How Road Trips Teach Me to Trust Jesus

As I approach this season of pilgrimage, Scripture offers me a theology of travel.
COURTNEY ELLIS

How Road Trips Teach Me to Trust Jesus

My husband, Daryl, experiences more wanderlust than I do. He grew up in Southern California, traveling across the valley for high school basketball games, taking class field trips up the coastline, and loading up the church van for missions to Tijuana. On our family Sabbath, it’s Daryl who takes us out on the roads of Orange County. When I ask where we’re headed, he smiles and nearly always says, “I’m not sure. Let’s just have an adventure.”

In particular, our trips to visit extended family bring out the differences in our travel methods. I plan ahead while Daryl enjoys serendipity; I prepare for every eventuality while he prefers to throw a few diapers and a bag of tortilla chips in the car and hope for the best. But since my husband’s side of the family lives in Los Angeles—a thriving metropolis with all manner of convenience stores and restaurants—I’m learning to hang loose on these local treks.

As these drives to LA become more common, God is faithfully teaching me that my rigid, planned-up-to-the-minute travel method isn’t always the best one. In fact, the biblical model for following Jesus is much more Spirit-led than plotted in advance. It isn’t that preparation isn’t necessary or helpful, it’s that openness to the Spirit of God is more important still. “The wind blows where it wills,” Jesus tells Nicodemus in John’s gospel.

Paul’s journeys were continually interrupted by storms, bandits, imprisonments, and mobs, and once, when he made it all the way to the outskirts of the province of Asia, the Spirit of God turned him away at the last minute. Perhaps that’s why when God speaks to individuals in Scripture, his first call is often for them to step out in faith, to follow a new and previously unsought path. Much of the time God doesn’t even give the destination. The command is simple (and, if you’re a homebody like me, perhaps a little unsettling): “Go,” he says. “Go.”

God uses this word with Abraham, Moses, and Elijah. “Go,” he says to Jonah. Simeon is “moved by the Spirit” to go to the temple, where he welcomes and blesses the infant Jesus. “Get up,” an angel says to Joseph in a dream, warning him to flee from King Herod’s murderous rage and go to Egypt.

As pilgrim people, we, too, are called to travel with our eyes open to the work of the Lord in the world around us. As N. T. Wright puts it, “A pilgrim is someone who goes on a journey in the hope of encountering God or meeting him in a new way.” Whether we fly across the country or simply drive an hour to visit a friend, travel provides us with a unique opportunity to experience God anew by approaching our journey not just as travelers but pilgrims—people on the lookout for God at work and opportunities to join him.

Jesus was the ultimate pilgrim, after all, leaving his heavenly climes to not only visit with but live among humanity. He faced all the usual obstacles to comfort that plague us when we travel—difficulty in finding food and shelter, misreading the vibe of a particular place, and having to rely on the hospitality and grace of strangers, family, and friends. “Foxes have dens,” Jesus said, “and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

Jesus leans into this discomfort, telling his disciples to “take nothing for the journey.” He invites us to do likewise. (Though, to be fair, none of the disciples was toting a two-year-old. Surely then even Jesus would have advised bringing an extra snack or two.) Away from our usual environment, at the mercy of the road or the airlines or the weather or the host home, we are given the opportunity to see the world with new eyes: to receive welcome, to develop compassion, to grow in faith and trust that God will care for us throughout the journey and see us safely home at its end.

In my upcoming summer travels, I want to practice Christlike pilgrimage, watching for God as our family journeys, looking for opportunities to love those in my path with the love of Christ, and doing my best to accept discomfort and even disaster as means of discipleship and grace.

I also need to seek ways to slow down and listen—something that doesn’t come naturally to me. One of the lessons God offers to us in travel is to find peace amid the storm, to leave behind the intensity of our work lives and schedules and family pandemonium and settle into the quieter days of travel. As Carlo Carretto puts it, “That is the truth we must learn through faith: to wait on God. And this attitude of mind is not easy. This ‘waiting,’ this ‘not making plans,’ this ‘searching the heavens,’ this ‘being silent’ is one of the most important things we have to learn.”

