Cattle, Beast, and Creeping Thing – Genesis 1:24-26

giraffe

Image is used by permission courtesy of Keriography.

Five days have passed. The Earth has been set in motion, primed with the perfect, life-giving conditions. The seas and skies are teeming with large and small creatures, so God focuses on land.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

gorilla

Image is used by permission courtesy of Keriography.

Three words cover every land animal. Cattle describes livestock and wild animals both. It is used for large animals and is translated in other passages as ‘beast.’ Creeping thing is a different word than the word for moving thing from the fifth day. It can mean sea creatures in other passages, but, here, it is modified by the description “of the earth.” It expresses the idea of animals low to the ground, such as reptiles, rodents, and land insects. Beast is the last category, which means “living thing.” This word is used twice in this verse because it is the same word translated “living creature” at the beginning. It can refer to all animals and is modified by “of the earth.” So, God includes every large and small land animal.

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

God makes the land animals and establishes the laws of procreation, just like He established for the water and sky animals: they can only reproduce their kind. The first animals in their pristine form must have had a great amount of genetic diversity that gave them the ability to reproduce so many varieties within their species. Research shows many have died out. I’m glad to know dogs won’t start giving birth to pigs. It would get really tiresome trying to find owners for a litter of pigs when I expected to have pugs.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

God is showing me His premeditation, His planning. He is going to create a creature—man—that will be unlike the creatures previously made. The emphasis is on man’s similarity to the Creator. God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Man is like God in a way that the sea creatures, winged fowl, and animals of the land are not.

cat1

Image is used by permission courtesy of Keriography.

God gives mankind the rule over every other creature He has made, and He gets specific about this by citing the habitats of these creatures—they live in the sea, in the sky, and on the earth. So, man is established as the dominant creation by the Creator’s command, not by his own decision.

This short verse also reveals more information about God. God refers to Himself in the plural. “Let us make…in our image,” He says. He doesn’t explain who “us” is in this verse. Looking back in the previous verses, I can only note that He spoke of Himself in the beginning verses as “the Spirit of God.” So, the Spirit of God is present during creation, and this is the only clue I gather from the chapter about my Creator’s use of “us.” For me, an avid reader, this is the sort of thing I would make a note of. It stands out as a clue that I will want to keep in mind as I continue reading.

God made all the land creatures and established their procreation laws.
He called them good.
God, plural, plans the creation of man and man’s authority over creatures of the planet.

The sixth day isn’t over yet. I’ll read about the creation of man next. Right now, I’m wondering about the dinosaurs. When the animals of the sea and land were made, wouldn’t the largest beasts—those terrible lizards—have been created as well?

Here are two dino-sized descriptions I found from the Bible:

Behemoth – This beast seems to have been a land animal. He could use his tail like the trunk of a cedar tree, he ate grass, and the strength of his frame was compared to bronze and iron.

The sea serpent, Leviathan, is mentioned in 4 places: Job 41, Psalm 74, Psalm 104, and Isaiah 27. God uses sarcasm to discuss the strength of Leviathan. He says (and I’m paraphrasing), “Can you reel in Leviathan with a fishhook? Will he beg you to let him go? Will you take him for a pet?” This sarcasm is made clear when God says later, “Lay your hand on him; Remember the battle; you will not do it again!”

What do you think these animals were?

The feature image is mine. Notice he was smiling for the picture.

 

 

 

 

Wonders Great and Small – Genesis 1:20-23

A late 1880’s report documented the viewing of “gigantic Calamaries” found beached on the coasts of New Zealand. In January of last year, a Japanese fisherman hauled in a living 13-foot squid. Why are we so in awe of giant sea creatures? What makes that news? Perhaps it’s the notion that there are fearful, powerful creatures sharing this world with us that we don’t see every day.

Image is used by permission courtesy of Keriography.

Image is used by permission courtesy of Keriography.

