Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Prayer - Music Story

Was there sufficient evidence to indict for vehicular manslaughter? If so, the driver would be brought to trial. Then a Trial Jury would decide if the evidence proved the guilt of the driver beyond a reasonable doubt. But to indict, the Grand Jury used a lower standard of proof – probable cause.

The State’s Attorney presented the case, telling us when and where it happened and that the cause of death was injuries sustained from the accident. The investigating officer testified and answered our questions: the driver did not leave the scene of the accident, was not speeding, and was not under the influence when it happened. There were no eye witnesses to the collision. Then they and the court reporter left the room so we could discuss the evidence and vote. It would take nine yes votes for a Bill of Indictment.

This was only one of a dozen or so cases we heard each week. Up until today the State’s Attorney and investigating officers had presented sufficient evidence. Not today. A youth on a bicycle and a car had collided; the youth, gravely injured, had subsequently died. We were asked to decide if the driver should be brought to trial. But it was unclear who had the right of way. No one had witnessed the accident. We weren’t there when it happened. How could we decide after the fact? In this kind of accident, we reasoned, the car would be damaged. Was it? We weren’t told.

The Grand Jury has the right to subpoena witnesses and documents. We issued a subpoena for photographs of the accident and the next week examined them closely. Except for the passenger’s side, the car looked brand new. The passenger’s door had fresh scratch marks and indentations that corresponded to the damaged bicycle. It was clear to us. The driver was not at fault. Sadly, the youth had failed to stop for the car. We voted “No Bill.”

Pictures provide evidence when eye witnesses cannot be found. For centuries men believed that the universe was eternal. Not so! said the Bible, the universe had a beginning. What standard of proof finally convinced scientists that the Bible got it right?

Probable Cause
Albert Einstein and Edwin Hubble
1931: Edwin Hubble's pictures of stars in distant galaxies were at odds with Albert Einstein's eternal universe.

Proof beyond a Reasonable Doubt
NASA discovery is like looking at God
1992: It’s ‘like looking at God’! (Images taken by the satellite proved that the universe had a beginning.)

Proof beyond a Shadow of Doubt
All-sky picture of universe
2012: WMAP all-sky picture of the infant universe revealed how many years ago the universe was created.

The heavens declare the glory of God! From the musical The Majesty of the Maker! this video is scrolling playback of the song.
Kathy

Click here to read how WMAP turned the study of the origin and structure of the universe into a precision science.
Click here to read about the duties of a Grand Jury.

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for A Prayer.
A Prayer
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A Prayer
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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fingerprint – Music Story

I know something about tents. I sewed a tent. And it almost destroyed our marriage!

Forty years ago motel rooms were out of our price range. We vacationed in an inexpensive tent. When it rained water puddled in the fabric above our heads. In a down pour the roof held a gallon of water, the fabric bowing under its weight. We could reach up from our sleeping bags and touch the ball of water above us.

We were excited! The Frostline Trailridge II backpacking tent kit was in our price range.
Backpacking Tent Kit

All I had to do was assemble pre-cut pieces. It was easily until … the back door. The waterproof door was supposed to be the same size and shape as the screen door under it. It was not! Bob was upset, sure I had sewed the pieces together wrong. I could not convince him otherwise. We were at an impasse. Angry and frustrated, I took the pieces apart. We laid them on the floor. The screen door pieces were not the same shape as the waterproof door pieces. The company sent a replacement.

The last seam was done and we grabbed the corners, pulling them apart so we could see what our tent looked like. When we let go, it collapsed into a shapeless heap on the floor. Tents need tension, continual stretching, to have structure, to be livable. We set it up outside using the stakes, poles, rope, and rope tensioners that came with the kit. It was beautiful – waterproof floor, breathable sides, cross ventilation, interior storage pockets and clotheslines, waterproof vestibule entry, separate waterproof fly, room for two adults and two small children. We used it happily for many years.

Thousands of years ago Old Testament writers said that God stretches out the heavens like a tent. Six years ago three astronomers were awarded the Nobel Prize for their 1998 discovery that the universe has a self-stretching property. This property is exquisitely fine-tuned, the most extreme fine-tuning problem in all of nature. If its value were a little higher or lower, the universe would lose its structure and order, just as tents lose their structure when they are not stretched out.

