Have you thought about lately what you do with the treasures that others have buried inside you?
Quoting an often remembered parable “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
My mother’s love language was acts of service. Without any conscious purpose I have spent the majority of my life pursuing the following professions, military, police, and education. All of which gave me opportunities to help, protect, and cultivate. Now I’m taking the time to consider what it means to be my mother’s son.
One of her defining traits was fostering. Her grandmother showed her what that meant while raising her from infancy. As a child my mother practiced it with her cousins. As an adult she continued it with coworkers, friends and acquaintances throughout her life.
I am humbled by the daily experience where I engage in the same fostering my mother once did. This manifests as a cherished memory now. One I welcome with warm embrace. Thankfully, I have powerfully available visual cues to remind me of how my mother’s spirit remains present in her absence.
It occurs to me that similar expressions will be born out in her other children, grandchildren, and those others whom she endowed with her loving legacy. There is a good sized list. My hope is that in the days ahead that we live without her, each of us still recognize how we operate as an extension of the seeds she planted within us.
What about you? Who do you think about? What do you remember? What do you see in your life that must have come from them? Will the idea of honoring the heritage they passed on to you bring you peace, comfort, or assurance? Will it bring healing and restoration? Will it help you bury your treasures in the right fields?
Chapter 4 introduces us to the Teleological Argument which was alluded to in Chapter 3 when the authors described the precision with which the universe was created.
The Teleological Argument17
Every design has a designer
The universe has a highly complex design
Therefore, the universe has a designer
There is so much evidence of the complex design of the universe it is hard to quantify. The Anthropic Principle can help the average person get an idea of how complex our universe is.
The Anthropic Principle
In so many words, this principle identifies many aspects of the created universe that allow life to exist on earth. These aspects are very narrow as a rule, and the odds of all of them coming together to enable life on earth are far beyond chance. In other words, it is not statistically possible that they happened by chance.
The chapter describes five anthropic constants in detail. Each constant represents something in the universe that is required for life on earth to exist. There is another list of 10 constants. Over 100 of these anthropic constants have been identified. Every one of them must exist for us to have life on earth. They are also dependent on one another. If one of the constants was altered in the slightest, others would not be in the state they are, and we would not be here. It is not possible for all these constants, existing in the precise form that they do, to have been created accidentally.
Five Anthropic Constants18
Moon-Earth Gravitational Interaction
Carbon Dioxide Level
The chapter examines how atheists respond to this evidence. It is very telling. It amounts to essentially ignoring the evidence and attempting to explain it away with unscientific guessing. For example, one atheist argument is the Multiple Universe Theory. It’s main goal is to explain the unexplainable, how the universe could be made by chance when there is no chance it was made by chance. Four problems of the Multiple Universe Theory are provided in the chapter.19
The Questionable Response of Atheists
Questions About the Multiple Universe Theory
There is no evidence for it.
It has been proven that it is not possible for an infinite number of real things to exist in a finite universe.20 Since the Multiple Universe Theory asserts that there are infinite universes the theory promotes an idea that is not possible.
It is not possible for multiple universes to exist in the precision they would need to have without something or someone to design them that way. In other words, multiple universes would increase the argument for a designer, not defeat it.
The Multiple Universe Theory explains away everything you can imagine.
Here is an example of how the theory works.
In fact, The Multiple Universe Theory is so broad that it can even be used to excuse the atheists who made it up. Perhaps we just happen to be in the universe where people are irrational enough to suggest that such nonsense is the truth!21
The authors conclude the chapter by explaining that atheists who refuse to accept the scientific evidence showing the universe was designed do so because they are unwilling to accept the idea itself. They do not want to believe it, so they choose to ignore the evidence. An explanation for why they make that choice is promised in chapter 6.
How do you feel when you think about the mountain of evidence that proves the universe was designed to support life on earth? What reactions do you have?
I think this is the type of knowledge that provokes an emotional response. Do you think the knowledge shared in the chapter motivates people to try to answer the questions many of us have? For example, who created us? Why were we created? Is there an eternity we should consider?
Do you see how the authors use the Teleological Argument as another basis for their point that it takes more faith to be an atheist than not? The atheists deny that there is a designer of the universe. Where to you fall on this question?