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

I’ve been using the King James Version for my flowery quotes, but here it begs the question, “Did the water create the sea creatures?” ‘Bring forth‘ is translated in other versions as ‘teem with’ or ‘swarm with.’ The water is not doing the producing; it is seen as the perfect environment for creating the abundant life God wants, just like the earth ‘brought forth’ grass.

Moving creature‘ covers anything from reptiles to insects to rodents to aquatic life. Fortunately, “let the waters bring forth” tells me these particular creatures all live in water. Some living creatures that make their home in the water, other than fish, are amphibians, crustaceans, mollusks, sea mammals, and reptiles—like sea turtles and sea serpents. Knowing there are many, many species of animals that live in the sea, wouldn’t it be efficient to describe them all with one word? That’s what God did. He made all sorts of creatures to live in the water, and He made them on one day. And if I had any doubt, the next verse gives a little more info.

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

So, the great sea creatures were made during this time, as well. Interestingly, the word for whales is translated in other Bible passages as ‘dragon,’ ‘sea monster,’ and ‘serpent.’ So, this word covers more than the whales.

bird2

Image is used by permission courtesy of Keriography.

What does ‘every winged fowl’ include? The word for fowl can mean any winged creature. Birds are not the only creatures with wings. There are also insects. And what about bats? These all take to the sky, so this would be the day they came into being.

Living in an age when scientists like to categorize and re-categorize creatures based on their traits, I have trouble allowing that all creatures with wings or all creatures that live in the water could be created simultaneously. Perhaps this is because I was taught for years that creatures evolved into new species and developed complex traits spontaneously, like wings, to fit their environments. Since evolutionary theories are constantly being revised, I’ve found it more reliable to accept that the variety of creatures with wings or in the water were made genetically pristine and intact from the beginning, and that God created them with the means to adapt in natural ways consistent with their biological makeup—i.e., they remain subject to the law of reproducing after their own kind.

And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.20080328m

The word ‘multiply’ is a bit intimidating when I remember that flying insects were part of this command. If you’ve ever been in a swarm of bugs, inhaled, and choked on one, you probably know what I mean.

 

 

God made the waters teem with sea creatures, great and small.
God made the winged creatures that fly in the sky.
God called them good.
God established the laws of procreation for His creatures.

And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

I’ve often wondered why God made creatures like bugs. I can know two things about them here: 1) When they were created, God called them good, and 2) God wanted them to multiply on the earth. There was also that time in Egypt when God used the bugs to prove His power over their gods and their much-worshiped pharaoh. He used the smallest, weakest creatures to overcome the pharaoh’s pride and arrogance. Insects are truly a small wonder.

Disclaimer: I do not agree with the conclusions presented in the article, “Fossils revise human evolution theories,” linked above, and it has been discredited by some scientists. See “Human ‘missing link’ fossils may be jumble of species” for more information.

The feature image is used by permission courtesy of Keriography.

Moon of Silver, Sun of Gold – Genesis 1:14-19

Reading the tragedy Medea by Euripides, I noted Medea’s grandfather is Helios, the sun. She begs Helios and the gods to come to her aid and avenge her against her husband’s betrayal. In Greek myth, the powerful rulers and leaders were said to be the children of the sun, the moon, love, fire, dawn, etc. Centuries later, the apostle Paul alludes to this belief when he gives a discourse to the Athenians of the first century at the Areopagus. Paul, taught by the first century Jewish law-interpreter Gamaliel, was skilled in the art of rhetoric, so the Athenians had him speak on the new Christian ‘philosophy.’ During his presentation he quoted one of their philosophers, saying, “…as certain also of your own poets have said, ‘We are also his offspring’” (from Acts 17:28). Paul was pointing to this belief as something he had in common with them, since Christians believe we are all God’s children.

“Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.” Acts 17:29

Paul, speaking in one of the best social networking venues in Athens—a city known for its idol-making industry—gives a logic lesson: It is not sound thinking to create something to worship with one’s own hands because God is far above these physical resources.

