2 Down; 16 to Go!
On April 23rd I had the privilege of winning a nice young man to Christ. His name was Michael, and he is one of the catchers on a local school’s JV baseball team. As we talked a little, he was clearly able to see that I love baseball. I asked him when his next game would be at that park and he told me that it would be on the following Monday at 4:30. I wasn’t sure how I would handle that because I wanted to see the game, but I have to take several children home from school each day, and I also needed to be at church for our soul winning meeting at 6:45. What to do?
On Monday, April 30th, I took some teen young men with me to the game at 4:30 and then just stay in the park to talk to some folks after the game from 6:00 or so until around 8:00 when we were required to be back at the church. My pastor thought it would be a good idea and didn’t mind me missing the meeting since we would already be out soul winning when the meeting took place. He even announced the game in church on the preceding Sunday so that more of the teen boys would know about it. It was exciting.
As Travis, Kyle, Gary, and I watched the game, I was confused. I couldn’t see Michael anywhere out there or even in the dugout. Finally, we spotted a young lady from our Wednesday night youth group named Amy who lives nearby. She was hanging out at the park and knew more about the ball team than we did. I asked her if she knew Michael and where he was at for the game. She educated us a little. As it turned out, the game we were watching was the varsity squad and Michael was out of town that day with the junior varsity squad playing a road game. That was too bad because I wanted to see him play the backstop. I had seen him play the Friday before, but he was on the hill for that game. It turned out fine though; we got to see a nice ball game as the Saints defeated Northville by a score of 7-3 (I think it was.) The Saints were only up 3-2 most of the game, but in late innings hit a grand slam to add some insurance. We had a lot of fun.
On to the soul winning: after the game was over, we began talking to two girls and one of their boyfriends who were playing catch with a football down at the end of the left field line. Well, the one girl and her boyfriend didn’t want to talk to us so we had a nice conversation with Amber. An amazing thing happened; Amber said, “I think I have heard of you. My brother told me about this crazy guy he met at the park and said ‘You have to meet this guy.’ He said you told him about Jesus and how to go to heaven.” Amber was the sister of Michael, the boy who I had won to Christ the week before. It sure is a small world. Also, Amber’s father is the contracted school bus driver who drives our leased bus to Wednesday night church every single week! Wow! It gets better. As I tried to talk with Amber a bit to find out if she had ever accepted Christ as her Savior, she pointed to Travis and said, “I accepted Christ 2 years ago when his sister told me how to be saved.” We were just amazed. Ever heard of the Seven Points to Kevin Bacon; or is it six? Whichever, we had now established three ways that we knew of that we already knew this girl or were somehow connected to someone who did.
As we talked with Amber, her boyfriend came over from the ball field. He is on the baseball team that we had just watched play and was now ready to walk Amber home just a couple of blocks away. I think his name was Jacob or Josh; I’ll have to check my notes. Anyway, we talked with him for a while and as I witnessed to him, Amber confidently reassured him that he needed to receive Christ like she had and that she wanted him to be saved too. It was so sweet to watch the Holy Spirit at work in her attitude and his heart. He received Christ after about 10 or 12 minutes of simple questions and heartfelt prayer.
You might recall that when I tried to witness to Michael a week earlier, I mentioned that there were some other young people around who didn’t want to listen and how one rode off on his bike giving me the opportunity to talk to Mike a little more clearly without distraction. Well, as we were walking back to the church van to go back to the church, that same boy who had been on his bike last week was at the basketball court with five of his friends. He called out to us and asked if we wanted to play basketball. Thank you Holy Spirit. Remember, he wouldn’t listen to me last week. J
We went over to the court and three of our group of four played against him and his buddies. By the way, his name is Brian. Well, we beat them. That’s right; a nearly 300 pound out of shape youth pastor, a former basketball star who was shut down by an ACL injury, and a sixth grader, along with an unknown fourth party from the street ball crew, beat five other street balers at their own game. We were pumped. When we finished, I said, “Ok, since we beat you guys, you have to come to church with us.” One of them said, “No thanks; I’m straight.” I replied, “I hope you’re straight; I’ve been bumping up against you on that court for the last twenty minutes.” J Of course, he meant only that he didn’t want to go to church with us. Out of that group of about six guys, Brian was the only one who would listen to me share the gospel with him, but I was satisfied with that because he wouldn’t listen last week so I knew it was the work of the Holy Ghost that he called us over to that court. Brian had some detailed questions, and I think I talked with him longer than anyone else that I have ever tried to win to Christ, but after all that time and some sweet prayer, Brian accepted Christ. Praise the Lord. What a mighty God we serve. We were so excited and I can’t wait till next Monday when we get to do it all over again. What a great time we had together watching the game and winning souls to Christ!
