What I Witnessed on the Banks of the Jordan

digital rendering of a lighthouse

Last week my family and my church experienced tragedy that we could barely conceive when we lost our youth pastor Michael Cruce, his wife Monica, and their two teen sons Joshua and Caleb. The pain was nothing short of breathtaking. I made the trek down to the banks of the Jordan where the living can’t cross, and now, two weeks later, I am still moved by what I witnessed there.

I witnessed a little girl in foster care that the Cruce family had taken into their home over a year ago and who they had loved so dearly and sweetly, not traveling with them. The foster care service had to place her with another family during the Cruce’s vacation time. The center unknowingly placed her with close friends of Michael and Monica, friends the little girl had known and loved. She is with them still.

Having been asked to serve as media spokesman, I witnessed miracles when individuals in the media, most of whom cover tragedy daily, were so touched that they cried as we spoke. There was the eye contact with a deputy who led the funeral procession in which he projected great compassion and sympathy. Dozens of adults, who had once rebelled against what Michael and Monica taught, came to the funeral and spoke eloquently of the positive impact the couple had on their lives. And then there were emails and texts, thousands and thousands of them, from around the world.

People die every day in this sometimes cruel world, so why did these four humble people, who never sought celebrity or limelight, touch so many on such a deep level in both life and death?

One might guess that it was because they were “nice” and that they did good deeds or they genuinely cared about people. All of that is true, but it seems an inadequate explanation. Perhaps a connection was made because they were innocent victims. But tens of thousands of innocents die daily in wars and conquests, yet this loss of life doesn’t seem to connect strangers across space and time.

The loss of this family did.

This leads to another question. How could the pain of this horrible tragedy be constantly interrupted by the beauty of love that this family gave or received?

Suppose for a moment that what Michael, Monica, and the boys believed were true. Suppose that the primary ethic that they dedicated every waking hour to wasn’t just their opinion, or their way of making sense of it all, or their selection from a cornucopia of hundreds of supposedly equivalent belief systems? Instead what if what they believed was really, really, real? What if, rather than having simply chosen a path, the Cruces had instead reached a point where they grasped the ultimate reality of the universe as it exists?

What if there really was a benevolent creator God instead of an angry deity, ready to rain down punishment that some belief systems speak of? This God doesn’t cause car wrecks that kill, or diseases that ravage, instead, he created a paradise for humans, his creatures, to thrive in. But something went horribly wrong and a contagion called sin entered the heart of created man. What if, as Natalie Grant brilliantly wrote in her lyrics, the sacred had been torn away from us because of sin yet we had all survived. Only now the Creator who is holy and the Paradise which is perfect and does not contain sin, is separated from us by a vast chasm. Chesterton likened our time here on earth to Robinson Crusoe. We are forced to make do as best we can with the good things that were left behind from the ship, from the paradise.

But God doesn’t just leave us here to fend for ourselves. In addition to the good things in life, the provisions, God gave us a more important provision that can breach the chasm and connect us with him. If we accept this provision, his son Jesus Christ, we can relate to him from here in the foreign land where we are shipwrecked.

If all that were true, wouldn’t it explain an inherent connection between us, the creatures? If we are all created by this same God and we all became stranded in this foreign land in the same manner, then that would explain eighteen thousand social media messages from around the world. That would explain how, as I stood on the bank of the Jordan, along with others who were seemingly strangers, we felt a deep connection. All of us were connected because we were stranded there, unable to cross, shipwrecked as it were. Therefore the compassion from a deputy, the kinship with a reporter as tears streamed down our faces, the massive relief that a little foster girl would be loved, are much more than mere empathy. Instead they are deep connections that we the created, share. This passing reminded us of our mortality but more than that it reminded us of a common past and a potential future. At the same time the beauty of these connections, and the balm they provided in the midst of great pain, were gifts that allowed us to have a peek back across that river, toward home and the love that we can know there.

C.S. Lewis wrote of these moments. I conclude with his words:

 

In speaking of this desire for our own faroff

country, which we find in ourselves

even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am

almost committing an indecency. I am

trying to rip open the inconsolable secret

in each one of you—the secret which hurts

so much that you take your revenge on it

by calling it names like Nostalgia …

The secret also which pierces with such sweetness that

when, in very intimate conversation, the

mention of it becomes imminent, we grow

awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves;

Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty

and behave as if that had settled the matter.

