All posts filed under: z30

Launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery on April 5, 2010. Photo: Scott Kublin/Flickr/Creative Commons

Success despite failure

When the Atlantis Space Shuttle was returning from its space flight in 2002 a piece of insulation intended to protect the craft from the searing heat as it traveled through the atmosphere broke off on re-entry. It resulted in minor damage to a rocket booster. The crew and shuttle landed safely and because of this successful landing, the insulation issue received only a cursory inspection. The next year, insulation broke off the heat shield again. It happened during the launch of the Columbus space shuttle destroying the craft and killing all seven members of the crew. This time NASA suspended all flights and undertook a thorough investigation resulting in nearly 30 recommendations to increase shuttle safety. This story was highlighted in 2010 by two researchers — Vinit Desai, assistant professor of Management at the University of Colorado Business School and Peter Madsen a professor at BYU School of Management. They used this story as part of their study on failure as a learning tool. The said the difference responses were due to one flight being …

Orthodox Jews walking down a street in Old Jerusalem. Photo: Rico Grimm/Flickr/Creative Commons

Are Orthodox Rabbis changing long-held opinions on Jesus?

Maybe the time predicted by the Apostle Paul is nearer than we think. Quoting from Isaiah 59:20, Paul stated one day that all Israel would be saved:  “and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.’” (Romans 11:26 NASV) In the Old Testament verse that Paul cited, the Deliverer is none other than Jesus and His removal of the ungodliness from Jacob speaks of the nation accepting Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, a belief they have rejected for two centuries. But in what may be another step towards this acceptance, Israel Today is reporting that just before Christmas 25 prominent Jewish rabbis issued a statement calling for a remarkable change of attitude towards Jesus. Though they have not reached the point of accepting Christ as the Messiah, it is nevertheless significant. The group is made up of prominent rabbis of congregations, seminaries and Jewish institutions in Israel and around the world including the UK, Canada and the US. Since its …

“I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning." Jesus (Luke 10:18) Photo: Matt/Flickr/Creative Commons

The real story behind the first Christmas

Español: La verdadera historia detrás de la primera Navidad Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright… When Franz Xaver Gruber and Joseph Mohr of Austria penned the famous Christmas carol Silent Night in 1818, they painted a calm, idyllic image of Christmas. It along with many Christmas carols portrayed the birth of Jesus as we see it in Luke 2:1-20 and Matthew 1:18-2:23 — Shepherds in the field, Angels singing, a baby in swaddling clothes,  a manger, bleating sheep and lowing oxen. Peaceful, serene… yet is this what really happened at the birth of Jesus? There is a third version of the Christmas story, found in the Book of Revelation, that isn’t often read this time of year: The Woman, Israel 12 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. The Red Dragon, Satan 3 Then another sign …

Why are oil wells refilling? Oil Platform Manual M. Almeida/Flickr/Creative Commons

Dinosaurs on Mars?

For decades, “fossil” fuel is a term used to describe oil. It leaves the impression that oil is derived from the decay of ancient dinosaurs and fauna, millions of years old. In the minds of many, “fossil” fuels have become evidence of evolution. It also implicitly suggests that there is a limited source of oil and once it is used up, it’s done. A year ago, December 2014, NASA announced that its Curiosity rover plodding around on Mars discovered methane. In August 2012, the rover was exploring the 154 km-wide Gale crater when it picked up methane particles in the atmosphere. And briefly for two months, December 2013 to January 2014, the methane concentrations increased by a dramatic 1000%. Methane is a gas necessary for the creation of oil. As heated methane percolates up through the earth’s crust, certain hydrocarbons cool and condense forming oil. With the discovery of methane on Mars, many were convinced it was evidence of life on the Red Planet. Maybe the H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds wasn’t wrong. …

Photo Garret Lesage/Flckr Creative Commons

A woman’s perspective: Can forgiving others make you feel lighter and jump higher?

