Monday, January 26, 2015



Hello all my fine friends! How have you been this week? We all here have been fine. The winter storms have passed by and once again I can see the stars shining bright at night.

And speaking of stars…I am going to continue with astronomy for the next several weeks. I’m sure most of you have heard of the space telescope Hubble launched into low earth orbit in 1990. It was named after American astronomer Edwin N. Hubbell. Less well known is the natural law named after this same man; Hubble’s Law. So what exactly is this law? 

“Astronomers understand Hubble’s Law as being a result of the expansion of the universe. As the light waves travel, the space in which they are traveling is being stretched out; so, the wavelength of the light is increased. The longer the light has been traveling, the more its wavelength is increased. This is why more distant galaxies are much more redshifted than nearby ones.”1
Expanding universe.

Depiction of red and blue shifted and stationary galaxies.
“Edwin Hubble discovered the observed relationship between redshift of light and distance to a galaxy in the 1920s. His initial observations and the data he collected on galaxies were the first to establish that there are galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy. Then he went on to show that the brighter galaxies were not as red as the dimmer galaxies. He further determined that the brighter galaxies were closer to Earth than the dimmer galaxies that contained greater redshifted spectral lines.”2 And this, in a nutshell, is Hubble’s Law.

Other methods are used as well as a check and balance for the accuracy of each other. For example, another method utilized in trying to determined distant planet movement is the Doppler Effect. Perhaps you are most familiar with this in sound waves. We can hear a car, train, plane or even someone panting as they are coming toward us. But as they come even with us and then move away from us the sound changes. This is due to the sound waves spreading out and therefore the pitch of the sound goes down as the object leaves us.

Doppler effect.
“The Doppler Effect is something that happens to waves when the source of the waves is moving (such as when a star moves away from Earth). Note that Hubble’s Law is not due to the Doppler Effect but there is a Doppler Effect on the light from stars and galaxies. For the very largest distance scales, the Doppler Effect would be much smaller than the redshift effect from the expansion of space…Light is affected the same way if a star is moving away from Earth. Thus, a star moving away from Earth causes the frequency or color of the light to shift toward the red—or down in frequency. If a star is moving toward Earth, its frequency is shifted higher, toward the blue end of the spectrum. Within our own galaxy, about half of the stars are shifted toward the blue, and half are shifted toward the red. We know the light is shifted because we can compare the light spectrum from objects in space to the light emitted by known substances in a laboratory.
Stars can be red/blue shifted or they can get their coloring from the gases that are burning.

“Almost all galaxies are shifted toward the red. Furthermore, the larger the redshift, the greater the object's distance from us. This is exactly what we would expect if the entire universe is expanding, and the light is redshifted as a result of that expansion.”3 

And as creation scientists we know from God’s word that the
Don’t get the blue stars mixed up with blue galaxies.
This is an actual photo of the most distant galaxy known.
Note the brilliant red coloring.
universe is expanding as recorded in Psalm 104:2  “Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain.”

But what about the evolutionist? Can red shift and Hubble’s Law be used to explain the big bang theory? 

Stay tuned for next week and find out!

Until then, God bless and take care,
Willow Dressel

This week in the night skies; for the northern lats; “Monday, January 26
Earth to dodge a bullet! A relatively large near-Earth asteroid, 2004 BL86, is flying by our planet, passing us by three times the distance of the Moon. Tonight the asteroid will brighten to 9th magnitude as it crosses Cancer, nicely placed in the evening hours for telescope users in the Americas. See the article and detailed finder chart in the February Sky & Telescope, page 50, or our version online: Mountain-size Asteroid Glides Past Earth.”4

