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Archive for the ‘Belief, faith, trust’ Category

Take a Quantum Leap with me…

                                … back to the year 30 AD

Yes – we’re talking time travel!  The thing of science fiction, Hollywood and nerd  scientists.  Between H. G. Wells and Albert Einstein scientists and fiction writers opened our minds and consciousness simulating our imaginations, releasing scores of dreams and visions.Time-Travel-JeanLucThe speed of light – the laws of space and time – the theory of relativity – quantum physics – Casimir energy – Einstein-Rosen bridges – black holes – phantom Energy – Kerr Rings – wormholes – cosmic strings – Alcubierre drives – quantum foam… lions and tigers and bears – oh my!  lions-tigers-bears

And we haven’t even thought about the ‘time-travel’ paradoxes yet!

“Paradox,” you say. “What a ‘time-travel’ paradox?”

Nothing much – just think about a time traveler going back in time to kill himself as an infant. If he were to do so, he never would have grown up to go back in time to kill himself as an infant, so how could he….  But, that can’t happen you say. I know…I know.

Oh yes – our imaginations are soaring (as well as national aspirin sales).aspirin_6

Believe it or not, it’s easy to travel in time – going forward. You see, travelling at or near the speed of light transports you into the future!  Oh yes – it’s pure physics.

So, to travel in time – all one has to do is travel fast – very, very fast!

The fastest manned vehicle in history was Apollo 10 which traveled at speeds of 25,000 miles per hour.saturn-v-first-launch   article-2121828-126088A3000005DC-106_634x639 To travel forward in time you only have to go 2000 times faster than that. Go any slower and you’ll be sucked into a black hole.black_hole

This is due to a strange fact about the universe. There’s a cosmic speed limit, 186,000 miles per second, also known as the speed of light. Nothing can exceed that speed. It’s one of the best established principles in science.

Ok – so what’s the problem?   Well – to travel backwards in time – now that’s a different story…

If you think about it, we’re all constantly engaged in the act of time travel. At its most basic level, time is the rate of change in the universe — and like it or not, we are constantly undergoing change. The planets move around the sun, the sun moves in the galaxy, you and I age – things change.

We measure the passage of time in seconds, minutes, hours and years, but this doesn’t mean time flows at that nice convenient, constant rate. Just as the water in a river rushes or slows depending on the size of the channel, time flows at different rates in different places. In other words, time is relative.

So time travel comes down to the relationship between time and space. Human beings exist in three spatial dimensions of length, width and depth. Time joins the party as that most crucial fourth dimension. Time can’t exist without space, and space can’t exist without time. The two exist as one: the space-time continuum. Any event that occurs in the universe has to involve both space and time.

Just think about this: The Milky Way galaxy is roughly 100,000 light-years wide, so light from its more distant stars can take thousands upon thousands of years to reach Earth. So, seeing that light is essentially looking back in time. When astronomers measure the cosmic microwave background radiation, they are staring back more than all of known time into a primordial cosmic age. Yes – that’s time travel – my friend – time travel.

While there’s nothing in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity that precludes time travel, it’s not as simple as turning a dial on some shaking contraction time_machine_04      or stepping into a ‘wardrobe’. Further, once the science is addressed and overcome (yeah- right!), the very premise of pushing a button and going back to yesterday violates the law of causality, better known as cause and effect.

You know ‘cause and effect’ – the idea that when an event happens in our universe, it leads to yet another event in an endless one-way string of events. Here’s the law: In every instance, the cause occurs before the effect – at least in our universe it does. Think not?Just try to imagine a different reality, say, in which a murder victim dies of his or her gunshot wound before being shot. It violates reality as we know it; thus, many scientists dismiss time travel into the past as an impossibility.

But – is that the end of the story?  ….Or is it just the beginning….

A clay tablet dating from the 1st Century in ancient Israel is uncovered.

 There is writing on it – a name – in English – from the 21st Century!!!

      Solving the mystery of the Pyramids…

“David…what do you know about the pyramids?” Alex asked.

“Not much, about what most people know, I guess.”

“And what would that be?”

“Well, let’s see, they’re in Egypt; built by the pharaohs thousands of years ago, as their burial tombs.”

“That’s it?”

