Thought For The OPEN Mind - Humor From American Culture!
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The young David did a peculiar thing as he faced a formidable enemy. Thescene was undoubtedly tense: Israel stood poised on one mountain, thePhilistines on another; the valley of Elah was positioned between them. His tormentor, Goliath, stood over nine feet tall, was fully clothed inarmor of bronze, and held in his arms an enormous spear. David was hardlyfit for the challenge. He was the smallest and the youngest of hisbrothers. He was the one given the menial task of shepherding the familysheep, and he had no armor or spear of his own. On David's side stood King Saul who acted as any concerned person doeswhen someone he loves faces a battle in a valley where life isn't fair: heoffered strategic advice, took his own armor, dressed David in it, and senthim off with a sword and a blessing. But David refused them. He took offSaul's armor and left the sword behind. And with his shepherd's bag, fivestones and a sling, David defeated Goliath.This familiar story, told in 1 Samuel 17, is one in which childrenrightfully take delight. But I think it can also stir in our imaginationsa potent image of following Christ. As I read this account of David, Iwrestle with thoughts of identity. Would I have taken the armor offthough it wasn't my own? Would I have been myself, aware of my ownabilities, or would I have tried to make someone else's armor myconfidence? David is for me a helpful reminder that when our identity isfound in God, authenticity and obedience are natural responses to life:David took off the breastplate of Saul because he knew the fortress ofGod. And thus, David went into the valley authentically, facing Goliath as noone but himself, going forth not with confidence in his own being, norconfidence in any armor, but with confidence in the character of God. Hewalked forward in obedience to the one who walked beside him; he walkedforward with an identity shaped by the presence of the living God. Davidknew as a young boy what he would proclaim throughout his life: "Now Iknow that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heavenwith the saving power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and somein horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God" (Psalm 20:6-7). The man who sought after God's own heart found God's assurance andstrength thrown in. I would argue that abandoning ourselves to the person of God, we findourselves able to become the person God has created us to be. David'sbout with Goliath reminds us that identity no longer has to be anuncomfortable search or a timid view of life behind a mask. It is insteada bold display of a relationship with the one who knows us better than weknow ourselves. Throughout David's life, God was revealed in valleys of death and shadowsas the God who is present. So it is for us today. In every trial andtemptation, Christ continues to reveal himself as one in whom we can takerest. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will giveyou rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle andhumble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew11:28-29). In Christ we can know the freedom of transformation and thestrength that comes from leaving behind human masks and putting on theidentity of God. Jill Carattini is senior associate writer at Ravi ZachariasInternational Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.------------------------------------------------------------------- Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM)"A Slice of Infinity" is aimed at reaching into the culture with words ofchallenge, words of truth, and words of hope. If you know of others whowould enjoy receiving "A Slice of Infinity" in their email box each day,tell them they can sign up on our website athttp://www.rzim.org/slice/slice.php. If they do not have access to theWorld Wide Web, please call 1-877-88SLICE (1-877-887-5423).
In the Middle Ages wearing spectacles signified knowledge and learning. Painters of the time often included spectacles when portraying famous persons even when depicting people who lived before the known invention of spectacles. On numerous paintings the religious teacher Sofronius Eusebius Hieronymus (340 - 420 AD) is portrayed with a lion, a skull and a pair of reading glasses. He is the patron saint of spectacle makers. *** It actually is true that eating carrots can help you see better. Carrots contain Vitamin A, which feeds the chemicals that the eye shafts and cones are made of. The shafts capture black and white vision. The cones capture color images. *** Healthy eyes are so sensitive to light that a candle burning in the dark can be detected a mile away. The human eye can distinguish about 10 million different colors. There currently is no machine that can achieve this remarkable feat.
Roman tragedian Seneca is said to have read "all the books in Rome" by peering through a glass globe of water. A thousand years later, presbyopic monks used segments of glass spheres that could be laid against reading material to magnify the letters, basically a magnifying glass, called a "reading stone." They based their invention on the theories of the Arabic mathematician Alhazen (roughly 1000 AD). Yet, Greek philosopher Aristophanes (c. 448 BC-380 BC) knew that glass could be used as a magnifying glass. Nevertheless it was not until roughly 150 AD that Ptolemy discovered the basic rules of light diffraction and wrote extensively on the subject. *** Venetian glass blowers, who had learned how to produce glass for reading stones, later constructed lenses that could be held in a frame in front of the eye instead of directly on the reading material. It was intended for use by one eye; the idea to frame two ground glasses using wood or horn, making them into a single unit was born in the 13th century. *** In 1268 Roger Bacon made the first known scientific commentary on lenses for vision correction. Salvino D'Armate of Pisa and Alessandro Spina of Florence are often credited with the invention of spectacles around 1284 but there is no evidence to conclude this. The first mention of actual glasses is found in a 1289 manuscript when a member of the Popozo family wrote: "I am so debilitated by age that without the glasses known as spectacles, I would no longer be able to read or write." In 1306, a monk of Pisa mentioned in a sermon: "It is not yet 20 years since the art of making spectacles, one of the most useful arts on earth, was discovered." But nobody mentioned the inventor.
Nothing rattles my father-in-law, especially when the St. Louis Cardinals are on TV. One day we were watching a game, when my mother-in-law shrieked from the kitchen, "Jim, there's a horsefly in here!" Not taking his eyes off the screen, he barked back,"Give it some cough syrup."
Blood is bright red in its oxygenated form and a dark red in deoxygenated form. In simpler terms, it is bright red when it leaves the lungs full of oxygen and dark red when it returns to the lungs for a refill. Veins appear blue because light penetrating the skin is absorbed and reflected in high energy wavelengths back to the eye. Higher energy wavelengths are blue. *** Onions, like other plants, are made of cells. The cells are divided into two sections separated by a membrane. One side of the membrane contains an enzyme which helps chemical processes occur in your body. The other side of the membrane contains molecules that contain sulfur. When you cut an onion, the contents on each side of the membrane mix and cause a chemical reaction. This reaction produces molecules such as ethylsufine which make your eyes water. *** Camels are called "ships of the desert" because of the way they move, not because of their transport capabilities. Camels sway from side to side because they move both legs on one side at the same time, elevating that side. This is called pacing, a ship-like motion which can make the rider feel sick.
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