Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

It is time to say goodbye…

May 15, 2008

I’m going to be closing Something Greater for awhile. With Natasha no longer contributing, it’s difficult to keep up with. I have loved writing here and getting to know those who have read this blog. It still means a lot to me, and who knows? I may revive it in a little while. But for now, I’m going to stop posting.

But I won’t be gone from the WWW! You can find me at Bethany Mae Photography, my personal blog/photoblog, and at my Flickr, where I frequently post my latest work.

I love you all and dearly hope to stay in contact.

~~Bethany

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Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed: Thoughts

April 30, 2008





Originally uploaded by Bethany Mae Photography

Note: Much of this post was origionally posted on TheRebelution.com forums.

I really enjoyed this movie. I learned a lot and was challenged to stand up for what I know is true.

Sadly, I don’t think this movie/project will have much effect. I do think that it will spark the thoughts of many people. It may cause some to fight for more fairness in the classroom and textbooks. It may cause a few teachers to give a fairer discussion in the classroom.

On my first day or two of junior high, my science teacher (who I later learned was a Christian!) explained to each class what a theory was. He told us that a theory is not a hardcore, proven fact, especially when it comes to evolution. He had each of us write down our thoughts about how earth came into existence on a note card and give it to him at the end of class. The next year of junior high, I was not so blessed. Though I was much firmer in my faith and beliefs, I soon realized my teacher was an evolutionist who did not give room to any other theory, at least in the classroom. The mere idea of Creation wasn’t even mentioned. I heard a lot of figures such as, “2 billion years ago…” and “it would take 156 million years to…”

Looking back, I can see a huge difference between these two teachers. The first, although prohibited from stating his personal beliefs and sharing what he knew to be true, he made sure that we all knew what he would be teaching would be a lot of theories, not facts. The second teacher didn’t give a thought to evolution as theory. The students who were never taught the truth will likely always think that the earth evolved and was not created. When I visited the Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C., I was shocked to find that my Mormon friend didn’t know too much about the subject when I told her that some different things weren’t true. I’m not for creation or religion being taught in secular classes. I’ve seen it first hand, and it is not a pretty sight to see. I am for equal fairness of ideas being suggested. In my humble opinion, evolution should not be seen as near truth or truth at all in the classroom. There is so very much weight placed on it in most public schools (I attended them for 9 years) that next to no weight is placed on any other theory. That doesn’t seem fair to me.

We can fight to change things. While yes, not much may change, we don’t know that for sure, and the least we can do is inform people with the facts and share the Gospel.

My one negative thing was that it seemed like Mr. Stein would be speaking about the point of the movie, but right at the end he’d always miss the mark which would have been made by a strong Christian: that Creation is what truly happened (Don’t believe me? Check out Genesis! : D). However, this was made by a man who is not a Christian (Ben Stein is Jewish) so it was inevitable. Tying up those loose ends would have been great, but overall this was a very well made, very informative movie.

Let me know if there’s anything I can clarify to make more sense.

What were your thoughts?

Patience

February 29, 2008

I hate to wait. Who doesn’t? Who really wants to wait minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, or centuries for the one thing they’ve been looking forward to? Not me. Uh-uh, no way.

But usually, God says otherwise.

In a generation of convenience, we become continually shocked at the amount of time we spend waiting. Whether it is for food in a restraunt or a man in our love lives, we want it, and we want it now. For me, I am waiting for a number of things from God: a new church, direction for the future, and a husband. I woke up this morning with the last bit clear in my mind. Yet only could I pray, “Help me to be patient!”

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage;wait for the LORD!

Psalm 37:34
Wait for the LORD and keep his way,and he will exalt you to inherit the land;you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

Psalm 39:7
And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.

Psalm 130:5
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,and in his word I hope;

Isaiah 40:30-31
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
   and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
   they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
   they shall walk and not faint.

Micah 7:7
But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation;my God will hear me.

So from these verses, we can learn the following:

  • Look to the Lord in all things
  • Wait for the Lord to work as He pleases
  • Trust Him and that His plan is good and wise and righteous
  • Remember that God hears our prayers
  • Remember that He is our salvation
  • Remember that our hope is in Him
  • Let your heart take courage in the Lord.

~Bethany

2 Things That Can Help- CL&R-OM: Part 3

January 28, 2008

Following are two thing I’ve found that can help you guard your heart.

The first is : Don’t let your friends be “Emma’s.” If you don’t know, Emma (in Jane Austen’s “Emma”) convinced her friend that a certain young gentleman was in love with her. She smooth talked so much that her poor friend was convinced Mr. So &So was in love with her- when really he was in love with Emma.

There’s also an Emma in Heather Paulsen’s Book “Emotional Purity”. Emma is just like the Emma in Emma (Okay, these Emma’s are confusing me!) except modern day. She encourages Tracy that a man (Mike) really likes her- when it turns out that Mike had a girlfriend.

