Online Teaching & Events Schedule

Intelligent Designer Needed for Advanced Robot

1-13-2014 12-31-34 PM

Intelligent Designer Needed

Okay… so let me see if I understand this correctly.  It takes the smartest technology guys on the planet and hundreds of millions of dollars of research, equipment and design to create a remarkable human-like robot… and even still it is only a clunky and infinitesimally less functional version of the human body…  (see a similar observations here and here)

No Designer Needed

But NO designer or superior intelligence is needed to create the unfathomable complexity and capability of the real human body.  Just random mutations, chance and lots of time… yeah, that makes perfect sense. Talk about about blind faith: “that robot could never exist by RANDOM CHANCE OVER TIME but the human body it attempts to emulate can about by exactly that process.”

Think about it.  You could stumble on to a box of TOOTHPICKS in the middle of a forest, and you would NEVER think “wow… this box of toothpicks evolved over millions of years by chance and here it sits”.  You would immediately think “WHO left these toothpicks out here in the forest because they are obviously the result of intelligent design and process and someone put them here.”  Simple toothpicks in a forest. A box of wood sitting in a forest of wood. Yet we are told to believe that the trees, animals, plants,  the earth, the universe, humans – not to mention the quantum leap to self-aware conscious life – just happened on accident.

Only a blind allegiance to the religion of evolution (and its attending rejection of God) could result in such an illogical and absurd conviction.

150 Year Anniversary – The Gettsyburg Address (Modern English Version)

I’ve re-written many things in modern English that I think people need to read today but the vocabulary is either to hard, or too “old” (words and styles we just don’t use anymore).   It’s the 150th year anniversary of the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln so I thought I would add it to my collection of Modern English re-writes.  Here’s a few more:

Please pass this on to every Patriot and God-fearing American you know. We are in a “civil war” again of sorts, fighting for the survival of “one nation UNDER GODwhich your current President conveniently LEFT OUT of his reading of the Gettysburg address yesterday. Accident? You decide.

lincoln3The Gettsyburg Address (Modern English Version By Brent Riggs)

Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania | November 19, 1863

“Eighty-seven years ago, the founding fathers of our nation brought forth a new nation, created in Liberty and dedicated to this foundational idea: ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL.

Now our nation is experiencing a great civil war, putting to the test whether our nation – or any nation founded on and dedicated to equality – can stand the test of time. We are here today on a great battle field of that civil war. We’ve come to dedicate a portion of it as the final resting place for those who gave their lives so that this nation of equal men may continue to live on. It is the right time and the right thing to do.

But, looking at it from a higher view, we cannot dedicate or bless this ground. The brave men – living and dead – who fought here have already dedicated it in a way far more powerfully than anything we can say or do here today. The world will hardly notice and quickly forget anything we say here today but it will never forget what these men did. So it is now the responsibility of the living to be dedicated to finishing the work for which they so bravely and honorably struggled and gave their life. It is our duty to be committed to the great task that lies ahead of us: we honor the dead by increasing our devotion to the cause for which they gave up their lives, and that we are intensely determined that they shall not have died in vain… that this nation UNDER GOD shall experience a new life of freedom – and that our government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from this earth.”

– – – – – – – –

Original text:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that , that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Our Tornado Story Today

2509863_G (Custom)

We are getting a lot of inquiries, people wanting to make sure we are okay concerning the killer tornado today.  We are, thank you for caring.

First, our home is about 15 miles south of where the big Moore tornado hit today, and 45 minutes north or so of the other tornados that hit south of us.  Intense day but no danger to our home itself.

However, we have a crazy story from today.   This weekend was my birthday, but I got dead-dog sick and Michelle and I cancelled a long awaited date we had planned for a movie and dinner on Saturday. We had rescheduled it for today.

We had movie tickets for a 3:15pm showing at Warren Theaters… the exact theater in Moore, OK that was ground zero today. If you watched any local news, or the major news stations today, you would have seen this theater on the coverage many times.  The photo on the right even shows the movie we were going to watch.

We left our house about 2:30pm with a quick peek at the news and it appeared that a couple of local thunderstorms were going to go north and south of us. We are used to spring storms so they didn’t cause us much concern.  I’m probably a little TOO unconcerned about the spring storms because I’ve lived with them my whole life, and thank the Lord, have never been hit directly though I’ve personally witnessed over a dozen tornados.  The remarkable reporting, weather coverage and alert systems give people life saving advanced warning, and maybe it makes some of us a little too secure when they spin up.  The storms today intensified very quickly, going from “thunderstorm” around 2:30pm to “killer storm” a half hour later.

