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In our last Bible Study Mama (Judy) choose 2 Timothy 1:12 as one of her planks of faith for her ark.  Some of the wording I found a little confusing.  I am selecting it so you can help me understand it better.  I’ll start from verse 8.

2 Timothy 1:8-12 (New International Version)

8So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.

12That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

From Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Epistle_to_Timothy

In his letter, Paul urges Timothy to not have a “spirit of timidity” and to “not be ashamed to testify about our Lord” (1:7-8). He also entreats Timothy to come to him before winter, and to bring Mark with him (cf. Philippians 2:22). He was anticipating that “the time of his departure was at hand” (4:6), and he exhorts his “son Timothy” to all diligence and steadfastness in the face of false teachings, with advice about combating them with reference to the teachings of the past, and to patience under persecution (1:6–15), and to a faithful discharge of all the duties of his office (4:1–5), with all the solemnity of one who was about to appear before the Judge of the quick and the dead.

The wording in verse 12 that I am not clear on is, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.”  Is Paul speaking of God as the one whom he believed?  If so then in the last part is Paul saying that he is convinced that God is able to guard what he, Paul, entrusted to God.  What did Paul entrust to God?

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I see that dance competitions are becoming popular on TV.  I thought I would put up some videos, I have posted before of my favorite style of dance to watch Ballet.  It is amazing how they can make something so hard, look so easy.

Who are your favorite dancers?

Have you ever been to a ballet?  Did you enjoy it.

Have you ever had dance training? 

I am much better at tripping over my toes than dancing on them.  🙂

1) My favorite ballet video.  Polina Seminova

2) My favorite Ballet dancer.  Rudolf Nureyev. Watch the ease with which he makes those incredible jumps.

3) The most inspirational ballet performance I have seen.

Hand in Hand

4) Think these guys would get a few votes on Dancing With Stars?

(Worldpress doesn’t much care for my picture as my avatar, it keeps going back to my old one.  Perhaps they had too many complaints. 🙂  )

The more we learn about the animals, and plants, we share our world with the more we find we are not as unique as we think.  We can see creative thinking in other animals, just watch squirrels working out how to get at the bird feeder.  Now we have evidence that plants recognize their siblings.  “We are family” applies to the plant kingdom as well as our own.

First, in our Bible study I asked you to pick you favorite animal.  Now I’ll ask you to make some choices from the world of plants.

Your back on the ark and must choose three flowers to brighten your voyage.

My picks

1. Lily of the Valley – my mother’s favorite flower, her nick name was Lil.

 lily_of_the_valley_02

2. Roses – The 2009 award winning Pink Promise.

a%20f-pinkPromise 

3. Tulips – The Sensual Touch Tulip.

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What three veggies would you pick for the dinner table?

My picks are easy since there aren’t many veggies I do like.

1. Corn

2. Potatoes

3.Carrots

Which three veggies would you throw overboard?

1. Brussels Sprouts

2. Broccoli

3. Lima beans

The article:

http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2010/oct/plantsiblings101409.html

Plants may not have eyes and ears, but they can recognize their siblings, and researchers at the University of Delaware have discovered how.

The ID system lies in the roots and the chemical cues they secrete.

The finding not only sheds light on the intriguing sensing system in plants, but also may have implications for agriculture and even home gardening.

The study, which is reported in the scientific journal Communicative & Integrative Biology, was led by Harsh Bais, assistant professor of plant and soil sciences at the University of Delaware.

Canadian researchers published in 2007 that sea rocket, a common seashore plant, can recognize its siblings — plants grown from seeds from the same mother.

Susan Dudley, an evolutionary plant ecologist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and her colleagues observed that when siblings are grown next to each other in the soil, they “play nice” and don’t send out more roots to compete with one another.

However, the moment one of the plants is thrown in with strangers, it begins competing with them by rapidly growing more roots to take up the water and mineral nutrients in the soil.

Bais, who has conducted a variety of research on plant signaling systems, read Dudley’s study and wanted to find the mechanism behind the sibling recognition.

“Plants have no visible sensory markers, and they can’t run away from where they are planted,” Bais says. “It then becomes a search for more complex patterns of recognition.”

