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Does your life have meaning or purpose? Why do you think so? Heck, what does that question even mean - "to have meaning or purpose"? Is there even such a thing as "meaning"? Is the only purpose to survive, avoid pain, procreate, and live as well and as long as you can?

One school of thought says that eons ago some chemicals came together in forms that were fairly stable and could act as a kind of template, replicating themselves. After a huge amount more time and random variations of these chemical combinations, one of them began to take in nutrients from the environment and replicate itself and became what we now call "alive". Nothing caused this to happen, it was just a matter of chance given the huge amount of time that passed. As time continued, the process we call "evolution" continued to select for those forms of life that were best able to survive in their environment, and more complex forms evolved that were better adapted for survival. Eventually, the human species came about.

So, back to the question of meaning, if the only thing driving the development of the human species is time and chance, then there is no real meaning or purpose to anything. One thing is no better than another in an absolute sense, it is just a question of what survives. Procreation. Survival of the species. Those are all that matters. And yet, you are tempted to ask "Why does survival of a species even matter?". Why does anything matter?

A contrary view to this is that in some way the creation of the universe and the development of life was caused by something that had a purpose, what some of us call "God". Weird notion, I agree. But, I find the "no God" notion to be even weirder. And yes, I am a scientist, and believe quite a bit of the stuff about evolution to be true. But wait, if I'm a scientist how can I prove there's a God? Well, I can't. No one can. BUT, and this is a huge "BUT", I believe there is strong evidence that there is a God, evidence that is not well explained by the "no God" theory.

I won't go into all the lines of evidence here and will refer you to some great books if you are interested. But let's look at a couple of types of evidence as examples. First, one can ask if there is such a thing as "good and evil". Or is everything just relative to its social context? Is it OK for some cultures to kill girl babies if they want boy babies, or is that wrong? Is persecution and genocide really OK in some cultures and not in others? Well, I'll take a radical position here :-) and say that I think those things are wrong anywhere and everywhere. But wait, if there is nothing other than chemicals and time and chance, then what makes something right or wrong? This is a huge dilemna philosophically, and I strongly feel that the "no God" camp does not have a sufficient answer. I believe that God instills in us an innate sense of right and wrong and that the whole concept of goodness comes from Him.

But hold on, Christians have done some stuff that would seem to be wrong by their own definition!! They've sometimes been some of the worst offenders!! This is unfortunately true, and I won't argue it. The inquisition, bombing abortion clinics, you name it. But, for example, I became a scientist even though the understanding of science by the vast majority of the populace is immature and often dead wrong. Similarly, I am Christian even though I disagree strongly with what some Christians do and say. THIS IS IMPORTANT - you should never avoid considering being a believer in God and follower of Christ because of what some other Christian does or says. Start here: Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment and replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself". So, simple test for Christians - are we starting from love for our neighbors? Now, I will add that loving our neighbors does not mean condoning all behaviors, and many things that are becoming politically correct in our society may actually not be in line with what God wants for us. So it does get complex, but you gotta start from "love you neighbor". Inquisition, bombing abortion clinics - doesn't fit with the love thing. So don't let bad things done by folks claiming to be Christian discourage you from being Christian.

There are more lines of evidence that if you honestly take the time to evaluate I think you will find compelling. Keep comparing the "God" notion to the "no God" notion for each line of evidence and you may be surprised to see that the idea of God is not some hocus pocus craziness. In fact, the idea of "no God" is, to some of us, a lot more crazy.

For more info, here are some books that are worth looking at. The first is a small book by C.S. Lewis called "Mere Christianity". Yes, same the guy that wrote the Narnia stories. Great little book - I think everyone should read it at least once in their life. For those that find religion crazy in the face of science, you really should read "The Language of God" by Francis Collins, who ran the human genome project and is now Director of the National Institutes of Health. Fantastic book about how one can be a rational Christian and still believe in evolution and physics and chemistry and all the different things science has unveiled for us. If you can swing a really philosophically intense book then I have to recommend you to "Reasonable Faith" by William Lane Craig. He weaves in stuff from cosmology, physics and biology with philosophy and all the diffent arguments for God's existence. Fantastic. Probably the most complete and intense book I have read on the subject. "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist" by Frank Turek and Norman Geisler is a good easy read if you want a recent book that is very accessible. The only caveat I'd put in is that although the authors' arguments FOR faith are very compelling, their criticisms of certain scientific views are not always well founded (in my opinion as a scientist). But it is definitely a very readable book.

