April Fools Day and Traditions

April Fools Day and Traditions

Did you get fooled on April 1? We have talked about traditions several times on this site, and April Fools Day is rooted in an interesting tradition. The battle between different religious belief systems has altered our calendar in various ways, and the start of the new year is one of them.

In the fifteenth century, many people celebrated Easter as the start of the new year. The problem was that Easter came on the first Sunday after a full moon after the vernal equinox. That meant that the new year started at a different time every year, making the calendar incredibly complicated.

With the Gregorian calendar in 1539, people began the tradition of celebrating New Years Day in January. However, some diehards wanted to keep it tied to Easter. The Flemish poet Eduard de Dene jumped into the discussion and wrote of playing jokes on April 1 on those who began the new year in April.

Celebration of the new year was a response to religious tradition, and it has no biblical basis. The Jewish calendar is based on lunar cycles measuring the years from the traditional date of Genesis. Independence Day for the nation of Israel was in the Jewish year of 5708 (May 14, 1948, on the Gregorian calendar).

January was named by a Roman ruler, in honor of Janus, the Roman god of beginnings. People have made significant alterations in the calendar based on human traditions and the position of the Sun and the Moon, but April Fools Day was a time of playing pranks on those who held to Easter as the start of the year.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Does God Exist? Today Year 5

Does God Exist? Today Year 5

With the start of 2021, we are beginning Does God Exist? Today year 5. This website features the kind of information found in the “News and Notes,” “Dandy Designs,” and, occasionally, “Book Reviews” columns in our printed quarterly publication. However, because Does God Exist? Today is published daily, the information is more up-to-date. This website continues to grow in its worldwide outreach, thanks to our loyal followers.

In addition to the daily posts on this Does God Exist? Today website, we have daily posts on our Facebook page. That page continues to get the attention of people around the world. The posts on the Facebook page deal with evidence for design in living things. We have dealt with that topic for years under “Dandy Designs” in our printed publications. In 2021, we hope to expand that topic with a new website.

Also, we want you to know about our DoesGodExist.tv website (Does God Exist? Media), where you can view our entire video series. Also, on that site, you will find access to our audio series and other materials.

It is essential that you know about our original website DoesGodExist.org. There you can read the current issue of our printed journal plus many other articles of interest.

Thank you for following our posts. We appreciate your feedback and support. You make it possible for us to tell people around the world that God exists and that He loves them. You can help us reach more people by sharing links to our posts on this website and sharing our Facebook posts.

As we begin Does God Exist? Today year 5, we pray that 2021 will bring blessings to you and your family.

— Roland Earnst © 2021

Resolutions and Priorities for 2021

Resolutions and Priorities for 2021

If you are reading this or having it read to you, it appears that you have survived the year 2020. As we come to a New Year, we all need to make some resolutions and priorities for 2021. The Bible makes some statements about life and priorities that we need to think about at the start of this new year. Here are some suggestions:

#1) BE CAREFUL WITH WHOM YOU SPEND YOUR TIME. Psalms 84:10 says it well: “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.” How much time do we spend with people who have nothing to offer us but profanity, dirty jokes and stories, and an obsession with pleasure? We are sometimes forced to endure these folks at work, but it is our choice elsewhere. Make this part of your resolutions and priorities for 2021.

#2) SPEND SOME TIME WORKING ON CONTENTMENT. The Apostle Paul has much to say about contentment in 1 Timothy 6:6-12. Remember that in Philippians 4:11-13, Paul tells us how he LEARNED to be content in life no matter the situation. Being content is something you learn to do, and not learning to be content can result in sorrows of all kinds.

Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 6 to remember that we brought nothing into this world, and we will take nothing out. He says WANTING to be rich is a snare, and he follows that by saying, “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” He doesn’t say that money is evil or that being rich is wrong. There are people in the Bible who were rich and who used their riches in a way that brought them contentment. (See Luke 8:1-3, 23:50-54, John 19:38, and Acts 16:14, 15.) Longing to be rich and the love of money can destroy us. It is no mystery why the suicide rate of famous rich people is so high.

What will make you content? How much do you aim your energy at being rich? Resolve to be satisfied with what you have and work at it through your faith.

#3) PRIORITIZE YOUR LIST OF RESOLUTIONS. Not everything you need to get done in 2021 is of equal importance. The Bible makes it clear that putting God first in your life should be your first priority. If you don’t believe in God or have huge doubts, resolve to change that through our video series (available free on doesgodexist.tv). Please send any questions to me at jncdge@aol.com. After God, put your family next on your list.

I have found it helpful to have two resolution lists – one physical and one spiritual. On the physical list, I place things like jobs I need to do around the house and health and recreational goals. On the spiritual list are things like improving quiet time with God and His Word both in amount and in quality. Doing the things that Jesus lists in Matthew 25:34-40 should be on your spiritual resolution list. Spending more time with those who are a part of God’s kingdom and finding positive entertainment also should be high on the list.

Your resolutions and priorities for 2021 can make it a year in which you find contentment. Follow God’s advice, and you will see that it works.

