High on a stone

Why beauty, wonder, awe?

Animals, as far as we know, have little or no appreciation of anything aesthetic, finding mountains, stars, storms, oceans, tigers, forests, or puppies pleasing is not really in their gift. Seemingly such feelings have scant evolutionary purpose. Perhaps an argument against evolution, perhaps not. We humans also find wonder and awe in understanding how a cell works, in how atoms and quarks work. We can be impressed and inspired by the works of other humans - bridges, dams, paintings.

Rosetta is NASA’s wonderful ambitious mission to get information from a comet. Wonderfully it worked. We have breathtaking images of a tiny little, fragile and temporary world. It was called Rosetta because the Rosetta stone was an archaeological object that helped us translate previously lost ancient languages and tell us something about the past.

NASA hopes that by understanding a stone in the sky, the comet, it may tell us about the past of the solar system. Evolutionary biologists wonder if it could tell us if chemical building blocks for life came from outer space.

Well I think it has already told us something different. I think we sent Rosetta because we are curious. I think we find the work of the people who made Rosetta brave and edifying because we can admire creators through their creation, and that what the mission found, a grey rock, beautiful not because it is pretty but because we are seeing something God made for the first time. I think we humans share a love of beauty with God because we have souls that are given us of God.

I think Rosetta is a key to understanding that we love Creation because we recognise there is a Creator, who created us in His image, and that curiosity and aesthetics are uniquely human because He made us.

I watched the moon landings, I have even done some work for NASA connected with them. Rosetta is, in my opinion, as a space nerd and child of the space age, the bravest loveliest mission since the moon. Not the most colourful or expensive, but the most ambitious and successful example of how we reach out to better know our universe, and inevitably then our Creator.

NASA did not intend any such thing, but God put that high rock there for us to one day climb, on our journey to better knowing Him.

WELL DONE NASA!

Exploration leads us to the Creator. The crew of Apollo 8 read from Genesis on Christmas Eve 1968 as they orbited the Moon. The recognition of God such awe of being in His incredible creation brings is inescapable. We have all felt that feeling. It is God calling you. Look at a newborn baby and feel it. You are feeling what He feel as He sees that baby, that He made in His image, that through Him we make in our image.

Psalm 143:5 NIV
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.

I had a vision of looking into Jesus’ eyes and seeing the beautiful blue of earth from space. He is the light of the world, our maker.

 

 

Movie Review – Interstellar

What’s a movie review doing on a Christian blog? Nope, I am a Christian and I write about Christianity, and other things possibly, but this isn’t a “Christian” blog just for Christians. My, and our, world and world view should not be limited to navel gazing. Sometimes we can look at movies and other things and talk about them. Cut me do I not bleed? – Aanyone who doesn’t get that reference please look it up in Shakespeare, figure out what he meant when he said it and then you’ll know why I said it, and you will have had an introduction to why Mr Shakespeare is alongside the greatest writers in all time, and I will have done my good deed for the day by maybe introducing you to a wonderful writer.

I digress. Interstellar. Good movie. Exciting. Good drama, plenty of emotion as the film critic Mark Kermode has already observed. Heavily reviewed by all the top critics already. So why am I bothering? Physics. The kind God has been tutoring me on. The sci-fi physics in this movie are in in many places in accord with what God has been leading me to grasp. Love is a force that trancends time and space. Yep. There are other dimensions and they allow strange things to happen. All of time is available from some perspectives and it doesn’t violate free will. This movie has enough in it for me to figure that whoever put those physics into the story has a handle on this. So I’m not the only one He is telling. I had no reason to think I was, but it’s real interesting to know it.

Is it a “Christian” move. No. Is there stuff in it you would say goes against what Christians know and understand. Yes. Does it even mention Christianity. No. Should it be of interest to Christians? I think so. Is it harmful to Christianity? No. Should you watch it? I think it would be entertaining and give you a very limited movie montage pop view of some of the stuff I sometime talk about in terms of physics.