“Yeah, I guess it is,” he said. “Oh, they were built by slaves, and Charleston Heston set them free. You know, “let my people go.”

Alex failed to see the humor, “Yes, it makes good theater, seeing hundreds of slaves pulling a massive block of stone up a ramp on the side of a pyramid—but it’s all rubbish…”

Alex shook his head in disgust, “The world has been fed a diet of lies and deception about the pyramids and has swallowed it hook, line and sinker. It’s insulting to the ingenuity of these great structures, the lack of respect they receive.” Pushing back from the table, he stood, “it’s all there, in front of our eyes, the ancient ones left it all in place for us to see and we refuse to. The pyramids have stood as open scrape books of their civilization, and we reject their existence.” He paused, looking directly at David, “do you realize there is no modern engineering feat that comes close to the pyramids?”

“…Because the pyramids look like a pile of rocks, people tend to dismiss them. There are over 2 million blocks in the Great Pyramid of Giza alone, some weighting upwards of 70 tons. That pyramid stood 481 feet high with each side measuring 756 feet with a maximum deviation of less than 1 inch. The sides are curved in to match the curvature of the earth and rise at a precise angle of 51⁰ 52’ with a deviation of less than five-hundreds of one percent of degree. Amazing, since people didn’t even believe the earth was round until thousands of years later…

“…I could go on with more facts about the construction of each of the three major pyramids in Egypt that would confound your modern engineering mind, but their construction is only the tip of the iceberg, just the beginning of the marvel. There is a much greater mystery to them. How the pyramids were built is a question that’s asked repeatedly, but it’s the wrong question. A better question is: ‘Why were they built?’ Why are they scattered randomly across the middle of open desert? Such a massive construction effort…why?”

“I can tell you for certain why they weren’t built. They weren’t built to be tombs. Not only have no mummies ever been found in them, but they wouldn’t go to so much detail, precision and work to build a tomb in the desert. And, it’s my opinion; they never contemplated such a thing because…they never planned on dying. They intended to live forever.”                (except from “Beneath the Turbulence”)

        …the code of the Zodiac Constellations…

“To understand the pyramids David, we need to put aside the material marvel they are and look at the cosmic marvel they are, something Allen showed me.”

“…The Great Pyramid was aligned, by its architects, to be exactly one-third the distance between the equator and the North Pole and is an exact mathematical relationship of the dimensions of the earth. This is truly remarkable for people who didn’t know the earth was round, much less the true size and shape of it! Its north-south axis is aligned to within three-sixtieths of a single degree of true north. David, that’s more accurate than the Greenwich Observatory in London! To position a structure that covers over 53,000 square meters to that precision is not possible today; so how was it done then? The pyramids are a precise mathematical model of the earth. Again, it begs the questions, not only how, but why? Why be so precise for a mausoleum sitting in the middle of the desert? A tomb? Calling the Great Pyramid a tomb is like calling the Buckingham Palace an outhouse. I could spend the next week with scores of facts that would prove false any contention that they were built as tombs by the Pharaohs of Egypt. We haven’t the time for that, and it’s not necessary to show you what they’re not built for—I’d rather show you what they were built for…”

“…The Sphinx had the body of a lion and the head of a man, crouching there, for thousands of years. Why David? What’s it doing? What’s it for? Why was it built? It’s not placed randomly but is precisely aligned with the rising horizon to the east. Precisely David, not close—but exact. Again it begs the questions, ‘Why bother? Why use such unwieldy sizes and materials? Why such precision? Why such meticulous design? Why?”                                                         (except from “Beneath the Turbulence”)

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…and a unique form of gold found on the moon during the Apollo 17 mission…

All come together in a travel corridor—a corridor that goes back 2000 years to                   the year 30AD – to the time of Jesus of Nazareth.

“So, if I’m not a time traveler, and didn’t write those tablets—then who did?”

“But David, who said you didn’t write them?” He was surprised it was Allen who spoke.

“What’s that supposed to mean? Your interrogation proved I didn’t do it.”

Allen answered meticulously, measuring every word as if listing the factors of a     mathematical equation, “That’s correct…it proved…you… didn’t do it…yet.”

David was stunned, “Yet? What’s that mean? You still think I did it?”

“No…we think you…will do it.”

“But, you said you believed me that I don’t have a time machine.”

