Some years ago, an American pop band called Gary Lewis and the Playboys had a sad but pretty song about a guy who wanted to break up with his girlfriend because he felt he no longer loved her. It asks the question “Where will the words come from?” He wasn’t sure how to say this, how to tell her, what words to use.
For me, where do, or where will, the ideas come from?
Every project you see on this Web site is simple in the extreme. I have a Web site called ninthgradescience.com. I chose that name because seventhgradescience.com was already taken. But I like to think that each of these ideas is 5th grade science, max. If you, the reader, do not completely understand each of them, it's because I am a poor communicator. I didn’t explain them well enough.
Where do the ideas come from?
I am a Christian. I worship the God of the Bible. This God has given us a book that tells about Creation, Himself, and ourselves. Many people in the Bible had really close encounters with God. Almost universally, their initial reaction was fear. They were terrified. And this was no ordinary fear, as if they left the car unlocked at the mall, or forgot to pay their taxes for 10 years, or faced a large, angry animal. It was the fear that comes from meeting God, who is supremely powerful, perfect, and clean, who loves people, yet cannot stand anything impure, and the people realizing that they are not clean themselves. Kind of like, in a small way, we had just run a race, and were all hot, sweaty and dirty – and the King or the President showed up to meet with us. We would like to get cleaned up first, and we would feel terrible if we couldn’t.
If we, or if I, could see God as He really is, I would be afraid -no, terrified - also. God is absolutely perfect, supremely powerful, and lives in supernatural light. We have the word “unapproachable”. There is a dark side of me, a side concerned only about myself. Not necessarily an illegal side, not a murderous side, not a terrorist side, but a side that likes to look out for myself alone, and satisfying myself alone, at the expense of others. Living as though God wasn't there. Running and hiding from God.
The God I worship made a way for me to meet him, not only unafraid, but with joy and anticipation. This God sacrificed His own Son, the man named Jesus, to pay for my dark side, my dark thoughts, my dark words. This man Jesus paid the penalty for all of this, gave me new life, meaning in this life, and the promise that I will live forever with Him through all eternity.
That’s where the ideas come from. The Bible is a large book, hundreds of pages long. I try to begin each day with it, before checking E-mail, before listening to the news, before getting to work.
Reading the Bible reminds me of who I am - strong, independent, and self-sufficient in my own mind, but weak and completely dependent on God for my next heartbeat, breath, and meal in God’s sight. And it reminds me of my own heart condition, that sweaty, dirty part of me that needs to be made clean.
God did this in the man Jesus the Christ.
While Jesus lived on earth, we read “And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God.” Luke 9:43
Jesus once said “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. Whoa! Does this mean I can live my whole life apart from Jesus and have it count for nothing? I think so.
I thank God for giving me the ideas you see on these Web pages.
I thank God for the quality education I received, the great majority of which was in very small schools. I didn’t always appreciate school at the time, but I do now.
I had 12 years of free public school in the tiny (pop. approx. 2,000) mountain town of Narrows, Virginia, USA. I received a B.A. with two majors – mathematics and psychology – from King College (now University) in Bristol, Tennessee, USA. Then, it was quite small (less than 400 students) but it is now close to 3,000. It was and still is a liberal arts college in East Tennessee, committed to Christian education. I received an M.A. in Counselor Education from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, USA.
Here are a few quotations from the Bible that apply to the work you see on this Web site:
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains.” Psalm 24:1
“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the people of the world revere him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.” Psalm 33:6-9
“You make him (man) ruler over the works of your hands.
You have put all things under his feet.” Psalm 8:6
“This I know, that God is for me.” Psalm 56:9
More than 300 years ago, a man named Isaac Watts wrote a song that included these words:
I sing the goodness of the Lord, who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word, and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky.
More than a century ago a man named Maltbie Babcock wrote this song:
This is my Father’s world,
And to my list’ning ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
His hand the wonders wrought.
John Saavedra, Pacific Coast Highway, California, 2008. The car is a Ferrari 308. The Pacific Ocean is in the background
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