How did the Athenians take this lesson? Some believed, and some didn’t. Whether they agreed with the tenets of Christianity or not, they seemed to find Paul’s philosophy interesting. They told Paul they’d have him speak again for them.

If God didn’t make the sun, moon, and stars for us to fashion idols after, what did He make them for?

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years;

Their purpose wasn’t solely for light because light already existed before they were created. God set the sun, moon, and stars to the task of signaling the days and nights. They also denote seasons and help me keep track of years, granting me awareness of time passing.

Time is a creation of a Being who exists outside its rules. God can interrupt it, halt it, step into it, and see all aspects of time at once. So God doesn’t need a way to keep a record of time; He provides this for us.

And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

Photo used by permission courtesy of Keriography.

He caused light to stream from vast distances and to reach the earth in a twinkling. There are theories that the creation of the earth in six days was impossible because of the distance of celestial bodies in our universe. Some wonder how light from quasars billions of light years away could possibly travel to our planet if the earth is only as old as 6K to 10K years. Given the limitations of natural law, could the light ever reach us on a young earth? It’s a viable question, but not for a Creator with unlimited power. God is not hemmed in by the law of cause and effect. He created it. So, the light would have been seen on Earth when God created these stars and celestial systems, just as there was light on the Earth before the stars were created. It was supernatural and easily carried out by the One who created time and its markers in the first place.

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

While the sun and moon are the objects used to present this light, they are not said to be the originators of the light. Where that light originates is not even discussed in this verse. Perhaps this is why God chose to create light before He set a fiery sun in the sky, to prompt me to ask the question: “From where does the light originate?” The light came from Him. The sun is now given the task to uphold by natural law what He brought into existence days before.

And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

Public domain image by Dawn Hudson.

Isn’t it fascinating to think of God setting those beautiful forms in the universe, like someone adorning a gown with diamonds, rubies, and glittering jewels? The Earth is the center of the universe in this sense; it is days older than the stars. The sun, moon, and stars were created for the earth to thrive. The Earth was created for us to thrive. Does this mean humans actually are the center of the universe? (Heh.) God is the center. He’s the beginning and the end, as well.

God placed lights in space to help us keep a record of the passage of time.
These lights began to shine on Earth from the moment of their existence.
The sun was made to signal Day, the moon was made to signal Night, and He made the stars.
God called them all good.

And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

In four days He created the world and its universe. The Master Designer set everything in motion in space, a beautifully organized machine. Though I can’t perceive by sight or touch how they remain fixed in their orbits, I can understand cause and effect—the pull of the planets and stars, the effect of the moon on the seas. I am comforted when I see these bodies in space, like the North Star or the constellation Orion. They will go on, marking the times and seasons. God fixed them in the sky to assure us that He will guide us, if we will let Him.

Genesis 8:22:“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

Featured image in public domain by Karen Arnold.

On Earth and Sea, On Herb and Tree – Genesis 1:9-13

“You got baptized,” a five-year-old friend told my daughter.

She answered, “Yes. And one day, if you decide to, you can be baptized, too.”

Her friend looked solemn. “I don’t think I’m old enough,” she said. “I can’t close my eyes that long, and I don’t think I can hold my breath, either.”

Water’s kinda scary that way, even to adults.

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

Kids learn water’s cohesive properties when it slips down the window pane and collects in little pearls. Objects floating in a filled bathtub teach them about its surface tension. Water is so enthralling few toddlers can resist taking a splash in the toilet. They can’t tell you the scientific terms for the properties of water, but they understand and appreciate them. God just spoke those properties into existence and told the water where to go. By letting the dry land appear, He introduces the system to support life on the Earth.

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

Have you noticed when God names things in the first chapter of Genesis, He uses opposites? Light and Darkness, Day and Night, Earth and Sea. He’s teaching basic concepts by comparing their properties.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.treeblossoms

The word ‘grass’ is also translated ‘vegetation.’ There are two types of vegetation mentioned here, the herb and the tree. God explains that they were made to multiply. This system—the herb creating its own seeds and the fruit tree making fruit that houses its seeds—tells me so much about God’s forward-looking plans for design. Not only is the life He created made to sustain itself but to recreate itself.

