Still on the road

I’ve not been posting much, and that won’t change until sometime in mid-August. We have been in 17 states in the past eight weeks (all by automobile), visiting supporters, supporting churches, family, and friends. Most of the time we have had dial-up internet access, or no access at all. We have plane tickets to return to Bucharest, Romania on August 9th, and I hope to get back to regular blogging sometime soon after that.

Thank you to all who faithfully pray for us and support us financially in our work with the Evangelical Free Church of America International Mission at Bucharest Christian Academy.

Grace and Peace

Life Goals

I was blessed today by being stranded while our minivan was in the repair shop. Being that we have only one car, I had no easy way to get “home” (we are staying with a family until we return to Romania and don’t really have a home) so I spent the day at the public library and Taco Bell. Just me, my Bible and journal, along with tacos and pintos ‘n cheese. How could this possibly be blessing? I was forced, by the grace of God, into having a long overdue personal retreat day: a day of reflection, prayer, planning, and extra time in the Word.

Here part of my entry from my journal for today:

I just looked over my “life goals,” which I wrote as part of my 2005 New Years Day evaluation and planning time. My life goals were (and still are):

  1. To follow Jesus.
  2. To love my wife as Christ loves the church.
  3. To raise my children as followers of Christ.
  4. To be used to build and expand the church.
  5. To be an effective science teacher, with broad and deep impact in students’ lives.

Numbers one and four apply to all believers, at all stages of their lives. The practical outworking of these may vary from person to person, but the calls to follow and serve are universal.

Number twoto love my wifewill be a high priority as long as we both live. The same with number threeraising my childrenthough my role will change as they mature and leave home.

Number five is a variable: it obviously isn’t for most, and it could change at some point in my life. But that is my vocation for now, and I want to serve the Lord with excellence in this.

All other goals in my life are subsets of these five goals. My life goals can be summed up as To live a disciplined, loving, God-centered and others-centered life. This statement flows out of the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37-40).

Grace and Peace

Evolution on the Galapagos Islands

From livescience.com:

For the first time scientists have observed in real-time evolutionary changes in one species driven by competition for resources from another.

In a mere two decades, one of Charles Darwin’s finch species, Geospiza fortis, reduced its beak size to better equip itself to consume small sized seeds, scientists report in the July 14 issue of the journal Science.

The finch once had its own kingdom on the Galapagos Island of Daphne Major. It had its pick of seeds to eat. But the arrival of another species of finch about 20 years ago, and additional food competition from a drought on the island in 2003, changed everything.

Here are a few observations:

  • This is not the first time that natural selection has been observed among the famous finches on the Galapagos Islands. Finch beak sizes have been observed to change from year to year with variations in rainfall. What is significant this time is the competition between species that was involved.
  • This demonstrates microevolution, but doesn’t demonstrate macroevolution. I’m not even saying that there is no such thing as macroevolution, only that this does not prove in any way the concept that micro + micro + micro + micro… = macro.
  • This will be, in my mind, a non-issue in the creation/evolution/ID debates. As far as I know, none of the young-earth creationist organizations would dispute that this type of natural selection and microevolution occur.

Grace and Peace

Space Shuttle Discovery Videos

NASA has videos of the July 4th launch of the space shuttle Discovery. Links can be found at

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html

An interesting note: bird droppings survived the launch (but are unlikely to survive the fiery reentry). An interesting astrobiological investigation would be to take a sample of those in space, and to see if any bacteria survived. Astrobiologists have speculated that some bacteria might be able to endure long periods of time in space, such as on a meteor traveling from Mars to Earth, or vice versa.


Space shuttle Discovery with external fuel tank


Bird droppings on space shuttle Discovery
Images from NASA

Grace and peace

EFCA Leadership Conference

Shirley and I recently attended the Evangelical Free Church of America Leadership Conference in Denver, and were greatly encouraged.

  • The teaching was excellent, with a focus on the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we ever lose this focus on what Christ has done for us by his life, death, and resurrection, we will be in serious trouble.
  • We were also blessed by the worshipa mix of contemporary songs and hymnsmostly centered on what Christ does for us rather than what we do for him.
  • The fellowship was good. We saw people we know from a number of countries as well as from a number of churches.
  • The time together as a couple was good as well. Shirley and I visited most of the way from Denver to Billings, Montana, sharing insights from seminars, the Word, and reading from a book I purchased.