Working in his laboratory at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, a major center for life sciences research at UD, Bais and doctoral student Meredith Biedrzycki set up a study with wild populations of Arabidopsis thaliana.

They utilized wild populations to avoid issues with this common laboratory-bred species, which “always has cousins floating around in the lab,” Bais says.

In a series of experiments, young seedlings were exposed to liquid media containing the root secretions or “exudates” from siblings, from strangers (non-siblings), or only their own exudates.

The length of the longest lateral root and of the hypocotyl, the first leaf-like structure that forms on the plant, were measured.

Additionally, in one experiment, the root exudates were inhibited by sodium orthovanadate, which specifically blocks root secretions without imparting adverse growth effects on roots.

The exposure of plants to the root exudates of strangers induced greater lateral root formation than exposure of plants to sibling exudates. Stranger recognition was abolished upon treatment with the secretion inhibitor.

Biedrzycki did the painstaking laboratory research, rotating more than 3,000 plants involved in the study every day for seven consecutive days and documenting the root patterns.

“The research was very painstaking because Arabidopsis roots are nearly translucent when they are young and were also tangled when I removed them from plates, so measuring the roots took a great amount of patience,” Biedrzycki notes.

“This manuscript is very important for my research since the focus of my thesis project is understanding the biochemical mechanism behind root secretions,” she says. “This research has allowed me to probe the natural mechanism of kin recognition and root secretion.”

The study was replicated by Dudley’s lab in Canada, with similar results.

Strangers planted next to each other are often shorter, Bais notes, because so much of their energy is directed at root growth.

Because siblings aren’t competing against each other, their roots are often much shallower.

Bais says he and his colleagues also have noticed that as sibling plants grow next to each other, their leaves often will touch and intertwine compared to strangers that grow rigidly upright and avoid touching.

The study leaves a lot of unanswered questions that Bais hopes to explore further. How might sibling plants grown in large “monocultures,” such as corn or other major crop plants, be affected? Are they more susceptible to pathogens? And how do they survive without competing?

“It’s possible that when kin are grown together, they may balance their nutrient uptake and not be greedy,” Bais speculates.

The research also may have implications for the home gardener.

“Often we’ll put plants in the ground next to each other and when they don’t do well, we blame the local garden center where we bought them or we attribute their failure to a pathogen,” Bais says. “But maybe there’s more to it than that.”

Noah had his ark, to save himself and his family, from the great flood, and to save the animals to build the new world with.

If you had to build that ark for a new world, but you could only take 5 animals, which would you pick?

1.Sheep to make wool for clothing

2.Pigs.  I can’t imagine a world without bacon. 🙂

3.Horses – for transportation to help us get around this new world

4.Dogs – Man’s best friend, also to help guard our homes.

5.Platypuses – they are just so much fun to look at, and we need at least one strange critter around to remind us that life doesn’t always make sense.

Our faith is like Noah’s ark.  It keeps us safe, floating above the floods of life that we could easily drown us.

If you were to build your ark of faith which 5 passages from the Bible would you choose as your planks?  Feel free to choose less, or than 5, this isn’t a homework assignment.  🙂  Discuss the reason why you picked them for as many as you have time for.

The planks for my science based ark 🙂

1.Evolution – life is continually changing.  With out change our world, if it came into existence at all, would have remained a fiery, bubbling cauldron, continually bombarded by objects from outer space.

2. Natural Selection – the organisms that adapt best to changes in the environment are the ones that survive, and thrive.  As this applies to human society, as our brains evolve so will the societies we build.

3.Decay – this is the force in nature that allows changes.  If nothing decayed than the Universe would never change, or probably even have come into existence.

4.Newton’s third law – For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  This gives me hope that someday I may learn to understand women.  🙂

5. Whatever force in nature results in laughter, muddle puddles, and whip cream pies.  🙂

Genesis 6:13-18

13And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

 14Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

 15And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.

 16A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

 17And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

 18But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

I have hijacked this topic from my blog buddy Rain’s site.  I just copied my comment to her blog.  She quotes from Craig M. Gay’s book “The Way of the (Modern) World”.  It is very thought provoking and I recommended you pay her blog a visit to read it. http://ivyrain.wordpress.com/2009/10/18/food-for-thought/

We do want it all, and we want it now.

