Marley was dead, Jesus was born

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Merry Christmas everyone!

I absolutely love, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This little book is written by a true word smith a master of story and it’s short.

I love the story, a classic tale of the changing of a human heart, but the absolutely best, most entertaining part is the first page and a half. I loved it so much that I memorized it. Dickens has this lovely moment where he wonders about the actual dead-ness of door-nails. To the point that he proposes that Coffin-nails might actually be deader. To this day my family can not let the phrase Dead as a Door-nail slid without goading me into repeating it.

“Marley was dead, to begin with.” Isn’t that a great opening line? Within that first page and a half Dickens reminds the reader exactly five times that Marley is dead.

“(1)Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.. . .  (2)Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know of my own knowledge what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. . . You will therefore allow me to repeat emphatically that (3)Marley was as dead as a door-nail. (4)Scrooge knew he was dead. Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? . . . (5)There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.”

Marley was not a figment of Scrooge’s imagination, he did not fake his death, time travel, get caught in a extra dimensional limbo, or get stuck in the teleporter for fifty years. He was dead. He was a ghost. This story is about life and death and afterlife.

Chilling.

How many other stories could benefit from persistent reminders?

Dickens own example is Hamlet. “If we were not perfectly convinced That Hamlet’s father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, . . . literally to astonish his son’s weak mind.”

I know right! The Shakespeare nerd in me smiles at this reference. How little would the play Hamlet have mattered if we hadn’t known for sure that his father the king was dead? You must admit Shakespeare really liked the whole missing person restored plot a lot. If the king had only been missing then how could Prince Hamlet have placed any stock in the words of a wandering spirit?

What about the story of the first Christmas?

Jesus was born, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.

There is no doubt that Mary was a virgin. This must be distinctly understood or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.

The Shepherds knew he was God. Of course they. How could it be otherwise? ( What with the angels telling them and all.)

On his first page Dickens gives us a life lesson and a lesson in writing:

Make sure your reader, and everyone you meet, understands what they are in for.

Dickens wanted to make sure that everyone knew there would be no trick ending, fantastical revelations, and most of all, no doubt that Marley was dead.

If Dickens could state five times that Marley was dead, then Christian’s shouldn’t be afraid to state that Jesus was born, at least five times. Then five times state that he died. Then Five times state that he rose again.

Again I say Merry Christmas, and to quote Tiny Tim: “God bless us everyone.”

 

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In the Beginning, there was human cloning

Eve was Adam’s clone. Think about it, it really does make sense.

So here’s Adam. He’s perfect. He has all perfect chromosomes, perfect genes, no mutations, no disease, no defects at all. Everything needed to father the entire human race. He just needs one thing. A woman.

The Bible has two accounts of the Creation. In chapter one we get a very fast summery of what was created on each day. This is what it says about humans:

    So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.             Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

 Nothing about cloning you say? Well lucky for me chapter two is more detailed:

    So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and       then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he       brought her to the man. Genesis 2:21-22 (NIV)

 Eve was created from Adam’s flesh. A new biological entity was formed from a single set of genetic information. A clone.

“But Eve is female” you say, “if she was a clone there would have been two Adams.”

Not so. The only difference between men and women is a small piece of information called the Y chromosome. Men have it Women don’t.

Everyone has X Chromosomes. Men have XY, Women have XX. Some people have Turner’s Syndrome in which they only have one X chromosome. These people are noticeably female. Sadly this syndrome is marked by heart problems and infertility. Interestingly there is no syndrome in which someone has only a Y chromosome. It’s X or nothing.

The Mother of all humanity can’t have a Y chromosome, and she can’t populate a planet with Turner’s syndrome either. What’s a creator to do?

Remember those perfect chromosomes that Adam has. His X Chromosome is as perfect as an X Chromosome will ever be. Perfect enough that Eve can have two of them. God just made the Universe; cloning an extra chromosome is nothing.

It mind blowing to realize that every person on the planet is descended, not just from two people, but from one set of Genetic information. The great Geneticist knew what he was doing, because Adam had a truly diverse set of Genes.

I am in no way condoning human cloning. Our genes are not perfect anymore. Plus once God made Eve, reproduction became a viable option. God is the ultimate scientist, science was his creation after all, the best we can do is study his work and try to learn from it. Repeating his work is too far beyond us

Blood is Blood, DNA not Required

Sorry for the long wait, but random thoughts come rather sporadically. So to motivate myself I started with a prompt:

 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. (Exodus 7:20) NIV

I remember as a young Sunday school student listening to the story of the ten plagues and wondering, “When the Nile turned to blood whose DNA did it have?” When I asked this foolish question aloud, I got a foolish answer. “It must have been God’s DNA.”