From the musical “The Majesty of the Maker!” this video is scrolling playback of the song.
Kathy

Click here to read the October 4, 2011 Nobel Prize press release.
Click here to read the startling implications of dark energy.

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Fingerprint.
Fingerprint
Fingerprint
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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Connections - Music Story

Why is a biblical worldview so disturbing? Disturbing to those who adhere to the Bible. Disturbing to those who do not. Could it be because truth, according to a biblical worldview, matches what is real? And reality can be deeply disturbing. We want truth to be the stories we tell about the world and about ourselves. But what if our stories contradict what is real? And what if reality makes headlines?

Chicago Tribune headline 4/24/1992
God made headlines!
The paper is a little tattered, but you can clearly see the April 24, 1992 Chicago Tribune headline: NASA satellite discovery is ‘like looking at God’. Measurements made by COBE confirmed that the universe had a beginning, which kind of beginning, and that galaxies could form after the beginning.

However, the discovery and headline are disturbing because they contradict two stories we tell about the world:
·         The story that we don’t need God to explain the universe.
·         The story that God created the universe six to ten thousand years ago.

COBE confirmed that space and time itself had a beginning. And the space-time theorems show that all universes that expand on average (including the multi-verse) must have a beginning. But, whatever has a beginning must have a cause. Whatever caused the universe to exist must be infinite, powerful, and lie outside of space and time, or, according to the headline, it’s ‘like looking at God’. This reads like the first verse in the Bible, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” 

COBE measurements also helped to determine that the universe is over 13 billion years old. Then the WMAP satellite, launched in 2001, gave even greater precision to the age of the universe, 13.77 ± 0.059 billion years!

The satellites measured reality. What do we do when reality contradicts our stories?
Kathy

Connections, from the album “Apologia,” was written in honor of Darwin’s Day 2009. This video is scrolling playback of the song.

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Connections.
Connections
Connestions
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Click here to learn about COBE.

Incidentally, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.”) has been criticized as a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Click here to read why.

Monday, May 8, 2017

A Sure Bet - Music Story

The Psalmist said the moon is God’s faithful witness in the sky and the heavens declare the glory of God. According to the Apostle John that glory is full of grace and truth.

Small Magellanic Cloud
The heavens declare the glory of God!
A universe declaring the glory of God will radiate truth. The assumption that the universe can be accurately measured flows out of a biblical worldview, then, not a secular one. Scientists are fallible, but the universe they measure cannot lie.

What does this mean for radiometric and other scientific dating methods? The count of layers in tree rings, ice cores, and varves truthfully gives their ages. Tree rings take us back 11,000 years, ice layers in Antarctica 740,000 years, the Green River Shales (varves) 6 million years. Tree ring chronology correlates with carbon 14 dating. Known volcanic eruptions left dust layers in the ice core layer matching the year of their eruption. The 100,000 year pattern in the ice cores and varves closely matches the 100,000 year cycle in the earth’s orbit around the sun.

God’s Word made astonishing claims about his World that were amazingly confirmed thousands of years later: the universe had a beginning, has undergone constant expansion, and is exquisitely fine-tuned for life. Scientists have been able to confirm these claims because both God’s Word and his World radiate truth.

Since God’s Word got it right about Creation, it is worth considering what it says about the Creator. He loves us so much that he became a man, died in our place, was buried and raised from the dead, and has the power to create his life is us. The Creator claims his promises are just as reliable as his laws governing Creation. What the Creator promises is guaranteed because his Creation radiates truth.

God’s promises are A Sure Bet. From the musical The Majesty of the Maker! this video is scrolling playback of the song.
Kathy

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for A Sure Bet.
A Sure Bet
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A Sure Bet
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Ice Core & Milankovitch Cycles

This applet lets you compare the 100,000 year eccentricity of earth’s orbit with the 100,000 year pattern in the Vostok Ice Core.

Click here to read about the Green River Shales Formation.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Gospel Creed - Music Story

November 22, 1963. I approached the check-out counter of a Ma and Pa grocery store. The cashier looked stunned and frightened. I could hear a voice in the background. When I looked around I was relieved to see that we were the only people in the store. In a trembling voice he said, “The radio. President Kennedy has just been shot.”