Now here’s one little fun reference I don’t think other critics have noticed. The organ music chord used in the score of this movie is as far as my ear can tell the main one from “Thus Spake Zarathustra” (tone poem by Richard Strauss addressing the book of that name by the controversial philosopher Nietzsche, used in Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” A nice musical reference to Kubrick in a film that has has many. Tt is the music that in the UK was used on TV when the moon landing ocurred in 1969. It seems to be the same chord in Sean-Sans uses in the most popular movement of his Organ Symphony number 3 – hear it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d0itDEs9uo .That chord seems to be well associated with outer space. It was the processional entrance of the bride music my wife and I chose for our wedding, the theme of which was space, time and the heavens.

There’s plenty n this movie, I’d say go see it.

God of the gaps

Some theists are often accused by atheists of having a God of the gaps. By this the atheists mean that as each scientific discovery explains something the theists retreat to moot God as the explanation of whatever more fundamental (precursor) part of the updated scientific theory still cannot explain.
This accusation is not of course levelled at literalist or so-called fundamentalist theists, who make no retreat at all, but sadly in the case of some Christians often fail to justify their literalism by showing that it offers a credible and scientific evidentially compatible cosmological and biological explanation.
Sceptics demand proof and wave Occam’s razor yet regardless of the fact that their alternatives are themselves but theories – mutable and forever incomplete.

Allow me to help them try complete one. God told me this stuff, and there’s plenty enough clues in the Bible to figure it all out.

You can see height, width and depth – you perceive the three standard dimensions. You also perceive the fourth – the passage of time – but you can’t look or go or point in the fifth dimension, or any of the others – there are about eleven altogether.

Wrong. Kinda.

You are in those other dimensions. IN them. Inside them. All of them, just like you are in the 3+time. Right now.
You can and do travel in them, constantly. EVERYTHING does.
You are inside the usual mundane 3+1 and THOSE ONES are BIGGER than you, about 13 billion light years radius. Yes they are curved, but don’t get sidetracked by that just yet.

The point is you can see stars a long way away – up, sideways and in front of you – because the “normal” dimensions are all a lot bigger than you and you inside them.
OK now we can do the sidetrack bit.

I said they are curved not straight. The Earth seems pretty flat and the horizon pretty straight – so much so that people once thought the Earth was flat. But we know it isn’t, and if you travel in what feels like a straight line for enough days you will go all the way round and end up back where you started. It is an imperceptible curve in a direction you are simply not perceiving very well.
Well our “normal” 3 dimensions of space are also curved in a direction you are simply don’t perceive because the curve s very, very, slight. OK so now you understand dimensions are curved – rolled up like a scroll.

The other “not normal” dimensions are rolled up really, really, tight. Their curves are extreme, not slight – dimensions 5 to 11 are tightly curved.

Our big three are “rolled up” very big wide – 13 billion light years radius. The tiny dimensions are rolled up smaller than an electron.

But we and the electron are still INSIDE the “tiny” dimensions – just like we are inside the “normal” dimensions.
We are (and the electron) are inside something smaller than us. Like a Dr Who TARDIS, kinda.
So actually we are wrapped round and round but its OK it doesn’t hurt because we are used to it ever since we existed, so we don’t even notice it. We only notice the great big “normal” dimensions.

So of course all the information (about us, and all the rest of the universe including our friend the electron) is wrapped round inside the tiny dimension. It completely spans the whole of that aspect of the universe, all at once.

Therefore information takes no time to travel across it, because it is already all over it.

INFORMATION TAKES NO TIME TO CROSS IT.

That;s a lot quicker than the speed of light yeah?

That is how quantum entanglement happening instantly does not break any rules about the speed if light.

When a physicist tells you any change in an electron simultaneously affects every other electron in the universe but he doesn’t know how it can that without breaking the speed of light, that’s the how bit he doesn’t know.

When physicists declare it’s a bit strange that quantum physics stuff and classical Einstein/Newton stuff seem a bit separate and hard to reconcile and we don’t perceive quantum’s strange ways at our physical human level, that’s why it is that way.

