ThatsMe_20170824B

Is God real?

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Tips for "Is God real?"

Take the following quiz!
  1. Is your heart beating?
  2. Does the sun rise and set each day?
  3. Is your DNA incredibly complex and unique?
  4. Is there a difference between right and wrong?
  5. Does love exist?

The correct answer to all these questions (and many others like them) is yes. Why? The best reason is because Someone bigger than ourselves, God, really does exist. After all, you don’t plug yourself into an electrical outlet each morning to charge up your heart so it will keep on beating. The planets don’t collide into each other; the laws of physics that keep things working didn’t just happen by chance. Your DNA? “Inside every cell in you is a three-billion-lettered DNA structure that belongs only to you.”* No, you didn’t evolve from a lower life form. You are the result of God-created elements, emotions, and more. And why would you have any sense of right and wrong unless that sense was ultimately placed in you by God?

Reality check: Without God in the picture, you wouldn’t be sitting there reading about Him. That’s what this Bible verse means:

“You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you” (Nehemiah 9:6, New International Version).

That’s the real deal. Science can study how things work, but it all began—and keeps on going—because God is real.

God also brings meaning and purpose into your life. How? By giving you the opportunity to learn and grow, enjoy life and other people (and pets!), and share His love to those around you. In the end, He’ll thank you personally in heaven.

So can you prove God exists? No. But you can look at the evidence and make your own decision. If you decide God exists, that affects everything. It may not be popular these days to believe in God, but sometimes it’s more important to be right than popular. ________ * https://www.everystudent.com/wires/Godreal.html

DO’s

  • DO look at the evidence for God’s existence.
  • DO make a decision about God based on what you conclude about the evidence for His existence.
  • DO invite Him to be at the center of your life.
  • DO read an easy-to-understand Bible version.
  • DO watch videos, visit websites, and read books about God’s creation.

DONT’s

  • DON’T believe everything you hear people say about God without first looking at all the evidence.
  • DON’T forget that the goal is not to prove that God exists, but to weigh the evidence and make your own decision. Share your decision, but don’t try to force your views on anyone.
  • DON’T be surprised if you have to make a change in your views about God. You may have been fed a lot of not-so-hot information about creation, evolution, and more.

STORY

Trapped in Quicksand!

The three boys wish they hadn't been so foolish as they struggled for survival

by Kathleen Young

It’s OK, Mitch told himself. Nobody knows we’re here. Mitch, Jimmy, and Jimmy’s younger brother David had parked their bicycles behind the school and crossed the road to a barbed-wire fence. Now they crawled under and over the barbs toward their destination: a gigantic abandoned sandlot.

A few months earlier the sand company had let Mitch’s Boy Scout troop camp on an island in an abandoned pit filled with water. Later Mitch, Jimmy, and David had sneaked onto the lot to fish and explore. They had wandered through a cluster of trees to another pit forming a shallow rectangular lake. Beyond it sprawled a drainage canal. And along the canal a dirt road led to who knows where.

The three boys had returned to find out where. They stepped between trees and brush onto the dirt road. 

“Look!” Mitch exclaimed.

The road hugged the edge of a gigantic hole large enough to hold three middle schools and descended into the bottom of it. Near the end of the road a large pool gleamed bright blue. The sand company hadn’t scooped out the area behind it. Like a peninsula the size of a school cafeteria, it jutted into the pit. Its brown cliffs of hardpacked sand plummeted into the beige bottom. The large pool lay beside it, with a smaller pool around the bend and a trench on the other side.

The boys took off their running shoes and followed the road down into the pit. Sandy soil heated the soles of their feet. Hard-packed khaki-colored dirt formed the pit’s sides.

Mitch pointed to the space between the larger and smaller pools. “See that big black spot?  It’s moving.”

“What do you think it is?” Jimmy asked.

“I don’t know,” Mitch answered, “but I’m going to find out.”

DOWN IN THE PIT

When they reached the bottom of the pit, their feet sank in wet sand. It was the color and texture of oatmeal mixed with Cream of Wheat.

David disappeared behind the peninsula in the direction of the trench. Jimmy sloshed through the silt to the larger pool. Mitch ran to the dark splotch moving across the sand. It was an inch-deep stream of . . .

