( reference: https://youtu.be/qgqDtgoLN_0 )
( reference: https://youtu.be/WX00QkvK-mQ )
( reference: https://youtu.be/0heL2Czeraw )
As our problems seem overwhelming, the song lyrics suggest the one hope to heal our land:
II Chronicles 7:14
If My people,
who are called by My Name,
will humble themselves
and pray and seek My face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin
and will heal their land.
Photo: Tea Party/wikipedia
The James Web Space Telescope.
It was named after James E. Webb, NASA administrator from 1961 to1968 during the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs.
The telescope was a long time in the making, first planned in 1996 and projected for launch in 2007. But cost overruns and delays and a major redesign in 2005 had pushed the completion date to 2016.
And it was actually launched on Christmas of 2021.
The JWST, a large infrared telescope, is being used to study the history of our Universe, such as:
* the first luminous glows after the Big Bang
* the first galaxies formed in the early universe
* the stars forming planetary systems through dusty clouds
* the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth
* the data to support theories of the evolution of our own Solar System.
As the largest optical telescope in space, its greatly improved infrared resolution and sensitivity allow it to view objects too early, distant, or faint for the Hubble Space Telescope.
More information: James Webb Space Telescope (NASA)
Below is live stream of continually updated images:
( Reference: https://youtu.be/__xuMe5rLGc )
Before telescopes, none-the-less space telescopes, people have gazed at the night sky with the naked eye and were awestruck.
Here are portions of two Psalms that express this:
That's how many seconds are in a day.
Here's the math: 60 seconds/minute X 60 minutes/hour X 24 hours per day.
That piece of trivia can be a tech-y or a science-y thing.
And some wax philosophical about it--as that is the time allotted for any of us per day.
(Reference: https://youtu.be/4SHFp3qWDZc )
But the timestamp from 0 to 86,399 seconds is critical for many technical operations. Such is the case for operations on a Mission Control Team that tracks satellites.
In S*T*C, one of main characters, Sam Clark, with her co-workers John McHenry, Tan Ho, and Enrique Rodriguez, get a tour of the Mission Control Complex on their first day on the job.
Their lead Paul Coleman, also known as PC, introduced to them to the timestamp:
Sam pointed to the large red neon display reading 1984.040:76879 with the lowest digits incrementing.
“And what do those numbers mean?”
“It’s a fancy clock.” PC explained, “Nineteen eighty-four, the year. Forty, the Julian day. That’s February ninth, since it’s been forty days since the New Year. After the colon there, 76891 is the time in seconds.”
PC looked at his watch. “Which is…approximately 2122 in military time. For us civilians that’s 9:22 at night.”
Sam looked puzzled. “But it’s going on 1:30 in the afternoon.”
“Ah!” Paul raised a finger. “But it’s almost 9:30 p.m. in England. And all our times are recorded in Zulu time.”
“Zulu?” Enrique piped up. “Man. I loved that movie. A classic with Michael Caine—”
PC grinned. “Zulu is the phonetic alphabet term for the Zth time zone. It’s the same as Greenwich Mean Time. GMT. Or Universal Time. UT. All the scientists as well as the military use it. Close to shift change…that’s four o’clock in the afternoon here…Pacific Standard Time…the clocks all roll over to quad zero. Or 0000z.”
PC pointed to the red clock. “And that clock will roll over from 040:86399 to 041:00000. A new day.”
“Why 86—” Tan had forgotten the rest of the digits in the five-digit number.
John chimed in, “Because there are 86,400 seconds in a day.”
“But, ah! Except when we have to adjust for the leap second.”
Then PC looked to the senior PA ensconced at an F2 console. “Ned?” he asked. “Will you explain what y’all are doing here?”
“Good question, PC. What am I doing here?”
Then Ned Gaubert gave a quiet sigh and turned around with his mouth askew. “This is called a pass. And it’s not what we make at girls.”
“Good thing.” Sam returned a sidelong smile. “I’m married.”
Smith, S K. S*T*C (pp. 35-36). Kindle Edition.
Mike Bonacelli, a regular on swings, came into work before shift change. Then he handed in his resignation.
“Why, Mike?” Dan looked up from his desk. He suppressed a smirk, not that disappointed.
Mike’s dark eyes flashed. “I don’t care to get trapped in the golden handcuffs.”
“Where’re you headed?” Rich looked up from his desk.
Mike puffed up his chest. “I got an offer from Apple. Working on Macintoshes—personal computers. It’s the future, where the big money is.”
