April 28, 2010

Noah's Ark discovered... again?

Not sure how much stock to put in this story. As a believer of the literal truth of the Bible, I do believe that Noah's Ark is real and existed just as the Genesis story relates. However, I'm on the fence about the necessity of actual evidence of the Ark in order to believe. If it turns out to be true - that the structure talked about below is the actual Ark - that would be phenomenal. Just add that to the long list of historical discoveries about Jesus and Biblical truths.

The reason I'm posting it here is because of the coverage by the Daily Mail, to offer a comparison from British to American press. First, the U.K. paper is covering the story, and without an obvious secular bias from the reporter(s); they let the scientists interviewed (who are clearly differentiated from the 'evangelical' discovering scientists) speak for themselves - which they do without much to back up their own claims.

Lastly, name a U.S. paper or news website in/on which you saw a pretty accurate reading of a Biblical story? In the Daily story they give an account of the Noah's Ark story from Genesis (see inserted pic below or go to the Daily page to see better) as a supplement to the story. They even state that God's motivation to send the flood was man's sin! I will give $20 to anyone who finds a U.S. story that mentions sin without scare quotes (as in, "Christians say it's because of 'sin;' " indicating that sin only exists in the minds of us judgmental Christians).


'We've found Noah's Ark!'... claim evangelical explorers on mission to snow-capped Ararat (but British scientists say 'show us your evidence')
By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 12:20 PM on 28th April 2010

As believers in the literal truth of the Bible, they knew it was there.

Even so, the explorers who say they found seven large wooden compartments beneath snow and volcanic debris near the peak of Mount Ararat can be forgiven their excitement.

'It's not 100 per cent that it is Noah's Ark, but we think it is 99.9 per cent that this is it,' said Yeung Wing-cheung, a filmmaker working with the 15-strong team of fundamentalist Christians exploring the Turkish mountain.

They said wood taken from the site, which is more than 13,000ft above sea level, dates to 2,800BC. If it is the ark, the discovery would be the greatest in the history of archaeology and bear out one of the most famous stories in the Bible.

The team of Turks and Chinese researchers from Noah's Ark Ministries International in Hong Kong say they made the discovery on Ararat - the biblical resting place of the ark - in October.

At a press conference yesterday to announce the discovery, another team member, Panda Lee, said: "I saw a structure built with plank-like timber. Each plank was about eight inches wide. I could see tenons, proof of ancient construction predating the use of metal nails. We walked about 100 metres to another site. I could see broken wood fragments embedded in a glacier, and some 20 metres long."

The structure had several compartments, some with wooden beams, the team said.
The wooden walls of one compartment were smooth and curved while the video shown by the explorers revealed doors, staircases and nails. The team said the wood appeared to be cypress although, according to the Bible, the ark was built from gopher.

The group ruled out identifying the find as a human settlement, saying none had been found so high up in that area. They are keeping the exact location secret.

Four years ago and following a decade of research, U.S. national security analyst Porcher Taylor claimed a satellite image revealed a baffling 'anomaly' on the mountain's north-west corner that he believed to be the remains of the Ark.

But Mike Pitt, a British archaeologist, said the evangelical explorers had yet to produce compelling evidence. He added: "If there had been a flood capable of lifting a huge ship 4km up the side of a mountain 4,800 years ago, I think there would be substantial geological evidence for this flood around the world. And there isn't."

Nicholas Purcell, a lecturer in ancient history at Oxford University, said the claims were the 'usual nonsense'. He added: "If floodwaters covered Eurasia 12,000ft deep in 2,800BC, how did the complex societies of Egypt and Mesopotamia, already many centuries old, keep right on regardless?"

According to Genesis, the first book in the Old Testament, Noah was told to build the ark by God, who wanted to flood the world to punish sinners. The story was widely seen as fact until the 19th century, when scientists began to question the evidence for a worldwide flood.

To see the article in its original form, please visit this link on the Daily Mail website.

April 25, 2010

You Can't Stay Forever, But You Can Remember

Think of what they saw and heard on the mountain, during the transfiguration. How grateful should we be that Our Lord reveals Himself to us! He doesn't let us "stay on the mountaintop" - it won't always be, nay, rarely will an experience of God be what keeps us faithful - but He gives us Himself in His word every day.

Think of Him today, on His day. Think of where He has been - to the mountains, to the depths, to the cross - and that He always comes back to us.

Sufjan Stevens reminds me of Him, because that's what he's aiming to do. Stevens's "The Transfiguration" is evocative of that event, down to the sounds the clouds might make when opening up for God's voice to come through. At least, that's what I hear in the song.