This insight comes home to me every time I visit my parents in the northern woods of Wisconsin, where I’m cut off from the busyness of my normal life. My parents’ internet is spotty; my cellphone works only intermittently; the last time I heard a siren of any kind was at the town Fourth of July parade half a decade ago.

Back home, Daryl and I often fall asleep watching The West Wing or The Office in an effort to still our ping-ponging thoughts. Here, however, any digital streaming takes literal hours to download, so we simply don’t. At night we open the windows to hear the oak and maple leaves blow in the wind, falling asleep with books on our chests. When we spend these days in the quiet of the northern forests, it’s as if Jesus stands at the helm of our proverbial boats during the storm of the usual daily grind—ministry, school, appointments, errands, household chores—and says, “Peace. Be still.”

In these pilgrimage moments, I’m ever so slowly learning to listen. I’m learning, too, that the journey, provision, and destination all belong to God.

Courtney Ellis is a pastor and speaker and the author, most recently, of Almost Holy Mama: Life-Giving Spiritual Practices for Weary Parents (June 2019, Rose Publishing). She lives in Southern California with her husband, Daryl, and their three kids. Find her on TwitterFacebook, or her blog.

This essay was adapted from Almost Holy Mama by Courtney Ellis. Copyright (c) 2019 by Courtney Ellis. Published by Rose Publishing, Peabody, MA. hendricksonrose.com

 

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When there is Uncertainty, the Benefit of the Doubt Should Be Given to Life

By Dr. Mark Creech – June 9, 2019

Unfortunately, on Wednesday, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivor’s Protection Act did not secure enough votes in the N.C. House to override Governor Roy Cooper’s veto. With all lawmakers present, 72 votes were required, and only 67 were garnered.

It’s more than disturbing to see our state’s downward trajectory on the sacredness of human life. The Born-Alive legislation shouldn’t have been difficult for anyone possessing a proper respect for life. Let me try to illustrate.

One day I was encouraging a young woman not to abort her unborn child. She argued in favor of abortion because she said there was uncertainty about when human life begins. I said to her, “If you were a hunter and you were uncertain whether a person caused the movement you saw behind a bush, would that uncertainty lead you to aim and fire your gun at it or not?” I added, “If you were driving late at night and you thought you saw a dark figure on the road that might be a child, but it really might be the shadow from a tree, do you drive into it or do you put on the brakes?” She responded marvelously, saying, “Well, I think I would have to give the benefit of the doubt to life.” I concluded, “Exactly! The benefit of the doubt should always go to preserving life.”

If I heard it once, I think I heard it a dozen times while lobbying for the measure. N.C. House Democrats kept repeating Governor Roy Cooper’s talking points, arguing that the problem of born-alive children from failed abortions wasn’t a real one. And if it was happening, they argued, there were already sufficient laws to protect babies born-alive. We don’t need any more laws. To pass the Born-Alive bill would only be redundant, they claimed.

However, data provided by the CDC, reports from medical practitioners who once worked in abortion clinics, as well as testimonials from persons who survived botched abortions, have contended the problem is real. Moreover, during deliberations on the Born-Alive bill in committee, legislative staff explained to lawmakers that there is no statute in the state, which protects the lives of babies targeted for abortions, who are born-alive after a failed abortion attempt.

So which is it? Is the problem real or not? And if the issue is real, does North Carolina already have laws on the books to address it? State lawmakers were halted between two opinions.

The most responsible choice would have been to give life the benefit of the doubt. If the proposed Born-Alive legislation added nothing to current law (as opponents claimed) and didn’t do anything to take away rights (and it didn’t take away any rights), what could it hurt? Still, if there were a shadow of a doubt that the legislation might be needed to save a life (only adding another layer of safeguards for life), then shouldn’t life’s preservation require passing it? Certainly! If life is indeed sacred (and it is), if life is paramount (and it is), why not give the benefit of the doubt to life?

Quite frankly, the Born-Alive legislation actually didn’t have anything to do with abortion rights, a woman’s so-called right to choose, and personal decisions made between a woman and her physician. Instead, it was about whether a fetus with a heartbeat, having completely exited the mother’s body, is actually a human being who should have all of the protections of the law.

