My blog

Hi everyone, this is my first attempt at blogging, please be patient with me. I have always been passionately interested in science and always been a committed Christian who believes in the creative power of God, and I honestly believe that the two are not mutually exclusive. I would like to use this blog to explore this relationship.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More (yet more) on the Science-Religion debate, again

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-alan-lurie/can-the-existence-of-god-_b_794308.html

This debate will never be proved either for or against, or this I believe.  But it is interesting.  I think it is a valuable debate merely because we need to think about the points raised.  Persons of faith should not blindly accept what they are told.  Scientists should be open to new ideas and not accept that because something cannot be proven (God) it cannot exist.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hidden Code in Mona Lisa's Eyes?

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/301426

Checked Snopes but no information about this.  Did Da Vinci hide some information in the eyes of the Mona Lisa?  I wouldn't be surprised.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Robert Bateman's Web-Site

http://www.robertbateman.ca/
 
http://www.robertbateman.ca/

This web-site is full of treasures by Mr. Bateman:  his art, his address to Royal Roads University in Victoria upon recieving an honourary doctorate, a feature for children. . .He wants to share his love of the planet we all live on through his art and essays.
 
The painting above is one of my personal favourites:  called "Midnight:  Black Wolf".  The wolf is hiding and yet is in plain sight. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, by Celtic Woman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPeVIuRjUi4&feature=related

I love music like this.  Sublime, elegant, meaningful.  Perfect harmony and pure voices.

Robert Bateman turns 80

http://www.bcmag.ca/issue/article/?id=3016

One of our best treasures, the great Robert Bateman, who paints pictures of nature so well that they look like photographs, lives on Saltspring Island in British Colombia.  He turned 80 recently, looks 60 and feels like 40.  His paintings are every one masterpieces.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Celtic Woman: "You Raise Me Up"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-17NWRddUk&feature=related

This is a song that we sing at church and it does indeed raise me up.  It raises my spirits when I am down and makes me glad I'm alive.  These ladies perform it wonderfully with amazing harmony and pure voices.

Christmas

Once again it's nearly Christmas, all the running around decorating, the Tree, the buying of presents, advertising over-kill.  We got recently a catalogue from an electronics store full of gift ideas on glossy paper--hundreds of wonderful toys but doubtless very expensive; there was not one price quoted.  I think the store want people to rush in and max out their credit cards without paying much attention to the costs and this really disturbs me.  We as a society already overspend seriously on just about everything and we get so stressed out on trying to keep our heads above water.  People lose control of their personal finances so easily because there is so much demand on what they want  versus what they need.  Ergo the need--ever increasing--for food banks, soup kitchens, bankrupcy firms.  Charities ask for our attention as well.  Christmas kettles appear every year with people ringing bells, and we try to smile at strangers, try to remember what it's supposed to be all about.  We Christians have a special mission at Christmas.  It is our duty to keep the real meaning of Christmas front and foremost. 

Christmas is really Christ-mass.  It is to celebrate the birth of Christ, the coming of God to take on human form that his people might find eternal salvation because of his love for us, his people.  This is his gift for us.  Yes, we can remember to give to others that special gift and buy decorations and all the fixings for a big Christmas supper with our loved ones but let us not lose sight of the central meaning.  Otherwise it's all meaning-less and empty and just leaves us broke and stressed.  God bless us, every one.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Spider-Scorpion discovered

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/06/post_605_n_792672.html

Very interesting piece about a tiny creature found in a cave.  Scientists think that it had been evolving there for thousands of years.  It makes my already confused mind even more confused.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Old Barns and Old People

http://www.dc2net.com/Old-Barns.htm

I have a few years left but I do admit that most of my life has past.  Still, sometimes we need a new way of looking at things, and this is one of those ways.  We get weathered as we age, much like the old barns  in these pictures, with the hot summer sun and the cold winter storms.    And eventually, when we come to the end of our days, we move on to new lives in heaven, or, like one old barn, in someone's new house because of the quality of our old wood, or the quality of our old souls.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bacteria that likes arsenic

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/12/02/nasa.extraterrestrial.life/index.html?hpt=T1

This is very strange.  Bacteria that likes arsenic?  Getting so that nothing surprises me any more.  I checked Snopes but couldn't find anything about it there.

