Is There a Purpose for Evil?

   The other day, my friends and I were hanging out at our usual spot, a local coffee shop in my small hometown. After a long round of catch up following a busy semester away at school, someone happened to bring up the topic of good and evil. My friend said that, because evil is present in the world, God cannot be wholly good, or omnipresent. However, I find the opposite to be true. Why does the presence of evil indicate such a thing? This Sunday, I brought up this topic in my Sunday School class and I asked my teacher, whom I look up to as a brother and spiritual mentor, “did evil always exist, just as God always has existed (according to the first book of the Christian Bible)?” He said a simple “no,” then sat there in silence, as he often does, waiting for me to think this over. After a moment, I thought about life in the Garden of Eden, before The Fall. There was nothing bad, everything was perfect. Adam and Eve, as well as the animals, lived in peace as members of God’s Creation. In other words, evil was nonexistent. Then, the fateful day Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit, everything changed. My teacher asked me how The Fall of Man changed our relationship with God. I thought about this and the class began to talk it over: after Jesus came to us and was sacrificed for us, we became God’s children, and he our Father; we now know God’s mercy and grace; we know God’s justice and his wrath. These attributes, as well as many more, were made known to us as a result of the presence of evil. The idea that the presence of evil points away from the goodness of God, or the omnipotence of God, is based upon the false assumption that there was no reason for God to allow evil to exist. Perhaps God allows evil to give us a choice, free will so to speak, as well as to give us a desire to get to know who He is. Though we don’t in any way deserve it, He wants us to seek Him out and have a relationship with him. 

   After our discussion, my teacher recommended that I read Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God in order to explore this idea further, as well as many other key ideas upon which our Christian beliefs are based. I’m excited to read this book, and will hopefully have time to share my findings as I go!

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Keeping Calm

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:34

This verse is one that I’m trying to keep in mind each day. I tend to be a constant worrier, and it just isn’t healthy! It’s time to relax and give each of my days to the One who is in control. All I can do is live each day to the best of my ability and make the best decisions I can make in the present; the future is in God’s capable hands.

A day in the life of an overwhelmed college kid

It’s been such a long time since I last wrote! School has swept away all my time in a whirl of obligations, but at the same time it’s so good to be back! This semester, I have Organic Chemistry and Genetics; for all of you science people, you know how much time is spent reading and working problems day after day to just “get” the material. Though I enjoy it, it’s definitely difficult to make time for fun things.

Even so, my friends and I have made time for some spur-of-the-moment adventures! A few weekends ago, we went to the Ringling Brothers Circus! I was transported back to the days when the most stressful thing I had to deal with involved convincing my mom to buy me an eleven dollar Sno Cone in a plastic creepy clown cup (which I totally bought). When the elephants came out to do their tricks, I squealed like a five-year-old; when the contortionists were raised above the crowds in hinged clear globes, I leaned close to watch in amazement; and when the shaolin do masters performed their physics defying feats, I cringed in horror. It was a welcomed break from the monotony of reading chapter after chapter in my textbooks. 

When I’m not watching the circus or some other such random event, I often make time to stop by my favorite coffee shops for some time to chill before heading off to Willy T. Library, my favorite place on campus to study. Among the best local places are North Lime Coffee & Donuts (as you can guess, they sell coffee…and donuts), and Coffea. North Lime is my favorite place to go to on a sleepy Saturday morning. Around 8 or 9 a.m. the place is packed with donut and coffee lovers alike. I get my standard vanilla cappuccino and cake donut (or possibly chocolate covered glazed), and settle in with my homework for a few hours.

My best friends and I also attended the World’s Largest Water-balloon Fight here on UK’s campus. It was so much fun to watch the balloons flying high over the mob of scantily clad college students, some bursting in mid air, others making contact with unsuspecting students as they squealed with delight, water splashing in the air like fireworks. I didn’t join in on the craziness; I am far more content with observing. My crazy boyfriend, however, fought his way into the very center of the crowd, returning triumphantly minutes later soaked to the skin and shivering in the cool evening breeze. Afterward, as per tradition, we headed to Tolly Ho, a local college hangout (est. 1971), for “ho burgers,” fries, and the best peanut-butter-Oreo milkshake you’ll ever have.

These traditions, to me, are what UK is all about. Yes, studying is so important, and I do it gladly. However, it’s the memories you make, and the personal traditions you establish, that make your experience at UK the best you could have for miles around. I can’t imagine making my home anywhere else.