Are you an Emma? I know in my close knit circle of friends its easy for us all to be Emma’s. We love each other; and as such we want each other to find love. (After all, if there’s hope for one there’s hope for all!) But its not very loving to encourage others on, even in jest, that the one they like may like them too. It doesn’t help them; it hinders them. Even if you think your best friend would be “just perfect” with the cute pastor’s son- don’t say so. And, don’t say so to other people either. I know its fun to pair up people (Matchmaker, matchmaker…!) but it can easily be gossip; and if it gets back to the original person it can cause them to think “Oh, huh. I never thought of it that way- but Billy and I would be great together!”

The 2nd thing I’ve found to help is “crush fasting”. Stay away from him! I know when you like someone you really truly want to be with them. I face this battle every Sunday and Wednesday- to walk that way or not. To move a little closer to that group of people- or not. Its so hard; but it is better to stay away. If the Lord wills, He will come seek you out. Its much more biblical to have the man pursue you than to go chasing after him. So stay away! Talk to other young ladies, get to know the older people in your church, immerse yourself in playing with children- anything to not go chasing after him.

Basically, the less time we spend with the guy, the easier it is to not think of him. It doesn’t take care of the things you may imagine; but it does take care of going over events in your mind. No fuel for the fire, persay.

Keep on keeping on in the fight to stay focused on the Lord and guard your heart. There are blessings in store!

Proverbs 14:1

January 28, 2008

The wise woman builds her house, 
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
Proverbs 14:1

I was having my quiet time this morning (the first in many days, sadly.) and I realized that there is so much wisdom can be learned from this verse! Not only do we have the capability to tear down the homes we share with our parents, siblings, and other people in our life, but we can also be simultaneously tearing down the home we will one day share with our husbands and children (Lord willing, of course.)

We can tear our houses down quickly and easily. One that comes to mind is by our speech. When we grumble, complain, slander, gossip, hurt, lie, falsely accuse, unrighteously argue, or use language that does not honor God, we are tearing our house down. We can also fail to be faithful in our promises, avoid housework, and not spend time with God.

However, we can build our houses up just as quickly and easily. We can love (See 1 Corinthians 13 for a complete list on how to show love), bless others, serve others, obey our parents, be joyful in all circumstances, practice humility, spending time with God, doing our chores and housework, and worshipping God. However, this list is unlimited! Just open God’s Word and you will find that there are endless ways to build up our homes for the glory of God.

This was convicting for me, as just minutes before had my mother asked me to put a huge stack of dishes in the dishwasher and hand clean some as well. Usually, we do not have so many dishes to do at one time. But alas, I became very lazy this weekend and am determined to start off this week right. So I decided to spend time in the Word to get my heart right. Immediately was I convicted as I began to read today’s verses (I studied Proverbs 14:1-3).

As you go about your day today, remember to build up your house, not tear it down.

Bethany

Worth it All

January 21, 2008

I climbed in bed in the wee minutes of the new day. Words from my sweet friend’s letter penetrated my heart through the darkness. I hated to admit it, but she was right. my flesh didn’t want to face the truth, but my conscience spoke softly, “She is right.” Just hours earlier in church we sang the words, “Refiner’s fire, my hearts one desire is to be holy, set apart for you Lord, I choose to be holy, set apart for You my Master, ready to do Your will.” And just that morning, our youth pastor spoke on Matthew 16:21-28}}

 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his lifewill lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?  For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

I knew what God was trying to tell me. I knew it was a painful decision to make, with consequences on both sides. I had to choose between Christ, my everylasting God and Savior and Comforter, and the temporary things of the world. A quote by Pastor Joe Blankenship came to mind: Sometimes you have to give up the things you like for the Thing you love. Boy, did that break my little heart. I knew I couldn’t have both. It was one or the other.

Tears streamed down my face as I crawled out of bed to the floor. I was helpless, but not hopeless. A little broken, but not shattered. Lonely, but not alone. Confused, but not bewildered. I knew I had to give the things I cherised to follow Him. Father, I prayed, I’m trying not to ask “Why?”. I know You are here with me. You gave up everything for me because you loved me. But why do I? Oh, Lord, forgive me. Help me. strengthen me. I can’t do this on my own! All of my dreams and things I cherish–I must return them to You, their rightful owner.

In those minutes, I came to realize what the cost if for following Christ. I live in America, in a very liberal and tolerating part of the country. There is little chance that I would be anything but be thought as weird for following Christ, let alone martyred. Yet there is still a cost. A cost that is much more personal but much less visible.  But Christ is the pearl of great price. He is worth everything I love, everything I hold near, for the sake of following.

