Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thoughts on the Last Supper...

The sun was setting on His life,
The end was coming fast.
He felt the shadow of the cross;
This supper was his last.
With loving hands He acted out,
An illustration clear:
How God had served and given all
To draw the sinner near.

As Peter, John, and Judas fought,
And sought the highest place,
Their Master knelt and washed their feet:
What they had thought disgrace.
His condescension broke their hearts;
They saw their pride and sin.
He washed more than their filthy feet,
He cleansed the heart within.

All twelve disciples were with Christ
For more than three whole years,
And yet they still were subject to
Pride, doubt, and human fears.
We too have seen Christ through His Word,
By faith His name we bear,
But do our hearts reveal His love?
Or is self cherished there?

Let each of us draw near to Christ;
Walk humbly with our God.
He’ll cleanse the temple of our heart;
We’ll walk where He has trod.
Then only are we all prepared
To take the bread and wine,
Christ’s broken body and His blood,
Portrayed in sacred sign.

Christ gave His body for our sins,
His blood was spilled in love;
And by His perfect sacrifice
He’ll carry us above.
Before the Father on His throne
We now stand washed from sin;
Communion then will be restored
As we remember Him.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

GCHEM Devotional 3

My breath seemed to add more clouds to the foggy darkness as I went on my early-morning run. Coming out of the dorm, it had not seemed too dark, and I had left my flashlight behind, but as I emerged from the circles of light that glowed around lampposts and buildings, the darkness and fog closed in thicker than I had anticipated. The paved path blended with the wet ground; only the firmness of the cement assured me of the correct course. I was just starting to pull out my phone to use as a flashlight, when the thumping of my steps turned to crunching. Without even realizing it, I had gone off the path. Quickly, I tapped on my flashlight app, and a bright beam of light showed me my surroundings. Now I easily found my way back to my running rout.
            Without the light, I could not see the way, and I stepped off the path. Without Christ, “the light of the world,”1 I can not see spiritually, and I will step off His path. Throughout the Bible, Christ is referred to as the “light of the world.”2 He brings spiritual sight and understanding to His followers, just as light brings physical sight. He is the One who shows the way to heaven.
            Still, the parallels between Christ and light go deeper. Christ has a dual nature. He is fully human and fully divine. Visible light also has a dual nature: particle and wave. Young’s double-slit experiment is an example of this. Young showed that light has a wave-like nature by shining a single beam of light through a screen containing two slits and on to another screen. When the light passed through the slits it shone a pattern on the last screen. There were alternating bands of light and dark on the screen; called an interference pattern. This can be explained by the wave-like nature of light: where light waves meet trough-to-trough and crest-to-crest when they hit the screen, they amplify each other, but where troughs and crests meet, they cancel each other, causing the dark bands on the screen.3 Yet, on closer examination, Young’s experiment showed the particle nature of light as well.
            Even when only one photon of light at a time is shone at the double-slit screen, over a period of time, the interference pattern still shows up, exemplifying that light behaves as a wave. The only exception to this is when the slits are closely observed to find out which slit each photon passes through. If each photon is watched closely, light stops traveling like a wave and starts traveling like single particles.4 The interference pattern disappears, and only two bands of light show up on the final screen. Simply by close observation, light’s particle properties can be observed, but at the same time, its wave-like properties disappear. Somehow, light is both a wave and a particle, but scientists still do not fully understand how this can be. The whole picture can not be observed or understood all at once.
            Christ’s dual nature is something that we can not fully grasp now either. We can see from His Word that He is fully God and fully man, but how He can be both at the same time is beyond our understanding. As Ellen White says:
“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know?” “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” “I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done.” It is impossible for the finite minds of men to fully comprehend the character or the works of the Infinite One. To the keenest intellect, to the most powerful and highly educated mind, that holy Being must ever remain clothed in mystery.”5
            “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”6 Right now, looking through finite eyes of faith, we can not fully know God, but one day, when we see Him face to face, we will know Him with the same depth that He knows us. Yet, even though we can not fully know Him now, just as we do not fully understand light, He is still the only Light that can illuminate our path in this dark world. He is, “the light of the world.”7

