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Friday, September 30, 2016

Old Windmill Farm near Paradise, PA 9/28/16

Fog on the Old Windmill Farm when we visited our friends early Wednesday morning.

"The Theory Of Everything"

Brooksyne's editing note:
I usually edit, clarify and often add my own written thoughts to Stephen's original article, but this time I can only check for spelling, missing words, etc. The subject matter is way too out there for me to possibly add or simplify since I don't understand the material of which I am editing. If you identify with me, I personally invite you to stay with us for today's message as this is the end of the week-long series of lessons we can learn from trained engineers. And there are those among us who do understand while we can all appreciate and utilize the major contributions of good engineers.

Message Summary: I think I can help physicists with this "Theory Of Everything". Let us focus on just the phrase, "in Him all things hold together". That's an interesting expression of the theory of everything!

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"He (Christ) is before all things, and in Him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17). "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word" (Hebrews 1:3).

Colossians 1:17
Looking back on my education I suppose the subjects I found most difficult were advanced math and physics. In Bible college our major focus was the Bible, Theology and preparation for ministry but the requirement for a degree included several  mandatory courses for a well-rounded education including Physics and Biology taught by guest professors from a liberal arts college across town. I enjoy Biology but Physics is kind of like trigonometry to me.

Nevertheless I find concepts in Physics interesting although I don't make any claims to understanding them.
The theory of everything (ToE) or final theory, ultimate theory, or master theory is a hypothetical single, all-encompassing, coherent theoretical framework of physics that fully explains and links together all physical aspects of the universe.

I think I can help physicists with this "Theory Of Everything" although most would have absolutely no interest in my input

The daily Scripture is a powerful portion extolling of the supremacy of Christ. Colossians 1:16,17 states "For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." Note the four times in these two verses we read the words "all things".

Colossians 1:17
But today let us focus on just the phrase, "in Him all things hold together". That's an interesting expression of the theory of everything!

The late Dr. Henry Morris (trained as an engineer) comments, "The Greek word translated “consist” (hold together) is sunistano, from which we get “sustain.” The things created by Christ are now being sustained, or conserved, or held together, by Him. He is “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). “In Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). The most basic of all scientific principles is implied in these two verses (Colossians 1:16-17), that is, the principle of conservation of mass/energy, or “all things.” According to this principle, nothing is now being either created or annihilated—only conserved, as far as quantity is concerned. One state of matter can be changed to another (e.g., liquid to solid); one type of energy can be converted to another (e.g., electrical energy to light energy); and under some conditions, matter and energy can be interchanged (e.g., nuclear fission); but the total quantity of mass/energy is always conserved. This law—also called the First Law of Thermodynamics—is the best-proved law of science, but science cannot tell us why it is true. The reason nothing is now being created is because Christ created all things in the past. The reason nothing is now being annihilated is because all things are now being sustained by Him. If it were not so, the “binding energy” of the atom, which holds its structure together, would collapse, and the whole universe would disintegrate into chaos. (Defender's Study Bible Note on Colossians 1:17).

Colossians 1:17 with CS Lewis quote
The God who holds all things together is also sustaining each one of us. He speaks through the prophet Isaiah to the ancient people of God and thus through the Scriptures to all of us: "Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth" (Isaiah 46:3).*

Rest in the wonderful assurance that we don't have to be self-sustaining. Instead we raise our eyes heavenward and declare "You are sustaining all things by Your powerful Word and You will accomplish what concerns me for You are my Sustainer; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting" (from Hebrews 1:3, Psalm 138:8).

So here's the word of encouragement today, fellow believer. He who hold all things together will surely uphold you. He is ever dependable. Troubles that weigh you down today are under His absolute authority and, as they run their course, Jesus calls us to trust Him – yes, even in the midst of them. Let's take Him at His Word since it's wholly dependable!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You are before all things and You hold all things together. Without Your sovereign power at work, in the universe and in our lives, we would be without hope and without existence. I'm so thankful that You delight in Your creation, You even rejoice over us with singing. You sustain all things by Your powerful Word and You accomplish that which concerns me, for You are my great sustainer. Thank You faithful, holy and righteous One. Amen.

* "
you whom I have upheld since you were conceived" What a powerful truth concerning the value of life beginning at conception expressed long before we had the biological knowledge as humans to understand life begins at conception. Now one can get a jail term for destroying unborn eagles (their eggs) but many defend and even celebrate the slaughter of unborn children. This is what happens when mankind forsakes God.

Ron Hoover
Ron Hoover, an engineering friend I mentioned several days ago, sent me a note with another spiritual truth paralleling an engineering concept:

"Let's consider we are in the Digital Age--The Digital Age is the term used to cover the communications and computer technology that is founded on the digital signal system. Digital information is coded in the binary--1-0 system. We are able to represent/process this information as sequences of binary information. 1s and 0s, On/Off, Yes/No are binary--only two choices--operations. All elements can be represented in sequencers of 1s and 0s.

Isn't that exactly parallel to God's Word--Is it true or is it false? Do we obey or do we disobey? Do we accept Christ or do we reject Christ. As Christians--we are called to make Binary-Yes/No, choices--We don't have another option-- "Maybe" is not obedience-it is disobedience.

