Aliens, UFO’s and the Extraterrestrial “conspiracy”…

Alien Intrusion by Gary BatesI just finished reading the book, “Alien Intrusion” by Gary Bates last night. The summary and title of the book intrigued me because from childhood I have always been interested in stories involving “ET’s” (extraterrestrials) and UFO’s. I remember doing a presentation on UFO’s as a project for one of my classes in high school. The reason why this book interested me is because I discovered a website for it advertised in the Creation Ministries International flyer that I recieve in the mail and after checking it out I thought the book would be worth a read (because of my already piqued interest in ET’s). Here’s the description found on the back of the book:

UFOs have been seen throughout the centuries. But in our enlightened technological age, are we any closer to solving the mystery? This book revisits the most famous events that have defined UFO culture, such as Roswell and alien autopsies; astronaut Gordon Cooper’s sightings; Major Donald Keyhoe’s allegations of official silence; and the claims of famous contactees Billy Meier and George Adamski.

Also discover evidence about alien abductions and other UFO phenomena that is widely ignored by the UFO community. The author’s research and conclusions will surprise you and challenge your thinking — not just about UFOs, but about the nature of life itself.

This landmark volume that brings together the most important evidences, and comes to conclusions far more sinister — yet profound — than most could imagine.

I don’t want to write too much about Gary Bates conclusions about UFOs here because of the profound amount of evidence he amasses and the well-thought out progression he takes through the book to reach them. For me to just list the conclusion might prevent some from reading the book because of bias’ they may already have. However, I will say this – my eyes were opened – WIDE OPENED – to the reality of the UFO phenomenom and how far off from the truth most people are when reading about it and explaining it.

Bates does an excellent job of presenting a logical and reasonable explanation for the numerous reports and evidences that have been collected in the past century (and referencing supposed ancient sightings as well). I can’t help but wonder if any honest, sincere, and open-minded investigator would not reach the same conclusions he did. Certainly when I finished the book I agreed with his conclusions.

For the Christian – this book helps us to understand the UFO phenomenom and grasp the significance of its influence in our culture. It also gives good reason for our faith to be strengthened and encouraged about what the Bible has to say about the “conspiracy” behind UFO’s and Aliens. I believe Bates correctly identifies the religious (or spiritual) nature of the UFO phenomenom and how it requires a belief system that is inherently antagonistic to the Christian faith. In his conclusions, he expertly gives opinions why this is so (the conclusions are shocking to say the least!). After reading his book I definitely feel it’s a worthwhile read for Christians – let me put it this way…like I said earlier, I have always been fascinated by stories of UFO’s and aliens (and a bit of a sci-fi buff to boot) and the idea that there may be life on other planets in our universe. Yet, after reading this book I’ve realized that such interests cannot be taken lightly or even seen as a harmless indulgence…

For the non-Christian I would invite you to read this book and not be put off by what I stated in the paragraph above. For certainly, in my opinion, Bates is not writing this book as an apologetic of the Christian faith and doesn’t even mention the Christian connection until the last chapters. Instead, it very much read as an honest attempt to have an objective look at the UFO phenomena, it’s origins, it’s ideals, it’s evidences, and it’s stories. Bates draws from an incredible amount of resources (from a multitude of differing viewpoints) that demonstrate the diligence in his research and investigation into the subject. The way he presents this information is in the method of an open-minded researcher. It is clear that Bates was honestly trying to get to the bottom of this mystery from a scholarly perspective. By the end of the book I think you’ll appreciate the high plausibility that his conclusions are true – and at the very least give you something to really think about.

Bates presents numerous stories, evidences, and research that no doubt many people have seen presented in documentaries, or read before (a testimony to how widespread talk of UFO’s has become…almost an accepted expectation in our society). Overall this book was a very interesting read and one I will be recommending to many people!

The Battle for Children

I attended a seminar put on by JAM Ministries yesterday. The seminar was entitled “The Battle for Children” and basically Rob Lukings shared how in our nation today (and all over the world) there is a battle being raged for the hearts minds, and lives of kids. His premise is that the church is doing a terrible job at influencing the younger generations for Christ.

I agree. A quick glance at a number of statistics and any childcare worker will tell you that today’s world is not a great one for kids. In the seminar Rob covered five sections:

Section A. “Why Attack Children?”
He asked the question, “Why would Satan want to wage war on children? Why do churches and parents need to have truly effective minsitry into the lives of pre-teen children.”

The basic answer to the question is that research has shown that people develop their positions on values, morality and a worldview at a very young age. What kids are exposed to and have modeled early in life will definitely influence to a great deal what their adulthood will be like.


Section B: “Strategy of Destruction”
Here, Rob talked about how there is a intense spiritual warfare being fought over and for our kids. He covers how they are being attacked physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It was an eye opener to understand that yes, this is taking place.