Five years later a different voice on the radio was singing this about Kennedy:
“Anybody here seen my old friend John?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed lotta people but it seems the good they die young
I just looked around and he's gone”

The song, “Abraham, Martin and John,” became a folk-pop standard worldwide. It was so significant that, forty years after it was written, historian Ace Collins included it in his book, Songs Sung Red, White, and Blue: The Stories Behind America’s Best-Loved Patriotic Songs.
Book Cover
Check out the book here.
 What were people saying about Jesus five years after he was crucified?

Critical scholars consider ancient documents as historical if they have a historical setting and the author is named. Based on those two criteria at least six of the Apostle Paul’s letters are considered authentic by skeptical, liberal, and conservative scholars. When you trace the timeline of events in these letters, you discover that four to six years after Jesus died, people were reciting this creedal statement about him:
“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures
He was buried
He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
He appeared to Peter …”

The creed was so significant that twenty years later, Paul included it in his letter to the Corinthians, a letter skeptics consider as authentic.

Jonathan Morrow lays out the timeline of events in his book, Questioning the Bible: 11 Major Challenges to the Bible’s Authority.
Book Cover
Check out the book here.
Five years after the assassination the song said JFK was gone. Five years after the crucifixion the creed said Jesus is alive.

Happy Easter! He is risen! He is risen indeed! From the album “Main Street” this video is scrolling playback of the song.
Kathy

Click here to for “3 Startling Truths about the Early Church from the Pre-New Testament Texts.”

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for The Gospel Creed.
The Gospel Creed
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The Gospel Creed
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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Shout Praise - Music Story

Sunday, March 29, A.D. 33*

A large crowd from Jerusalem found out that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They went out to meet him and to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.

The disciples brought Jesus a donkey and a colt and he sat on them.

Daughter of Zion,
Your king comes to you,
Riding on a donkey.

The crowd spread their cloaks on the road. Others cut branches and spread them on the road.

At the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives the crowd began to praise God for the miracles they had seen. They went on before him and followed behind, shouting,

"Hosanna!"
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Hosanna in the highest!"

Some of the Pharisees said to Jesus, "Rebuke your disciples!” He replied, "If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Jesus entered the temple, looked around, and left. 

Monday, March 30, A.D. 33

Jesus returned to the temple. The blind and lame came to him and he healed them. Seeing this, children shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David.”

The priests and teachers were indignant and said, “Do you hear what these children are saying?" Jesus replied, “From the lips of children God has ordained praise.”

From the album “Hope Giver” this video is scrolling playback of the song.

Kathy

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Shout Praise.
Shout Praise
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Shout Praise
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*Based on this date for the crucifixion.
Portions of this event are recorded in each of the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Watermark - Music Story

What would convince a skeptic that the claims of Christianity are true: that the Creator became a man, died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead? And that he offers eternal life to all who believe in him.

Joe believed that the Gospels were legends fabricated long after Jesus died. He bought into the radical beliefs of the Jesus Seminar. “They’re eye witness accounts,” I countered, “written within sixty years of Jesus’ death. Do the research.”

Gary Habermas did the research and found that most critical scholars (skeptical, liberal, and conservative) regard twelve facts about Jesus as historical, including these four facts:

Jesus died by crucifixion.
His tomb was empty.
His disciples believed they saw the risen Christ.
His Church exploded on the scene.

While Joe was doing research, church exploded on his scene. Once a month on a Saturday morning Bob would join a group of men for breakfast at church. Joe asked if he could tag along. The men celebrated the miracle of new life in Christ. There was no pretense or fa├žade. They acknowledged chaotic histories, relationships gone wrong, dark cravings, unrealized dreams. They shared how Jesus changed them, restoring relationships, rebuilding families, filling their lives with hope, meaning, and purpose. “Why do you drag me to these things?” Joe would ask Bob on the way home. Bob's expression told Joe that he loved him.

Joe’s story was messy. Unlike people from his past, when the men learned of his story, they were not accusatory, or judgmental, or vindictive. They saw him as God sees him, a person of infinite value and worth. They also didn’t justify his past. All need the forgiveness of a Savior! The Creator died for him, too, offered him forgiveness and new life.

