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 Article: A Sixth Sense Posted on 1-22-2005
WOTR News Article By now, I'm sure you've heard all sorts of reports about the dreadful Tsunami which ravaged the Indian Ocean region. The facts are horrific: over 150,000 were killed and the area is devastated. But amidst the headlines of tragedy, there was one very interesting element: The animals made it out safely.

According to eyewitnesses, the animals seemed to know that trouble was brewing. They reacted as though they had been warned of the coming disaster. Elephants began shrieking and charged their way to higher ground. Flamingos abandoned their low-lying breeding areas as they fled to safety. Zoo animals realized they couldn't flee so they rushed to their shelters and could not be coaxed to come out. One man said his two dogs would not go for their daily run on the beach, which they were usually very excited about. All of the animals in the area appeared to be aware of the risk and they were so determined to survive that relatively few died.

The question has been raised: How could these wild and domestic animals know that the tsunami was coming and that their lives were in danger? Do animals possess some sort of a sixth sense that humans don't have? Evidently, they sensed this tragedy was on its way, and this is not the first time such a phenomenon has been witnessed. One early example took place in 373 B.C. Historians tell us that flocks of animals, including rats, snakes and weasels, deserted the Greek city of Helice days before an earthquake demolished the town. How is this possible?

Of course scientists are quick to suggest that animals can feel vibrations and hear sounds that we can't. While this may be true to some degree, to me it almost seems that these creatures received a warning from their Creator to flee before the disaster struck. Some people may find this to be a bit far-fetched, but I say this is more reasonable to believe than to think that a rat (and every other animal) felt a vibration days before that no human felt until the earthquake came much later.

Could it be that what these animals heard and felt was the voice of God? I'm not claiming to know, but I am saying this is quite possible. The Bible shows us that the Lord has been known to speak to and direct animals. The book of Jonah describes how God sent a great fish to swallow the stubborn prophet, and after 3 full days "the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land." (Jonah 2:10) A donkey delivered God's message to Balaam after the Lord opened its mouth (Numbers 22:22-40). Then we have the swarms of locusts, frogs, and snakes that God sent as punishment (Exodus 8; Exodus 9; Numbers 21:6).

It seems that animals recognize that God is their Creator. Psalm 104:21 says "The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their food from God." The whole Psalm centers on how God provides for the various creatures of the world and how they depend on Him for life. The Psalmist goes on to say "These all wait for You, That You may give them their food in due season. What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good. You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth." (Psalm 104:27-30)

Does the animal kingdom posses a knowledge and understanding of God that we as a human race have generally lost? I think it's safe to say so. Yes, the Lord can and still does speak to us (and we have been given the Bible as God's written word), but we are much more stubborn than even the donkeys! If the Lord spoke to a human and told them that a disaster was coming, would the rest of the people in his town believe him? The story of Noah shows us the sad reality: only 8 people fled to safety before the waters began to beat against that ark. Yet every animal that God spoke to made its way to the boat long before the flood actually came. And still the people refused to listen, even after they had witnessed the animals reaction to the impending danger!

The worst "disaster" of all time is headed for this planet (1 Peter 3:10), but today we can praise the Lord because He has an ark of safety prepared in Jesus Christ so that we may flee from the wrath to come and help others to do so as well. May we have the same simple and clear understanding of God that the animals seem to have and take heed to His voice of reason. As Christians, we need to have a "sixth sense" that the rest of the world doesn't have, in terms of a knowledge of God and an understanding of His will, which is developed through a connection to Christ through prayer and a dedication to His Word.

It's true that God loves and cares for the animals, but we are the ones who He gave His life for: "Aren't five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight.... Consider the ravens: they don't sow or reap; they don't have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them. Aren't you worth much more than the birds?" (Luke 12:6, 24) We can thank the Lord that even though we are the ones who brought sin into this world (the animals aren't the ones who disobeyed) God still loved this world enough to pay the price for our sins and now He has promised to create this world anew (Revelation 21) in which we will be able to dwell with the animals in safety and harmony (Isaiah 11:6-10). In the meantime, there is a lot we can learn from the animals!

"Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise" (Proverbs 6:6)

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 Article: Broken Arrows Posted on 1-14-2005
WOTR News Article To me, it's amazing the way technology has advanced. It's really not a surprise since the Bible predicted this would happen (See Daniel 12:4), but it is astonishing in every respect as I take a look back through the past century. One of the most incredible aspects of this is the speed at which nuclear capabilities came on the scene. By 1945, the Nuclear Age had already begun, and with this radical advance came a new danger; and with this new danger came a new phrase, more of a codeword actually: "Broken Arrow".

Since 1950, there have been at least 32 nuclear weapon accidents, known as "Broken Arrows." A "Broken Arrow" is defined as an unexpected event involving nuclear weapons being accidentally launched, fired, detonated, burned, or jettisoned. In other words, when something goes wrong with a nuke, the military has a "Broken Arrow" on its hands. It's a pretty sobering thing to consider: misuse, malfunction, or an unforeseeable collision could endanger the lives of thousands, possibly millions of lives; this is without even considering the radiation that may perhaps follow.

The history of nuclear weapons accidents is just about as old as the weapons themselves, with the first official accident taking place in 1950 when a "U.S. B-29 departing Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico crashed three minutes after takeoff. Detonators had been installed on a nuclear bomb on board, but because the capsule of fissile material had not been inserted, nuclear detonation was not possible. The bomb's casing was destroyed and some high explosive burned in the fire." (CNN)

Later that year, the first "Broken Arrow" involving actual nuclear radiation occurred: "The U.S. Defense Department, in its 1980 publication on nuclear accidents, stated the following: "A B-50, experiencing an in-flight emergency, jettisoned a bomb over water (outside the United States) from an altitude of 10,500 feet. The weapon's HE [high explosive] detonated on impact." The report failed to mention that the accident apparently took place just north of the U.S. border in Quebec. According to John Clearwater, a Canadian Defense Department employee working independently on a study of nuclear weapons in Canada, the B-50 jettisoned a Mark 4 bomb over the St. Lawrence River near Riviere-du-Loup, about 300 miles northeast of Montreal. Clearwater told The Canadian Press that the weapon, lacking its essential plutonium core, was detonated above the river. According to Clearwater, detonation of the bomb's high explosives shook the region, scattering nearly 100 pounds (45 kg) of uranium. The U.S. Air Force reportedly covered up the incident at the time, saying a load of conventional practice bombs had been jettisoned by the B-50, which later landed safely at a U.S. Air Force base in Maine." (CNN)

Since that time, a lengthy list of "Broken Arrows" have transpired, some more serious than others. Bombs have malfunctioned, submarines have collided, planes with nukes have crashed, and an estimated 50 nuclear warheads still lie on the bottom of the world's oceans. While this may sound bad, things could certainly be a lot worse when you consider the sheer amount of weapons that have been produced and the number of times they have been transported. During the Cold War, there were years when at least one US bomber loaded with nukes was in the sky at all times. In addition, both Washington and Moscow sent out large fleets of nuclear subs to patrol their waters. With all of this activity, "Broken Arrows" were almost unavoidable!

You may be thinking: This is quite interesting, but how do nuclear weapons relate to Christianity? But I want to ask you: Do you have any "Broken Arrows" in your life? Have there been situations where you've lost control and the results have been unexpected, to say the least? Maybe a drastic change has shattered your health, finances, marriage, or all of the above. Now you're faced with the wreckage of the aftermath and you don't know where or how to begin the process of "cleaning up".

You can find comfort in knowing that Jesus is with you (Matthew 28:20) and He knows all about your problems, for He is the one who formed you (Isaiah 44:2). Not only is Christ aware, but He also holds the key to your solution. Nothing is too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:27). He can calm the stormy seas (Mark 4:38-39) and bring hope out of chaos (Genesis 1). Jesus is able to shine light where before there was only overwhelming darkness (John 8:12). Even a "Broken Arrow" is no match for the God of Heaven!

When a bomber carrying nuclear weapons goes down, the weapons normally are not armed, so the explosion is not as bad as it could have been. However, the radioactive material can still leak out, contaminating the surrounding area. The negative effects can be enduring. When human emotions arise, such as anger, jealousy, lust, passion, etc., the situation can quickly become volatile, even if we never intended for things to get out of hand. Unless we allow Jesus to guide our thoughts and regulate our actions, emotions can erupt into foolish choices leading to disastrous consequences, which may not go away as easily as they appeared. (To avoid "Broken Arrows" in your life, read and apply the counsel that Paul provides in Ephesians 4:17-32)

When it comes to "Broken Arrows" the governments involved usually try their best to keep the situation "hushed". CNN reports "Officially, the governments of the nuclear powers are not very forthcoming with information regarding nuclear accidents." Even the most up to date documentation does not tell the full story, for no additional list of nuclear weapon accidents acknowledged by the Pentagon has been released since 1980, yet nuclear weapons have not gone away. In an effort to avoid details, the U.S. military's policy is to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons in most accidents.