1 John 8:12 (King James Version).
2 ibid
3 “Thomas Young’s Double Slit Experiment,” Molecular Expressions, accessed November 3, 2013,
4 “Young Two-Slit Experiment,” University of Oregon online database, accessed November 3, 2013,
5 Ellen G. White, Testimonies to the Church vol. 5, p. 698.2, accessed November 3, 2013,
6 1 Corinthians 13:12 (King James Version).
7 John 8:12 (King James Version).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

God of Love

God above, full of love,
Sent His Son to save us.
Matchless grace took our place;
ransom for the human race.
Prince of peace, King of kings;
He made earth and heaven.
Still He came as a child;
lowly, meek, and undefiled.

Humble life, carpenter,
He knows all our trials.
Tempted hard, suffered long,
showed us how to turn from wrong.
Love of God, rich and free,
Love I can’t repay.
How can I do my part?
I can only give my heart.

Once was lost, now I’m found,
Jesus, You have saved me.
Bought me back, rescued me,
gave me all eternity.
Spotless lamb, sacrifice,
He laid down His life.
Bore our sins, died our death,
loved us ‘til His final breath. 


Sunday, November 3, 2013

GCHEM Devotional 2

A lot of the ideas in this devotional came from my ENGL 101 class...I hope it makes sense even to those who were not in the class. :) Blessings!

          Since childhood, I’ve loved playing with magnets. When I was six, my mom bought me a magnet set, and soon I was deep into my own childlike experiments. How close could the negative end of a magnet get to a positive end without them colliding? Why did a magnet run away when I pointed the positive end of my magnet wand toward its positive end? Attraction and repulsion were my playmates, and any magnetic metal was my toy. I would try to wrestle two positive magnets together for hours, but I could never overcome the force that drove them apart.
            Similar attraction and repulsion powers go on in everything around us. Atoms, the building blocks of our world, are made up of three main particles: positive protons, neutral neutrons, and negative electrons. Knowing this, one would assume that the positive protons and negative electrons would be attracted to each other and balance each other out. J. J. Thomson even made a model in which he pictured “small electrons to be embedded in the atom much like raisins in a pudding or seeds in a watermelon.”1 However, a scientist named Rutherford made a surprising discovery: “The results from Rutherford’s experiment were astounding…The only model of the atom consistent with this Rutherford experiment is that a small central core (the nucleus) houses the positive charge and most of the mass of the atom, while the majority of the atom’s volume contains discrete electrons orbiting about the central nucleus.”2
            Although science still has much to learn about the atom, the mystery of the nucleus was greatly unveiled by Rutherford’s work. Since then, scientists have discovered the “strong force,” which holds the nucleus together. Nuclear particles interact “through the strong, short range nuclear force, which is responsible for the binding of these particles in atomic nuclei.”3
            This holding together of opposing forces by a single strong force can also be seen in the spiritual realm. The protons are truth, and Christ is the strong force that holds it together. Just as two true protons repel each other, opposing truths repel each other while both remaining true. “Truth is by nature paradoxical; that is, it always contains balancing principles.”4 Examples of these dipolar truths are: the invisible vs. the visible, abstract vs. concrete, and subjective vs. objective.  Specific dipolarities are God’s hatred of sin and love of sinners, His unending grace and immutable law, and Christ’s simultaneous complete divinity and complete humanity.
            Yet, in Christ’s embodiment of humanity and divinity, we see truth lived out. He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”5 Satan has tried to twist the truth and place God’s character traits of grace and justice against each other, but Christ came to rejoin those truths: “Satan represents God’s law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts. The fall of our first parents, with all the woe that has resulted, he charges upon the Creator, leading men to look upon God as the author of sin, and suffering, and death. Jesus was to unveil this deception. As one of us He was to give an example of obedience…As He went about doing good, and healing all who were afflicted by Satan, He made plain to men the character of God’s law and the nature of His service. His life testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God.6
            Through a loving life of perfect obedience to God’s law, Christ holds together the “protons” of God’s grace and law. Not only that, but “by His humanity, Christ touched humanity; by His divinity, He lays hold upon the throne of God. As the Son of man, He gave us an example of obedience; as the Son of God, He gives us power to obey.”7 Through Christ, truth is unified, and through Truth, I am set free. 8

