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Good afternoon HeartTouchers.com subscribers!
It is good to be back after taking a long haiatus from sending out the weekly e-mails. It is with great pleasure that I get to introduce our son Caleb to you today and feature some of his writing. Most of you long time subcribers will remember him as the little boy in the red shirt on the cover of our book... or you may remember some of the stories that I have written about him over the years. We are incredibly proud of the young man he has become and we are excited to see what God has in store for his future. I would love it if you took the time to write to directly to him and share your thoughts about his article at the email address provided at the end of his story.
From my family to yours,
Author Michael T. Powers
by Caleb Michael Powers
I use to be scared of the future, and to an extent I still am. But something significant has changed in my life.
I use to think to myself, "Wow, the world is so messed up. No one is following God, and even those who say they do are compromising on very important issues. America is going downhill." I would get depressed thinking about trying to be a Christian in a future America, let alone trying to raise a godly family in that sort of environment.
This past year, my outlook has begun to change. This week in particular has really made me reevaluate my thinking.
All throughout history there have been ups and downs--periods where the majority of people in a given country have followed God and have been blessed for it, and then periods where darkness has become the status quo, and the church compromises and gets to a low point.
But it always returns--there is always a rejuvenation in the culture, and life is breathed into the world again. No matter how dark it may get, the light of a single candle is all it takes to pierce it. And through it all, God never leaves us. His promises are true in the dark times and the times of joy.
Statistics say that only 10% of the people in a society have to believe passionately about something for the culture to begin to shift. If all of us, as Christians, stood up for Christ and DID something about the state of our country, it could change overnight. But we sit on our butts and let the 10% in charge of society right now dictate where we are headed.
This past week I've been at a Christian camp in Montello, Wisconsin, pouring out myself and being poured into at the same time. I've been humbled, strengthened, and blessed beyond anything I thought possible.
This year's camp theme was God's creation. Our culture has been indoctrinated with atheism and evolution for years and years, slowly being pulled away from the truth of Earth's history and being brainwashed with revisionist history and what many would call, "scientific fact" but what is really just a bunch of assumptions believed through blind faith. The truth about the special design of the universe and how everything points to it has been all but erased from popular culture.
I have heard this topic dozens of times—my dad has taught the subject at youth group often, as well as at camp seven years ago, and we as a family are always reading about it and learning more about what the Bible has to say about the beginning of history. But this time, I came away with something new.
The world is messed up right now, it's true. But that doesn't mean it can't change, it doesn't mean we can't be the ones to do something about it, and it DOES NOT mean that God is any less true or any less good. We, as Christians, have a responsibility to the world to show it the truth, to be salt and light—preserving and illuminating—for a depraved generation. And the time to do this is not in twenty years, or in one year—it's now.
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." – 1 Timothy 4:1
We, as teenagers, and yes, even those that are younger, like the kids I worked with at Kidz Camp this past week, are not the generation of tomorrow—we are the generation of TODAY. If we start today, if we have the courage to stop nodding our heads at the things we know are wrong, if we have the humility to give ourselves fully to Christ and live a life pleasing to him, if we have the faith to go boldly into the future with God at our side—nothing can stop us.
I admit, that scares me. Even as I write this, I am challenging myself with the same concept. I said I was ALL IN at a youth conference in Chicago this April, but did I mean it, and am I willing to actually live it?
Yes. Yes, I am. I have struggled with many things throughout my young life—sins, attitudes, procrastination—but as I sit here in my house after being gone for a week, being filled with the Holy Spirit countless times, and really FEELING God's presence throughout that week, I really am ready to take that step.
I look down—my shoes are red. A reminder to myself that it will be a hard road. Blood will be on this road, dirt will be on this road, pain, heartache, weakness, and despair will be on this road. But my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is on this road. And so shall I be as well.
