I participate on a certain online discussion board. My premiere antagonist is a man who got trounced by a playground bully in fifth grade. He never fails to seek to re-enact that battle with me (or any of certain others), hoping for a different outcome this time. He casts his opponent by turns as the bully he wants to be or the chump he fears he was; and interacts with those projections. It has nothing to do with me. He might as well be playing with his G.I. Joe dolls.
Andy Kessler’s 07/08/13 Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Summer Jobs for the Guilty Generation,” is little different. In his quotations of others’ expressions, I hear compassion; he hears guilt. I hear gratitude; he hears guilt. I hear hope; he hears guilt. What’s up with this?
Kessler projects his own guilt feelings onto his son’s generation. That’s easier than owning them, but solves nothing.
Continue reading * Andy Kessler: Guilty as charged
All my life, I’ve been fascinated with things that glow in the dark. Where does the light come from? This is now fundamental to my understanding of prayer, and of my vocation.
The picture shows what I take for the latest advance in the world of fluorescent materials. Here are germanium nanoparticles in a colorless colloidal (gelatinous) suspension, being irradiated by ultraviolet light. By virtue merely of where they are and what they are, the invisible light that shines on these particles is changed into visible light.
The nanoparticles catalyze that process: they do no work of their own, expend no energies of their own, and take no active part in the process; but it won’t occur without them.
Continue reading * Prayer primer
In many cases, you can strip away the fictions surrounding a legendary figure, and discover the historical original.
For example, there probably was a King Arthur.
Troy was a real place, and the Trojan War a real event. Achilles, Odysseus and Agamemnon were probably real people.
What about the Jesus of the Bible?
Circumstantial evidence exists to suggest there probably was such a person. Textual evidences are available to suggest what he may have been like. He may or may not have been as Christianity presents.
Continue reading * Was there a Jesus? If so, what was he like?
The job search feels like an endless exercise in futility.
I recently launched a new hobby that may help me persevere.
It involves the unusual tactic of seeking emotional discomfort.
Continue reading * Nemesis of the morning glories
Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
I saw it any number of times while teaching: give a child a musical instrument, or the discovery of any other talent, whether art, or sports, or some special interest; and it just transforms that life. The vision of the excellence he or she can achieve, the beauty she or he can create, unlocks vast positive energies. The mediocre-at-best student comes to excel in every subject. The child who was awkward and socially withdrawn begins to shine.
Continue reading * Unlocking the vision
Pray for yourself first.
When you pray for someone, you become a channel through which the Holy Spirit (or “Life Force”) flows to address that person’s needs. (See Mark 5:30.) You may or may not perceive this flow as it happens.
The Spirit must first address any deficiencies in the channel itself, before it can optimally address the other person. In particular, the Spirit must address any emotional imbalances that may exist in the person who intends to pray. Without this adjustment, at best the Spirit’s flow will be constricted; at worst, the channel may project his or her own needs (e.g. anxieties, aches and pains) onto the patient.
Continue reading * Un[b]locking the spirit