Thursday, November 3, 2011


Ari got a job! He'll be working as a postdoctoral researcher at Stony Brook University, looking at data from the Spitzer Space Telescope to study brown dwarfs (the mysterious objects that are too big to be planets, but too small to be stars). The start date is Dec. 1, so we will be spending the next few weeks immersed in the educational experience of putting everything into a moving truck and driving it across the country. Next week, my inlaws will watch the kids while Ari and I fly out to look for housing. We're hoping for a 3-bedroom place that doesn't cost much more than a third of Ari's income and won't require hours of commuting for him. On Long Island, that's easier said than done, but I know God has a good place for us. We look forward to seeing how it works out.

Last weekend, Ari and I attended a conference (Creation: Biblical Options) organized by my father-in-law. My mother-in-law watched the kids, so I was able to hear almost every talk. I also helped Ari sell a few books at his booth during free time, since Ari was filling the role of conference photographer. I don't often get to go to conferences like this (or like anything), and it was such a blessing to be challenged to think in completely different ways than I usually do. Being close to the conference organizer, I got to interact with several of the speakers more than most of the conference attendees - Ari and I were invited to the speakers' dinner, and we stayed in the same hotel as the speakers. I'm planning on composing a few posts on what different individuals had to say. But, given that we're in the middle of moving across the country, future posts may take a while to appear. For now, I'll just say that although I don't agree with all the speakers' perspectives, I was encouraged and challenged by every one of them, and impressed at the graciousness with which they related to one another despite their disagreements.


  1. What a neat opp'y to go to the conference!

    We've been living in SC in a fairly small 2 bedroom apartment with an open floor plan, so I can't put a child in the kitchen or living room for quiet. We decided on it because it would have cost 50% more for a 3 bedroom that was bike-able, something we decided was non-negotiable. Some things are hard (like quiet time for the older ones) but I'm really glad to live near the university community and to have Dan home instead of driving around in a car we'd have to maintain. Best as you make your decisions!

  2. Congrats again on your move. I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic of Biblical options for Creation! I've always come at the issue from a literary point of view, asking questions like, "What did the original authors mean?" and "What did their original audiences understand the text to mean?" and then "How does that translate to our understanding of the world today?" My issues with many Christians' stands on creation is that they don't ask those simple hermeneutical questions, so they end up with an interpretation that says more about them as readers than it does about the meaning of the actual text of Genesis. Anyway, I'd love to hear a serious scientist like yourself address the issue... whenever you get a chance with your move! :) Cheers, Ruth

  3. Well, I certainly don't envy your move. That will be quite a challenge with the kiddos! But God will give you what you need when you need it, from housing to patience to energy : ).

    I, too, and looking forward to reading your thoughts and impressions from that conference. The issue of creation is something that I give a LOT of thought to without coming to any kind of conclusion.

    Totally enjoying "Bright Against the Storm" when I find some minutes here and there to myself! I did find a Ari logging those to be corrected at a later time?

  4. Emily, I'm glad the 2-bedroom is working fairly well for you. Since we're also selling books from our home, and have an inventory of several thousand to store... somewhere... I don't think a place that small could possibly work for us. But it is good to know that you can contemplate doing it with 4 kids! It'll make me feel less stressed if we end up with a tiny third bedroom that is *only* useful for book storage.

    Ruth, the literary point of view was one of the perspectives presented at the conference, and I found it fascinating and mind-bending: Genesis 1 assigning functional roles to what had already been created. I bought the speaker's book, which I hope to read... sometime... and will try to unpack some of here.

    Sarah, we are logging typos, so if you'd like to send us what you found, that would be helpful. Ari has found a few himself, so it may be a duplicate, but it's good to be sure. I'm glad you're enjoying it!

  5. Oh, if I were in Texas, I would have attended. I went to the one last year in Austin, and enjoyed it. Did they have dancers this year?

    Wow! Congratulations on Ari getting a post-doc! Whew, I did a master's thesis on M-dwarfs. I can only imagine that brown dwarfs are a tougher challenge. I'm sure he'll do great! I look forward to reading his papers on astro-ph!

    My sister in Manhattan, going to the Kings College. It's a fantastic Christian college that breaks out the sheltered, Christian ghetto mould that so many schools conform to. I know there's lots to see and do in NYC, but if you can, check it out. They are in the Empire State building!

    Also, I'm on the Big Island of Hawaii. I know that's opposite of where you're going, but if you happen to come out to the Pacific Ocean, I would love to host you and your family!

  6. Wow, Joy, I didn't know you were in Hawaii! How long will you be there? Did you graduate from A&M?I've seen ads in WORLD magazine for the King's College - looks like a fantastic place. Yes, the conference this year had dancers. I really enjoyed that - it makes me wonder why dance isn't more a part of most churches' usual worship.

  7. Congrats to Ari and sounds like fun! Glad to hear his books are doing well, too. :) Will be praying for you as you make the move! We're finally settled in here in Seattle but it was definitely a long and arduous task.