Weighing in on the Evolution/Creation Debate


Last night Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, and Bill Nye of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” fame faced each other in a creation vs. evolution debate. I’ll be honest I didn’t watch all of the 2 1/2 hour debate.

What I did watch, I found interesting on an intellectual level, but I didn’t watch all of it because I think that kind of debate really misses the point. You see, following Christ — and believing that God created the world — isn’t about science. It’s about faith. I absolutely believe that science backs up that faith, but when you get right down to the root of it, to believe that God created the world, you have to believe in God. You have to have faith that He exists, and that He’s capable of creating something from nothing.

If you don’t have faith, no debate in the world is going to persuade you that God created the world.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for having an intelligent conversation with someone who thinks differently than me on a certain topic — from evolution to the merits of strawberry vs. chocolate ice cream — but a public debate like this one doesn’t seem to me to do anything other than continue to polarize the issue. Bill Nye was not going to be swayed by the arguments of Ken Ham, and Ken Ham was not going to be swayed by the arguments of Bill Nye. And I don’t think very many people in the audience were going to be swayed either.

As Christ-followers, we should absolutely hold firm to our belief that the Bible is true. We should hold firmly to the truth that God created the world. But I think when we let that one issue become such a large focus of our time and energy, we lose the opportunity to allow God to be as big as He is. When we want to force God down into a list of reasons He could have created the world, we take away His mystery, we take away His awesomeness.

When we talk with our kids about creation vs. evolution, we need to be very careful not to simply boil it down to a list of facts on each side. We need to be cautious about matching the evolutionists fact for fact. Because when we do that, we take God and we make Him no bigger than the facts on the paper.

What we need to do when we talk to our kids about anything to do with God is to put faith first. There’s historical evidence for many things in the Bible, but the basic tenet of following Jesus is faith. We have to believe that the reason He came to earth, died on a cross and rose again is to bridge the gap between us and God that was created by our sin. No matter the historical record or the scientific record, this Christ-following thing takes faith.

So, while I think the debate last night was interesting, I also think it did very little to persuade people either way. I think it did very little to show people the amazing power of God. I think it did very little to point people to Jesus. Because both those men were “preaching to the choir,” making points that firmed up their position that were only believable to those who already believed that position.

I think that we, as parents, need to remember that we can’t boil faith down to facts. We can’t make God fit in a box our minds can understand. He’s too great, too awesome, too amazing for that.

And if we try to match those who don’t have faith with a list of facts, if we try to persuade based on what our minds can grasp, then we lose a huge part of the things that draw us to God in the first place. In our quest to raise godly kids, never forget that our focus must be on who God is, regardless of whether we can understand everything about Him. Faith is and always will be the key to knowing God.

Why Taking a Break is a Good Thing


This week started out rough. My younger daughter and I did not have a good two days at the beginning of the week. It was all I could do to hold onto my patience as I balanced the need to be a mom and a teacher. The weather was bad. My head hurt. Her attitude was poor, and her interest level in learning low. Honestly, I was ready to throw in the towel on this whole homeschooling thing. I was close to throwing in the towel on this whole motherhood thing.

And then I got a gift. A friend of mine offered to take my daughter with her and her kids to a homeschool days event at the Lego Discovery Center and SeaLife Aquarium. From 9:15 until my older daughter got home at 3:30, I had a day to myself. I worked, I read, I basked in the silence. And I was refreshed.

Homeschooling has been a big adjustment for both me and my daughter. I’ve had to adjust to having a child at home, having hours of my day devoted to school, lesson planning and entertaining a child. She’s had to adjust to higher expectations, having mom be her teacher, missing her friends and learning to entertain herself. It’s no wonder we have days where we butt heads.

Yesterday, we had the best day of homeschool we’ve had all year. My daughter was motivated. I was refreshed. We had some creative lessons. We laughed together instead of shedding tears. It was a moment that reminded me of all the reasons we chose to keep her home this year. But it wouldn’t have happened without that break.

The truth is that no matter how much we love our kids, no matter how devoted we are to seeing them grow and succeed, no matter how important we think our job as mom is, we all need a break. We all need a few moments to settle and regroup when things are going poorly. We all need some time to take a deep breath without someone tugging on our shirt tails, crying “Mommy!”

Somewhere between the sports practices, the homework, the playdates and the church commitments, we need to find time for a break. Whether its 20 minutes in the bathroom by yourself (believe me, I’ve been there) or a day when your child goes to play with a friend or visit a grandparent, those moments by yourself are vital to making us better moms, better wives and better friends.

No one can do it all 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Yet, too often, we sacrifice a break for ourselves in favor of folding that load of laundry or squeezing in another activity.

