Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sleeping Sickness

Trypanosoma brucei : African Sleeping Sickness

Symptoms: Sore develops at the site of a fly bite -- heals after 1-2 weeks. Swollen lymph nodes -- neck, groin, legs. Winterbottom's sign (swollen cervical lymph node) is diagnostic. Intermittent fever, pain, weakness, cramps.

T. gambiense sp. : Chronic form -- central nervous system involvement, apathy, mental dullness, lack of coordination, tremors of hand/ tongue / trunk, changes in personality.

T. rhodesiense sp. : Acute form -- rapid weight loss, heart is affected, no extensive nervous disease (nervous system is invaded, but individual dies before manifestation of nervous system pathology), death occurs in months.

John Bunyan writes in Pilgrim's Progress about an "enchanted land" -- in which the pilgrims fight off extreme drowsiness on their way to the celestial city. I was struck (as I studied the above parasite) by the spiritual parallels. One of the most dangerous parasites -- one which can kill a person within months -- is one which literally makes them fall asleep.

I have found that fighting off spiritual stupor is a daily battle. I believe we're close to the promised land. Treatment for Trypanosoma brucei is very harsh -- and eukaryotic targets are difficult to treat differentially: what's hard on T. brucei is hard on us. The apostle Paul describes the treatment for spiritual sleeping sickness in Romans; it is so harsh it's lethal. Thankfully, God is more than able to recreate those He has redeemed into a newness of life that is fully centered in each moment.

"Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Ephesians 5:14

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Here's a hodgepodge of pictures from the past week or so.

Gee Creek: Sabbath P.M. hike

Bird Banding at Whig meadows with Dave Voigt et al.

Reflections at Gee Creek

My lovely girlfriend!

Blue-ridge two-line Salamander: Biology trail


Coming back from Indian Boundary Lake camping trip: L-R: me, martina, katie, josie.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

modeling thought

East and West are both wrong. Or perhaps... both right.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dating : MLH !

Martina agreed to start dating me this Sabbath morning. I'm a very fortunate man.

Praise God!

1. Develop a strong friendship, centered on God.
2. Focus on outreach, not introspection.
3. Keep it simple and joyful.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Slug

The Slug, he sat, and watched,
wept dry to see
his life.
His life, was crushed, and botched
for life sets free
The Slug.

The bier, was still, and nigh,
swept wet, too green
this death.
This death, too fast, and high
The bier.

The grass, it grew, some how,
poked sky, so grey
for God.
For God, wrought -- he thought-- now
The grass.

God ran, to help, his friend,
wept wet, to see
The Slug.
The Slug, sat crushed, at end
God ran.

The Slug, and God, they met,
at bier, to see
this Joy.
This Joy, is ours, is set,
for death set free
I am.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


We just returned from our second field trip for Vertebrate Natural History. VNH is definitely my favorite class of the semester, and may become my favorite class of college. Today, we went snorkeling in the Conasauga river to look at fish. Last week, we canoed to Nickajack cave to watch (approx.) 80,000 bats swarm out to feed as the sun went down.

The class itself is incredible. I enjoy the group of friends in the class even more.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Romans 2-3

Justified by Grace

Judged by Deeds