Why we are here:

Our signature Bible passage, the prologue to John's Gospel, tells us that Jesus (the Logos) is God and Creator and that He came in the flesh (sarx) to redeem His fallen, sin-cursed creation—and especially those He chose to believe in Him.

Here in Bios & Logos we have some fun examining small corners of the creation to show how great a Creator Jesus is—and our need for Him as Redeemer. Soli Deo Gloria.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A fast, cold trek on the penultimate day of 2008

I admit it—I’m not a big fan of winter hiking, in the woods or anywhere else. I don’t think my body is well adapted for it. I shiver; I turn various shades of red, purple, blue and mauve (never have been sure of what mauve is exactly, but it was probably in my epidermal palette today).

But on this penultimate day of the year, I made a quick jaunt around the trail at the Celery Farm—well, actually, I made it about a third of the way around, climbed Pirie platform, was hit by frigid wind gusts and turned back. I think one of the reasons for making the trip on December 30th is that I just like the word penultimate—sounds sophisticated.

Along the (short) way, I did click the shutter of the 40D a few times and was thankful for the image stabilizer on the Canon 100-400L and its ability to minimize the effect of my shivering and quivering.

Of course, I’m exaggerating here—it was an enjoyable, if attenuated little trek. The air was bracing and the Celery Farm always, even in the dead of winter, offers some enjoyment of the Creation and photographic opportunity.

After getting home and warming up—maybe even before warming up—I snatched the CF card from the camera, cussed the computer for its repeated error messages, and managed to get some jpeg files into a folder. Then, as is always true with my amateurish photography, came the fun part—making lemonade out of some pretty photographically rotten lemons. A few of the results appear above, for what enjoyment or criticism they may bring.

The chorus line of gulls (they certainly would fail in Rockettes tryouts) all aligned into the prevailing wind, was the only bird life evident (at least to my non-birder eyes) in or around Lake Appert. A few flew in and left during my brief visit, so I know at least a few were not frozen in the ice.

Ice is nice, especially when coming or going—offers some intriguing postmodern patterns and subtle pastel-ish hues (OK, I did un-subtle-ize some of the hues just a tad). And combine it with rocks and logs and it makes for something moderately interesting to stare at. In fact, it can be absolutely fascinating. Don’t get me started on the unique properties of water and our total dependence on them (the properties, that is). The Creator done it right when He invented the stuff.

Bark is nice, at any season—texture, texture, texture! It’s not just cork!

Of course, most everything (besides the gulls) is in a dead or dormant condition in late December, so to see a flash of green was a thrill. How those honeysuckle leaves manage to look like they’re actually doing some photosynthesizing is beyond me. But they sure look healthy and crisp (not in the same way my hands and toes were by that point in my walk).
Now I conclude, before the midnight chime strikes and the day is no longer the penultimate.

Enjoy staring for a while—and don’t forget Who made it all and sustains it even in the midst of a cold New Jersey winter. Happy New Year!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Finished (mostly)!

Here we are. Gifts are wrapped (mostly)—if what you call what I do wrapping. Well, what do you want? I didn’t have any (w)rap music to listen to while doing it. (By the way, if anyone is peeking, those tall green things are definitely not alcoholic.)

The minimalist decorations are up—with the smallest tree you’ve ever seen. No, it is not my custom to display a big organic conifer, ever since Willy the cat died around 1955. You see, it was Willy’s job to find exactly the same spot on the white sheet under the tree on which to sleep, every Christmas for fourteen years—and to knock the same ornaments off with his vertically oriented tail. So ever since, out of respect for Willy, I have enjoyed other people’s trees but have kept my decorations simple and inorganic.

And the cards are mailed, mostly, later than ever. With regards to addressing envelopes and signing cards, I am not a procrastinator; I’m a PRE-crastinator. I make up my mind in advance that I’m going to put it off until even past the last minute.

With all that said and done, it’s time to relax and reflect on the real meaning of the season. Let’s remember that the first Christmas gift was a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths, rather than brightly colored paper. And that that gift was laid in a feeding trough made of wood that He Himself had created
(See John 1:1-3) . And let us remember that, thirty-three years later, that perfect gift gave His life on a tree—and that, unlike my procrastinating performance, His timing was perfect, as it always is and ever shall be-- and that, if we bow the knee to Him as Savior and Lord, we are wrapped in the white robes of His righteousness (wrapped around our still sinful flesh.)

So let’s take some time to read about these important matters, in books written by those who were there—you know, those guys whose names begin with M, M, L and J.

My imperfect Christmas wrapping and mailing plans are finished (mostly) and God’s plans are finished (mostly). His perfect sacrifice on Calvary
finished His plan of salvation of those He came to save, (Matt. 1:21); but His final gift, that of returning for His people, is yet to be given. But it will be— soon!
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Day Late and a Connection Short!

It’s getting dangerously close to a month between blog posts—and past my promise to escape from the political and to get back to the biological and theological. So here’s a little something.

Last Friday was Members’ Night at Fyke Nature Association. It was a fun meeting with eight or nine members presenting small sets of photos or other bits of handiwork related to nature. There were some outstanding examples of photography and even videos of Celery Farm birds.

For my part, I did a little study of Queen Anne’s Lace and its various stages of development, with a bit of comic relief at the end, showing a couple of pictures of a not-too-favored bird, the European Starling. I Introduced those images with a statement about the total non-connection between the two species, Daucus carota and Sternus vulgaris.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, I missed the perfect opportunity to make a connection between the two. You see, the very next day I was doing some additional research on Wild Carrot for a little book I am trying to get finished—and up pops the tidbit that starlings (at least in their home continent) actually line their nests with the leaves of Queen Anne’s Lace! It seems that the plant produces a natural insecticide that kills the mites that habitually infest starling nests. What a great segue that would have made!
Yep, It was indeed a day late and an educational opportunity lost. But at least I learned one more fact about the amazing intelligence with which the Creator has endowed His creatures, as well as the advanced biochemistry degrees He has awarded to all plants. And learning something new about the Creator's wisdom is always a blessing.

You learn something new every day. If you don’t, you’re probably dead. Check your
Soli Deo Gloria