First Cosmic Observation: Gravitational Waves and Light From the Same Event. (Multi-messinger Astronomy)

It’s a big deal. Not so much perhaps with the way you eat your Wheaties in the morning or balance your checkbook, but in the mysterious world of science which always seems to impact the overall trajectory of our lives it is a major event.  This is fascinating stuff.  I enjoy following the way science bores into the secrets of how God has designed our existence in the universe and marveling at the brilliance of all He has created.  This is just one more step and I love that we live in an age when we can see and learn from so many wondrous revelations and discoveries.  This article is by Nancy Atkinson, one of my favorite writers in the world of astronomy and astrophysics.  It appeared at: www.universetoday.com as: First Cosmic Event Observed in Both Gravitational Waves and Light. RMF

FIRST COSMIC EVENT OBSERVED IN BOTH GRAVITATIONAL WAVES AND LIGHT
by Nancy Atkinson

Artist’s illustration of two merging neutron stars. The narrow beams represent the gamma-ray burst while the rippling spacetime grid indicates the isotropic gravitational waves that characterize the merger. Swirling clouds of material ejected from the merging stars are a possible source of the light that was seen at lower energies. Credit: National Science Foundation/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet

Nancy Atkinson

About 130 million years ago, in a galaxy far away, two neutron stars collided. The cataclysmic crash produced gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space and time. This event is now the 5th observation of gravitational waves by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo collaboration, and the first detected that was not caused by the collision of two black holes.

But this event — called a kilonova — produced something else too: light, across multiple wavelengths.

For the first time in history, an astronomical phenomenon has been first observed through gravitational waves and then seen with telescopes. In an incredibly collaborative effort, over 3,500 astronomers using 100 instruments on over 70 telescopes around the world and in space worked with physicists from the LIGO and Virgo collaboration.

Scientists call this “multimessenger astronomy.”   Continue reading

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The Primacy of Evangelism in the Church’s Mission

I love the church that Jesus established through His redemptive work on the cross.  It is my desire to contribute in a positive way to the church’s growth through the spread of the Gospel message which is the hope of glory.  Certainly there are many facets of the church’s mission but to me none is as important as evangelism, and disciples making disciples in order to accelerate evangelism exponentially.  My regard for evangelism is captured wonderfully by this article by Bob Russell.  It appeared first at: http://www.bobrussell.org  as: The Oft-Repeated Cycle of Church History.

The Oft-Repeated Cycle of Church History
by Bob Russell

Pastor Bob Russell

A decade ago when I was the minister of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, our mission statement read, “We exist to evangelize the lost, edify the saved, minister to the needy and be a conscience in the community.” Experts on effective mission statements insisted it needed to be abbreviated so everyone could grasp it. But I liked that mission statement because it not only articulated our purpose, it stated the order of our priorities.

The primary purpose of the church is evangelism and discipleship. (See Matt. 28:18-20.) One of Satan’s most clever deceptions is to invert our mission and replace the primary with the secondary. Social justice or political influence can easily become more important than the paramount task of evangelism.  Continue reading

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A Defense for Signing the Nashville Statement

The following is a statement by Randy Alcorn, a Christian writer and blogger at: www.epm.org. The article, which appears as: Why I Signed the Nashville Statement: It Speaks the Truth in Love About Human Sexuality,  concerns his signing of the Nashville Statement which you can read at: Click HERE.
This article by Mr. Alcorn explains his rationale for his decision to sign the statement and provides a perspective on the contentious subject which in relatively recent times has become so divisive for Christians and today’s society in general. I wrestle with issues like this and seek God’s grace and “the mind of Christ”  (Philippians 2:5) to give clarity to my understanding.  Irrespective of one’s opinion of the Nashville Statement I praise God that His love is available for all and wish for all to come to a believing faith that seeks to honor God and glorify His name.  RMF 

Why I Signed the Nashville Statement: It Speaks the Truth in Love about the Biblical View of Human Sexuality
Randy Alcorn

Randy Alcorn

If you follow social media and news online, you’ve likely heard about the Nashville Statement, put together by The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Along with several dozen other Christian leaders, I’m one of the initial signatories of this statement, which seeks to provide a Christ-honoring and biblically faithful standard on homosexuality and transgenderism.

When it was posted in late August, unfortunately during Hurricane Harvey (its release was prearranged some time earlier), it caused another kind of cultural and online hurricane. Here are a couple of comments from people on Twitter who expressed disappointment at my signing it:

So disappointed in @randyalcorn for signing #nashvillestatement. He gave me hope of heaven & now he banished me for loving people.

Somehow @randyalcorn believes, from an eternal perspective, that publicly condemning LGBTQIA people who are facing persecution is good.