Christianity began to ring true to Joe. And then … (From the album “This & That - A Little Bit of Everything” this video is scrolling playback of the song.)
Kathy

John Newton
Amazing Grace by John Newton
Yes! God changes people. Click here to read about a life radically changed by Jesus – John Newton, writer of the beloved hymn Amazing Grace.

Click here and here to read the facts of Jesus’ life that critical scholars consider historical.

You can get print (PDF – lead sheet format) and/or digital (MusicXML™ for praise band) sheet music for Watermark.
Watermark
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Watermark
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Monday, March 6, 2017

The Odds - Music Story

Who? Where? What?

There was an accident near our house involving a pickup and a sedan. The drivers were OK, the sedan sustained scratches, but the pickup was badly damaged. Traffic patrol arrived. The driver of the pickup said the sedan ran a red light and hit him. The sedan driver angrily denied it and said the accident was the pickup driver’s fault.

Two eye witnesses came forward. Who were they, where were they, what did they see? The eye witnesses didn’t know each other or the drivers involved in the accident. They were driving the two cars stopped behind the pickup. Each saw the light turn green then each saw the pickup enter the intersection. The sedan driver was ticketed for running a red light.

The Genesis creation account seems like the scene of a traffic accident, with people giving different versions of what happened. According to some, plants were created before the sun. If that is so, others retort, then Genesis ran a red light, damaging the credibility of the rest of the Bible.

But, wait! Genesis 1 says there was an eye witness to the creation events. Who? The Spirit of God. Where? He was on the surface of the water that covered a formless and empty earth. What? He saw darkness. Can anything else confirm this? Yes! Psalms tells us that primordial earth was a water world. The book of Job tells us that clouds covered primordial earth like a garment, wrapping it in thick darkness.

Genesis 1
"Let there be light"
The earth was wet. The sky was dark. Sunlight couldn’t penetrate the clouds. The first creation miracle transformed earth’s atmosphere so that a little bit of sunshine could reach the surface of the ocean where God’s Spirit was working. When we ask the eyewitness to creation where he was and what he saw, the order of the creation miracles in Genesis 1 reads like the history of planet earth. What are the odds of that happening?

From the musical The Majesty of the Maker! this video is scrolling playback of the song.

Kathy

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for The Odds.
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(MusicXML™ is the standard open format for sharing digital sheet music.
Check the help files in your music notation app for directions on importing MusicXML™ files.)
Click here to see a Creation Timeline Chart (Genesis 1 creation days superimposed on the natural history of planet earth).

Click here for the booklet, Genesis One: A Scientific Perspective.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Garden of Decision - Music Story

The Garden of Eden was beautiful, filling the senses, nourishing the appetite. Yet this paradise was a very dangerous place. In the center of the Garden was a deadly tree. And one of its occupants was a liar and a murderer. That’s where God placed Adam. That’s where he created Eve. In a garden of decision.

But wait! Jesus was also in a garden of decision, contemplating a deadly tree, facing a mob led by the same liar and murderer. That’s where the Father placed his Son. In the Garden of Gethsemane.

Eden and Gethsemane – Gardens of Decision. Which decision came first? The ruinous one in Eden? The saving one in Gethsemane?

We read that grace, God’s gift of eternal life to sinners, was promised and given before the beginning of time. We read that Jesus, the lamb, was slain for sin from the creation of the world. It’s clear. God’s decision came first. The cross precedes creation, the cross and death being the warp and weft of the Garden of Eden, death becoming personal when Adam sinned.

We are shocked that this is so. Shocked that death sustains life, physical and spiritual. Shocked that nature red in tooth and claw depicts the necessity of the cross. Shocked that a very good creation had death woven into its fabric and a murderer at its epicenter, shaking humanity with his lie. Shocked that Adam and Eve believed the lie, thinking they could disobey God with impunity.

But wait! We too live in a garden of decision. That’s where God has placed us. Creation is beautiful, filling our senses, nourishing our appetite. Yet it is a dangerous place. The murderer still spreads his lie, that disobeying God is no big deal. Do we, too, believe the lie? Do we believe that we can escape the consequences of sin apart from God’s grace and Christ’s redemptive act on the cross?