— John N. Clayton © 2020

Does God Exist? Today, Year 4

2020 - Does God Exist? Today, Year 4

With the start of 2020, we are beginning Does God Exist? Today, Year 4. This website features the kind of information found in the “News and Notes” column in our printed quarterly publication. However, because Does God Exist? Today is published daily, the information is more up-to-date. This website continues to grow in its worldwide outreach thanks to our loyal followers.

In addition to the daily posts on this Does God Exist? Today website, we have daily posts on our Facebook page. That page continues to get the attention of people around the world. The posts on the Facebook page deal with evidence of design in living things. We have dealt with that topic for years in our printed publications. This year we plan to expand that with a new website which we will announce soon.

Also, we want you to know about our DoesGodExist.tv website (Does God Exist? Media) where you can view our entire video series. Also, on that site, you will find access to our audio series and as well as other materials.

It is essential that you know about our original website DoesGodExist.org. There you can read the current issue of our printed journal plus many other articles of interest.

Thank you for following our posts. We appreciate your feedback and support. You make it possible for us to share the message that God exists and the good news of His love with people around the world. As we begin Does God Exist? Today year 4, we pray that 2020 will bring blessings to you and your family.

— Roland Earnst © 2020

Jesus Christ an Agent of Change

Jesus Christ an Agent of Change for the New Year 2020

We are about to begin the third decade of the 21st century, and we can sum up the message of the century with the word “change.” We tend to fight change. I have an older friend who says that he has seen a lot of changes in America and he’s been opposed to every one of them. He is also an atheist. When I pointed out to him that Jesus Christ was an agent of change and Christianity is a religion of change, he asked me to explain that. Let me point out five reasons.

#1) The Bible we use is the NEW Testament. Jesus used that term repeatedly using the Greek word “kaimos” meaning new, fresh, recent. (See Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24 and Luke 22:20).

#2) Newness means giving up old ways that either didn’t work or have quit working. Jesus Christ was an agent of change as He consistently gave new and better answers to old ways. In Mark 10:4, some Pharisees asked Jesus about the law of Moses, which allowed a man to divorce his wife for virtually any reason. This made women the property of their husbands. Jesus gave a new perspective on this whole issue by saying, “A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two of them shall become one, so then they are not two but one. What, therefore, God has joined together, let no man tear asunder.” This is not a sexual reference, and it made women partners, not property, and radically changed the view of women to a new and critical role. (See Genesis 2:24.)

#3) Newness in Christianity knocked down old prejudices and racial issues, making the walls that divide people non-existent. Galatians 3:28 expresses this new concept beautifully, saying, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” All of this newness was very hard for the religious and political establishment of Jesus’ day to accept, and it is still hard for many today.

#4) Newness involves changing. Christianity is not legalistic and is not run by a bunch of laws. Paul says it well in 2 Corinthians 3:6: “Christ has made us ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life.” Hebrews 10:20 talks about Christianity being a new a living way and Hebrews 8:8-12 puts to rest animal sacrifice and other ineffective practices of the past.

#5) Jesus Christ is an agent of change because He has given us a new commandment that replaces the old ways. John tells about it in 2 John 5. Over and over, Jesus talked about love in a way peculiar to Christ, using the Greek word “agapao to describe how the new way of life should function. All of Matthew 5 – 7 emphasizes this new way of living.

People rejected the newness that Jesus brought then, and people fight it now. The fact remains that Jesus Christ is an agent of change, and in Him, all things are made new. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Ephesians 4:24.) As you celebrate the start of a new year, let us urge you to become a new person. Be born again and live in the newness that “looks for new heavens and a new earth” ( 2 Peter 3:13). Ultimately we look forward to the joy of having the best new existence that we can imagine. (See Revelation 21:4-5.) HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

— John N. Clayton © 2019

2018: A New Year


With the start of 2018, we are now beginning the second year of Does God Exist? Today. We started these daily posts last January, and we now have a worldwide outreach. This website features the kind of information found in the “News and Notes” column in our printed quarterly publication. However, because Does God Exist? Today is published daily, the information is more up-to-date. In our first year, the site has been growing, and we are now getting about 2,500 views per month.

During 2017, in addition to the daily posts on the new Does God Exist? Today website, we have continued daily posts on our Facebook page. That page continues to get the attention of people around the world. We now have more than 20,000 followers. Most of the posts on the Facebook page deal with subjects related to evidence of design in the universe and in living things. We have dealt with that topic for years in our printed publications and also on our Dandy Designs website. We are working on getting the Facebook posts into a collection that we will use to update our Dandy Designs website. Watch for that in 2018.

Also in 2017 we redesigned our DoesGodExist.tv website (Does God Exist? Media) where you can view our entire video series. During 2017 we added four new videos for a total of 36. Also on that site you will find access to our audio series and as well as other materials. There is also our original website DoesGodExist.org where you can read the current issue of our printed journal plus many other articles.

Thank you for following our posts. We appreciate your feedback and support. You make it possible for us to share the message that God exists and the good news of His love with people around the world. May the New Year of 2018 bring blessings to you and your family.
–Roland Earnst © 2018