Long Term Goals

This year I have launched several new websites – I’ve honestly lost count but I think there might be 14 – under the Spreading Light Ministries umbrella.  As the year winds down I will probably be doing less expansion and more maintenance.  I’m sure that I’ll have a great idea sometime in the middle of the night and that will spawn a few more sites but for the most part I think I’m going to slow down on new sites.

There are all sorts of things that I have to add to current sites however and this will continue.  I literally have a to do list that goes back to 2005 that I have not completed everything on.  So there’s plenty left to add.

At the top of my priority list is the completion of eight more months of devotions.  I hope to be able to do one month’s worth every month until I have the entire year set.  This was my goal last year too but I have more time to devote to not just devotions but all of my web projects now.

Next on the list is more theological definitions.  This is a long term goal and I don’t think that I’d ever run out of things to write if I chose to keep adding definitions.  What I am still debating is whether to keep the dictionary under spreadinglight.com or to launch a new site for the definitions.  There are advantages to both and I haven’t fully decided what I’m doing yet.  One thing that I am sure of is that the design will be different from the current Spreading Light design and more like the newest sites in form and function.  It’s a cookie cutter design but I’ve really come to like it and it makes it easy to launch a new site.

Third on my priority list is additions to the Bible studies.  I’m always interested in adding more Bible studies as they have had good success on the site.  Now my goal is to have at least one study for every book of the Bible.  This will obviously take a very long time if I write them all myself.  I hope to post a study on the Gospel of John in late winter/early spring when I finish preaching through it.  I also have a study on Malachi that I’ve done before that I may be able to post before John, it depends on how my schedule works out.

So those are the long term plans.  They’re all subject to change of course but that’s how I see things working on currently.  I will be making regular posts here about any new projects that are going on.  For now I’m going to work on some devotions for the month of November.

Homecoming

My church celebrated homecoming this week.  This event is known by other names but in essence it is designed as a big church event to boost attendance numbers and/or raise money through offering for a special project.

I’m of two minds on these such events and waffle back and forth depending on what mood I am in.  Some churches act as if these events are evangelism because people come that don’t normally attend their church.  At least with the name homecoming, it is implied that it is more like a reunion for people who have moved away or attend other churches.  The truth of homecoming (and most other special events) is that it generally adds attendance at the expense of other churches.

On the other hand, homecoming is always a good excuse to invite back people who used to attend the church but no longer do for any number of reasons.  It is good to make an effort at winning people back who have stopped attending church regularly.  If anybody returns to church because they attended homecoming, then it is a win not just for the church but for the kingdom of God.

So, at least for today I’ll say that homecoming is a good thing in the right context.  We shouldn’t be out to get people from other churches but if we draw back anybody who had fallen away, then it is a good week.  I suppose it all depends on the intent of what homecoming is about for the church.

Ardi, the so called missing link

Scientists are abuzz over the release of fossil findings that claim to be much older than previous human remains and come closer to the elusive missing that bridges the gap between the evolution of apes and humans.

For starters, I’m not a big believer in evolution.  I believe God created man from the dust of the earth, not through millions of years of gradual changes as the strong survived and the weak died out.  It bothers me greatly that this is taught as scientific fact in schools for the simple reason that it is called the theory of evolution for a reason.  If it’s a theory, that means it hasn’t been proven or it can’t be proven.  And if it is a theory, alternative points of view should be discussed but those come from religion and apparently religion has nothing to teach us so it should be removed from public school at all costs.

Perhaps more frustrating about the Ardi finding is the fact that scientists are jumping to conclusions about what this new fossil teaches us.  It appears that Ardi walked on two feet like a human and had many other human like traits that scientists didn’t expect one of our “ancient ancestors” to possess so early in our evolution.  Based on one skeleton scientists are rethinking everything they know about early humans.

Rethinking things is fine when new evidence is presented. I’m all for that.  But the way these new conclusions are being trumpeted as if we have finally find the answer to all that we were missing is absolutely ridiculous.  This is one skeleton.  It happens to be far more complete than some of the previous heralded finds but still just one skeleton. 

What puzzles me more than anything about science’s search for the missing link is how little evidence there is compared to what we can still find from what supposedly took place millions of years before man was on earth.  Dinosaurs supposedly died out 65 million years ago – Ardi’s remains date back only about 4 million years.  Why are there an abundance of skeletal remains from 65 million years ago but nothing of ape/human remains.  You could make the argument that dinosaurs were much bigger and their bones would take much longer to break down and decay than a human’s.  But I would have to believe that 60 million plus years is more than enough time to make up for the difference in size.

While scientists trumpet this latest proof in the evolution of humanity, I’d recommend that we take everything with a grain of salt.  I believe the Bible for what it’s worth and believe that God created me special, not as a long term science project with apes.  But using sciences own criteria I feel fully confident that in a few more years there will be another “big discovery” that will change the way we look at early human history once again.