“That’s true; we believe you have no such device.”

“Yet, you think somehow I came here from 2000 years ago?”

“No, we believe you came here from now, but you’re going to go back to 2000 years ago.”

…David looked around at the group, “You guys have built a time machine, haven’t you? That’s what this is all about, isn’t it?”

“No, we haven’t built a time machine, and I don’t believe such a machine can be built,” Allen answered, “but we may have found a time machine, and have figured out how to use it and how such travel was done.”   (except from “Beneath the Turbulence”)

Is this for real?  Is this a hoax?  Or a ruse – hiding a terrorist cell planning massive mayhem and destruction?

A determined group of scientists wants to know. An avowed atheist, also want to reluctantly know…and the Department of Homeland Security wants to know.

Travel with this dysfunctional team as they journey through this time corridor to 1st Century Israel, dodging Egyptian warriors, Roman legionnaires and a country in turmoil, to find the evidence of who the man called Jesus really was. Was he a crazed man with his own agenda? A deluded prophet? A liar and fraud? Or was he actually who he claimed to be – the Son of God?

An uninvited traveler journeys with them, bent on a private mission of revenge and personal glory. If they can make the return journey back to the 21st Century, what they discover and reveal will not only impact the world but will change each of their lives for eternity.  

“Beneath the Turbulence” an exciting, simulating and invigorating story of time-travel and history is presented in two volumes, both volumes are included in the book. Scan_Pic0004

Volume One: “The Journey describes the science driving the journey back in time, coupled with the suspense of evading the Department of Homeland Security, who considers them potential terrorists. ,

Volume Two: “The Journal” chronicles the trials and adventures encountered while seeking the truth of Jesus traveling in First Century Egypt and Israel under Roman rule.

Click on the cover to get your copy today.

header 3      Until Next time – Embrace your Bridges – for they define who you are.

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A Roman Tribune plays the role of Columbo in the most famous game of “CLUE” known to the world, called – “Where’s the body?”

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We all know the story of the empty tomb – the excited women – the missing “Messiah”. That is – we all know it from that side of the tomb.

But, what was it like from the other side? The Roman side of an empty grave? The tomb that was sealed with the Roman Governor’s seal and guarded with Roman soldiers?

‘RISEN’ has taken up the challenge in resolving the mystery.

“I’m yet sticky with filth.”  

Thus said the Tribune Clavius when summoned to Pontius Pilate. And thus sets our understanding of Clavius’s soul – ‘yet sticky with filth’.

Clavius, a role portrayed with depth and sensitivity by Joseph Fiennes, is accustomed to brutality, bloody combat and death, but not without a price. He is drained, depleted, battle weary and emotionally dead. In the opening battle scene, he brutally kills a Jewish rebel leader, named Barabbas.  (“Barabbas”? Is that coincidental or is that God’s way of evening up the score?) The constant gore and butchery of quelling those pesky Jewish insurrections in a remote, desolate land far from the ‘action’ of Rome, has taken its toll, robbing him of hope and peace, leaving him numb and yearning for nothing more than…

“…a day without death.”  

Upon returning to the Antonio Fortress, (interestingly placed below the old city of Jerusalem), his day isn’t quite over yet.  He is summoned by the Governor, something that happens all too often. It seems Pilate “has a situation and he needs Clavius to tidy up the loose ends. Those “raving Jews wanted a man named Yeshua, who claimed to be the “messiah” disposed of.

“I had to crucify him,” Pilate says almost regrettably, (a sentiment one finds hard to accept knowing the history of this brutal dictator who crucified and slaughtered thousands).

Clavius ensures that Yeshua is dead and securely buried in a sealed tomb with Roman guards posted.

End of story – right?

No – of course not – it’s only the beginning. The inevitable happens – the body doesn’t remain in the tomb.

Let the games begin – after all – we can’t have dead people walking about – can we?

56c5f51411ca7.image“We must find the body,” Pilate raves. Find the corpse of this cursed Yeshua before it rots.”

Exploded frayed ropes – two anemic looking drunken guards – discarded, bloody grave clothes – a stone tossed aside – lies and bribes from the Sanhedrin – all lead to …nothing…no body.

