Are Those Fingerprints Fresh?

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. — Romans 12:2 (NASB)

Even though I might sound like a rookie, I have a confession to make. When processing a scene for fingerprints (friction ridge impressions), there is little that tickles my fancy more than a crisp clear impression developing before my eyes. Even with a quarter century experience under my belt it’s still exciting!

Each powdered-brush stroke reveals more of the pattern. It forms and widens. Darkened ridges rise and recurve. Some split into bifurcations. Others abruptly stop as ridge endings. The combination of details are unending and amazing. Each unveiled detail feeds my confidence. I will identify the person who left it. Fingerprints can be beautiful.

God, fearfully and wonderfully, formed our bodies in our mother’s womb. He used the amalgam of data encoded in our DNA, gentle movement of amniotic fluid around us, and our touching the walls of our pre-birth home to engrave ridge impressions into our fingers, palms, and foot soles.

DNA is heralded as the ultimate evidence despite its weaknesses. Friction ridge matching is the workhorse, the most widely used source of identification in the world. However a match does not prove a person’s guilt only their presence. Depending on the composition of the print, the surface it is on, and the surrounding environment, it can be viable for minutes or months.

I can identify a person from impressions and testify to his or her presence at a scene. But based solely on the fingerprint I cannot say when the person was there. There are certain signs (e.g., clarity vs. blurring) and environmental situations, which will hint at a time frame, but they would not stand in a court of law. If a suspect in a crime had been at the scene prior to the crime on a legitimate basis, the fingerprint match can be worthless.

An ability to nail down the time an impression was deposited, would be a great boon to crime scene investigation. Now, as explained in the video above, researchers may break this time barrier. They are observing many of the signs that I observe in a fingerprint in the process of validating their findings.

I previously posted an analogy about processing a scene for fingerprints to show the presence of a suspect at a crime scene and processing a person to unveil the God’s presence in a person’s life.

But how fresh are those prints left by God in a person’s life? How long has it been since He touched them?

In Galatians 5:22-23 the Apostle Paul speaks about “fruit of the Spirit“.  These gifts are a free sample of what we will be like in eternity. They are displayed in a person’s behavior and remain the truest evidence that God has touched their life. There is a crisp newness about them.

When people come into a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, they undergo a transformation that continues the rest of their life. However, if a blurring in that newness is observed in them. If God’s fingerprints are not clear and crisp, it is a good indicator they have stepped away from relationship and His hands.

Through his writing in Romans 12:2 the Apostle Paul urges Christians to continue in transformation, by staying in His hands. The fingerprints of God are beautiful indeed.

 

Would You Leave My Grandparents Out Of This Please?

Jan Gossaert, Adam and Eve, c.1520 'The Northern Renaissance: Durer to Holbein' at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace - www.royalcollection.org.uk  2 November 2012 - 14 April 2013  Credit - Royal Collection Trust (c) 2012, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II  This photograph is issued to end-user media only. Single use only. Photographs must not be archived or sold on.
Jan Gossaert’s, Adam and Eve, c.1520

 

O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge” which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. 1 Timothy 1-6:20

The news story regarding the “Genetic Adam and Eve” is revitalized again. Reportedly new data regarding when these people lived has been found. I know that using the names is an attention draw. However, I would appreciate all parties involved leaving my grand parents’ name out of it. They are not talking about the biblical Adam and Eve.

I personally do believe in a biblical, historical, first man and woman created by God as the predecessors of all mankind. I realize many scientists, and others, do not hold my beliefs. I also completely understand why some Christian scientists, and others, are attempting to support biblical scripture by the argument about DNA. However adding more to the crowd noise doesn’t help the situation.

In his letter to Timothy the Apostle Paul wrote about this very thing. It does little but detract from the real purpose of the whole Bible.

Other than the book of Genesis only one other raises as much discontent—the book of Revelation. I find it amazing how the first and last books of the Bible draw so much away from the ones in between them. Particularly as the events in them remain hidden in time. They can never be proven unless we either go back in time (which is not likely), or reach the last day (at which point it won’t matter). Until then the majority of debates based around them are moot.

