Thursday, 29 May 2014

New Strategy and a Whole List of Books I Plan to Read. :D

My blog has been pretty slow lately, hasn't it?  How have you all been?  My family has had a bout of change-of-season colds.  My glands always blowup like balloons whenever I get a touch of anything, and this round has left me pretty tired and listless.  (Not that it drives me to bed any earlier.  LOL!)  I shall just have to keep at my apple cider vinegar and  Sambucol.  :D

Anyway, the subject of this post is books.  I have a terrible habit of not being able to decide what to do and not being able to motivate myself to do anything about it.  (I owe it all to being phlegmatic!  :P)  Recently I was thinking about all those wonderful books out there that I have been planning to read for years, some of them, and that are screaming at me to read them.  I have recently devised a system for myself that allows me to get things done in a school context and I hope it will help me here as well.  I have never worked well on a schedule.  Which is a pity since the curriculum my family uses is set up so that you read so many chapters of this book on this day and however so many pages of this book on that day, so on and so on.  It never really worked for me - I would always fall behind because I would get overwhelmed by the schedule (it was pretty heavy going anyway) and I would procrastinate (I bet none of you can imagine me a procrastinator - what a thought!  ;P )  Anyhow, my new way of doing things is that I have the topics I need to get through in a day - advanced math, biology, chemistry, worldview studies, history, and literature - and I spend half an hour of solid work on each subject.  Voila!  It works!  Not only has the quality of my work increased, so has the quantity.  As Mum says, if I have half and hour to do something, I can do it in that time.  But if I have all day to do something, it will take me all day.

I have decided to apply the same principle to my reading habits.  Since officially finishing school, my reading has significantly decreased and I am sorry to have let it slip.  I plan to spend 1-2 half-hour sessions each day devoted to what I want to read and being me, I will probably keep going after the buzzer goes because I am enjoying myself and can't be bothered doing anything else.  :)  Here is my current list of want-to-reads.  The ones marked with an asterisks indicate what I am in the middle of, or what I have already read, but am dying to read again.  :)

  • Ivanhoe by Walter Scott
  • *Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
  • *One, Two, Buckle my Shoe by Agatha Christie (I suppose this represents all my Agatha Christie books - I bought 25 of them last year and have only read three or four so far.)
  • *Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy  (I didn't mark this one, even though I started it, because I read through the first paragraph, and I don't think that counts.  ;)  )
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  • *The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • * Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • Boy by Roald Dahl (I have read some f this before, but I don't remember heaps and didn't get far with it.)
  • Through Gates of Splendour by Elisabeth Elliot
  • Angles in the Camp by Jan Markell
  • Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
  • Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
  • Hidden Art by Edith Schaeffer
  • *Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan
  • *Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose  (One of the most increadible war stories and brobably one of the best biographies I have ever read - I HIGHLY recommend it.)
  • The Boxcar Children  by Gertrude Chandler Warner.  (And yes, I am absolutely NOT serious about that one.  *shudders*  :P)

Do you reckon that's enough to start me off???  ;)  We will be going on a three week holiday in July, so I will hopefully get heaps of reading done then (around birthdays and weddings, of course  :P)  When I finish this list, I'll select another bunch and make another list!  The race is on!  :D

Monday, 12 May 2014

Creation, Evolution and Enlightenment

Here is where I cheer on Creation, rip apart evolution and promote the Life and Light of Jesus!  Who knew a biology essay could be so much fun?!  :P

It is no mistake that the entire Bible begins with the account of how the world began.  What one believes concerning the origins of life will affect one’s entire worldview.  If you believe in evolution, there can be no God in your worldview.  If you believe in Creation, there must be a Greater Being there somewhere.    Obviously, the Christian account of Creation is the one found in Genesis chapters 1-2.   It is there at the very start that we read “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  There it is right at the start so that no one can miss it.  God created everything.  The next verses lay out how God did this.  “And God said…”  He spoke.  That’s all – no fancy construction crew or tools or anything of the sort.  God is God and He is not restricted to what we can conceive with our minds.  Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, that is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ (Isaiah 46:9-10) 
The order in which God made things is really very simple.  On the first three days, He created enviroments, and in the second lot of three days, He created inhabitants to go in each environment.  On day one, God created light and separated it from darkness; on day four, He created the sun, the moon and the stars.  On day two, God separated the sky from the waters, and the waters from the waters; on day five, he created birds for the skies, and sea creatures for the waters.  On day three, God created The land, and all the vegetation; and on day six He created land animals and people to fill up the land and to eat the produce.  On the seventh day, God rested from His work.  
That’s all there is to the Christian view of Creation.  The Bible is very clear and simple of the whole thing.  John says, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”  (John 1:3)  God is the Creator, and if you don’t believe that, there is only one other alternative.

