April 25, 2007

Yes, Herman, Evil does exist

Virginia Tech Shooting

© Kimberly Gelina

The massacre at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, has had an incredible impact on the people I live and work with. This terrible event reminds us all that there truly is evil in this world and when God removes his finger of restraint for just a moment, we are given a snippet vision of hell. Rejection of God has unimaginably terrible results.

My wife Kim photographed the children of the Virginia Tech teachers and staff a few months prior to the shooting. Yesterday she visited the campus to see how the workers at the Child Development Center were dealing with the aftermath. While she was there she took a few pictures of the students and the tributes to the fallen.

Kim was impacted by the outworking of faith in Jesus Christ that she saw among some of the students there at the Va Tech campus.

© Kimberly Gelina

The photo to the left is of two students playing their guitars and singing praise to God out on the campus sidewalk. In this photo, the students were singing "Thank You For the Cross." It brought tears to my wife's eyes to hear these students, so impacted by the worse mass-murder shooting in American history living out their faith in Jesus Christ and proclaiming to the other students the only way to find healing.

The photo below shows a car parked in a student parking lot there at Va Tech. The slogan written on this car window makes a good point, worded in a collegiate way that may get some of the other students thinking about the importance of being prepared not only for life, but also for the afterlife.

© Kimberly Gelina

April 24, 2007

New Planet - It just might be like earth

The Daily Mail reported the news of a newly discovered planet that just might possibly be similar to earth. In the scientific community, where nothing can be promoted, accepted, or even theorized about without substantial proof, there is a clamor over a planet that "may support life."

The article begins with a flight of fancy that shows how excited the scientific community would be if they found on an planet outside our solar system what they have sought so hard to find on earth with no success—evidence of evolution.

The article begins with this fantastical description of the newly discovered planet:

It's got the same climate as Earth, plus water and gravity. A newly discovered planet is the most stunning evidence that life - just like us - might be out there.

Above a calm, dark ocean, a huge, bloated red sun rises in the sky - a full ten times the size of our Sun as seen from Earth. Small waves lap at a sandy shore and on the beach, something stirs...

This is the scene - or may be the scene - on what is possibly the most extraordinary world to have been discovered by astronomers: the first truly Earth-like planet to have been found outside our Solar System.

The article goes on to discuss what astronomers call "exoplanets" or planets outside our own solar system. In spite of a total lack of evidence that this planet is anything at all like our earth, they are claiming that it might have the same temperature variations and range of earth, it may have similar gravity to earth, "it probably has a substantial atmosphere and may be covered with large amounts of water - necessary for life to evolve" [emphases mine]. Oh yeah, it also might have an atmosphere of some sort.

The article even makes this incredible statement: "This remarkable discovery appears to confirm the suspicions of most astronomers that the universe is swarming with Earth-like worlds." They have a suspicion that the universe is swarming with these planets even though after years and years of looking for them they have now found one that might possibly be somewhat similar to earth (maybe). Obviously the decades spent trying to find the ever-elusive missing link here on earth without success has propelled these people to science fiction fantasy. It's amazing the lengths folks will go to to ignore the Creator of the universe.

April 02, 2007

Working with jerks

There is a plethora of books available addressing the issues of working for/with a "jerk." Showing the steady downward spiral of civility in our nation, a March 30, 2007 report on Fox News covered a newly published book that replaced the word "jerk" with a word they had to bleep out and remove from the book cover's title when showing the book.

While we must be sure that we, in fact, are acting as we ought to act, it's true that we often have to work for or with people who do not use common courtesy and respect in their dealings with others.

I am currently experiencing some of these dynamics in my workplace. And as He always does, God has provided a way of escape from my desire to lash out at these people or to display my personal indignation about how I am being treated.

From this morning's devotions

Psalm 4
O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
How long will you love vain words and seek after lies?
But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
the LORD hears when I call to him.

Be angry, and do not sin;
ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent
Offer right sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord.

An interesting progression covering some emotional responses to this type of situation. David begins with anger that men are speaking lies about him. He then turns to a veiled threat that he has been set apart by God and that God hears his prayers. He then recognizes his anger and reminds himself that it is okay to be angry, but that he must not allow the anger to turn to sin. He quiets himself: "ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent." And finally he commits to doing right by "offer[ing] right sacrifices" and turns from his anger with, "and put your trust in the LORD." This seems to parallel the concept of God saying, "vengeance is mine; I will repay."

The next verse that jumped out at me was:

Proverbs 20:11
Even a child makes himself known by his acts
by whether his conduct is pure and upright."

If I am worried about lies or misrepresentations being told about me, I can rest assured that we are "known by [our] acts." If I work as I should, I will establish a reputation that provides a solid shield against the attacks of those who would use lies and half-truths to gain the upperhand.

God grant me the grace to present a Christian (Christlike) response to the pressures of the workplace.