No matter how much of a social butterfly you are, no one can truly recharge without a few minutes to themselves. We can’t be the moms our kids need, the wives our husbands need or the friends our friends need unless we start building time into our lives to be alone and recharge — even if its just 20 minutes at the end of the day when the kids are in bed.

God didn’t rest on the seventh day of creation because He was tired. He rested because He wanted us to know that rest is important to our bodies and our souls. If we can’t squeeze out a few minutes in the day to sit down and take a deep breath, then we’re too busy. We’re never going to make it for the long haul.

So, if you feel like you’re overstressed, tired and ready to throw in the towel, it’s time for a break. Put the kids to bed early or find a friend to watch them for a few hours, then take a few minutes for yourself. Recharge. Enjoy a moment of solitude. Spend some time with God. Paint your toenails for the first time in months.

Taking a few minutes in your week to recharge your own batteries isn’t selfish. It’s vital for your body and soul. And it will make you a more patient, more loving, more forgiving mom.

God’s Not Real

Courtesy University of Illinois Extension

“God’s not real,” announced my younger daughter not too long ago.

“What?” I asked. All the while thinking, “What have I done wrong with this child?”

“Well, He’s not real. You can’t see Him. You can’t touch Him. He’s not real like us.”

Ahh. I began to see an inkling of what she was saying. I began to understand that we were dealing with a lack of vocabulary, not a lack of faith.

“Do you mean that He’s not a solid person or thing?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said. “He’s not real.”

What followed was a conversation about how God is real; He’s just not tangible. We can’t see or touch Him. We have to look at all the evidence that He exists and decide to take it on faith that He exists and that He loves us.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Children are very concrete thinkers. Something either is or it isn’t. This whole idea of a great big God that we can’t see is a pretty abstract concept. To help them fully understand who God is and that He exists, we have to take Him out of the realm of the abstract and bring Him into the realm of the concrete.

Point out the evidence for God every chance you get. We were walking to the neighbor’s house the other morning when we passed a yard filled with morning glories. I was explaining to my girls that these flowers only bloomed in the morning. My older daughter looked at me and said, “I wouldn’t have thought of that.” This is our catchphrase when we’re awed by God’s creation. God did some crazy things when He created the world. He made elephants, the largest land mammal in the world, walk almost completely silently. He made flowers that only bloom in the morning and other flowers that only bloom at night. He made a lizard that changes colors. These are all evidence for His existence, and I know that my little brain couldn’t have thought up a tiny portion of the amazing things God made. When we point these things out to our kids, we are encouraging them to notice the evidence for God’s existence.

Give credit where credit is due. Too often, we’re willing to chalk up divine appointments to coincidence. Yet nothing happens by coincidence. God shows up in our lives every day. We need to acknowledge those times when He does. If your child tells you about something that happened at school — they remembered the answers for a test just when they needed them or a friend said just the right thing to them — remind your child that God had a hand in that. God knows what we need, and He gives it to us. We simply have to acknowledge that it’s God who made it happen.

Don’t put God in a box. Our finite brains have trouble with the concept of an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-encompassing God. We want God to be a size that our brains can comprehend. But He’s not. He’s bigger and better and more awesome that we can even imagine. Avoid trying to bring God down to a size we can understand. When your kids have questions about God that you can’t answer, simply tell them that we don’t know. Make a list with them of questions they’d like to ask God. Then explain that God has plans that we can’t even begin to know about. He does things for a reason, and because His ways are so much better than ours, we can trust that His plans are good.

In a sense, my younger daughter was right. God isn’t real in the sense that we can touch Him and understand Him. He’s so much more than that. Yet, despite the fact we can’t see Him, we can help our kids understand that the evidence that He exists is overwhelming and the evidence that He loves us is even more so.

Linking up today with Time-Warp Wife and A Heart Reflected.

The Best Summer Ever: A Trip to the Zoo

Courtesy africa

My younger daughter and I are off to the zoo today. Even though I often feel as though I already live in a zoo, I love to go to the zoo.

A trip to the zoo is always a fun summertime activity, but we can take that trip to the zoo and turn it into an amazing lesson about God’s creation. Each animal can become an example of the variety and creativity inherent in God’s creation.

 So, take a little time to get ready for your next zoo trip and make it a day of fun and laughter that includes opportunities to thank God for His creation.

