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1) This photo shows Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (GRS). The GRS is actually a massive anti-cyclonic vortex large enough to engulf several Earths. It’s the largest known vortex in the solar system.
2) A participant of the ‘Wattoluempiade’ (mud olympics), covered with mud, cheers to the audience following their soccer match on the mudflats of the river Elbe in Brunsbuettel near Hamburg June 6. About 400 athletes take part in the so-called ‘Wattoluempiade’ competing in soccer, volleyball, and other events.
When was the last time you played in the mud?
As much fun as I see my neighbors kids having, the last time I played in the mud myself was at Woodstock, in 1969. The high you could get just breathing in the air at Woodstock could explain my getting down and dirty, literally.
3) Twins eat sweets in the local parish hall after taking their first holy communion in St Mary’s Roman Catholic church in Cushendall, Northern Ireland.
When was the last time you had a lollipop?
My family’s doctor, way back when they actually made house visits, always brought me and my sister a lollipop. As much as I enjoyed the treat I can’t say I ever looked forward to any of his visit. This might have had something to do with the humongous needle, I swear it had to be a foot long , that he also brought in his black bag.
I also remember the song “Lollipop” that was a hit record in 1958. The song represents the times. The original was by the duo of “Ronald and Ruby”. It climbed to #22 on the charts, until it became know that Ronald (Lee Morris aka Ronald Gumps) was black and Ruby (Beverly “Ruby” Ross) was white. All television appearances that had been previously booked were cancelled and interest in the song waned.
Then the all white female group the Chordettes came out with their version, which made it to #2 on the Billboard charts.
A video with the original Ronald & Ruby version.
In a comment to my blog post “Hope For A Peaceful Future” Deb quoted from the Biblical prophecies in Luke 21, so I thought I would use that as the subject for my next Bible study.
Jesus’ prophecy of the end times are found in his sermon on the Mount of Olives. I see it refereed to as the Olivet discourse. This prophecy is found in three books in the bible, Mark 13, Mark 24 and Luke 21.
I found this table in a discussion for which I have unfortunately lost the link to:
Sequence of Events
in the Lord’s Second Coming
|The Setting: Temple to be Destroyed||Mark 13:1-2||Matt. 24:1-2; Luke 21:5-6|
|The Question: What will be the sign of your coming?||Mark 13:3-4||Matt. 24:3; Luke 21:7|
|Characteristics of the Latter Days||Mark 13:5-13||Matt. 24:4-14; Luke 21:8-19; 1 Tim. 4:1-5; 2 Tim. 3-4; 2 Peter 2-3|
|The Abomination of Desolation and the Great Tribulation||Mark 13:14-23||Dan. 9:26-27; 12:10-12; Matt. 24:15-28; Luke 21:20-24;|
|The Coming of the Son of Man (Removal of Saints) (Day of the Lord||Mark 13:24-27||Matt. 24:29-31; Luke 21:25-28|
|Lessons from the Last Days||Mark 13:28-37||Matt. 24:32-51; Luke 21:29-36|
|The Marriage of Christ to His Bride||Rev. 19:1-10|
|The Banquet of the Buzzards: The Defeat and Destruction of Christ’s Enemies||Rev. 19:11-21|
|The Millennial Reign of Christ
(Binding of Satan)
(Resurrection of O.T. saints)
(1,000 year reign of Christ)
|Rev. 20:1-6Rev. 20:1-3
|The Final Battle
(National rebel against God)
(Enemies devoured by fire)
|Resurrection of the Wicked and Judgment
(Resurrection and Judgment of the Unrighteous Dead)
|Rev. 20:10-15Rev. 20:10
|John 5:28,29Dan. 12:2|
|The Creation of the New Heavens and New Earth||Rev. 21-22||Heb. 11:13-16; 2 Pet. 3:10-13; John 14:1-2|
There are two opposite views among evangelical Christians about whether the ”Tribulation” describes past events, or future events.
- Tribulation as a past event (Dr. Kenneth Gentry)
- The Great Tribulation occurred during the first century.
- Those events marked the end of God’s focus on and exaltation of Israell.
