Announcing My New Book

 

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(click on the image above)

Take a look at my new book where I take on the Atheist-Darwin crowd.

It’s a quick read with lots of punch  — drop a comment back to let me know what you think.

 

Excerpt:

I remember those nights as a kid laying out in the backyard on a clear Montana night. Laying out in that mummy bag gazing in wonder at the night sky and … just thinking …

How many stars are out there? How big is the universe? Does it have an end? If it has an end … then what’s beyond? How did it get there? How did I get here? How can there be something that has no end? Are there answers?

I think most of us have had such nights, and for many of us such wonder continues …

I’m one of those whose mind seems never to stop with the wondering … I just can’t shut it off — not that I want too.

So this is a collection of thoughts, conversations and writings that I’ve collected over the years. Thoughts and study that go back many, many years. The pages to follow come from my thinking and study on these issues, from my blog and from internet dialogs I’ve had with various people, mainly commenters like myself who seem to be passionate about the same questions and issues. Many have quite the opposite views as me, but that’s OK.

Don Johnson – January 2017

Books Every ‘Seeker’ Should Read

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(Click above to read the article)

A friend posted this article originally titled “26 Books Every ‘Spiritual But Not Religious’ Seeker Should Read.” I didn’t catch why she excluded “religious” seekers from her list. Nevertheless, a worthy topic, and one I would like to expand on to include this “seeker” – me – and a list of my own that have influenced me in my 73 years of life.

I will begin in my late teens when I was dating my wife of now 53 years. She was a Roman Catholic, and I thought if this young romance is to go anywhere, perhaps I should learn a little of her religion. I had little or no religious beliefs, let alone knowledge, but I did understand that Catholicism was the oldest religion, and therefore if there was a “true” religion, this was most likely it. I don’t recall thinking of the many other religions – Islam, Buddhism, Judaism … I wanted to know about the “real” one — I was a “seeker.”

So at the age of about 18 I frequented the local library and started to read about Catholicism. I have no recollection of the books I looked into, but suffice it to say that this brief experience began my life as a “seeker.”

A few years later I would fall under the influence of my girlfriend’s older brother – an Atheist. Gordon had a persuasive gift of gab, and me being a “seeker” he had a ready student and introduced me to Atheism and Existentialism, hence the first books on my list.

    • Why I Am Not A Christian  — Bertrand Russell.
    • No Exit  — Jean Paul Sartre
    • Being and Nothingness – Jean Paul Sartre
    • The Playboy Philosophy – Hugh Hefner

Skipping ahead a few years, married and back in college after a time working and a Navy tour, I read books like this one:

    • The Passover Plot  — Hugh J. Schonfield
      A book “debunking” the Jesus myth.

So during those years I guess I considered my “seeking” finished and I settled into a world view of evangelical Atheism – yes I was outspoken and mocking of all things religious.  I’m sure there were other books from that era, but I don’t recall. The ones listed above were certainly the most influential in my life.

So at a ripe old age of early twenties, I settled into my “know it all” world view of Atheism.  This lasted to age 36.

I’ll list the books that transformed my life (and that of my family as well) from that point on, beginning with the earliest:

    • The Late Great Planet Earth  — Hal Lindsey.
    • There’s A New World Coming – Hal Lindsey
    • The Rapture  — Hal Lindsey
    • Satan Is Alive and Well on Planet Earth  — Hal Lindsey
    • Others by Hal Lindsey

Lindsey’s books unexpectedly caught my attention when I innocently picked up his Late Great Planet Earth  book back in 1980. I thought I was going to read a fanciful yarn akin to Erich von Däniken‘s “Chariots of the Gods.” What I got instead was Lindsey laying out a case claiming that today’s current events line up with the prophetic Biblical writings of thousands of years ago describing the “last days” of planet earth. This was like getting hit upside the head with a 2×4 and got my attention and interest. 

Lindsey wrote his book in the 1970s in the midst of the Cold War  when the Soviet Union was a strong and prominent player on the world stage and Communism was on the march in many parts of the world. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, it appeared that Lindsey might be off the mark in highlighting Russia as one of the key players in the “end times” scenario. However, Russia is once more prominent as a world power, and in fact is now positioned in the Middle east (Syria) whereas it was not in the 1970s – something to pay attention too.   