Now here’s the neat bit.

All this means you are omnipresent. Like God.

Yep, we really are made in His image. It’s just really hard to see it from here. Ain’t that a fact.

Grounded in truth

Skeptics question where the water of the great flood could have come from and gone to. The Bible says it was mostly from underground.
-  Genesis 7:12 “.,,fountains of the great deep… “
Now “Scientific American” magazine 12 March 2014″ reports a “Nature” article that confirms a mineral called olivine exists in Earth’s mantle in quantities that contains more water than all the existing oceans put together.

The Lord of the dance was at my wedding.

Another interesting but short-lived blog. At best that may well be what some of my readers may have thought when I stopped writing this blog two or three months ago. Well real life got busy.

I met the girl I love 39 years ago. She was the first girl I ever kissed when I was 16, We lasted a day, I spent the next 38 years regretting how we broke up and wishing I had married her. I don’t know how many times ovrr those years I cried actual tears.

I went off and lived a life that was all the things a Christian should not be. Use your imagination. Wrong sex, the occult, wrong religion, cars, motorbikes, some violence and drink, lots of diverse and very bad company and quite a lot of different chemicals too – I was a bad boy and I was good at it. I have had some incredible adventures in quite a lot of countries, meeting the highest and lowest, seeing the world in it’s lightest and darkest.

Don’t think this stopped me having three good suit-wearing responsible careers either. But nothing satisfied.

About 5 years ago something inside me snapped. I just walked out of my house and headed for town. I needed something but I didn’t know what. An unsuitable friend had once said he has a social life plan B and that it was dancing. Proper dancing not nightclubs.

I remembered his words and that night by a strange route I ended up at a peculiar tango dancing lesson which was taking place in a shop window as people walked past watching. It was interesting and exotic enough for my jaded personality and I went to tangos every week for four years.

Tango people were funky and intelligent, and dancing with pretty women of all ages but without any sexual agenda was what I needed to lead me away from the darkness toward the light. Even after a couple of months dancing I had changed deeply. My tango teacher had said at the very first lesson to “Beware because tango changes you.” God has a sense of humour and there are no coincidences – as we know as Christians, no such thing as luck – the name of that tango class is “Tango Serendipity.”

In that first two months I changed so much that I said goodbye to my old life. People who I had known couldn’t understand and I couldn’t explain because I didn’t know the reason either. I didn’t know it was God yet. He had me on his fishing line and was gently pulling me away from the dark to the light so subtly I didn’t know it.

Like an object falling, the change got faster and faster. It became exhilarating. One night what I now know was the Holy Spirit came upon me as I was driving home. All those things people say about it feeling like electricity and things, yes but you can’t really describe it.

I searched for answers. I didn’t know it was God yet. I went online to try to find people I could talk to who had the same experience of change. I wanted to avoid the corruption and bad places on the internet and I found a little chat room full of Christians where I felt there would be nothing nasty and I could talk honestly. I was not yet  knowingly a Christian but God had put me where I could learn what had happened to me and who had done it. I went there many times for a few months and chatted with some lovely people. In the end I had exhausted all other possibilities, just as my old life had tried everything except the right thing. I knew there was no other possible explanation. It was God that had changed me. I finally knew.

A few months later God arranged I should “coincidentally” have opportunity to meet the girl I had loved lost and missed all those many years ago. She had been a Born Again Christian for around 30 years. There are no coincidences. I asked her to the tango dance. I was born again, she prayed with me. We got engaged, we did it properly, I had a wonderful baptism we went to our wedding pure. In our church this last year I have so many new lovely friends. The first time I walked in there with the lady who was to become my wife I felt I had come home. One if my favourite songs now us “Come Home” by Johnny Cash.

A few weeks after that first Sunday, up on stage in that church. I gave testimony of who and what I had been and how Jesus had saved me, not because I had asked, known, or earned it, but because of His Grace and Love. I asked my love up onto the stage and proposed to her.