All but two of N.C. House Democrats On Wednesday responded, “No.”

Sadly, the vote taken did not give the benefit of the doubt to preserving life. It afforded North Carolina’s Governor the benefit of the doubt. It afforded partisan politics the benefit of the doubt. It afforded abortion rights the benefit of the doubt. Nevertheless, it did not afford life the benefit of the doubt.

The great Protestant Reformer John Calvin said:

“The fetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being and it is a most monstrous crime to rob it of the life which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man’s house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.”

Nowadays, figuratively speaking, we provide for the legal slaughter of the man in his house and the field, and literally in the womb and on the delivery table.

The fight goes on. We labor for a culture that always gives life the benefit of the doubt.

As sen here at Christian Action League of North Carolina. Posted here with permission.

 

Original here

 

How Much Does Your Life Cost?

by Don’t Fear, Only Believe

Worth.

It’s such a powerful thing. The word is used to indicate how valuable something is, usually the value of an expensive car or your dream house. But also, commonly, it is used to describe a person’s life. We are constantly yearning and seeking to be worth something to someone else. In society, we are constantly told to live your life, your way – your worth being meaningful only to yourself. But you are worth more than anything to a guy called Jesus…

One inspirational woman who I have had the honour of seeing her legacy left behind, has been Lilias Falconer. The Falconer home has a special place in my heart and my family’s hearts, and I’m sure I’ve touched on this subject before in a previous blog. I got the amazing opportunity to visit this amazing orphanage a few years ago in Zambia. But this woman clearly showed why Jesus is worth it all! Lilias was born in 1915 in my home town, Manchester, and at the age of 15 she was telling her family that the call on her life was to go to Africa and to look after babies and children. For her to fulfil this mission, she applied for medical training to train as a nurse. All these applications were refused. In 1939, at the start of World War II, she was accepted into nursing training with the Salvation Army, and after a course in tropical medicine she travelled to Africa to a leper hospital in Zambia. There she saw the plight of little babies left to die when their mothers passed during childbirth. From this, she agreed to look after one baby but soon five babies were brought to her and one her own, she went further into the bus, establishing her Children’s home and Orphanage in the small village of Kabulamema. She died in 1998, and her grave is situated behind the house, in a beautiful lone building, signifying a constant connection to her work. This is a woman who gave up her whole life for Jesus.

The “Waste” of Expensive Perfume

The work of missionaries and people who give up their ordinary lives for extraordinary lives reminds me of a story from the Bible that shows us why Jesus is worth it all…

Clutching the jar tightly in her hands, the woman stood in the doorway and looked into the room. Her heart beat intensely. Her eyes darted back and forth. Her anxiety was at its peak. The room was packed with me, most of them who knew her for the job she did. A prostitute. She consider running away. At that moment, she saw Him. Everything else vanished, the world stopped. Nothing mattered anymore. Running into the room, she fell to the ground, tears forming in her eyes. Breaking her jar open, she poured the expensive perfume in it all over the man’s feet. She loved Him. She was a sinner. But this man, this Jesus, had shown her forgiveness. Everyone else stared at this random woman, shocked by her actions.

“Why have you wasted all that? You could have sold it it and given it to the poor,” the disciples shouted. Then Jesus spoke above the fuss, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done something beautiful for me. You won’t always have me, but you’ll always have the poor. This woman is preparing me for my burial. Listen to me, when the gospel is preached, the memory of her will also be told.” (Matthew 26.6-13).

The Reaction

Imagine if you were one of the disciples. Would you have been angry at the woman? She would have wasted perfume that had cost millions of pounds. But then again, much like the woman in the story, how do we respond to the story of Lilias Falconer? Too often we would respond as the disciples did. When we hear about people giving up their lives in rich, western countries to honour and serve God, we question their choices. Too often we see it as a waste of potential. We may never say it in words but in reality, we are asking the same question the disciples asked, “Why this waste?”