“Same for the southern lats; Near Earth Asteroid  2004 BL68 will  come close to Earth on 16:20 UT 26 January at distance of 0.008 AU (around 3.1 Earth-Moon distances). It is brightest at 04:00 UT on the 27th though. It has an estimated diameter of 680m (a bit over half a kilometer). The asteroid will be a reasonably bright magnitude 9.0 at closest approach, and it comes close to the iconic Beehive cluster when it is still bright. The flyby of 2004 BL86 will be the closest by any known asteroid of this size until 2027 when asteroid 1999 AN10 goes past Earth. It is also the brightest since 2012 DA14 in 2013. Unfortunately, from Australia the asteroid is below the horizon at its brightest. We get to see it when it is between magnitudes 10-9.6. The theshold for unaided eye viewing is magnitude 6, so the asteroid is quite dim. Australians can see the asteroid move from Puppis (on the late evening of the 26th, Australia day) through Monocerous and into Hydras. While the asteroid can be picked up by high end binoculars under dark sky conditions, for most observers small telescopes will be required.”5

2Dobberpuhl, Delmar, The First Four Days, WinePress Publishing, Enumclaw, WA. 2011. Pp. 158-9.

5http://astroblogger.blogspot.comCreation The Written Truth

Monday, January 19, 2015



Hi everyone!

How have you been this fine week? I have had ups and downs and cramming work, being busy so I was able to take a few days and visit with family. My one daughter an grandson are here for a short visit and then we were able to travel to visit my wonderful in-laws for a few days. So we were able to make the rounds one more time this year!

And speaking of making the rounds… that’s exactly what comets do. Comets are pieces of debris and ice that fling around our solar system once every so often (or not so often in some cases). But were do they come from to begin with? Let’s take a deeper look.

Comet Enke
But first there are a few things we must clear up. Because comets have little mass each close pass to the sun greatly reduces a comet’s size, and eventually comets fade away. They can’t survive billions of years. Astronomers cannot directly observe a comet forming or observe the origin. All these scientists can do is observe that comets have a limited life span due to, 1) loss of material every time it slings around the sun. By the way this is what causes the bright tail flaring out behind the comet. 2) Some are ejected  from the solar system due to gravitational pull with the planets (in particular Jupiter). This phenomenon has be observed and recorded many times. And 3) There is catastrophic loss due to collisions with other celestial objects including planets. The first time it was observed was in 1994.
Comet Lovejoy a long period comet

So when these three above mentioned loss mechanisms are factored into the equation, comets have a limited life-span much less than the estimated 4.6 billion year age of the universe that secular scientists have come up with. Well, this is a problem with the evolutionary estimate mentioned above. And secular scientists recognize this. So they came up with a theory to explain why long-period comets (those with orbital periods more than 200 years) are still visible today when the loss mechanisms would have deteriorated all comets long ago. Evolutionary astronomers have hypothesized (came up with an idea) that an “Oort cloud” and “Kuiper belt” exist far out somewhere in the outer regions of space thousands of times further from the sun than earth. They believe it is these clouds that resupply the solar system with comets.

While the supposed Kuiper belt (located beyond the orbit of Neptune) is believed to contain short-period comets (those with orbits under 200 years), the Oort cloud is thought to contain 
Halley’s comet; the most famous short period comet
billions of comet nuclei that secular scientists believe gets released when an occasional passing star or other celestial object (possibly a galactic tide) pulls comets from the Oort cloud that then fall into the inner solar system. “According to the theory, this icy material was sent out to the Oort cloud in the outer reaches of the solar system by the gravity of the newly formed planets during the big bang. All earlier studies ignored collisions between the comet nuclei during this process.

“[But a] new study has considered these collisions and has found that most of the comets would have been destroyed by collisions. Thus, instead of having a combined mass of perhaps 40 Earths, the Oort cloud should have at most the mass of about a single Earth. It is doubtful that this is enough mass to account for the comets that we see. The researchers postulate ‘escape valves’3 that could supply up to 3.5 Earth masses, but this is still ‘low compared to recent estimates of the mass of the Oort cloud’. They go on to ‘speculate that a distant source region for Oort cloud comets’ could resolve some other problems [emphasis added].