Patience is no longer considered a virtue, and its something I have worked hard at developing all my life.

Technology is just a tool.  We decide if we use it to make our lives better, or worse.  All the nice, shiny, toys that technology produces can become very addictive.  As with all addictions we either control it, or it will control us.

Technology does have a profound effect on how we live.  The spear, and bow and arrow, turned us from prey into predators.  The discovery of agriculture changed us from nomadic, hunter gathers, into city dwellers. Information is power, and the printing press meant the ruling elite could no longer control who had access to it.  Serfs and slaves became citizens in a democracy.  All of these changes revolutionized how we live, and how we view the world.

Modern technology, the cars, computers, the cell phones, give us greater control over the life choices we make.  Our parents can no longer dictate who we marry, our jobs, or where we will live.

However all revolutions come with a price.  While we now have more freedom to make the decisions about our lives, technology has created this fast paced world, where we must make many more decisions, and make them quickly.  It becomes to easy to become a slave to technology, instead of being freed by it.

If you believe the world is becoming a worse place to live, than you will look to the past for a better answer.  You will see the garden of Eden as the perfect world.  A world we should try to emulate today, as much as possible.  God created Eden, and we need God’s guidance to make the world we now live in a better place.

If you believe the world is becoming a better place to live, than you will develop faith in what has brought about these changes.  You will believe that evolution will continue to make the world better.

I believe we humans are physically evolving to adopt to changes in our environment.  We will evolve a better brain, that we will use to create a better world.  We will make better use of the technology we develop to make the world a better place to live in.

Of course it would help if I could evolve a better brain now, but I am afraid I am stuck with the one I have.  One that has not yet evolved the patience I need to deal with all the choices technology is throwing at me.

How patient are you? 

How has your faith helped you become more patient, assuming it has.  🙂

I can’t think of anything to write so I will post some more videos.  Let me know what you think of them.

What is/was your favorite musical group, in any genre. That is a very hard question so list as many as you want.

The Beatles

I have never posted any songs from the most popular group in music history.  I wasn’t a big Beatles fan, more of a Rolling Stones fan.  I do think Lennon and McCartney were the best song writers of my lifetime.  John Lennon’s “Imagine” is my theme song.

My favorite song of theirs is “In My Life”, the Judy Collins version, which I could not find a video of.  My favorite song performed by the Beatles is “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”.

What is your favorite Beatles song?

Eddy Arnold

I was not a fan of country music growing up.  Eddy Arnold was the first country singer I liked.  He had a great voice.

From Wikipedia:

Richard Edward Arnold (May 15, 1918 – May 8, 2008), known professionally as Eddy Arnold, was an American country music singer who performed for six decades. He created the Nashville sound in the late 1950s, and had 147 songs on the Billboard Magazine music charts, second only to George Jones. Though Jones had more individual hits, onn authoritative study ranks Arnold as the all-time leader for hits and their time on the charts. Arnold sold more than 85 million records from 1943 to his death in 2008.”

Flook

From the land of my grandmothers ancestors.  The Irish group Flook

From Wikipedia:

“Flook is an Anglo-Irish band playing traditional-style instrumental music, although much is penned by the band themselves. Their music is typified by extremely fast, sometimes percussive, flute and whistle atop complex guitar and bodhran rhythms. The band was formed in 1995, originally by Becky Morris, with three flute-playing friends Sarah Allen, Brian Finnegan and Michael McGoldrick.”

Vegetarian spiders and bat eating birds.  In the animal kingdom, like in human society, looks can be deceiving.

Before I get to the stories I’ll start with some question.

1.Do creepy crawlies (spiders and such) creep you out?

I have handled hissing cockroaches and let a tarantula crawl up my arm, it was a pet of a friend.

2. Any creepy crawly stories you wild like to share?

I love to enjoy a nice relaxing bath.  I follow the Japaneses system of showering to get clean that a long soak in hot water to relax.  One time I was chilling out in my hot bathtub.  When I open my eyes to find I was sharing my bath with a spider, which was swimming towards my face.

