Darwin’s Dilemma

I held my cat for a long time tonight. I had felt a surge of panic as I thought of the day’s conversations and everything I had done wrong, and before I knew it, the cat I was in the middle of putting outside was clasped tight under my chin. I’m amazed at the gentleness in her. Most of the time she doesn’t like being held like that, probably because her old joints need specific support to be comfortable, but I must have gotten it right, because she didn’t struggle once but purred and rested against me. I hugged all the anxiety away. I know I’ve said it before, but my cat seems to know when I am sick or hurting, and I’m always amazed. Animals are amazing.

Our family also watched a documentary tonight called “Metamorphosis.” After a (rather long) exploration of the journey from caterpillar to butterfly, and then a look at the Monarch Butterfly migration, the biologists finally made the point they were coming to, two points actually.

The first has to do with metamorphosis itself. In metamorphosis, a caterpillar, inside the chrysalis, does something similar to decomposing. Its cells break down, they die, they turn into a pile of mush. Some of those cells disappear, and others are used to the reorganization of a completely different body. Wings, legs, proboscis, compound eyes, antennae, digestive tract, heart, and reproductive organs–they are all completely new and altogether different from the caterpillar. This metamorphosis poses a problem to the common-held theory of evolution which states that creatures evolved by natural selection and slowly grew in complexity over time. Because metamorphosis doesn’t work like that. First off, a creature wouldn’t (figuratively) kill itself unless there was a planned outcome. It cannot just randomly develop this habit of committing suicide inside a chrysalis and killing off most body cells without a system already put in place to rebuild itself. Secondly, it cannot slowly develop this process. So many things, tiny and huge, have to happen all at once for this to work. If the wings and eyes worked, but not the organs, the butterfly would die. If the legs and proboscis worked, but not the connecting muscles, the butterfly would die. If everything, by some happy, random chance, was put together perfectly except for one thing, the butterfly could not survive. For all of these amazing developments to happen at once is quite improbable, maybe impossible. The more logical conclusion is that it was designed.

The second point the biologists came to was that because of the art and beauty in the world that we observe, we can perceive that there must be intelligence behind it. There are approximately 20,000 species of butterflies in the world, and every single species has a different wing shape and pattern. In some cases, patterns help the butterflies to survive, but in many they are simply there. Natural selection has no reason for beauty, and no explanation for how it came about.

Look at a sunset. Look at the stars. Look at a cat. Look at a tiny butterfly. It is art. It is simply the logical response to assume that something intelligent is behind it all, and it is simply the right response to give our praise to that something.

 

In awe,
Ellie

Anxiety vs Our Big God

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Photo credit to Lily Caldwell, thanks girl!

What do I have to be anxious about? Nothing, right? I am a child of the Creator of the Universe. But I’ve been struggling with anxiety and fearfulness for a few weeks now. Anytime I’m alone, I’m subject to a wave of terror and nervousness sometimes displaying themselves physically with shivers and a lump in my throat so big I have to cough to breathe. In a nutshell–I’m afraid of myself and my sin. I’m afraid of destroying relationships and people that I love. I’m afraid that my future will be one disasterous spiral as I mess up again, and again, and again.

I’m not used to anxiety, because I’m usually optimitic, sometimes even unhealthily to the point of not thinking about consequenses. So this new anxiety has paralized me, to a certain degree, but more than that, it’s forced me to lean on God, and for that I am thankful. When I feel my throat seize up and dread of impending doom settle in my stomach, I have two options: 1. fly apart as I believe that I am in charge of my life, or 2. acknowledge that Jesus is my Savior and my Master and He has freed me from the power of sin.

Isn’t God greater than sin? Hasn’t God directed me this far? Hasn’t He held me so very tightly that not even I can destroy our relationship? How dare I doubt that the God who can control stars can control my life, every single hour of it! From atoms to galaxies, He is Lord.
We’ve been going through a Bible study at church called Behold Your God. It’s wonderful. Through it I’ve come to see that what we need most is to see God for who He truly is. It has been my goal in the fear and anxiety to fix my attention on God instead of on myself. Psalm 139 has been my fallback scripture since I’ve been working on memorizing it. This is what I have memorized right now.
 
Oh Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up. You discern my thoughts from afar. 
You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold O Lord! You know it altogether. 
You hem me in behind and before and lay Your hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me! It is high, I cannot attain it. 
 
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence. If I ascend to heaven, You are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say “Surely the darkness shall cover me and the light about me be night” even the darkness is not dark to you and night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. 
 