“Of course, if the solar system is much younger than most 
The Kuiper Belt is added hear as if it was fact.
astronomers think, then there is no need for the Oort comet cloud. Since it cannot be detected, the Oort cloud is not a scientific concept. This is not bad science, but non-science masquerading as science. The existence of comets is good evidence that the solar system is only a few thousand years old, just as the recent-creation model suggests.”1 “To explain why we see comets today, evolutionists have to assume that both the Oort cloud and the Kuiper belt exist. Recent creationists know from the Bible that the solar system is only thousands of years old, so there is no reason to assume that either the Oort cloud or Kuiper belt exist.”

Notice all the speculation these evolutionary astronomers come up with. I hope that someday they can see it takes far more faith to believe in these assumptions than in an Intelligent Designer. 

Until next time, take care and God bless!
Willow Dressel

This week in the night skies: For the northern lats; “Thursday, January 22, mutual event among Jupiter's moons. Early on Friday morning, from 4:06 to 4:20 a.m. EST, Callisto casts its shadow onto its neighbor moon Ganymede, dimming Ganymede by an obvious 1.4 magnitudes around the middle of that time. Ganymede is normally the brightest of Jupiter's four big moons. Even with just a small telescope, you can watch it briefly become a trace fainter than Callisto, which normally is the faintest. Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa will all appear close together. Friday, January 23; The Moon, dim Mars, and bright Venus form a big diagonal line in the west in twilight. And can you still detect Mercury? It's been fading fast day by day. Three shadows on Jupiter. Late this night Callisto, Io, and Europa are all casting their tiny black shadows onto Jupiter at once, from 1:27 to 1:52 a.m. Saturday morning EST (10:27 to 10 52 p.m. Friday evening PST). Then all three satellites themselves appear in front of Jupiter at once (and hence are practically invisible) from 2:08 to 2:12 a.m. EST.”1

For the souther lats; “Starting tonight there are a series of bright evening passes of the International Space Station lasting at least the 23rd. For many places in Southern Australia this series has the ISS gliding either above, through or under the Southern Cross, depending on where you are. On the 20th there is a bright pass which takes the ISS close to the bright star Sirius (in Melbourne it passes close to Orion's Belt instead). Some of the passes are very short although bright as the ISS enters Earth's shadow, but it is interesting to see the ISS wink out abruptly. When and what you will see is VERY location dependent, so you need to use either Heavens Above or CalSky to get site specific predictions for your location (I'm using Adelaide only as an example as ther are just too many of them).”2


Tuesday, January 13, 2015



Hello, hello!

How is everyone today? It has been an interesting few days here with snow, rain and fog. And I love it all! It’s great when God “paints” the day or night in so many various ways! Lol!

Speaking of variety, one of my youth ask about free will. God did give us free will. Otherwise Adam and Eve would have never eaten the forbidden fruit. And otherwise all of us would not have made those choices we regret. 

But what my student wanted to know was, if God knows what we are going to do, is it really freed will? Well, lets take a look at this scientifically.

There is an infinite number of ways we can choose to go every second of our lives. I can choose to stand up or remain sitting or to blink my eyes or swallow, etc, etc. Is God directing each one of those actions? Many people think so. But is it true.

We must always remember that God and the angles (both good and bad ones) live in a different dimension, in addition to the ones we live in. And in this other dimension, there is no time. No past, present or future. And because God is omniscient (that is knowing everything), He knows each move we are about to make and the different results that would bring. And because God in omnipresent (that is can be everywhere at once) He is there even if we change our mind mid-stride. 

So the answer is yes, God does know what we are going to do, but he doesn’t force us to go there. Now that is not to say He doesn’t nudge us (or in some cases uses a 2x4 board) to get us to change coarse, but the final decision is ours. It is like a parent who watches a toddler climb up the steps. The parent knows that the toddler is going to either go up, stop, or go back down the steps. The parent is there watching him, ready to catch him if he stumbles. But that toddler has free will to choose. 

