“Being a Dad Who Leads” Book Review

Posted on Aug 20, 2014 in Books and movies we like, Marianis from the Front | 0 comments

  I am now officially a father of a sweet little boy and my wife and I are loving it. He is so precious to us. We have been so blessed by the generosity of others. Normally at baby showers, you get great stuff for the baby or for the mommy, but a couple of friends gave me, the daddy, a thoughtful gift. They gave me a book entitled, “Being a Dad Who Leads” by John MacArthur. I was somewhat familiar with the author and pastor and so I was excited to dig into it, even though our baby was not even born yet. What I love about John MacArthur, remembering from one of his other books, is that he uses so much scripture in his writing and preaching… and he did not disappoint with this book. In this book, MacArthur touched on a number of key passages and themes dealing with being a father. As men, we are to “love our wives, just as Christ also loved the church.” (Ephesians 5:25) We are called to be Godly examples and leading our wives and children in a way they will notice and hopefully even the outside world will notice. The family is the primary priority – above our work.  Being a Godly father is likened to Christ’s relationship to the church, and also as similar in role to a church leader, so it is important. MacArthur also exposits the passage in Proverbs 7 about being wise and avoiding the seductress. From that passage, there is a lot of insight, advice, and guidelines for fathers to help train their children. MacArthur also describes the attributes and characteristics of the father in the prodigal son account (Luke 15:11-32) and how that represents God and is an example of how we are to be as fathers. MacArthur encourages parents to continually share the gospel clearly. Over and over again, he refers back to Ephesians 6:4 which says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” From this verse and MacArthur’s emphasis, I was encouraged to make every moment and every instance a learning experience to relate and teach God’s Word to myself, my wife, and my children. Every circumstance can be used to teach us and point us to God and His Word. I was very blessed to already have received this book and to have had the opportunity to read it, since I am just starting out. I legitimately think that raising up men to be Godly leaders of their home can change our deteriorating culture. In fact, I may buy this book in large quantities to start giving away and I may even do a book study with the fathers around me. I am even considering including the young, single men around me that will someday be fathers. This is great teaching from God’s Word and it is crucial that we focus on His Word to make a difference in our families...

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Star and Planetary Formation – Creation Perspective

Posted on Aug 12, 2014 in Marianis from the Front, The Biggest Challenges to Evolution | 0 comments

  Creation Answer: In order for stars to start forming, there must be gas clouds that can be compressed. The possibilities for compression can be: a nearby supernova (exploding star), dust grains from a supernova that cool and compress the gas cloud, colliding gas clouds, like galaxies colliding, black holes, which may emit jets of high-speed material that will compress the gas cloud, or radiation from other nearby stars may compress the gas cloud.   In each of those possibilities, “they all require stars to exist before more stars can be made.”[i] “First of all, if the collapsing cloud theory can’t even explain the sun alone, then it is doomed from the start. To form the sun, or any star, a cloud must be dense enough to collapse and compress the interior so that it becomes hot enough for nuclear fusion to start.”[ii] “Interstellar gas clouds are too large and diffuse for gravity to overcome gas pressure. So they won’t collapse and form stars – they’ll disperse instead.”[iii] “The origin of stars represents one of the most fundamental unsolved problems of contemporary astrophysics.”[iv] “There are so many uncertainties in this picture that at present we do not really have a theory of star formation.”[v] “We’re starting from a shaky foundation…we don’t understand how a single star forms, yet we want to understand how 10 billion stars form.”[vi] “Astronomers frequently report about ‘new stars’ or ‘young stars’ that they assume formed over the last few million years. Naturalistic astronomers would say that stars can form in the present from clouds of dust and gas in space. No one has actually seen these stars form. They are assumed to be young because of their location near gas and dust clouds where astronomers think that stars form.”[vii] “Evolutionary scientists would expect that in millions of years, dust very near the star would be driven away or would be vaporized…Recent research on dust disks has turned up examples of stars that according to accepted ideas of stellar evolution are old, yet they are observed to have extensive dust disks.” They have “found some young stars missing discs and some old stars with massive discs.’”[viii] So can stars still form? “Some creation scientists might argue that stars could not form after the Creation Week. However, others would say that stars could form after the Creation Week, but would argue that the naturalistic origins theories accepted today are not adequate explanations of the process.”[ix] Can planets form? Gas by nature, especially hot gas, wants to expand more than gravity will be able to hold it together, because gravity is a very weak force. One scientist says “talk about a major embarrassment for planetary scientists. There, blazing away in the late evening sky, are Jupiter and Saturn – the gas giants that account for 93% of the solar system’s planetary mass – and no one has a satisfying...

