Posts from November 2023

Posts from November 2023

Overcoming Prejudice

The natural human tendency is to embrace homogeneity. People are most comfortable around others like themselves. Computer programmers often form friendships with other programmers. Competitive runners develop a community with other runners. This extends beyond work and recreation to race, gender, and religion too. Often, “outside our comfort zone,” simply means someone is surrounded by people who don’t share their interests, understanding, or cultural background. Few people in history exemplified this phenomenon like the ancient Jews. Israel was called God’s…

Why People Love Christmas

Another holiday season has arrived with lights, glitter, and tinsel in tow. Joy and smiles dot the landscape as people search for the perfect gifts and attend parties and gatherings. Decorations go up, animosity goes down, and for a little while the world seems in harmony. What is it about the holidays that so many love? Throughout the year, other days of celebration are popular, but none of them come close to the popularity of Christmas. I think the holiday…

An Astronomical Connection

Connections. As humans, we crave connections and relationships. They help us become part of a community and build emotional ties, and strong bonds. They even help us find links to our past. In the song, Somewhere Out There, Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram lift the burden of their separation, singing, “Even though I know how very far apart we are, it helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star” (lyrics by James Horner). The stars that…

A Few of Our Favorite Things

What brings joy? Babies. Puppies. Brown paper packages tied up with string. Our names written in heaven. When the disciples return after their limited commission of preaching the arrival of the kingdom, they are ecstatic at their power to cast out demons. Jesus saw this as the falling of Satanic power and the dominion of heaven was coming to the earth. Then Jesus says, “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that…