God bless you all!
Willow Dressel 

This week in the night skies; “Sunday and Monday--Venus and Mercury are closest together this evening in twilight, 0.7° apart. Look low in the southwest about 45 minutes after sunset, as shown here. They'll stay within 1° of each other through Monday...Thursday, January 15 Jupiter's moon Io fades into eclipse by Jupiter's shadow tonight around 12:27 a.m. Friday morning EST; 9:27 p.m. Thursday evening PST. Use a telescope to watch it dwindle out of view just to Jupiter's west. Around 10:56 p.m. EST, Jupiter's Great Red Spot crosses the planet's central meridian (north-south midline).”1

Monday, January 5, 2015

Soft tissue in dinosaur fossils, red blood cells in dinosaur soft tissue, blood vessels in dinosaur soft tissue, soft tissue in Hadrosaur, T. Res, Psittacosauri, Seismosaur, Lufengosaur, triceratops, duckbill, dinosaur, archaeopteryx, mosasaurs, scorpion, lizard, collagen, tDNA, mitochondrial DNA


Hey good morning everybody! Can you believe it is already 2015? And what a bang it came in here with a snow storm! Ahh but along with the snow storm comes great beauty. But here where I live, the snow doesn’t last very long as our average winter temperature is in the 50’s F (around 13 degrees C).

Hadrosaur fossil that contain soft tissue. Picture from AIG
And speaking of things that last (or rather don’t last), it has taken me a while to understand how soft tissue found within dinosaur fossils could last thousands of years. I can certainly understand why they don’t last millions of years--any biomass would long disintegrate before then…but wouldn’t that happen after a few thousand years too? Or even eight or nine hundred years? After all, that is a long time for what was once living tissue to retain its composition.

The answer is no. And this is why. Just like anything else soft tissue is subject to the second law of thermodynamics; everything goes from order to disorder unless energy is added. When an organic form (human, animal, or vegetation) dies, energy is no longer added to the body, the “system”. So everything begins to break down. Now in the case of fossils, where the soft tissue is encased by the surrounding mineralized structure, disintegration by reaction with oxygen is reduced. However, scientists have conducted experiments and there is one other factor that plays a major role. Temperature. Let’s take a closer look.
Photos of Hadrosaur soft tissue including blood vessels, red blood cells and collagen.
Picture from AIG.

“Scientists are doing lab experiments to see how long biological tissues and molecules can survive. So far, they have examined collagen and DNA. It’s nowhere close to 65 million years.

“Collagen Survival Rate—900,000 Years Max. Researchers placed bone fragments from modern cattle and humans into vials of distilled water. They kept a high temperature constant for 32 days. On a regular basis, they took samples to see how much of the collagen protein survived. From this, they calculated a rate of decay. This common protein might last several hundred thousand years, but no more than one million.
Photo of T. Rex soft tissue. Picture from AIG

“DNA Survival Rate—650,000 Years Max. Researchers examined 158 Moa bones buried in New Zealand at different known times, over the past few centuries. These bones were preserved under similar conditions and temperatures. The researchers then compared how much mitochondrial DNA survived in each specimen. From this, they calculated the rate of decay. At this rate, DNA would no longer be detectable after 650,000 years.

