07 September 2018

This 'n' That

Any time my family traveled to the beach when I was young, one of my primary goals was to find a large conch shell so I could take the ocean home. You know what I mean; the phenomenon of holding a shell to your ear and hearing the waves is one that fascinated me as a child, especially since that sound traveled back home to the midwest with me.

Of course, as I grew older, I came to understand that it wasn't really the ocean I was hearing in that shell. But what was it, then?
The most likely explanation for the wave-like noise is ambient noise from around you. The seashell that you are holding just slightly above your ear captures this noise, which resonates inside the shell. The size and shape of the shell therefore has some effect on the sound you hear. Different shells sound different because different shells accentuate different frequencies. You don't even need the seashell to hear the noise. You can produce the same "ocean" sound using an empty cup or even by cupping your hand over your ear. (Source)
I know, it kind of bursts that childhood bubble, doesn't it? Even though we're all grown up now though, stop and think about that explanation above. Did that just happen by chance? Did those sound waves (no pun intended) just poof! appear out of nowhere millions of years after the alleged Big Bang?

No, they did not. And those shells, which once housed a living creature, did not evolve, mutate, or morph from a blob of goo. And that sand that squishes between your toes while your searching for those shells? Yeah, that didn't just appear out of nowhere either. God put it there (Jeremiah 5:22), and while we can never count each grain of sand, I daresay that God knows exactly how many He created.

Great, now I want to go to the beach! Oh well, while I resign myself to another hot, humid, and apparently rainy weekend, why don't you relax with your week in review (kind of):
  • Wow, this is amazing (HT to Amy S.)!
  • I'm not sure how Pepperdine ended up so far down on this list, because it is a gorgeous campus!
  • There's no color-coded division in the body, which is why some men drafted the Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel. If you're following that whole hullabaloo, it's worth reading. If you're tired of everyone jumping on one of the two opposing bandwagons, then just let it be. There will be a new trend along shortly.
  • On Martin Luther and preaching.
  • AI is always listening. Are you?
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • In case you haven't heard.
  • Some clear thoughts on infant baptism and the dangers of inference.
  • Sometimes it seems like there is a mindset among certain Christians that if your pastor's sermon isn't long (like, really long. Like an hour+ long), then he's not a good preacher and you're not in a truly biblical church. That's why I really appreciated this piece from Kevin DeYoung. Shaving five minutes off of a sermon isn't going to hurt it, and in some cases might actually help it. After all, it takes a lot more giftedness to get to the point quickly and succinctly than to get there after taking 15 detours.
  • On a related note, Josh Buice looks at 10 common errors in preaching today.
  • Looking at the story of Mary and Martha in context.
Let us use worldly things as wise pilgrims do their staves and other necessities convenient for their journey. So long as they help us forward in our way — let us make use of them, and accordingly esteem them. But if they become troublesome hindrances and cumbersome burdens — let us leave them behind us, or cast them away. The temptations of prosperity, like unseen bullets, wound and kill us before they are discerned. —George Downame

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