Some weeks ago, I stood in line awaiting check-in at the shelter. This place charges $3 a night. I was holding my money in my hand, and someone playfully tugged at it. I snapped. I said, “You don’t value your life much, do you?”
Minutes later, I explained this to someone else. I said, “Don’t take a man’s last dollar.” “Why not?” he asked. I said, ” ‘Cause that’s the one he’ll die for. That’s the one he’ll kill for.”
Don’t take my last dollar. That’s the one I’ll kill for.
I’ve been on hard times since 2004. If I lose, or am robbed or cheated, of $20 or $50, that’s a pretty significant amount. But it doesn’t hurt all that much if I have more, and know more is coming. However, if I lose, or someone robs or cheats me of my last $1 — that’s the one that really hurts. That’s the one I’ll kill for.
These memories came to me as I reflected on Maggie Fox’s 08/29/2013 article, “Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds.”
Continue reading Chaos overwhelms the poor
All my life, I’ve been fascinated with things that glow in the dark. Where does the light come from? This is now fundamental to my understanding of prayer, and of my vocation.
The picture shows what I take for the latest advance in the world of fluorescent materials. Here are germanium nanoparticles in a colorless colloidal (gelatinous) suspension, being irradiated by ultraviolet light. By virtue merely of where they are and what they are, the invisible light that shines on these particles is changed into visible light.
The nanoparticles catalyze that process: they do no work of their own, expend no energies of their own, and take no active part in the process; but it won’t occur without them.
Continue reading Prayer primer
In many cases, you can strip away the fictions surrounding a legendary figure, and discover the historical original.
For example, there probably was a King Arthur.
Troy was a real place, and the Trojan War a real event. Achilles, Odysseus and Agamemnon were probably real people.
What about the Jesus of the Bible?
Circumstantial evidence exists to suggest there probably was such a person. Textual evidences are available to suggest what he may have been like. He may or may not have been as Christianity presents.
Continue reading Was there a Jesus? If so, what was he like?
(1) Clairvoyance isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
(2) It’s a mistake to ASSUME what sort of healing someone wants.
The job search feels like an endless exercise in futility.
I recently launched a new hobby that may help me persevere.
It involves the unusual tactic of seeking emotional discomfort.
Continue reading Nemesis of the morning glories
Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
I saw it any number of times while teaching: give a child a musical instrument, or the discovery of any other talent, whether art, or sports, or some special interest; and it just transforms that life. The vision of the excellence he or she can achieve, the beauty she or he can create, unlocks vast positive energies. The mediocre-at-best student comes to excel in every subject. The child who was awkward and socially withdrawn begins to shine.
Continue reading Unlocking the vision
Pray for yourself first.
When you pray for someone, you become a channel through which the Holy Spirit (or “Life Force”) flows to address that person’s needs. (See Mark 5:30.) You may or may not perceive this flow as it happens.
The Spirit must first address any deficiencies in the channel itself, before it can optimally address the other person. In particular, the Spirit must address any emotional imbalances that may exist in the person who intends to pray. Without this adjustment, at best the Spirit’s flow will be constricted; at worst, the channel may project his or her own needs (e.g. anxieties, aches and pains) onto the patient.
Continue reading Un[b]locking the spirit
I thought this thread at the Messiah Truth discussion forum, where I am known as “Proteus,” might interest some readers here. Keep in mind that most of the participants there are Orthodox Jews. Some of the views expressed as of 05/28/14 have surprised me already.
(Originally posted 05/29/14.)