I read an article recently referring to a study reported in Social Psychology and Personality Science that determined the act of forgiving makes us lighter both emotionally and physically? The study involved two groups. One group was to remember a time they forgave someone and the second group was asked to remember a time they couldn’t forgive. Through their mind’s eye, the group that was able to forgive perceived the slope of a nearby hill to be less steep than the second group that was unable to forgive. The researchers said it was the equivalent of a person with a heavy backpack finding it more difficult to climb a hill than a person without. Ryan Fehr, assistant professor of management at the University of Washington, also measured the vertical jumps of each participant in the study. He found that the group who forgave, on average, jumped higher than those who were unable to forgive. Fehr concluded that the act of forgiveness unburdened one’s mind and brought a lightness to their physical being and did in …

Peter Hollens amazing A cappella rendition of ‘Mary, Did You Know’

This rendition of the Christmas favorite,  Mary, Did You Know, has received nearly 2 million views on YouTube since it was posted on Tuesday, December 8, 2015. Based in Eugene, Oregon, Peter Hollens is an American singer and producer. He has produced a number of songs on YouTube where he sings A cappella, however as you will see in this unique video he sings all the parts himself. Hope you enjoy this amazing rendition of Mary, Did you know.    

Are you a victim of your circumstances or your thinking? Photo Great Beyond/Flickr

Are you a victim of a victim mentality?

A few years ago at a seminar for emotional healing, a group of us were in the hallway waiting for the next session to start. We were all proud that we had survived our traumatic experiences over the years. We walked into the session unprepared for what was next. As the speaker explained the new principle we were learning, we looked at one another. Why should we be surprised that each one of us had operated in survivor mode and were manifesting the symptoms of a “victim mentality?” I was filtering my experiences through a ‘victim mentality’ mindset that created a distorted view of life. A person with such a mentality, expects bad things will happen. They consider themselves a perpetual victim. Because of this perspective, they twist the most innocent things as a personal attack on them. Even the good things are bent out of shape. My perception of life being hard was reinforced daily because of this mindset. Endurance and perseverance were key to weathering the storms of life that never seemed to …

Mayan Temple Photo: Brian Hoffsis/Flickr

A nugget from the begats

When we encounter a genealogy chapter in the Bible, where the King James version quaintly drones on about how “Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber,” our eyes quickly glaze over and bounce down to the next chapter. But now and then, there is a nugget in these lists, such as one we find in Genesis chapter ten: 25 Two sons were born to Eber; the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan. (Genesis 10:25 NASV) The verse inserts a small note about something significant that happened in the days of Peleg. It says the earth (our terra firma) was divided. The Hebrew word means to cleave apart or divide and the tense suggests it was a continual act, that it started and continued to do so. It was such a historic event, that Peleg was even named after what happened. According to Barnes commentary, as a noun Peleg refers to a brook or canal and because that is a natural divide in …

Thiago Brado: YouTube Capture

New Brazilian worship song “Minha Essência” (My Essence)

I encourage you to listen to this video by Thiago Brado, a worship singer from Brazil.  The song sung in Portuguese, entitled My Essence in English, has nearly 4.3 million views on YouTube. Thiago, 25, whose real name is Thiago Oliveira da Silva started singing at the age of 10. At 14, he attended a musical conservatory for further training after his grandmother gave him a guitar. Three years later in 2007, Thiago encountered the Holy Spirit at a Catholic Charismatic meeting in Brazil that transformed his life. He has been attending ever since. During these gatherings his attention was drawn to worship and today Thiago says: “I sing what the Lord wants me to sing.” Several years back, my wife and I met a young couple involved in the Catholic Charismatic movement in Peru. I was genuinely impressed with their faith. We spent an evening with them and our discussion eventually turned to doctrine. Ok I confess, I asked them their views on Mary, the mother of Jesus. Though they were still Catholic in …

Hezekiah's water conduit Photo: Kyle Sorkness/Flickr

Ancient seal discovered proclaiming Hezekiah king of Israel

At a December 2, 2015 news conference, archaeologist Dr Eilat Mazar from the Hebrew University announced his team had found a seal bearing the name of King Hezekiah at a site being excavated near the Old City of Jerusalem. The seal reads: “Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz, king of Judah.” The Times of Israel reports that the seal was among a number discovered in 2009 in a garbage dump near a building used by royal officials. But it was not translated until recently when archaeologists using a magnifying glass read the wording on the clay bulla imprint discovering its significance. The bulla would have certified the papyrus, probably signed by Hezekiah, was an official document of the Royal office. The seal imprinted in clay even had faint fiber impressions on the reverse side from the papyrus. Speaking at a news conference Mazar said the seal was: “The closest as ever that we can get to something that was most likely held by King Hezekiah himself.” The seal is significant in several ways. First it confirms the …