Monthly Archives: December 2020

When Foundations Move

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)

Several years ago (I do not recall the exact year because I do not keep a diary), my backdoor neighbor, Tim, had the slab foundation of his house leveled because he noticed cracks in the brick mortar and wall separation on one side of his house. He caught me outside one day and pointed out that my house had the same problem as his and suggested my house needed the foundation leveled as well. I could not see any problem because I had not noticed any mortar cracking or wall separation, but my friend swore that he could see it. He worked in housing construction most of his life and has an eye for that kind of thing. I do not, especially if the defect is minor (to my eye). So, I ignored his advice.

Not long after that, I noticed that the sliding glass door leading to our backyard was developing some fogging between the panes of glass. These were very expensive insulating doors installed by Champion Windows & Doors ™ that came with a lifetime warranty. I called Champion out to see about replacing the doors. When the technician arrived, he informed me that they would not be able to replace the door because it needed to be reframed and the foundation had shifted. He said I needed to get the foundation repaired first, and then they would return to replace the door.

Convinced now that my neighbor was right all along, I called some foundation repair service to come to inspect and repair the foundation of my house. They came out and confirmed that the foundation sunk about three-fourths of an inch on the east side of my house. It took eight piers on the east side of the house to bring the foundation back to level. With that done, Champion came back and replaced our sliding glass door without any problems.

Fast forward to the year of the COVID-19 and the first year of my retirement, June and I decided we needed to do some “minor” renovations to our house. I avoided it as long as possible because, while I can do the work, it takes me a lot longer than it does a “pro” and besides that, my knees are not up to a lot of the getting up and down required by this kind of work. I convinced June that it would be better to get a “professional” to come in and do the work. Because they know what they are doing, they should be done in three to four days – two weeks at the most, while it would take me a month or more. The job was relatively small: replace five interior doors, replace the carpet in our bedroom with laminate flooring, and extend that flooring into our master bath.

June, being the ultimate bargain shopper that she is, found a “highly recommended” contractor on our “Neighborhood” web page, and she gave me his contact information. I procrastinated for several months until I finally called the man over to give us an estimate shortly after Thanksgiving. I had just accepted a very time-consuming and challenging teaching opportunity at church, so hiring this guy to do the work seemed like a good option. The estimate, for his labor only, seemed reasonable enough, so we hired him to do the job. While looking the job over, he recommended replacing our existing tile shower with a poly “shower kit” that would look so much better than our moldy old tile. That sounded good to me, so I bought the kit and included that with the “upgrade.”

Well, to make a long story short and to get to the point of my title, the man knew nothing about hanging doors. The floor and the shower he subcontracted out, and the men that did that work did an excellent job, but anything my guy and his workers did was very poor quality. I do not want to be too critical of the man, but it seems that he did not know the purpose of a carpenter’s level. The reason he had trouble hanging the doors was due to my original foundation problem. When my foundation settled, all the framing of the house shifted to the east, not much, but enough to throw everything off “plumb.” Had my contractor put a level on the door frames, he would have seen the problem and corrected it (or not). As it was, he wasted my time and his (a little over a month), and the job was ended by me in an incomplete state. Tim, my backdoor neighbor, came and helped me get the doors hung properly. In the past when Tim was working, all he did was install windows and doors, so with his expertise, we were able to correct all the problems. All the doors open and close properly. One problem still remains. The shower doors do not hang correctly for the same reason, but I know now what to do to correct it.

Jesus once said, “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved” (Luke 5:37-38). Of course, His application had a different purpose, but the adage still applies. You do not put new doors on old door frames.

The movement of our house’s foundation was very subtle, almost unnoticeable. The walls “looked” perfectly straight and “plumb.” However, when a “square” door, a plumb line, or level – a perfect standard – is placed against, it exposes the defect. Corrections can be made to make things “look” straight, but the fact remains that the foundation moved and the whole building is now “off plumb.” Nothing can correct that without tearing down the whole structure and rebuilding from the ground up on a level foundation.