There are many other thinkers and writers on Biblical Prophesy and I have read a number of them  — some good and others not so good (an exercise for the student?). But let me move on …

Lindsey’s books, along with my study of the actual Biblical passages he highlighted, launched me out of atheism and into Christianity. But I was a total rookie and had many questions and internal conflicts. The following are some of the books and ministries that helped this “seeker” through those oft-times confusing times.  

I could go on and on, but let me conclude …

During this period of seeking and growth back in the early 1980s, I actually did read the Bible through from cover to cover.  One of the surprises I found, as one of the worlds foremost experts in that book that I had not previously opened,  were the many  practical lessons useful for living a full life … how to be a better husband, father, friend, employee, boss, brother, son, citizen …

So I would encourage you as a fellow “seeker”, don’t stop at being just a “spiritual seeker”, but press on to seek the whole banquet that will fill that hunger within you.

 

Don Johnson – January 2017

 

 

 

 

Intelligent Design and the Manufacturing Process

In my working days we built a complex distributed system consisting of 4 subsystems distributed over a large geographical space,  interconnected with data links and including a subsystem containing a multitude of fast moving and maneuvering jet fighter aircraft.

In constructing these systems, we used a process called ‘Engineering Release (ER)’ where the various components of each subsystem, as well as the subsystems themselves, were released to manufacturing via a series of ‘Shop Travelers.’ These travelers contained detailed instructions on how the components were to be manufactured and assembled as well as a detailed parts list. 

When the manufacturing process was complete, the various components and subsystems were integrated and tested in a lab setting, and then deployed and tested on site for use by fighter squadrons.

Preceding all this of course was the necessary design work – a goal oriented, purposeful and intellectual expression of the vision of those who saw a need for such a system.

It would seem that the human cell operates on much the same scheme. A cell containing complete and detailed information describing an end product and the shop travelers that guide that cell to its final use as a heart muscle, bone brain and more.    

It’s called Intelligent Design (ID), and is the way all complex systems are constructed, whether they be human designed or the natural life we see all around us and within us.   To think otherwise is folly.

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Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you
knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand
when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Headlights Against the Storm–The Finest Hours

Christmas for many is a sad and lonely time of year rather than a time of rejoicing. I offer up these thoughts in hopes that someone out there will see the “headlights” reaching out to them in a sea of sadness and despair.

A Yearning for Publius

Finest Hours

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Don Johnson – February 2016

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Challenging Darwinian Evolution

Some of the fundamentals of Darwinian Evolution, as I understand it are:

  • The complexities of life we see all around us, and within us are assembled from the bottom up in a Natural Selection process which chooses beneficial mutations among a long series of such changes, while allowing less beneficial changes to wither away, or perhaps allowed to remain as flotsam or “junk.”
  • The resulting “designs” we see from such a process are merely illusions, the appearance of design … not actual design as we see in all of the human artifacts we dwell among such as the automobile and computers.
  • Evolution is said to be without purpose, without direction and without goals. What we may see as purpose, direction and goals are simply the result of the workings of natural processes – simply illusions of and the appearance of design,

So then why do we see purpose, direction and goals at every level of life – from the cellular level, to the systems level to the completed body plan?

We see purpose in the various machines and structures within each of several trillion cells in our bodies. We see the Kinesin motor transporting cargo from one place on the cell to another. We see the marvel of DNA which, coupled with other cellular components, represents not only a massive mass storage capability, but also represents a type of blueprint package defining all aspects of the end product body. This DNA package also contains what can be described as a complete set of “shop travelers” which, much like a manufacturing process, provides step by step instructions and bills of materials for the manufacture of the myriad parts making up the completed human body – bones, hair, brain, liver, eye, nose … and more.

And each of these subunits exhibits purpose — specific purpose.  What is finally assembled as an arm and hand for example, takes on a myriad of functional purposes such as accurately throwing a baseball, playing a musical instrument such as a violin and cradling a new born baby. Each of our vital organs play specific and necessary roles in keeping our body alive and functioning – there are goals and purpose expressed in each and every one of our body parts.

