The GeoChristian

The Earth. Christianity. They go together.

Father’s Day #2

One thing I do to “tell the story” to my children is send an email to my family several times per week, with insights I have had from the Word, often with a quote or two from my reading. I started this just a few months ago, and they comment to me when I start to slack off a bit, so I know they want me to keep on doing this. Here is an example of what I send:

A Note From Dad #23
Purity of heart

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)

To be pure is to have no contamination. Pure water doesn’t have anything dissolved in it. Pure air has no pollutants.

To be pure towards God is to have nothing that we hold in our hearts at the same level that we hold God. If we think or talk about other things—possessions, sex, entertainment—more than we think or talk about God, then something may be out of place. And just as a polluted atmosphere blocks our view of the mountains, a polluted heart blocks our view of God.

Grace and Peace,
Dad


Who is pure in heart? Only those who have surrendered their hearts completely to Jesus that he may reign in them alone.
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship


Everybody I know says they need just one thing
And what they really mean is that they need just one thing more
And everybody seems to think they’ve got it coming
Well I know that I don’t deserve You
Still I want to love and serve You more and more
You’re my one thing

Save me from those things that might distract me
Please take them away and purify my heart
I don’t want to lose the eternal for the things that are passing
‘Cause what will I have when the world is gone
If it isn’t for the love that goes on and on with

My one thing
You’re my one thing
And the pure in heart shall see God
You’re my one thing
You’re my one thing
And the pure in heart shall see God

Who have I in Heaven but You Jesus?
And what better could I hope to find down here on earth?
I could cross the most distant reaches
Of this world, but I’d just be wasting my time
‘Cause I’m certain already, I’m sure I’d find

You’re my one thing (one thing)
You’re my one thing (one thing)
And the pure in heart shall see God

–Rich Mullins, One Thing

June 15, 2006 Posted by | Christianity | Leave a comment

Father’s Day #1

In my wide margin Bible, I mark an “F” in the margin to denote verses about the family. As I have done this, I have seen more clearly my responsibilities as a father. The most common command or exhortation in the Scriptures in regards to parenting is to teach our children about the wonders of God:

For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him. (Genesis 18:19)

You shall tell your son on that day, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ (Exodus 13:8)

Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children. (Deuteronomy 4:9)

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever. (Joshua 4:6-7)

O God, we have heard with our ears,
our fathers have told us,
what deeds you performed in their days,
in the days of old. (Psalm 44:1)

So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come. (Psalm 71:18)

Things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done. (Psalm 78:3-4)

But we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
from generation to generation we will recount your praise. (Psalm 79:13)

I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 89:1)

One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts. (Psalm 145:4)

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching. (Proverbs 1:8)

Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
and be attentive, that you may gain insight. (Proverbs 4:1)

Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

The father makes known to the children your faithfulness. (Isaiah 38:19)

Tell your children of it,
and let your children tell their children,
and their children to another generation. (Joel 1:3)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

Being that I am not much of a talker by nature, this is something I need to be very intentional about or it doesn’t happen. But when I stumble in the telling of the story of God’s grace to my children, I pick up and keep on going. They need to hear it and see it from me daily. Just as in the Old Testament, the people were to tell their children over and over about what God had done to save Israel in the exodus, we are to tell our children over and over about what God has done in creation and redemption.

Grace and Peace

(Scripture quotes are from the English Standard Version)

June 15, 2006 Posted by | Christianity | Leave a comment

On the Road Again…

The reason I haven’t been posting much on The Earth is Not Flat! lately is because we have been traveling. We drove from Missouri to Utah for a few days of camping and exploration, and are now in Montana to visit family and supporting churches. We have spoken in ten of our twelve supporting churches, with another one coming up this weekend. I’m on a dial-up connection now, and out of cell-phone range, so I’m feeling a little out of touch.

Here are some pictures from the Canyonlands/Arches region of Southern Utahone of my favorite geological regions on Earth. God’s glory is indeed displayed in all his works.
Grace and Peace


Colorado River near Moab, Utah


Ancient sand dunes in Navajo Sandstone, Canyonlands National Park


Me by a geological sign, Arches National Park, Utah


Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Utah

Images © Kevin Nelstead

June 15, 2006 Posted by | Geology | Leave a comment

Abortion Simplified

I got this from World Magazine Blog (they were quoting columnist Nat Hentoff):

A longtime friend of mine is married to a doctor who also performs abortions. At the dinner table one recent evening, their 9-year-old son — having heard a word whose meaning he didn’t know — asked, “What is an abortion?” His mother, choosing her words carefully, described the procedure in simple terms. “But,” said her son, “that means killing the baby.” The mother then explained that there are certain months during which an abortion cannot be performed, with very few exceptions. The 9-year-old shook his head. “But,” he said, “it doesn’t matter what month. It still means killing the babies.”

Grace and Peace

June 15, 2006 Posted by | Ethics | Leave a comment

The Earth Has a Future

We usually think of the science of geology as being about the past: geologists often reconstruct events that happened thousands, millions, or even billions of years in the past. Sometimes geologists are called upon to project into the future as well. Examples of this include earthquake prediction and finding sites for long-term (>10,000 years) storage of radioactive waste. Geologist Steven Ian Dutch takes a look at the prospects for the next million years in “The Earth Has a Future”, published by the Geological Society of America in the online journal Geosphere. I’ll summarize the article and then give a little commentary on it.

The article is available online in two versions:

Dutch starts with processes active on the surface of the earth—erosion, uplift, volcanic activity, plate movement, changes due to human activities—as well as the more rare events such as eruptions of supervolcanoes and meteorite impacts. He calculates the rates at which these occur at various places on the earth, and makes predictions as to what the earth will be like in one thousand, ten thousand, one hundred thousand, and a million years from now. He acknowledges that there are many uncertainties in these speculations, but it is still a worthwhile exercise.

Continue reading

June 1, 2006 Posted by | Future, Geology | Leave a comment

Bonhoeffer Quotes #2

Some more quotes to ponder, from The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

No one should be surprised at the difficulty of faith, if there is some part of his life where he is consciously resisting or disobeying the commandment of Jesus.

To deny oneself is to be aware only of Christ and no more of self, to see only him who goes before and no more the road which is too hard for us.

When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.

Only the man who is dead to his own will can follow Christ.

It is not for us to choose which way we shall follow. That depends on the will of Christ.

They [those who mourn] see that for all the jollity on board, the ship is beginning to sink. The world dreams of progress, of power and of the future, but the disciples meditate on the end, the last judgement, and the coming of the kingdom.

Christian marriage is marked by discipline and self-denial.

The more bitter our enemy’s hatred, the greater his need of love.

The Christian is a light unto the world, not because of any quality of his own, but only because he follows Christ and looks solely to him.

Grace and Peace

June 1, 2006 Posted by | Christianity, Quotes | Leave a comment