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Star and Planetary Formation – Naturalistic/Evolutionary Perspective

Posted on Aug 8, 2014 in Marianis from the Front, The Biggest Challenges to Evolution | 2 comments

  Introduction: There are countless stars in the universe and with each star, there could be many planets. How do stars form? How do rocky planets form and how do gas planets form? What causes stars and planets to form? Have we observed any form? How often should a star be born? How does this evidence affect the age estimates of our universe?   Naturalistic/Evolutionary Answer: “In the Milky Way today the average annual star formation rate is ten solar masses,” but it is thought to have been much higher in the past.[i] “Researchers still do not know the details of how clouds of gas and dust collapse to form stars, or why most stars form in groups, or exactly how planetary systems form.  Young stars within a star-forming region interact with each other in complex ways. The details of how they evolve and release the heavy elements they produce back into space for recycling into new generations of stars and planets remains to be determined through a combination of observation and theory.”[ii] All over the universe, nebulae (large gas clouds) and galaxies serve as stellar nurseries where stars are born. Complex interactions of gravity and other forces from nearby objects condense and collapse a gas cloud into a dense rotating sphere, which first becomes a protostar. The Hubble Space Telescope has captured places of dense, star-birthing areas, like the bright resonance ring within the NGC 3081 galaxy.[iii] Often radiation and compression waves from other stars will trigger further star formation in dense clouds of gas.[iv] In this dense, rotating protostar, the inside of this sphere heats up due to the increased pressure, which causes nuclear fusion (fusing hydrogen atoms together to make helium) to occur, which is the lighting up of the star. “Stars are responsible for the manufacture and distribution of heavy elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen.”[v] Right after a star is formed there is still a lot of mass circling in a disc around it. In the Core Accretion Model, over millions of years, these bits of rocky, heavy elements slowly condense, collide and clump together due to gravity to form rocky (terrestrial) planets. In this model, lighter elements are blown further away from the sun and are therefore more dense and abundant to be able to condense into the gas planets. There must be great forces pushing the gas together since the force of the expansion of gas is greater than gravity and this must have happened very quickly, which is a challenge to the theory. The forces and speed of these rocky and gas planets must be just right or else the planets will spiral out of control and possibly into the sun. Early on in each planet’s formation, the moons would have been created by large impacts or by capturing other floating material in the early solar system. Because of the...

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Our New Baby!

