Monday, February 29, 2016

BRAINWORKS

There is a lot going on inside your head. Every action, reaction and creative impulse starts in the brain.


Thomas Edison once said, “The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around.”[1]

Stephen Hawking said, “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” [2]

Justin Bieber said, “I'm crazy, I'm nuts. Just the way my brain works. I'm not normal. I think differently. My mind is always racing.”[3]

Which one can you most relate to?

The human brain is constantly being studied and researched with new details emerging all the time. Here are 10 interesting facts that you may want to think about:


1.     The popular myth that we use only 10% of our brains is flat-out wrong. Brain scans clearly show that we use most of our brain most of the time, even when we’re sleeping. [4]

2.     More than 100,000 chemicals reactions take place in your brain every second.[5] 

3.     The typical brain is about 2% of a body’s weight but uses 20% 
of its total energy and oxygen intake.[6]

4.     Your brain weighs about 3 pounds. Of that, the dry weight is 60% fat, making your brain the fattest organ.[7]

5.     We are not getting smarter. Since the Victorian era, average IQs have gone down 1.6 points per decade for a total of 13.35 points.[8]

6.     Our attention spans are getting shorter. In 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds. Now it’s 8 seconds. That’s shorter than the attention span of the average goldfish, which is 9 seconds.[9]

7.     Your brain’s storage capacity is considered virtually unlimited.
It doesn’t get “used up” like RAM in your computer.[10]

8.     Your brain starts slowing down at the ripe old age of 24 but peaks for different cognitive skills at different ages. In fact at any given age, you’re likely getting better at some things and worse at others.[11]

9.     The brain in your head isn’t your only brain. There’s a “second brain” in your intestines that contains 100,000 neurons. Gut bacteria are responsible for making over 30 neurotransmitters including the “happy” molecule serotonin.[12]

10. Brain information moves at an impressive 260 miles per hour. This is faster than Formula 1 race cars which top out at 240 mph.[13]


What an amazing machine! But, what about the thoughts that flow out of this intelligently designed organ? How do we arrive at our thoughts and can our mind ever change?






[1] "Ties: The Southern Railway System Magazine, Volumes 8-9" (1954), p. 155

Friday, February 26, 2016

JESUS STOLE FROM ME


Luke 23:
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.


In the finality of suffering, Jesus surrenders and commits His human spirit to the Father. Though strength was wasted away, the last breath summoned all remaining energy to say one thing.

At the end, Jesus loudly gave himself to His Father. What a way to go… we see his trust was stronger than his suffering. He took the last remaining resource (his breath) and offered it to God.

In your suffering, God remains in you—His Holy Temple. He does not leave you. In Christ’s final commitment, the sinless one becomes the way through earthly suffering to God’s Presence.

And what does Christ take away from us in our suffering?

Thomas Merton wrote this beautiful verse:
“And Yet With Every Wound You Robbed Me Of A Crime,
And As Each Blow Was Paid With Blood,
You Paid Me Also Each Great Sin With Greater Graces.
For Even As I Killed You,
You Made Yourself A Greater Thief
Than Any In Your Company,
Stealing My Sins Into Your Dying Life,
Robbing Me Even Of My Death.”
 [1]






[1] Thomas Merton, Selected Poems Of Thomas Merton, 1967 by New Directions Publishing Company

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

GOD TEARING HIS CLOTHES



Luke 23:
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.


In the Old Testament we read about sacred construction for God’s people. In the time of Moses, a Tabernacle or large tent was built with God giving instruction about its formation. Its creative design artistically gave a specific message from God. It represented the place of meeting between God and humanity. It was portable and went everywhere that God’s people were led as a community. God did not need a tent, but the people did. They needed a physical protocol in place to help them in their approach to the Almighty. This is where the holy reminders were kept—the Ark of the Covenant containing the stone tablets of the Law. Everything in the Tabernacle was in place to remove sin from the people and worship God.

Within this revival tent, there was an inner sanctum called the Holy of Holies. It was separated from the outer areas by a linen curtain. The Ark of the Covenant was placed in this most holy area.

Later, King Solomon built the Temple to bring a permanent place for these purposes. As the Tabernacle served a people looking for their place in the world, the Temple spoke to people who had found the Promised Land and settled there. The Temple was patterned in similar fashion to the Tabernacle, but its construction was more durable and permanent. Again the Holy of Holies was contained with a fabric curtain; marking this area as the closest place the High Priest could go to offer sacrifice to God. It was here that God’s Shekinah glory would appear to the High Priest.

It was this curtain around the Holy of Holies that tore in two during Christ’s suffering on the Cross. What are we to learn about suffering from the tearing curtain?

First of all, the tearing of one’s garments was a sign of grief. When things were offensive to God or brought great sorrow, the outer garment would be torn to show that there was reason to mourn. Was the curtain around the Holy of Holies our way to clothe God? Did God tear His clothes at grief over the Son’s betrayal and suffering?

We also see that the safe way of containing God in a Temple was insufficient. God is not restricted to the protocols of approach. Every Tabernacle eventually wore out and every Temple was tore down by enemies.

There is another Temple that Paul tells us about.


1 Corinthians 6:
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.


In the tearing of the Temple curtain, we see that God entered into the Suffering of the Son. Perhaps in our human suffering, there is an element of the curtain being torn. The human grief is a tearing that releases God from the ways we have contained Him. He will not remain apart from us, but enter into our bodies declaring us His Holy of Holies.

Within your body God keeps the Ark of the Covenant with its sacred Law and appears in His Shekinah glory.



Blog Archive