Look at the Birds of the Air...

A couple of weeks ago, I started the Bible Study by Anne Graham Lotz called "God's Story".  It's a verse-by-verse walk-through of the beginning of Genesis that teaches the reader how to hear God speak through scripture.  It's much more than a cursory look at the Bible or a feel-good-about-yourself ladies study.  It's a revolutionary way to read the Bible.  In a word, it's awesome.  And I'm only on the second week.

After reading just the first chapter of Genesis, which (for those of you who aren't familiar) is a summary of the Creation, I've taken away so much more than I've taken away from these 31 verses before.

I'll share some of my take-aways with you:
  • God was intentional when He created the big things (the Heavens) and the little things (the earth). Genesis 1:1
  • Even in the apparent emptiness and darkness, God's spirit was (and is) there.  Genesis 1:2
  • At the end of the day, God looked at His work and declared it good.  At the end of the day, can I look at the work I've done and say "It was good"?  Genesis 1:10
  • When God speaks, do I immediately obey - like the land did when He told it to bear fruit?  Genesis 1:12
On the video where Anne Graham Lotz delivered the message (and most of which I missed thanks to a nursing/fussy Leah), she gave a few examples of God's handiwork in nature.  She cited how the woodpecker has a sponge in its brain to keep it from knocking itself out when it pecks on a tree.  She also mentioned how birds feathers have little fringes that "zip" together to make them waterproof in the rain and that enable them to fly.

So I got thinking about the marvels of nature, did a little research, and in the spirit of "Earth Day" (a day late) decided to share just a few of them with you:

From the website Intelligent Design: Proof of Creation
On Giraffes:  Theoretically, the immense pressure of the blood pumped by this massive heart would rupture blood vessels in the brain if the giraffe moved its head downward! In reality, however, the giraffe is able to execute such an action with no damage at all. The way in which it does this is amazing. Valves in the arteries of the neck close whenever the giraffe bends its head down, limiting the flow of blood to the brain. The blood that is not stopped goes into the “rete mirabile,” a sponge-like cluster of vessels under the brain. Since the brain receives the blood indirectly from the rete mirabile, it is not damaged by any high pressures. When the giraffe lifts its head up, the valves open and the rete mirabile brings more blood to the brain. In addition, some valves in the neck veins close to equalize the blood pressure. This prevents the giraffe from fainting from lack of oxygen when it gets up!
On Anglerfish:  One of the most bizarre of all fish is the anglerfish, a deep-water fish which can live more than a mile under the surface. This strange creature has a structure growing out of its head that resembles a fishing rod. On the very tip of this “rod” is a worm-like structure that has an incredible function: it can produce light! This wonderful light-producing organ is held close to the mouth of the anglerfish. Smaller fish are attracted to the light, thinking that it is a food source. When they try to eat the “food,” they become the next meal of the hungry anglerfish!

The light itself is extremely complex. Involving the compound Luciferin and the enzyme Luciferase, it is remarkable in that it produces no heat. Tireless research has been spent on these two substances (Luc-iferase was found to contain more than 1000 proteins!), but still no one knows for certain how the light is made. Another interesting part of the anglerfish is its body structure. It is specially built to withstand the immense pressures it encounters in the depths of the ocean. The anglerfish lives where the pressure is around 2000 pounds per square inch, but it suffers no damage; it was designed to live in this environment. This prevents a regular fish from evolving into an anglerfish; if it somehow sank into the depths to begin its evolution, it would be crushed! In short, the anglerfish could not have evolved from another animal; it was an anglerfish from the start.
From the website Creation vs. Evolution:  Amazing Facts of Nature
On Lightning: By combining nitrogen and oxygen, lightning creates 100 million tons of plant food a year, raining down far more than is produced by all the commercial fertilizer plants.
On Salmon:  The fact that adult salmon return from the ocean to the very gravel bed where they were hatched in some swift-flowing northern stream in order to reproduce before death, is fairly well-known. But not everyone realizes what is involved in their doing so.  A salmon swims three to ten miles a day against the current for a total distance of hundreds or perhaps even thousands of miles to get back to his birthplace. The spectacular part of his return trip is when he encounters waterfalls that must be ascended. He has been observed swimming a sheer ten-foot waterfall in one leap. Higher falls can be conquered by a series of tall leaps from shelf to shelf for a total distance of maybe forty or fifty feet.
On the Invention of paper from pulpwood:  A French scientist named Rene Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur, examining a wasp's nest in 1719, noted that it seemed to be made of a type of crude pasteboard. After further investigation he discovered that most of the material was obtained from tree fibers. As a result of this study the first successful production of paper from woodpulp was achieved. Yet God had instilled this ability in the wasp at the dawn of history.
On Camels: The camel is enabled, by the peculiar construction of its stomach, to carry a supply of water sufficient for seven or eight days together. This power adapts it to the region in which it is found, and to the service of man in traversing the desert. It has, also, great acuteness of scent, and, when ready to fail through the weariness of a long march, will detect the distant stream or fountain. Then new vigor animates it, and, sniffing the air, it strides on till it can imbibe the refreshing waters.
From the e-book Amazing Wonders of Creation
On the Gulf Stream:  This river is about 70 miles wide and nearly 3,000 feet deep. When it leaves the Gulf of Mexico, the water temperature is 84°F., and off the coast of the Carolinas it is still a warm 80°F. This warming influence actually makes the northern coastal regions of America and Europe inhabitable; otherwise, they would be frozen wastelands.