I jump up out of the tub, almost killing my self in the process.  I will admit to letting out a scream, but it was a very manly scream.

As I said I creepy crawlies don’t bother me as long as I can see them first.  I did put the spider in a jar and released it outside, after putting on some clothes of course.  🙂

3. Do you feed wild animals, and I don’t mean teenagers.  🙂

I believe it is the job of wild animals to find their own food.  My cousin feeds birds, groundhogs, raccoons and deer.  Some will now feed out of her hand.

The stores.

The Vegetarian Spider

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8302535.stm

Proving once again how much we have still learn about the creatures we share our world with, a spider tha feeds on plants has been found in Central America, and Mexico.

From the article:

It is the first-known predominantly vegetarian spider; all of the other known 40,000 spider species are thought to be mainly carnivorous.

Bagheera kiplingi, which is found in Central America and Mexico, bucks the meat-eating trend by feasting on acacia plants.

The jumping arachnid, which is 5-6mm long, has developed a taste for the tips of the acacia plants – known as Beltian bodies – which are packed full of protein.

But to reach this leafy fare, the spider has to evade the attention of ants, which live in the hollow spines of the tree.

“The spiders live on the plants – but way out on the tips of the old leaves, where the ants don’t spend a lot of time, because there isn’t any food on those leaves.”

But when they get hungry, the spiders head to the newer leaves, and get ready to run the ant gauntlet.

Professor Curry said: “And they wait for an opening – they watch the ants move around, and they watch to see that there are not any ants in the local area that they are going after.

“And then they zip in and grab one of these Beltian bodies and then clip it off, hold it in their mouths and run away.

 “And then they retreat to one of the undefended parts of the plant to eat it.”

Bat Eating Birds

A very pretty, samll, bird found in Europe, the Great Tit, get over the name guys, we are suppose to be adults here 🙂 , the insect eating bird will dine on hibernation bats when food is scarce.

http://www.mpg.de/english/illustrationsDocumentation/documentation/pressReleases/2009/pressRelease20090925/index.html

Necessity is the mother of invention: Great Tits eat hibernating common pipistrelle bats under harsh conditions of snow cover. This remarkable newly-acquired behaviour was observed by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen and their colleagues in a cave in Hungary. When the researchers offered the birds alternative feed, they ate it and showed little or no interest in flying into the cave again.

The observed cave had a large entrance. Therefore, a small amount of light penetrated into it and the birds were able to find their way around in the semi-darkness. The birds probably locate the bats in the cave through the sounds that hibernating animals make when disturbed and awoken. These sounds range from the human acoustic range to the ultra-sound range. The researchers proved that these sounds were within the audible range of the birds by playing a recording of the bat sounds to them. The birds responded by moving towards the loudspeaker with interest. “These sounds probably have a defensive purpose,” says Bjorn Siemers, “and it would seem plausible that the birds use the sounds to locate the bats.” The Great Tits needed at most 15 minutes from entry into the cave to capture a bat. In some cases, they carried the Pipistrelles out of the cave in their beaks and ate them on nearby trees.

Faith can mean different things to each of us, but for all of us our faith must serve to inspire us, no matter what the circumstance of our life may be at the moment.  Going through the psalms I found these very beautiful, and inspiring words, the first four verses of Psalm 27:

Psalm 27 (King James Version)

1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

 2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

 3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

 4One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

The first line perfectly sums up religious faith.  The Lord is your light and salvation.  The emphasize being one the word is, without doubt.  If you come to believe this with all your heart, then there is nothing in the world that can defeat you.

Of whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

If you have made the Lord your light the answer is no one.  Of course there aren’t many who can say they never have doubts, at least at some points in their lives.  That is when you need to work harder at making the Lord your light.  So he can show you the path to salvation not matter what obstacles you find in the way.

There is wickedness in the world.  You will encounter enemies.  I doubt there are many who can claim they are without fear.  Your Lord’s light will quiet your fears.  It gives you the confidence to keep yourself on the path to salvation.