Monday, November 29, 2010

"Hallelujah": kd lang at the Winter Olympics 2010 Opening Ceremony

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e26D3w5Glqk&feature=related

Leonard Cohen did the original version of this beautiful song and a wonderful job he did, but I am such a fan of kd lang that I want to share this version.  I regret that a close-up isn't possible, there were too many people there.  I also regret that I wasn't there but I did watch it on television!

Space Station photos

http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/dec10/international_space_station.asp

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on the International Space Station leads a tour on the Space Station.  Six-picture slide-show.

Canadian Geographic magazine: photographs of animals from a contest

http://photoclub.canadiangeographic.ca/photos/wildlife_contest/category84308.aspx

I love Canadian Geographic magazine.  Many of the animal pictures in it are done by professional photographers but some are apparently by amateurs; excellent nevertheless.  Many wonderful shots here, too many for me to pick and choose.  You can decide for yourself what you like or don't like.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Taize Song--Wait for the Lord

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mLfr2vfbZk

My brother posted this to-day on Facebook, it's apparently for the First Sunday of Advent which is to-day.  I've not heard it before but think it's so beautiful as to be sublime and I want to share it here.

The Alpha Course

http://www.facebook.com/ukalphacourse#!/ukalphacourse

My wife and I recently attended the Alpha course at our church, Grace Community church and enjoyed it tremendously.  It looks at Christianity in a whole different light.  Example:  many people think that there is a very wide gulf between God and us.  There isn't though.  Really.  God, we believe, came to Earth in the person of Jesus, and lived and died for us, that we might be redeemed and given new life, a better direction for our lives.  And this is the gift that we are given through the Holy Spirit, that we might not only represent Christ, but have our God living in us.  Forever.  We send our prayers up (whichever direction that really is) and God's grace is sent to us. 

(The food is great too!)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Calvin and Hobbes discuss Heaven

This has always been a favourite comic of mine and miss it a lot.  I do get it sent to my e-mail every day.  Calvin is the boy and Hobbes is the tiger, real to no-one except Calvin.  To everyone else he's a stuffed animal.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Yea though I walk through the valley

Sometimes I feel like that cat.  I wonder who never feels like that at times.  Cheers everyone.  I hope your day is wonderful, or at least passable!  Just never forget that you who believe in a loving God are always protected.

More (yet more) on the Science-Religion debate

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karl-giberson-phd/why-is-middle-ground-so-p_b_779161.html

Trying to find the middle ground, if there is one.  Mr. Giberson wonders as I do whether one side is right and the other side is wrong.  That this should be is itself up for debate.  And if there is a middle ground, which "team" would those who stand there be on?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christ the King

http://www.theworkofthepeople.com/index.php?ct=store.details&pid=V00151

Just an awesome video, to celebrate the reign of Christ.

The Rainbow Bridge

http://www.indigo.org/rainbowbridge_ver2.html

We lost our little dog Sparky last night.  His soul left his body at about midnight and he's now free of whatever demons caused him pain and suffering in his last days.  He was only two and a half years old by the calendar and was a joy to have in our family.  He was very affectionate towards everyone and regularly tried to clean my toe-jam, my ears, what have you.  If he was left alone in the house for even 30 minutes while we went to do grocery shopping, he told us off loudly on our return.  BARK BARK BARK BARK at Karen, at me, until we were sufficiently chastised.  When the kids got home from school, big greetings.  When friends came by, big greetings.  He loved to play and would chase whatever toy we would throw for him, and if we threw another while he was coming back with the first one, he would drop toy 1 and go after toy 2.  He loved everyone and tolerated the Cats as they tolerated him.  Until they got too close to his toys.  Then BARK BARK BARK BARK!  We don't know why he got sick and died but at least he's out of pain now.  And we will forever remember him.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Comments

I think I have finally been able to enable comments to posts.  So, hopefully my bad day is over! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rememberance Day

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/flanders.htm

In Flanders Fields is a wonderful way for us to remember those who died so that we can live in freedom.

This is a video called "A Pittance of Time", and it is to remind us to take a couple of minutes out of our busy lives to remember and honour the dead who went bravely into battle and never came back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8poZshcDj8g

Monday, November 8, 2010

Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofe "Cloudburst"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-7fHOXPln4

This is without a doubt my favourite movement in the Suite.  The video matches the movement:  the lightning strikes, the deluge of water, the clouds scudding accross the sky.

Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofe "Sunset"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQCBEkY5Yuk&feature=related

Continuing the Grand Canyon Suite music.  This is 'Sunset', performed by Tomita.

Ordination of first woman rabbi in Germany since the Holocaust

http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2010/11/05/synagogue_ordains_first_woman_rabbi_in_germany_since_holocaust/?p1=Well_MostPop_Emailed2

Germany has come a long way since the days of Hitler's Nazis.

The believe-it-or-not rescue of Ripley the dog

http://blog.seattlepi.com/filmhound/archives/226890.asp

This is what love and tender loving care can do for a dog.  The before and after pictures are amazing.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Piece of Their Mind: Tatiana and Krista

http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/11/02/a-piece-of-their-mind/

Thesr four-year-old twins are forever joined at the top of their heads; they share a brain and though they have different fields of view, see what each other can see, they share thoughts and desires, problems and issues.  They lean towards each other when they walk, they wrestle with other kids and almost anything they want.  Their parents view each new day as a new miracle and a new challenge, and because they love their children they find a way to do what needs to be done.  It's truly amazing.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Golden Ratio in the Human Body

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=085KSyQVb-U

I am baffled by mysteries such as the Golden Ratio, how it can be anywhere and everywhere, in sunflowers and seashells, but most especially in the human body.  How is it that this can be so prevalent and yet atheists can say that there is no God?  Of course there's a God.  God is everywhere, filling me with a sense of absolute wonder and amazement.  Mysteries abound.  Watch this amazing video.

The Christmas Tree Nebula

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=freecause&va=the+Christmas+Tree+Nebula

Amazing photos

Friday, October 29, 2010

No Arms No Legs No Worries

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciYk-UwqFKA&feature=related

Very inspirational video about a guy who is severely disabled but has complete faith in God and God's purpose for him.  Truly amazing and he's  happy!  I would have likely given up long ago. . .

in Christ Alone: Nick Vujicic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUas9uNPDuM&feature=fvw

This dude has no arms and no legs.  But he has a faith in God that carries him through life and he figures out a way to do just about anything he wants.  He inspires me, absolutely and completely.

St. Augustine's thoughts about Creation

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1988/PSCF3-88Young.html

This takes some reading but it is probably worth it.  St. Augustine was a very wise theologian who lived centuries ago and definitely used his head for more than to keep his ears apart.  I do not profess to be as wise as he was but it seems obvious to me that the stories of Genesis are for the most part not to be taken literally.

Bobby McFerrin: Ave Maria

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgvJg7D6Qck

Beautiful video.  A brilliant and spiritual entertainer entertains and involves the audience with a wonderful hymn.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Desiderata, by Max Ehrmann

http://www.sfheart.com/desiderata.html

These words are timeless and very important.  I believe they are every bit as important as for example The Lord's Prayer.  Well, maybe not quite that important. . .

The Lord's Prayer from the 11th Century, Anglo-Saxon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Wl-OZ3breE&feature=related

It's strange to watch this, words from almost 1000 years ago.  Mystical, hauntingly beautiful.  Listen and enjoy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

UNIVERSO PARALELO EM VERSOS: Haikais de um dia pelo avesso.

UNIVERSO PARALELO EM VERSOS: Haikais de um dia pelo avesso.: "(Obra de Arnaldo Macedo) Madrigal alta alegriafoi rodopiando pelo mundo afora voa feliz sabiá. Paz no sorrisopulando uma onda na praiagaiv..."

There is a translation widget in this blog if Porteugese isn't your language.  Click on the appropriate flag.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

reach up! way up!

Ay, sometimes an elephant's reach is beyond his grasp, or what's a heaven for?
(With apologies to Robert Browning.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thoughts about Thanksgiving Day

Yesterday, October 10, 2010, was Thanksgiving Day Sunday here in Canada.  My wife and I attended church--it was decorated with harvested food--apples, potatoes and of course pumpkins, and lots of colourful leaves all over the place.  We sang the songs, listened to the sermon, offered up prayers for those of our friends and families who needed them, and thought about all the blessings in our lives.  I cannot but thrill in the beauty of nature at this time of year.  This is the world we live in and ours not to spoil.  After the service we shared refreshments and reflections with each other.  One young lad showed his Mom what he had done in Sunday school class, very amazing and beautiful work.  There was a poem in his work:

