Sunday, January 22, 2012

When blogs over lap...

(Sometimes my faith-related blog can't help but intertwine with my aviation-related one. Today's such a day ...)

This video is an especially good reminder that computers do not fly aircraft. Computers can of course, be used to guide an aircraft along a pre-programmed pathway that was selected and authorized by a human being, provided the computer's progress is continually monitored and corrected by a human being. But computers do not fly.

No computer built today can instantly reassess it's three dimensional situation and quickly make the appropriate corrections to a flight path and adjust to the demands of changing conditions, just by "looking out the window."

Computers are unable to continually assess the thousands of different questions that a pilot works through routinely on every flight, such as: "How much turbulence will there be? How much ice will there be in those clouds? What is that snow squall doing as it sweeps across the runway? Just how bad will the traction be during the landing and taxi into the terminal?" - to mention only a very few.

No computer can rapidly absorb thousands of bits of information from myriad sources and then assess the situational changes occurring each moment, adding in the lessons gleaned from previous experience and training which was oft-times adapted from unrelated events, then take the appropriate action.

As wonderful as they are, no silicone-based computer can match the abilities of a well-trained, well-motivated "carbon-based-unit" called a pilot. Most importantly of all, only human-pilots actually care whether they live or die!

I pass this video along as a reminder of just how awesome human beings are to have invented such great tools as Airbuses and computers, and to use them so creatively...

And maybe, just maybe, as we wonder at the amazing things humans are able to create, we'll pause to wonder - who created us?

Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Psalm 6:1 (NLT)
O Lord, don't rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage.

The image of God rebuking us in anger is common in the Old Testament. This has caused people to think of the OT God as an "angry old man," and we can have difficulty reconciling that image with Jesus who began his ministry with these words: (Matthew 12:20)

"He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. ... "

I think we have to keep in mind that Jesus read these words from the book of Isaiah. They express the heart of the "old testament" god just as surely as they represent the heart of Jesus.

When attributing an angry temperament to God, I suspect we are reading our own failings and shortcomings into Him. Keep in mind that it was the people at Mt. Sinai who were afraid to go near to the mountain to meet with God, and so demanded a mediator.

This tells me that our dysfunctional relationship with God has always been related to our reluctance to trust Him, let down our fences and draw closer.

Thank God he never gives up. The phantasmagorical events woven through the conception, birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, demonstrate just how far God is willing to go to cross this gulf that we've created between us and Him.

We can read this sixth Psalm knowing that indeed... "The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer" (has answered) "my prayer."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Trouble With Psalms

Psalm 5:10 (NLT)
Drive them away because of their many sins,[ ] for they have rebelled against you.

Some of the worst attitudes and confused points of view that sometimes arise in Christians are expressed in this Psalm. That's the trouble with Psalms. When followers of Jesus read these ancient songs and poems, without fully appreciating the great reversals Christ made to our view of who is a sinner, and who is righteous, and who our real enemies are, then we are apt to absorb this Old Covenant attitude of "us" vs. "them," and forget how high Jesus raised the bar. We should always keep in mind the Beatitudes, and the fact that in the New Covenant there is no difference between "us" and "them." In Jesus' teaching we are all sinners in need of a saviour. And in that realization we are also saved, by Grace, through Faith in the one and only God who is able to remedy our hopeless situation. We're all in this together. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

O God who declares me innocent...

The earliest Christians taught that Jesus was the Christ, using the OT scriptures, which are replete with prophecies about Messiah (Hebrew)/ Christ (Greek). It's fascinating how many messianic references are obvious only after Jesus' ministry and crucifixion/resurrection.

This opening verse of Psalms 4 is like that. Imagine the "aha!" moment Jesus' disciples must have experienced, when they read Ps.4:1 after the puzzling events they had experienced...

Psalm 4:1 (NLT) Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent. ...

After Jesus' resurrection, this verse, this entire Psalm, suddenly gains deeper meaning in light of the extraordinary means by which God now declares us "innocent."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad