Spring 2013, The Tool Box

15 05 2013
tool boxIt’s that time again – time for another issue of the Tool Box.  We pray that you are well and growing in the LORD this Spring!

Inside this issue:
– Evidences for a Young Earth: Biological and Anthropological Evidences
– Questions Answered: Are the Bible and Evolution Compatible?
– Resource Spotlight: The Spiritual Secret of Hudson Taylor
– Spring and New Life in Christ
– Signs of Design: The Human Thumb
And lots more!
May the Lord be nearer and dearer to you this Spring, as never before.
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Click here to receive the next issue of The Tool Box in your email inbox!




The Tool Box – Winter 2012-2013

26 01 2013

Untitled

With the holidays’ business, family sickness and others things, we didn’t get our November-December 2012 issue of The Tool Box sent out, and we apologize. We are finally sending out our latest issue, which is the Winter 2012-2013 issue. Upon reviewing our family and ministry situation, we have decided to publish our newsletter only quarterly, instead of bimonthly, as we had done previously. So, now you will receive a newsletter every three months, and they will be labeled ‘Spring’, or ‘Summer’, etc.

Thank you for understanding and for you continued prayers for our family and ministry!

What you’ll get in this issue:

  • Evidences for a Young Universe, Part 2 – Geological Evidences
  • Questions Answered: What About the Gap Theory?
  • The Sanctity of (Every) Human Life
  • Copying the Creator: Straws, Trees and Water Towers
  • Creation Scientist Biography: Johannes Kepler
  • And more!

If you aren’t already subscribed to The Tool Box, please do so here.  Thank you!





Rethinking Christmas Traditions

25 12 2012

Rethinking Christmas Traditions logo completed

It’s that time of year again: Christmas lights and trees going up all around us, the bustle of holiday shopping and the excitement of the season.   Most of us celebrate this winter holiday — we all love the family time, gift giving and colorful lights.   But, do we know the reason we celebrate Christmas?  “It is to remember and celebrate the birth of Christ,” most Christians would say.  But, have we taken time to learn the history and origins behind the Christmas holiday and traditions?  I hadn’t until very recently.

What’s the history behind the Christmas tree, gift-giving, yuletide, mistletoe, and the Christmas holiday in general?  I hope to start a conversation, prompting people – especially Christians – to look into what they’re celebrating and why.  There are many resources out there on the web and in print one can use to educate themselves.  I urge you to do your own research, and not just trust my information.

The Christmas holiday has roots within the ancient Roman holiday Saturnalia, which was celebrated between December 17 and December 25.   This eight day period was a time for continual partying, gift-giving and lawlessness.  Much is written about the festival of Saturnalia, so I won’t go into it anymore, for lack of space.  But, the popularity of Saturnalia carried on into the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D., and as Christians began to rule over the Roman Empire, many believe its customs influenced the celebrations around Christmas and the New Year.  “Worship of Christianity was legally allowed in the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great, … A.D. 313.  Now the two focal celebrations of both religions occur on December 25th, Mithra’s sun regeneration and the Christian nativity (Sun of Righteousness). According to St. Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, the “Roman Church purposefully placed the keeping of Christmas between two popular folk festivals, Saturnalia and the Kalends of January, in order to give Christians something to celebrate [undisturbed] (sic) about while others were engaged in secular merrymaking.””[1]

The history of the Christmas tree is quite fascinating and varied.  Many countries hung evergreen branches in various places, believing they would keep ghosts, witches, evil-spirits and illness away.  Numerous ancient peoples celebrated winter solstice – which occurred around December 21 in the Northern Hemisphere – including the Egyptians, Romans, Druids and Vikings.  Whether it was the Egyptians with their god, Ra, or the Vikings with Balder, their sun god, they all believed that the winter solstice was the time at which the sun god would begin to grow stronger, after a period of weakness and sickness.  So, they decorated their homes and temples with green boughs, as a reminder that plants would grow again.  The Roman’s feast, called Saturnalia, honored their god Saturn, and the Northern European Druids used evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting life.[2]  Germany was where the Christmas tree tradition started, as we know it.  Sixteenth century devout Christians decorated trees and brought them into their homes.  The first recorded display of one in American, though, wasn’t until the 1830s, by German settlers in Pennsylvania.  But, as late as the 1840s, Christmas trees were seen as pagan symbols and were not accepted by most Americans.  By the 20th century, nonetheless, Christmas trees became an American tradition, as it remains to this day.[3]

I apologize for not being able to cover more of the other aspects, but trying to wrap up 2000 years’-worth of history in a single less-than-1000-word article is a monumental task.  Please take the time to do your own research on this subject.   I believe it is a conversation American Christians need to have.

