Category Archives: Religion

Bibliophilic Friday: Richard Fortey’s Life

Good morning Everyone!

Today on Bibliophilic Friday I am going to talk about one of my favorite non-fiction books on science, Life:  An Intimate History of the First Four Billion Years by Richard Fortey.  Nor am I alone in my admiration of this book; it recently was selected, along with another book by Richard Fortey, by the Folio Society in England.  The Folio Society publishes high-end editions of carefully selected books, and to have a book included as one of their offerings is an honor in and of itself.

Folio Society, Richard Fortey

The Folio Society Cover for Richard Fortey’s Life

I love to read about science, all aspects of it.  Richard Fortey is one of my favorite science writers because of the engaging way he illustrates his topics and the trick he has of making complicated concepts available to non-scientists.  In his book, Life, he covers the evolution of life from the first single-celled organisms through the present – and does so in a way that keeps you reading.

He has another quality as a science writer that I, as a Christian, find most endearing – he does not proselytize for atheism in his writing, something that spoiled some of the books of Stephen Gould and James Watson (the original discoverer of DNA) for me.  This does not mean that there is anything in his writing that promotes Christianity, either, but what it does do is leave me free to enjoy the science explained in the book without feeling defensive about my religious views.

(We’ll get into this more some other time – maybe – but I can study science and learn everything it has to teach me without giving up my religious beliefs, either.  Science is a study performed by man to understand the tangible world around us; Christianity and the Bible is a book given to us by God to understand the deeper, more important truths of where we came from , who we are and what our purpose in life is.)

As you read Life, you pick up on Fortey’s enthusiasm on his subject and learn about fascinating creatures – and not all of them are dinosaurs!  Even the algae mats that now exist in only a few places in the world but which once populated the earth in enough abundance to transform our atmosphere from primarily carbon dioxide to primarily oxygen can become interesting in Dr. Fortey’s hands.


A Trilobite

Dr. Fortey’s academic specialty is the study of trilobites, animals that swarmed the oceans for over 270 million years but which became extinct about 250 million years ago.  Trilobites were arthropods, which means they are distantly related to insects, arachnids and crustaceans.  Their closest living relatives today appear to be the horseshoe crabs, which are often considered to be “living fossils”.  The horseshoe crabs are arthropods, too. Dr. Fortey admits in one of his books that he has a secret wish/hope that maybe just a few trilobites are still swimming around in the ocean, may in some deep-sea canyon, that have yet to be discovered.  I think that would be spectacular!

Horseshoe crabs

Horseshoe Crabs
From Wikimedia Commons; Photographer’s name not listed

Sorry – I digressed again. The point is that if you are looking for an informative, entertaining read that sets out a comprehensive history of life as currently understood by science, this is the book for you.

Have a great weekend!



My grandfather died yesterday.  I tell you this not to solicit condolences but so I can tell you a little about him.  Sometime later I will do a more comprehensive post, but here are some things you  may be interested to know.

He was 92 years old, and lived independently with just a little bit of assistance up until the very end.

He was born in 1919/1920 in Pasco, Washington.  No one who knew him from the time he was 18 forward would ever have guessed that he was born there, since he spent the rest of his life in the small town in Illinois where he met my grandmother, courted her, married her and raised their son, my father.  In the same town, he and Grandma created a paradise during the summer time for their three grandchildren when we came to visit, and spoiled us rotten.

Grandpa took three small girls under the age of 11 (1p, 8 and 6) fishing, and not only lived to tell the tale, but seemed to enjoy it.

At the age of six, Grandpa’s father decided the family had to return to Illinois from Washington to take care of his parents , so around 1925/1926, Great-Granpda, Great-Grandma, Grandpa’s two older sisters and Grandpa traveled by car from Pasco, Washington to Illinois.  Traveling by car those days was very different from today, and I can’t wait to write about it more in detail sometime.

There are a large group of cousins in Illinois who also think of Grandpa (and Grandma) as extra grandparents, too.  For years after Grandma and Grandpa retired, they took care of these cousins when school was out and the cousins’ parents had to work, or when the cousins weren’t feeling well and the parents had to work, and many times just because Grandma and Grandpa wanted the chance to have them over and watch them play.

Grandma and Grandpa were very excited when we adopted Kayla.  They both loved her dearly and did everything they could to let her know that.  Kayla loved them , too.

The computer age began in force when Grandpa was in his 70’s.  He got a computer and dived right in, becoming proficient with Facebook, e-mail, and scanning photographs and sending e-mails about them to all of his family scattered across the country.

With his computer, he did some work on genealogy, too, continuing a work his mother had started, and sharing the results with us, another story I will share with you one day.

He and Grandma had two dogs that I can remember.  They had Clyde, who was originally our dog, but who we had to give away when I was in 1st or 2nd grade to them because of a transfer to a place with base housing that didn’t take dogs.  Clyde was an all black dachsund beagle mix.  Clyde and Granpda were buddies.  Grandpa loved to see Clyde chase rabbits and possums, and anything else Clyde decided to go after.

Grandma and Grandpa got Pepper much later in life, after they retired.  Pepper was a miniature poodle, and although I don’t believe in reincarnation, if I had to come back as a dog, Pepper certainly would qualify as a great dog to have come back as.  Pepper got long walks with Grandpa every day, got to ride in the car whenever they went out of town to go shopping in the nearest city, usually about 45 minutes away at least, and had a special place on the couch, a bed and the armchair where she could sleep during the day as she chose.

I love him, and I will miss him.  Most importantly, I will see him and Grandma again.

Have a great day everyone!