There's power in the ocean and there's power in me.
Just like the tiny acorn that rows to be a tree,
Whose branches reach to heaven for all the world to see,
When I reach up to thee, Lord, I'll become what I'm supposed to be.
http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=what+a+wonderful+world+louis+armstrong&docid=234113597909&mid=807D207650324525BD18807D207650324525BD18&FORM=LKVR34#

This is a wonderful song by the great Louis Armstrong, accompanied by Kenny G.  Seems appropriate.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Video: Grand Canyon Suite "painted desert"

Couldn't find another video of the same quality as "sunrise" but the music is great anyway.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL9YHaakZNM&feature=related

two birds = one heart

Video Grand Canyon Suite, "Sunrise"

Part of the love I have for classical music comes from memories of my parents sharing music like this; but back then of course we didn't have benefit of videos.  I do remember looking at picture books while listening to this--never having been to this magnificient place I can only dream of doing so.  What this has to do with faith I'm not sure, unless it's to think that God is here.  What it has to do with science I don't know either, unless geology and geography figure into it.  Anyway here it is, enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCM8u-YlGQE

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sane religion/"un"-sane religion

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-raushenbush/religious-people-must-ral_b_750682.html?utm_source=DailyBrief&utm_campaign=100610&utm_medium=email&utm_content=FeatureMore

Very good article about religion:  Personally I think that sane religion--that which is inclusive, non-judgemental, caring and understanding--is an attitude which also promotes harmony with nature.

The paradox of Prediction

http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/paradox+prediction/3630181/story.html

David Suzuki at age 74 is still trying to open peoples' eyes and save the planet we all live on.  He makes an interesting and scary prediction.  Imagine, he says, a test-tube full of food, and a single bacterium introduced into it.  In one hour it reproduces itself.  Again in another hour.  And again, and so on.  It would take, he says, 59 hours for the test-tube to be half full of bacteria, and another hour to become completely full.  Then he compares the test-tube to Planet Earth and tells us that we have passed the 59th hour.  Click on the above link to read the whole piece.

Monday, October 4, 2010

missing monkey-humans

http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/the-gaggle/2010/09/27/an-evolutionary-biologist-answers-christine-o-donnell-s-question-about-the-missing-monkey-humans.html?obref=obnetwork

There's a lot of confusion about evolution because we are unable to see things happening in our short life-times.  As children we have very short attention spans; this is why entertainment is fed to us in bite-sized cartoon form rather than movies or, even better, books.  Sometimes as adults this feature of our child-hood carries over in part because we cannot or will not see the whole picture.  We think that the description of creation as described in the book of Genesis (six days and all that) is exactly how it all happened, and that six thousand years ago.  But we should really look at the evidence.  It isn't all black-and-white.  Elsewhere in this blog are excerpts from a series called "Discovering Religion"; this is an excellent series which seeks to help explain about evolution and the need to be more open-minded when looking at evidence;  more from the same series are to be posted. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

St. Francis Day, October 3.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-dr-james-a-kowalski/st-francis-the-power-of-l_b_747919.html

We celebrate today the work of St. Francis of Assisi, who dedicated his life about a thousand years ago to looking after the animals.  St. Francis was a very wise man and would teach us a lot about stewardship if only we would listen.  In the wake of so many disasters (the Gulf oil-rig explosion is an example), pollution of other kinds (water, air), species extinction and man-caused imbalances of nature we really should learn while there is still time.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wilderness Summithttp://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/ID=1605310108

David Suzuki, a great Canadian, and a world-renowned environmentalist and Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice met on the British Colombia coast to discuss the environment and what should be done to further progress in preserving the environment.  This is important because we only have one planet on which we all live.  A lot of damage has already been done and might not be possible to undo.  This is the world that God gave us and gave to us stewardship, to protect and treasure.  This is a video that was shown on CBC news today and I want to share it.http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/ID=1605310108

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Upward/Outward/Inward (aka The Magic That Is Me): Lesson from Lemmon

Upward/Outward/Inward (aka The Magic That Is Me): Lesson from Lemmon: "I have been wanting to spend time up on Mt. Lemmon for awhile now. I love the ocean, but I also love being in the woods, and Mt. Lemmon is ..."