Posted on Jul 31, 2014 in Marianis from the Front | 0 comments

  We have been anxiously awaiting the birth of our first baby. We did everything we thought that we could do to prepare for him or her (we didn’t know), as well as trying desperately to think through every decision so we could make the best and most God-glorifying decision. And we were doing good…we thought, but even with the best intentions, there is a fuzzy-line between trusting God and wanting it to go our way. We even developed our “birth plan” to be as natural, comfortable, and God-honoring. We wanted to have our baby at the birth center in town and try to avoid the pressures of drugs and wires and protocol at the hospital. We thought that being in the birth center would be more comfortable, more convenient and possibly an opportunity to even witness. That was our desire. 40 weeks came and went and the days continued ticking by during the 41st week; we were concerned that we would not be able to have our baby as we wanted. We did almost everything to help our baby come along, but it liked its dark, warm, cozy little place within Mommy. We were now 42 weeks along and were finally forced to resign our desires and transfer to the hospital and have an induction with drugs… which we were desperately trying to avoid. Without going into gory details, we are now proud to announce that our baby boy, Caden David, was born late that night. He had a little trouble breathing at first and was in risk of infection. He had to spend that night in the NICU, but recovered very well.  We were able to rest that night as well and he was allowed to stay with us the next night. The hospital took great care of us and we were just sooo blessed by the lovely nurses that cared for us. We don’t know how God used us there at the hospital to minister to them, but we felt very loved, cared for, and ministered to. God knew much better than we did that we needed to be in the hospital! God yet again protected and provided abundantly for us in that crazy process! We are now home, resting and praising God for our beautiful, healthy baby boy. God knows everything, His will is better than ours, and he wants to bless us that we might glorify Him! Not to say that the road won’t be difficult, but well worth it!   26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?…31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and...

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Perfect Placement for Life – Creation Perspective

Posted on Jul 30, 2014 in Marianis from the Front, The Biggest Challenges to Evolution | 0 comments

  Creation Answer: The earth was created by God. God placed the earth at the right place in the Milky Way and at the right distance from the sun so that organisms, that He designed specifically, can thrive here.[i] God created man and animals for the earth and there is no indication in scripture that God put life on other planets. This is not a lonely idea, as God created mankind for fellowship with God and each other and the heavens are that big and that amazing to “declare the glory of God.” (Psalm 19:1, KJV) The Drake Equation states the extremely low probability of life arising in the universe, and thus, this is an evidence that the earth may have been created specially. The Biblical historical record is another evidence of God’s creation. In Genesis 1, the earth is mentioned twenty times specifically. God’s purpose is on Earth, so these perfect specifications were not random. If the earth were either closer to or further from the sun, we would either burn or freeze to death.[ii] The sun is often considered an average star, but the observed consistency of the sun is very unique and necessary for life on earth.[iii] Billions of years is a long time to assume that the sun has been consistent enough to allow for life. The earth’s weather patterns and temperatures are related to the earth’s perfect tilt on its axis. God thought of all this specifically.[iv] The perfection in the earth’s atmosphere and the correct mixture of chemical ingredients in the air show His omnipotence and knowledge. A slight change in chemical ingredients could kill all the organisms here.[v] Why does the earth have an atmosphere, but the moon does not if they were formed at the same time with nearly the same compositions after the giant collision? The fact that we even have an atmosphere is completely necessary for life, as it regulates the gases we need and even the temperature on the earth. The moon, which is basically the same distance from the sun yet with no atmosphere, can reach temperatures of 266°F in the sun and -292°F on the dark side of the moon.[vi] The moon also shows God’s power and perfect plan in that its gravity affects the ocean tides in just the right way for temperature changes and currents.[vii] The oceans need that refreshing, recycling movement that the moon creates. Currently, the sun and moon appear the same size when looking from Earth, which is very rare and allows for amazing eclipses that have led to many scientific discoveries. But the moon drifts away from the earth every year and so the sizes of the sun and moon and other conditions will not always be perfect for making these discoveries like they are today.[viii] Since the moon was closer in the past, that would have made the tides very detrimental to...

