Friday, July 11, 2008

An Experience in Education


I had the opportunity to experience a bunch of different things this week. I wanted to share some of them with you because they all boil down to the same result.

First, a friend sent me the following YouTube video on science and faith (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e4zgJXPpI4 ). You don’t need ANY science background to understand this video. It is very interesting and it follows the ideal of this blog, which is to educate others on the beautiful dance between science and faith.

After I finished that video, I clicked on another YouTube video that interested me: “The Church of Oprah Exposed” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW4LLwkgmqA&feature=related ). I’m not a big Oprah fan for the simple reason that another author friend of mine was invited on her show and Oprah was all about Oprah and barely included her guests in her discussion. (I guess that shouldn’t surprise me. Her photo is on her monthly magazine…every month…only her face.) Anyway, that video is worth watching too. If you are Christian, you may or may not see Oprah’s subtle message that is affecting the way many others see Christianity.

Lastly, I received a barrage of emails this week on political candidates and their ideals. There were emails that described Obama Barrack as a caring, thoughtful Senator, concerned with all life issues. Other emails that describe John McCain as a family man who’s raised seven children including a little girl adopted from one of Mother Teresa’s orphanages.

What do all these experiences have in common? My take is EDUCATION.

First, the YouTube video introduces the gluing protein Laminin, it purpose of keeping us “glued” together and how Laminin exists in the shape of the cross. Laminin reveals God’s love in the tiniest protein. Without the help of a microbiologist from Texas, the Christian in the YouTube video Louie Giglio wouldn’t have been able to educate others on how appropriate this protein is to us today.

Secondly, the emails I received were designed to influence me, yet they lacked decision-making information. They talked about the character of each candidate, but their voting records (which reveal their actions) were missing. It made me think. How often do we take the time to go and find the voting records of political candidates? Do we rely solely on what others tell us, or the candidate’s speeches to influence our vote? Without educating ourselves, how do we make an informed decision?

Lastly, “The Church of Oprah” video is enlightening because it shows how vulnerable we are when we don’t KNOW our Christian faith. We need to understand what the truths of faith reveal and why they exist. It’s not appropriate to say, “It’s a church rule”. Our faith cannot increase if we live by rules alone. Rules are there for a reason, and we need to delve into the history of why they are there in order to make full sense of them in our lives.

For example, one thing Oprah said in her video was that there was a time when she rejected her Baptist roots because she heard the minister say, “God is a jealous God”. She interpreted that as the minister saying God was jealous of her. Since she believed God was a loving God, the whole jealousy thing didn’t fit. She rejected her Christian roots because of that simple sentence.

Christians who reflect on Scripture and educate themselves either through Bible study or through classes understand that the author who wrote that verse was indicating that God wants to be first in our lives. He loves us so much that He wants us to love him back as much as we can. It is silly and juvenile to believe that God is jealous of us. Such interpretation comes from a lack of critical thinking.

Taken completely out of context, Oprah is using this statement to persuade uneducated Christians of her “truth” instead of the real Truth.

So what did I learn this week?

Education is key and it doesn’t matter what the topic is! Science, faith, philosophy, and politics are just a few of the things we need to learn about. We cannot afford to be lazy any longer in this country. We are paying for it now as it is.

We need to take the time, learn something new, pray on it, and apply it to our lives. What have you learned today? (By the way: The picture is of a brain neuron.)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Why I'm Not Feeling the Blog Thing - Part 2


This is part two of Robbie's blog on energy. It is clear from the responses of last week’s blog (or the lack thereof) that my topic was too heavy. Therefore, I’m scaling back a bit. I’ve collaborated with my dear friend Robbie Iobst (http://robbieiobst.blogspot.com/) to create a two-part blog on energy. Robbie is feeling the same way I am about blogging right now, so we put our heads together and came up with the following.

Energy. What is energy? According to Wikipedia, there are, “Several different forms of energy, including kinetic, potential, thermal, gravitational, sound energy, light energy, elastic, electromagnetic, chemical, nuclear, and mass have been defined to explain all known natural phenomena.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy)

Which one(s) do you have?

For me, there are days when I feel the gravitational force greatly…I move slower than molasses. I don’t have much thermal energy…I’m cold all the time. I have kinetic energy in that when I get going, I have a hard time stopping. I have a great deal of sound energy…just ask my kids about my yelling…I can even go nuclear with them (another type of energy). But what I have most is potential energy. In my head, I have many things in I want to accomplish.

Thus, we come back to the point of Robbie’s blog. Time and energy. I’m working on a couple of manuscripts now, and therefore haven’t done a great job of keeping up with my blog. Robbie is the same way. Our kids are off for the summer, which is cutting into the writing time too. It’s a great balancing act and there are times when I swear I hear circus music in the background.

Oh yeah, back to energy…

Wikipedia also defines conversation of energy: “While one form of energy may be transformed to another, the total energy remains the same. This principle, the conservation of energy, was first postulated in the early 19th century, and applies to any isolated system. According to Noether's theorem, the conservation of energy is a consequence of the fact that the laws of physics do not change over time.[2]

At first, this was a scary thought. The “total energy” remains the same. That means that my synchronized juggling act is in danger all the time. What now?!!!

I’ll tell you what! I’m leaving it up to the Lord. It is a fa├žade to think that I’m in charge. What I need to remember is that if the Lord wants me to finish all these tasks, then I will. I shouldn’t try to keep up with everything!

For all those people out there who suffer from the same “energy crisis” as I do…

STOP! Enjoy the weather, enjoy your family and have a glass of lemonade (or Red Bull if you think it will help).

Faith…science…Got questions? What would you like me to talk about? Leave suggestions and we’ll work on them together.