“Collagen is a tough, ropy protein found throughout bones, making them resilient and flexible. Oxygen and other chemicals react with collagen, whittling it into tiny molecules over time. How long does it last? Experiments reveal that it depends on the temperature. Heat increases the number of collisions between atoms and thus the rate of destructive chemical reactions. Bone collagen is so tough that if held at a constant temperature of 45°F (7°C), it might last for several hundred thousand years, but no more than one million. These results assume optimum burial and preservation conditions. So, hard science confirms bone collagen could have lasted, even at warmer temperatures, for the 4,300 or so years since Noah’s Flood, but should not have lasted a million years…(In addition) more recently, scientists analyzed the integrity of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from 158 fossil Moa bones of various ages to determine a decay rate for mtDNA. Moas were giant flightless birds probably hunted to extinction several hundred years ago, last alive in New Zealand. The researchers calibrated their DNA decay rates with carbon dates taken from the same fossils. Accordingly, bone mtDNA could last no more than 650,000 years before it totally disintegrated. So, even the oldest possible ages for these biochemicals keep them from lasting one million years.”1 On the other hand these scientific analysis prove that soft tissue from dinosaur could easily last thousands of years.
In most museums, science textbooks, and professional journals dinosaurs are listed as millions of years old. If that were true then there would be no soft tissue in these animals’ fossils.
Picture from AIG

As a matter of fact, in the Jan.-Mar. 2015 Answers in Genesis, “Answers” Magazine, author Brian Thomas of the article “Solid Answers on Soft Tissue” has neatly wrapped up a list of quite a few original proteins found in fossils:
“Another observation confirms…that a recent Flood formed most fossils: the preservation of original proteins. A responsible look at the many scientific reports of original proteins in fossils from around the globe reveals that paleontologists have detected animal proteins in fossils like these:
  • Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, and a duckbill dinosaur from Montana
  • Dinosaur eggs from Argentina
  • Embryonic sauropod from southern China
  • Psittacosaurus bones from China’s Gobi Desert
  • Archaeopteryx from Germany
  • Lizard from Wyoming
  • Seismosaur from New Mexico
  • Mosasaurs from Kansas and Belgium
  • Scorpion from Pennsylvania

“The most amazing report I read recently described tube worm fossils from pre-Cambrian rock layers, obtained from deep Siberian cores. Because of their intact and still-flexible proteins, I almost laughed out loud over their evolutionary age assignment of 551 million years.
Hadrosaur       T. Rex          Psittacosauri          Seismosaur            Lufengosaur  
Secular scientists claim that dinosaurs roamed the earth  millions of years ago. But that dates the dinosaurs millions of years (MY) beyond how long the collagen in the dino soft tissue could possibly survive even in the best of conditions. Picture from AIG.
Researchers have used a wide variety of techniques to detect these proteins. The ultimate test is molecular sequencing, and secular scientists determined the sequence of amino acids in the tyrannosaur and duckbill collagens. But they have also used other very reliable techniques to inexpensively identify many kinds of proteins in Mesozoic fossils.6 Often, the proteins have lost much of their original integrity, but retain enough for clear identification. Like castle ruins, we expect these proteins to have crumbled only partly over several thousand years, but after a million years these proteins should have lost all their structure. Yet they persist, pointing to thousands of years.” 

Ahh yes...I do believe our Creator God has thought of everything. He has included everything we need to understand our world. And even more so in this modern age when we have so many tools available to us to decipher the truth with precision.

It is a good time to be alive, and it is a good time to share this knowledge, for the harvest is plenty.

God bless and take care!
Willow Dressel

This week in the night skies; for the northern lats; “Wednesday, January 7. This evening you can finally see Comet Lovejoy in a moonlight-free sky again — if you look within an hour or so after dark (for most of the world's mid-northern latitudes). The comet is closest to Earth tonight, and it's also entering its brightest two weeks at 5th or 4th magnitude. But you'll have to know exactly the correct point in the sky to examine! See our updated article with finder chart: How To See Comet Lovejoy Tonight.”2

For the southern lats; “Even with full Moon, comet Lovejoy has been easy to see in binoculars. With the Moon waning and rising later the comet, which is brightening as it heads towards maximum brightness on January 11 should now be easily seen as a dimmish fuzzy star with the unaided eye. In binoculars it looks like a large ball of cotton wool and in even small telescopes a thin faint tail can be seen. For the next 7-8 days the obvious constellations of Orion and Taurus are your guide to finding the comet. The comet is currently around magnitude 4.8, and may get as bright as 4.5 or  hopefully even brighter.”3


Monday, December 29, 2014



Happy New Year everybody! 