                        1 Brown L. Theodore, H. Eugene LeMay Jr, Bruce E. Bursten Catherine J. Murphy, and Patrick Woodward, Chemistry: The Central Science, 11th ed. (Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Inc, 2009), 11
                        2 “The Atomic Nucleus,” Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. accessed September 9, 2013,
                        3 Chew, Geoffrey F, Murray Gell-Mann, and Arthur H. Rosenfeld, “Strongly Interacting Particles,” Santa Fe Institute, accessed September 9, 2013,
                        4 A. Leroy Moore, Adventist Cultures in Conflict (Michigan: Moore Publishing, 2009), 11.
                        5 John 14:6 (King James Version).
                        6 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Nampa: Pacific Press, 2005), 24.2.
                        7 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Nampa: Pacific Press, 2005), 24.3. 

            8 John 8:32 (King James Version).

GCHEM Devotional 1

One of the classes that I am taking at Weimar College this semester is general chemistry. As a part of this class I get to write three devotionals with object lessons that are drawn from chemistry. I've decided I should share them on here, especially since my posts have been so few and far between lately. May God bless you all!

           Generally, by the end of the day, I am tired, have worked hard, and my to-do list is still has at least a couple stubborn items left that were not accomplished. No matter how much I do, there is always more.  With the busyness of the modern age, and especially since the rise of technology, most people in this world have experienced a never ending to-do list. Nature, however, seems to show us a different example; an example of being able to accomplish more than expected.
            One place we see this example is in aqueous solutions. Many reactions will only take place when dissolved in water, when they are aqueous. Three types of these aqueous reactions are redox reactions, acid-base neutralization, and precipitation reactions.1 Not long ago, I discovered an interesting phenomenon with one of these reactions. While writing out and comparing the theoretical and actual data of an experiment I had just run, I found that the actual percent yield of my product was greater than the theoretical percent yield. Perplexed, I started to wonder if there was an error in my math. Finding none, I began to discuss with several of my classmates who had also discovered this problem. It turns out, what we experienced is to be expected when working with aqueous solutions.
            Extra calculations must be made to account for the presence of water when using aqueous solutions. For accurate measurements, products from the reaction must be dried before weighing. Otherwise, the mass of the water in the product will be added to the mass of the product itself, skewing the data. In our reaction, one product was a liquid, and the other was the solid that had supposedly been produced in larger quantities than chemically possible. To measure the mass of the solid product, we had to physically remove it from the liquid and weigh it. When we did this, we let the product dry off before being weighed, but it did not dry long enough. The extra mass in our data was showing up because there was still water in our product. We discovered that, with water present in a reaction, it’s quite possible to achieve a percent yield greater than 100% because of the presence of hard-to-remove water in the products.
            Chemistry is not the only place where this phenomenon takes place. In our daily work, it is possible to do more than we think. When, like chemicals that dissociate in water2, we let go of self and are surrounded by the Holy Spirit, the work done in us will bring forth a spirit-filled product that is much greater than we ever could have accomplished. Just as the reactants will do nothing until both are placed in an aqueous environment, humanity can do nothing of its own power. It is not until we are brought in contact with the water, the Holy Spirit, that change takes place in us. The sinful, human heart can only be changed when saturated and dissolved by the Holy Spirit. Then, when we work with the Holy Spirit, our labours will be more fruitful than they ever could have been had we worked on our own, just like the reaction that yields more than 100% in the presence of water.
            We do not need to become discouraged when the work we have to do is more than we can humanly bear. God has given us a precious promise: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”3 When we are surrendered to the Holy Spirit, His “power that works in us” will do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” “There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, by putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart and lives a life wholly consecrated to God.”4

                        1“Reactions in Aqueous Solutions,” ChemPaths, accessed September 27, 2013,
            2Eric J. Mechalke, Ph.D, Chapter 4 Files, last modified February 1, 2012,
            3Ephesians 3:20 (New King James Version).

            4Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Nampa: Pacific Press, 2005), 250.4