From the musical The Majesty of the Maker! this video is scrolling playback of the song. 

Kathy


You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Garden of Decision.
Garden of Decision
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Garden of Decision
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Check the help files in your music notation app for directions on importing MusicXML™ files.)
Would a loving God have made a better home for us, one without trouble and tragedy? Click here for Why the Universe Is the Way It Is.
Hugh Ross Book


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Lament - Music Story

I’ve seen what being unwanted does to children. I am a nurse. I spent most of my nursing career caring for unwanted children.

I am a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, committed to valuing what he values. Above all he values people! It is God who created our inmost being and knit us together in the womb. All are made in his image. To value others as Jesus values them is to acknowledge that all – wanted and unwanted – bear the image of God from conception onward. To value what Jesus values is to be for the life of the fetus and against its abortion.

Those wishing to have an abortion are also created in the image of God. Jesus values them as much as he values their unwanted, unborn children. To value them as God values them is to demonstrate his grace and mercy. It’s to marshal community resources (housing, employment, education, health care, legal aid, etc.) so they can bring their unwanted, unborn children to term. It is to place unwanted children in homes where they are wanted, loved, and cared for (foster care, adoption, group homes, treatment centers, etc.).

Unwanted children may need intensive community support. Agencies helping them are often funded by state dollars. I am grieved and outraged by the values of the State of Illinois. Illinois “balanced the budget” on the backs of children by postponing Medicaid payments. Social service agencies dependent on Medicaid dollars for operating costs could not make payroll or pay their bills. They were forced to close their doors.

I echo The Declaration of Independence (all are created equal, endowed by their Creator with an unalienable Right to life) and President Reagan’s 1984 Proclamation on the Sanctity of Life.

From the album “This & That” this video is scrolling playback of the song. It’s a lament for all children – wanted and unwanted - who have died in the womb.
Kathy 

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Lament.
Lament
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Lament
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(MusicXML™ is the standard open format for sharing digital sheet music.
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Click here to read The Declaration of Independence.
Click here to read Reagan’s Proclamation 5147 – National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 1984.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Family Tree - Music Story

Handwritten GenealogyIt’s one of my treasures. It’s a four-page document hand written by Dad. It begins, “Roots. Who am I? Where did I come from?” It traces my family tree back 360 years.

Friends of mine asked the same questions, “Who are we? Where did we come from?” They compared an ancient document answering these questions with scientific research and wrote a book in 2005 describing their findings. Here’s my review of their book on Amazon.com:

Who are these children who make their way to the nurse's office at school to see me – children whose disruptive behaviors and/or mental illness make it impossible for them to function in a regular classroom and qualify them for my school? And why should I care so deeply about them?

In their book on the origins of man, "Who was Adam?" Hugh Ross and Fazale Rana provide surprising, yet satisfying answers to my questions.

Surprising because of the breadth and wealth of cutting-edge scientific research they cite.

Surprising because the evidence from the fossil record, biochemistry, archaeology, human and parasitic genetic studies, geology, and astronomy is at odds with the evolutionary model of human origins that I was taught.

Surprising because they propose a creation model for human origins that is both biblical and able to stand up under scientific scrutiny. (Mitochondrial-DNA research reveals that humanity originated from one woman, called "mitochondrial Eve", and Y-chromosomal studies reveal that humanity came from a single location!)

Their model posits that while humans share many similarities with animals, humans are qualitatively different from animals. Only humans bear the image of God. If their model is correct, then even the most difficult to manage children have inherent dignity and intrinsic worth.

"Who was Adam?" – An exciting exploration of the evidence.

I recently read the ten year update of Who Was Adam? It too is “an exciting exploration of the evidence.”
Who Was Adam? 10-year update
From the musical The Majesty of the Maker! this video is scrolling playback of the song, Family Tree.
Kathy

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Family Tree.

Family Tree
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Family Tree
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Click here for my review of “Who Was Adam?” on Amazon.com.
Click here for Dr. Hugh Ross’s credentials.
Click here for Dr. Fazale Rana’s credentials.
Do the most recent scientific discoveries disprove the creation model proposed in Who Was Adam? Click here for the 10 year update of the book.