Our nation was founded on a firm foundation. However, in the 233-year history of our nation’s founding, so many extraneous laws, regulations, and edicts, the majority of which are unconstitutional, have been attached to our Constitution that the foundation is leaning and cracking. We hear of the “swamp” that is deep, wide, and far-reaching, that operates unfettered by the Constitution, and which makes and enforces laws and edicts of which most citizens are unaware. Our beloved President, Donald Trump fights against the swamp, but the swamp creatures are numerous, stealthy, and vicious. Some even appear to be “straight” (as in “upright”), but they expose their “swampiness” when they vote to enact perverse legislation, like the latest COVID-Relief Bill, against the good intentions of our President.

The moisture and soft marsh of the swamp weakens an otherwise solid foundation. The black mold of the swamp putrefies and decays the framework of any structure causing it to lean and eventually fall. This is where we are. The year 2020 has been the worst year of my lifetime, but it exposes the weaknesses in our nation’s once strong foundation. When foundations move, the building will eventually fall. I do not look forward to the year 2021 except for the fact that our Lord, Jesus Christ, will come for His Bride very shortly. He will destroy the foundations of this world, lay down a new foundation, and build an everlasting structure thereon. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!


Filed under Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Random Musings, Second Coming of Christ

Strange Christmas

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (Galatians 4:4)

The year 2020 has been a historic year to say the least. It started with my retirement at the end of December 2019 and quickly followed by minor knee surgery on my left knee just three days after. Being new to retirement, I found it challenging to find what to do with all my spare time. I filled some of my time with volunteering opportunities at church and at the ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History. Of course, that occupied only part of my time. I also spent many hours, three to six hours a day, studying Scripture, something I enjoy the more I do it.

It was nice to have control of my own time and spend it at my own discretion. Then COVID-19 hit and everything changed, not just for me, but for everyone on Earth. I will spare all the details. I am certain that anyone reading this had similar experiences with masks, social distancing, restrictions on large gatherings, church shut-downs, etc. The year 2020 has been, in many respects, the worst year in the threescore and ten years of my life. Personally, I believe that what we experienced this year, especially with the draconian governmental intrusion into our lives, portends to the seven-year Tribulation prophesied in Scripture and the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. That, in turn, gives me hope that the Rapture of the Church can happen at any moment now. That gives me joy and hope in spite of all this stink going on in our nation and the world.

The year 2020 quickly comes to a close, and we now come to Christmas. But like the rest of 2020, Christmas this year is very strange. My church just opened back up at the beginning of December, but with so many restrictions that it does not even “feel” like church. Attendees must wait to be ushered into a socially distanced place, wear masks during the worship portion of the service, and then wait to be ushered out at the end of the service. Any “fellowshipping” must be done outside of the building and hugs and handshakes are strongly discouraged. We normally put on a Christmas program at this season with choir and orchestra, which usually packs out the sanctuary. This year, we had a socially-distanced ensemble and a guest singer. The music was nice, but it lacked the pizzazz of past Christmas programs. Of course, the audience was at one-third of normal due to all the restrictions, and I missed the “feeling” of the event. I normally sing in the choir, but we could not do that because of COVID-19.

Christmas Eve service will be even stranger. This year it will be “virtual.” Our pastor will bring a Christmas message and we will observe the Lord’s Supper “online.” I do not mean to criticize. I am only stating reality. I know our church staff is trying to make the best of a stinky situation, but for all their effort, it is still a very strange Christmas.

For many years I have bemoaned the inflated sentimentality attached to the season. (You can read my past articles on the topic.) In the first place, it is highly unlikely that Jesus was born in December. In the second place, the overt commercialization of the season detracts from any significance of its true meaning. And in third place, the sentimentality attached to it makes it more about us, and it does about Him.

Our tree is up, the nativity is on the mantle, and Christmas lights illuminate our front yard, and it still feels like a very strange Christmas. What is not strange or unchanged is God’s love and gift to us in taking “upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7) “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). When you think about it, that in itself is strange. However, it is God’s plan, and it is in effect regardless of circumstances. Maybe it’s good that this is such a strange Christmas after all.

Merry Christmas!


