God has a GREAT Imagination - Beetles

Written by Ron McCluskey


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tracking God News Looking forrepparttar character and personality of God in His creation. Issue # 1 Editor: Ron McCluskey mailto:editor@trackinggod.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Welcome to TRACKING GOD NEWS

You are receiving this ezine because you or someone else requested a subscription at this address. To be removed from our mailing list, please seerepparttar 127015 unsubscribe instructions atrepparttar 127016 end of this newsletter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ IN THIS ISSUE

Sponsorship Advertisement God has a GREAT Imagination Short Tip #1 Feature Advertisement God's imagination inrepparttar 127017 Bible Short tip #2 or entertainment break Product Review From our Readers Classified Advertising Contact Information

OUR SPONSOR FOR THIS ISSUE IS (insert sponsor name here) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Replace this text with your sponsor ad.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tracking God's Imagination ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A famous entomologist was once asked what he had learned from his lifelong study of insects. He replied, "God has an inordinate fondness for beetles." That would seem to be true, because at last count, scientists have named over 400,000 species of them. To give you an idea of how many that is, there are about 15,000 species of birds inrepparttar 127018 world. In fact, if you lined up all species of life including bacteria, plants, animals, worms and insects every fifth one would be a beetle! If we were to try to come up with designs for different types of beetles, most of us could come up with 25 different designs. Some of us could probably figure out a few hundred. But, can you imaginerepparttar 127019 type of intelligence that it takes to design over 400,000 variations on a theme? And each of them is perfect. They have all their parts working. No matter how great our imagination, we would probably never think about creating a beetle with a flame thrower in it, but that is what God did! There is a small group of beetles called bombardier beetles. They are nothing special to look at, but God put a very special protective mechanism in them. They have a built in flame thrower inrepparttar 127020 back end of these beetles. They can aim it in any direction and fire it at will. It shoots caustic chemicals at any attacker that are boiling temperature. It can shoot 20 bursts a second. The mechanism that shoots these hot chemicals is a marvel of design. There is a small chamber that holdsrepparttar 127021 chemicals that will eventually explode. Whenrepparttar 127022 beetle feels threatened, that chamber will contract causing a small amount of these chemicals to enter a second chamber. In that chamber, there are chemicals which cause an explosion. Atrepparttar 127023 tip ofrepparttar 127024 abdomen, there is a small turret which can be pointed in any direction. Whenrepparttar 127025 chemicals exploderepparttar 127026 burst through this small turret. Once, many years ago, when people still traveled by wood burning trains, there were two entomologists traveling inrepparttar 127027 southern United States. Whenrepparttar 127028 train stopped to take on water, these men went out into a field to collect insects. Whenrepparttar 127029 train whistle blew, one ofrepparttar 127030 men had an insect clutched tightly in each hand. Byrepparttar 127031 time he got back torepparttar 127032 train, it was moving. With his hands full, he could not grab ontorepparttar 127033 hand rail and pull himself ontorepparttar 127034 train. So, without thinking, he popped one ofrepparttar 127035 insects into his mouth. It happened to be a bombardier beetle. He later wrote in his journal that he could sympathize with any predator that tried to eat this small insect because he immediately had a very hot burning sensation in his mouth! It is amazing to me that God would expendrepparttar 127036 effort and planning necessary to create these tiny creatures. They are perfect examples of miniaturization. Their tiny parts all fitted together to make them not only survive, but thrive. It is evident that there was a lot of loving attention given to them.

Swimming Upstream

Written by Kathryn A. Graham

Swimming Upstream

"I am alone and I am searching Hungering for answers in my time I am balanced atrepparttar brink of wisdom I'm impatient to receive a sign I move forward with my senses open Imperfection it be my crime In humility I will listen We're all swimming torepparttar 127014 other side . . ."

From "Swimming torepparttar 127015 Other Side" by Pat Humphries, 1992 Moving Forward Music

May be heard onrepparttar 127016 Faerie Goddess CD, Elaine Silver vocals Used with permission.

I have been a practicing witch for more than thirty years, and up until very recently, I had believed that I had a fair understanding of my religion.

I was wrong.

Most ofrepparttar 127017 world's religions today are "faith-based," meaning that they require a belief in an intangible deity or principle from their adherents. In contrast, most Pagan religions tend to be experiential in nature. As a wonderful acquaintance of mine likes to say, "'Works for me' has a rather special meaning for witches." He's right.

My own particular Pagan faith (and there are many), which happens to be Wicca, relies very heavily on observation ofrepparttar 127018 world we live in. Our deities are male and female because we observe that it takes male and female to create life in nature. Most of our practices center aroundrepparttar 127019 changing seasons,repparttar 127020 waxing and waning moon, changes in our own consciousness all things we can see and taste and feel around us.

That being said, it is truly amazing how easily we can ignore what we see and know.

Wicca was at one time an honest attempt to recreaterepparttar 127021 ancient religion of northern European tribes, a religion which was practiced for something onrepparttar 127022 order of 25,000 years. It isn't a perfect reconstruction, of course. Too much has been lost. But what we do know has astonishing similarities to other faiths all acrossrepparttar 127023 world.

My fellow witches will probably want to burn me atrepparttar 127024 stake for saying this, but we have strong similarities even to Christianity.