“Hey, I saw that awesome Apple ad during last year’s Super Bowl,” Rich said. “It only aired once though.”
“Yep,” said Mike. “MacIntosh. The most awaited event of 1984, taking a page from Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. The girl destroys Big Brother conformity to bring on a future full of new possibilities.”
“So, you’re leaving this job, defending your country, for private industry?” Dan grew a grin as fake as the sincerity in his voice. “All in hopes to be a millionaire?”
“Which is something you lust after, right, Danny boy?”
“Mike, Mike, Mike.” Dan asked with the taint of sarcasm in his voice, “Why would you think such a thing?”
Mike lifted his dark eyebrows. “You talk about it all the time. It’s no secret you just don’t want to be well off. You want to be rich.”
“You want to be like me, Dan?” Rich twitched his dark mustache as Dan shook his head.
Smith, S K. S*T*C (pp. 258-259). Kindle Edition.
I think of Scrooge McDuck and his famous money dive: here
But Money, Money, Money is one of the catchy songs, written by ABBA from the musical, Mama Mia (2008). It's about a girl's quest to find out which of three men could be her father before she's to be married.
Meanwhile, her mother, a former pop singer, does a number with her backup singers about the struggles of owning a rustic hotel on a Greek Island:
(Reference: https://youtu.be/IByDClFTOME )
I heard this song many times, such as bumper music for shows that discuss ... money.
Money is power, a force that motivates, drives politics, and makes history.
And Scripture has much to say about our attitude about it and how we handle it.
Here are a few samples:
Root of all (these) evils:
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:10 (KJV)
Jesus had some words who/what is our master:
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Matthew 6:24 (KJV)
Bad treatment of the poor:
The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.
Proverbs 18:23 (KJV)
But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
James 2:6 (KJV)
And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.
Exodus 23:8 (KJV)
Yes, this is much about the abuse of the rich. But showing favoritism to the poor is also wrong.
Yet, targeting the rich is condemed:
Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.
Exodus 23:3 (KJV)
Many Biblical heroes were wealthy:
Job - see The Book of Job
A just man, who was wealthy. He lost it all, suffered, then got twice back and gave an inheritance to his daughters as well as his sons.
Abraham - see Genesis 11 - 25
Wealthy man of his day who was called out to become the Father of Faith.
Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3 (NIV)
His line would come the Messiah, through which all nations would be blessed
I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,
Genesis 26:4 (NIV)
Solomon - see II Kings, I & II Chronicles
He prayed for wisdom and God granted his request. And Solomon carried out his father David's desire and built the Temple. He provided a witness to the known world, such as drawing the Queen of Sheba from the ends of the earth to hear him.
Wise men - see Matthew 2
They saw the star of Bethlehem, they sought Jesus. They gave the baby Jesus rich gifts--gold, frankincense and myrrh. Thus, Mary and Joseph had a resource to pay for their flight to Egypt to escape Herod who sought to kill baby Jesus.
Joseph of Arimathea - see John 19:38
Rich man who as a secret disciple that became public. With Nicodemus, the two buried Jesus, fulfilled prophesy --
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Isaiah 53:9 (NIV)
Lydia - see Acts 16
Greek business woman -- seller of purple.
Paul wanted to go east, but the Spirit sent him west to Lydia, who he found leading a prayer meeting by the river.
Her home was the first Christian church in Europe.
There's much, much more. And that can be for another time.
Meanwhile, here are some final thoughts.
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9 (KJV)
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
It was a decade of prosperity and the feeling that life was good.
And Madonna made her debut in that decade. And one of her first big hits...
The video was influenced by another iconic blonde, in an earlier time with the same life was good feelings...
After the Great Depression and World War II, peace and prosperity were back.
As well as an earlier version of Madonna, Marylin Monroe.
One of Marylin's signature movies was Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and this closing number...
(Reference: https://youtu.be/dw7ii6IxNS8 )
Both blondes in hot pink gowns, obsessed with material things, such as jewels.
And there is much said about the obsession with the material things of this world in the Scriptures.
But Jesus makes many points about this, most poetically, in The Sermon on the Mount:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink;
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food,
and the body more than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air;
they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes?
See how the flowers of the field grow.
They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you that
not even Solomon in all his splendor
was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field,
which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire,
will he not much more clothe you—
you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying,
‘What shall we eat?’
or ‘What shall we drink?’
or ‘What shall we wear?’
For the pagans run after all these things,
and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Madonna and Marylin talk about presents.
Jesus talks about being in the present.