A year later, six weeks ago, we were married. It was a fabulous wedding with all our friends andvfsmilies. Our first dance was a of course a tango.

Jesus likes weddings. His first public miracle was at Cana. He certainly arranged my wedding! He invites everyone to His – the Church is His Bride.

So that’s why you haven’t heard from me a few weeks. I’ve been getting married, going on honeymoon to Scotland, moving house and settling in with the girl I loved all my life. Thank you Jesus my beautiful lovely friend, what words can I say…

Dance dance wherever you may be, for I am the Lord of the dance says He, and I’ll lead you all wherever you may be, I’ll lead you all in the dance says He.

Amen!

Service report

I’ve not been blogging recently because I am getting married in 9 day’s time. Yes it is a busy time. Then it’s honeymoon for 2 weeks, then move house, then maybe another big change after that as well. No I don’t mean a baby… they take 9 months and we have no idea whether we will have one or not. We’ll take what God gives on that one. My lady is the first girl I ever kissed, 39 years ago. We went separate ways after a few days and I went off into a life far from what life should be. I never stopped loving and missing her, always regretting not marrying her. 5 years ago Jesus reeled me in by His grace and I gradually discovered Jesus and was born again. By strange circumstances I had been reunited with my lady just over a year ago and the love blossomed again. Thank you Jesus.
Jesus is love freedom and the path to the best life you can have in this world and the next. No ifs no buts, I know it for sure and will tell anyone that simple truth written in my own life. God Bless you all, see you all again in a while.

Approach

Jesus is clear that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven we must become as children. Jesus is also clear that we must be born again. Becoming as a little child flows from being born again. Children are the result of births. When Jesus said to suffer the little children to come unto Him, He gave us a subtle reminder that bebirth is necessary to become again as His trusting loving children because the only way to approach His Father’s Kingdom, is through Him, the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)

Cogito ergo… none!

Assuming the observer affects the observed (recent work in quantum mechanics challenges this or at least tries to explain/trivialise the effect away as being an artifact but let’s keep the accepted model for a while) if matter arises from consciousness (probability wave collapsed into existence) then consciousness did not arise from matter. If there were no observers matter could not arise so the mind (observation) of God was necessary for the universe’s matter to be created and His constant observation sustains it (not ours). Somewhat as the Bible says.

God speaks things into existence. Words express thought. It seems reasonable that God thought all the arrangements necessary for the universe, then expressed them as the universe.

There is likely and strangely more to it than that – a relationship between the numbers and meanings of the Hebrew alphabet and fundamental qualities of the universe may exist and if explored could bring much fundamental insight into physics – at an instrumentalism level.

So “I think therefore I am” is a trivial statement of existence compared to “He thinks therefore we are” that allows all of us – even Mr Kant who would say it doesn’t – such navel gazing.

The message of the Bible of course moves quickly on from how we came to exist to what a wonderful purpose we should put that privilege to.

Numskulls

This is about the end times. Signs and symbols seem to all around hidden in plain sight. Never mind freemasonry street layouts in Washington DC, just check out the world right in front of you.

All those happy skulls on handbags purses kids’ toys skull-shaped vodka bottles.

Is it a coincidence that the trend seems to have been boosted  by a guy called Damien with his bejewelled skull art?

This collect a skeleton model magazine I photographed is typical of the multiple representations of the skull I can see around my local area.

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In London, England last week I saw a building that seemingly has red horns and what look like cameras in the part that looks like the eyes of a horned beast.

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Check out the vodka bottle with what looks like a Dragon in it.

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Look at the de-personalised  images where people have their heads obscured by spheres – bingo balls on heads, the phone company advert ironically behind bars that I photographed in London, I’m sure you can find more, just look and see.

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More obscured people subsumed to the robots at this televised award show I snapped.

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Images of barbed wire and war were a feature too.

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Not quite the holodeck yet, but along with the robot checkouts tellers this one has replaced another human. Arnie makes an interesting skull in the Terminator movies. I think those movies are quite prophetic.

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Interesting symbols on this game controller huh?

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