This week brings the end of the old year and the beginning of a new one. How time flies! Time...Have you ever really thought about time? What exactly is this thing that pushes onward always leaving a past and marching into the future. Nothing we can do will alter it. I remember when, many years ago, my mother died. I wanted to stop time. But it didn’
t happen. I was even a little surprised that the sun came up the next day and birds were singing outside my window. 

So when exactly did time begin or has it always been in motion? I am not going to go into a billions of years/evolution debate because I have written many blogs on that already (please type billions of years or evolution into the search bar to get more info in this subject). So we will start  with the factual history recorded in the Bible.

Many people argue that time did not begin until day four due to the fact that that is when the sun, moon, and stars where created. However if you study the scripture, there is no place in it where it is stated that time began on day four. Yes, the stars, moon, and sun were not created until day four, but one of the reasons God put them in place was for us to be able to measure time; not to begin time; “ ‘Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so.” (Genesis 1:14-15.

Some scholars believe that because the sun, stars and moon were not there for the first three days that those first three days could be of indeterminate length (such as millions of years). However, God did measure the first three days. Scripture states that God kept time by declaring evening and morning the same as the last three days of creation. And as a refresher, when the Hebrew word “yom” (day) is used with either a portion of the day or a number, it means an ordinary day. For all six creation days, God used portions of the day and a number. So God basically said that the creation days were ordinary, ordinary days. 

So it seems then that time was created on day one. The date of creation, and thus time, can be obtained from the events recorded in Genesis 1, and the genealogies documented in Genesis chapters 5 and 11. Even Exodus confirms the creation account. Exodus 20:11 states that the six creation days plus the seventh day of rest comprise one week and is the basis of our
workweek. Exodus 31:17-18 states that God Himself wrote those words. 

So did time exists before Creation Week? What was before Creation Week? The answer is simple. John 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So if God was there in the beginning of time, then He would have to have been the One to have created time. Before that, all we know that has been recorded in the Bible is that there was

The very interesting thing about time is, that it (like any of the other natural laws), is under the control of the Lord. Matthew 6:27 states, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” But you know the Lord can! How many, many times has He add hours and years when we have begged for mercy for a loved one. God is good!

How privileged we are that such a powerful, supernatural, Intelligent Designer is also so kind and merciful and just. And that He loved us enough that yet while we make mistakes and do things we shouldn’t do on purpose, He died for us so He could be with us if we would just except the free gift of Jesus.

Until next week, take care and God bless!
Willow Dressel 

This week in the night skies; for the northern lats; “Thursday, January 1, The waxing gibbous Moon shines in or near the Hyades this evening. Late tonight the Moon's invisible dark limb will occult (cover) Delta1 and/or Delta2 Tauri (magnitudes 3.8 and 4.8, respectively) for much of the southern and western U.S. Here is a map with timetables for each star's occultation. Saturday, January 3, Are you tracking Venus and Mercury yet? They're now just 2½° apart, in the afterglow of sunset low in the southwest. Brilliant Venus is on top. They're drawing closer together; they will appear closest, just 0.6° apart, a week from today.”