As Christians, we are taught to present our lives as living sacrifices, demonstrating God’s perfect will. Many people, and many Christians, would say if you presented your life in such a way, that you would be vulnerable to the devil and forces of evil. But Paul in Philippians 4.19, clearly states:

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

So, in answer to How Much Does Your Life Cost? I think it costs an infinite amount. We have worth because one man spent His worth for our all and so it is never a waste to give Jesus anything. And looking at it this way; it is our only reasonable response.

Thanks for reading.

Don’t Fear, Only Believe

Photo credits – unsplash.com

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State moves to take over Christian school

Dozens of agents stage raid over fake rumor, then demand it ‘relinquish its moral standards’

 

(Image courtesy Pixabay)

(Image courtesy Pixabay)

California has a reputation for implementing the leftist, pro-homosexual and pro-abortion agenda in its schools.

Even back when “The Terminator,” actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, was governor, the state required that schools teach only  a “positive” view of homosexuality, preventing teachers from informing students of the health risks.

The state’s moves in recent years have been draconian, even banning counselors from helping students who want to rid themselves of unwanted same-sex attractions.

It’s why so many parents have chosen Christian schools for their children. But now the state is targeting that last remaining stronghold for faith and freedom.

And the Pacific Justice Institute is fighting back in a lawsuit brought by River View Christian Academy in rural northern California.

The school was hit with a SWAT-style raid prompted by “an internet rumor put forward by an online left-wing tabloid.”

There was no truth to the allegation the school “housed illegal drugs, stockpiled weapons, and was preparing for an end-times apocalypse.”

“The state was duped” into ordering a raid that included “16 armed law enforcement from the California Highway Patrol, two canine units, and 17 social workers,” PJI said

The unannounced assault against the boarding school “terrified students and staff,” said PJI.

But it turned up no evidence.

It was, however, only the first wave in the state’s attack.

“Instead of apologizing for its dangerous blunder, the state doubled down and began imposing daily fines against the school for allegedly operating as an ‘unlicensed community care facility,’” PJI said.

“RVCA has actually operated as a private school for the past 25 years, filing an annual affidavit with the California Department of Education as do other private schools and homeschools in the state,” the legal team explained.

“The state is now taking the position that, due to recent legislation, it is no longer possible for a private boarding school to operate without extensive licensing and oversight by the Department of Social Services. But licensing is more than just an administrative headache – it would require the Christian school to relinquish its moral standards. For instance, the state requires that licensed facilities allow students to have the right to engage in spiritual and sexual exploration, which contradicts the goals of many parents who enroll their kids in RVCA,” the lawyers explained.

The facility is under the oversight of the Teen Rescue ministry, which partners with parents who want to provide their teens with a “change of scenery and alternative educational environment.”

The ministry was founded in 1989 and the school in 1993.

“Reading the state’s search warrant and legal filings in this case is chilling,” warned PJI’s lead lawyer in the case, Kevin Snider.

“This armed incursion on a faith-based school shows that the state wants nothing less than to take jurisdictional control over Christian education in California. This is rooted in its disagreement with millennia-old religious values,” he explained.

The school sued, but a federal judge complained that it hadn’t gone through the state’s “process” first. But then the state itself abandoned its administrative routine and sued the school.

“In 25 years of practice, I have never seen this level of aggressive, militant, and ideologically driven conduct by a state agency against a religious institution,” Snider said.

“For years, as the public schools have become increasingly hostile toward parents, the courts have insisted that the parents’ option is to instead choose private education. Now, that fundamental right is also under attack.”

https://www.wnd.com/2019/06/state-moves-to-take-over-christian-school/

God Gave Us Sex For ‘Procreation of Children … This Truth Is Not Homophobia’

June 4, 2019  By Michael W. Chapman

Bishop Joseph Strickland, head
of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas.
(Diocese of Tyler)

(CNSNews.com) — In response to vicious attacks by homosexual activists and their supporters against a fellow bishop, Joseph Strickland, head of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, said that preaching the truth of the Gospel is not homophobic, that sexual intimacy is for a married man and woman “for the procreation of children,” and that this is “simply reality.”