 

The moments of compassion in which we

thought the beauty was located will betray us if

we trust to them. The beauty was not in them it only

came through them. And what came through them was longing.

longing for the scent of a flower we have not yet found

for the echo of a tune we have not yet heard

longing for a country that we have not yet visited.

Thoughts on the passing scene

I’ve been much quieter than I have wanted to be the past few weeks. I had posted some, prior to the loss my church family suffered but not a great deal. Then I just needed several days to absorb so many aspects of how I experienced God through tragedy that I basically shut the blog down for a bit.

But believe me I have had many opinions I have wanted to share. About ISIS, Ebola, elections, and on and on. But I have resisted in most cases. How many different ways do I need to state the obvious about our current administration. So I have mostly just posted in a more focused area (the green movement) or not posted at all.

I’ll have quite a bit to say in the next four or five days. Until then, here is an article I am quoted in. Honored to be included in this piece. http://www.redstate.com/diary/energyrabbit/2014/10/13/marita-noon-regcession-americans-arent-feeling-obamas-vigorous-recovery/

A Loss Beyond Words

L to R Joshua, Michael, Monica, Caleb

L to R Joshua, Michael, Monica, Caleb

This past Friday, my family lost a family. Dear friends of our’s, who were also our church Youth Pastor family and my son’s mentors, were tragically killed in a car accident on their way to vacation. I was asked to be the media spokesman for the church which was a surreal experience. I did interviews with a dozen media outlets. All were very sensitive and the few stories that I have had a chance to see in print or on television were well handled. I was asked to write the official press statement for the church. It reads as follows:

The Rosebower Baptist Church family is stunned by the tragic loss of the Cruce family. Michael, Monica, Joshua, and Caleb were more than just our youth minister and family, they were vital links in our bond of love. They had been on our staff for ten years and had mentored, counseled, instructed and ministered to both our youth and the church body as a whole. While we are heartbroken with grief at this time, we cling to the words of Scripture with full faith that we need not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

 

Novel Becomes Energy Crystal Ball

 

Energy Crystal Ball

In 2008 when I began writing my novel Going Green, I spent many hours asking myself the question, “Why?” With all the problems in the nation, why would the Senate of the USA waste time listening to a hysterical Al Gore overreact about the dangers of so called “man-made global warming.” At the time I was much less educated on the research, but with twenty-four years of deductive reasoning under my belt as a chemist, I already knew that Gore’s presentation didn’t make logical sense.

(more…)

Lies, Lies and More Lies

It was difficult to listen to President Obama today tell one falsehood after another about the fallacious threat of climate change to the UN general assembly. I predicted all of this in my novel Going Green .(See chapter 62 if you have a copy. Purchase one from me here on the site if you don’t. I’ll be glad to personalize it for you. I should have Pay Pal capability here on the site within the next 24 hours.) Now we see it playing out in real life before our eyes. All of it, the theory, the feigned concern for the planet (which is under no threat), even the phony protestors who were bought and paid for is based in lies and distortions.

Meanwhile, after giving ISIS a good warning and plenty of time to climb into bomb shelters, Obama places American Pilots in harms way so that he can put on a light show for the world and make the liberal press fawn over how tough he suddenly is.

So much to say, so little time.

If you are a Paducah resident, and you are watching the drama with Paducah Power, or worse yet, if you are paying for their mistakes. How ironic is it that this all broke on the day of the big UN Climate Change speech.  See my comment on the WPSD facebook page. I’ll post it here for your convenience:

As Paducah residents watch these hearings, we must realize that we are looking into a crystal ball. Under President Obama’s carbon reduction initiatives, all power plants will become as expensive as Prairie States. That brand spanking new power generation facility is not over-budget because of corruption, it is over-budget because hyper-regulation pushed planners to employ incredibly expensive pollution control technologies. These cost overruns are a fraction of what consumers can expect as unrealistic carbon limits force unproven technologies like carbon sequestration to be employed. I have worked in power generation for 27 years. TVA could have made all the cheap, reliable, safe, and yes…environmentally responsible power Paducah needed for decades. However, our nation’s insistence on attempting to solve the fallacious problem of man caused climate change as well as other draconian environmental regulations has led to a regulatory environment where plants like Shawnee and EEI will have a difficult time remaining viable.