- Jesus’ prophecies marked the beginning of the Christian era in God’s plan.
- The Tribulation is God’s judgment on Israel for rejecting her Messiah.
- The Tribulation judgments will be centered around local events surrounding ancient Jerusalem, and also somewhat affecting other portions of the former Roman Empire.
- The Tribulation judgments are governed by Jesus as the Christ to reflect his judgment against Israel, thus showing that he is in heaven controlling those events.
- Tribulation as a future event (Dr. Thomas Ice)
- The Great Tribulation is still to come and is rapidly approaching prospect.
- Those events marked the beginning of God’s focus on and exaltation of Israel.
- The prophecy says the Christian era will be concluded just after the church is taken from the world.
- Rather than being God’s judgment on Israel, it is the preparation of Israel to receive her Messiah.
- The judgments involve catastrophes that literally will affect the stellar universe and impact the entire planet.
- The coming of Christ in the Tribulation requires his public, visible and physical presence to conclude those judgments.
Dr. Kenneth Gentry – http://www.preteristarchive.com/StudyArchive/g/gentry-kenneth.html
Dr. Thomas Ice – http://ldolphin.org/preterism-ice.html
Whose viewpoint do you agree with?
Looking at Luke 21, verses 20-33 (New International Version):
20“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
25“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
29He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32“I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
All the events described in verses 20-26 can be seen to have already happened. Jews did lose control of Jerusalem, but have gained it back since 1947. The people of every nation I can think of have fallen by the sword, and returned the favour in kind.
Verse 27 describes the only way I can think of that Christians can now the end time is here, when Jesus returns on a “cloud of power and great glory”.
Verse 32 confuses me when it refers to “this generation will certainly not pass away until these things have happened”. Which generation?
1) Picture of the Day
Caption from NASA site:
”Lengthy detective work with data NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit collected in late 2005 has confirmed that an outcrop called “Comanche” contains a mineral indicating that a past environment was wet and non-acidic, possibly favorable to life.
Spirit used its panoramic camera to capture this view of the Comanche outcrop during the 689th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars (Dec. 11, 2005). The rover’s Moessbauer spectrometer, miniature thermal emission spectrometer and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer each examined targets on Comanche that month.
On June 3, 2010, scientists using data from all three spectrometers reported that about one-fourth of the composition of Comanche is magnesium iron carbonate. That concentration is 10 times higher than for any previously identified carbonate in a Martian rock.
Carbonates originate in wet, near-neutral conditions but dissolve in acid. The find at Comanche is the first unambiguous evidence from either Spirit of its twin, Opportunity, for a past Martian environment that may have been more favorable to life than the wet but acidic conditions indicated by the rovers’ earlier finds.
In this image, Comanche is the dark reddish mound above the center of the view. The image is presented in false color, which makes some differences between materials easier to see. It combines three separate exposures taken through filters admitting wavelengths of 750 nanometers, 530 nanometers and 430 nanometers. The main Comanche outcrop is about 5 meters (16 feet) from left to right from this perspective. The paler material visible at bottom right is part of another outcrop, “Algonquin.”
2) Happiness May Come With Age
That’s the headline in a recent article in the New York Times. Overall I have had a mostly happy life. I can also say with complete confidence that I have never enjoyed life more than I do now.
From the article, by Nicholas Bakalar:
“It sounds miserable, but apparently it is not. A large Gallup poll has found that by almost any measure, people get happier as they get older, and researchers are not sure why.
“It could be that there are environmental changes,” said Arthur A. Stone, the lead author of a new study based on the survey “or it could be psychological changes about the way we view the world, or it could even be biological — for example brain chemistry or endocrine changes.”
The telephone survey, carried out in 2008, covered more than 340,000 people nationwide, ages 18 to 85, asking various questions about age and sex, current events, personal finances, health and other matters.
The survey also asked about “global well-being” by having each person rank overall life satisfaction on a 10-point scale, an assessment many people may make from time to time, if not in a strictly formalized way.