Filed under Christianity, Christmas, Gospel, Salvation, Second Coming of Christ, Theology

In Memory of Dr. Henry

Dr. Henry M. Morris III (1942-2020)

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:15)

Dr. Henry M. Morris III, CEO of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), went home to be with our Lord on Saturday, December 12, 2020. The announcement came as a shock to me. The day before, I heard that he was taken to the hospital with COVID-19 along with other complications.  We immediately started praying for God’s healing hand to touch him. On Saturday morning my Gideon Camp lifted him up in prayer. When I got home, I found the announcement on the ICR Facebook page that he had passed away. It broke my heart to find the news. I loved Dr. Henry deeply. He was my employer at ICR, but more than that, he was a brother in Christ, a mentor, and a friend. To me, he was someone I could trust, someone to whom I could look up, and someone whom I could emulate.

I first met Dr. Henry in July 2008 when I applied for the position of Web Administration Assistant at ICR. ICR hired me, and I started work in August 2008. Even though Dr. Henry was “the boss,” I found him very approachable and easy to talk to, but he was still “the boss.”

Not long after I started working at ICR, I found out that Dr. Henry started the Genesis Sunday School Class at First Baptist Church Dallas (FBCD) where June and I were members. It was not long before we joined his Sunday School class. Dr. Henry was such an excellent Bible teacher. He would teach through books of the Bible exegetically. He would cover four or five verses in a lesson and produce six to eight pages of notes for our personal study. I still have all of his notes on file. Oh, how I loved sitting under his teaching. It is through Sunday School that I feel I really got to know Dr. Henry and grew to love him so dearly.

In 2009, ICR started the School of Biblical Apologetics (SOBA), which offered a Master’s Degree in Christian Education. The school would be designed to be taken online, but the initial classes were held on the campus of ICR. I signed up at the first opportunity.

One of the requirements for the degree program was to write a Master’s thesis or produce a “capstone project.” God gave me a vision of building a scale model of Noah’s Ark as my capstone project,[i] which I also intended to donate to ICR. So, I went in to see Dr. Henry to run my idea by him and get his approval. He listened to me attentively and asked if I had ever done anything like that before. I admitted that I had no experience in building anything like that, but I had built hundreds of models from kits. I told him that I was pretty handy with tools and that I felt that since God had given me the vision for the model, He would supply the necessary skills.

I could tell that he had his doubts, but he gave me his approval and blessing, and I started the work in March 2010. Nine months later, I completed the first deck of the model, and I invited Dr. Henry and his wife, Jan, to our home for dinner and for the first viewing of my project. His reaction upon seeing it assured me that any reservations he might have had were gone.

Dr. Henry inspecting the first completed deck of the Noah’s Ark Model, November 2010.

Two years later and after completing the second deck, Dr. Henry asked me to bring the model to ICR for an open house/fundraiser for ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History. That was the first hint I had that he wanted to display the model in the Discovery Center.

Noah’s Ark Model under construction on display, November 2012.

It took me almost five years to complete the model, which I turned over to ICR on January of 2015. For me the model was a labor of love, and Dr. Henry graciously accepted it as a gift of love, and it now resides as part of the Ark Exhibit at the Discovery Center.

The Noah’s Ark Model on display at the ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History, Dallas, Texas.

In 2017, the physical work of building the Discovery Center began. It was Dr. Henry’s dream to build a world-class learning center that would display the glory of God’s creation along with the scientific research that confirms the truth of God’s Word. Everything had to be first-class. All of the ICR team pitched in with Dr. Henry leading the way. All of the work was dedicated to the glory of God and the project was daily bathed in prayer.

The project not only had to blend Bible and science to proclaim God’s creation, but it needed to lead the visitor to the understanding that the Creator was also the Savior and soon coming King of kings and Lord of lords. To that end, Dr. Henry wanted the final attraction in the exhibit hall to present the Gospel in three-dimensional form by way of a diorama. A wealthy donor donated his collection of figurines and miscellaneous buildings and structures that he had displayed in his own house. The collection included thousands of figurines and hundreds of structures, buildings, and miscellaneous objects, but the space allotted for the diorama was limited.