 

Protect the Poor: Ten Reasons To Oppose Harmful Climate Change Policies

Below I have posted the actual document that the World Magazine Article was referring to. I was proud to be invited to be one of its initial endorsers. Please read the ten reasons below and prayerfully consider adding your name to the document. You can do that here.

Ten Reasons To Oppose Harmful Climate Change Policies

 

 

  1. As the product of infinitely wise design, omnipotent creation, and faithful sustaining (Genesis 1:1–31; 8:21–22), Earth is robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting. Although Earth and its subsystems, including the climate system, are susceptible to some damage by ignorant or malicious human action, God’s wise design and faithful sustaining make these natural systems more likely—as confirmed by widespread scientific observation—to respond in ways that suppress and correct that damage than magnify it catastrophically.
  2. Earth’s temperature naturally warms and cools cyclically throughout time, and warmer periods are typically more conducive to human thriving than colder periods.
  3. While human addition of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), to the atmosphere may slightly raise atmospheric temperatures, observational studies indicate that the climate system responds more in ways that suppress than in ways that amplify CO2’s effect on temperature, implying a relatively small and benign rather than large and dangerous warming effect.
  4. Empirical studies indicate that natural cycles outweigh human influences in producing the cycles of global warming and cooling, not only in the distant past but also recently.
  5. Computer climate models, over 95% of which point toward greater warming than has been observed during the period of rapid CO2 increase, do not justify belief that human influences have come to outweigh natural influences, or fears that human-caused warming will be large and dangerous.
  6. Rising atmospheric CO2 benefits all life on Earth by improving plant growth and crop yields, making food more abundant and affordable, helping the poor most of all.
  7. Abundant, affordable, reliable energy, most of it now and in the foreseeable future provided by burning fossil fuels, which are the primary source of CO2 emissions, is indispensable to lifting and keeping people out of poverty.
  8. Mandatory reductions in CO2 emissions, pursued to prevent dangerous global warming, would have little or no discernible impact on global temperatures, but would greatly increase the price of energy and therefore of everything else. Such policies would put more people at greater risk than the warming they are intended to prevent, because they would slow, stop, or even reverse the economic growth that enables people to adapt to all climates. They would also harm the poor more than the wealthy, and would harm them more than the small amount of warming they might prevent.
  9. In developed countries, the poor spend a higher percentage of their income on energy than others, so rising energy prices, driven by mandated shifts from abundant, affordable, reliable fossil fuels to diffuse, expensive, intermittent “Green” energy, will in effect be regressive taxes—taxing the poor at higher rates than the rich.
  10. In developing countries, billions of the poor desperately need to replace dirty, inefficient cooking and heating fuels, pollution from which causes hundreds of millions of illnesses and about 4 million premature deaths every year, mostly among women and young children. To demand that they forgo the use of inexpensive fossil fuels and depend on expensive wind, solar, and other “Green” fuels to meet that need is to condemn them to more generations of poverty and the high rates of disease and premature death that accompany it.

 

A Call to Action

 

In light of these facts,

 

  1. We call on Christians to practice creation stewardship out of love for God and love for our neighbors—especially the poor.
  2. We call on Christian leaders to study the issues and embrace sound scientific, economic, and ethical thinking on creation stewardship, particularly climate change.
  3. We call on political leaders to abandon fruitless and harmful policies to control global temperature and instead adopt policies that simultaneously reflect responsible environmental stewardship, make energy and all its benefits more affordable, and so free the poor to rise out of poverty.

Direct Threat To You and Your Family

Of all the topics I blog about, this is the one that I think is the most immediately dangerous to ever person that reads this blog. Next week Mr. Obama will host a gigantic hype-fest about the need to stop global warming. This will be done in conjunction with the United Nations Secretary General and a few far left leaning multi-billionaires. One billionaire will be busing in 100,000 protestors at his own expense (room, meals and travel will be paid for).  Even the NAZIS couldn’t do propaganda like this.

Keep in mind that all of this is being done for a fallacy. There is no threat from global warming. There is no warming. There is no adverse affect from so called carbon. Over the next five days, I will be posting some VERY important information. PLEASE read these articles. Some will be written by friends of mine. This is a naked reach for immediate control of your lives. I will provide proof. Obama seeks a binding executive action to control how much energy you are allowed to have and how much you will pay. If he controls your families energy supply…he controls you.

The first post is coming up in a moment.