From a personal standpoint, another compelling line of evidence is what might have drawn you to this website in the first place - music! Even more broadly, let's talk about the arts, and our human appreciation of beauty. For example, what does it mean to look at the leaves changing color in the fall and say, "Wow, that is really beautiful". I mean, scientifically speaking, all that's happening is that different wavelengths of light are being reflected - yellow and red in the fall compared to the green of spring and summer. Why should we have any reaction other than to say, "it's different"? And music is just a set of sound waves that we perceive. Why do we find some music beautiful? Remember, if you believe in "no God", then all a person consists of is an assembly of chemical structures generating some electrical impulses. So what is this "beauty" thing? Why does music turn us on? Evolution would say it is due to either an adaptation for survival or procreation. Hmmm, don't know about you, but I don't find that line of thinking to be at all in line with my personal experience. On the other hand, the idea that I am a "created being" who was gifted by God with an appreciation of beauty and a desire to create beautiful things like music is much more in line with my personal experience. I mean, some rock stars were definitely in it to just "get the girl" :-), which is that procreation impulse, but the truly great musicians, composers, painters, sculpturs, writers, poets, etc, are doing it for reasons far beyond some adaptation related to survival or reproduction. Whether they acknowledge God or not.

If this makes any sense to you, or is tugging at your heart a little like you want to explore it, or if you aren't satisfied with the "no God" explanation, etc. please do ask some questions. Find some Christian friends or a pastor or someone to talk to - you'll find out that a lot of Christians struggle with their faith journey and are happy to talk about it to someone else. It's not easy for everybody that wants to believe. In fact, I'd recommend staying away from anyone that finds faith easy, doesn't admit to doubt, doesn't admit to having questions, quotes chapter and verse without being able/willing to discuss the tough points. My own faith journey hasn't been easy for me but it is the central part of my life. Another thing - pray. In other words, talk to God. Praying is not just about asking God to take care of friends and family or asking for God to do stuff for you. Don't just pray using a list of what you think God needs to do. Share your heart - all the things on your mind. And ask what God wants YOU to be doing. If this is new for you, maybe pray for God's presence in your life. Be sure to spend time listening and looking for response, which may not come immediately. None of my friends or I have ever heard "voices in our heads" when God speaks to us, but we all feel undeniably like He does communicate with us. Prayer should be like conversation - two way, not one way. But it's not like talking to an invisible, make believe friend.

So, what's with the name of this website? Well, as a Christian I believe that God has a set of priorities, plans, and directions for my life, but I don't always follow them. Many times I am just too stubborn or get seduced into wanting things for my own reasons (oh oh, does that include guitar pedals and amps?). God wants to be in relationship with me but a lot of times I'm too busy. And when things are going well, it is easy to "not need God" and kinda ignore Him. When I act that way, I think it disappoints God a lot, and I certainly don't deserve any of the gifts that He offers, like an eternal life after my human body dies. In fact, even when I am behaving at my best, there is nothing I can do to deserve what God is offering me - like make Him "owe it to me" as part of a bargain for my "great behavior". But Christians believe that if you just ask God to save you from all that bad, disobedient behavior (disobedience -I seriously act like a kid sometimes), He will do exactly that - not because you deserve saving, but because He loves you. The proof of this came when Jesus was resurrected after being brutally killed. This "saving grace" that God offers - the saving that comes even though we can't possibly deserve it, is what inspired perhaps one of the greatest hymns of all time, Amazing Grace. And you don't have to wait until you die to experience it - once you honestly ask God to be saved from all the junk in your life, and start trying to be in relationship with Him, Amazing Grace will sneak up on you at many points when you least expect it. So I deliberately mis-spelled the hymn name as my website so that is might take people a minute to realize what it was - that it might sneak up on them like it can do in your life.

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