Opening day for the Discovery Center was scheduled for Labor Day 2019.  Earlier that year, Dr. Henry called me to his office and assigned the building of the diorama to me. My task was to find “talent” that would create the landscaping for the 16 scenes from the life of Christ that would be represented. My first thought was to find a railroad modeling club that would be willing to lend their talent in creating the diorama while making some extra money for their club. There must be hundreds of such clubs in the Dallas Metroplex, but I could not find one willing to take on the task. I found one gentleman from Fort Worth that did that kind of work, but he assured us that he (alone) could not complete the job by opening day. I found another “artist” that showed interest, but he scoffed when he saw our collection and considered the task beneath him to pursue. Then I found a professional company in Dallas with an entire team of artists and craftsmen. They submitted a quote of between $175,000 and $250,000 to do the job and they estimated that they could complete the job within a couple of weeks of opening day. When I gave the news to Dr. Henry he balked at the cost and rejected the idea.

With all my resources exhausted, I suggested that we could stack boxes of differing heights and shapes on the platform to isolate the scenes and then drape the boxes in black cloth to match with the black platform and wall. Dr. Henry was not very happy with that idea, but with opening day approaching, he was willing to take that option.

The following week, I had to be at an event in California for a week. When I returned, Dr. Henry called me into his office and announced that I would be building the diorama and it would not be with boxes and black cloth. It would have landscaping, hills, a Jordan River for Jesus’ baptism and a Sea of Galilee with Jesus walking on water, a Garden of Gethsemane, Golgotha, an empty tomb, etc. I protested. I have never done that kind of work. I have never worked with that material. But Dr. Henry assured me that I could indeed do it. “You built the Ark,” he said. “You can do this.” Well, I did not do it by myself. With a great team of talented ICR employees and volunteers, we had the diorama completed long before opening day and in plenty of time to have it ready for the several preview showings before opening day.

The Life of Christ Diorama after being installed in its final location.

All the credit goes to God Who provided the talent, the skills, and the vision for that beautiful creation. But it was Dr. Henry’s vision, his encouragement, and his trust in me to get the job done. There was no way that I was going to let that man down.

I love you, Dr. Henry. Heaven is a better place because you’re there. I hope to see you again very soon.

You can read a tribute to Dr. Henry here:

You can watch a video tribute to Dr. Henry here:


[i]  “Building the Ark” –

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Filed under Random Musings

A Star

I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. (Numbers 24:17)

As 2020 winds down to a close, we can look back and say, “It was a terrible year!” For me, it started with a drastic change in life called retirement. And before I could really adjust to my new lifestyle, COVID-19 hit and changed life for all of us. Do I need to recount the chaotic events? In November, we voted in the 2020 Presidential Election, and the candidate who campaigned the least and attracted the smallest following miraculously won the election – supposedly. Now we face the real possibility of having a Socialist government for the first time in our nation’s history. President Trump alleges that the election was stolen, and much evidence exists indicating that he has reason to protest and contest the results. He has a great team of lawyers that are fighting to get the election overturned (I pray that they do), but time is running out. However, there is still hope.

I have said this before, and I am still convinced that whether Biden becomes our next President or President Trump wins his second term, we face troubled times ahead. But there is hope. At least, for the Christian there is hope. We only need to remember that our primary citizenship is in heaven with our Lord, and the intensity of the trouble we experience today should alert us that He will soon return to take us home to be with Him. The intensity of the trouble will increase, and the more it increases, the closer we are to His calling us home. There is always hope.

Long ago, as the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness hoping for their Promised Land, their enemies rose up to thwart their plans. One such enemy was Balak, the king of Moab, who hired the prophet Balaam to curse Israel.[1] Balaam was not a “prophet of God,” but he knew God well enough to know that God would not allow him to speak against His people. No matter how Balaam tried, he could only speak the words God directed him to speak. In the end, Balaam pronounced a blessing on Israel, rather than a curse.

In that blessing, Balaam prophesied, “there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel” (Numbers 24:17, emphasis mine). On the face of it, the prophecy refers to a coming king of Israel that “shall smite the corners of Moab.” If we stop there, the prophecy leaves us in a lurch, but the Holy Spirit keeps no secrets from those who have “ears to hear.”

In his Gospel, Matthew tells us that “there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him” (Matthew 2:1-2, emphasis mine). Yes, the baby born in Bethlehem was the Star, but a real star – a celestial object – appeared out of Jacob (Israel) to announce His birth. It is because of that Star that we have our Blessed Hope.


[1]  Numbers 22-24

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Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Christmas, Current Events, Gospel, Holidays, Holy Spirit, Politics, Religion, Second Coming of Christ, Theology