Monday, January 22, 2018

Route 66: Mile 0.

To begin any journey, one must have a goal in sight. In this journey, our guide is the Chief Engineer, so to speak, the Creator not just the road, but the land and lands over which it passes.

We learn from the apostles of Jesus, commissioned to get the Word out, that the goal is remarkable, even out of this world. We're not talking about just going to be with the Lord, but of Him coming to be with us!!

The early chapters of Genesis, being so full of the majesty and power of God, are largely disregarded by mankind today. Relegated to "myth" chapters 1 through 11 lay down the heritage into which the man Abram stepped some four thousand years ago. This period was not "prehistory" to to him. Since Moses preserved the records under God's guidance, I see no reason not to study these chapters with that same guidance. In fact, Jesus's half brother James tells us:

1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all menliberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

And so, my bags are packed, and my travel guide is open, let's see what is at our first stop.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Old age and what to do about it

And so, I am now officially old. Well, not "really" old, since the government keeps moving the full retirement age up. But, then, my wife tells me I can't be old, so table that thought.

I have previously discussed turning 2 billion, so it all depends on how you measure time. As I enter my 66th year, I must post more just in case my memory really is slipping. I have learned that hardly anything ever disappears from the blogosphere, so here's to all you historians out there!

There is no turning back, but we can all learn from history. But we must also remember that historians are human, and make mistakes in interpreting the records they find.

I choose to trust the historicity of the record found in the Bible. This includes the first 11 chapters of "prehistory" in Genesis.

That being said, in this, my 66th year plan to take a trip down Route 66, Bible edition. The first stop, tomorrow, will be an overview the first of 66 books in the Bible, the history of redemption in Genesis.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Day 2,189,153

Sometimes, I think I might have OCD.  I got to thinking about the "exact day" in history that I might be in.  That lead me to the "Julian day" used in astronomy.  It is based on the exact number of days, based on the Julian calendar starting on January 1, 4713 BC.  Since I choose to use the Autumn equinox, September 20, 4004 BC as the day of creation, I have to make adjustments for my "day count."

My first problem is the apparent adjustment of the length of the months and years.  In the prophecies found in the writings of Daniel and John, it appears that years were only 360 days long in the beginning.  The genealogies in Genesis 5 seem to show that the Great Flood began on the 17th of the 2nd month of the 1656th year of the world.

With months measured by even lunar cycles of exactly 30 days each, there would have been 595,847 days before the flood.  Then, things changed during the Flood event.  The month the flood began the moon apparently got about one and two thirds percent (1/60) closer, shortening the months to 29.5 days each. That cycle brought the time inside the ark to just over 365 days.  And so, a new length of year had begun.  The fraction of a day took time to be added, but by the time of Julius Caesar, the period of 365.25 was accepted as standard.  A leap day was established for every four years and the Julian Calendar was established.

Pope Gregory had to have the calendar adjusted in the 1500s to take into the account that the 0.25 was slightly wrong. Century years that weren't divisible by 400 were exempted from the leap year rule, so 1600 and 2000 were officially shorter after that.  Retroactive changes were made to discern exact dates before that; but one day in 400 years didn't seem like much anyway.

Adjusting to the new lunar cycles, month two would be counted as 29 days, followed by 10 more months or 295 days to the end of AM 1656.  Seventy days later, Noah would step out of the ark.  However, moving to the later Roman Calendar, the date the Flood began must be calculated.  Day 17 of the second month would be day 47 following September 20th.  That works out to November 7, 2347 BC. At this point, probably at sundown, the door was closed and the catastrophe began. We cannot know the co-ordinates on the earth where this happened, but we know it ended somewhere in western Asia (40s N, 30s E).

To synch with the system used in astronomy, let's say this sunset was at UT-2, or 18 hours into the day as measured from the International dateline. As the global calendar is "reset" the remaining days of 2347 BC are filled with rain fall and rising waters.  The rain stopped December 17, and the new year began 15 days later.  The count of new days had begun as 2347 BC ended on day 55.  2346 BC, when added to AD 2016 is 4362 years. Because there is not year 0 on the Gregorian calendar, year 1 BC was a leap year, leaving each 4th year before that to be counted as one less than it is.  The first "leap year" after the flood would have been 2345, the year of the birth of the first child in that new world.

UPDATE: I erred by seven days.  I apologize to those who may have read this blog today, February 10, 2016

Now, for the count.  There would be 1090 leap years measured on the Julian calendar, but adjusted to the Gregorian calendar, there would be a loss of 10  of those days to the years "divisible by 400" on an absolute count (with no Year AD 0) for 1080 leap years.  And so, the calculation to the end of AD 2016 would be 55 + (4362*365) + 1080. That adds up to 1,593,265 days. Add in the pre-flood days, and you reach 2,189,112.  And finally, today, February 9, is now February 10 at the probable starting place.  Adding 41 more days, we are in day 2,189,153 since the beginning of the earth.

Doing a quick calculation, I was floored to find that we are nearing the end of the "Prophetic Year" 6081. By this time next week, it will be AM 6082! Since this project divided history at the flood, assuming the apparent change in the length of the year, I don't think this number means anything prophetically.  Elsewhere, I have shown that September 11, 2001 was "exactly" 2000 "prophetic years" from Pentecost of AD 33 (or perhaps AD 30). So I won't go too far with that.

However, just for the fun of it, adjusting the old "original calendar" to the new lunar/solar calendars, we are in the middle of year 5993. Let that soak in.  By Gregorian figures, year AM 6000 would be 6.4 years from now. If your are a purist, I suppose AM 6001, based on constant years, would begin the seventh millennium, so perhaps we have a few months to get ready for the apocalypse.