April 12, 2010

Putting on a Good Face, As Usual

Trying not to be disappointed with the fact that it's been almost a week and no one (at least, none of my followers) has commented on my previous post.

I really was asking because I want to know how I'm supposed to respond, and not in a way unfitting someone in my position. Wasn't trying to provoke. Wasn't calling names or calling anyone out, saying, "look at what a jerk this person is." Nope, just wanted to know how to co-exist in a place where I know I don't fit in.

The only comments I got are from some unknown blogger without any posts of her own (and nothing but insults for me) and Julie (who isn't on blogger at all). [Thanks Julie!!]

So I wonder why this is.
Easy answers: Too boring of a question? Everyone is busy? They're still thinking of an answer?
Self-loathing answers: Everyone else has lives of their own and bigger fish to fry? It's too serious of a question and no one wants to talk about it (i.e. I should be writing about 'fun' things instead)? Um, no one reads this blog anyway so what do I expect?

Well, Estelle, what do you think? You're the only one who has spoken an opinion. Am I tedious, self-important and irrelevant, in addition to being delusional? And why in the world are YOU reading my blog anyway? Can't be for any (intended) spiritual content [you see I'm getting really self-effacing now].

Maybe I should take this as a sign and pack it up. Of the things I could write about - things on my mind all the time - I can't. Of the things I can put on here, no response.


April 5, 2010

Which Way to Go

I know it's asking a lot. I know that. But I still want to ask... Could I pleeeease work with people who don't mock God at every opportunity?

Coworkers... you don't choose them. I know that. In fact, since I came in after them I suppose you could say I chose them.

I didn't, really. Honestly I didn't feel like I could turn down a job. We needed the money, I needed the productivity and mental break. And I did meet a couple of people - my boss, a sales manager or two, the girl I replaced - and they seemed ok. I mean, they're people you can work with no problem. They're professional enough, hardworking enough, nice enough. Most of them are conservatives... but that does not mean they are Christians. A good lesson to learn - these two traits do not necessarily go hand in hand.

But the fact remains most of them think God is a joke. And it's hard to a) listen to people mocking Someone I have so much faith in, and b) not act differently toward them when I know how they feel toward Him.

I was not always what you might call a committed Christian, but I can honestly say there was never a time in my life when I didn't believe in God, nor a time when I mocked Him. I feared Him, recoiled from Him, I questioned and was angry with Him, but I never thought it right to verbally (or even mentally) spit in His face. Maybe it was the fear that kept me from that? Then again, a healthy dose of fear of God is a very valuable thing! That very notion is what lent name to this blog.

I know that many people who read this blog are not in the outside-the-home workforce, so you don't exactly have coworkers. But I'm guessing you have neighbors, non-believing friends, family, etc. who fall into this spoken animosity toward God. What I'm wondering is, how do you cope with this? Is there anything to do?

In a workplace, determining "what to do" is a tricky thing. Part of me says (nay, screams), "Tell them off!" Furthermore, "Get them in trouble for being non-pc!" (Ha.) Another part says, "Don't say anything; their vitriol is their own. Let them suffer for this later." (I know that's an awful thing to think, but in the spirit of honestly I'm fully disclosing.) Another part of me is so, so sad that they are disconnected from Him that they perceive a right to discredit Him (attempt to, anyway), and feels like this is a real opportunity for witnessing.

Hmm... witnessing at work? I'm sure you've heard that people do this, but I dare you to give me a first-person account! It's very difficult to accomplish. The timing, circumstances, mood have to be just right. And even if you accomplish saying something resembling the Gospel to them, you run the risk of being punished (or even fired) if they report you to a higher-up. And trust me, when jobs are so scarce the threat of being fired for your faith is genuine and hard to simply wave away. I accept that we can and will suffer for our beliefs. Tell me though, is it responsible to put one's household finances in jeopardy to eke out a cliff notes Gospel to a hostile coworker?

The Bible says we are not to give the truth to one who is drunk; the inferred meaning is that there is a mindstate in which people are more likely to receive the Word. When someone is mocking Christ on the Cross (on Good Friday!), are they in a mindset that will do anything but scoff at the Message - and at me?

So, for the moment disregard the complicated issue of witnessing at work. What is one to do in order to thrive in an environment that is openly hostile to God, His power, His will, Christ's significance and obedience, God's righteousness and justice (hallelujah!)? To report or not to report... Should I take advantage of the PC-laden atmosphere to shield myself from this quite offensive talk? Or is it hypocritical of me to use that to my advantage when I decry it the rest of the time?

Any suggestions?


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