At just about 3:00pm, Michelle and I were driving north out of Norman, OK towards Moore about 3 miles from the Warren Theater. It was obviously getting more ominous outside so I turned on the car radio and heard the warnings and reports. I immediately told Michelle we needed to turn around and flee south as fast as possible rather than trying to find a shelter. I knew we could put considerable distance between us and the storm since we were on the Interstate and it was clear  heading back south.

What shocked me was the hard time I had getting off the highway to exit as four lanes of interstate (I-35) traffic was barreling north oblivious to the now-obvious danger, or thinking they could get north of it in time (like trying to get across the train tracks before the train runs you over). You’ve probably seen the dozens of vehicles that were literally SMEARED across the highway directly in front of the Warren Theater in Moore. Sadly, many of those would have been on the road next to us and we either unaware, or thought they could “beat the train”.

So we did a u-turn on the interstate, drove south about 3-4 miles and got off the highway as all the tornado sirens started blaring. At exactly 3:15pm, the time our movie would have started, we watched the storm plow across the horizon knowing this monster was destroying Moore in almost the exact same way it did with the infamous “May 3rd” tornado.

It was really hard to believe that within 15-20 minutes we went from headed to see a movie in the exact location where the tornado hit, heard the radio warnings, scrambled a few miles south, and then watched from the horizon as thousands of homes, businesses, schools and lives were plowed into destruction.  We knew we witnessing a huge economic disaster and an inevitable loss of life.

Life can change so quickly. As always, we thank God that he protected us and ask Him to care for those who got hit.

I saw 29 launches when I worked on the Space Shuttle. Every time was awesome. I’ve seen over a dozen tornadoes. Every time is awesome and frightening and they dwarf even the incredible power and energy of a shuttle launch. Here is the full video of the actual tornado… it’s 15 minutes sped up to show in 3 minutes of video time so you can see the whole life of it:

My Son The Jerk

A reader asks:

How do I give my twenty-something year old son an ultimatum when I know it isn't totally his fault that he is acting the way he is?  What I want to say to him is this:

"Either participate in our family unit or don't expect anymore effort from any of us until you do show some sort of desire to be involved. You have refused to make contact with your family here and you have not acknowledged the gifts you have received and you have not made any effort at all to call anyone."

Ever since he began living with his dad when he was much younger, he completely stopped any and all effort to have a meaningful relationship with me and my family. No matter how hard we try, and we have really tried endlessly and tirelessly; we still get pushed aside. The only reason we barely have contact now, is because all of us are making the effort. Is it time for me to put my foot down once and for all?

My Answer:

Yes, at twenty-something years old, it is certainly time to hold him accountable as an adult but saying "it's not totally his fault" is not doing that. 

Unless you can tell me some legitimate reason he is being forced (not influenced, genuinely forced) to act this way, then he is choosing to act this way and you need to quit making him a "victim" which feeds his obvious selfish nature.  We seem to have a generation of MTV boys around his age that are masters at playing the victim, especially when the parents are divorced.

A 10 year old can be manipulated and has an excuse. A 20-25 year old is choosing to ALLOW himself to be manipulated because it is to his benefit (he feels there is some personal advantage in it).  Either that, or he is just spoiled and narcissistic; again we seem have a large army of young male adults who live this way now. I know it's a very difficult situation, and I don't tell you this flippantly or without realizing how hard it is. 

As you wrote it, what you want to say to him SOUNDS a more like a declaration appropriate for an adolescent (to shock him) than it does a serious, loving declaration to a young adult (what you wrote sounds like something I'd say to my 13 year old but not a 22 year old). I don't know all the details but maybe something like this:

"You're a grown man now and responsible for your own behavior and choices no matter who is trying to influence you or what difficulties you've endured. We've all had hard times in our lives and that doesn't give any of us excuse to treat others poorly.  You have chosen to ignore us and not to acknowledge or be appreciative of our efforts to have a relationship with you. Your choice. We are going to back off and give you your wish. We remain hopeful that you'll want to participate with our family and build a relationship with us. We are always here and the door is open any time you decide to be part of our family. We'll not try to force the issue any more so you'll see that we won't be trying to contact you or send you things at this point.  Relationship goes both ways. Whenever you want to begin to put some effort in from your side, we are ready. And we really hope you'll decide you want us to be your family too."

Either way, you have start thinking of him and treating him like an adult and that means DO NOT make excuses for his behavior ("it's not all his fault").   If that means the relationship will be estranged for now, then so be it, even though I know that's hard. YOUR door is open… he has to grow up and walk through. Remember, your "kids" grow up to become adults who can make their own choices just like you and me.  Sometimes they can become "jerks". Just because they are our kids doesn't make them immune from being selfish jerks (just like parents and siblings and friends can be selfish jerks).

I know it's hard… but you have to turn him loose from being "a child" (which is different from being "your child" which will never change) and pray for him. You cannot control, persuade, cajole, threaten or manipulate him into being the "good son".

My Wayward Son


A reader asks:

My twenty-something son has been married a couple of years.  Now he says he should have never married.  He failed to tell us of an affair he was having that started online. His Christian wife is devastated and tried to work to save her marriage but my son had no intentions of doing that.  We have counseled him and so have many other friends and family. He is planning on moving out any day now.  All of our hearts are broken.  My son is a Christian and he claims the other much younger girl is as well despite their adultery. How do I treat my unrepentant son?  I am very confused because the Bible does talk about not having anything to do with a sexually immoral and unrepentant Christian; am I supposed to shun my child?

How am I supposed to treat this other girl?  Should I allow her in my home, or him for that matter?  I feel like if I do then I am condoning what they have done by accepting them and I feel like I am betraying my daughter in-law. I know my son will suffer consequences from his actions and I am praying at some point for an awareness and repentance of what he has done, loving him is easy, but I do not like him right now so how do I act towards him?  Thank you and God Bless, Karen

– – – – – – – – – – – – 

My Answer:

We have to be careful about assuming our kids are "Believers" (which is hard for parents) because we can point to some event or confession in their life. We are known by our FRUIT and I would err on the side of evidence and not give him the comfort and security of "I know you are saved but…"  Appropriate conviction, guilt and shamecome from pointing out to him that he is acting like someone who is lost. He should therefore be concerned about his salvation as well as "you reap what you sow" (the consequences).  You might approach him with "you CLAIM Christ but…."  

There will be those who tell you "just lov'em… just lov'em no matter what" which is code for avoiding condemnation, guilt or shame in light of God's Truth. This is false love devoid of reality and truth. True love never involves avoiding the confrontation and acknowledgment of sin. 

As for your son specifically, treat him as a sinning Believer because that is how he is acting (with the added admonition that he should consider if he is really saved at all). He's still your child. You love him but don't enable him. Be his mom but don't approve of his choices passively or specifically. You keep your arms and eyes open for the returning Prodigal but don't assuage his guilt or relieve his consequences in any way.  Guilt, shame and bitter harvest help lead the wayward to repentance. Don't rescue him, enable him or support him through his choices (even when it gets really painful to watch) while never withdrawing your love and readiness to forgive.

You need to have a separate, private talk with your daughter-in-law. Tell her you love her, support her, and do not condone what your son is doing. Remind her "he's my son and I can't change that, nor do I love him less but I'm on the side of Godliness and I will never stop loving you and caring for you in any way I can. Please don't alienate yourself from us because of him… you are still our family…"  Believe me, she NEEDS to hear that from you. 

Also, about "shunning" your son… it is the duty of the Church to exercise church discipline in cases like this (though it is rarely done which is why the Church is so morally weak; can you imagine a Joel Osteen type of church exercising church discipline when they publicly state God didn't call them to teach about sin?). Remember, the purpose of Church discipline is to RESTORE, not punish.  The final result is "putting out" the unrepentant member so they will feel the full weight of losing their fellowship in Christ – a willful choice of their sin over their Christianity.  So while yes, as a Christian you would have to treat him like any other disciplined Believer ("put out"), you would pray it was short term, and hopefully losing his parents and family for a while would provide him even greater motivation to repent.  Difficult I know… but your clear duty is to God first, not your son regardless of how difficult that is.

And, as for the other girlfriend, you do not be unkind to her… she is an unbeliever (or acting like one) in willful sin. You show love and compassion but no compromise on the truth of the situation. Don't do anything to facilitate or enable their relationship, and firmly, with love, at the appropriate times, you let them know: unacceptable!  Witness to her, pray for her and long for her salvation… but don't pretend like this situation is anything other than what it is: ADULTERY.

It's hard when we reach a point of genuinely not liking one of our own kids but it's a common occurrence many endure. Love them. Pray for them. Set an example for them. Be ready to accept them when they repent (which means doing the right thing too, not just being sorry). But don't do anything passively or directly to condone, approve, encourage or enable their sinful choices.

Kids… can't live without them, can't kill them.  It's a real dilemma… 🙂 

Begin Today

I love new beginnings. I love that we have lots of places on the clock and calendar we can begin new.

A new day. A new hour. A new week, a new month, a new year. Today is August 1st, the first day fo a new month. What a great excuse to begin again. Start something new today. Or start something over that you've neglected or slacked off of.

Bible reading, giving, prayer, serving others, learning something, practicing. Fire it back up today. It's a new month. Commit to a new or renewed effort for the month of August.

Who Cares

Who cares that you've started and stopped a thousand times, failed countless efforts. The past is gone. Put it away. Press on to the future. Don't worry about what you can't change.

God is God of new starts. Every minute of every day we can start fresh and start new with God as long as we are sincere about it.

What are you waiting for? What do you have to lose? Get started. Get restarted.