Earth 2.0: Good News for God

In a whirlwind of news from space, we have seen pictures of our beloved dwarf planet, Pluto, learned the broader scope of New Horizons, and geeked out about the revelation of Kepler 452b.

Laying on my back on the hood of our Jeep last year my husband and I picked out the Summer Triangle, Scorpio, and the many stars that burn so brightly above our apartment. As a child, I devoured books on astronomy, reveling in the science, mythology, and wonder of our accompanying universe.

As an adult, I have a Google alert for any news. 55b117731200002c0013b267

This is why I read Jeff Schweitzer’s article a couple minutes after it had been posted . Responses to his work, Earth 2.0: Bad News for Godwere many and varied, but noticeably filled with both confusion, anger, and insults. Good answers were lost underneath speculation and those who tried to redirect people to other resources didn’t explain what to look for on the websites.

Many pointed out the faulty sightings in Genesis or the noticeable bias Schweitzer approached the issue with, however very few addressed the topic directly.

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Does the prospective discovery of sentient life on other planets destroy Abrahamic faiths? 

This is a very direct question that recognizes many things:

1) Prospective: 

Kepler 452b is in the habitable zone of a star. This means is in the area where planets with enough atmospheric pressure can possibly have liquid water on their surfaces. Many planets have been found in this zone including roughly a dozen that are half the size of Earth in Kepler.

What is special about Kepler 452b is that it is “roughly Earth sized” – really rough – in that it is 60% percent bigger which will have a huge effect on atmospheric pressure and gravitational pull. At this point they don’t know if it has water, if it has rocky or smooth terrain,or how the extra distance from it’s higher energy star effects it.

We are a long way from declaring this Earth 2.0, but the possibilities are opening up.

What bearing does this have on the issue? 

Schweitzer assumed that the possibility of discovery precluded faith. He wasn’t willing to look at what we know for a fact now and how that effects faith.

2) Sentient

Sentient meaning life that can be held accountable for moral actions. Bacteria on Mars and the possibility of something more on a planet we have only just peaked at don’t count at this point. In order for this to be a faith based question, there has to be a people able enter into a relationship with a Creator.

At this point, there is little more than speculation.

3) Abrahamic Faiths

Schweitzer was not picking on Eastern religions or New Age philosophy, he particularly chose those faiths that source their belief in the Bible.

His arguments are as follows:

Life on Earth, much less in all of the universe, could not have been made in 6 days.  Life on another planet is completely incompatible with religious tradition. If Earth is the center of the universe, where God place man, then no other living creature in relationship with the Creator can exist. No Biblical account mentions extraterrestrial life, therefore its existence disproves the account.

Considering the question: 

How often we overlook the all-powerful nature of our God. Life on earth and in all of the universe was made in six days. Because Schweitzer left it as a side note, I will too. Six days is nothing to the Omnipotent. What we try to quantify in our finite consciousness will never do justice to Him.

The crux of his thoughts rests on the Catholic Church’s response to Galileo during his trial as a heretic. This is not an example of Biblical fallibility, but human error. The purpose of keeping Galileo silent was to maintain the Catholic Church’s control over the interpretation of God’s Word and, by extension,  the actions of the people in fear for their souls. This was wrong and Galileo’s work, which was reminiscent of Protestantism, was later recognized after the close of the Inquisition.

The assumption of Biblical error by the verdict of a human Pope is an example of a parts-to whole fallacy.

The Pope was a Catholic

Catholicism is denomination of Christianity

The Pope made a mistake

Therefore: All of Christianity is wrong. 

If this sort of argument is acceptable, the same thing could be done to prove my point:

Jeff Schweitzer is a scientist/writer

He made a mistake

Therefore: All of science is not right/ All of his writings are not right. 

Clearly, That is utter codswallop.

In Response: 

This article was meant to be speculative and sensational. Schweitzer was expressing his belief that religion is a chameleon, an opiate for masses and grand manipulator by powerful people who will be fighting for their thrones in the face of ‘new life’. His purpose was not to make a defense for his beliefs, but to shoot something into the ether and cause a ripple.

A relationship with Christ does not change based on our perception. Every time man discovered things that made us smaller, it made our God greater. The problem came when man tried to use other’s faith as their power source.

Man placed man at the center of the universe. We assumed we were central and supreme, but as faith in Christ shows that is not the case. We are not the beginning and end of all creation, Christ is. On the outskirts of a galaxy, I am reminded that I am always on the cusp of something so much greater than myself.

If we are not alone, then how much greater is God’s mercy, grace and love?

He directed the Bible to us, to tell us His story of redemption for us.  Finding life beyond us would not destroy a Biblical faith. It would mean He has a story much bigger than us, something we can share in and worship Him for.