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Perfect Placement for Life – Naturalistic/Evolutionary Perspective

Posted on Jul 11, 2014 in Marianis from the Front, The Biggest Challenges to Evolution | 0 comments

  Introduction: The earth has been called the Goldilocks planet as it is in the perfect place ( ‘Just Right’ as she would say ) to support life.[i] It’s at the right distance from the sun and moon, has the right magnetic field, the right atmosphere, the right rotation rate, the right tilt for seasons, the right percentage of gases in the atmosphere, the right amount of liquid water, the right weather systems (size, length, power), the right tides, the right moon rotation and even the sun and moon match to allow for the perfect eclipse. The Earth is even protected by its atmosphere, its magnetic field, the moon, and Jupiter, and so much more. The Drake Equation attempts to include all the variables in estimating the likelihood and possibility of life arising in the universe. According to the Drake Equation, there are numerous variables that have to all be right for life to exist in the Milky Way.[ii] So what are the chances of everything being perfect for life? How have all those variables worked out like they have? Is our existence itself proof that this is simply one of the luckiest planets in the universe, perfect for life by chance, or designed by a creator? Naturalistic/Evolutionary Answer: Almost fifteen billion years ago, the universe was created from a singularity, an “infinitely small” mass which was, however, the mass of the whole universe.[iii] The mass exploded and expanded, and this is referred to as “the big bang.”[iv] The universe, and eventually life, have slowly evolved over those billions of years to the current situation today. After the big bang, the right gas clouds collided and, in places, collapsed in seeming chaos, but out of that chaos came the first stars, galaxies, supernovas, the heavier elements and more. Over billions of years the Milky Way galaxy slowly formed and in a perfect spot between dense spiral arms, with our specific chemical composition and gravitational field, our sun starting forming as did the planets shortly thereafter. Around every star, there is a habitable zone, and this is where the Earth starting forming… in just the right place. The material forming the earth condensed due to gravity as well as heating up due to the density, friction, radioactive and solar activity,  and further collisions as the earth, along with the other planets, cleaned up the majority of the loose mass in our solar system. The best theory is that this molten planet earth was impacted in just the right way to form both the earth and the moon, as well as causing the tilt of the earth, the rotation rates for both, and perfecting their revolution around the sun. So the distance of the sun and moon from the earth have resulted in the correct temperatures, seasons, tides, eclipses and weather patterns – all by chance. At this point, the sun was dimmer and cooler, which allowed the earth to cool off as well....

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Evolution of Feathers and Birds – Creation Perspective

Posted on Jul 9, 2014 in Marianis from the Front, The Biggest Challenges to Evolution | 0 comments

  Creation Answer: God was very intentional about every detail of His creation, including feathers on birds! “Birds are ‘custom designed for flight!’” Without the complex make-up of feathers, birds would never have flown. In fact, their entire bodies are designed specifically for flying with their light, hollow bones, their open respiratory system, their efficient digestive and circulatory systems, as well as their streamlined shape accompanied by powerful specialized muscles and tendons. “All of these factors work together to produce a system that is highly efficient and intricately coordinated.”[i] These characteristics would not be just simple little changes, but rather, unbelievably extensive changes from the structures of reptilian dinosaurs that birds supposedly had evolved from.[ii]  For example, “A transitional series from the reptile to the bird lung design would need to start from a poor creature with a diaphragmatic hernia (hole in the diaphragm), and natural selection would work against this.”[iii] The Theory of Evolution has claimed that birds have evolved from dinosaurs and thus feathers from scales.[iv] This hypothesis has been disproven as Dr. David Menton explains in saying “the only similarity is that they are both made of the protein keratin—like hair, nails and our skin.”[v] He also goes on to say that feathers are closer to hair than to scales and he lists 18 similarities between feathers and hair.[vi] “An evolutionary feather expert, Alan Brush, concludes ‘At the morphological level feathers are traditionally considered homologous with reptilian scales. However, in development, morphogenesis, gene structure, protein shape and sequence, and filament formation and structure, feathers are different.’”[vii] So reptiles must have evolved hair filaments growing through their scales first, before feathers. Interestingly, a reptile’s skin is one large sheet that is folded to create the scale shape and that’s why reptiles can shed their skin all at once.[viii] “Feathers may look simple, but they’re really very complicated. Each one can have more than a million tiny parts.”[ix] “The precise position of each feather is monitored by sensory receptors and controlled individually by tiny muscles to change shape and position in response to varying air pressure.  Feathers are stronger by weight than any man-made substitute.”[x] They are so strong because each feather is made up of a shaft with two vanes. Each vane has, on average, 400 barbs extending out from the shaft of the feather. Each barb has an average of 800 barbules that have many hooklets that interconnect each barb. This interconnecting structure acts like Velcro and is therefore extremely strong, flexible and very light-weight.[xi] The Theory of Evolution makes a lot of assumptions about the process of going from running or tree climbing reptiles into bouncing/gliding and eventually flying birds.[xii] Think about all the steps that evolution has to assume from the following quotes and commentary. “The chief difficulty in thinking about the evolution of the first feathers is the difficulty in accounting for the genesis of the structure...