Redefining God’s Love

I cannot apologize for signing a statement that I believe to be true to Scripture and true to reality. As for the claim that by signing it I “banished” someone “for loving people,” I hardly know what to say. I believe that I truly love people who think and live differently than I do in terms of sexual desires and practices. I also believe God loves them far more than I, or the people who sent these tweets, do.  Continue reading

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God’s Glory

The Crippplegate website just ran a really neat Pastor Eric Davis article on the recent total solar eclipse.  See: Eclipses are Telling of the Glory of God.  The eclipse itself and the article reminded me for the many-th time how really glorious our God really is.  And He is that way all the time – not simply when He displays His creative genius in “natural” events such as eclipses — but truly His glory is there all the time for us to witness if we will but pause to consider it.
In thinking about God’s glory I decided to capture some of my  favorite words of others which tell of God’s glory and His unsearchable riches. First, however, is Pastor Davis’ The Cripplegate article which reminded me of God’s glory.  That will be followed by the words to one of my favorite hymns, How Great Thou Art by Pastor Carl Boberg.  (My favorite line in this hymn is: “I scarce can take it in”).  And then the words to Dr. S.M. Lockridge’s (that is Dr. Shadrach Meshach Lockridge’s) declaration: That’s My King.  Finally, the evening devotional for August 22, from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening. RMF

Eclipses are Telling of the Glory of God

by Eric Davis

Pastor Eric Davis

At 11:35am MST yesterday (that was August 21, 2017 RMF), the entirety of our moon’s shadow hit the Jackson Hole area. Moving at over 1800 mph, with a shadow width of 66 miles, it brought almost instant darkness, making visible the most spectacular observable event in creation; a total solar eclipse.

In God’s kindness, I’ve had the opportunity to see pristine, underwater forests while scuba diving in Roatan. I’ve sat on the spectacular, jagged peaks of the Tetons. I’ve seen Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Northern Lights; from Alaska to the tropics.

But the total solar eclipse was like nothing I have ever seen before. There were those final, eerie, darkening minutes before totality. The bizarre feeling as it went from day to night in about 90 seconds. Cows mooing hysterically in the field next to me. The beads of light peering through the moon’s craters. The diamond ring effect. The temperature instantly dropped fifteen degrees. Then, totality. The sun’s atmosphere blasting forth in praise to God; the white, jagged rays bursting from behind the blackened moon for a full two minutes. And there was the 360 degree sunset (two sunsets in one day!). It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. It was utterly stunning; a spectacle that is emblazoned in my mind forever. I’m still wondering if I really saw it as it was completely different than anything in all creation. I can almost understand why humans have venerated that ball of burning hydrogen for millennia.  Continue reading

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Solid Rock v. Sinking Sand

I love the old Edward Mote hymn, The Solid Rock.  It is a great reminder of the ultimate in peace and security – a hope that will stand the test of time and adversity; of pain and of sorrow.  I was reminded of the hymn this morning when I read the most recent blog article by my online and email friend, April Cassidy.  April blogs at: peacefulwife.com and her article appeared as: Finding Contentment in Christ Alone in Painful Trials.  If in the destruction of a relationship you have ever experienced the “darkness of  high and stormy gale, the whelming flood when all around your soul gave way,” you’ll relate to the experiences described in April’s post.  And, if you are a Christian, you will recognize the wonderful hope that comes from knowing “The Solid Rock.”  So, here then, the lyrics to the hymn (and HERE is a Hillsong version which is on YouTube),  and then April’s article.  RMF

The Solid Rock
by Edward Mote

Edward Mote

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

Refrain:
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Finding Contentment in Christ Alone in Painful Trials
by April Cassidy (The Peaceful Wife)

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

April Cassidy
The Peaceful Wife

Three strong believers share about finding contentment in Christ alone even in very painful, difficult, lonely situations where worldly peace and contentment are completely impossible. I pray their words and stories might bless you and your walk with the Lord richly!

From Sister in Christ #1

I had to hit rock bottom and surrender everything to the Lord before I found that peace and trust in Him. I had to get to the point where I truly realized that my husband and my marriage had been an idol – that I had been depending on my husband to meet my needs, instead of God. So truthfully, the main reason I was so afraid of losing my husband (in the beginning) was because he was the one that I had been looking to – to take care of me, provide for me, love me, and fill me. I knew the Lord, but I had not been fully relying on God for these things – and I didn’t even realize that until after my husband left! Continue reading

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On Religious Liberty

Here is an article by respected theologian and religious educator Dr. Albert Mohler.  It appeared at: www.albertmohler.com as: Religious Liberty vs. Erotic Liberty – Religious Liberty is Losing.  It is a thoughtful article which deserves our attention.  RMF

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

Barely five days after The New York Times ran a major news article on the firing of Atlanta’s fire chief for his views on homosexuality, a major Times opinion writer declared that religious liberty is a fine thing, so long as it is restricted to “pews, homes, and hearts” — far from public consequence.