What we see and experience in the finished goal directed and purposeful human body is beautifully expressed in many ways, such as when we witness a magnificent choral and orchestral performance such as Handel’s Messiah. What we experience in that concert hall is not an illusion — it is real and is the culmination of a multitude of designs, both in the natural as well as the realm of human intelligence and ingenuity.        

I Wouldn’t Have Done It That Way

It’s Christmas time again — OH GREAT!! All that Jesus stuff and all.

Ya know King of Kings … savior of the world … Oh little town of Beth… all the glitz and glamor … GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

But have you ever heard about the birth and life of this man called Jesus? I mean the backwoodsy place where he was born, his sordid family history, what his childhood might have been like … and more?

Take a listen to this message and be prepared to hear about the man who would and did and does identify with all of us … no matter our station in life and no matter how lowly we may think of our self.

Click on the image below and then view the sermon — “I wouldn’t have done it that way” to get a glimpse of the man we call Jesus.

http://blackrock.org/im-new/sermons/i-wouldnt-have-done-it-that-way/

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A Tale Of Two Veterans Days

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Veterans Day at Sea — 2016

We were on a trans-Atlantic cruise somewhere off the coast of Portugal on the Royal Caribbean ship “Jewel Of The Seas”.
At 11:00 AM, the cruise director assembled the ships officers in the Centrum and they conducted an amazing and wonderful Veterans Day celebration for all veterans present on the ship — truly a moving and emotional event for all.

The celebration included veterans from all countries represented — I met a Norwegian soldier who served in Bosnia and Afghanistan.
Most of us appeared to be US veterans of Vietnam, but I did meet a few Korean War veterans.

In talking with some of these guys in the following days, we were all greatly blessed by the celebration put on by the ship. We were called to stand in front of the senior officers and were presented by these officers a medal, which was prominent around many necks for the remainder of the day.

A common comment from the Vietnam vets was along the lines of “this was sure a lot different than what I got when I came home!”
You may not know this, but the “Thank you for your service” which is common place today, was unheard of when these guys returned home from Vietnam. They were vilified — called baby killers and other vile names — and spit upon on many occasions. I didn’t receive such treatment, probably because I came home in 1966, early in the war. So this celebration, I believe, was greatly welcomed by most, if not all, present out there in the mid-Atlantic.
And the wives also appreciated it vey much.

Click on the images below to see the video of this celebration.

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Now to Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. for a different kind of Veterans Day. (click on the image below)

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When I was about the same age as these Hampshire college snowflakes, attending a Navy school, I distinctly remember commenting to my buddies “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!” — and there was general agreement with what I said.
These Hampshire students – useful idiots as Stalin would call them – are indeed manipulated idiots, but we sailors meant what we said that night in 1965, and shortly thereafter we all were deployed to a war zone and were faced with living up to those words.

 

Don Johnson – November 2016 

Crass Capitalist Marketing Campaign – Part 1

A Yearning for Publius

It’s time for a crass Capitalist marketing  campaign – meaning I’m trying to sell a few of my books here. So take a look and if you see something you like, buy 40 or 50 copies to give away to your friends and relatives — or at least one for  yourself.

They’re really good.

First watch the following video which is a companion to the book which follows:

Life at sea

And here is the book:

http://www.blurb.com/books/6608466-i-didn-t-want-to-worry-you-mom

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Then there is this dystopian short story I wrote a few years back.

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/5113602-the-old-man-in-apartment-620

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And now along with Bruce Springsteen,  I’ve written my own memoir:

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http://www.blurb.com/books/7249256-a-yearning-for-publius

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How High Is Your Moral Bar?

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http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2016/10/12/have_you_seen_this_obama_video

For the die hard liberal/progressive Democrat left there are two moral bars at play – two bars that define what is morally acceptable in the culture and in political candidates.

The first bar is that which is acceptable behavior to the political Democrat left and to much of the American media.

That bar is very low and rapidly approaching ground level. Currently that bar is so low as to require – by government decree – that boys be allowed to use the girls rest rooms and locker rooms. President Barack Obama through his Department of Justice is in the process of redefining what people have known and accepted for millennia – that boys are different than girls and appropriate accommodations to these differences are made in the form, for example, of separate locker rooms, showers and restrooms.

