Friday, May 29, 2009

Chigger! I hardly know 'er!

Well, I have a mean case of the chiggers, known to your local entomologist as Trombiculidae, a family of mites that bore into your skin, release an enzyme that breaks down your cells into skin bisk, and slurp it up. Right now they are somewhere around the larval stage. I just finished shaving most of my left leg so I could coat it in clear nail polish. Besides the obvious aesthetic benefits, I wonder if it will help get rid of the chiggers?
On a related note, the Gators play in their regional baseball tournament this weekend and Miami is in town for it. Like chiggers, Miami fans always seem to show up out of nowhere and aggravate the heck out of you. The only difference is that Miami fans get worse with age, they do both seem to disappear when autumn comes, though.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Book of the year

The following is a free piece of advice:
Read The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. While it may be the most depressing book I’ve read, it is also, I think, the best book I’ve ever read. In a post-apocalyptic grey, ashy and hopeless setting Cormac McCarthy creates an incredibly tender and desperately necessary relationship between two of the most real and human characters I have ever read. I highly recommend the book, but you should be forewarned that it is gruesome at times. It is well worth it, though. Have any of you read this book? What did you think about it?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

There's a hole in my phylogeny, dear Ida, dear Ida

While I’m not trained to write publicly on most of my opinions, (yes, I do anyway), I think the last eight years of school affords me my present platform.

About five weeks ago scientists found Ida, which they are claiming is the missing link between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens. She is said to be between 600,000 and 200,000 years old. They found her in Ethiopia, often considered the cradle of human existence.

There are dozens of things about this that make it relevant to write about. I’ll address a few. I can see already that a storm of buzz about Creation vs. Evolution is about to start, and I’m sure that this will lead to an incredible amount of miscommunication and mud-slinging between people at the highest and lowest levels. Did you know that in the first edition of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species by Natural Selection, he concludes not with a scientific statement, but with a wonderment of the Creator that could have imagined such diversity?
What have we done with this? Well, both sides have turned it into a ridiculous argument that maybe shouldn’t exist. Let’s assume for a minute that Darwin’s theory actually contradicts the story of Creation as it’s told in Genesis (I don’t think it does). Are we God’s lawyer? Is our voice louder than His, which MADE all of this? Remember that faith is, in the best sense of the word, unreasonable. And under the same assumption, does illogical faith for the opposite really offend science, which by definition does not consider faith as evidence? Does science have anything to do with faith, or faith with science? Well, I think that is part of the problem. Otherwise the followers of either (faith or science) would not be offended. The ridiculous part of this to me, though, is that I see no place for an argument! What if somewhere along the line what we now see as humans came from a less complex being, like Ida, don’t we as Christians believe that God made man and THEN breathed life into his nostrils? All of a sudden we are offended that at one point man had not yet had God’s life breathed into him? It sounds like we are convinced of our natural physical beings being higher than the apes apart from God’s breath. Otherwise what was the purpose of His breath being breathed into us? This is dangerous ground! It certainly doesn’t make much sense.

Another reason this find is relevant is the discovery itself! This could provide incredible insight into the origin of physical man and woman! This could be more important than the first discovery of dinosaur fossils! Or the coelacanth! Is the church in the West going to let a petty argument and pride get in the way of being a part of this? Of having a critical, legitimate voice in the discussion? I’m sure that appreciating creation is something God values. And most people I know who are Christians enjoy discovering said creation. When do you draw the line and say, “that is theory and only theory, I am offended by it and so I will have nothing to do with it. God put that fossil there merely to test my faith.”? Don’t draw the line! Be a productive part of the discussion!

If you are still reading this long post, I apologize for my longwindedness. If I can leave you with one last opinion, it is this: If the limit of your discussion on the present topic is only argument, please check the extent of your outspokenness. I realize this could be seen as hypocritical, because I am quite outspoken on the topic. But I have spent a lot of time and energy on this issue, and feel like my stance is at least something more than a layperson’s opinion.
I encourage you to engage in discussion on the topic, but there are no grounds for offending the person you are talking to.
With that said, I would love to hear your opinions to both this post and the discovery of Ida. Thanks!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

We've got to gripe, just to make it today

According to the “National Day of Prayer Task Force”, our president should recognize more fully the importance of prayer. Is this for real? What, did these people hear from on high that Barack Obama doesn’t place enough emphasis on prayer?

About eight years ago the National Day of Prayer went from an observed day without a whole lot of fanfare to an event where many people across the nation joined in public prayer. The Bible says some things about public prayer, and from what I remember off the top of my head, we would be wiser to pray privately and humbly rather than making a big to do about it.

If there is anything that is sacred is it not prayer? Are we not rewarded in secret for the things we do in secret? I’m baffled that people would criticize the president for not holding some kind of assembly for open corporate prayer. Didn’t our forefather’s frame the freedoms of religion for us so that the government wouldn’t get involved in our personal lives toward God? Now you’re asking the government itself to, in some sense, pray on your behalf! Lay off the president, people! You’re supposed to be praying today, not criticizing those in authority to you. And yes, I know I gripe. Why do you think I blog?!

A Three Stranded Chord

Weddings are officially my favorite event to attend. They even edge out the firework show after a long day at the Magic Kingdom. Actually they blow it out of the water. The two best ways to attend a wedding? Either as the husband of a bride’s maid or as some other type of non-attendant that gets invited to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

Our friends Dave and Hope are now joined in Holy matrimony as of Saturday afternoon. It is on my list of top ceremonies and is at the top of my list (excluding my own wedding) of bride’s reactions as they walk down the aisle. I can’t begin to tell you how much Hope has delighted me as Dave’s girlfriend/freedom friend/wife. Her reaction was better than any I have seen aside from Valerie’s.

While trying not to sound like a cheesy biblist, I will say that Hope’s reaction to her groom was the closest resemblence I can imagine to the way I hope we react when we meet Christ in the flesh.
What if we really trust him that much?
What if he really is so good that we burst out laughing with tears?
What if we are that familiar with him?
I have never imagined my reaction being like Hope’s was to seeing Dave; so familiar to him and in awe at the same time, but I hope it is.

Oh, and Dave and Hope asked us as a family to read scripture during the ceremony, hence the first paragraph of this post. We considered reading the chapter from Ecclesiastes that the Beetles “covered” about “A time for war, a time for peace, a time to kill and a time to heal, etc” but realized it is a wedding…no time for fooling around. We read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, if you’re interested. Carver did a great job reading.