Now, Ron got me thinking regarding binary. Using the binary system I was born in 0000011110100010 and will soon be 00111110 (in binary value). Of course we don't normally express our birthdate or age using binary numbers but rather decimal. I wonder how many can convert the binary to decimal in their heads? For those who may need help, like virtually all of you, here's a nifty Binary to Decimal Converter. Note: I predict binary won't catch on for expressing our age and birthdates in my lifetime! Also if you want to convert your age to binary here's Decimal to Binary Converter. If you are an engineer and trying to get a job you might impress your potential employer by expressing your birthdate in binary on your job application. (Then again, probably not.)

Flying birds (photo by Robyn Waugh)
Robyn Waugh is a friend we see in the course of visiting her company and she enjoys photography. She caught these birds in flight.

Blue Heron (photo by Robyn Waugh)
And this Blue Heron on the Susquehanna River.

Chrysalis (photo by George Blizzard)
Variegated Fritillary butterfly chrysalis
Some of God’s prettiest creations go by unnoticed because they are small. I enjoy watching the nature series on NetFlix with videos of exotic animals and insects from all over the world. My friend George Blizzard shared this photo he had taken. I asked if he took it in Borneo but actually it was on his deck here in Lancaster County. Notice the shiny metallic-looking coat with gold colored spikes.

Bridge over Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, PA (photo by Doris High)
the Susquehanna River into Harrisburg on I-83 we often pass a scene with several bridges but can never manage to take a photo due to heavy traffic. Doris High has this shot on her photo blog.

Jim Gambini with Ester 9/29/16
Yesterday afternoon we had a Fed-Ex delivery and was delighted to visit for a few minutes with our long-time friend Jim Gambini. Ester calls him Uncle Jim. When we first moved to Pennsylvania in 2001 Jim was the pastor of the church we attend and we have remained friends with Jim and his wife Wendy since that time.

Banquet 9/29/16
Last night we attended a banquet for ICCM, a locally based mission ministry. In our area ministries have an interesting fund-raising approach we had not seen prior to moving to this area in 2001. A business, church or individual will "buy" a table(s) at the banquet and then invite others to come for a free meal, to hear about the ministry and drop in a free-will offering at the end or otherwise provide support. Matt, a friend from one of our companies bought a table but had a conflict in his schedule so he offered the table to me and Brooksyne and we invited six others to join us. So he blessed us, we blessed several others and learned about a ministry we had not been familiar with.  I suppose if you had the right connections you could go to a banquet like this in Lancaster County about every week! But, of course you need to bring along an offering to bless the ministry represented.
Left to right -
Us, Wilma & Jesse Dourte, Grover DeVault, John Keefer, Jim & Dorothy Schmidt.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"God And God Alone"  Video  Chris Tomlin

"How Great Thou Art"  Video  The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

There's so much riches in today's text:

Some various translations and paraphrases of our daily text:
    "and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together)" (Amp)
    "in union with Him all things have their proper place" (GNB)
    "He holds all creation together" (NLT)
    "through Him the universe is a harmonious whole" (Weymouth)
    "in union with Him all things have their proper place" (UBS)
    "through Him everything has stability" (German Common Language)
    "He holds all things in unity" (NJB)

Warren Wiersbe tells the story about the a guide who "took a group of people through an atomic laboratory and explained how all matter was composed of rapidly moving electric particles. The tourists studied models of molecules and were amazed to learn that matter is made up primarily of space. During the question period, one visitor asked, “If this is the way matter works, what holds it all together?” For that, the guide had no answer. But the Christian has an answer: Jesus Christ! Because “He is before all things,” He can hold all things together. Again, this is another affirmation that Jesus Christ is God. Only God exists before all of Creation, and only God can make Creation cohere. To make Jesus Christ less than God is to dethrone Him." (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

Ray Stedman commenting on this verse adds that one of "The most astonishing phenomenon today is to see men who work with this physical universe, who intimately observe the beauty, order, and power inherent in the natural world as well as in the world of humanity, yet who fail to see the Power behind it all; the ordered Intelligence that possesses and originates all these things. I do not understand how a man like Carl Sagan can work in the field of astronomy, knowing of the great secrets that are now coming to light in the universe, and yet go on breathing air which God has supplied, eating the food with which God has stocked this earth, and relying moment by moment on a heartbeat whose continuation rests in the will of Someone other than himself, yet can busy himself telling us that only man matters! It is a phenomenon beyond my understanding." Stedman in conclusion adds that "as I think of the world in which we live today surely this is the reason for the terrible sense of lostness among people. We are a generation adrift. We have thrown out all the absolutes, and found ourselves adrift on the tossing ocean of life. No one has an anchor any more. What men desperately need is a King, a God, an Authority, an Anchor to cling to. I am convinced we will never solve the terrible drug traffic until we teach people that there is an answer to the hunger and anguish of their empty lives. We cannot stop the drug traffic by simply confiscating all the drugs that come into this country. Drugs are merely a symptom of the terrible anguish of people; of their empty lives, their lack of a sense of worth. They have no King to worship, no authority to serve, no cause greater than themselves. Thus the central truth of our faith, and one that makes for strength in the Christian life, is this truth. In Jesus is found the center of life. "He is the image of the invisible God...the Creator of all things, who is before all things and holds all things in his hand and power." Is he your Lord?" (Master of the Universe - Colossians 1:15-17).

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

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