This warm river reaches the entrance of the Arctic region at Baffin Bay, where it meets a frigid polar stream that is rushing southward. As a result of the titanic collision of these two giants, the polar stream is forced to dive down thousands of feet, where it continues its southward course, coming up finally in the West Indies during their hottest season, thus cooling down the terrible tropical heat. The Gulf Stream gets deflected eastward, going up along the British Isles, making these habitable.
On Bees:  Every bee has a special brush located on its knees—a stiff brush—that it uses to clean out its breathing apparatus when it comes out of the flower so it doesn't suffocate. This biologist noted that if it were true that these insects develop special equipment in response to a need, the very first bee to exist did not have those brushes on its knees. When it went into the flower, it would have suffocated; consequently, the whole bee family would have become extinct right then and there. No, rather than these brushes developing slowly through the ages in response to a need, they were provided by God to meet the need and save the very first bee that was made.
On Cockleburs:  It is one of the most despised of all plants due to its clinging, pricking nature. Yet consider the marvel of its reproduction.  Every pod of the cocklebur has two seeds inside to guarantee its survival. But during the first year only one of the seeds will begin to grow. The other seed waits till the second year to start growing in order to perpetuate two seasons of growth. But if something happens to the first seed so that it does not grow and produce, the second seed begins to grow immediately instead of waiting for the next year. What built-in wisdom of God communicates to that waiting seed that it should begin to grow when the first seed is destroyed?

These don't even scratch the surface.  I'm reminded of Matthew 6:26 -
Consider the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?
From the moment God set out creating, He had a deliberate, intentional plan...right down to bees knees.  Literally.  Is that not astounding to anyone else?  How great is our God?  He counts the "minutiae" as important.

For a little perspective on the minutiae of earth compared to the heavens, I'll let this illustration do the work (if you're pressed for time, skip to 5:58 and watch to 8:06, but really watch the whole thing - then go find the rest of the videos in the series and watch them too - while I'm being bossy):

Do you see yourself on the golfball?  Seems kind of tiny, huh?  We are small compared to the vastness of God, but God created us all.
For you created my inmost being;  you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  Psalm 139:13-16
Thank God for knitting us all together, for knowing what our days hold before one of them comes to be, for being deliberate and intentional, for being a detail-oriented, purposeful God, for caring about me in the midst of it ALL.

And besides...it takes way too much faith to believe in evolution alone.


Debbie said...

Has anyone ever told you what a nerd you are?

Just kidding.

I interrupted my reading to say that. I left off at bees knees. Going back now to finish because this really is good. Nerdy, but good.

Emily said...

Ha! I enjoyed reading all of those snippets :) But I'm an animal planet kind-a girl :) God is awesome in his creations, so fascinating to me too :)

Sharon said...

Amazing, Jennie. I am also fascinated by the *science* of the stuff that God has created. On Monday (4/23) I posted three of my recent musings about creation. He is awesome in every sense of the word...

Nerds unite!


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