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Evolution of Feathers and Birds – Naturalistic/Evolutionary Perspective

Posted on Jul 8, 2014 in Marianis from the Front, The Biggest Challenges to Evolution | 0 comments

  Introduction: The two most distinctive things about birds are that they can fly and have feathers. But have you ever wondered how feathers evolved? How complex are feathers? Could they have evolved from reptile scales? How long did it take to evolve feathers? What was their use before they enabled the bird to fly? If those are not enough questions, how did the whole bird itself evolve?  Naturalistic/Evolutionary Answer: One of the prevailing theories is that some dinosaurs evolved into birds, so feathers evolved on reptilian dinosaurs. The fossil record gives only small glimpses of that transition. “By analyzing specimens from China, paleontologists have filled in gaps in the fossil record and traced the evolutionary relationships among various dinosaurs. The fossils finally have confirmed, to all but a few skeptics, that birds descended from dinosaurs and are the living representatives of a dinosaur lineage called the Maniraptorans.” Possible transitions from feathered dinosaurs to birds or examples of feathered dinosaurs include: Anchiornis huxleyi, Archaeopteryx, Confuciusornis, Sinosauropteryx, Psittacosaurus, Microraptor, Velociraptor, and more.[i] “Feathers originate in a skin layer deep under the outer layer that forms scales. It is very unlikely that feathers evolved from reptilian scales, even though that thought is deeply embedded in the minds of too many paleontologists. Feathers probably arose as new structures under and between reptile scales, not as modified scales. Many birds have scales on their lower legs and feet where feathers are not developed, and penguins have such short feathers on parts of their wings that the skin there is scaly for all practical purposes.”[ii] “Feathers in their most primitive form were single filaments, resembling quills, that jutted from reptilian skin” and started evolving nearly 240 million years ago. “After the emergence of single filaments came multiple filaments joined at the base. Next to appear in the fossil record were paired barbs shooting off a central shaft. Eventually, dense rows of interlocking barbs formed a flat surface: the basic blueprint of the so-called pennaceous feathers of modern birds. All these feather types have been found in fossil impressions of theropods, the dinosaur suborder that includes Tyrannosaurus rex as well as birds and other Maniraptorans.”[iii] One paleontologist says, “it seems that, genetically, it’s not a great trick to make a scale into a filament.” Though many dinosaurs evolved feathers, the proto-feathers did not evolve for flight as they were not sufficient enough to fly with, but instead may have been useful for insulation, for mating practices, or for camouflage.[iv] “The thermoregulatory (insulation) theory for the origin of feathers is probably the most widely accepted one today, but it does have problems. Why feathers? Feathers are more complex to grow, more difficult to maintain in good condition, more liable to damage, and more difficult to replace than fur. Every other creature that has evolved a thermoregulatory coat, from bats to bees and from caterpillars to pterosaurs, has some kind of...

