Janice Boekhoff
 

Conference!

This week, I’ll be at the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writer’s) Conference! I’ll be having a great time visiting with other writers who totally understand the craziness of this writing life (and who don’t judge me when I talk to myself…ahem… I mean my characters). There’s also wonderful classes to help me make every novel my best one. So, I’m taking the rest of the week off because my brain will be like jelly after shoving all that information in at once.

Have a  great week and I’ll see you here next Tuesday, September 22nd, with a new devotion.

Blessings,

Janice

Amazing Eyes

170299448_58cd484b32_mOur eyes are nothing short of amazing, astounding and awesome. Here are some facts about your eyes you might not have known:

  • Computer usage won’t damage your eyes. According to the American Academy of Opthamology, the feeling you have of eyestrain after using a computer has more to do with dry eyes than with actual strain. While using a computer, most people blink less often than normal, causing their eyes to dry out.
  • It’s very rare, but two blue-eyed parents can produce a brown-eyed kid and two brown-eyed parents can produce a blue-eyed kid.
  • Your eyes are not full size at birth. This one was a surprise even to me. At birth your eyes are approximately 16 millimeters wide and they grow to 23 millimeters by age three. They will be full grown at about 24 millimeters wide by the time you hit puberty—a size that is slightly smaller than a gumball.
  • The length of your eye determines what type of eyesight you have. Nearsighted people have longer eyeballs, while farsighted people have shorter ones. Even a change as small as a millimeter will change the prescription for your eyes.
  • Having 20/20 vision isn’t the same as having “perfect” vision. What it means is that you can see at 20 feet what an average person can see at 20 feet. The best recorded vision was about 20/10, meaning what most people can see at 10 feet, this person could see at 20 feet.
  • The visual center of your brain (the occipital lobe) is actually located in the back of your head. If you fall hard and hit the back of your head, it’s possible to go temporarily blind as a result.

How did our amazing eyes form? To fit the timeline of evolution, many evolutionists subscribe to the theory that eyes evolved spontaneously multiple times. This is the only way to account for the development of the eye in many different and divergent branches of the evolutionary tree.

But this isn’t a theory that makes much sense. The eye is only useful as a complete structure. What evolutionary advantage would non-functional parts have to cause them to evolve once, much less multiple times?

What makes more sense is that the eye is an awe-inspiring structure that speaks to the beautiful design of our creator.

References: http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/eyes/vision_facts_myths.html, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/20/eye-facts_n_4441884.html

Photo Credit: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/19013087@N00/170299448″>eye_1</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

The Science of Generosity

dreamstime_s_33068655The Bible says to love others as you would love yourself (Matthew 22:39). I don’t know about you, but I treat myself pretty well. If I work hard, I get a Starbucks coffee. When I’ve got a function coming up, I get a new dress. But am I as generous with others as I am with myself?

I usually try to be and when I am generous with others, it makes my day so much happier. From experience, most people know the joy that comes from being generous and claim it as a life principle, often without realizing God told us to live that way.

And guess what? Scientists have started to look into the neuromechanics (did I just make up a word?) of generosity. Recent research has linked the good feeling that comes when we’re generous to a chemical in our brain called oxytocin—the so-called love hormone. Turns out our brains are flooded with this chemical when we give to people generously, which is partly why giving feels so good.

Some people might say this is an evolved trait that came when we realized that we could live longer lives if we cooperated in community. But I don’t buy it. Those who look out for themselves alone usually get along just fine in the world and sometimes they prosper. I can’t see any selective advantage to generosity. In fact, the tendency to give away more than you must should be a negative selection factor because it leaves you with fewer resources to survive. Plus, if you help everyone else survive, then you have more competition for limited resources.

No, this reward for generosity didn’t come from evolution. The oxytocin is a gift from God to encourage us to follow His word. Proving once again, God’s ways are the best ways to live.