– M

What’s Next?

It is amazing to me that every day directs the course for the next like a factorial taking away possibilities with every  number.

Twenty fifteen has already been a year to remember.

In January, I met my brother for the first time in New York, saw Niagra Falls, played many games of Candyland with my niece, and learned what snow really looked like.

Later that month E started back to school with a class mix up that completely restructured our weeks, not that I was paying attention to how one day followed another. I spent December, January, and most of February getting to know our toilet really well, with morning sickness lasting well into my second trimester. Until about two weeks ago, we were trying not to think about the possibility of twins because I was so big for my weeks.

Since last summer we had roaches in our apartment and it never got cold enough for them to stop breeding, so by February we were overrun. I could keep everything clean and they would still lurk on counters and walls, hiding in the pocket under the stovetop until I turned the burner on.

On January 1 around midnight the first mouse made himself known at the same time we discovered a burst pipe that had been pumping water for a couple days. In the month to follow we would realize we were infested, but our landlord wouldn’t take care of the issue until March.

At the end of February they started spraying for roaches which meant moving all of the things I could come in contact with out of the house. After a week of moving, spraying patching, and moving back we found out we would have to do this every month for the next four months and even then there was no guarantee the roaches would be gone. They could even be doing it the week I gave birth.

When our lease ran out we decided to move, suddenly, with only four days to pack and get out, not to mention finding somewhere to go. We had been scoping out the market for a while, but as soon as we made the decision to move all of the rentals dried up.

The weekend we decided to move was the one weekend where most of our help was out of town, but through God’s grace, good friends, and some new ones too we were on my in-laws doorstep by Saturday night with two cats and a couple boxes.

During that time I started subbing at my old high school and loving it. Now I am working on setting up a multi-layered tutoring program for the next school year that would encompass all of the classic subjects, college prep, dual credit work, and learning skills.

My parents recently announced their move and the impending sale of the house after being on the market for almost seven years which means we now have no place to have the baby who we found out a couple weeks ago is an energetic little boy (and we get to help them move :)

There is a chance I could have this baby in my in-laws (hopefully renovated) barn.

This Sunday was my due date with our first baby and as we continue to grieve the loss of that little one, we are so excited to welcome our son into the world in July.

Between now and then we hope to find or build a place of our own, finish school (for both of us), successfully renew a driver’s license (after five months of trying to deal with the DMV on top of everything), and maybe take a deep breath.

I feel like I have forgotten things.

I have no idea what will actually happen…

-M

Already There

Most of my time is spent in partial shock at the newness of everyday life. Comparing year to year is impossible and month to month still unrecognizable, but matching the changes between this week and last week, day to day are a little more manageable.

I imagine this is how Sarah, Rebecca, and thousands of nomads have felt. Where change is normal, nothing settled, and there is no knowing where I’ll be next week, much less what will be happening. I’m not used to it yet. I have yet to find routine outside of my surroundings.

Out of our first apartment, not yet finding home of our own.

Out of my old self, into this new body sacrificing stage of motherhood.

Out of my old emotions, even.

Our son’s kicks are a constant reminder of the daily changes. Last week I felt a few, now they are something I can set my clock by. As we come upon the due date for our firstborn, all of the fears and stresses pull at my heart and I’m left once again remembering that God’s plan is so much greater than my own. Even in the most difficult of times, He is already in the next day holding my life together. I am guided gently from one day to the next, no matter the frustration or change.

I read a book title yesterday with its entire message simply etched on the binding:

Do Not Worry About Tomorrow; God is Already There

Emmanuel – God with Us

More than just a Christmas song. Isn’t it funny that we ask the God who is with us to come to us? I am so blind when I think I have to ask Him to come to me, when he is the God who is already there.

– M

Family: Chosen, Given, Found

Every year at Thanksgiving I try to think of three things that sum up my year’s blessings. I couldn’t sum it up this year. I tried, but in all of the joy and heartache I couldn’t figure out how.

To start – Going back years I always thought I had to chose – Friends, Family, Adopted, Biology. In my mind there was never room for both. There wasn’t time for everyone. I was selfish. I wanted it to be about me. Given, I was fifteen, but still I was locked down.

In time I learned what is obvious –  Love makes room.

In February I doubled my family, We chose who we love – not just romantically. We lock out in laws, friends who’ve hurt us, family who disagrees with our decisions. Why? Because it might hurt. This year I gained an entire family and it has made me love and value my parents and sisters more.  I realized loving more people does not make you weak or in pieces, it gives you more to pour out into those around you.