This answer may have sufficed, save for a funny fact that I learned while reading Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. I have since confirmed it and now know that human red blood cells have no nucleus. They do not contain DNA. Blood is just blood. It’s the white blood cells and platelets in our blood that allows scientists to collect DNA from a blood sample. This is also why oral swabs are used when a comparison test is preformed. More nuclei to pull DNA from.

It is entirely possible that God turned the Nile river into a river of pure hemoglobin. Thus making it a true river of blood.

But there is the possibility that it wasn’t human blood, it could have been reptile blood or fish blood. There are those who theorize that it wasn’t even blood but rather red algae. To that I say, no. Ancient men might not have had microscopes and computers, but everyone who has ever scraped a knee or bit their tongue knows blood. The smell of the iron, the texture, the color, the way it flows. The thing is all humans have blood. Human blood would have been recognized and understood. They would have known it as human blood. Human blood would have had the most impact for the purpose God intended.

Naturally I can’t expect everyone to be a cellular biologist, but it seems to me that a better understanding of science could go a long way to helping keep the faith strong in this scientific world we live in.

Instead of, “It was God’s DNA.” How about this answer, “It didn’t need to have DNA, because it wasn’t in a body, so there wouldn’t have been any white blood cells for defense or any platelets to induce clotting. So you see it was just red blood cells.” Or the even more simple answer, “Lets look it up,” naturally smart phones were not in production back then but my outdated encyclopedia from that era still has the correct answer.

The point of all this? Well if you were or know of someone who started off strong in the faith and found yourself tempted away by scientific logic, think for a minute. Maybe it wasn’t your faith that was wrong, maybe it’s your science. God is the creator of all. That means he’s the creator of Science too.

The Mortal Deity

Merry Christmas readers,

This year I want to muse on what makes Christmas so important.

Yes Jesus was born. But think about that – he was born.

Here is what separates Christianity from the many gods and mythologies of our past. None of them were both God and Man. True there are myths of demigods, but those are the offspring of gods and humans. Jesus is the one true creator, God incarnated in flesh.

Odin never went through puberty. Zeus never had to deal with paper cuts or sprained ankles. Jupiter never had to hold boards in the carpentry shop when he’d rather be at the temple arguing philosophy with the teachers.

Can’t you just imagine a gangly teenage Jesus popping a zit saying, “Seriously, ugh puberty, what was I thinking?”

Standing up to a bully, listening to the taunt, “Make me Carpenter’s kid.”

Jesus standing his ground, the power of creation flashing behind his eyes, saying, “I could, but never forget that I won’t.”

Or watching the blood well up after pulling a splinter, the enormity of what he was doing suddenly coming to him and thinking, it’s not time for this to spill yet.

Some people might think it’s blasphemy for me to humanize the savior so much but that is the point of Christmas. God humanizing himself is the reason for the season.

God the Creator in the form of his creation. He must have been a genius. Think about it, Jesus must have been able to look at a glass of water and know each of the individual oxygen and hydrogen atoms. He could look at the night sky and know the ages and the distances of the stars. He must have been spouting numbers all the time. Angles and measurements in the workshop, Distances and times while traveling.

Do you suppose that Man was created in the image of God because God knew that one day he would take on the Image of man?

That is what so many people forget. The religious are worried about the forgiveness of sins and spiritual blessings. The secular are worried about gifts, food and the trappings of this world. But Christmas is about both. The spiritual and the Human becoming one. So rejoice, be merry, and read your Bible. Merry Christmas—God was born.

Holding back on the Holy

Greetings all, It’s me again with another random musing. I know, it’s been awhile but at least it hasn’t been a year.

This Halloween I would like to talk about my pet peeve. It’s related because it’s about Creepy themed shows; it’s when people use Christian Theology but forget Christ.

First offender: Supernatural. TV show on the CW network.

I thought it was pretty good, about two brothers hunting the supernatural, but then they did this god awful storyline where God was well, not around and the angels were kind of jerks and the devil was there but throughout it all there was no Jesus. Lost my viewer ship after Sam and Dean were possessed by the devil and the archangel Michel.