Haeckel's Drawings
That alternative is evolution.  There are a few takes on evolution that are free for the picking.  The most common is the classic, traditional Darwinism.  Darwinism says that millions of years ago, there was a warm pond of chemicals and amino acids.  Somehow (and Charles Darwin himself wasn’t sure how) the chemicals and amino acids reacted in such a way as to make the first life in the form of a micro-cell.  This cell asexually reproduced and multiplied and the simplest forms of life emerged.  Slowly, slowly, from this sludge-pit came fish, reptiles, birds, mammals and beautiful you.  And we are still evolving.  While it may sound all wonderful that we are moving to new heights all the time, is it really a good explanation of life?  Many Darwinists are beginning to doubt it.  The evidence for such a theory just does not exist.  One example is the Haeckel Drawings.  Ernst Haeckel made drawings that illustrated how the embryos of several different creatures all look alike, thus ‘proving’ that all creatures were descended from the same ancestors.  The problem with this ‘proof’ is that the further back in the carrying and conception of each of the creatures Haeckel described, the less and less they resemble each other.  Another example is the fossil record.  One would expect that if creatures took millions of years to evolve like Darwin said they did, we would have a whole stack of fossils depicting half developed animals.  But we don’t.  Every fossil we find is of a distinct creature of its own species.  There are no crossovers.  There just isn’t much proof for Darwinism at all.
What the embryos of creatures really look like
How about a less measured form of evolution?  Well, there is the theory of punctuated equilibrium.  This theory states that evolution took place over a (relatively) short time frame.  Change took place quickly and creatures evolved almost overnight (on a geological time scale).   However for this to be accomplished, it would require some severe genetically-challenging feats, like a lizard hatching a bird, for instance.  That seems rather unlikely seeing as we do not observe anything of the sort occurring today and one would think that if that is what happened, it would still be happening. 

There are some, though, that say that biology and the origins of life really don’t matter that much: it’s where we are headed that counts and we should spend this life seeking enlightenment within ourselves.   While the theory is a little twisted, they have one thing right.  We do search for ‘enlightenment’ our entire lives.  Sometimes we look to ourselves, sometimes to celebrities, sometimes to the people around us.  There is only source, however, that can truly satisfy the longing for a higher calling and the lack of light in us.  That source is Jesus Christ.  He said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”   He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and everyone who believes in Him shall walk in perpetual, eternal light.

Pictures from   and

Scripture from NIV and NKJV

Monday, 5 May 2014

Poem for Critique

While investigating the syllabus for this year's Muswellbrook eisteddfod, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a new section - creative writing.  I hadn't planned on entering in anything this year as my piano is not up to scratch and I cannot do public talking, but although I do not consider writing to be a particularly strong point for me, I thought creative writing would be fun to try.  (If you would like to enter, the syllabus can be found at file:///C:/Users/Emily/Downloads/Syllabus%202014_1%20(1).pdf)

Anyway, the poem I have written is rather sad and probably not what one would expect from a younger writer (in my opinion, anyway) but I decided to go through with it because 1) it is a topic I feel very strongly about 2) the poem came so naturally there doesn't seem to be much sense in changing it for something that I struggled for hours to write, and 3) because I am in the open age category (being over 18 years old) I had to pull out something a little more mature (for want of a better word) to be able to compete with older more experienced writers.  I am somewhat comforted by the fact that a published poet said recently that rhythmic, rhyming poetry is a dying art and few people can master it... (that said, however, I know a number of people who write in such just a way - maybe we are all geniuses!  :P )

I haven't named my poem as yet, so when you comment (and, yes, I am imploring you to comment on this one!) please tell me honestly what you think of the poem, where I could make improvements, and what I could name it.  I will very much appreciate all suggestions and criticisms.  :)  Thankyou!

Anxious, they hover and are waiting near by
As the night is broken by a pained woman’s cry.
The husband, the mother they listen and wait.
It’s been such a long time… such a long time
Such a long time since they’d started to wait.
Then through the quiet, the still early dawn,
Comes the cry of a baby – the child is born.

The joy of a little one – they rush to her side.
She’s exhausted and weak, but beaming with pride.
“Look at him,” she whispers, a tear in her eye,
“He could only be your son… only be your son…
Only your son would have such beautiful eyes.”
They gaze at the child, so skinny, so small
And before they say more, he’s gone like a leaf in the fall.

For one joyous instant, he had been theirs:
And now all one hears are their tears and their prayers.
“God let us keep him!” they cry out aloud
But the little soul slips away… the soul slips away…
The soul slips away while they are praying aloud.
And as the little one stiffens and starts to grow cold,
They kiss him good-bye with grief none can withhold.

God grant comfort to her to had pained for so long
 And to him who for her must stay steady and strong.
And while we don’t know why these things come to pass,
We know faith is a strength… faith is a strength…
Faith is a strength which none can surpass.
Hold onto this strength and peace will overflow

With the courage to look and to hope for tomorrow.