In July I found out I was pregnant – one more life so filled with love before we had even met. When I lost him, I was told by some I was just practicing for a real baby, that I couldn’t love a child I never met. My arms ache for my child. But successful parenting is guiding a child to heaven. I have not lost forever, just for now. Our little gift expanded our hearts again and left a gap.

Around the same time, I got a phone call from my brother who I never thought I would have a chance to know. Again my family grew and with it my heart.

This year is ending with hope, fullness, and an excess of love.

Our family is only limited by our choice to love.

I’m thankful for my husband, my child, and my brother and the family we have.

– M

Confessions… I like vlogs

I have been doing a ton of work over on my other blog, Homestead Revival. My house is filled with Sourdough starters, ferments, kombucha scobys (I really want to make that scobies, but my husband points out it is an acronym) , and flats full seedlings. I am living my dream. This guy would be proud.

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But I have a distraction – Intelligent vlogs.

At first it was these classes done online in a really interactive way:

Then I started checking out the guys who wrote them and they are pretty cool:

This list is all of their current events explanations. All of their other videos, while hilarious and interesting suck you into the kingdom of Nerdfighteria….

We’re all mad here…

These guys are liberal, but there is a lot we agree on for different reasons. I believe in being ecologically responsible because of my God given stewardship, they don’t want to destroy the future. There is some language especially in the earlier videos, but they discuss literature, current events, and being active in the world around you.

After these videos I got attached to transmedia renditions of some of my favorite pieces of literature like Pride and Prejudice:

Jane Eyre:

and Emma:

I have to pull myself back into the real world now… and look at starting a seed bank and do dishes.

– M

Let’s Start At the Very Beginning…

I live in the top story of an apartment building.

We love it here. No neighbors, kindly landlords, and a rooster that crows on the far side of our draw at 0430 every morning.

I love my kitchen which has developed a lot since I wrote the original post about it.

Details

There are a ton of things to do here:

– Find a place for the books I am pretty sure have multiplied since E and I joined our collective libraries. They are climbing up the walls now.

– Do Mason jars procreate? I started out with a couple flats for canning and now I have two cabinets full plus a bookshelf full of jams and preserves.

–  Figure out how to have two people’s clothing in one closet (If you figure this out, let me know – you should get a Nobel)

Those things are minor details in light of one fact: We want to farm. 

We want that rooster.  

farmingI’m not saying we are desperate, but I have a bad history with roosters and even with the scars I’m willing to go beg for chicken time.

I grew up with my parents in constant transition from house to homestead. We started with a huge garden at the bottom of a gully and graduated to one on top of a mountain. Over the course of six or seven years we got chickens, goats, and bees, as well as the obligatory two dogs and indeterminate number of cats.

Then in February I moved and we no longer had a way to get our farm fix, so in March I started work again at our local farm.

Before I knew it I was itching to ask my landlord if we could get chickens. IMG_0678

When the season ended for me four weeks ago, I tried to get my fix by living vicariously through the lives of Barbara Kingsolver, Kristin Kimball, and Jenna Woginrich among others. This only served to expand my fantasy farm to include guard geese and heirloom vegetables I’ve gathered in my travels.

After a long discussion on our life goals, we have decided for the next six months I get to start figuring out what area of farming fits us best.

I am so excited!

I am going to explore dairy operations, beef and poultry set ups, full diet, specialty crop, and shepherding.

My goal is to garner as many skills and as much knowledge as I can for the two of us.

In one of the homestead planning blogs they made a list of twenty things they had done to get where they are and another twenty to direct them.

Here is my first one: Exploring fall gardening. Which method of planting works best for fall crops? Vertical shafts made of chicken wire, wood pallet garden, raised bed, or hanging basket.

Since we’re at the beginning, I’m linking a few buttons that helped me get organized. I’m far from all set, but as my husband pointed out – We need to just jump in.

– M

 

 

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The Purpose of Parenting (Why a Miscarriage is A Success)

In the last couple weeks I have been struggling – which is to be expected.

Everything is to be expected – bleeding, pain, hormones, depression, tears.

I was sitting in the emergency room last week across from a room that had a beautiful baby inside, about six or seven months. She didn’t stop crying the entire time I was there – about four hours. The nurse looked at me like I was crazy.

“You’re sure you want one of those?”

Her mother was attentive, not leaving her, talking to her, trying to calm her down. The parenting had already started.

To parent is to guide,

through life,

through hurts,

through hope, 

to find Jesus and His redemption.

Successful parenting is guiding a child to heaven.

It feels like it is shredding me to pieces – but I have a child in heaven

I have not lost forever, just for now. 

I am assured that at some point I’ll start to hurt less.

Right now – knowing there is a purpose to it is my comfort,

and knowing our family has grown by one is beautiful.

– M