed answering.

“Very good,” answered the crook after finally deciding what to say. He showed only a fraction of the enthusiasm he really felt. Somehow his heart, the hard, cold product brought on by thirty years of hate and bitterness, was beginning to melt. For the first time in a long while he felt hope.

For hours the dark man had been drawing important answers out of the man who first helped him. “So, even after all the bad things I’ve done, God still loves me?” The burglar was now sobbing uncontrollably; something he hadn’t done since he was a child. He was surprised, because before this moment he didn’t think that he would ever cry again.

“That’s right. He wants you just the way you are.” said the man who then showed the melting thief a corresponding Bible verse. “All you need to do is tell Jesus you are sorry. Then ask him to save you from all of the sins of your past.”

“And He’ll do it?”

“You can count on it. God never lies.”

The dark man prayed a short, humble prayer and instantly felt the shroud of darkness leave. He had been miraculously transformed into a child of the light, and now felt the magnificent freedom it brought.

For the first time the dark figure left the concealment of the shadows and walked into the warmth of the firelight. The small remnant of believers cheered. They could have left hours ago, but instead stayed to enjoy the exciting transformation of this man’s dark soul into one of radiance.

The new believer knew his life needed much clearing up, but that could wait till morning. Right now he desperately needed some rest. As the group was clearing up all evidence of the meeting, the kind man who led the new believer to Christ asked, “Do you have a place to stay? If not, you’re more than welcome to spend a time living with my family. We can help you get grounded in the word of God.”

“I think I’ll take you up on that offer,” said the new believer. Then, for the first time, he realized his bag of stolen watches was missing. He’d have to go find and return them to the watch shop first thing in the morning.

“Sir,” asked the new believer. “What’s your name? I forgot to ask earlier.”

“Well, by most I’m known as old man Van Den Brooke.” Van Den Brooke let a smile escape and took a large bag of watches out from under his coat. The new convert couldn’t believe it. Van Den Brooke cared enough to bring him life, even after he had robbed the watchmaker’s business. Just as God forgave him earlier, this man was also forgiving him. Tonight he had definitely been shown the miracle of mercy.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Da Vinci Code Part 3

Greetings All,

Just a note to let you know that if your interested, the third and final installment of Dr. Bauders article on the Da Vinci Code is now on Sharper Iron.

The web addres is:


I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

March Madness in High Gear!

Wow! What a difference a week makes!

Last week I was so excited for the NCAA Tournament. Iowa and UNI were set to compete and expectations were high. Then they actually played the games.

Iowa was defeated by one of the most incredible fall-away 3 point shot from the corner I have ever seen. I literally sat in stunned disbelief; I could not believe what I had just seen. Not just the last second 3 pointer but that Iowa frittered away an almost 20 point lead in the last 4 minutes of the ball game. It is still hard to fathom!

UNI came into the Big Dance with many on the national sports scene singing their praises and thinking that they were a legitimate “Sweet 16” team. That proved to be not so true either! One and done, but to their credit this was the third invite to the tournament in so many years.

I found it very interesting that Iowa State chose to announce that they fired their men’s basketball coach just 30 minutes before the Iowa game on Friday. And today we find that Iowa State has hired GREG MCDERMOTT away from UNI! In my humble opinion, great move for both ISU and Coach McDermott.

On another related basketball note, it was widely reported that Steve Alford would be snatched away by Indiana as their next coach. Then today it was reported that Indiana was interviewing two candidates and Alford was not one of them BUT Alford was interviewing with Missouri. However, the latest report in the Des Moines Register is that Coach Alford will not interview for the vacant men's basketball coaching position at Missouri. The coaching carousel continues!

It would be natural for you to expect that about here I would give my opinion on whether Alford should stay or go. The truth is I’m not sure…I really have not formulated my thoughts on this issue. I’ll keep you posted!

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Da Vinci Code, Part Two

Greetings All,

Just a note to let you know that if your interested, the second installment of Dr. Bauders article on the Da Vinci Code is now on Sharper Iron.

