Sunday, February 15, 2015

So I'm at home with Eli this morning missing worship, just to keep him as well as we can going into Memphis scans later this week. He is doing well, just sitting in the TV room crashing into as many police cars as he can on Need for Speed. We are just trying to limit his exposure to only what the other kids bring home, which is plenty!  (this post is longer than I expected. If you want to skip my ramblings, scroll down to where it stays READ THIS, which what I actually wanted to share.)

I am fascinated by this live cam eagle watching of two parent eagles at Berry College in Georgia. I am, of course, coming in at the lazy time as the eggs that most people have invested time into watching the last month have finally both hatched. They do not name the parent eagles or the babies because they are wild animals, so they do not want to personalize them. But, this is, I think, the third set of eggs delivered by these two. So in order to keep up with that, they just number the eggs, so this is the 4th and 5th egg from when the couple took over the nest. I think the “B” is just for Berry b/c a former set was “BC” which I think was Berry College. So, the mom is feeding B4 this morning (B5, which hatched during the night, has not lifted his little bobblehead yet) by pulling meat off of a squirrel that they've had laying in the nest to have available when the kids start yelping for food. How amazing is that, that she doesn't just gulp down that squirrel, but both parents know that they have to have something readily available in the nest for the babies. The mom can't leave them to go find food when they want it and then bring it back. So, when they start yelping, she carefully raises to step away from hovering over them for their warmth, and holds the squirrel still to pull meat off of it, then gently holds tiny pieces in her beak for the long little neck of B4 to reach out and get it. If a piece is too big, she chops it up in her own beak, then holds out the appropriate size piece. When he has had enough, she carefully and gently places herself on top of the babies to protect them from the bitter cold wind. So, why doesn’t she just eat the babies. The squirrel and fish they’ve had in the nest are bigger and tougher than these little chicks. She could crush it with one talon and gulp it down in one swallow. How does she even know to feed them when they chirp. How does she know to be ever so gentle with her knife-like beak when placing food in front of the little one. How does she know to step lightly with her razor-sharp talons when settling in on top of them. How does she know that she has to have that squirrel for them, not just her, and how does she know that they are not food. And the daddy, the male does all the same things, he’s part of the team. The work together. To witness the instinct that their Designer and Creator put in them is mesmerizing. I regularly see human parents in the news that have in some way hurt their children, either through physical or emotional abusiveness or neglect, many times resulting in the death of a child even. I think our big brains get in the way of our instinct, and we ignore the lessons of the world that our Designer and Creator put us in. Instead we listen to the lessons and distractions and tricks of the world that we created. A necessary part of belief in a single, intelligent designer of the existence of life, is faith. God put that piece of the puzzle in there on purpose because faith is trust, and He wants us to make that reach on our own. A relationship with God is meaningless if we haven’t made the decision to believe in him. The other part of the puzzle is just pure evidence. Just opening our eyes to the workings of the world around us that man can’t touch, and being honest with yourself that, yep, this was created that way. After you can agree in your mind that the world was designed intelligently, then that faith step is not so big. And, faith is not something that once you’ve got it your done, suddenly everything always makes sense and is satisfying. Faith is like riding a wave. Some days you feel strong and spiritually invincible and others you are just trying not to lose the last drop of it. It’s work to have faith in a Designer and Creator because the noise that there is not one is so loud right now, and our big brains like to make us cocky. It can be tiring, too, because how much easier is it to say that well, we really don’t know, everything just sort of happened. To believe that is still faith. Faith in a nothing that just became something for no reason is lazy faith. When I can watch these eagles, and make my own decision that, yep, something designed this and created it. When I can see these eagles, I don’t need so much faith because I can see the evidence of a plan. And, none of this has anything to do with following the Bible and understanding what the Bible is, I am talking about just purely believing in the existence of a Designer and Creator of life. Once we can reconcile that in our heads, the other is a whole ‘nother noise that has to be fought off and peeled back. It’s kind of like a formula for our decision to believe in God: Faith + Evidence + Instruction + Action. Each component with it’s own challenges and understanding. So, that’s my rambling lesson for today ;) and not what I sat down to write.

READ THIS: I wanted to let everyone know that we are opening up some things for the car show for your business support. We are proud to announce that Champion Chevrolet in Athens is going to be our title sponsor, and will be at the show with some cool stuff to show off. So, that is going to be a crowd draw. If you would like to support our event by having your logo on our car show t-shirt (which is going to be awesome), on the flyers, and our organization’s website leading up to the event date, we have a small window to get that going. Sponsorships are $25 and we need a high-resolution one-color logo asap. PM me for an email address. If you know of any businesses that you think would be interested in supporting us, please help us by soliciting for us. If you would like to help sell ads for us, I want to talk to you asap, there might be a little something in it for you. Lot’s of asap’s, we only operate under asap’s. We will also be accepting vendors for the show. We are accepting three types: 1. A kid’s activity booth. This is free, but you must provide some kind of activity for kids. This is a great team-building opportunity for your employees, and you are welcome to display signs or hand out promotional items (not food), anything you would like to do to introduce your business to the community and the activity you choose should reflect your level of interest in the community (in other words, don’t just hand out stickers. If you want to participate in this and need ideas, I’ve got ‘em: rent a blow-up, have a craft table, set up a cool hot wheels track, and I’ve got more. You need to submit your idea and be committed to it b/c we will try to limit double-ups) We will be selling punch tickets for children to participate in the kids activity area and it will be separated from the market. 2. A market vendor booth. This is $25 to have a booth to sell your goods, whatever it may be (jewelry, car parts, advocare, toys, crafts, candles, shift knobs, tomatoes, whatever as long as it is not obscene or adult-rated material and as long as it is not meal food or baked goods). You must provide everything you need. If you need electricity, then bring a generator. 3. Promotional vendors: This is $25 to have a booth at our event to promote your for-profit business, hand out info talk to people about what you do (basically advertise and introduce yourself to the community). You must provide everything that you need, including a generator if you need electricity. 4. Non-profit organization vendors. If you are a 501-3(c) organization, you are invited to set up at our event for free as long as you only give out information. Out of respect for our org and respect for the St Jude family for which we will be collecting donations that day, please do not accept donations at our event, but you are welcome to hand out promotional items and collect addresses for mail-outs, anything you want to do to introduce yourself to our community and make contacts. You must provide everything that you need, including a generator if you need electricity. All booths are expected to stay open and available until 3 p.m. If you tear down early, you will not be allowed to participate in following years. There are no refunds under any circumstances. The event will proceed despite temperature and all booths are expected to be there. In the case of rain, there must be a 80% chance precipitation for our location during the opening hours of the show as is posted by The Weather Channel to be relieved of your responsibility to the show. There is no rain date. All but the kids activity booths will be intermingled, and we do not charge for entry into the car show grounds or into this area. The car show is free to attend and we hope that you are able to help us make it a great event for our community, and it be a reflection of our love and compassion for childhood cancer fighters.

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