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Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

Studying chemistry with my granddaughter this past year was much like learning a foreign language; one I deemed useless. I regularly asked two questions: “Why would I need to learn about the elements on the periodic table? And, how will I ever use chemistry for any practical purposes?”

Toward the end of the school year, we studied nuclear energy including the chemical elements of the sun. The energy produced by the sun occurs because of a nuclear fusion, combining hydrogen elements that produce helium. This fusion causes the temperature of the sun’s surface to be about 10,340 degrees Fahrenheit.

Our sun will continue to fuse helium with other heavier elements until it literally burns itself osun-update-1ut or runs out of fuel. When the hydrogen fuel in the core of the sun is used up, the burning will spread outwardly toward the surface of the sun. This will cause the surface temperature of the earth to rise from about 68°F to 167°F and the increased radiation will have a devastating effect. The oceans will evaporate and our planet will become a stark, lifeless desert.

Scientists believe that, so far, the sun has used up about half of its hydrogen fuel, but most think the hydrogen in the sun will last for another 5 billion years. Both creationists and evolutionists agree on the chemical processes of the elements in the sun, although there is major disagreement on the age and longevity of the sun.

Soon after finishing the chemistry unit on nuclear energy, I read these words from 2 Peter in my morning devotional:

“But THE DAY OF THE LORD will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a ROAR; the ELEMENTS will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” (2 Peter 3:10)

Several words and phrases from this verse suddenly had new meaning for me. Chemistry came alive on the pages of my Bible.

The first word that struck me was “elements,” since the elements on the periodic table were very much a part of chemistry class. Simon Peter wrote this epistle sometime between AD 185 and 253. In it, he refers to the “elements.” It was not until 1869 that scientists compiled the periodic table, naming and ordering the elements. Yet 1600 years earlier, Peter wrote about them in this epistle. Except by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, how did Peter understand the chemical elements of nature back in the second century?

Secondly, the phrase “the day of the Lord” caused me to take pause. Here Peter does not specifically name the number of years it will take for the sun to run out of hydrogen and explode. This event is not determined by a scientific timetable of 5 billion years. Scripture tells us it will happen on the “day of the Lord” when God pushes the button. However, both science and the Bible agree that it is definitely going to occur.

Thirdly, Peter states: “the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” These words also agree with science because we know that the earth cannot survive without the sun. However, according to scriptures, there will one day be a new heaven and a new earth.

Finally, Peter states: “The heavens will disappear with a roar.” The King James Bible calls it “a great noise,” which translates in the Greek language as a hissing and a crackling sound. The crackling sound was also confirmed in a scientific experiment when the atomic bomb was tested in the Nevada dessert. Reporters noted that the release of atomic energy made a loud whirling and crackling noise.

Therefore, we see that the Bible establishes from the beginning what humanity learns much later. Throughout the ages, God has consistently revealed to us the truths of His creation. We might be tempted to think that we have discovered scientific knowledge through our own cleaver minds; however, the Spirit of God has already revealed all truth through the Bible.

Now I understand that chemistry is not a useless language after all. Chemistry, created by God, agrees with His Word. What a privilege it is to know intimately the Creator of all things including chemistry!

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What happens when we hope for things that do not materialize?

In high school, my best friend often told me that she stopped hoping for anything because she did not want to be disappointed again. Obviously, in the short fifteen years of her life she had already met with so much disillusionment that she felt it necessary to build a wall around her heart to shut out hope.

Much later, I learned she lived in a dysfunctional, alcoholic home. Her hope was in her parents’ changed behavior. She hoped they would stop drinking and perhaps that she might be a part of their recovery. However, when the circumstances did not change, it ended in disillusion, because her hope was misdirected.

I once asked a 97-year-old relative if he thought he would go to heaven. He said, “I hope so.”

At age 97, he was surely close to the end of life, and I deemed it urgent to talk about his eternal destination; so, I asked him on what grounds he had hope of going to heaven.

He replied, “I have been a good man. I have obeyed God’s laws. I was faithful to my wife. All my life, I went to church every Sunday…”

However, I burst his bubble when I asked if he just “hoped” he would go to heaven or if he “knew” for sure he would.

“No one ‘knows’ for sure if they will go to heaven,” he rationalized.

His response made it apparent that he only “hoped” he would go to heaven; he was not sure he would. I then shared with him how he could know for sure. His hope had been in his good deeds, and it was misdirected.

When my daughter became ill, I placed my hope in my ability to find the right doctor, the right counselor, and the right medicine. I was sorely disappointed when nothing worked. My hope was misdirected.

The Bible tells us hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5), and yet, we see that when we place our hope in the wrong places i.e. other people, good deeds, or our own abilities, it ends in disillusionment, doubt, and disappointment. How and where have you directed, or misdirected, your hope?

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;

My hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;

He is my fortress,

I will not be shaken. Psalm 62:5-6.

Would you like to learn more about finding hope in difficult situations? Enter your name in a drawing to win a free copy of the book, God Placed Her in My Path – Lessons Learned from the Furnace of Bipolar Disorder, go to www.dorothyruppert.com/contact-dorothy . In the message box type “enter me in the drawing” and provide your mailing address. All entries must be submitted by 12:00 a.m., April 15, 2013. Two winners will receive a free copy.

This book is about evidence of God’s grace and hope as I walked alongside my daughter who experienced bipolar disorder.

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People who experience brain disorders have a common complaint. They say they have no friends. They want just one person to stick by them through thick and thin. Someone who suffers from a mental illness has mood shifts that cause him or her to be cranky, moody, defensive, and negative. These behaviors are not usually intentional, but rather symptoms of their illness. We expect our friendships to be an equal amount of “give and take” and find it annoying to be on the “give” most of the time. It takes patience and unconditional love to befriend someone who may not be able to reciprocate our friendship at all times. Most people are simply not willing to stick with someone who has many vicissitudes and requires a great deal of maintenance.

I find those who suffer from a disability to be some of the most compassionate and loving people. However, I must be willing to befriend them long enough to witness those wonderful traits. Yes, sometimes they appear bitter, but I must remember they have suffered much emotional pain, embarrassment, humiliation, and rejection. I must put myself in their shoes for a while and consider how their disability might affect their behavior.

There were times when I too felt discarded by friends and relatives who did not understand my plight with mental illness in our family. Thank God, that one devoted friend remained with me during my most chaotic period. She was my prayer partner and compassionate confidant for twenty years. She suffered from unipolar illness (chronic depression), and the first five years of our friendship were rocky. There were times when I felt dumped on or misunderstood, but I am sure she felt the same. We worked through our issues and remained best friends until her death at the early age of 41.

My friend and I had good reasons to pray for, and with, each another every day. For the last ten years of her life, she battled cancer and dealt with surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy, along with depression. I was battling the unknown enemy of mental illness, dealing with ongoing turmoil in my family, accompanied by discouragement and situational depression. We became accountable to each other, always admonishing and encouraging one another to persevere. We shared our laughter and tears, our deepest fears and sorrows, and our greatest victories and joys. Our friendship was closer than that of blood sisters. Our struggles knitted us together like David and Jonathan in the Bible. Her twenty-year friendship is one of my most treasured gifts in life.

For everyone who either suffers from a mental illness or is a caregiver for that person, today I wish one thing for you – a friend who sticks closer than a brother (or sister). When you have that kind of friend, you have a precious jewel!!

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