Let the peace o…

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…and be thankful.

Colossians 3:15

This verse has been on my heart each day lately. As I find myself facing a lot of firsts, I have to remember to take a deep breath and put my worries aside. Coming up, I have my first apartment, my first bills, my first rent payments…the list goes on. However, rather than taking years off of my life by holding fast to anxiety, I need to remember that my God is a God who is bigger than my problems. As Jeremiah 29:11 tells me, He knows the plans he has for my future. They are plans to prosper me, and not to harm me. Plans to give me hope. 

For all of the worry warts out there, I encourage you to let Christ’s infinite peace dwell in your heart. Be thankful for what He has given you, and let Him take care of tomorrow.

Repurposing cheap finds

Because I’m renting my first apartment with some girl friends, I’m in desperate need of cute, funky furniture. My mom and I have had our eyes pealed for good deals, and every so often we go out in search of them. At our local vendor’s mall, there is quite a bit of junk. 

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But occasionally we come across a piece we just can’t pass up. Though I already have a bed, a white wrought iron frame used by my great, great grandmother, I did not have a night stand. For $15 I bought an ugly little bedside table with a lot of promise (left). 

After several paint runs, and a trip to Alley Stuff & Eccentricities for vintage knobs, I finally set to work. Because the surface of the table was very smooth, I roughed it up with some coarse sandpaper and coated the surface with a spray-on primer. After waiting a while for it to dry, I taped it off with blue painters tape and went to town. 

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The finished project turned out better than I expected it would. The top, drawer face, and bottom shelf are painted in Rustoleum chalkboard paint (using a small roller will provide a smooth, even finish). For the remaining parts, I brushed a few coats of on “misty aqua” paint (which sort of has a minty hue, in my opinion) for a modern touch. The gray-tinted glass knobs I found for about $4 a piece at Alley Stuff downtown. This little table will lend a chic touch to the shabby look of the peeling iron bed frame. 

 

I also used these same colors to update a cheap, laminate dining room table I found a Goodwill (below). The chalkboard tabletop will be a lot of fun at house parties: the girls and I can put out our dishes and label them for our guests. We’re all pretty excited about it.

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A day at the Falls

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Brody and I love getting out and enjoying nature when we can.

Yesterday, my boyfriend of about 2 years (right), my best friend, and I ventured out on a short hike to see Eagle Falls. We began the short 20-minute drive to the falls at about 5 loaded down with backpacks carrying some snacks and water (just in case), armed with iPhones to capture our fun. Though the day turned out to be extremely hot for Kentucky, verging on 90 degrees, we had a great time. The hike to Eagle Falls doesn’t take much time, just about an hour with all of our breaks for pictures and climbing neat rock formations. Along the way we had a great bird’s eye view of the Cumberland Falls (below).

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The trail to Eagle Falls provides a beautiful view of the Cumberland Falls, a major attraction in our area. Cumberland Falls has one of the only remaining natural “moonbows” in the world.

While hiking, I couldn’t help but remember the many hiking trips I took with my dad as a little girl. We hiked back and forth on that same trail countless times, never tiring of looking at the many caves, streams, and flowers surrounding the path. But this time hiking that same ol’ trail felt different. I now enjoyed those same things with my two best friends. We had so much fun snapping pictures, exploring, and cracking jokes with one another. At times the three of us climbed up onto a huge rock overlooking the river to sit and admire our view.

When we finally reached Eagle Falls, we were pretty sweaty, and, in Caitlin’s case, a little bloody, but a lot satisfied. We reclined on a rock to chat for half an hour before returning the way we came, ready for some Chinese food to continue our fun.

More photos from our trip

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Caitlin (left), my best friend of ten years, and I admire the river.Image

Brody at Eagle Falls.

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Caitlin and I found a rather pregnant tree.

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Cait and her Jansport backpack are practically inseparable.

Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9 is my favorite verse in the Bible. Whenever I’m afraid, or feel as though life has handed me something I can’t handle, I just say this verse over and over to myself. God has given us hope that no matter how bleak life may seem, we shouldn’t fear because He has us in his hands each and every day.

A rookie mistake

Uniquely Moody

This is a link to my first two blog posts at a different address. Because I’m new to the blogging world, I didn’t really know what I was doing, and have managed to permanently lock myself out of my blog! So now I know what NOT to do, and hopefully won’t lock myself out of this one!