17Geisler & Turek page 95 I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.
18Geisler & Turek pages 98-102 I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.
19Geisler & Turek page 107 I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.
20Geisler & Turek pages 90-91 I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.
21Geisler & Turek page 108 I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.
Carbohydrates are a problem. At least for me. So out of necessity I searched for a short-term solution where I could cut carbs and lose weight too. I am getting to the point where I need to settle in on a long-term alternative for my diet. This is a good time to reflect on where eating and maintaining Ketosis arrived as a tool for me.
I began with strict daily calorie counts. 25 grams maximum of carbs. To reach the level of fat burning I wanted, my ratio of 4% Calories from carbs, 15% from protein and 81% from fat was what I followed. So, with about 2000 calories daily, I had 77 grams of protein and 184 grams of fat to eat.
Was it hard? You bet it was. Finding enough fat to eat seemed almost impossible. The shock for me was realizing how much the typical American diet is high carb and “low” fat. What was good for me is that I reached Ketosis quickly and saw early weight loss. I did not stay on it very long because of the health risks people around me kept reminding me of.
I found that using a dieting app was indispensable. After looking around a bit I went with Lifesum. The choice of diets with the app were a factor for me. I soon switched to their Ketogenic easy. This meant I now got to eat a whopping 100 grams of carbs each day. My ratio changed to 20% calories from carbs, 15% from protein and 65% from fat. The bad news was that my protein stayed at 77 grams per day. The shift up by 75 grams of carbs was offset by a reduction in 35 grams of fat down to 149 grams a day.
While that may seem easy as the name implies, at first it was hard for me to get up to 100 carbs. I began with the idea that by eating about 4 times I could average about 25 grams of carbs per meal. This average was significant for me because I was wary of how large swings in carb consumption would affect blood sugar.
One of the biggest benefits from this new diet was that it led me on an unending search for healthy, convenient, nutritious and consumable sources of carbohydrates. So many of these foods checked off some of the boxes but not all. They might be extremely hard to prepare, or even harder to digest! Some are delicate and challenging to use. It seemed like the window of when they are ripe, and edible was so small that if you didn’t have a backyard garden full of trees giving birth to them the moment before you ate some, then forget it.
Another benefit was that I lost weight, and on a gradual timeline. I learned over time how I would be able to maintain my goal weight once I reached it. With the 2000 calorie plan, any day I burned more than I consumed contributed to my weight loss. The app was a big help with measuring my daily calorie burns.
Eat at least 4 meals at regular intervals. If fasting, plan the fasting periods with care.
Avoid unhealthy calories. These can lead to very bad consequences. Take the time and make the effort to find healthy types of fat, protein, and carbohydrates for your diet and then eat them in healthy amounts.
Counting calories is a good habit to have. Knowing how much you are eating keeps you out of danger.
Counting the calories that you burn each day has huge benefits. This lets you know if your amount of exercise is contributing to a healthy lifestyle or an unhealthy one.
Healthy dieting can provide better alternatives than caffeine and other stimulants people depend on.
There are so many things to learn about diet and exercise that can impact not only your health but your brain, your skin, your energy, even your sleep.
242 years ago, a group of men were forced to declare the independence of the lands they held. Three things they agreed were priorities were to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They had to be willing to die.
Since then those lands have grown. And the people have increased to over 300 million. And the heirs of those men have had to share the priorities with women, and the families of freed slaves. And its been a fight. Sometimes more violent of a fight than the original revolution that began our nation. Sometimes a much longer fight. One that’s lasted generations.
On the eve of the anniversary of the declaration of independence, can you say what your priorities are? Are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness your main desires? If so, what would it look like for you?
To have a family, in whatever form we choose, in a home wherever we can afford to live safely, with the ability to educate ourselves to our maximum potential.
To have beneficial relationships with those around us, the ability and opportunity to accumulate wealth, to create community, to make positive change in our world, to be able to decide how and by whom we are governed.
The Pursuit of Happiness
To take part in an economy that allows us to spend quality time doing the things we like with and for one another.
Anniversaries are a chance to think about the past, present and future. Consider where we have been. Recognize where we are. Figure out how to get where we want to go. Can we talk about where we are in relationship to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Then work on where we should so next?
Can you talk about your priorities?
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.