The web addres is:


I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Da Vinci Code, Part One: “Coming Soon to a Theater Near You” Kevin T. Bauder

First published in 2003, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is a mystery thriller that also advances a proposal about the origins of Christianity, the canonization of the Bible, and the nature of Jesus Christ. The book has been wildly popular. By August of 2005 it had been translated into 44 languages and had 36 million copies in print. Anchor Books is scheduled to release another 5 million paperback copies on March 28, and Broadway Books will follow with a 200,000 copy “special illustrated edition” []

A movie version of The Da Vinci Code will be released to North American theaters on May 19. The movie, which is being directed by Ron Howard, stars Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, Audrey Tautou as Sophie Neveu, and Ian McKellan as Leigh Teabing. If it proves as popular as the book has been, Christians might do well to be prepared with a response.

Why respond to a work of fiction? Would anyone really take it seriously? Does Brown even expect it to be taken seriously?

The book itself gives part of the answer to that question. In an “introductory comment” before the beginning of the story, Brown writes that “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in the novel are accurate.” The documents and rituals to which he refers are at the heart of the plot. They are also the heart of Brown’s proposal about Christianity.

In an FAQ on Brown’s website, he acknowledges that the characters in the book are fictional, but he also says: “it is my belief that some of the theories discussed by these characters may have merit.” Responding to scholars who have attempted to disprove his proposal about Christianity, Brown insists that “these scholars and I obviously disagree.” To the charge that the history in his book contradicts the history that people have learned in school, Brown replies, “Since the beginning of recorded time, history has been written by ‘the winners’…. Many historians now believe (as do I) that in gauging the historical accuracy of a given concept, we should first ask ourselves a far deeper question: How historically accurate is history itself?”

Brown clearly intends to offer more than fiction. As a matter of fact, he has drawn most of the theory (though not the plot) of The Da Vinci Code from the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln. So heavily does Brown’s work rely on Holy Blood, Holy Grail that Baigent and Leigh are suing him for plagiarism.

The theory that Brown advances in The Da Vinci Code depends upon several controversial assertions. Three of these claims are particularly crucial—and debatable. The first is that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene (who was also an apostle) and that the two of them had children together. The second is that Christianity is merely the winner among a variety of competing faiths among the early followers of Jesus. The third is that the early followers of Jesus acknowledged the “sacred feminine” or goddess principle, a belief that they inherited from ancient Judaism.

The last claim is easily the strangest. Through the book’s characters, Brown argues that all the world’s ancient religions incorporated some form of goddess worship. The recognition of this sacred feminine linked fertility with divinity and viewed sexual intercourse as a means of communing wth the divine. According to Brown, ancient Judaism recognized this principle and had Yahweh (the masculine principle) cohabiting with Shekinah (the feminine principle) in the temple. Brown insists that the sacred feminine was part of Jesus’ teaching. Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene embodied the principle, which was acknowledged by the early followers of Jesus. The sacred feminine, however, was crushed out of Christianity by Constantine at the Council of Nicea. Christianity has been a violent and morally impoverished movement ever since.What this means is that orthodox Christianity did not exist until Nicea—which is Brown’s second claim. Brown uses the characters in his story to argue that Jesus was a merely human prophet who founded a church that had female leaers and even female apostles (such as Mary Magdalene). After the death of Jesus, rival factions in the church struggled for power. Male domination was a key issue. Constantine used the Council of Nicea (325 AD) to create a male‐dominated version of Christianity that would suit his political purposes and unify the empire. Part of this new Christianity included the deity of Christ, which had not previously been taught. In order to substantiate its claims, the Council of Nicea compiled a New Testament that included only those writings that would support its claims. Many other documents—including many gospels—were excluded. Backed by the power of Constantine, this new Christianity was able to squelch other versions of the Jesus story, eventually making the claim that it was the only orthodoxy.

Ultimately, all of Brown’s claims depend upon the theory that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, that the two of them had children together, and that Mary was an apostle. Brown thinks that this is the deep, dark secret that Christianity has brutally suppressed through the centuries. He advances the bulk of his evidence on this point.