For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works. My soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me when as yet there were none of them
So wonderful and soothing. My God is big enough to calm all my fears. He is faithful and patient and will never let me go.
In Christ,
Ellie

My Two Cents

I am not very patriotic, to be honest. I don’t feel comfortable pledging my alliance to a country I don’t believe in. So I don’t. I pray for our President and the leaders of our country, but I don’t make any show of agreeing with them.

So when the Supreme Court ruled for same-sex marriage, I was surprised at the load of sorrow I felt. I predict that the country cannot last long after such a blow. Families are the building blocks of society, the vitamins of fruitful souls. Families are what produce and raise healthy lives. Without them, society cannot last.
Christian families need to be stronger than ever to survive in a hostile land. It will become more and more obvious as we go along, who the true church is. It will be harder and harder to be a Christian, and we can no longer take it lightly. We will be called old-fashioned, haters, and discriminators, but there is no better time to shine God’s love than when the rest of the world is dark.
I don’t pretend to admire America or its values, but it is my country. The history, the people, the land, I love it more than I realized.
Morals and virtue are almost gone, but I vow to stand for America, despite what it does to itself.

Updates on Life, February Edition

God is very good.

To someone who succumbs to laziness daily, loses patience more than daily, neglects priorities, and can’t seem to mature He is amazingly gracious.

Sometimes I feel like Lot who wouldn’t leave behind the city (that was about to be destroyed anyway) until the angels grabbed his stubborn hands and dragged him out. Even when I’m reluctant to leave the old behind, God still drags me into the new, and the new is good!

Even though I feel like I don’t mature, I do feel this attachment to the world is constantly fading. Its opinions and ideals mean less and less. “Living life to the fullest” has certainly lost its charm. More and more I just want the joy and peace I get in God and I want the fellowship I get from the church.

And that’s just about it.

So, looking over the month of February, I’ve learned

  • Improv piano is more enjoyable than written piano
  • Walking onto a stage to stand up for half an hour while sick is not ideal
  • The book of Revelations is mainly dealing with the destruction of Jerusalem
  • The Destruction of Jerusalem is much more significant that I ever realized
  • Daniel Webster was a jerk to invent a dictionary
  • Life without math is wonderful
  • Poetry is a good writing practice, both reading and writing it
  • Glow worms are disgusting

Another new, sort of new, accurance—well, I’m umpiring again.

I hated it so much last year! Before every single game I told myself I would never umpire again. And now for my second year I’ll be expected to improve—what was I thinking?!

I HAVE NO CLUE! So don’t ask.

But it’s too late to back out now.

I do have some plans of strategy to make this a more successful year:

  1. Study my rules and know them front and back. The only way I can be confident in my calls is by being dead sure of them
  2. Do my best to stick to softball, which means talking with the Chief Umpire
  3. Practice communicating with my other umpire, even if it’s just waving “hi” after every pitch

I have a bit of time right now to come up with a poem for the test, as I did last year.

I’m not feeling the inspiration though. I can’t get anything written. So we’ll see how that goes.

I want to thank one specific person. My darling friend Alexis constantly pulls the plug on my pride and also my gloom.

She has a beautiful and simple heart to love God and love others. She insured that “Singles Awareness Day” was anything but melancholy and has inspired me to love over and over. Our ideals, interests, and theology differs, but her smile is impossible to smother.

And now to go rolling into March–

I remain,
Yours Truly,

Ellie

A Testimony from a Sister

I know an amazing woman who has struggled with debilitating pain for quite some time now. Her body has tremors and it is hard for her to do some things, but her attitude, smile, and testimony have blessed the entire church, particularly me. She isn’t shy of sharing her struggles, and she loves the Lord.

A while ago she wrote out some things to share with the church and for awhile I forgot that I had planned to post this to my blog. I found it extremely encouraging to read over again.

Some comforts the LORD has shown me:

1.  Lamentations 3:22-23His new mercies and loving kindness each morning and it is ok to feel depleted at the end of the days because He givith more grace…

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

I am learning so much more of the LORD.  That at the very right moment He gives us what we need.  He may not take away the trial and it may get even harder.  But at the right moment He whispers His love to me.  A visit from a saint, a letter in the mail, a faithful brother or sister interceding, a scripture of Truth, and just a peace that surpasses understanding that this place is where I have you be.  His faithfulness to draw me back to Him when I stop looking to Him.  And oh so much more each and every day…This trial our trials allows us to experience our Father at such a deeper level. His grace is sufficient