The last verse my be the most beautiful in the Bible. To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of your life, here in the world, and after in Heaven.  To be able to behold the beauty of the Lord, that is the great promise of salvation.

How do you keep the Lord’s light bright when you are surrounded by wickedness and enemies?

Singing Psalm 27 might help keep that light shinning on your pathway to salvation.

(I’ll will put up a Bible Study post Thursday night. Any suggestions for a topic or verse?)

Blog Action Day – Climate Change

You can read all the post at  http://www.blogactionday.org/

Disclaimer:

I am more interested in a dialogue than a debate.  There is plenty of good information easily available, but I suspect we mostly read the news stories that reflect our own views.  I am biased towards believing that we need to significantly alter how we live.  If we don’t it’s future generations that will pay the price.

We can all agree that the climate will change, nothing new there.  I think we can all agree that we need to be better prepared for whatever future changes do take place.  We need to devote more resources to studying what affects the climate, and how best to reduce any significant negative effects we are having.

I don’t think anyone can predict, with a high degree of precession, exactly what the weather will be in the future.  All we have to go on is comparing current trends with the past.

All the trends I have looked at point towards a significant change in the climate. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature_record_of_the_past_1000_years 

The last time carbon dioxide levels of the ocean were as high as they are now was 15 million years ago.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008152242.htm

An important thing to remember is we can’t just look at the last few years.  Anything less than a 10 years period isn’t going to be that valuable in predicting a long term trend.

Whatever decisions we make now must be based on risk versus reward.  Trying to make a best guess at what is the cost of doing nothing.  How much will it cost to change how we live, in order to reduce any significant negative affect we are having.

These are tough economic times.  I don’t see how significant  government actions, whatever they are, won’t result in higher taxes.  I am less concerned about jobs.  Any changes will result in new kinds of jobs replacing old jobs.  That is the way technology works.  I personally would rather work on a wind farm, than in a coal mine.

I am encouraged in seeing that more people, and many cities, are using energy efficient products and technology.  Business is starting to recognizing the profits that can be made by “going green”.   Not the big oil companies of course.  I am discouraged by almost no progress by national governments.

 It is also understandable why many people are very skeptical.  A reasonable argument can be made that given the inability to make precise predictions about future weather, whatever action we do take must not involve tax increases, or significant lose of jobs.

When the overwhelming body of professional meteorologist, with very few dissenters, using improving technology, say that significant changes in the climate are occurring, and are likely to continue, I listen.  The risk to future generations is too great to ignore.

Now the fun part.  🙂

Do you think any changes are necessary to how we live in order reduce the negative effect man’s activities have on the climate?

Some suggestions (add any you think could be helpful).  What do you think of mine?  Yes, I am be becoming a radical socialist 🙂  At least regarding environmental issues. 

1. All cars must get at least 75 mpg within the next ten years.  Car manufactures already can build cars that can get 40-50 mpg.  New standards are being set, but are these are just no high enough to have a significant impact.

The cost won’t be that much higher if the standard was set higher.  This probably means limiting the choices car buyers will have, but so what.

2. Over the next decade we should be invest billions in mass transit.  We should starting restricting automobiles from large cities, forcing people to use mass transit.  In 25 years there should be no cars allowed in any city with a population of over 150,00(?).  I would put a tax of at least 10% on any new car that doesn’t get at least 30 mpg to help raise the money for more mass transit.

3.All new houses being built should require the best energy efficient technology available. I would give more tax breaks to anyone who improves the energy efficiency of their home.

4. I would create a flood plan zone, making the best projections 50 years into the future, and restrict homes from being built there.

I know I can think of more but it’s getting late and my brain is closing down.  Of course some of you may think my brain was turned off when I thought up these suggestions.  🙂

The high point of the year was meeting with my friends, and blog buddies, Papa(Jim) and Mama(Judy).  We had lunch, and went for a walk, at the West Haven Beach, on the Connecticut side of Long Island Sound.

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Papa, Mama and Me having lunch at Jimmies Restaurant on Long Island Sound
Papa, me, and Mama on the boardwalk at West Haven Beach

Papa, me, and Mama on the boardwalk at West Haven Beach

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