Second Offender: Sleepy Hollow. TV Show on the FOX network.

I love Man out of time stories. So I thought this would be a cool show. So far all it does is irritate me. In the show Ichabod crane is brought to the twenty-first century to defeat the headless horseman again. Turns out that old headless is actually the first horseman of the apocalypse. Now Ichabod must use George Washington’s Bible to save the world from the end times. There’s a Bible, Bible verses are quoted, but there doesn’t seem to be much God. Come on, If part of the Bible is true then the whole thing is true.

Why is Ichabod Crane not bowing his head in prayer to blast Demons in the name of Christ. Come on Can’t you just see George Washington turning in his grave because modern TV writers have no idea what it means to be a Holy Warrior. This would have been a most awesome story if Frank Perreti had thought of it first.

Lost my viewer ship after the sin eater episode. Jesus Christ is the only sin eater that can absolve you of sin. No mortal can do it. Also Revelation is NOT about a final Supernatural battle between good and evil. ( Emphisis mine because it applies to the above show as well.) It’s about Jesus retuning for his faithful in the church. They don’t understand, you can’t stop Revelation. There will be no more Earth. It’s Heaven or Hell and the characters in these shows are not making the right choices.

Third Offender: Constantine. TV show on the NBC network

This TV show is about a man who fights demons and talks to angels. He is based on a Comic book series in the DC universe and I confess to only watching one episode of the show and reading none of the comics. But It looks like this guy managed to get an innocent sent to hell and now his own soul is forfeit.

The problem is that Jesus is the one who decides if your soul is forfeit or not he will redeem anyone who asks. And just like there is only one way to Heaven there is also only one way to hell. Not accepting Jesus as your savior. You can’t send someone to hell they make the choice. Maybe you can help them choose poorly but that is not what the show was implying. They showed her being physically dragged to hell. I don’t think it works that way.

Also Demons can only be cast out in the name of Christ. I know of no other way that will work.

And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; Mark 16:17 In my Bible these words are in Red. So the “In my Name,” bit refers to Jesus. Just to clarify. Constantine does not use the name Jesus he uses Latin incantations and Symbols.

Sadly it isn’t just TV that does this but literature as well. It’s harder with books because you can be more easily swayed by an author’s words than by a TV shows special effects. But there is a whole Genre built up around my pet peeve. So I will choose two Popular and very addictive instances that penetrated my beloved YA genre.

Book offenders:

Artemis Fowl Book by: Eion Colfer.

I almost let it slide, didn’t think about it too much when I read it the first time but then I read it again. Artemis tries to kill a Fairy using Holy Water. Holy Water. Really. Well boy genius didn’t it occur to you that if a fairy can be killed using Holy Water then there must be something Unholy about them. And if fairies are unholy then there must be a Holy power in the world that decides what is Holy. In a later book Artemis has a side thought, he wonders if saint Peter will let him into Heaven. What? Sorry genius that isn’t Peter’s call.  Artemis needs to decide what he believes. Peter might have the keys but Jesus is the gate.

Interestingly throughout the books there is this consensus among the fairies that Evolution is a fact But they also have this nature goddess that they worship, sometimes it feels like they just worship nature. So that can be confusing.

Also according to book five, Artemis Fowl and the lost Colony, Demons are fairies too. Very suspicious. These are very unholy fairies indeed. Never lost my readership, I cut him some slack, the guy is Irish after all.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp Book by: Rick Yancey

This book is about a boy named Alfred Kropp who has the worst life ever. The first few chapters just make you want to cry. It’s so sad. But exciting with a great Arthurian plot line.

Unfortunately in later books it gets into all of this catholic nonsense about Alfred being the beloved of heaven and the Arch angel Michel basically takes over the role that Jesus should have, kind of like in Supernatural.

I read the whole trilogy just to see how it ended. This guys life is sad you’re practically rooting for him to die just so he can stop suffering. I read the whole series just to see what happens to him it ends kind of how I expected it to but it was defiantly a wild ride getting there.

Interestingly Harry Potter did not upset me that much J.K. Rowling did a good job of making her world unique and separate the only complaint I have is the inclusion of Christmas but that’s a different peeve for a different time.

In conclusion I would like to end not with a Bible verse but with a song verse.

The church’s one foundation

            is Jesus Christ her Lord;

            she is his new creation

            by water and the Word.