2.  the necessity of the saints

Oh How we need each other.  How family of God is a grace from God.  I would have stopped running this race if I was left on my own.  The LORD uses us to help each other press on and know Him more.  During this time knowing the saints were interceding when I was to weak, getting a letter that didn’t just say God is going to make you well keep on fighting.  But letters filled with Truth reminding that healed or not healed to keep my eyes on Christ.  To find rest in Him and Help from each and every moment.  The days when I could barely speak the saints that Traveled from Kirksville would read me the Word, pray, and sing praise.  Most of the time early on I would forget what Word they brought and feel like I was empty.  But they didn’t stop coming, they didn’t stop writing, they didn’t give up on me, Christ shown through them brightly.  They helped carry their sisters burden.  I was still part of the family even miles away. And then here the warm welcome from you all. Coming to visit and pray. To show much love and concern for a stranger. To welcome me in your homes and lives. To make me part of your fellowship. Oh what a grace from the LORD.

Through out the Bible it shows the necessity of loving each other and running the race together.  

3.  choosing to believe Christ and put to death the lies

 I remembering lying in the hospital bed early on.  Before I realized this was not going to be short lived.  And the LORD brought to mind that I must choose to believe His Word and stand on His promises no matter how messed up it seemed.  And it was a decission that was going to have to be made with each attack. That I didn’t need to try to figure out what was going on.  I just needed to keep my eyes fixed on Him.  Isaiah 55:8

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.

  1. Over this time when I do not take every thought captive and Philippians 4:8

think on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. When I neglect this I fall into sin I start looking at myself, my circumstances, and mans thoughts.  Which results in broken communion with the LORD, a soul that is in despair and weary.  At points I confess that I get tired of fighting the fight to have to stand firm but when I don’t stand on Christ alone my feet get knocked out from under me.  We are in battle and battle is not a breeze and relaxing. As children of God we must press on.  We must cry out daily for the LORD to show us more of Him and allow the Power we already have to flow out stronger.  Our hope and expectation must not be in a laid back, delightful time here on earth but in what’s to come.  When we are in heaven with no sin or consequences of sin, getting in the way of our fellowship with the LORD.  The LORD is kind and gives us seasons of refreshment but He is also kind and gives us what we need more affliction and trials to draw us more and more to .  Daily ask the LORD for help…when you fall repent, keep seeking, keep focusing on scripture, keep running, tell the LORD you cannot do it and for Him to move mightily and give you victory

4. We as Christians have all that we need.  We can have all our dreams and desires stripped away.  Our life we are comfortable with can come crashing down in a moment and we can have a peace because God is sovereign and He has the best plan for each of our life.  Christ is enough and He will complete the work He began in you.

I am not sharing this because I have mastered it because I still have much to learn but I do share this to encourage you with your trials and afflictions!! I encourage  that each of you will allow the LORD to use the trials to grow you in Him and for Him to make His Truths a testimony of His promises ALWAYS being true.  If you don’t hope in Christ.  Repent and believe search until you find the LORD.  Seek Him because today is the day of salvation.  Christ is all that satisfies.


I praise God for placing the doctor and church so close together, for Him knitting me amongst this flock, and all the love and kindness so many have shown me.  Oh how it blesses the saints in Kirksville to know that I am in good hands and surrounded by saints to help me carry this burden.  Praise the LORD!!

Praise the Lord indeed!
Ellie

A Blog of My Own

Notice a difference to my blog? I’ve changed the title, design, and About Me page. In all honesty, “Aquamarine Dreams” was a whimsical, randomly chosen name that happened to fit a theme. I don’t know if it ever really matched the content. So what do you think now?

While I’m talking about my blog, I might as well mention that I’ve started another, The Music Corner, at elliectricjukebox.wordpress.com. It’s simply a place for my favorite music.

My blog, Serving as a Sender, has obviously fallen under. I don’t plan to continue it; I’ll probably delete it here soon.

To update you on my current life:

My grandma has talked with me about helping me take some creative writing courses at the Community College. So next fall, I would really like to either take one or more writing courses, or take prerequisites for an Associates in Creative Writing. How cool is that?

Dreaming about real writing courses motivates me as I finish school and start to plan my graduation. I really need to start seriously planning it out soon, because no one else is going to for me. 🙂

Besides that, I’ve been running to keep up with my cloudy and thick thoughts, usually trying to pull them back to the real world.

Overall, I am doing well. God is good. His grace is sufficient.

 

Blessings,
Ellie

Thrush vs. Smaug

So I got into an argument with my friend about which is the better character in the Hobbit: The Thrush or Smaug the dragon. Each has a huge part in the story, but some would say one part was more important. What I want to know is which is your favorite. Vote! And then explain your answer in the comments. Later I might tell you which side I was on.

In pictures, here’s the vote:

Smaug, the Dragon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

 

the Thrush