God in nature, that's what I'm talking about! Thanks Nina.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No arms, no legs, no worries

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciYk-UwqFKA

I did a bit of thinking before posting this.  Some of us complain a lot and sometimes we think we're really, incredibly, hard-done by.  But this guy, Nick Vujicic, inspires me to be thankful for what I have.  He has no arms and no legs but can do quite well without them.  He can golf, swim, dive, play soccer (though doesn't play goal that well). . .In this video he gives a speech to some school-kids and has their complete attention.  Many, girls and boys, have tears in their eyes, not because they feel sorry for him, but because he inspires them too.  They hug him as thanks and are very emotional.  I don't know if he is a believer in God or not but I would bet that he is.  I can see it in his face, in his smile.  He shares his spirit and his story, himself.  It's amazing. 

I also don't know if this has anything to do with science, but I would think that there are a lot of scientists studing him and people like him, to figure out better ways to help the physically disabled.  Praise God for those without what we take for granted.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Book and Movie: "Contact" by Carl Sagan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_(novel)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_(movie)


This is another of my very favourite treasures, it's just a joy both to read the book and watch the movie.  I don't know which I like more.   Links to both are provided.
The premise is that the search for extraterrestrial life, on which a lot of money and time is spent, eventually provides fruit.  Jody Foster plays the radio astronomer Ellie Arroway in the movie who turns from being a skeptic into a very confused agnostic. 

feeling insignificant?

http://dingo.care-mail.com/cards/flash/5409/galaxy.swf

This is a very clever piece by Eric Idle, of Monty Python fame.  It's a mind-blower. . .

Volcanic activity.

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/07/recent_volcanic_activity.html

Great pics.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

birds on the wire

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoM4ZZJ2UrM

This is a video that was posted on Facebook by a friend, it's very clever.  short but hugely entertaining.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nelson British Colombia

This is a link an article about one of the most beautiful towns in Canada, if not the planet.  It's in the current issue of Beautiful B. C. magazine.  For sure God lives here.

http://www.bcmag.ca/issue/article/?id=2999

Sunday, September 19, 2010

a natural disaster

http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2010/09/huge_fish_kill_reported_in_pla.html

This is a shocking situation.  I am thinking that if God is in nature, then something like this is the absence of God.  I am thinking that this is man's doing, this is evil and should not be.  Any comments?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Quote from Albert Einstein

Religion without science is blind.  Science without religion is paralysed.  (they need each other.)

The Big Picture: Earth from Space

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/01/earth_observed.html

This is a link to some very interesting and detailed pictures from space.  I was astounded at the detail of these.

Native North American Ten Commandments

http://www.youtube.com/v/DY3ZEvOfD1w&f=gdata_videos

Ancient wisdom, beautifully presented.

Supreme Being vs. Superior race of creators

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vancouversun.com%2Flife%2FIntelligent%2Bdesign%2Btakes%2Bmeaning%2F3467396%2Fstory.html&h=7770e

This article seems to dismiss God as being the Creator, rather theorizing that some superior race somewhere created our Universe and other universes as well.  Very interesting but I thought somewhat biased.

from "The Christian Agnostic" by Dr. Leslie Weatherhead.

This book, from 1965, has always been a favourite book of mine.  In it Dr. Weatherhead makes a very valid point, that:

"Paul was a great theologian, as well as a great saint and a heroic missionary, but we are not bound to imprison our minds in his theories.  Newton was a great scientist, but it is no disparagement of Newton to realize that even schoolboys (and girls) today know more than he did about atoms.  Thought moves on in every field of inquiry."

I think his point is that no-one ever has all the answers, not theologians, not scientists, no-one.  God (for example) is bigger than our minds can ever conceive and that is how it should be.

The Divine Proportion

http://www.summum.us/philosophy/phi.shtml

It wasn't until I read "The DaVinci Code" by Dan Brown that I understood more what I had learned in school (geometry and art) about this fascinating subject.  God in nature, Lord, I believe!

St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi was a Saint who saw God in nature and was made by the Catholic church the patron saint of ecology, which seems fitting. 

http://conservation.catholic.org/st__francis_of_assisi.htm


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI1Gst7pEqc&feature=related

I found a beautiful rendition of "Make me a Channel of your Peace", the famous prayer of St. Francis, filmed in his home town of Assisi.  It is sung by Angelica.