 

References: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275795.php, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-moral-molecule/200911/the-science-generosity

Photo Credit: ID 33068655 © Nicoleta Ionescu | Dreamstime.com

Vacation Science

During my blog break in July, my family and I took an amazing trip to the Colorado Springs and Denver areas, so I thought I’d share some cool stuff about it. Here is a somewhat sciency (I love to make up words) run down of our vacation:

  • It’s possible to fall on Pikes Peak without falling off of it (my chiropractor was happy for the extra income). I fell at the top while walking around on some slippery boulders. It might have had something to do with me holding hot chocolate while climbing, but it’s really cold up at 14,115 feet.
This is close to where I fell on Pikes Peak, although it looks scarier than it was.

This is close to where I fell on Pikes Peak, although it looks scarier than it really was.

  • Rafting during a thunderstorm is still not a good idea, but nobody told the Colorado rafting guides this. It was sunny when we got on the bus to go to the river and pouring down rain with lightning when we got off the bus. Even so, our guides put the boats in the river and said get in. We did and thankfully, no one got electrocuted, although my son tried to drown himself, but that’s another story. (Sorry, no rafting pictures because frankly, rafting and my camera are just not a good mix).

 

  • Royal Gorge Bridge survived a wild-fire a couple of years ago with only some singed planks. This bridge is a suspension bridge with wooden planks that don’t fit together completely perfect, so you end up with enough space between the boards to look down 1,200 feet to the Arkansas River. It’s enough to scare the pants off this Acrophobe (fear of heights).
This is Royal Gorge Bridge over the Arkansas River.

This is Royal Gorge Bridge over the Arkansas River.

 

This is a view from the bridge looking down 1,200 feet at the Arkansas River.

This is a view from the bridge looking down 1,200 feet at the Arkansas River. The colored things you see in the water are kayaks.

  • Garden of the Gods is full of amazing sandstone spires, some rising up 300 feet. It’s constantly changing because it’s constantly weathering. I was shocked by how many people were attempting to climb in areas that were clearly not stable. But maybe that’s just the cautious geologist in me.
Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

  • The decrease in humidity makes such a difference on a person’s comfort level. Really, 85 degrees with 85% humidity in Iowa is totally different than 85 degrees with 30% humidity in Colorado (and it makes a huge difference in my hair).
  • Last, but not least, the mountains affected me psychologically. I miss the mountains so much that I wonder if there’s a Pining-For-Mountains syndrome. And if I’m diagnosed with it, will my husband move us to Colorado? (seriously, if anybody knows if this is a real syndrome, please let me know).

Someday, I plan to live in Colorado so I can indulge my mountain obsession every day. Oh, and by the way, if you’d like to contribute to the Janice-moving-to-Colorado-fund, feel free to e-mail me to let me know your desired contribution (this is just a joke, people, please don’t send me money).

Bonus Picture:

The only double rainbow I've ever seen (Colorado Springs)

The only double rainbow I’ve ever seen (Colorado Springs)

Summer Break

Hi everybody! I hope you are all having a fun-filled summer. For us, July is going to be a month of fun in the sun and family vacations. So, I’ll be taking a break from blogging for the month to spend some quality time with my hubby and three kids.

Have a fantastic July and I’ll be back here with a new devotion on Tuesday, August 4th!

Blessings,
Janice

Vacation!!

IMG_1876

There won’t be any posting this week because I will be soaking up the rays with my husband on a cruise! Every two years we do a vacation together (with no kids) and it really refreshes our marriage to remember what we liked about each other before we turned into perpetual babysitters (also known as “life coaches for little people who often pretend that we’re not talking to them”).

I hope you all have a great week and I will be back here with another devotion on Tuesday, May 5th.

Blessings,

Janice

Join Boekhoff Books

Join ... or die!

Uh, just kidding, I only kill off the characters in my books (as far as you know).

So, no danger, just free books and fun stuff. And of course, I value your privacy and would never spam you.

You will receive updates on free and discounted books, an insider's look into my writing world, plus gift card giveaways. Enter your email below to receive your first FREE book!

 

Thank you for subscribing! Please look for an e-mail to confirm your subscription.