Bishop Strickland made his remarks on Twitter in defense of Providence, R.I. Bishop Thomas Tobin who had advised Catholics not to participate in the LGBT activities of “Pride Month” in June because celebrating or endorsing sodomy in any way is contrary to Catholic teaching.

(Twitter.)

Tobin had tweeted on June 1, “A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ ‘Pride Month’ events held in June. They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children.”

For his statement on Catholic teaching, Bp. Tobin was harshly criticized onlineby LGBT activists and their supporters.

In response, Bp. Strickland tweeted on June 2, “Please stop labeling bishops who speak the truth of the Gospel as homophobic. God gave us sexual intimacy for the procreation of children and the deeper union of a man & woman in marriage. Stating this truth is not homophobia, it is simply reality.”

(Twitter.)

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” (Emphasis added.)

(Twitter.)

The Catechism further teaches, “By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory. Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: ‘It is not good that man should be alone,’ and ‘from the beginning [he] made them male and female’; wishing to associate them in a special way in his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’

“Hence, true married love and the whole structure of family life which results from it, without diminishment of the other ends of marriage, are directed to disposing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich his family from day to day.”

Gay marriage is a contradiction in terms and illogical, according to the Church, because homosexuals use their sexuality in unnatural ways and do not reproduce. Unlike the unitive and generative nature of heterosexual coitus between a married man and woman, homosexual intercourse is non-unitive and non-generative.

(Twitter.)

Bishop Strickland also tweeted on June 2, “Bishop Tobin is simply speaking for one truth of the deposit of faith. God made humans male & female. Certainly those who are confused about their identity need Christ’s love & compassion, let’s remember Christ’s love is expressed when [he] dies on the cross for the truth.”

The Catholic Church teaches that same-sex attraction is not sinful but to engage in homosexual practices is gravely sinful.

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/us-bishop-god-gave-us-sex-procreation-children-truth-not-homophobia

Billy Graham mag calls out ‘lie of progressive Christianity’

Says Buttigieg, others seek to drive biblical faith to ‘outer margins of society’

 

DecisionButtigieg

The mantle of “progressive Christianity” is being claimed by more and more people these days – some megachurches, some old-line denominations and even some politicians.

It’s roughly a gospel that regards the Bible as a good book but insists it must be reinterpreted to comport with contemporary society.

But now Decision Magazine, the publication launched by Billy Graham and still run by his organization, has unleashed a broadside against that belief system.

Its June front-page headline, “The lie of ‘progressive Christianity,’” is plastered over the image of Pete Buttigieg.

He’s the Democratic presidential hopeful who just a few weeks ago attacked the faith of Vice President Mike Pence, whose beliefs align with traditional Christian views of marriage and sexuality.

“Back in April when Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg threw stones at ‘the Mike Pences of the world’ for their historic Christian beliefs about marriage, sexuality and sin, he drew rapt attention from the news media. He also raised the visibility of a religious movement that claims the term Christian but denies the full authority of Scripture on which ‘the faith once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3, NKJV) is based,” writes the author of the article, Jerry Pierce.

“Buttigieg’s ‘progressive Christianity’ allows him to claim a commitment to the faith that Jesus Christ taught in the Gospels and still remain married to his male partner,” he wrote.

But R. Albert Mohler Jr., the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, says that’s a “distortion” of God’s Word.

Buttigieg attacked Pence’s faith as “social extremism” and, in effect, told faithful evangelicals to either “affirm the new sexuality embodied in the LGBTQ movement, or affirm the full authority of Scripture and be anathema in the postmodern culture.”

Mohler told Decision that it is tempting for Christians faithful to the Bible to hunt down a “middle ground” on such issues.

But that’s not what the Bible allows.

“I have made the argument that everybody’s opinion on these matters is going to be known,” Mohler told the magazine. “It may be when you run for office. It may be when you move into the dorm. It may be when a new neighbor walks in and you end up in conversation. But the point is, there’s nowhere to hide on these issues. There are a lot of Christians who are trying to hide in the tall grass, and that’s not going to work.”

The article says Buttigieg and others of his belief system are trying to drive biblical Christians “to the outer margins of society.”

Mohler explained “the new liberalism under the ‘progressive’ banner is encroaching on more conservative churches amid a culture that paints biblical values as oppressive and bigoted.”