Finally, there were six yes-or-no questions: Did you experience the following feelings during a large part of the day yesterday: enjoyment, happiness, stress, worry, anger, sadness. The answers, the researchers say, reveal “hedonic well-being,” a person’s immediate experience of those psychological states, unencumbered by revised memories or subjective judgments that the query about general life satisfaction might have evoked.
The results, published online May 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were good news for old people, and for those who are getting old. On the global measure, people start out at age 18 feeling pretty good about themselves, and then, apparently, life begins to throw curve balls. They feel worse and worse until they hit 50. At that point, there is a sharp reversal, and people keep getting happier as they age. By the time they are 85, they are even more satisfied with themselves than they were at 18.”
If you are over 60 do you enjoy your life more, less, or as much as you did when you were younger?
For everyone else what is your expectation of how much you will be enjoying your life when you pass 60?
3) “There Is No Frigate Like A Book” by Emily Dickinson
There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away, Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – This Traverse may the poorest take Without oppress of Toll – How frugal is the Chariot That bears a Human soul.
1) Pictures of the Day
a) In orbit around Saturn, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured this image of Saturn’s moon Tethys with its prominent Odysseus Crater slipping behind Saturn’s largest moon Titan. Tethys is more than twice as far from Cassini than Titan.
b) A girl waits for her mother to cast her vote for a local election at a polling station in Seoul, Korea. She looks just as confused as most voters are everywhere when trying to figure out what the politicians will do, other than produce a lot of hot air.
2) From “ I Have News For You” – by Tony Hoagland
There are some people, unlike me and you,
who do not yearn after fame or love or quantities of money as
unattainable as that moon;
thus, they do not later
have to waste more time
defaming the object of their former ardor.
Or consequently run and crucify themselves
in some solitary midnight Starbucks Golgotha.
I have news for you—
there are people who get up in the morning and cross a room
and open a window to let the sweet breeze in
and let it touch them all over their faces and bodies.
3) Political rant.
On Tuesday the Obama administration announced they will begun civil and criminal investigations into the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This finger pointing is what politicians are great at. Actually doing something constructive to address the problem, not so much.
The focus now needs to be solely on taking steps to minimize the damage. This requires federal, state and local leaders working together, a novel idea that seems be beyond the grasps of our elected leaders so far.
What is not likely to happen is spending the money to performed adequate, timely, inspections on all existing oil rigs, and power plants, and any under construction, by properly trained personal. State and Federal governments will pass a bunch of new regulations instead of simply enforcing the old ones.
It is also very unlikely the public will do anything significant to reduce their energy consumption, which means building more oil rigs, nuclear power plants, etc to meet the increasing demand.
We will all just sit back and point our fingers at the other guy when things go wrong.
1) My favorite picture of the day is of an orthodox Jewish man, adorned with balloons, walking in the street of the conservative Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem.
From a hot air ballon Festival Leon, Mexico
Have you ever flown in a hot air balloon?
I never have. I would love the view, but with my fear of heights I would probably spend the time in the middle of the gondola, clutching a parachute.
2) My first stop every day is NASA’s image gallery. Today’s amazing image.
“This composite image shows N49, the aftermath of a supernova explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud. A new long observation from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory reveals evidence for a bullet-shaped object being blown out of debris field left over from an exploded star.
In order to detect this bullet, researchers used Chandra to observe N49 for more than 30 hours. Using the new Chandra data, the age of N49 — as it appears in the image — is thought to be about 5,000 years and the energy of the explosion is estimated to be about twice that of an average supernova. These preliminary results suggest that the original explosion was caused by the collapse of a massive star.”
3) I wanted to post a new song, but couldn’t find any new releases that I liked, so I’ll post a poem about childhood, by my favorite poet Walt Whitman.
Heard any new songs you can recommend?
A Child Said What Is Grass by Walt Whitman
A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
is any more than he.
I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
green stuff woven.
Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?
Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
of the vegetation.
Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the
same, I receive them the same.
And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.
Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
from offspring taken soon out of their mother’s laps,
And here you are the mother’s laps.
This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.
O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths
I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
taken soon out of their laps.
What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and
They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.
All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and