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Five Recommendations from My October Reading:

The Fear of Money: Have We Separated Finances From Faith?

by - [Intermedia Publishing Group]
Rank/Rating: 376448/-
Price: $9.94

The Rise & Fall of Great Powers: A Novel

by Tom Rachman [The Dial Press]
Rank/Rating: 763221/-
Price: $7.00

The Year of Reading Proust: A Memoir in Real Time

by Phyllis Rose [Counterpoint]
Rank/Rating: 1647612/-
Price: $6.66

Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind

by Biz Stone [Grand Central Publishing]
Rank/Rating: 369638/-
Price: $9.89

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I have noticed that even people who claim everything is predetermined and that we can do nothing to change it,
look before they cross the road.

~ Stephen Hawking, Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays

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Marie Sklodowska Curie November 7, 1867 – July 4, 1934

A hero because of her individual determination in adversity

Marie_Curie_c1920In the face of poverty, her mother’s early death, and lack of educational opportunities for women in her native Poland, Marie Sklodowska’s determination to learn overcame the many obstacles life brought her way.

Hindered as a female from attending the University of Warsaw, Marie pursued her education through Warsaw’s famous Flying University, informal classes held in secret in order to escape the Russian oppression that dominated the country.

While working as a tutor and governess, to help support her sister Bronya’s studies in Paris, Marie used her spare time to keep up her reading in physics, chemistry and mathematics. Five years later, in 1891, Marie was finally able to join her sister in Paris, enrolling in the Sorbonne, where she excelled in her studies. With little income, she survived on a diet of bread and tea, struggling with poor health as a result.

In 1893, Marie finally completed her master’s degree in physics, and the following year earned another degree in mathematics.

As she pursued her scientific studies, Marie began working in the lab of French physicist Pierre Curie, and as their romance developed, the foundation was set for a dynamic scientific collaboration that lasted until Pierre’s accidental death in 1906.

During her lifetime, Marie Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize; sharing the 1903 Nobel prize in Physics; first scientist to win two Noble prizes; winning the 1911 Nobel prize in Chemistry, and the first female professor to teach at the Sorbonne.

She discovered radium and polonium, championed the use of portable X-ray machines during World War I, and saw her work usher in a new era of medical research and treatment.

She died in France in 1934 due to illness caused by her exposure to radiation.

I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.  ~ Marie Curie

Why Marie Curie inspires me… 

As a woman, Marie struggled to get the recognition she deserved. In spite of her many accomplishments, she often was unrecognized for her achievements, and left underfunded for her research. Yet despite the prejudice of her day, she was able to establish herself as a scientist, and is one of the most famous scientists in history. Her determination led to her achievement.

Who is your hero? Why does this person inspire you?

 

Recommended Reads:

For Young Readers:

Sources:

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Curie#/media/File:Marie_Curie_c1920.jpg

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To be a Russian writer at the end of the nineteenth century must have meant bearing an inescapably bitter fate. The more they tried to flee from Russia, the more deeply Russia swallowed them.

~ 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

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The world has conditioned us to wait for opportunity, have the good sense to spot it, and hope to strike at the appropriate time. But if opportunity is just a set of circumstances, why are we waiting around for the stars to align?

~ Biz Stone, Things a Little Bird Told Me

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Genesis 1:1–2 (ESV)

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

In the beginning, God …

I’ve been thinking and studying a lot lately about the Christian understanding of God. In theological terms, this is Theology Proper which is the study of the being, attributes and works of God. As I’ve been meditating, I keep coming back to these first two verses of Genesis which provide us the foundational principles for understanding life.

John MacArthur explains that these verses describe the five components of reality:

  • Time
  • Force
  • Action
  • Space
  • Matter

I agree that these verses certainly do lay the framework for an understanding of our physical universe. They point to our origins, but deeper still, they provide us with some basic assumptions about God that I think we should also consider (and I’m sure that MacArthur would agree). Some of these assumptions, for me are tied to another phrase describing God that most certainly precedes those first words “In the beginning …”

The Living God

Jeremiah 10:10 (ESV)

“But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.”

These words, the living God, are uttered throughout Scripture by the likes of Joshua, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Peter, Paul and John. Some of the heavy hitters of my faith. The ones who laid down the foundation of essential doctrine that all Christians believe. So what do these Scriptures in Genesis and Jeremiah tell us about God?

He is Self-Sufficient: He existed before the beginning, so He must be life itself. Nothing was needed for Him to be. Everything needed for life is found in Him, and in Him alone. From Genesis to Revelation, the biblical story backs up this claim as God works through His providence in the outworking of history. His is the first word, and His will be the last word spoken over the present history of humanity.

He is the Source & Substance: You don’t need to look further than God to find what you need. There is nothing beyond Him that is capable of giving your life substance. When we settle for anything less than God, we’ve settled for a cheap imitation.

He is our Sustainer: Nothing would be alive if not for Him. God alone sustains life. Paul expressed it well when he reminded the Greeks what one of their own philosophers once said, “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28, ESV).

He is our Salvation: If He is life itself, then God is our only escape from this world of sin and death that we find ourselves trapped in. He alone holds the keys, and His plan is the only way of escape. And the great thing is, the Bible reveals even more about this God we serve, when it points us to an expanded revelation of the Living God, and the final word for our sin-sick world! Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh!

John 1:1–4 (ESV)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

One of Us!

This is so easy to forget in the struggles of daily living. Take time today, to meditate on that fact. The Living God has become one of us. Through Jesus Christ, God has reached down into His creation, and joined with us in the midst of our suffering. He has revealed Himself, and offered to us the promise of life!

Why would you choose anything less?

Final Thoughts

What steps are you going to take today to remind yourself that God is your Source & Substance, Sustainer, and Salvation?

If you don’t believe this, are you willing to honestly consider the claims of the Christian faith?