God breathed life into me, and it's time I gave him that breath back—all of it. I owe him that much, at the very least. After all the pain and suffering He went through to save me from an eternity of separation from Him, the holy God of the universe stepping into his creation and dying for it—I have to realize that fact. I belong to God, and if I don't live my life for Him, then what else is there?
Nothing. Without God, there is no purpose—and that's why this makes so much sense. The world is too beautifully created to be an accident. Everything points to that fact. And though some would willingly ignore and reject God, I won't be among their ranks.
You know that fence we all hang on at one point or another, the one that divides the followers of God from those who reject him? I just kicked it down. Yes, it hurts. Yes, giving up things I know are not godly is going to make me bleed, but it is so worth it. The blood on my shoes is a reminder to me.
A reminder that Jesus bled for me. I can do the same for Him. It will never measure up to His sacrifice, but I owe him too much to not try.
The last night of camp I prayed. Prayed more diligently and purposefully then I think I ever have in my life. And I promised God and myself that I would take the first step. That if I was the only one in this generation who would follow Him, I would do it.
But that's what's amazing—I'm not the only one. I have a great cloud of witnesses surrounding me, my friends, my family, my church. And together, we can change the world. This generation can change EVERYTHING.
We can be the candle in the dark room. We can be the fire that burns pure. We can be the hope that this broken, fallen world desperately needs. But we can't do it without God.
And so we are stepping out. I take a step forward, and I look around. Who will join me? Am I alone in a crowd of people that don't care about the truth? But then I see it. Their feet—they have the same shoes. Red shoes, like mine. They have bled. They have trusted. They will fight.
An army steps forward.
I'm not saying we won't stumble. I'm not saying we won't be angry at God sometimes, or be hurting so much we want to give up. But I am saying we will keep each other accountable. I am saying that we will lift each other up, and strengthen each other, and love each other. I am saying that we will give everything we have. For we have seen the light at the end of this broken road we walk, and it is the most beautiful thing we have ever seen.
And so there we shall go.
"Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you." –Proverbs 4:25
That is my prayer for all of us. That we focus our eyes on Jesus and never look back. The army takes another step. And then they begin to sing.
"Hosanna, we are found after all. You are holy."
Caleb M. Powers
xcarthan12 @ gmail.com
(remove the spaces before and after the @ sign if you would like to write to Caleb)
Copyright © 2013 by Caleb M. Powers
Write Caleb and let him know your thoughts on his story!
Caleb Powers lives in Wisconsin with his family -- his mom, dad, and two younger brothers. He is a homeschooled senior who enjoys writing, reading, playing guitar, and acting, among other things. He is the worship leader in his church's youth ministry, has written over 20 original songs and has performed in many musicals and plays through Spot Light On Kids. He is currently working on an epic fantasy novel and is thinking of pursuing writing as a career. Most importantly, Caleb believes that life is not about religion, but about a relationship -- a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Creation Q & A
Most Bible commentaries state that the site of the Garden of Eden was in the Middle East, situated somewhere near where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are today. This is based on the description given in Genesis 2:8-14:
The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden. . . . Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon. . . . The name of the second river is Gihon. . . . The name of the third river is Hiddekel [Tigris]. . . . The fourth river is the Euphrates.
Even the great theologian John Calvin struggled over the exact location of the Garden of Eden. In his commentary on Genesis he states:
Moses says that one river flowed to water the garden, which afterwards would divide itself into four heads. It is sufficiently agreed among all, that two of these heads are the Euphrates and the Tigris; for no one disputes that . . . (Hiddekel) is the Tigris. But there is a great controversy respecting the other two. Many think, that Pison and Gihon are the Ganges and the Nile; the error, however, of these men is abundantly refuted by the distance of the positions of these rivers. Persons are not wanting who fly across even to the Danube; as if indeed the habitation of one man stretched itself from the most remote part of Asia to the extremity of Europe. But since many other celebrated rivers flow by the region of which we are speaking, there is greater probability in the opinion of those who believe that two of these rivers are pointed out, although their names are now obsolete. Be this as it may, the difficulty is not yet solved. For Moses divides the one river which flowed by the garden into four heads. Yet it appears, that the fountains of the Euphrates and the Tigris were far distant from each other.
