Strange Prompts toward Worship

What was it that Wesley said? “I felt my heart strangely warmed.” I sense that kind of thing in very strange places at very strange times.

For example, I took this picture in Albuquerque’s National Museum of Nuclear Science & History. It’s the periodic table stretched out on the floor as you enter. When I walked in and saw it, I stood before it and worshiped. I worshiped because this is a consistent representation of created matter. As my granddaughter’s shirt says, “Never trust an atom; they make up everything.”

This table is the same everywhere: in Mr. Mester’s Advanced Chemistry room at Brookville High School, in classrooms at Pitt Bradford, in classrooms on the main campus, in the bio lab in Georgia, in the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque. And it would be the same (plus, perhaps, a few yet-to-be-discovered elements) on Mars.

This consistent representation of creation arouses something in my heart as it demonstrates the work of an intelligent, detail-focused God. I can’t explain it. It’s personal. I worship. I am stunned by its consistency and I appreciate the brilliance of the men and women who uncovered it.

Both the periodic table and the minds who put it on paper turn my heart to worship the One Who made it all.

As I have been reading the science on COVID-19 and watching academic videos of mRNA, I am finding my heart strangely warmed as well.

Though I never spent much time considering it, I used to assume that viruses were non-existent before the fall of humankind. I don’t think I was right. Viruses aside, I do think that bacteria were present in Eden. Otherwise, how would waste breakdown and return to the ecosystem? And if bacteria and viruses were present, our bodies would have to be able to protect themselves from infection. Say hello to the human immune system.

So as I’ve been researching, I’ve come to appreciate our immune system on a whole new level. Who knew that our antibodies coined what has become a sci-fi phrase, “Intruder alert”? And think of how perfectly and quickly they must have worked in the bodies of Adam and Eve – and those who lived in subsequent generations. Perfect bodies with perfect immune systems would zap viruses and bacteria without a second thought. No wonder the lifespan of those generations was ten times our own.

But the results of the fall are demonstrated all around us – even in these decaying bodies. So again, I am turned toward worship when I see the absolute brilliance of those who developed the mRNA technique. Who would have thought to have our bodies create, not the virus, but the virus’ means of attack so that our antibodies could be ready when the real thing shows up? Who would have thought to do that? Only those made in the image of God. Dogs, cats, dolphins – they may be smart, but….

The heavens declare the glory of God. And so do those things under the microscope — along with those peering into them.

How We’re Livestreaming

Someone asked me what software we’re using to stream at the church. That’s a good question, but I am guessing they are going to need more information, so I am putting it here.

Software

We have some good tech guys that use OBS. It’s a free application.

If you want something a little friendlier and still affordable, you might try vMix.

Camera and Cables

We use a camera with HDMI output in the front of the sanctuary. Since the building is long, we have to run that HDMI signal through Black Magic Design’s HDMI to SDI so we can send it over coax to the PC in the back of the church. Then back through another (opposite) Black Magic Design SDI to HDMI converter to get it back to a standard HDMI cable.

We run that HDMI signal into an elgato HDMI to USB3 Converter. Plug that elgato into a USB 3 port on a PC.

We take the audio from the soundboard which is right next to the PC. OBS and vMix will mix those together for you if you add them as sources.

On the PC

The PC software (OBS or vMix) readies the video for Facebook or YouTube. You’ll have to enter the sources (both audio and video). Refer to your software manual for how to do this. When the software is set up, you should see the video from the camera on the screen of your PC in the software.

Open either Facebook or YouTube in a web browser, log into your church page, and start a live stream. Somewhere on that web page, you’ll see Facebook (or YouTube) provide you with the “stream key”.

Copy that key into the settings on OBS for whichever platform (FB or YouTube) you are using.

Then you can start the stream in OBS and it will feed it to your browser (either Facebook or YouTube, depending which you chose). If it’s YouTube, it starts streaming immediately. If it’s Facebook, you have to go back to Facebook and press “start stream”.

Easy, huh?

Rock Dillaman on Guarding Your Soul in an Election

Over a decade ago, Rock Dillaman had a timely message from Philippians 3:20-21.

It’s as timely today as then.

First the Scripture text…

Philippians 3:20-21 (NIV) But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

And some quotes from the message…

I want to remind you that no matter which candidate finally gains the presidency he will not be able to profoundly impact the spiritual strongholds that are the source and the sustenance of our national problems. Because, as Paul said, the weapons — the only weapons — that work in spiritual warfare are spiritual weapons. The anointing of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit. The sacred Scriptures. Prayer. Fasting. Discernment. Prophetic gifting. Those are the only things that work when you’re facing spiritual strongholds. And the last time I checked Washington doesn’t specialize in spiritual weaponry. They function with the inevitable compromise of political expediency.

And so…real change in this nation must originate with a God-empowered spiritual movement in the hearts of the only people through whom God can and will accomplish that, the Church. Real change will come from Spirit-led grass-roots efforts that “rush up,” not political decisions that “trickle down.” A good example would be the civil rights movement. It didn’t start in the halls of congress. It started in a pulpit in a church.  And that’s where spiritual change has to come from — from the people of God.

….

When you say to be Christian is to vote this way, to endorse this candidate you have just politicized your faith. And that isn’t patriotism, that’s blasphemy. That’s heresy. Be thankful you don’t live in Old Testament times, they would have stoned a lot of people today.

….

Dear friend, God is not Republican nor is he Democrat. To suggest he is either is blasphemy…. God is not liberal or conservative, though he has been accused of being both…. God is not a citizen of the United States of America. And the United States of America is not the kingdom of God; we are just one more sinful, fallen nation-state.

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To attach God’s name to human political structures is to use his name in vain.

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The fact someone disagrees with your political persuasion doesn’t make them evil — doesn’t mean they are the spawn of hell…. If you are eager to pronounce hell on somebody else, you are probably flirting with it yourself.

….

Don’t politicize your faith. We’ve done so much politicizing of our faith, there’s a whole bunch of Americans who won’t listen to us talk about Jesus ’cause they assume what the church is about is the Republican party and trickle-down economics and so on. They won’t even give you a hearing. That’s what happens when you politicize your faith — you shut down evangelism.

….

My President will not be elected in a few weeks. My President ascended to his throne a long time ago and declared that he is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He’s already given his inaugural address — it’s called the Sermon on the Mount. And I live as a citizen of heaven waiting for his return when he will subject all things to himself. In the meantime, my beloved, beloved brothers and sisters, be Christian and don’t be heathen and know who you are and live like you’ve read the Bible rather than letting it collect dust on your nightstand. And don’t lose your soul in an election. Because when the election is over the work of the Church will remain.

Posted here with permission from Rock.