For the southern hemisphere; “The First Quarter Moon is Tuesday December 29. Venus is low in the evening sky with Mercury below it. Mars is easily visible in the early evening and is visited by the Moon on the 25th. Jupiter is prominent in the morning sky. Saturn rises in the morning sky. Comet C/2102 Q2 Lovejoy is easily visible in binoculars in the early evening is visible to the unaided eye in dark sky sites….If you go out when the sky is dark (a little after 10 pm daylight saving time in most of Australia), and look east you will see the bright star Sirius almost dead ahead of you. This blue white star is the brightest in the sky, and is unmistakeable, off to the left (north) is the distinctive "saucepan" that forms the Belt of Orion the Hunter. Above the Saucepan is a bright blue-white star, Rigel. To the right (south) of Sirus and Rigel is the next brightest star in the sky, yellow Canopus. These stars will be your guide to the comet. If you look up upwards from Sirius, your sight will intersect an imaginary line between Rigel and Canopus. Looking a bit south of this intersection there is a pair of dimmer, but still easy to see, stars. Phract and Wazn are the brightest stars in the constellation of the Dove. Comet Lovejoy forms the apex of a triangle pointing towards Sirius with these stars as the triangles base. To the unaided eye the comet will look like a dim fuzzy dot. In binoculars it is decent sized fuzzy ball, about a quarter the size of the Moon, and a telescope a very obvious fuzzy ball, perhaps with a hint of a tail. You may need to find it in binoculars first before it is apparent to the unaided eye. There is no comparable cluster or nebula in the region to confuse it with.”3


Tuesday, December 23, 2014



Good day everyone! 

Well, Christmas is almost upon us. It is the time to celebrate the birth of our Savior and to get together with loved ones opening presents under the tree or just enjoying each other’s company. What a special time of year! I love it!

Last week we learned about the Christmas tree and the week before about putting up lights. But what about all the beautiful ornaments? Where did that come from and is it pagan?

I had been informed one time a few years back that hanging round ornaments on trees actually had its roots in pagan ritual. You may have heard this too so let me share some information. Supposedly the ornaments represented male organs and were hung to induce favor with the fertility gods. Whether this is true or not, it is not connected in any way to our beautiful Christmas ornaments. 

Our tradition can be traced to the 1800’s back in England. Pinecones, colorful winter berries, nuts and fruits where first used to decorate trees. Then small colorful items found around the house began to be placed on the tree in addition to the natural items. And in the UK people crafted lace and paper into special shapes. Soon the Germans began to bake their cookies, especially gingerbreads, in different shapes and sizes. Also around this same time here in America strings of popcorn and cranberries
were carefully made and wrapped around the Christmas tree.  

“The Germans began making ornaments for mass production in the mid-1800s. Around Lauscha, Germany, glass blowers began molding glass into fruit or nut replicas. After those became a big hit, they began making different shapes, such as
Antique German glass blown ornament
hearts and stars, as well as saints, children or animals.
“In the 1920s, more countries vied with Germany for the Christmas ornament market. Japan came out with more colorful designs than Germany, while the Czech Republic produced very fancy ornaments. After World War I, glass ornaments began to be produced by a machine in Corning, New York. They were the first
Antique Japanese glass blown ornaments
glass ornaments to be made by machine.”1

So you see even if some pagan religions used ornaments for their rituals, it is not what we do or even think of with our ornaments. Likewise, the use of ornaments didn’t spring out of the pagan religion. It came about from the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child and the desire to honor Him in some small way--by decorating a conifer tree. May we remember and treasure that amazing event as we gaze upon our beautiful ornaments and thank the Lord for His sacrifice and love.

May you all have a very Merry Christmas!
Until next time,
Willow Dressel

This week in the night skies: for the northern lats; “This is the time of year when Orion shines in the east-southeast after dinnertime. He's well up now, but his three-star Belt is still nearly vertical. The Belt points up toward Aldebaran and, even higher, the Pleiades. In the other direction, it points down to where bright Sirius is about to rise.”2

For the southern lats; “Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy is brightening nicely in the sky, and its tail is doing some interesting things…You can see significant changes in the span of the tail and the secondary spikes.”3


Monday, December 15, 2014



Good afternoon everyone!

I hope and pray this day finds you healthy and centering your lives around Jesus. This time of year people do think more or our Lord and Savior as He became flesh and blood for our sakes. What a beautiful gift!