            From heaven he came and sought her

            to be his holy bride;

            with his own blood he bought her,

            and for her life he died.

 If that verse is not the heart of your message you have no business Quoting the Bible (Unless you are Jewish quoting from the old testament) or calling on our angels or casting out demons.

TGFF (Thank God For Fridays)

Sorry I have been MIA for awhile I just got lazy again. But here is a new post  for Black greedy weekend.

Last November  I wrote a post about Black Friday. I talked about how it was over shadowing Thanksgiving and how it doesn’t really qualify as a holiday yet people treat it like it is one. It saddens me how many stores actually started their sales on Thanksgiving, and how many people came to the stores with this “I better get what I want” attitude.

I work in retail so I know because I was working not because I was shopping.

Why do we have Thanksgiving anymore? Is there a point? All of the decor jumps from Halloween to Christmas and all of the people just want their “Deals.”

Maybe we should just move the holiday to April and let it at least be overshadowed by the better of two Fridays.

It seems to me that the name Black Friday could easily apply to Good Friday. If you were one of the Apostles back in the first century you wouldn’t have been thinking about salvation the only thing on your mind would be that someone you loved had died.

And Good Friday is also kind of like Thanksgiving day for Christians. It celebrates the fulfillment of the promise. The completion of the prophesies. It’s the Narnian deep magic enacted in real life. It is the thing that we should be most thankful for.

Would it really kill the economy if retail stores just didn’t acknowledge Black Friday? What if they just offered really good sales all week long instead of these mega blitz events? What if people stayed home and thought about things to be Thankful for?

Yea, Like that would ever happen.

Did anyone see this picture go around Facebook?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is certainly something to be thankful for.

 

Demon: A True Story

Halloween is here again. this time instead of a discourse on Vampires I am giving you a dark tale of the supernatural.  This is an actual experience of mine, it would be easy to write it off as a bizarre dream an exaggeration of an active imagination but these things do happen. Besides people who rationalize everything might never see a ghost but they never see a miracle either.

*           *           *

It began in a dream, an intense dream. The kind that doesn’t feel like a dream. In the dream I was at work assisting customers find things. “Yes sir we have GPS’s over here.” And then immediately there was another customer, “Yes ma’am the flash dives are on this wall back here,” walking them over explaining that “I’m sorry, I could have sworn they were on the wall earlier.” Near tears I see a face from the corner of my eye. The head quickly turned and the body ran off down another aisle. I started to follow it. It starts running. I am swarmed by customers they press in on me; each one insisting that I wait on them first everyone claiming that they were there before the others. I can’t take it any more I push and shove and say all of the things that I can’t actually say at work. There, the face, just for a moment and then gone again. I give chase, ignoring everyone and jumping over stack bases. Finally I catch it’s shoulder and spin it around. “Who are you?” I scream at it, “What are you doing here?” in my dream where you do not belong, I fail to finish. For the face is hideous and creepy. Green and warty with a wide mouth. But not like a toad, a toad’s face would have been kinder, this face was the image of evil the wide mouth was twisted into a wicked grin and the eyes were recessed as though they had been placed into a skull with nothing inside.

Then I awoke. I stared up at my ceiling, up at the hideous face still before me. It was there hanging upside down. The twisted grin now above the black eyes, and above the wide, twisted mouth a crouching body, frog like in form. The gargoyle kept grinning, drawing glee from my fear. I tried to call for help, but like in a nightmare that you can’t escape from, the cry of “Mommy” sticks in my throat and no sound escapes. I want to yell at it, to repeat the words of my dream. “Who are you and What are you doing here?” in real life hanging above my bed where you do not belong.

It is hard to breath when you’re scared to death. But finally I gasp a word, the only word that can ever prevail against this kind of evil. Not Mommy but Jesus. I close my eyes, because I do not have the courage or the strength to face this thing. I pray, “Lord Jesus please banish the evil from this place. Not just hidden from my mortal eyes but really gone. Please bring your peace and protection to this house and guard its residents from anymore unwelcome guests. Be they real or dreamt. Amen.”

I opened my eyes and stared at the empty ceiling. It was really gone and the room seemed a little brighter too. Then the wave of peace crashed over me it was like falling asleep after a truly exhausting day feeling so safe and so cared for that all there is left to do is sleep a real sleep that not only recharges your brain but your spirit as well.

*           *           *

Remember this Halloween, nothing can ever truly hurt you as long as God has your back.

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