And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.blackberry

Plants reproduce what is in their own genetic makeup. An herb cannot reproduce a tree, nor a tree an herb. God points out His natural law for vegetation so that I’ll know that a walnut cannot be produced by an orange tree; components of the walnut tree are required to produce the walnut characteristics. In the same way, a carrot’s characteristics would not spontaneously come from the cabbage plant. According to God’s natural law, plant kinds have no instinctive or inventive capacity to produce another kind not their own.

BeeandflowerBut when it comes to reproduction, these herbs and trees needed the means to spread their pollen, right? Where are the bees? They have not been created yet. In this instance God is growing and fertilizing them before the whole system has been created. This answers the question, “Which came first, the seed or the plant?” The plant came first. It sprung up out of the ground out of nothing because God spoke it into existence. But wait! If the plant was created with the seed inside, weren’t they both first? Hm.

Speaking something into existence is a foreign idea because I’ve never seen God work directly, miraculously, by breaking His natural laws. I have to look at His mode of operation over time to see how and why He would do something through supernatural means that He doesn’t do today. There was a time when He directly told man the rules until the rules were set in place for mankind to grow and work independently. I can see this in His relationship with Adam. He spoke to Adam directly. He visited with Adam and Eve in the garden. Then came the era when He spoke to the fathers of the families, a.k.a. patriarchs, like Noah and Abraham. When He established the nation of Israel, He spoke to the people through prophets and deliverers (e.g., judges). Lastly, Jesus His Son entered the world, and He spoke to all the nations, establishing a world-wide kingdom that is other-worldly in scope.

whitebulbsSupernatural intervention was for times when His laws and words needed to be communicated. So, I see Him creating and pollinating the plants directly on the third day, but once the system of life on Earth is established, His natural laws that sustain and reproduce life take over. I see this same pattern when Jesus lived on Earth. Jesus performed miracles to prove His message was from God. He gave His apostles the ability to perform miracles to establish the words of His Will and Testament that went into effect after His death. Once that New Testament was written down, the Word was established to sustain and reproduce life. Spiritual life. How does it reproduce spiritual life? Spiritually alive people spread the seed of His Word to the hearts of others. The seed will take hold, grow in the heart, and reproduce more seeds of God’s Word to spread. Or a person will choose to reject that seed.

bluebellsGod established the boundaries for water.
He divided and named the Earth and the Seas.
He called them both good.
He established plant life and gave it the ability to reproduce.
Plant seeds produce only their own genetic kind.
Plants and their design He called good.

 

And the evening and the morning were the third day.

God’s natural laws remain. They are proof of His faithfulness. If He can design and sustain this Earth, I can put my trust in Him fully that He knows everything I need for the life to come.

The feature image and all images in this post are used by permission courtesy of Keriography.

Knowing Momma

I knew the moment my son was born. I had to have a c-section, so I was unable to see him being born, but I knew all the same. Everyone in the operating room was introduced to his healthy lungs immediately. He was a screamer.

“Would you like to see your son?” someone asked me, and then a screeching, mottled head was pressed against my shoulder, his bellowing mouth raised to the ceiling.

I said something to him, something generic like “Hey, baby boy.” All I could think was how much I wanted to hold him, this loud, red explosion in someone else’s arms. My words, whatever they were, didn’t matter to him, either. It was my voice that registered because he turned his head toward mine with a catch in his throat. He let go a soft sigh, blowing his new breath into my face. It was my turn to catch my breath. I will never forget it. His reaction was instantaneous. My minutes-old baby boy knew me. He didn’t know my name. He didn’t know how old I was, my social security number, my previous medical history, or my ethnic background. It was obvious he didn’t care, either. He knew I was his momma.