Does Clavius ever find his missing body?   Oh yes – with a little twisting of the arm and a bag of coins, Yeshua’s disciples are found. And they did, in fact, have the body with them.

Only – the body isn’t dead, but is very much alive, and in a scene straight out of The Twilight Zone, this hardened Roman warrior melts into the stone wall as he encounters the true power of God in the flesh. This moment just happens to coincide with the arrival of ‘doubting’ Thomas. While he probes the wounds in the wrists and side of the Messiah, the eyes of a smiling Yeshua probe deep into the soul of the Tribune.

What do you do when you encounter the impossible? He does the only thing he can do – he follows the walking dead man. In this case it means following the followers of Yeshua, like a stray, lost dog; finding acceptance among them, and ultimately – friendship.

When finally he is alone with the murdered, living man, Yeshua asks him what he seeks in life, and then answers his own question: 

“A day with no death?”

Clavius leaves all behind – to travel a new road – to places we know not of – but with a new found peace, after witnessing the ascension of Jesus and hearing His great commission.

We are set up for a sequel – as we know not where Clavius is going or what roads lie ahead for him.

‘Risen’ is excellent historical fiction that intertwines Biblical scripture with “what might have been”.  The historical is historical and the fiction is fiction – and in those scenes where the two intermix, the purity of the Scriptures was not compromised. One area where liberties were taken, was the reference to Mary Magdalene being a quite popular “woman of the streets”.  This was based on church tradition and finds no merit in Scripture.

file_607174_risen-trailerThe battle scene, Roman soldier dress, weapons and warfare was as realistic as ever shown, and Jewish culture along with Sanhedrin attire and demeanors were portrayed as accurately as history tells us.

The portrayal of crucifixions reflected the known information of such executions.

Jesus is shown smiling, laughing and gracious. He is a miracle worker and His disciples love Him as their father and leader. When Bartholomew (who would have fit right in on a California beach as a surfer dude) is threatened with crucifixion himself, he spreads open his arms and laughingly replies: “I would happily submit”.

Clavius sums it all up by leaving his life behind, saying “I believe. I can never be the same.”

‘Risen’ does something the previous stories of Jesus failed to do: it makes the non-believer pause and think about the resurrection from an outsider perspective. It’s not the usual scenes of blinding lights and rolling thunder with the women running about in alarm. No, rather it presents a barren, empty tomb and proceeds to answer the question that Pontius Pilate asked:

“How could he follow a Hebrew?”

Watching Clavius undergo a life-altering transformation, leads us to one answer – the one that Lucius, Clavius’s protégé, hesitantly offers to Pilate:

“Perhaps it is true.”

Amen – brother – Amen.

header 3                            Until Next time – Embrace your Bridges – for they define who you are.

 

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Recently I had an interesting discussion with a good friend regarding the above statement. We tossed around words like “believe” and “faith” and traveled down the many divergent paths those roads lead to. It boiled down to a basic question:

Is believing in something the same as having faith in something?”

What do you think?

Is there a difference between the two?   If no – then why not?  If yes – then what?

Why don’t you take a second or two and think about it…

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Okay, that’s enough – times up – what did you come up with?

Have you ever been to Niagara Falls?  Should go – something marvelous to see – but more so to feel.  You may recall that a few years back the famous daredevil, Wallenda, walked across the Horseshoe Falls. It was on TV and was an amazing feat to watch, sitting on the edge of my seat with my heart in my throat.

It seems there’s always been a special attraction for watching those daring souls venture across the mighty Niagara on a wire or rope. There has been a stream of ‘rope walkers’ doing crazy things over Niagara ever since we called it “Niagara”.

“The good pictures were of those guys who walked across the gorge on tightrope. Of course, they weren’t ropes at all but wires (why didn’t they call them “tightwires”?), and everyone always said those guys walked across Niagara Falls, but I’d never seen a picture of anyone doing that. It was always the gorge they walked across, away from the Falls. No matter, these guys were amazing. They did everything out there on those wires, suspended over the middle of the gorge with that wild river below them.”    Journeys Across Niagara

Check out the picture below.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Niagara Falls and its history, that’s the famous Blondin, considered the greatest wirerope walker who ever lived.  He was born Jean Francois Gravelot, on February 28th, 1824 in St. Omer, Pas de Calais in Northern France.  Blondin came to Niagara in early 1858.