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Control and Provision

Posted on Jun 27, 2014 in Marianis from the Front | 0 comments

  Just recently, we were blessed by a wonderful gift of money from a family member. We were excited as it added a buffer, some breathing room, as we look towards added expenses with our baby on the way. The next day, we had to go to the DMV to register our cars in Colorado for the first time since moving here. The DMV, for many, is known for long wait times and over-complicated “simple” transactions. We got there, took our number and waited. We only had to wait for a little bit, and eventually our number was called. We had both of our cars to register at the same time. The young lady was very helpful and walked us through signing the paperwork. Now, I knew car registration was not cheap, but I figured it wouldn’t be too terrible and that is when the young lady told us about the late fees! Ouch! What a bummer – we thought we were being wise by re-registering last year in our previous states, due to the fact that we were moving half-way across the country and had not settled or established ourselves in Colorado yet. The late fees really added to the total, but thank God one of our cars wasn’t as late because we didn’t retrieve it until later in the year. As we were waiting at the desk, I realized that I didn’t have any checks with me – I usually have one or two in my wallet.  I also noticed that there was an extra charge for using a credit card. Then I remembered, that envelope of cash from my family member! It covered the entire cost for that day, plus a little more as well. This may just seem like a coincidence to some, or not sound like that big of an issue, but to my wife and I, it was the powerful hand of God providing for us. We had a professor at Bible College who taught about God’s character and power. I don’t feel like I learned, or remembered, much academically from him during that class, but I do remember him telling story after story of God’s provision for him and his family. That impacted me. I thought, what a better way to live life than to have these challenging experiences and to see God provide and to glorify Him by sharing that with others! It stills surprises and scares my wife and I that we are missionaries, but let me ask this question: would you rather trust a man, an organization, the government or God for a paycheck? We thought we were being wise and were trusting God by not registering our cars earlier, and it didn’t seem to work the way we wanted. We worried about it. Why do we worry? Who is in control??? God is in control! God has a better purpose and a better plan than we do,...

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Learn Through Experience

Posted on Jun 25, 2014 in Marianis from the Front | 0 comments

  There is something spectacular about getting to live what you are learning. I didn’t think much about that until the years I spent working at a Christian Living History Camp in California. Each day as my fellow guides and I stepped into costume and into character, we experienced both history and ministry from a firsthand perspective. And that experience wasn’t limited to ourselves – we were privileged to provide countless 4th grade campers and their parents with that same unique opportunity. We were blessed to watch as campers, who had been learning about the California Gold Rush for months, were able to practically live history with us. We got to watch their excitement at finding gold in the river, and their disappointment when they realized that it truly wasn’t an easy task. We encouraged them to think outside of their normal lives and consider what the lives of California miners were like. And best of all, we got to do all this away from their “comfort zone,” which for many of them consisted mostly of indoor activities, cement, video games, and comfort drawn from the fact that they knew the nearest Starbucks was less than five minutes away (yes, we definitely drew the parents out of their comfort zones as well as the kids!). In fact, the crux of our ministry at Rock-N-Water was, and is, founded on the basis of getting kids (and parents) out into creation….experiencing God through adventures in His creation, that through witnessing firsthand what He has made, they might see Him more clearly. My experience at Rock-N-Water Christian camp has laid the foundation for me to be very excited about the camping ministry we have and are continuing to develop here at AOI. Our summer camps and tours offer the opportunity for youth, families, kids, and everyone in between to get out and experience Gods creation while being strengthened in their faith through amazing, and even life-changing creation science teaching. We are excited to be able to provide the chance to get out and see what God has made, as well as to provide the background pieces of scientific information that will allow people to see the beauty of creation with new eyes. While this information is powerful and impactful in any setting, I personally feel strongly that there is a unique power and impact when it’s coupled with the chance to observe the evidence of the beauty and majesty of God’s creation. As guests of AOI’s summer adventures “discover creation,” my prayer (along with all of us at AOI) is that they will be spurred on to “worship the Creator” who has divinely orchestrated a world scarred by catastrophe brought on by sin to still exhibit a breathtaking display of beauty. It’s not too late to register for AOI’s summer Creation Adventures. Take a look and give us a call. We pray that you and your...