How did he know? I’m not asking for the obvious answer—that he knew my scent or my voice, etc. I’m asking where the instinct to collect this information originated. Why is a new human being capable of perceiving the being he/she came from, the one who provided and sustained his/her life for nine months? It’s an amazing instinct, like the natural desire I felt to calm and hold him.

Pandora Jewelry has tapped into this mother/child instinct, and other natural behaviors of children and mothers, with a video advertising their products. Fair warning: it will leave you pretty emotional. Now if viewers will transfer those good feelings over to the company, Pandora may gain some added clients for Mother’s Day!

 

The First Sandwich – Genesis 1:6-8

When my brother was single, he claimed to be looking for the ultimate woman—the woman who could make a sandwich. After a long and arduous search, he found her. She makes sandwiches…and coffee! Their marriage is a blissful one.

After reading about what God accomplished in one day—which dwarfs my To-Do list, oh, for the whole of my lifetime—I decided to check out what happened next. Would you believe God made a sandwich? Stick with me here…

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

When I think of a firmament, I envision something solid, some sort of mass. God describes ‘firmament‘ as an expanse on which something rests or hangs. The word is used later in the chapter as the place the stars were set and also where the birds are commanded to fly, i.e., “the open firmament of heaven.” (BTW, the word ‘open’ there is the same word that is translated ‘face,’ which I looked up last time.)

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

So, we have a layer of water, followed by the firmament, and another layer of water. It’s a sandwich! A perfect atmospheric sandwich. Using water vapor, along with other gases in the atmosphere, God created an internal system to regulate the temperature of the world. This greenhouse effect warms and cools our planet.

The second chapter of Genesis divulges some intriguing information. Genesis 2:5-6 states, “…for the Lord had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and no man tilled the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” When the world was first formed, God set up instant irrigation—no rainfall required. So, once the plants were created, they wouldn’t need to be tended to—no tilling, no watering. And that’s a good thing since man wouldn’t be created for three more days.

And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Wait a minute! Why is God calling the firmament ‘heaven’? Didn’t He already create the heavens in verse one? I need to look this up…

The word heaven can mean three separate places. The first heaven is the sky. The second heaven is the universe. Deuteronomy 10:14 bears out that ‘heaven’ is used to describe more than one place, stating, “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.” So, God speaks of separate places using the same word.

The third heaven is where God resides. Interestingly, He does not talk about where He dwells until I understand where I dwell. Since He created the sky ‘heaven’ on day two, I can conclude the heaven of space was made in the first verse. (At this point nothing is in space, except Earth.)

What can I learn from firmament/firmament, heaven/heaven name-sharing? First, that God uses comparisons of characteristics between things to teach me how to compare spiritual concepts. For example, by connecting the heaven of space with God’s heavenly dwelling, He develops my awe at the vastness of space into a greater awe for the heaven where God dwells. What that heaven must be like! Second, Old Hebrew didn’t have a lot of words to choose from (not to mention that annoying absence of vowels). But that worked well because Moses’ audience, to whom Genesis was originally written, had limited ideas. Yes, they were advanced for their time with written language, amazingly detailed religious rites and craftsmanship, fixed standards for commerce, and unprecedented protocols for stopping the spread of disease (like God’s soap recipe); but they were still coming out of the prehistoric age.

God made a firmament, an expanse in Earth’s sky.
The firmament was sandwiched between water, creating Earth’s thermostat.
All He had to do was speak it, and it was.
He named it Heaven.

100_1645While reading this, I realized God had to wait a couple thousand years before humankind was even ready for the writing of the Genesis account. Just think, He was giving Moses His commandments up on Mount Sinai, while Aaron was at the base of the mountain forming a gold cow so they could call it the god that delivered them out of Egypt. How insulting! And that was before He had Moses even start writing Genesis. Sometimes I think, “These stupid ‘great ideas’ of early man really bring home what my Heavenly Father has endured to teach His people.” Then I laugh at myself for thinking I’m any smarter. I may comprehend civilizations, nations, empires, and world-wide unification, but have I really grasped the point? Why did He go to so much trouble to teach me about the beginnings of a place that will one day cease to exist? There will be no Earth—no sky ‘heaven,’ no universe ‘heaven.’ Nothing physical will remain. Only the spiritual will go on. Hebrews 1:10-12 repeats what David wrote in Psalm 102:25-27,

And,
“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,

    and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11 they will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment,
12 like a robe you will roll them up,
    like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
    and your years will have no end.”