Speaking of Christmas gifts, lights, the virgin birth and the Bethlehem star, all things to do with Christmas, what of the Christmas tree? Is it alright for Christians to have a Christmas tree? Where did the tradition come from anyways?

Let’s start with the tradition. Many pagan religions utilized greenery at some time during the cold winter season. The earliest tradition of bringing greenery indoors goes back as far as the Egyptians. As the winter solstice approached they brought in fresh cut palm leaves to worship and as a symbol of life’s triumph over death.

The Romans celebrated the winter solstice by decorating their homes with cut branches of different trees and shrubs in a festival
called the Saturnalia. This was done to honor the god of agriculture. 

In Great Britain many centuries ago, Druids used evergreens in their winter solstice rituals as well. These wood priests placed greenery over their doors to keep away the evil spirits and hung mistletoe and holly too as a symbol to promote eternal life.

By the late “Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors to show their hope in the forthcoming spring.

“And legend has it that Martin Luther began the tradition of
decorating trees to celebrate Christmas. One crisp Christmas Eve, about the year 1500, he was walking through snow-covered woods and was struck by the beauty of a group of small evergreens. Their branches, dusted with snow, shimmered in the moonlight. When he got home, he set up a little fir tree indoors so he could share this story with his children. He decorated it with candles, which he lighted in honor of Christ's birth.”1

But it seems it was in America that the tradition caught on and spread. The idea of the tree would have been brought over from German immigrants and even the Hessian troops during the American Revolution. But the tradition spread slowly at first, partially due to the Puritans that banned Christmas celebrations in the 1700’s and early 1800’s. 

But “the Christmas tree market was born in 1851 when Catskill farmer Mark Carr hauled two ox sleds of evergreens into New York City and sold them all. By 1900, one in five American families had a Christmas tree, and 20 years later, the custom was nearly universal.”2

Because of the early usage of evergreens in pagan religions, some Christians have raised the question about the use of conifer trees in our Christmas celebrations. They site Jeremiah 10:1-5 as evidence;
“Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the Lord: Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple. They are upright, like a palm tree, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, nor can they do any good.” If you study this scripture (and also the previous 16 verses) you will understand that though there are similarities to this description and our Christmas trees, the entire passage is speaking of idolatry. There were cultures that have (and some still do) worshipped trees, forests, wood carvings and so forth. God is warning us not to worship the creation, but rather the Creator. 

So unless you actually worship your Christmas tree, I would say no worries about having one! And then you have to remember Joseph’s words when he confronted his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done...” (Genesis 50:20). It is just like our intelligent Savior to turn what was once used against Him into something beautiful!

Until next time, God bless and take care,
Willow Dressel

This week in the night skies; for the northern lats; “Monday, December 15th a Double shadow transit on Jupiter! Both Io and Europa are casting their tiny black shadows onto the face of Jupiter from 1:12 to 2:02 a.m. Tuesday morning Eastern Standard Time (10:12 to 11:02 p.m. Monday evening Pacific Standard Time). Europa itself starts crossing Jupiter at 1:18 a.m. EST, and Europa starts crossing the disk at 2:15 a.m. EST. (for observers in Europe add 5 hours to the times above to get UT.”3 

For the southern lats; “Terry Lovejoy has done it again! After C/2011 W3 Lovejoy, which was also a Christmas comet, he has found us another great comet. C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy is brightening rapidly. Currently the comet is around a full magnitude brighter than predicted, and there are multiple reliable reports that is is now (faintly) visible to the unaided eye. There is every possibility the comet may reach magnitude 4. While it will not have the magnificent tail developed by C/2011 W3, and will only be a fuzzy dot to the unaided eye, it will be the brightest comet we will have seen in southern skies since Terry's previous Christmas comet, and you won't have to get up at 4 am to see it. At the moment, the comet is above the distinctive star cluster around the bright star pi Puppis in the eastern sky after 10 pm.”4