Kelvin Cochran

The firing of Kelvin Cochran as chief of Atlanta’s Fire Rescue Department came after the city’s mayor, Kasim Reed, determined that the chief could not effectively manage the department after he had written a book in which he cited Scripture in defining homosexuality as a sin.
The most crucial portion of the Times story includes the mayor’s rationale:
“At a news conference, Mr. Reed said that Mr. Cochran’s ‘personal religious beliefs are not the issue.’ But Atlanta’s nondiscrimination policy, the mayor added, is ‘nonnegotiable.’  Continue reading

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An Encouraging Article – In a Newspaper

If you’re like me a little encouragement is always in order, especially when the world is going crazy and seems bent on self annihilation.  Well, a little godly encouragement came my way on Monday via, of all things, a newspaper article.  It was a commentary by Rebecca Hagelin and appeared in the Washington Times as:  Millennial ‘invaders’ find unity, strength in message of Christ.  I’ve appreciated Ms. Hagelin’s writing for several years and decided I needed to get hot and share an example with you.  I hope you’re encouraged as I am by this example of unity.  RMF

Millennial ‘invaders’ find unity, strength in message of Christ
By Rebecca Hagelin

In this picture taken Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, an exterior view shows the facade of the former St. George church, physical reminder of the Little Syria neighborhood, that now serves as bar in Lower Manhattan, New York. Little Syria was a neighborhood that existed between the 1880s and 1940s in Lower Manhattan and was composed of Arab-Americans, both Christians and Muslims, who arrived from what is now Syria and surrounding countries. Little Syria was a paradise and a poor slum, a way station and long-term destination. Its merchants introduced Middle Eastern food to many in the West. Its authors, poets and journalists told stories that bridged the cultures. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

This past week, our Florida barrier island home was invaded by 10 “twentysomethings.”
I say “invaded” because their laughter, energy and noise gloriously shattered my solitude. But they were actually invited, mostly because of the joyful noise they make.
These amazing young people defy the stereotype of their generation. They are accomplished, hard-working and thoughtful. Their speech is respectful and wise.
No drugs, no cursing, no drunkenness. They are polite and helpful.
They are of multiple races; they are male and female. One is originally from Nigeria. Some grew up in the South, some the North. One just got her Ph.D. from Emory. Another is a nurse. One has his MBA, and another is a certified marriage and family counselor. Two others are educators and still more are engineers.
Despite their differences, they are the best of friends. Their love for each other springs from the love of Christ. Although the world may call them diverse, they see themselves as united.
How did they find each other? Through a sound, biblical church. Would that more Americans return to strong churches these days.
These fine young people belie the headlines of discontentment with America that the media attempts to hang on all people of their age. Yes, they are deeply disturbed by the hatred of white supremacists and the angry verbiage they hear from nearly every corner of the nation.
But they are not bitter at the world. They just want better for our country, and they know it’s partly up to them to lead the way in their own community and spheres of influence.
I joined them under the beach canopy during my lunch break, and discovered them either reading or in small groups discussing life’s big questions in whispered tones so as not to disturb their friends. Fresh from swimming in the crystal blue Gulf waters, a few were napping.
Across the towel from where I sat, an unusual sliver of metal that serves as a bookmark caught my eye. I reached over to pick it up and discovered a transcendent truth engraved along the edge: “Never let the voice of society be louder than the voice of Christ.
“Where did this come from?” I asked Carly.
“It’s Perron’s. He said it while we were here last year, and made this as a reminder for all of us,” she replied.
In a culture of venomous speech, this simple admonishment can be transformative. The phrase explodes with grace, offering sound advice in how to express outrage at injustice, and the manner in which we should engage those who disagree.
Far from calling for a feeble wallflower or “flower power” existence, the voice of Christ is both “wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove.” He spoke truth boldly, He loved unconditionally, and He was not afraid to call out injustice.
Although Christ wielded a whip against the greedy money changers in the temple, he never brandished a torch to incite fear or spew hate at people who were different than He; Jesus never carried clubs to confront his enemies.
In these days of civil unrest, may Americans across this great land gather, as these young people do, for Bible study, worship and prayer. And above all else, may we follow the example of Christ.
• Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at: Rebecca@rebeccahagelin.com.

 

 

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