Brown notes that Mary Magdalene traveled with Jesus (Luke 8:1-3). He argues that Jewish males were expected to marry and that failure to marry was a scandal for them. He cites Hippolytus, a second-century theologian, for evidence that Mary Magdalene was an apostle. He quotes from a Gnostic document, the Gospel of Philip, which has Jesus kissing Mary and which calls her Jesus’ “companion.” The term companion is important to Brown: he insists that this is an Aramaic word that is reserved for lovers and spouses. Finally, Brown cites the Gospel of Mary Magdalene (another Gnostic document) to demonstrate that Jesus showed special favoritism towards Mary.

Brown’s proposal is obviously subversive to Christianity. If he is correct, then Christianity as it is known today cannot be true. People who believe Brown’s proposal will not believe the Bible. Through The Da Vinci Code, Brown’s theory has been propagated to millions of people. When the movie is released, this theory will be propagated to millions more.

Christians ought to be ready to respond to people who find The Da Vinci Code persuasive. An effective response must take account of all three issues that Dan Brown raises. That is exactly what I intend to do over the next several issues of In the Nick of Time.

Editorial Note: Dr. Bauder's "In the Nick of Time" articles may be read at

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bracketology - The Study of Brackets

"It's the most wonderful time of the year" if your a college basketball fan, that is! And I am!!!

I'm working on my bracket, not finished yet, but working diligently. And if you really need to know ... I'm a homer! Loving the fact that Iowa has two of its four NCAA teams in the tourney this year. The University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa! I'm pulling for the Iowa teams to go far in this years event.

Philip has his brackets done and Daniel is working on his, at our house this is a family affair. Last year even Susan joined in the fun.

The games begin on Thursday and then its wall to wall Men's NCAA basketball until Sunday. What a great field this year, I'm really looking forward to things getting underway! I LOVE THIS GAME!!!

That's the way I see it,

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Philip's Talents For Christ Entry

Philip is participating in "Talents For Christ". TFC is a program to challenge students who are actively involved in General Association of Regular Baptist Churches to develop their God-given talents for ministry within their local churches and to honor those who demonstrate exceptional preparation and skill. Philip has chosen to enter in the area of writing. As part of his requirements, he must put his articles somewhere so that people may have access to them and be able to read them. He has asked me to post them for him.

A Thanksgiving Story
By: Philip Cox
Genre: short story
1,308 total words
119 total quoted words

It is a cold, dark night in Chicago on the evening of November twenty-third. It is only hours away from an early Thanksgiving but as the warmth of the sun sets and the cold chills from the wind become ever so much stronger, a man walks ever so much slower than he did hours earlier. The weather continually worsened the man’s condition continually weakened. He grew colder than the breeze that blew into his face. He walked with his steps becoming smaller it was as if his shoes collected all of the litter from the metropolitan area in which he was walking. As the weary man slowly trudged ahead he discovered himself stumbling on to a nearly deserted subway train where he was left with only his thoughts and gnarly rats to keep him company. He realized the walk he had decided to go on only hours ago took him farther than he would have ever thought to have gone. He remembered, while he rode the train back to his lonely home, his wife.

Mourning her recent death, he pondered the many Thanksgivings they had spent together. He thought of the wonderful smell of the turkey she had cooked so many times and how much better the taste was than the smell. Though the turkey was delicious, he thought of the golden sweet potatoes with marshmallows, the fluffy white mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, the greenbean casserole with those golden brown onions on top, the soft buttery rolls, and the traditional homemade pumpkin pie. All of these were things the man had condemned to the past as he looked toward to a lonely Thanksgiving this year; since his wife had passed away soon after the previous Christmas.

The man had five children, but all had families of their own now. The man had fought with his children at his wife’s funeral, due to his anger and grief. He had made comments that he still wished he had not said after all. These nine months or so, he had heard little from his family; a card here, a phone call there, but nothing that was said could break the ice in the conversations that were attempted by the man or his children.

When the man’s train ride ended, he was almost fully rested but still slightly more frustrated after dwelling on his past transgressions. He started the short walk he had left to get home.