So now we have the catcher on the JV team and the right fielder on the Varsity team born again, Two Down – Sixteen more to go! Don’t worry; I won’t forget the bench, the bullpen, or the coaching staff.
Photosynthesis Uses Quantum Physics
By: Brian Thomas, M. S.
Animal and human life depends, either directly or indirectly, on plant life. And all plant life depends on extraordinarily precise biochemical machines that capture and convert light energy into energy that living cells can use. Researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois have been using ultrafast spectroscopy to discover just how these systems work. Their most recent discovery has them baffled over the newfound complexity of photosynthesis in purple bacteria. It turns out that photosynthetic machinery is such advanced technology that it takes advantage of the quantum nature of light.
Researchers first cooled the photosynthetic bacteria to less than 150 degrees below freezing so that the superfast photon and electron interactions within bacteria's light-harvesting protein complex would occur slow enough to investigate in more detail.
They shined one wavelength of light onto specific pigment molecules inside the biochemical light harvesting protein complexes. Each complex contains multiple pigments in precise arrangements. "Argonne scientists saw something no one had observed before: a single photon appeared to excite different chromophores [pigments] simultaneously," according to an Argonne Labs feature story.
This matches strange observations of light's "quantum coherence," whereby a single fast-moving particle appears in two places at the same time. Bacterial biochemistry exploits this property of light when harvesting it, but how? The researchers wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that capturing light in its quantum coherence was "most likely due to electronic coupling between the cofactor [pigment]," and precisely positioned proteins specify the coupling.
Like those of low-light algae, the bacterial light-harvesting complexes are arranged to exploit light quanta to maximize energy transfer over large distances. This dramatically increases their efficiency of harvest.[5, 6]
In other words, bacteria are equipped with machinery that could only have been built by someone—or by other machinery that ultimately was built by someone—who had intricate understanding of the quantum nature of light. This so astounded coauthor Gary Wiederrecht that he asked, "How did Mother Nature create this incredibly elegant solution?" Of course, "she" didn't. If she could have, then he would never have thought to ask that question.
Similarly, Argonne biochemist and senior author David Tiede said, "It makes us wonder if they are really just there by accident, or if they are telling us something subtle and unique about these materials."
Mother Nature and her magic wand of accidents could not have created such advanced technology. It is beyond the cutting edge of current human technology and even current human comprehension of quantum coherence. And if bacterial photosynthetic machinery rules out Mother Nature, then its origin can only be explained in the same way that other machines find their origins—in someone outside of nature.
1. Sagoff, J. Scientists uncover a photosynthetic puzzle. Argonne National Laboratory. Posted on anl.gov May 21, 2012.
2. DeYoung, D. 1998. Creation and Quantum Mechanics. Acts & Facts. 27 (11).
3. Huang, L. et al. 2012. Cofactor-specific photochemical function resolved by ultrafast spectroscopy in photosynthetic reaction center crystals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Published online before print, March 12, 2012.
4. Thomas, B. Algae Molecule Masters Quantum Mechanics. ICR News. Posted on icr.org February 17, 2010.
5. Lee, H., Y-C Cheng, and G. Fleming. Coherence Dynamics in Photosynthesis: Protein Protection of Excitonic Coherence. Science. 316 (5830): 1462-1465.
6. Strumpfer, J. et al. 2012. How Quantum Coherence Assists Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. 3 (4): 536-542.
7. Birds also use quantum mechanics to navigate. See: Sherwin, F. Bird Brains and Quantum Mechanics. ICR News. Posted on icr.org May 4, 2012, accessed June 7, 2012.
And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.