VIDEO Brain Bath: A Clever Design Solution

What makes sleep so mentally refreshing? University of Rochester neuroscientist Jeff Iliff addressed the crowd gathered at a September 2014 TEDMED event and explained his amazing new discoveries.1 The words he used perfectly match what one would expect while describing the works of an ingenious designer.2

Other organs rely on the lymphatic system to remove metabolic waste that builds up in the spaces outside cells, but no lymph vessels exist behind the skull. Since the brain uses a fourth of all the body’s energy, there must be some other mechanism at work to clear away brain waste. Iliff and his colleagues discovered this mechanism and published their findings in the journal Science Translational Medicine in 2012.3 In his TED talk, Iliff described his team’s findings using the appropriate language of design.

Iliff said, “We’ve found that sleep may actually be a kind of elegant design solution to some of the brain’s most basic needs, a unique way that the brain meets the high demands and the narrow margins that set it apart from all the other organs of the body.”1

During sleep, special cells found alongside blood vessels pump cerebrospinal fluid from the edges of the brain to its center. The brain’s neurons actually shrink to permit the fluid to rush through the tiny spaces between cells where it picks up and carries off metabolic waste products.

Again from Iliff, “If you think about it, using the outsides of these blood vessels like this is a really clever design solution, because the brain is enclosed in a rigid skull and it’s packed full of cells, so there is no extra space inside it for a whole second set of vessels like the lymphatic system.”1

He used words like “elegant,” “beautiful,” “solution,” and “clever design” to describe how the brain—an “unimaginably complex mechanism”—bathes itself.1

How was this remarkable system created? Iliff noted that the lymph system evolved, and then he credited the brain itself for somehow solving “the problem of waste clearance.”1

The brain is amazing, but it cannot build its own parts any more than a computer can install new hardware all by itself. God could, so He is by far the most reasonable source of the information needed to manufacture and distribute along brain blood vessels these amazing and necessary tiny cerebrospinal fluid pumps.



The brain uses a quarter of the body’s entire energy supply, yet only accounts for about two percent of the body’s mass. So how does this unique organ receive and, perhaps more importantly, rid itself of vital nutrients? New research suggests it has to do with sleep. Jeff Iliff is a neuroscientist who explores the unique functions of the brain.

Article References

Iliff, J. One more reason to get a good night’s sleep. TED Talks. Filmed September 2014, accessed October 14, 2014.
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
Iliff, J.J. et al. 2012. A Paravascular Pathway Facilitates CSF Flow Through the Brain Parenchyma and the Clearance of Interstitial Solutes, Including Amyloid β. Science Translational Medicine. 4 (147): 147ra111.

* by MR. Brian Thomas, M.S is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on October 17, 2014

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The Witness of the Spirit

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit . . . —Romans 8:16

We are in danger of getting into a bargaining spirit with God when we come to Him—we want the witness of the Spirit before we have done what God tells us to do.

Why doesn’t God reveal Himself to you? He cannot. It is not that He will not, but He cannot, because you are in the way as long as you won’t abandon yourself to Him in total surrender. Yet once you do, immediately God witnesses to Himself—He cannot witness to you, but He instantly witnesses to His own nature in you. If you received the witness of the Spirit before the reality and truth that comes from obedience, it would simply result in sentimental emotion. But when you act on the basis of redemption, and stop the disrespectfulness of debating with God, He immediately gives His witness. As soon as you abandon your own reasoning and arguing, God witnesses to what He has done, and you are amazed at your total disrespect in having kept Him waiting. If you are debating as to whether or not God can deliver from sin, then either let Him do it or tell Him that He cannot. Do not quote this or that person to Him. Simply obey Matthew 11:28 , “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden . . . .” Come, if you are weary, and ask, if you know you are evil (see Luke 11:9-13).

