I am a Christian. I believe in the God of the Bible, in God the Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. I believe in Genesis 1:1 - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (NIV)" I am a biochemist and a pharmacist by education. As such I have a desire to understand nature. I am writing this blog as my way to express the facts of true science as I understand them, from the perspective of one who believes that all things were created by God, for God and for His purposes.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Battery and a Beatitude - Power Under Control

The newest Boeing jet, the 787 Dreamliner, was grounded by an overheated battery.

On January 7, 2013, a battery overheated and started a fire in an empty Dreamliner at Boston's Logan International Airport. On January 9, United Airlines reported a problem in one of its six 787s with the wiring to the same battery. On January 16, 2013, a 787 made an emergency landing at Takamatsu Airport after a computer warning said there was smoke inside one of the electrical compartments with an error message in the cockpit citing a battery malfunction. On the same day the FAA issued an emergency directive ordering all U.S.-based airlines to ground their Boeing 787s until modifications could be made to reduce the risk of the battery overheating or catching fire. Such a small component had the power to ground the whole fleet! That was power out of control.

So why all of this about batteries? Well a battery is "Power Under Control." Maybe not in the Dreamliner's case but in design a battery is to hold a chemical charge and release that power in a controlled fashion to an electrically driven device. It does this by one of a variety of chemical reactions that produces a flow of electrons through a wire. In the case of the 787, that battery is a Lithium Ion cell, one of the most powerful of battery chemistries - more kilowatt-hours by weight of any available today.

And what about the Beatitude? And how does it relate to a battery?

Matthew Chapter Five, commonly known as the "Sermon on the Mount," has a list of eight blessings or Beatitudes that echo the highest ideals of Jesus' teachings on mercy, spirituality, and compassion. The third beatitude, Matthew 5:5 (NIV), states:

"Blessed are the Meek, for they will inherit the earth."

The Greek word for "Meek" used here is "πραΰς" or "praÿs," which implies a gentleness of spirit or disposition. But it is referring to a meekness towards God in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and thus without dispute or resistance. It does not mean someone who is a Caspar Milquetoast, "a man who speaks softly and gets hit with a big stick." Meekness here stems from trust in God's goodness and control over any situation. A truly meek person is not occupied with self at all but with the will of God. The image is that of a “war horse,” ready to charge, yet totally submissive to the authority of his rider.

The Meek will inherit the Earth
For They truly stand strong in the Power of God
In Compassion and Love

A.W. Tozer once wrote, "The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God's estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his motto."

To be meek is often mistaken as being weak. But, much like the battery, meekness is actually great power under control – God’s control. Great faith, strong commitment, and fierce determination are needed daily to live a meek life before God. When God requires of us a sacrifice, if we are meek we trust completely and give in willingly to His call. When He demands obedience, our meekness should squelch our selfish desires, crush our personal ambitions, and rejoice in the good will of the Lord.

The meek find their joy in the Lord. Therefore, the more they have of Him, the more they experience of Him, the more they know of Him, the more their joy is increased. And the more their joy is increased, the more they desire to plant their joy in the Lord and not in this world. Their pleasure is not found in personal circumstances; their happiness does not come about from worldly popularity; their fulfillment does not come from public success.

We develop the character of meekness by allowing the Holy Spirit to control our lives. This will increase our self control and we will not feel the need to lash out when someone angers, persecutes, or provokes us. Instead we will treat them with gentleness and compassion. We will want our actions to reflect the love of God. Meekness is not a compromise of our faith, integrity, or standards. We still need to stand strong for truth and fight against the attacks of the enemy. We just need to do it in love.

James 1:19-21 (NIV) tells us that meekness is the opposite of anger and moral filth. It is the basic attitude we are to have toward all people. We have the power of God within us so we must control ourselves and let God work in and through us to will and to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13 (NKJV)).

The Meek will inherit the earth because they truly understand how to use the Power of the Lord to govern the world, as is His desire, with the compassion and love of God.

Ephesians 4:1-2 (KJV) - I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.