As a Crime Scene Investigator I know certain criteria must be documented to prove the value of evidence in a case regardless of findings:

1. The location and time of collection.

2. The method of collection used.

3.  How it was processed.

4. Who had custody of it through the entirety of the process.

If these qualifiers are not met, the evidence is invalid. It will not be accepted into court and its collection pointless. The debates and arguments about the scripture of Genesis and Revelation all fail in one of these areas. Without them one side will never be able to convince the other side they are right.

Light was created in the beginning by God. God will be the light which removes the need of the sun and moon in the end of time. God came to the cross for us all somewhere in the middle of these times. A cross lit from front and back casts shadows to the front and the back. Our only hope of salvation is presented in both books but merely as shadows from the center. The heart of the Bible is the cross.

By all means read and study Genesis and Revelation. These are vital parts of the whole. You will be blessed by them. And, yes, be a defender of your faith in God, through Jesus Christ. There is a definite need for apologetics in our world. Nonetheless do it as the Apostle Peter adjured. Not through endless debate but by giving an account based on the center of “the hope that is in you” .

 

He Sits In The Lurking Places

dismemberment-victim-in-new-haven-identified
Victim: Ray Roberson

He sits in the lurking places of the villages;
In the hiding places he kills the innocent;
His eyes stealthily watch for the unfortunate. – Psalm 10:8 (NASB)

The media is supercharged with racial crimes revolving around one ethnicity against another. Another grouping of racial crime is race-on-race (e.g., black-on-black, white-on-white, asian-on-asian). For some reason this classification holds an air of abnormality. As if a person of one ethnicity attacking the same is taboo. I have never understood this. After all the first murder was brother-on-brother. It occurred when there was only one ethnic group. Anyone attacking anyone should be the abnormality.

There is another group with similar problems but little in the way of ethnic issues. There is a sub-culture in our society that hides in plain sight. The homeless population in the United States is estimated to be 1.7 million.

How can so many people disappear from the community of man?

Histories of criminal activity and/or psychological illness push many out. A good number of them are pushed out by economical downfall. Many fade from society by choice, become complacent, and stay of their own free will. I will not candy coat it. Some are innocents, some are criminals, some are hard workers, and some are lazy. They are, however, humans, with all ethnicities lumped into one.

Homeless-on-homeless crime is in a class all its own primarily because not many people care. The rate of violent crime is 40 times higher in the homeless population than in any other. Non-Violent crime ranks as much as 27 times higher. Yet most people either don’t know or are not concerned about this—out of sight, out of mind.

 

Mental Illness and the Homeless
Mental Illness and the Homeless

 

On July 15, 2015 in New Haven, Connecticut

  1. Two human legs were found by a railroad track
  2. Two arms, missing the hands, were found next.
  3. dismembered torso was then found in a boarded up building.
  4. The head and hands are still missing. 

Usually dismembering a body is an attempt to hide the identity of the victim. In this case to hide the identity of someone who was already invisible to the most of the world. Was this a case of homeless-on-homeless crime or something else?

Frankly the odds are against finding out the whole story behind this crime. Though, I have seen good police work do the seemingly impossible in criminal investigations.

It is the victim’s criminal history itself that provided the first in hopefully a cascade of clues that will solve the case. The victim’s DNA was on file due to a criminal infraction of his. That DNA identified the found body parts. That is a start.

My church recently sent a team to Chicago, Illinois to assist and learn from a wonderful organization, The Pacific Garden Mission. Those that visited were extremely impressed with the facilities, purpose, success, and Spirit-filled hearts of the people ministering there.

Since 1877, Pacific Garden Mission has been a place of refuge and transformation. Millions weary of struggling through life’s storms, have come to the “Old Lighthouse” seeking food, shelter, clothing, medical, and dental care.

The devil, Satan, does exist. Among an invisible population; an invisible enemy finds perfect ground to work evil against God’s creation.  Mankind, as hard as it may be for us to believe, is God’s greatest creation. The depths that it allows itself to sink is not what our Lord wants.

I urge you to donate time and/or money to legitimate organizations like the Pacific Garden Mission. They are extremely helpful in leading those hidden from society back into it as valued members. But the only real Hope in the end is Jesus Christ because we can do all things through Him.