He told Decision that Christians don’t want to appear hateful but issues such as homosexuality cannot be defined “on the world’s terms.”

The issue has brought untold grief to the United Methodists, now caught in a fight between conservative African and Asian members and progressives in the United States.

Lay leader Mark Tooley, a Methodist and president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, told Decision progressive Christians often affirm miracles, even the Apostles’ Creed, but deny the full authority of God’s Word.

“This is true for mainline Protestants, but also increasingly for many members of the post-evangelical left,” he told Decision.

Mohler said he is concerned that Christians eventually may be deemed as subversive as early Christians were in Rome, who were killed for their faith.

“There’s no middle ground between affirming and denying the bodily resurrection of Christ. There’s also no middle ground between defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman and saying it can be something else,” he said.

https://www.wnd.com/2019/06/billy-graham-mag-calls-out-lie-of-progressive-christianity/

Geckos Evidence of Creation NOT Evolution

By David Jolly – June 9, 2019

Virtually everyone here in the U.S. has seen or heard of the gecko used in commercials for a certain insurance company. That gecko has successfully invaded and colonized many homes and businesses throughout the country. But what does that have to do with Creation?

As I have previously shared, while working on my master’s thesis, I studied a different gecko that also invaded and colonized many homes and businesses in the U.S. The first documented report of the Mediterranean gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus, was in Key West, Florida in 1915. Through the scientific literature, I tracked this gecko across the Gulf Coast states from Florida to Texas. At the time of my research, I lived in Mesa, Arizona and the Mediterranean gecko had been well established in the area for over 35 years.

During my research, I found that the only life history study ever done in the U.S. on this interesting little gecko was conducted in Texas and published in 1986. In the conclusion of this study, the author claimed that the Mediterranean gecko was proof of evolution because of its method of colonization which is known as the Founder Principle. Evolutionists have long used the Founder Principle to justify their theory.

The Founder Principle is defined as the establishment of a new population from a larger population by the transportation of a few individuals, a gravid[i] female or a nest, to a new area that is isolated from the original population. The new population will contain a lesser amount of genetic variation than was found in the larger original population. In a number of instances, the decrease in genetic traits will lead to enough of a change between the two populations to make interbreeding unlikely or impossible which in turn will result in the establishment of a new species or subspecies. And it is these changes that are used as proof of evolution.

The Founder Principle is one variation of what is called a genetic bottleneck.  A genetic bottleneck generally occurs as a result of a major event that drastically reduces the number of individuals in a population. It can also be the result of removing a few individuals from the parent population and relocating them in a new and isolated location. Examples of a genetic bottleneck could be a disease that kills off a majority of a population, leaving only a few individuals left. It could also be the effect of transplanting a few individuals to a remote location that is geographically separated from the original larger population. As can be seen in the image to the right, the narrower the neck of the bottle (meaning the fewer individuals that survive or are passed on to the new population) the fewer genetic traits that are passed on with them.

What if the ‘A’ was a trait for a large body size and ‘a’ was a trait for a small body size. Those individuals with ‘AA’ would be quite large, while those with ‘Aa’ would be medium sized and those with ‘aa’ had a small body size.

 

The parent population contained a fairly equal amount of the large and small traits which may have resulted in medium sized individuals. In the first example of the largest bottleneck, more traits are passed on and the new population will most likely reflect the traits of the parent population and have medium sized bodies. In the middle example, both traits occur, but there are a greater number of individuals with traits for the larger body size than the smaller, so in all likelihood, that population would have been somewhat larger than the parent population. In the third example, only those individuals with the ‘a’ trait survived, resulting in a population of smaller individuals.

Indeed, the Mediterranean gecko did colonize via the Founder Principle. When I mapped out the various reports of the appearance of the geckos across the Gulf Coast states, the paths followed the major highways and port cities. As a rule, they do not migrate more than a few dozen yards from where they hatch. They are nocturnal geckos that inhabit urban and industrial areas. They like to hide in the cracks in walls and fences of homes and commercial businesses and in and around boxes and freight. The females will nest in and under items such as large cartons of freight. Unlike most reptiles that lay numerous eggs at a time, female Mediterranean geckos lay an average of only 2 eggs at a time. However, up to a dozen or more females will lay their eggs in the same nest. When the freight is shipped from one city to the next, sometimes a few individuals or a nest will be shipped along with it allowing the geckos to colonize a new area.