Calvin recognized that the description given in Genesis 2 concerning the location of the Garden of Eden does not fit with what is observed regarding the present Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. God’s Word makes it clear that the Garden of Eden was located where there were four rivers coming from one head. No matter how one tries to fit this location in the Middle East today, it just can’t be done.
Interestingly, Calvin goes on to say:
From this difficulty, some would free themselves by saying that the surface of the globe may have been changed by the deluge. . . .
This is a major consideration that needs to be taken into account. The worldwide, catastrophic Flood of Noah’s day would have destroyed the surface of the earth. If most of the sedimentary strata over the earth’s surface (many thousands of feet thick in places) is the result of this global catastrophe as creationists believe, then we would have no idea where the Garden of Eden was originally located—the earth’s surface totally changed as a result of the Flood.
Not only this, but underneath the region where the present Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are located there exists hundreds of feet of sedimentary strata—a significant amount of which is fossiliferous. Such fossil-bearing strata had to be laid down at the time of the Flood.
Therefore, no one can logically suggest that the area where the present Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are today is the location of the Garden of Eden, for this area is sitting on Flood strata containing billions of dead things (fossils). The perfect Garden of Eden can’t be sitting on billions of dead things before sin entered the world!
This being the case, the question then is why are there rivers named Tigris and Euphrates in the Middle East today?
Many wrongly conclude that the Garden of Eden was somewhere in the Middle East based on the names of the rivers in Genesis 2.
In Australia, one will recognize many names that are also used in England (e.g., Newcastle). The reason is that when the settlers came out from England to Australia, they used names they were familiar with in England to name new places/towns in Australia.
Another example is the names given to many rivers in the United States. There is the Thames River in Connecticut, the Severn River in Maryland, and the Trent River in North Carolina—all named for prominent rivers in the UK.
In a similar way, when Noah and his family came out of the ark after it landed in the area we today call the Middle East (the region of the Mountains of Ararat), it would not have been surprising for them to use names they were familiar with from the pre-Flood world (e.g., Tigris and Euphrates), to name places and rivers, etc., in the world after the Flood.
Ultimately, we don’t know where the Garden of Eden was located. To insist that the Garden was located in the area around the present Tigris and Euphrates Rivers is to deny the catastrophic effects of the global Flood of Noah’s day, and to allow for death before sin.
Click on the Bible above or visit the web site listed below!
This new addition to our web site will give you an article on the leading news in the
Creation/Evolution controversy each day. This section also includes a rotating
Question and Answer feature and a weekly Creation Comic strip from the people
at AnswersInGenesis.org. Be sure to come back and visit each day for an informative
article that will help you keep up to date on the latest news in this controversial area!
Thought For The Day
"You can't hold a man down without staying down with him."--Booker T. Washington
Verse for the Day
"The man who sets a trap for others will get caught in it himself."
Kid's Thought For The Day
"If your dog doesn't like someone, you probably shouldn't either."
Creation vs Evolution Thought For The Day
"The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory." - Charles Darwin
Parent's Thought For The Day
"How do you explain 'counterclockwise' to a child with a digital watch?"
Coach's Thought For The Day
"I've learned over the years how to hold a team together. How to lift some men up, how to calm down others, until finally they've got one heartbeat, together, a team." --Paul "Bear" Bryant
Deep Thought For The Day
If your parents never had children, chances are you won't either.
Punny Thought For The Day
The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
Over 375,000 people have listened to popular Chicken Soup Author Michael T. Powers' free inspirational message entitled: "Breathing Life into Others". If you aren't one of them just visit: http://www.HeartTouchers.com and click on the link to listen to the free streaming audio message.
Inspired Audio -- Inspirational Audio Message of the Week!
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This Week: "Biblical Compromise" by Michael T. Powers
Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business
"I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever!"
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