On a lighter note, if the year did not change its length because of the Flood, 1656.8 years works out to 604,850 days.  Adding that to the Gregorian days after the flood we come to 2,198,122 days. That would be near the end of Prophetic Year 6106, or early in Gregorian year 6018. Either way we would be safely into a "golden age."  One can get rather silly if one is not careful.

So many options! I guess it is a good thing we were told that we cannot know the exact dates based on looking at the calendar.  Though the stars and the moon were designed to show us "times and seasons," the "signs of the times" will most certainly be here on the earth.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Random Thoughts on 6 Degrees.

Okay, when pressed for blog material, I have used random association at times.  My favorite form of this is to find "order" to the randomness in the game of Six Degrees of Separation.

I started with a living celebrity that I recognized whose birthday is today, January 4, 2017.  I chose Dyan Cannon, an actress who turned 80 today.  Looking at her filmography, I chose "Heaven Can Wait (1978)," in which she stared as Julia Farnsworth, murderous wife of millionaire Leo Farnsworth.  Mr. Farnsworth had been drugged and drowned, but the mistaken death of "Joe Pendleton" is rectified by angelic agents by resuscitating the victim.

As Mr. Farnsworth, Joe buys the Los Angeles Rams, and as just after Farnsworth is killed for good, Joe enters the quarterback who had just been accidently killed on the field.  Anyway, I looked for an LA Rams team from around the time I was born, finding the 1951 NFL champs but choosing the 1955 season in which they failed to reclaim that title.  I wanted a connection closer to my birth (for some reason).

Though loosing badly, the quarterback for the Rams was the legendary Norm Van Brocklin.  Van Brocklin was a distant cousin of my wife. Another "link" to Van Brocklin: he died in my "home state" of Georgia.  This information is trivial, and doesn't exactly link me to the famous quarterback and coach.  However, it does show the verity of the "Six Degrees" theory.

Monday, January 02, 2017

500 year old Protest

Well, one thing I forgot about this year: October 31 marks the 500th anniversary of the begging of the Protestant Reformation.  Martin Luther had had enough of the nonsense of one fund raiser working for the Pope.

Among other things, Mr. Luther thought it odd that money could shorten one's stay in a place called Prugatory. Being a college professor, Martin had studied the Bible quite a bit. He could not find a lot of support for the doctrine of this "halfway house."

The whole idea about getting to heaven by one's on works didn't seem right to him.  He had been teaching through the book of Romans and had embraced the idea of faith worked out in one's life was the way to get to heaven. Further studies lead him to the book of Ephesians.

It turned out that a key passage in that book removed all doubt: Ephesians 2:8-10. In those verses we find the truth that it is what and had who you BELIEVE rather than what you DO that gets you into heaven.  After that, God works things out THROUGH you.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!!

Well, here we are in another year on the planet earth!  It started at 1200 (noon) GMT yesterday (Dec. 31) at the international timezone.  South Pacific islanders were the first to see the teenaged century pass from "sweet sixteen" to 17 years in.

Right now, it is about 9 PM GMT, so the new year is over 32 hours old, but still quite a fragile young thing.  Where I live, we face another day of holidays with the long weekend (since government workers "need" to celebrate with an official day off!).

Where were you when the new year began?  It would have been pondering getting up at 7 on a Saturday.  I decided that it was not worth the "early" celebration and slept in -- thank you very much!

There are three dates of significance that are coming this year.  The first is on January 20th when a man with no political background becomes president of the United States.  This last happened the year I was born, in 1953, when General Eisenhower was sworn in.  He was easily re-elected for a second term.  Time will tell if President-elect Trump will fare as well.

The second two dates fall in late summer.  On August 13th, my wife and I will observe our fortieth wedding anniversary!  It is hard to believe it's been that long, but we do have two grandsons, so, yep, it's the truth.

And then, just six days later, on August 21st, the "Great American Eclipse" cuts a strip of darkness across the continental United States.  I was in high school the last time I was close enough to travel to a total eclipse of the sun (it came up the east coast).  This one, like the annular eclipse in the 1980's, "comes right over" my house!  We made pin-hole viewers out of disposable diaper boxes back then!  This time we have access to a reflector telescope, though I doubt if we will use it!

Of the three days, I only have control over one of them.  I have just seven and a half months to get ready to make it special.  And so, I will post this and try to make 2017 a blog-filled year parallel to my first attempt ranting and pontificating over a decade ago.

Until next time, then.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Perpetual Twilight


So, we have almost survived eight years of Barack Obama.  Back during the 2008 campaign I was willing to give him a chance.  I know, he was not my choice, but as a the first bi-racial man to make it to the White House, I had hopes that he would help bring the country together.

He did not do anything close.  If anything, the nation is more divided than it was when he began.  I think the reason is clear: he abandoned the very racial harmony reflected in his parents for the cultural values of his black mentors and liberal white grandparents.  It appears he was "used" by those who had an agenda.

Will our new president, almost a polar opposite of the last one, do any better.  So very "white" that even his liberal history probably will not help, Donald Trump enters the stage of world history as a business man trying to save a bankrupt business.  Unfortunately, our country cannot declare bankruptcy to rebuild.  Deals will be made, and as conservatives my friends and I will belatedly enter the 21st century -- a "brave new world" in which darkness and light mingle into a perpetual twilight.

We can only hope that the twilight lasts for generations -- or until the Lord returns -- for after the twilight comes the night. This is the natural cycle of nations, so we should not be surprised.  Our responsibility to God and to ourselves is to always do the right thing.

This "right thing" is not political, but moral and spiritual.  It is not based upon the changing mores of this world, but firmly upon ten simple, but profound, commandments from God Himself.  We must show honor where honor is due: to God, family and community.  We must eskew behavior that brings harm to our neighbors in any way.