  • Look up some facts about your kids’ favorite animals. Use these facts to point out the differences between the animals and the diversity of God’s creation. For example, somewhere in my life I learned that elephants actually walk on their tiptoes. When we go to the zoo, I remind my children of this fact, and we always spend a moment in awe of how God made such a huge creature, and yet it balances itself on the toe bones of its foot.
  • Create a scavenger hunt for your kids or use the free printable here. Give them different challenges as you go through the zoo. Have them find three animals with wings or three animals with long noses. Have them look for the animal with the longest neck or the smallest animal at the zoo. Use the scavenger hunt to direct your kids’ attention to how each animal is different and God made them that way so they could best feed themselves or protect themselves. Talk about how God made different animals to eat different things, so that there would be enough food for everyone.
  • The zoo is a great time to talk about the story of Noah’s ark. Ask your kids what they think life on Noah’s ark was like. Remind them that the story of Noah reminds us that God always keeps His promises. You can also remind them that Noah and his family were saved from the flood because they obeyed God even when it seemed like it was a crazy thing to do. Imagine how many of Noah’s neighbors and friends thought he was crazy.
  • Use these verses to talk to your kids while you’re at the zoo.
    • Genesis 1:21 — So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
    • Psalm 104:24-25 — How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small.
  • Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the day with plenty of laughter and joy.


I’m Thankful for the World God Made

Each day until Thanksgiving, Everyday Truth is looking at a different reason to be thankful in a family devotional. Use these devotionals with your kids to help keep your family focused on giving thanks. If you missed the introductory post, check it out here for directions on creating a “Thanksgiving wall.” When you’re done wiht the devotional head on over to the Everyday Truth Facebook page and join in the discussion of why we’re thankful for God’s creation.

Have you ever seen a platypus? It’s a funny looking creature, with a beak like a duck and a tail like a beaver. It can swim and live on land. I don’t know about you, but if I had been making up animals, I probably wouldn’t have come up with the platypus. But God did.

God also created the elephant and the fly, the blue whale and the hummingbird. God made the ostrich, a bird that can’t fly, and the flying squirrel, a squirrel that can. I have a pretty good imagination, but I doubt I could have come up with the wide variety of animals that God did.

Not only did God put an amazing assortment of animals on the earth, He created the flowers, the trees, the grass, the desert, the ocean and the rivers. He made parts of the earth warm all the time and parts of the earth so cold all the time that it’s impossible for people to live there.

God spent six days making the world and everything in it. And when He was done, He declared that it was good. Psalm 146:6 says “He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever.” God made everything in the world, from the smallest grain of sand to the largest elephant.

God could have made everything the same color and the same size. Imagine how boring that would be. He could have given us just one kind of food to eat. Every animal and flower could have looked the same. But He didn’t. He filled the world with color and variety so we could enjoy His creation.

When you’re outside today, take some time to look around. Notice the things God has made. See the beautiful array of colors and listen for the different sounds in the world. Find one thing in the world God made that makes you smile. Thank God for the amazing variety found in His creation.

Write down one thing you saw today in God’s creation that made you thankful. Add it to your Thanksgiving wall. Pray and thank God for making such a beautiful world.

Celebrate Fall

Ben Wilson

The trees are starting to change colors in our neighborhood. Soon, the streets will be lined with a riot of color — yellow, red and orange. The temperatures should start to drop, and the crisp days of fall will be here, reminding us that winter is on its way.

I love fall. I love the beauty of the mums blooming and the trees changing. I love a crisp fall day. I love watching my kids jump in the piles of leaves we have just raked. Pumpkins and gourds start to adorn tables and front steps.

Fall is a great time to stop for a moment and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. It’s the perfect time to make a mug of apple cider, step out onto the porch and simply revel in the amazing world that God made.

God could have chosen to make a world that stayed the same all year round, but He didn’t. Even in tropical locations, the seasons change from dry to rainy. While the desert may seem to always be hot, even the nights in the desert can get cold when the seasons change.

God’s creation holds amazing wonders for us to discover, but often we’re too busy to notice. How many years have the mums bloomed and the leaves changed where we simply accept it as part of the norm and never take a moment to enjoy the beautiful panorama God has given us?

It’s when we stop to take notice of the things God created that we get a sense of how truly awesome God is. He didn’t miss any detail. He created a world that includes the elephant and the spider. He created the hummingbird and the eagle. He even made the platypus, just to keep things interesting.

David found that studying God’s creation made him feel small in relation to God. He said “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

It was only when David realized the awesomeness of God by gazing on His creation that He was awed by the idea that God loved Him. While God doesn’t want us to feel bad about ourselves, He does want us to realize how great and awesome He is.

When we take a moment with our kids to stop and enjoy God’s amazing creation — whether your trees turn red in the fall or not — we encourage them to get a picture of how big, powerful and creative God is. The same God that made the blue whale also made the delicate petals of a rose.

So, take a moment today to bask in the beauty of God’s creation. Point out the variety and detail within the things He created to your kids. Get a sense of how truly great God is and how wonderful it is that He loves us and wants a relationship with us.

Let the beauty of autumn remind you of the awesomeness of God.