That the state of North Carolina felt it necessary to codify into state law the distinction between the genders has caused a firestorm of reaction from many quarters; PayPal, Dow Chemical, the NBA, the NCAA, Google and other businesses oppose North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law. And of course the Obama Justice Department has filed a law suite against the North Carolina law.

This pushback against millennial long gender differentiation is couched in terms of LGBTQ equity and equal protection. But one of its most destructive effects is the unnecessary and unjustified recruitment of many teens, our children, into the LGBTQ life style. This recruitment is based on nothing more than the legal and scientific torturing of very radical agents such as Obama who truly mean to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” – politically as well as culturally and spiritually.

The next and very predictable lowering of this leftist bar is to legitimize and legalize pedophilia, and demonize those that would oppose – dumping them into Hillary Clintons “basket of deplorables.” .

Will we be hearing a righteous outcry in the main stream media about the truly shameful behavior of President Barack Obama as shown in the video above? No – for that behavior rises above the ground level moral bar of the truly radical left.

Will we be hearing and seeing a very public apology from the President of the United States? No – his rock star popularity assures his rise above the left’s deplorable moral bar.

Will we be hearing and seeing a public and sincere apology from former president Bill Clinton and his enabling wife Hillary to those four women present at the recent debate as well as to Monica Lewinsky who’s seaman stained blue dress stands as clear evidence of the depravity of the Clintons. No – They also rise above the moral bar steadily lowered over decades by the leftist elite of this nation.

The second bar is that which is unacceptable behavior to the political Democrat left by those opposing the agenda of the left.

This second moral  bar of the left is wholly imaginary. The left sees a true moral bar such as in the Ten Commandments, and seeks to usurp it and use it as a bludgeon against its enemies.  They see the package and its beautiful wrappings and try to pull it down to the depraved level  of their first bar. But they only see the pretty wrapping and refuse to unwrap the package to see its true content.

The purpose of a moral bar – a thought and behavioral standard if you will — is to be a positive, protective and constructive force. It protects and builds up. It protects a family against a husband and father bent on satisfying only selfish needs at the expense of a wife and children. These selfish needs often include the acquisition and discarding of Playmates in the Hugh Heffner tradition, with the first discard being wife and mother. A true moral bar is also a positive and constructive force contributing to the strengthening and continuance of a moral community, culture and nation.

When the liberal/progressive left takes on the veneer of moral outrage at the transgressions of an enemy it is used to destroy that enemy. Destroy but not admonish and correct one who fails the moral standard. This is in stark contrast to reasons for having a moral standard at all – to prevent bad behavior, to correct bad behavior and hopefully to return a transgressor of the code to a semblance of good societal standing. A good example of the positive working of a true moral standard would be the life of  Chuck Coulson I encourage you to investigate the life of this man who was redeemed through the positive workings of a true moral standard rather than him being destroyed by the false moral standard of the left.

The picture I see that perhaps best contrasts  a true moral standard with a false standard is

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the two thieves hanging on crosses along with Jesus.

Both began their time on the cross by mocking and blaspheming Him, as did many of the spectators. One of the thieves responded in faith to the message of salvation and was taken to paradise that very day. He is the one usually referred to as the thief on the cross, while the other man did not respond in faith and is now suffering from a deadly and eternal mistake.

In the context of the transgressions of Donald Trump in this 2016 presidential election, and the continual bombardment of those transgressions, I am reminded that Donald Trump is the one on his cross who has acknowledged his transgressions and has apologized for them.  His enemies on their crosses continue with no repentance of their transgressions, and hypocritical mocking of the one on the other cross.

How high is your moral bar?

A good place to learn and reflect is at the Ten Commandments.

 

Don Johnson – October 2016

 

 

https://youtu.be/dGJIB5cO0cQ

On the Pressures of Doing Drugs – a note to my Grandchildren from one who has not been as pure as the driven snow.

A reminder from the long ago past … and then again, not so long ago.

A Yearning for Publius

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