What’s the point? Maybe it’s this: God made a physical world so complicated that I will never reach the ends of knowledge about how it works. Word by word, I am made aware that He knows and is providing everything I need. If He can provide for me in ways—atmospheric sandwich ways—that I can’t just look at and understand (that it took thousands of years and better technology to study and comprehend), how much more will He provide for my comfort in a world where my physical eyes are unnecessary?

Light and Goodness (Genesis 1:1-5)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

It’s the most inspiring line in literature. It’s the most inspiring line in the history of humankind. It’s not “Suppose God created everything.” There’s no, “What’s your opinion on the whole creation quandary?” It’s authoritative. It sets the first foundation stone of belief in a Creator.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

I’m trying to picture this shapeless, empty world, and I don’t think I’ve ever used the phrase “face of the deep.” (“Hey, Edgar, did you see the face of the deep today? It was looking exceptionally deep.”) ‘Face‘ is translated “surface” in some Bible versions. ‘Deep‘ refers to the sea. Later in Genesis 1, God uses ‘face’ to describe how the plants would grow “upon the face of the earth.” The same word is used when Moses sees the burning bush, hears God speak to him, and hides his face because he’s afraid to look on God in Exodus 3:6. God uses comparisons, like my face and the face of something inanimate, to convey characteristics. He uses imagery to teach me how to visualize concepts that will later help me grasp spiritual ideas. In Isaiah 66:1, He says, “The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool…” Is this a literal account? Does God sit on heaven like a throne? He’s using metaphors, ideas I can grasp on my level, to give me a sense of His greatness.

I picture the Spirit of God moving over the face of the deep and it becomes clearer why He chooses this imagery to introduce me to Him. It’s a picture of a Being—with no physical qualities—actively interacting with what He has made. He’s 100% involved. You know that song, “From a Distance?” That’s completely the opposite of the God I see here. His Presence is so close He’s face to face with the water.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

As a mom, I’m quite amazed at the instant response here. When I say, “Turn on the light,” my kids don’t seem to know how to perform this task. Exactly whom was I calling on to turn on the light? Did I mean right now or after they’ve finished this one last game? This isn’t a problem for God. He says it, and light is.

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

God is looking at the light He made and noting it’s good. Why? He’s telling me something about His character. He wants me to know He doesn’t just create things, He creates good things. No half-baked creations here. The Master Builder makes only the best.

“But wait,” I think. “How can there be evil when God only made good creations?” If God grants me choice, it does not mean the creation itself is bad but that I’ve been given the ability to use His good creation in a good way or a bad way. He wants me to choose His way, but to do that I have to be able to have the other option. I have to be capable of rejecting His use for His creation.

If God is the Creator of all good, then rejecting God means one is left with the opposite of good. There’s no meh, sorta, or kinda good. There’s no gray area. Like that fabulous ghee the paleo dieters are crazy about, God is clarified, purified good. He separates the light from the darkness. He doesn’t care at all for the half dark, half-light behavior. Even the little-bit-of-dark-but-mostly-light ideas don’t cut it with Him. There are two options, ‘good’ or ‘evil.’

In the beginning God was.
He created everything from nothing.
His Spirit was active and present.
He spoke, and light came into the world.
The light was good, and God separated it from the darkness.

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

He did all of that in a day! Isn’t that incredible? Actually, it’s quite credible. A Being Who can create the heavens and the earth from nothing must exist outside of the laws of matter, space, and time. He’d have to have complete control.