“Catfish!” Mitch poked his fingers into the clear warm water and pulled out a fingerling. He studied the baby catfish a few seconds before dropping it back into the shallow water. “Hundreds of ’em!”

“Over here, too!” Jimmy exclaimed. 

“They’re swimming from the big pool to the little pool,” Mitch said.

He looked down and noticed that the wet sand had inched over the tops of his feet. He scrunched his toes and continued watching the fish.

Minutes passed. The tan-colored sand crept to his ankles. 

“Hey, Jimmy, is there such a thing as slow quicksand?” he asked, lifting one leg then another and setting his feet on the firm sandy surface inches away.

Jimmy was digging a hole in the side of the peninsula next to the pool. With both his arms flailing, he looked like he was doing the breast stroke. “I’m digging me a place to sit!” he hollered.

A pencil-thin stream of sand sifted into the hole Jimmy was making. Mitch shrugged and bent down to play with the catfish. The fingerlings were fascinating. Mitch had read about fish eggs evaporating with their watery home, airborne to unlikely places, such as this pit in an abandoned sandlot. People had even reported occasions of fish falling like rain from the sky.

Suddenly Jimmy cried out, “Help! Help me!” Mitch turned and saw Jimmy bent sideways, buried up to his chin in dirt. The brittle sandy soil of the side had collapsed on the hole and on Jimmy, too. He barely missed having his head buried.

Mitch ran to Jimmy, hollering, “David, get over here! Jimmy’s in trouble!”

“My foot’s twisted,” said Jimmy. “It hurts.”

Mitch dug with both hands. The silt was like wet concrete. He plunged both hands beneath the surface and slung globs of it behind him until he could see Jimmy’s foot. He straightened it, then attacked the mound of dirt threatening to smother Jimmy.

“David!” Mitch yelled as he dug furiously, both hands slinging dirt behind him.

Jimmy was sinking fast. The ooze had engulfed both his legs and threatened to swallow his body. The weight of the cave-in had swiftly turned the shifting sand into quicksand.  It gripped Mitch around the knees. He had to pull himself out one leg at a time, setting his feet on firmer ground, before he could help Jimmy.

He dug for minutes that seemed like hours. Dirt still covered Jimmy below his armpits, and the quicksand had sucked him halfway under.

DESPERATE PULL

Mitch painfully pulled his legs out of the mire to go at it again. David was nowhere in sight. Nobody else knew where they were. Nobody but God.

“Please, Jesus, help us get out of this,” Mitch prayed. A memory text, Psalm 46:1, filled his mind: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” God, I’m counting on You!

Immediately Mitch glimpsed David a few yards away. “David, Jimmy’s trapped!” Mitch screamed. David ran over and started scooping handfuls of dirt off his brother’s back. After what seemed like an eternity, they uncovered the top half of Jimmy’s body. But from the waist down, he was still submerged in quicksand. 

Mitch and David seized his arms and pulled hard.

“Yeeow!” Jimmy yelled. “You’re yanking me in two.”

While lifting their own legs out of the quicksand to keep from being trapped, Mitch and David swept it away from Jimmy’s waist and thighs. Then they tried pulling him out again. Grabbing him beneath his arms, they finally heaved him out of the quicksand.

Jimmy stumbled. Mitch and David held him up, hoping he wouldn’t fall and drag them all into the quicksand. It was hard, but they carried him along, struggling to climb out of the wet sandy bottom to the road and up out of the pit.

When Mitch and David felt as though they couldn’t take another step, they reached the rim and collapsed.

Gasping for breath, Mitch said a silent prayer thanking God for giving him the strength and help he needed. 

We were foolish. We trespassed and played with quicksand. God knew all along—a good thing, or Jimmy might’ve been buried alive.

It was only right to give God credit for their rescue. Mitch was nervous talking about God, but he’d already done enough wrong. He was ready to do right. “We should thank God for getting us out of that mess,” he said.

Jimmy gazed down into the pit and let out a deep breath. “Yeah, you’re right,” he said.

David nodded.

“God, we’re sorry for doing stuff we knew was wrong,” Mitch prayed out loud. “Please forgive us. You didn’t have to save us, but I’m sure glad You did.”

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