Gardens are where miracles are nurtured

forget me notLife itself is a miracle. All I need to become hopelessly awestruck is to think of ATP Synthase.
ATP Synthase is an organic molecular machine (with moving parts and everything. Much of the energy the body harnesses to be used for all the work the body does is turned into easily accessable energy called ATP and most of this happens oxidative phosphorylation. Hydrogen ions are separated and forced along the electron transport chain because H ions are + charged and the electrons are – charged.

But I went down a rabbit trail.
I am tempted to start with photosynthesis but I won’t
According to the Bible, human life was started in the garden.
I suspect the story is metaphor but even as a metaphor of our evolution, it is a story of lost paradise.
But there is another garden much later in the Bible. We often forget about it because of the drama around that time and place and it is a little boring, so boring that it might put you to sleep. I’m alluding to the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed and sweated blood and asked his father to let the cup pass but also gave his blessing and consent to the Father’s will.
I love to garden, it makes me feel as though God is using my hands and feet to do His will amongst the riot of color particularly midsummer.
I felt a little pull in my heart to share my plants with one of my besties. Liza wasn’t ready for a garden and Lori has crazy chickens not to mention three engaged and brilliant grandsons. LJ was over to make her treasure map with me and I perceived it was her.
LJ consented to go outside where I could show her something.
I showed her the new Stella D’ora day lilies and eagerly said “yes” when I offered to give her some. All in all, she said “yes” to five but started to cry at the last plant, the Forget-me-not.
Little did I know she was an avid gardener and lost her garden and hasn’t had the property to plant flower beds.
Until now.
I am completely excited to think of my plants being planted in LJ’s garden now that she has been blessed with a beautiful house on a beautiful property. Part of my heart is poured into my plants and to think of them growing and blessing my dear friend makes me ache with joy that I get to play a part in such goodness.

Treasure Mapping

WP_001062I had my treasure mapping party a little bit late this year because Pat’s Uncle Joe died and his memorial was on Sat and Lori Poli and Sarah Poli’s little nephew passed and his (Griffin’s) memorial was also yesterday.
Remembering with a moment of prayer.
But we had a lovely time to focus on what we want for the next year. I have included a photo of my treasure map and I love it as it is the most conceptual tm I have ever painted.
The sun in the middle represents Jesus and the words below are lyrics from a worship song.
Be my center
Be my source be my life
Be the fire in my heart
Be the wind in these sails
Be the reason that I live

Then something noteworthy happened. I was thinking I wanted to visit Ireland but then I thought of the rest of the world and I thought, “surprise me!”

But not for the world travel, no, surprise me!

I am like a foodie in a five star resteraunt telling the chef to surprise me. The chef will do his best to make my meal memorable and I am asking that of my Heavenly Father, go ahead and surprise me because I know you will give me something better than I could imagine for myself.

The man on the moon, The Fusiform Gyrus, and The Invasion of the Body Snatchers

My regular readers, if I have any, are likely wondering what the hell Debra has been smoking recently but, rest assured, these things go together like peas and carrots.

I am going to discuss visual pathways and prosopagnosia at the Neuroscience Journal Club at West Chester and I haven’t looked at my notes for a good week so constructing this post will help. Note: I have been unsuccessful getting the photos where I want them so if the post looks good, it will be a bit more of an accomplishment than you might expect.

Where to begin? The man on the moon! Humans are born with a preference for looking at a human face and will choose a face over other shapes. In fact, humans will see a face at the most basic pretense this explains why most of us see a human face on the moon. Many were convinced the planet Mars has statues of humanoid aliens when it was nothing more than opportune shadows on the red planet. The need to see a human face is reflected in the newborn visual field being about the distance between where the baby is when he or she is nursing and his or her mother’s face.

Isn’t that cool?

Faces are so important to humans that a special region of the brain, namely the Fusiform Gyrus, is dedicated to facial recognition.

To appreciate this region of the brain that is located at the bottom of the temporal lobes, I need to take the reader through the visual pathways. When an image hits the retinas, the light is transformed to an electrical impulse that runs down the optic nerve to the place where the optic nerve synapses with the next nerve. This part of the brain, found on the bottom of the thalamus, and is called the Lateral geniculate nucleus otherwise known as the LGN. The LGN has six distinct layers of neurons and these layers correspond wih different tyypes of neurons and different purposes.
The image is carried back to the visual cortex that is found at the back of the brain in the occipital region.

If someone has damage up untiol this point, they are blind.

From the visual cortex, the image gets transmitted to various regions of the brain to determine (in general) where, when, and what the image is.

We are looking at what and the image will go to the facial recognition area on the Fusiform Gyrus.

If there is damage between the visual cortex and the fusiform gyrus, the person cannot recognize the face. This is called Prosopagnosia.

Things get even more interesting as the image is identified as a face gets transmitted over to the limbic system and the amygdala senses whether there is an emotional response to the image. If there is damage the person recognizes the face but thinks it is an imposter because they aren’t feeling the emotional response that is normal and the most logical conclusion for these people is to think their loved one has been replaced with a stunt double or alien (like in the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers which was better in the remake.)