This is why I find the first five verses of Genesis fascinating. They not only shed light on the world, but on my understanding of Who my Creator is. He is God, He brings light, and He creates only good things.

 

Feature Image Courtesy of Keriography.

Winter Weather Woes

I see green outside—green grass and green leaves on the bushes. The sun is shining, and there are birds perched on the long, bare tree branches. I don’t trust my eyes. I keep wondering if any minute now the sky will turn black with rainclouds that will bottom out in a drenching downpour. That happened two days ago. I’ve lived in North Alabama for about five years now. February and March are the bipolar months. You never know what you’re going to meet with day to day. One minute I’m contemplating opening up the windows because it’s so nice outside, and in fifteen minutes there’s a lake at my front door. In a couple of hours the temperature has dropped twenty degrees and is still falling rapidly. The next day Realm’s car is covered in ice. This place is crazy!

I feel so sorry for the folks up north, cooped up for days by heavy snowfall. At least, to some degree, they know what they’re in for each year, though. And they’re prepared!

Yeah, I’m that Florida girl with no concept of winter. Last week we had a few inches of snow. It seemed to come out of nowhere. The schools were closed. A friend asked me whether Alabama even had a snowplow for roads. Snowplow? What’s that? Okay, I’m not that bad. I lived in Kentucky for a handful of years. The winters there were…awful. The salt trucks came out after a snow, making the gray sludge beside the roads my constant memory of winter in Kentucky. That and the salt eating the underside of my car. Yick.

Why is winter so…so sad? In literature winter often represents death and loneliness. I’m not lonely, and I’m not dead. I do feel low when the cold sets in, though. It’s worse when I see the spring attempting its entrance; I become all hopeful that the winter days have passed. Then another bucket of snow falls on our heads, like March is saying, “Ha! Gotcha!” How do you handle the winter?

7 Steps to Overcoming a Haircut Crisis: by Rapunzel, Anne, Jo, and Me

Rilla Z:

New Do Truths!

Originally posted on A Bookish Charm:

IMG_20150228_180729 My face post-haircut. Goodbye braids..

“It looks so good!” gushes the stylist.

You nod vaguely, but inside you’re screaming, “Since when does ‘two inches’ mean ‘take it all’?”

You came in wanting a simple trim (freshen up the layers, cut the split-ends, the usual), but one ambitious beautician and several pairs of scissors later you’re sitting open-mouthed in a nest of your own hair.

I’ve been there.

We’ve all been there.

In fact, haircuts-gone-wrong are so common that some of the most beloved characters in fiction have also been there and can offer great advice for getting over the horror of your hair disaster. So here you go, 7 Steps to Overcoming Your Hair Crisis, brought to you by some of your favorite fictional ladies:

1. Recognize that your new ‘do is…unexpected. 

"I just wanted a trim!" “I just wanted a trim!”

Especially if you’ve had the same hairstyle for a long time, change can be shocking and it’s…

View original 622 more words

Just Between…We?

So, I’m happily reading a blog, I’m editing a fanfic for a fellow writer, or I’m talking to a friend. One trendy eyesore–or earsore, as the case may be–always smacks me in the face.

COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE WITH THE CORRECT PRONOUN:

“She waited for him and ____ to get off the bus.”

A. me
B. I

If you answered ‘I,’ try again.

“She waited for him and me to get off the bus.”

This is correct.

Notice the prepositional phrase ‘for him and me.’ Prepositional phrases have objects. The objects of the preposition ‘for’ are ‘him and me.’ ‘I’ is a subject pronoun, not an object pronoun.

To be certain you are using the correct pronoun, remove the first object of the preposition:

“She waited for ___ to get off the bus.”

You’d say, “She waited for me to get off the bus.” You wouldn’t say, “She waited for I to get off the bus.”

“They went to the party with my husband and I.”

They went to the party with me, not with I.

It sounds so proper, using ‘I,’ I know. The rules of the English language can be confusing, but this one really is logical.

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