Like Christianity, Wiccans are splintered into many sects. All Wiccan sects acknowledge a Goddess and a God. All Wiccan sects revererepparttar 127025 Goddess. The treatment ofrepparttar 127026 God, however, can vary allrepparttar 127027 way from equality withrepparttar 127028 Goddess to little more than a cosmic sperm donor. The latter sort of sect often appeals to women who have been bruised by a society shaped by 5,000 years of brutal patriarchy and patriarchal religions that only permit female spirituality behindrepparttar 127029 walls of a convent. Feminine sexuality and motherhood are not permitted to those with a Christian spiritual calling.

"There were those who came to power Through domination They were bonded in their worship Of a dead man on a cross They sought control Ofrepparttar 127030 common people By demanding allegiance Torepparttar 127031 Church of Rome

"Andrepparttar 127032 Pope he commenced The Inquisition It was a war againstrepparttar 127033 women Whose power he feared In this holocaust In this age of evil Nine million European women they died . . ."

From "The Burning Times" by Charlie Murphey 1991 Bal Music, LTD May be heard onrepparttar 127034 Faerie Goddess CD, Elaine Silver vocals Used with permission.

Small wonder that many women can find no spiritual home in Christianity!

Wiccan practices are based onrepparttar 127035 "Wheel ofrepparttar 127036 Year," with four major festivals on fixed dates, four lesser festivals atrepparttar 127037 solstices and equinoxes, and sometimes minor festivals centering around phases ofrepparttar 127038 moon. During this spiritual year,repparttar 127039 Goddess changes but does not die. Our God wedsrepparttar 127040 Goddess at Litha (summer solstice, on or about June 21st), then casts Himself intorepparttar 127041 fire at Lugnasagh (August 1st) to ensurerepparttar 127042 fruitfulness ofrepparttar 127043 land for his pregnant wife. He is crowned King ofrepparttar 127044 Dead at Samhain (October 31st) and is born again intorepparttar 127045 world asrepparttar 127046 infant Sun God born torepparttar 127047 Goddess at Yule (the winter solstice on or about December 21st).

Sounds similar to Christianity, doesn't it? The concept of a God who sacrifices Himself forrepparttar 127048 world He loves and is born again? The concept is also common to Persian Mithras and to many other faiths. This is not coincidence. Nor is it coincidence thatrepparttar 127049 rebirth ofrepparttar 127050 God takes place atrepparttar 127051 winter solstice.

With time, intermarriage, and cultural exchanges not to mentionrepparttar 127052 constant and often bloody Christian efforts to convert and "save"repparttar 127053 "heathen" (heathen means person ofrepparttar 127054 heath, or country person) repparttar 127055 lines between a great many religions have become increasingly blurred. Trying to learnrepparttar 127056 truth can become a puzzle of sorts, searching for points in common. Of course, historical "TRUTH" in capital letters doesn't mean a great deal to Wiccans, which is one ofrepparttar 127057 sources of Christian discomfort with us.

For Wiccans,repparttar 127058 only meaningful cosmic truth is one which works. Anything which makes us better human beings is "truth." The rest is meaningless. We don't have to believe. We aren't about faith. We seek out spiritual practices which help us to grow and develop, and we tend to experiment spiritually and ritually far more than our Christian brothers and sisters. Most Christian sects actually discourage such experimentation, and some even forbid it, which is another reason why we are shunned and feared.

Wiccans are secure inrepparttar 127059 knowledge that we have however long it takes for us to achieve spiritual enlightenment. We are not limited to one lifetime, which is whyrepparttar 127060 word "salvation" has a tendency to make a Wiccan chuckle. We have no need of it, nor ever will, as we are not now and never were lost. Our view of time is quite different.

But as a result ofrepparttar 127061 backlash against patriarchy, much ofrepparttar 127062 best of our religion is often forgotten or ignored. I propose that this has been a mistake.

I initially found my way into Wicca as a teenaged rape survivor, andrepparttar 127063 sect I found my way into atrepparttar 127064 time was ofrepparttar 127065 "cosmic sperm donor" variety. All ofrepparttar 127066 emphasis was onrepparttar 127067 feminine. In all honesty, it was what I needed atrepparttar 127068 time, and it helped me to heal. It didn't take long, however, for me to realize that my rejection ofrepparttar 127069 masculine was just as wrong and unfair as Christianity's rejection ofrepparttar 127070 feminine.

So I "converted" to another sect, as it were, and I remain there to this day. It is a sect in which men and women celebrate side by side. and physical sex has been restored torepparttar 127071 joyful activity it should always have been.

"Balance" is a basic tenet of wisdom.

Nevertheless, I was fooling myself. All of these years, I feared masculinity, or ignored it, or detested it, or enjoyed it on a purely physical level but I never honestly tried to understand it or to cherish it in myself. We are all of us part male and part female, and we need to understand both sides of our natures to achieve our fullest potential.

The popular image (if your name isn't Bob Barr) of a practicing witch is that of a tree hugger. We tend to be conservationists, even torepparttar 127072 point of being more than a bit impractical about it, and we are almost invariably animal lovers. We are nurturers. We cherish all life. I'm up to my backside in spoiled animals myself, having four cats and a four-month old German Shepherd pup that have my heart firmly in thrall. I couldn't change that if I wanted to, and I certainly don't want to. That isrepparttar 127073 feminine aspect of my deity, and I am proud and delighted to be a woman right down to my toenails.

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use