CBMW, the word, role, and its misuses

traditional gender rolesstock-footage-rolling-a-joint-macro-shotdinner+rolls7 baby fat rolls<

First, there are rolls, which are yummy

If you're not careful, your dinner rolls will become fat rolls and that only looks cute on a baby

Then be careful to avoid rolling a joint that might get you jail time unless you live in CO or Oregon (or was that Washington state?)

I am not writing about recrational weed or about healthy eating but another role which is the traditional gender role-playing that patriarchal groups like CBMW pushes in their complementarianistic teaching that they have elevated to essential doctrine.

These people are quite fond of the term role and encourage their followers to fill the role that they were given (by God) but the typical archetype is an image from the 1950's, the image is invariably white, upper-middle class, and everybody is doing what he is expected to do (Note: there is no he or she because if you were doing something worth reporting, you were a male.)

Role is right up there on my gag me words along with Bitter (and its misuses.)

What should I expect from an org. like CBMW, if you get rid of the C at the beginning and the W at the end, you're left with BM at the center which is appropriate since CBMW is full of shit.

I have a suggestion, let people live their lives as authentic beings created in God's image instead of filling someone else's idea of what plastic role they should be play-acting like so many Stepford women.

The problem with complementarianism (an extension of a conversation over at Julie Anne Smith’s blog)


Here is a picture of the X and Y chromosomes. Neither gives us superpowers and neither gives one the right to dominate and suppress the gifts of the other.

Honestly, the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) has elevated gender issues to the status of essential to the faith level of doctrine and it is just plain silly particularly when CBMW can’t seem to manage to make the decision to support victims of abuse and side with CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace.

Anyway, I have secured permission to re-post some of the commentry here and I welcome feedback.


April 4, 2013 @ 2:04 PM

The questions I’ve been asking lately is: “What are our expectations when we look to our men to lead?”

The list I get is usually:

Initiate daily Bible reading & prayer
Initiate family night once a week
Initiate date night once a week
Initiate date time with each kid each week
Decide where we are headed
Decide what God is telling us
Think for me, the wife
Decide what we are going to do this week
Speak for both of us
If I, the wife, am in a difficult situation, stand between me and my difficulty and defend me
If I don’t want to do something, be my excuse and tell me I can’t go so I can get out of it.

I keep watching most men slink back and shy away from this list. Most don’t really know how to lead a devotion and really don’t want to. Most aren’t really sure what God is saying if they are honest and don’t get how a few seem to hear from Him all the time? They pull away from this overwhelming list and lean into something they are good at … maybe work, maybe a hobby, maybe a sport, maybe whatever …. just not this list of ideals that seem impossible in light of time and ability.

Where is it exactly that our men are supposed to lead us? I read on some blog (sorry can’t remember where) about the tremendous guilt that is heaped upon the men. And how sometimes the most publicly submissive women are in fact the most manipulative behind the scenes. The article I read mentioned how we have such a dim view of men (was this written by Rachel Held Evans?) that we think we have to stroke their paper thin egos, falsely build them up, in order to suggest something and get our way. Why treat our men like buffoons?

Aren’t two heads better than one? Can’t we each bring what we think to the table and put together the best plan? Can’t we each be strong in different areas and be a stronger team by using one another’s strong points, regardless of what it is or who has it?

Again, I need to restudy the Bible on this subject. I just have a sneaky suspicion that I was proof texting and ignoring context the first time I looked at this as a new believer may moons ago. I know I was heavily influenced by my surroundings in Fundagelical land.

I replied and have also cut and pasted…..

The leaden list Katie tends to get cut-n-pasted and my response (and Katie, is there any way I can repost some of this on my blog (requesting consent from Julie Anne as well.) Anyway,

The list I get is usually:

Initiate daily Bible reading & prayer

So, if I initiate a Bible reading, something is amiss?

Initiate family night once a week

See first point.

Initiate date night once a week

I’m sure men like pleasant surprises why does it fall on men?

Initiate date time with each kid each week

There is a tendency for the men to grow in the habit of this one-to-one time and end up at daddy daughter chastity balls and other events that are dad and child events. Where is the mother? Oftentimes holding down the fort with the other kids.

Decide where we are headed
Unilaterally? What about a multitude of council?

Decide what God is telling us

How does he get to decide what God is telling another person?

Think for me, the wife

Most people have difficulty thinking for themselves, thinking for two? Please.
Decide what we are going to do this week
Is this the Royal we, the condescending we that we throw at children?

Speak for both of us

Honestly rolling my eyes to exhaustion.

If I, the wife, am in a difficult situation, stand between me and my difficulty and defend me
If I don’t want to do something, be my excuse and tell me I can’t go so I can get out of it.

Making infants of women, Nice touch.

I included a link to the original blog

john pavlovitz

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