With Apologies to both Samuel Clemens Moore and Christina Rossetti

A Poem for Christmas, With Apologies to both Samuel Clemens Moore and Christina Rosetti

Twas the night before Christmas,
When all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a mouse,
Not the three dogs who romp through the house with such glee,
Not the daughter whose growth is a beauty to see,
Nor the father who works so hard for them all,
With his snores gently drifting throughout the halls,
Only the mother who, quiet at last,
Sat on the couch with her holiday wrapped
Up with presents and laughter and love –
yet something was missing, she thought to herself.
A light through the window – a car driving by –
Brought a striking reminder of a star in the sky,
And of shepherds and angels and wise man and Love,
And the Baby whose Birthday gets lost amid stuff.
A Light lit inside her and peace filled her heart,
And her Christmas was perfect –
“My Lord, here’s my heart.”

Have a great day everyone!


Praise (A Poem)


What will I do in the fresh light of springtime,
As my soul rejoices in the new life around?

Praise God my Maker, my Savior, my Teacher,
And know that with such praise my joy will resound.

What should I do in the hot days of summer,
When my soul parched and barren seeks to wither, lay down?

Praise God my Maker, my Savior, my Teacher,
And know that through worship Living Water is found.

What will I do when cool winds sweep in autumn,
As my soul ponders questions the way mist covers ground?

Praise God my Maker, my Savior, my Teacher,
And know that in His Word true answers abound.

What must I do in the darkness of winter,
When my soul lies stripped barren, no strength to be found?

Praise God my Maker, my Savior, my Teacher,
And know that through all praise, revival is found.

What shall I do when at last my eyes darken,
When my soul cuts the ties that keeps it earthbound?

Praise God forever through hymns rich with thanksgiving,
With my family in Christ as God gathers them round.

A Butterfly Looks Back

I wrote the short story called “A Butterfly Looks Back” on Yahoo Contributor.  I think many of you will find it has a very encouraging message.  Please read it, and forward it on to others who  might be encouraged also.

Here is the link:  A Butterfly Looks Back.

Thank you very much!


Next Article Published on Yahoo: Words That Let You Live: Six Inspirational Bible Verses and What They Mean To me

Hi Everyone!

I have had another article published on Yahoo. This assignment was to write about six inspirational Bible verses, so I chose six and explained why they matter to me right now. I hope you enjoy the article. Here is the link:

Six Inspirational Bible Verses

I hope you enjoy the article!


P.S.  This is not my post for the day; I just wanted to share!

Time for Reflection: Thoughts on Good Friday

Hi Everyone!

If you are a working parent (or really, I think if you are anyone in the crazy world we live in today) there seems to be very little time for reflection.  I don’t know if we are all really that busy, or if we just have so many more delightful (or non-delightful) distractions that call us away from time to just be and think, but please indulge me today as I carve out some time this morning to write, mainly for myself, about the meaning of an important day in my religion, Good Friday. 

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

For Christians, Good Friday commemorates the day that Jesus was crucified.  I have wondered often why Good Friday is called Good Friday, since the event it commemorates is a solemn, horrific event, but a quick jog over to Wikipedia, through the American Heritage Dictionary informs me that when Good Friday was originally named, “Good” had the meaning of “pious or holy.”  So, when you substitute in the word “Holy Friday,” it makes more sense. 

From Print Shop Professional 2.o0

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Christian beliefs, we believe that it was during this week, the week of the Jewish Passover, that Jesus deliberately allowed himself to be arrested and crucified in order to provide redemption for every person’s sins.  Easter, which is always the Sunday after Good Friday, is a special day to remember the most important event in all of Christianity, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  Without Good Friday, neither Christmas nor Easter, from a Christian standpoint, would make much sense.

I do wonder, though, whom I would have been if I had been alive during this week in Jesus’ life.  (I began thinking about some of these things from a post I read in  the blog, “Servant’s Life” by Stacy (at called “Christ and the Cross”).  As a modern Christian, I like to think I would have been the one person who stood by Jesus throughout his entire ordeal, knowing with confidence the true meaning of this death, but the wiser part of me knows better.

You see, NOW I have the advantage of knowing the entire story. At the time, the people involved were in the middle of it, and even Jesus’ closest friends and followers were shocked, scared and bewildered by what was going on. Would I have been a follower, scared and bewildered? Would I have been one of the people seeking His death due to what I saw as an intolerable threat to the status quo in the politically torn world of Israel under the Romans? Would I have been one of the people in the streets who didn’t really care what was going on in the temple, the Roman governor’s office or the hill of Golgotha (the place where the crucifixion took place) thinking that what happened up there didn’t affect me?  Would I have been someone who believed in Jesus in secret, but not brave enough to speak out for Him or defend Him?  Would I have been one of those who mocked Him as He was scourged, suffering, and crucified? Would I have been throwing lots at the foot of the cross for His clothes?  These questions are uncomfortable, and I will leave the conclusions I reached (if any) private, but I think it is an important point for me to reflect on.

From Print Shop 2.0 Professional

 My other thought about Good Friday is simply how it takes a conscious effort to keep my daughter aware of what this weekend really means – that Good Friday and Easter have a deeper meaning beyond the impending arrival of the Easter Bunny (although we participate in that with glee and enjoy it) but about something deeper and more important.  I imagine that other parents in other religions also have to work to help their children understand the meaning of important events in their religions.  It is not inappropriate to take this small moment of reflection to evaluate my efforts in this area, too.   However, my conclusions I will keep private. 

From Print Shop Professional 2.o

However solemn Good Friday is, the main point of Easter is love and hope.  So, whatever events you are or are not celebrating this weekend, I wish for you to experience both.  Thank you for your indulgence, and I hope each of you have a wonderful weekend, and a Happy Easter!