He was obsessed with crossing the Niagara on a tightrope and on June 30th 1859, he became the first person to amaze the world by successfully walking over the Niagara Gorge. He utilized a 1,100 foot long – 3 inch diameter manila rope stretched from what is now Prospect Park in Niagara Falls, New York to what is now Oakes Garden in Niagara Falls, Ontario. During that historic summer of 1859, Blondin completed eight more crossings.

The following year, on September 15th, 1860, he once again precariously inched his way across the swirling, violent waters roaring below, traveling from America to Canada.

As Blondin stepped off the rope, the amazement of the crowd erupted into a roar of cheers, applause and shouts. As it subsided, Blondin spoke.

“Do you believe I can cross back over the falls again?” he asked.

The crowd yelled enthusiacticly back, “Yes! Yes, you can! We believe.

Blondin responded, “Do you believe I could cross back over carrying a man on my back?”

The crowd roared back in reply, “Yes! Yes, we believe!”

Blondin asked, “Okay – who will volunteer to go with me?”

The crowd was silent.

Blondin pointed to an onlooker nearby and asked, “Will you?”

The onlooker shook his head violently – “No – not me”.

“Will you?” He asked, pointing to another admirer.

“Uh – Umm – No, I can’t….No”

“Is there anyone who will trust me?”

Silence.

Blondin turned to his manager, Harry Colcord. “Harry, do you believe I can carry you across?” he asked.

“Yes, Charles, I believe you can,” Harry replied.

“Then will you trust me to climb onto my back?” Charles asked.

Harry replied, “I will.”

Harry Colcord stepped onto the platform with Blondin and climbed onto his back.

“Sit still and don’t move” Blondin said, “Just let me walk. I got you and I won’t let you fall.”

Blondin, with his balancing pole in hand, slowly began to walk back across the Falls.

Half way across, some of the guy ropes holding the manila ‘tightrope’ snapped, loosening the ‘tightrope’ and allowing more sway in the wind and mist.

 

blondin

Stepping onto the platform on the American side, Blondin became the greatest tightrope walker in history.

So, i ask again, “Is Belief Enough”?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

This is the basis of Christianity–our promise – our hope and our salvation – the requirement for eternal life. In light of the story of Blondin, it begs the question about the meaning of the word “believe.”

The ‘believers’ in the crowd that day believed Blondin could cross Niagara carrying a man. Yet, when Blondin asked for someone to go with him, belief was no longer sufficient to make the journey. For someone to put their life in Blondin’s hands, and become one with him on the rope, required something more than belief.

It required pisteuo, Faith.

It takes Trust.

The Greek word for “believe” used in John 3:16 is pisteuo. While “believe” is the best English word we have for pisteuo, in the Greek, it evokes a deeply held form of belief that implies acting on the belief. A better translation would be “belief with unhindered trust.”

While Harry Colcord believed in Charles Blondin, he took it further. He acted on his belief with faith and trust when he climbed onto Blondin’s back. The entire crowd believed in Blondin, but only Harry had faith enough to trust him – to step out from the crowd, taking his belief to an active level of faith and trust.

Trust was the difference! Trust is belief set in motion by faith.

Does God call us to only believe in Him while standing in the crowd? Or does He call us to step out in faith, to trust Him and walk with Him. (Notice there was no crowd out on the ‘tightrope’.)

He’s asks, “Will you trust me?”

So what does trust look like? Many people believe in Jesus with their mind, but if He pointed at them to ask if they trusted him to carry them, they’d recoil and say “Not today, I can’t risk my life like that!”

Notice – He doesn’t ask us to walk across the ‘abyss’ alone.  Oh no, He just asks us to have faith and trust Him while He carries us across the ‘abyss’. We don’t need to know how to walk – we just need to put our trust in Him and let Him do the walking.

Whatever our situation is, the answer is simple–trust Him. He has proven he is trustworthy. He has shown us that. He allowed Himself to die for us – when He could have ended it at any time. He is calling us to step out on faith–to become one with Him as He carries us across the perilous gulf of this world.

His hand is outstretched and He asks, “Do you trust Me?”

So – what do you think?

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Until Next time – Embrace your Bridges – for they define who you are.

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