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What I learned on Father’s Day!

Posted on Jun 18, 2014 in Marianis from the Front | 0 comments

  So Father’s Day has now come and gone and we haven’t had our baby yet (due in about a week and a half). At church, as well as from friends and family, I received comments saying “happy father’s day…almost” or “happy almost father’s day” and then some not even acknowledging me as a father. I have to admit, I think I may have said that to people in the past who were at that time just expecting. Now it is natural to think that since we don’t have a baby yet, that we aren’t parents. I think this understanding also comes from our cultural context too. That is the point, things in our culture influence us often in very small ways – more often and in more ways than we realize. For example, even if I am experiencing some pain, I don’t like taking medicine or even going to the doctor. I tend to grit my teeth and say, “people throughout history didn’t use medicine, they just dealt with it…and so can I.” And granted we do need sometimes to be wary about the chemicals or side-effects of medicines, but they can be helpful and necessary as well. I finally realized that my preconceived notions of ancient man were influenced by evolutionary thinking. I was actually picturing cave men never going to the doctor or the dentist. But cave men were humans possibly moving from one city to another (many maybe dispersing from Babel – which was a huge engineering project). Adam was created intelligent and able to walk with God. Humans have always been intelligent, possibly knowing a great deal about natural remedies and medicines. Back to my point, we consider a 3-month old as being 3 months old, but he/she is actually closer to 12 months old. A baby in the womb is alive no matter how long they have been there, but parts of our culture claim this not to be the case. God knows us as a person before we even are a physical person! (see verse 16 below) Sometimes making a change in our culture requires a shift in our own thoughts, perceptions, and beliefs. Let’s not forget to stop and ask…”what does God (the Bible) say about ———- ?“   13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.                                                 Psalm 139:13-16   My wife and I are already parents. Leadership (parenting) takes personal preparation. Parenting is going to take on a...

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Posted on Jun 11, 2014 in Marianis from the Front | 0 comments

  Currently, my wife and I are preparing for the birth of our first child. In fact, I feel like this whole year has been one of preparation with researching for books, blogs, and PowerPoint presentations, as well as planning and preparing for the inaugural class of the Discover Creation Training Institute, Lord willing, in August 2015. It has all been a challenge, but we are doing our best to prepare for the baby, ministry projects, and…everything…for the rest of our lives…Ha! Prepare! I was curious and so I typed “prepare” in a search of the Bible, and found that that word appears 174 times in the NASB. Many instances refer to the preparing of food or lodging, often for guests, or preparing for battle, or preparing to go to the temple and offer sacrifices. Preparation often goes hand in hand with being diligent, well-intentioned and wise. God’s plan and God’s will are clearly shown in how he has wisely prepared and planned out all of creation and human history. He prepared a perfect creation for mankind, unfortunately Adam and Eve sinned… but God was prepared. He prepared the skins of an animal as the first sacrifice to cover their sin. (Genesis 3) He knew mankind would continue to become more and more wicked and consequently helped Noah and his family in preparing to survive the flood. God sought out Abraham and his descendants and prepared the way their family would move – even to Egypt – and then God prepared the way out of Egypt for that same family (now the Israelites). Since then, God has prepared the way for Old Testament judges, heroes, kings, and prophets to do His will. Matthew 11:10 explains that John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy from Malachi 3:1, speaking of the messenger before Christ,  by saying – “Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way before You.”  Many of Jesus’ parables explain how the master prepares dinners and wedding feasts, which were analogous to His Kingdom,  and exhorts us in the process that we need to be prepared! Prepare yourself and others for the battle of this life, in preparation for the next life, the enemy wants to take as many captive by vain philosophies and empty deceit as possible. (see Colossians 2:8) As we prepare for our new baby and our new ministry with AOI, I am excited! And the baby and ministry are not the only exciting things. Check out these EXCITING promises from God’s Word: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas *said to...

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