Since the Mediterranean gecko repeatedly colonized across the U.S. by means of the Founder Principle, I tried to determine if there were any differences between the ones that were now well established in Arizona compared to those from Texas and Florida. Besides the nearly 100 geckos collected from the Mesa, Arizona area, I was able to obtain a number of specimens from Texas as well.   Unfortunately, I was unable to collect any specimens from Florida.

When comparing the Arizona and Texas specimens, what I found was quite interesting. The Arizona specimens were significantly smaller than the Texas geckos.  Additionally, the Texas geckos were far more aggressive than the Arizona geckos. Approximately 80% of the Texas geckos would try to bite when handled while none of the Arizona geckos ever bit. When placed together in a terrarium, the aggressiveness of the Texas geckos was such that even when the Arizona geckos out numbered the Texas geckos 10-to-1, they would find a secluded corner as far away from the Texas gecko as possible and remain there until they eventually starved to death. As long as the Arizona geckos were in the presence of the Texas geckos, they would not eat, but as soon as they were removed from the same terrarium as the Texas gecko, they would start to eat almost immediately. I tried 15 different combinations of numbers and sexes and had the same results every time – dead Arizona geckos.

The difference in size and behavior between the two populations may be considered enough evidence to claim that the gecko population in Arizona be classified as a new subspecies of Mediterranean gecko. Unfortunately, I was not able to afford the cost to conduct any DNA studies on the two populations of geckos to substantiate my findings. Had I been able to conduct the DNA tests, I am positive that it would have shown that the Arizona geckos contained a lesser amount of genetic variation than the ones found in Texas.

Probably the greatest example of all time for a genetic bottleneck coupled with numerous Founder’s effects, would have been the Genesis Flood and subsequent Ice Age. The animals on the Ark probably carried a fairly large amount of genetic variety, which would allow them to survive the many different environments on the earth after the Flood. A certain amount of variation would also have been lost at the time of the Flood because taking only 2 individuals (7 of some) out of a larger population would still create a HUGE genetic bottleneck. As the animals dispersed from the Ark, they would have started breeding faster than normal because breeding pressures would have been non-existent at the time. As the populations grew, they began to spread out to the four corners of the earth via one Founder’s event after another. Each new population would have had less genetic variation than the previous one creating many new species in a span of 100-300 years after the Flood. Eventually, new areas were filled with enough animals and the rapid speciation would have slowed down.

It was also around this time (200-700 years after the Flood) that Ice Age occurred as a result of the Flood. The Ice Age caused some major climate changes which would have caused many of the newly formed species to die out and become extinct because they no longer carried the necessary traits to survive that the original members of the population had. That would help to explain the many different fossils we find in early post-Flood deposits.

In reality, the Founder Principle and genetic bottlenecks are the exact opposite of what evolution requires. Not only does evolution need an increase in variability, they also need an increase in genetic information. For example, they need a way to have ‘Bb’ and ‘Cc’ added to the ‘Aa’ when it never existed in the population to start with. To date, there has never been a known case of NEW genetic information being added to an organism by natural means. If evolution was true, we should be finding all kinds of examples of this, but we don’t. We do find numerous examples of the Founder’s Principle and genetic bottlenecks resulting in not only new species, but numerous extinctions as well, which all fits into a curse filled Creation that continues to run down.

Yeah, listen to the gecko. It will tell you that real science and the study of population genetics supports a biblical creation model and completely destroys evolutionary theory. If I ever do get evidence that the geckos in Arizona are a new subspecies, I am tempted to name them Hemidactylus turcicus creationensis because they tell me that God’s Word about Creation and all that follows is true.

[i] The term ‘gravid’ is used for animals that are carrying young or eggs. In scientific terminology, the term ‘pregnant’ is used only for humans.

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