In conclusion, I have just recently begun to think of Resurrection Day as the more important holy-day that we as Christians should celebrate.  If Christ never died and rose again, Jesus’ birth is no more crucial than any other person’s birth.[4]  But, the fact that He was born, was murdered on the Cross and, most vitally, resurrected from the dead, that is what we should celebrate.    Thanksgiving is also a good day to celebrate, though I believe, for Christians, every day should be Thanksgiving Day.  But, to set aside a day in which we conscientiously thank God for all of our blessings and spend time with family is wonderful. This year I’m thankful for the fact that Jesus Christ was born, but most decisively, rose again, conquering death forever, providing a way for me to do so also.

A good perspective on this issue is R.C. Sproul, Jr.’s article which can be found here: http://highlandsministriesonline.org/ask-rc/ask-rc-is-it-a-sin-to-celebrate-christmas/.  And this article, as well: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2012/12/21/christians-celebrating-christmas?utm_source=aigfacebook12212012 christmasfeedback&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=facebook.

Footnotes:


[2] See this website for the full story behind the Christmas tree: http://www.thehistoryofchristmas.com/trivia/trees.htm

[3] There is much more information on the Christmas tree history, of which I did not have room to cover in this article.

[4] And our faith is futile: see 1 Corinthians 15:17.





Evidences of a Young Universe

12 10 2012

The latest issue of The Tool Box has as it’s feature article, “Evidences of a Young Universe, part 1”.  We’re excited to start a new series, by that title, covering many different evidences pointing to a young universe.  If you haven’t subscribed, you can do so here, and you’ll receive The Tool Box right in your email inbox.  Catch part two of the series in our November-December 2012 issue.

Stay up-to-date with us by liking our Facebook page, following our blog and connecting with us on Twitter.

Some of what you’ll get in this issue:

  • Evidences for a Young Universe: Part 1, Intro
  • Questions Answered: What About Distant Starlight?
  • Resource Spotlight: Distant Starlight
  • Copying the Creator: Sweat, Air Conditioning and the Fall
  • Creation Scientist Biography: Dr. David Menton
  • Free offer: What Does the Bible Say about Astronomy?




The Tool Box, July/August 2012

23 08 2012

The July/August 2012 issue of The Tool Box is now available for download and reading!  Please feel free to share with your friends and church family, and with people you may not know.  Also, if you haven’t already subscribed, you can do so here.  Each issue of The Tool Box will be conveniently sent to your email Inbox.

What’s inside this issue:

  • The Miller-Urey Experiment: Life or Non-Life?
  • Questions Answered: Are the Creation Accounts in Genesis 1 & 2 Contradictory?
  • Resource Spotlight: IndoctriNation
  • Summer Reading & Watching List
  • Signs of Design: Symbioses in the Animal Kingdom
  • Ministry Update More Than Philosophy Conference




The Tool Box – May-June 2012

25 06 2012

The Tool Box, May/June 2012 issue.

 

Well, the month of June is more than half way over, and we are just now sending out the latest issue of The Toolbox. We apologize for the delayed delivery, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Over the past several weeks our family has experienced some significant and life changing events which have led to transitions in employment and residence. Even in these challenging and uncertain circumstances, our Lord has repeatedly shown Himself faithful as our Provider. We are “blown away” by how He showers His grace upon us, and we praise Him for it! The downside to these life changes is that our available time over the summer to devote to ministry work has been greatly reduced by the necessity of making plans and provisions for an impending move. The bright side in all of this is that the Lord continues open doors for us to continue to “Teach. Equip. and Proclaim God’s Word.” We look forward to seeing how the Lord will use us in the future as our lives are conformed to His will through these changes in the road of life. As always, please keep us in your prayers and share our newsletter and website with your friends and family.

May the Lord bless you as you glorify Him this summer!

Some of what you’ll get in this issue:

  • Evidences of a Global Flood (part six – last part)
  • Questions Answered: What About “Gay Marriage?”
  • Who is the Intelligent Designer?
  • Copying the Creator: The Honeycomb Structure
  • Creation Scientist Biography: Robert Boyle




The Tool Box: March-April 2012

14 04 2012

The March-April 2012 issue of The Tool Box is now available.  Please feel free to download it, print it off, and share it with your church, family or friends!  If you are not subscribed to The Tool Box, you can do so here.

Inside this issue:

  • Evidences of a Global Flood – part 5
  • Evangelism & the End of the World
  • Questions Answered: If There’s a Loving God Why is There Death & Suffering?
  • Copying the Creator: Hydraulics, Levers and the Human Arm
  • Creation Scientist Biography: John D. Morris
  • And more!







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