Section C: “The Church’s Response”
Rob shared an assessment of what the church is doing to respond to this attack by the enemy and how well she is doing. In this frank but true assessment he sought to motivate us to take a close look at the priorities in our congregations.

Section D: “A Battle Report”
Rob painted a picture of the spiritual condition of children, both inside and outside the church. The result is alarming!

Section E: “What God Has to Say.
Rob spent some time here sharing about what God’s Word has to say about our responsibility in ministry to children.

All in all, the seeminar reinforced the kinds of things I’ve been hearing a lot of lately. Case in point – check out the theme of the May/June issue of “Outreach Magazine” The main story of this issue is headlined by the title, “Church in Crisis”. As a part of this report there’s an interview of Josh McDowell entitled, “We’re losing a generation”.

For myself, as a pastor of a church, and as a parent of young children – I see the incredible importance for valuing and prioritizing ministry to children. I’m sure for the unchurched or non-Christian the assumption sometimes made is that we’re out to brainwash kids. However, the truth is, our kids are already being brainwashed in our world today. The mass influence of media and abdication by parental involvment (instead relying on schools to “raise” our kids) has resulted in upcoming generations with a degraded moral and value system and a worldview that places more emphasis on the individual then on the common good.
As a church I think we can and must do a better job of ministering to kids and their parents. I hope that this year as we evaluate our ministries and direction of HPC that our children’s ministry is something high on our priority list. That’s not to say that other ministries aren’t important and will be neglected – but children need help! I’m also excited about the possibility of expanding our involvement in helping parents be equipped for raising their children. Ultimately its the parents who can make the biggest difference in their children’s future. (Anybody see the show, “Honey we’re killing the kids” on TLC?).

Arrghh…doing things that waste time…

Well I spent yet another full day doing finances for the church. Our church has been without a treasurer for about 3 months and I’ve “temporarily” taken over the duties until someone else fills in the position. Problem is…being the perfectionist that I am I’ve been not only doing the day to day stuff with the books but also “fixing” things that could be done better. All of this of course takes time…time that should be done in other things (shrugs shoulders). Ordinarily I really wouldn’t mind doing this stuff (in fact I love working with numbers) but nagging at the back of my mind while I’m doing it is all the other important stuff that I should be doing as a Pastor that isn’t getting done. Especially when it comes to planning.

Another thing that has been taking me a lot of time is the charity return I have to file. Arrghh…my sympathy goes out to all treasurers for charities in Canada (and especially to our past church treasurer) who have trudged through the mire and clay to file this really “easy-to-understand” form lol. Think income tax return on steroids and you’ll have a glimpse into the wonderful world of charity returns. Oh well, a learning experience I suppose but since the church’s status as a registered charity can hinge on correct filing of this return it can be a bit stressful. And of course there are yet more things I’m correcting in the way the church does accounting as a result of the things I’m discovering through doing the charity return. I’m planning on getting it verified before I send it away.

If any of my church family is reading this – have you considered taking on the treasurer position… – It would help out a lot! (hehe)

Where does worrying get ya?

Worry - Ugly ain't it?Today I went with my mother to her lawyer’s appointment. My Dad died about a year and a half ago and his life insurance company denied my mom’s claim for the insurance. To make a long story short she (with the support of us!) has decided to sue the insurance company as the advice we received suggested we have a case. Anyway, with the court systems the way they are it’ll be a while until we get to trial. I said all this to say this… My mom has had a lot on her mind in the last while (no wonder!) and she’s really finding it difficult to just let go and leave things in the lawyers hands. But this post isn’t really about my mom – it’s about the the observation going through my head that worrying really puts a damper on life. While this may be an obvious one for most people it’s surprising how many of us “non-worryers” still get caught in the trap of nail-biting, ulcer creating hyper-anxiety syndrome once and a while. The funny thing is – all our worrying really doesn’t accomplish anything. There’s a favorite scripture of mine in Matthew 6 where Jesus basically tells people ‘Don’t worry!’ The conclusion of Jesus’ thought as he goes through some of the things we humans worry about is that there’s really only one thing that matters

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33, NIV)

After all, there are things that make an eternal difference (going beyond this life) and things that are just temporary.

And then Jesus, goes on to say these nifty words, “Don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (v. 34). How true is that! Is there anyone that can really say worrying about something made it better? If there’s something in your control – do something about it but if it’s out of your control…leave it – don’t worry because all the worrying won’t do one thing for you.

Case in point: have you ever communicated with someone (a friend maybe, or aquaintance) and later on remembered something you said (or wrote) that you get thinking, hmm…I wonder if they were offended by that — some people will let that thought run away on them and create a gigantic worry “snowball” that consumes there thoughts until eventually they do everything they can to avoid that person because they may have offended them. Instead, they could’ve nipped that worry in the bud and gave that person a quick call and cleared it up…just one example.

whoah..just realized I’m starting to write a chapter rather than a post – signing off!