As the bitter man opens the door to his home, once again his thoughts are flooded with endearing memories of a home full of children noisily running about, preparing for the next morning. These thoughts are rudely cut short with the sound of the man’s creaking door as he shuts it.

The man wanders up the stairs to his bedroom, collapsing on his bed. He glances across his room and notices a picture of himself fishing with his wife. There on the table next to the picture was something he had not seen in quite some time, his Bible. He rolled off the bed and sat down in the chair next to the table where his Bible collected dust all of these months. As he picked up the Bible he noticed a bookmark. Curiously he opens it up to the marked section and begins to read the highlighted chapter.

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal:
A time to break down,
And a time to build up:
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
. . .
Nothing can be added to it,
And nothing taken from it.
God does it, that men should fear before Him.
That which is has already been,
And what is to be has already been;
And God requires an account of what is past.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1- 15

As the man read these things, he wept. With the thoughts of lonely days stretching out before him, he prayed for forgiveness and that his children would forgive him as well. For the first night in months, this man slept through the night, without waking until his alarm sounded at five in the morning. The man awoke with a new emotion, one he had not felt in such a long time. Now he felt so alive, that when he went down to the mall, as he did every morning, and began to walk, he could not keep to himself what had happened. So he willingly shared it with the old friends he was walking with. They were so excited to see a smile on his face that they invited him out for some breakfast. The man said he must decline their invitation for he already had made some plans.

As he left the mall, the sun shone so bright and the wind was a cold friend on his cheek, as opposed to the night before, when the wind bit him so viciously. The man proceeded to drive home as the snow began to descend. The sun he had just seen was slowly fading into a white cloud. When the man arrived home, there was already an inch of snow outdoors; this caused the man to question going through with his plans. Ultimately, he decides that nothing should keep him from visiting his family on this Thanksgiving morning. The man slipped into a nice sweater and jeans, put on his coat one more time, then fought his way though two inches of fluffy snow into the car.

The man’s determination to fight nature was very foolish. With a predicted ten to twelve inches of snow in thirty mile an hour winds, the man’s trip across town would take longer than expected, if he even makes it all of the way. As the weather continued to rapidly deteriorate, the man became nervous. He fervently prayed for his safe journey to his son’s house. After praying, he decided he would press on, trusting in God’s provision through the cold snowy weather towards his eldest son’s home, where they had always held Thanksgiving. The day had gone fast, as it was nearing four in the afternoon, he realized he was finally at his destination.

He sat in his car for about ten minutes, having second thoughts about coming and making things right again. With his pride taking over he decided it wasn’t worth coming for. Disturbing his thoughts of returning home with almost no fuel, there is a knock on his window. The man started to roll down his car window, but before the window was completely down, someone outside the car started to say they noticed he had been sitting there a while and offered to help him with some directions. The old man replied with a simple answer “No thank you, son. All I need is your forgiveness right now.”

The interrupting man stared into the car then he suddenly exclaimed, “Dad.” The man’s son reached through the Window, and hugged him, replying, “I’d forgive you for anything as long as you stay for supper.”

The old man said that he would love to stay. The father and son walked into the house together. The smell of the turkey just about knocked the older man over. The older man never expected to be welcomed by his family. He was so anxious to eat, that when he did eat he swore they stole a meal from a king, which they all laughed at his joke.

I'm Back!!! - The Party is Over

Greetings All,

I'm back from my first attempt at seminary level class work. The class was "Introduction to Biblical Exegesis" and was very interesting, dealing with primarily the languages of Hebrew & Greek. The Hebrew was VERY difficult for me and the Greek seemed easier for me to grasp.

I still have a lot of assignments to get finished before the end of April but I'm feeling pretty good about my experience so far!

I'm glad to be back home and back in my office. I'm looking forward to being able to use some of the things I learned in class in my ministry. That may be the best thing about the module system, as soon as you finish a class you are able to use the knowledge and see immediate results!

At least that's the way I see it - -

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Where is Pastor Steve????

Greetings Everyone!

I want you to know that I have not fallen off the edge of the earth! I taking my very first seminary module at FBBC&TS. More details to come when I return!

Please keep me in your prayers!

I Remain,
Pastor Steve