[by Earl Blacklock] May 15 is the date that marks Israel’s independence, and in 1967 thousands of people gathered at Jerusalem’s Nation Hall to hear songs commissioned for the occasion.
Jerusalem was at the time divided, in the hands of Jordan to the east and Israel to the west. The Mayor of west Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, had asked that one of the songs be about Jerusalem. Naomi Shemer responded to his call.
Shemer’s Polish parents had taken her as a child to a number of Jerusalem’s biblical places that were closed to Jews in 1948. She was inspired to write a song about the Jerusalem that Jews from Israel could never see – the Wailing Wall, the temple, and even the “Dead Sea by way of Jericho”. She called her song Jerusalem Made of Gold. [A YouTube version of the song is available at the end of the article.] (more…)
After a woman asked for volunteers to sing at Rivertown Mall in Granville, Michigan in December 2014, she received 250 RSVPs and another 750 showed up unannounced. The group, who sang Amazing Grace, also handed out the words of the hymn in the form of Gospel tracts. The video was posted to YouTube on December 13, 2014.
[Myrna Petersen] I Chronicles 12:23 – 40 gives us a record of David’s great army which was assembled at Hebron. We read of the thousands of warriors who came from every tribe. There were 6,800 from the tribe of Judah bearing shield and spear and from the tribe of Simeon, 7,100 mighty men of valor fit for war. The tribe of Zebulun is recorded to have 50,000 warriors who were expert in all weapons of war and who could keep ranks.
Amidst that list of thousands of mighty men, we read of the small number of chiefs from Isaachar. Only 200 men, but they had understanding of the times to know what Israel ought to do. A great number of warriors is not needed for a battle if there are those who have understanding the times and seasons. These are the ones who carry the “strategy” within them that will defeat the enemy. (more…)
[by Dean Smith] The 800-year old Icelandic Hymn “Heyr himna smiður” sung as the back drop on the opening credits for a documentary on the 1973 volcanic eruption on Iceland.
Kolbeinn Tumason (1173-1208) wrote the words to the hymn. A devout Christian, he spoke about hope in times of hunger, sickness and fear. The music was written by Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson (1938-2013).
Kolbeinn was a powerful chieftain or goði on the island in the 12th century. He reportedly wrote this poem on his death-bed after he was injured during a battle. Part of the hymn includes a plea for healing, perhaps his own.
The words in English are: (more…)
[By Earl Blacklock] Have you ever wondered why countries spend hundreds of billions, perhaps even trillions of dollars on non-military space exploration? Many of the usual explanations – our instinct for exploration, the advancement of science – seem to be suspect since the cost is so astronomical (pun intended). Surely we can find less expensive ways to satiate our instincts and increase our knowledge.
In fact, the news media explanation that space exploration is to “discover the origins of life and the universe” is likely the most accurate. Not satisfied with any explanation that does not preclude a divine origin to – well, everything – the scientific industrial complex works apace to fill in all the holes in the narrative of how we came to be. And there are a lot of holes.
One that is most troubling is the explanation of how our life-sustaining oceans came about. Simple, we have been told. Comets contain water and when they impacted the earth, they acted as a water delivery method. Over centuries and eons, they delivered enough water to cover three quarters of the Earth with oceans. (more…)
[by Dean Smith] Many look at the heart as little more than a muscle used to pump blood through our body, but evidence suggests it may have a bigger impact than we realize.
An article in the National Post looks at an interesting phenomena that happens when people have heart transplants. They actually sense the person who donated their heart.
Though it doesn’t happen to everyone, it occurs enough that medical researchers are taking note of the phenomena. As well, it doesn’t seem to show up with people who receive other types of transplants such as kidneys. (more…)
[by Earl Blacklock] I was driving down the street, almost oblivious to anything other than my plans for the day. Going down the street in front of my destination bookstore, I spotted the only parking spot, an angled spot directly in front. Life was good!
After I parked, as I was about to open my door, I heard, then saw an outraged man shouting – nay, screaming at me. He was almost incoherent, but I managed to hear the words “You cut me off!”
The man was raging at me with all the venom he could summon, demanding that I open the car door – something I quickly decided would be imprudent. Talking through the closed window, watching his clenched fists, I wondered whether he would break the window to get at me. Thankfully, after sharing with me the full extent of his expletive-filled vocabulary, he finally departed, likely thinking me properly rebuked. (more…)