When I became saved, I was actually giving up one thing I liked for Him. I had the Bible knowledge and had attened the same church since I was born. I knew the Gospel. But I didn’t have Christ. It took a mericiful breaking from God for me to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Him. But I had no idea that I’d have to continually do it. I thought it was merely being willing to die for Him. And I was. But I wasn’t always willing to give up things for Him.

Oh, it is painful. Not as painful as the things others have given up because of their love for God. Each hour I am reminded of what I am “laying down at the cross” for His sake. My flesh says, “No! No! Take it back!” but I know better.

What things must you give up for His sake? Is there anything hindering you in following Him? I challenge you, dear friend, to ask yourself these questions. To fight your flesh and to give it up to Him and for Him. Why? Because He is worth it all.

Bethany

New Layout

January 17, 2008

So as you can easily see, we have a new layout.

 We’re pretty happy with it for now. However, our links are blue, but due to some various things, we can’t do anything about it. We’re looking into paying for having the capabilities to change that, or even change the whole layout itself. I design the headers but am currently learning how to design whole websites in a much simpler way than I used to.

Stay tuned for some changes in the future. No worries though– it’s still the same old us! Hopefully, we’ll look more appealing to your eyes in the near future!

Bethany

Magnification: Introduction

January 17, 2008

I recently heard a little analogy about glorifying God that goes something like this:

There are two ways to magnify. You can use a microscope or a telescope. A microscope makes something teeny weeny look bigger than it really is. But a telescope makes something huge yet small to the naked eye look more like its actual size. We were created to “use a telescope” to magnify God.

Let’s take a moment to think about this. God is huge. He is great in both a figurative and literal sense. He has no beginning and no end, for He is the beginning and end, the Alpha and Omega.

But to the world (in this case, the naked eye) God is seen as small and man is seen as ginormous. In the world, it is all about man– magnifying, beautifying, and maximizing. To many people, God is seen as this mystical god who could care less about people and who makes bad things happen to decent people– that is, if He even exists at all. Oh, this couldn’t be farther from the truth! Some have said that one reason for atheism is the way people who claim to be Christians live.

How do these kind of people live? They live for themselves. They live like the world, like those who are not Christians. They may claim they believe in God, but they don’t live like it.

This reminds me of the story of Aladdin. You know, the guy with the flying carpet and magic Genie? Yup, that’s him. Aladdin was so convinced that the only way he could get what he wanted (Princess Jasmine’s love) was to become a prince. He deceived himself, Jasmine, the whole country of Agraba. Upon entering the capital, he rode an elephant in a parade where this (dreadfully long and repetitive) self-glorifying song was sung and danced to. He wanted to make himself, and actual street-rat, made bigger in the eyes of Jasmine. And you know what? It backfired on him! Instead of winning Jasmine’s heart right away, he got the fiery anger of a madman, Jafar and disappointment when he learned that because Jasmine found out who he was, he still couldn’t marry her.

You see, our friend Al lived like a microscope. How do you live? What is your life proclaiming about God and anything concerning Him?

~~Bethany

Crushes, Relationships and Love, Oh My!- Part 2

January 16, 2008

Yesterday I was reminded again of a story from Girl Talk. In short, it was about a girl who really liked this guy named Steve. While she didn’t neccesairly want to date him she just wanted to know if he was “THE One”. She figured all would be better if only she could know.

I myself have had this mindset so many times. “If I just knew that he is or isn’t the one for me, thatn all would be well..” Unfortunatly, its really quite contrary. If I knew who my husband was to be, than I would want to know when he was going to know! Than I would want to know when we would get married! And on and on it goes.

That’s why faith is so important- in matters of the heart and in matters of every thing. We need to trust God. How hard it is! We need to surrender our feelings to the Lord- and see what He will do with them. Elizabeth Elliot talks much about surrender.

She says “If the yearnings went away, what would we have to offer up to God?” I know that many times I pray “Lord, please take my feelings for so and so away if they are not from You.” Many times this past year I have wondered why the Lord did not take these feelings away. There have been short periods of time when I have stopped having such silly feelings; but those have only been occasional and short. I still need to trust God and believe that there is a reason for all that I am learning.

Dear friend, is this you? Is this something you’ve struggled with? Than I encourage you to trust God, to offer up these feelings to Him, and to tell Him that you don’t need to know; that you can trust Him with your life.

In Christ,

Natasha

The Best Decision I’ve Ever Made….

January 10, 2008

On Monday I made the decision to get a “Google Reader” account. If you don’t know, Google Reader is an application where you add the blogs and websites that you wish to read. Each day it sends me any updates from my list of blogs.

Why is this useful to me?

Well, first of all, it saves me time from going to blog to blog seeing if they’ve written anything new today. It also helps because I don’t need to go to the actual blog- which keeps me from clicking on those tempting links.

I 100% suggest Google Reader for those of you who have trouble keeping your time and priorities straight on the computer. In fact, if you get Google Reader, add us. ;-D