The Spirit of God witnesses to the redemption of our Lord, and to nothing else. He cannot witness to our reason. We are inclined to mistake the simplicity that comes from our natural commonsense decisions for the witness of the Spirit, but the Spirit witnesses only to His own nature, and to the work of redemption, never to our reason. If we are trying to make Him witness to our reason, it is no wonder that we are in darkness and uncertainty. Throw it all overboard, trust in Him, and He will give you the witness of the Spirit.

by Oswald Chambers

When It Seems Impossible

Jeremiah 32:17-22

What is your initial reaction when you encounter a difficult circumstance—one that looks impossible? Some people go into overdrive searching for an answer or a way out. Others curl up in defeat or withdrawal, either declaring the situation hopeless or trying to avoid it altogether. Hopefully, as a Christian, you turn immediately to the Lord, seeking His guidance. But what you ask Him is very important.

• O Lord, what am I going to do? At first glance, this seems like the right thing to ask, but is it really? The problem with this question is that even though we are seeking the Lord’s guidance, the focus is on our actions. That means the way we think about how to handle the situation is limited to our abilities, resources, and understanding. Often, our minds begin to devise possible plans, and we soon resort to manipulating and maneuvering in an attempt to fix the problem.

• God, what are You going to do? This is the right question because now the focus has shifted to the omniscience and omnipotence of almighty God. He blows the sides out of any box that confines us and untangles any situation we find baffling. He has the power to carry out His plans, which—unlike our solutions—are perfect and always bring Him glory.

To truly pray the second prayer, you must be willing to surrender all your plans into His hands. Not only does He know what to do and how to accomplish it, but He can also make a way through any impossibility. Your job is simply to trust Him and be obedient by following His directions.

Godly Derision and Wrath

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” (Psalm 2:4-5)

What does an individual gain by opposing God and His plan? Can human opposition succeed against the Almighty One who created the universe? Obviously, no rebellion has a chance to succeed. God’s sovereign control will certainly overpower man’s feeble attempts to wrest command from Him. He will simply laugh in derision.

However difficult it is for us to imagine God laughing in this manner, we can surely understand His derision at the futility of created beings confronting their Creator and His right to rule over their lives. The name used for God is Lord, meaning Master. As Creator He has the authority to set the rules for His creation and the power to exact the penalty for breaking the rules.

Note that His response exceeds mere derision. It extends to “wrath.” At the appointed time, the sovereign Judge will address all those who have rebelled against and opposed Him.

Man has no right to question God’s authority or goodness in exercising it. Indeed, “the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He even sacrificed His only begotten Son to pay the just penalty for sin. What more could He do?

With our sin penalty fully paid, our sin is forgiven, and we gratefully acknowledge His kingship over our lives. Once submitted to Him, we face everlasting fellowship with Him. With sin banished, believers need never fear His derision or wrath. JDM

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.—John 15:16.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.—John 15:14.

WE have not chosen Thee,
But us Thou deign’st to choose—
Not servants, but Thy friends to be,
Whom Thou wilt never lose:
For never wilt Thou change—
Who art all change above:
Nor life nor death shall us estrange
From Thy most perfect love.
GEORGE B. BUBIER.

WE offer Christ the submission of our hearts, and the obedience of our lives; and He offers us His abiding Presence. We take Him as our Master, and He takes us as His friends. Our Lord takes us up into a relationship of love with Himself, and we go out into life inspired with His spirit to work His work. It begins with the self-surrender of love; and love, not fear or favor, becomes the motive. To feel thus the touch of God on our lives changes the world. Its fruits are joy and peace, and confidence that all the events of life are suffused, not only with meaning, but with a meaning of love. The soul that is bound by this personal attachment to Jesus has a life in the eternal, which transfigures the life in time with a great joy. HUGH BLACK.

The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all

The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Psalm 103:19

The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD. — Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

I am the LORD, and there is none else; there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? — If God be for us, who can be against us?

He must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. — Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Proverbs 16:33. Amos 3:6. Isaiah 45:5-7. Daniel 4:35. Romans 8:31. 1 Corinthians 15:25. Luke 12:32.

O God, my heart is fixed

O God, my heart is fixed. Psalm 108:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. — He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. — In the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy: I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

The God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.

Psalm 27:1. Isaiah 26:3. Psalm 112:7,8. Psalm 56:3. Psalm 27:5,6. 1 Peter 5:10,11.