While governments may be involved in covering up the facts, we shouldn't follow that example. If we've had "Broken Arrow" experiences in our past, or if we're going through one now, the last thing we want to do is attempt to cover it up from God's eyes. The Lord knows what we're going through and He longs to help. Proverbs 28:13 says "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy." There's no sense in hiding your mistakes from God, for He sees what's in your heart and He's ready to wash your sin away (Isaiah 1:18). And if you've wronged others, the Lord may be leading you to make amends instead of hiding the matter (James 5:16; Luke 19:8).

It's a tragic scene when an accident occurs involving nuclear weapons, but those involved realize that it needs to be taken care of, and the sooner the better. A "Broken Arrow" is a demanding problem that won't just go away on its own. Sin is similar. It's as serious as can be and it requires immediate response. Unless our sins are dealt with right away, they begin to grow and multiply until we have an even greater epidemic on our hands. The solution to this is simple: Come to Jesus! (1 John 1:9) If you recognize your weakness and inability to "fix" things on your own, then come to Jesus my friend: "We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan." (Romans 8:28 NCV) If you truly love God, then you can put your hand in His, knowing in advance that even the worst "Broken Arrows" in your life will come out alright in the end with Christ as our Savior.

View an interactive map outlining the history of Broken Arrows

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 Article: Falling Asleep Posted on 1-5-2005
WOTR News Article Sleep is a funny thing, don't you think? Well, maybe funny isn't the best adjective.... Sleep is a very interesting thing, let's put it that way. I think the most unusual aspect of sleep is that we generally aren't aware of the fact that we were asleep until we wake up; and even then, at times, we don't fully realize that we were indeed sleeping.

Anne always cracks me up: she'll be laying on the couch reading a book and I'll be doing something on the computer, and after awhile I'll say something to her, but I won't get an answer. Next comes the classic question, “Are you asleep?” as I glance over to see her startle awake after being zonked out, to which she replies, “No...just relaxin”, as her eyes flutter open.

"But you were asleep, right?"
"No....just relaxin"

She honestly didn't think she had fallen asleep, but sometimes she's have been snoozing for over an hour, and she still responds in that groggy voice “No...just realxin”.

Today, I was thinking about this in connection with what the New Testament says about “sleep”. Now of course real, physical sleep is a good thing (as long as we don't overdo it). It's a necessity. On the other hand, when the Apostle Paul speaks of Christians “sleeping” in a spiritual sense, this is bad news, because he is talking about believers who are slipping away from Jesus and back to life of sin. That's why the Lord says in Ephesians 5:14 "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light."

Is it possible for a Christian to be unaware of their sleepy condition? If you've ever read the parable in which Jesus told about the 10 drowsy virgins, then I think you would agree that the answer is unfortunately yes (Matthew 25:1-13). It seems safe to equate this drowsiness with the lukewarm condition that Christ spoke of in Revelation 3:14-22. The Laodicean church mentioned here feels that they are rich and flourishing, but in reality they were sleeping. Jesus said “you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).

The disciples found it hard to stay awake when their Master was preparing for the cross (Luke 22:39-46), and today we are faced with the same temptation as our Master is preparing for His great Return.

Listen to the counsel of Paul in the book of Romans: “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 13:11-14

The solution to this problem of drowsiness is to stay near to the Lord Jesus through prayer, allowing Him to guide and lead us according His Word. Jesus told His sleepy disciples “Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation." Luke 22:46 We need to stay alert and awake, for the coming of our Lord draws near. Look at our world today; the signs are obvious. Now is not the time to be falling asleep! The devil is trying as hard as he can to pull us away from God, as we get busy and distracted by worldly affairs, but if we stay close to Jesus, we can keep our lamps burning in preparation for our Lord's coming.

"Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near--at the doors!

Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming--in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning-- lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!"

Mark 13:28-37

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