Reflection on John 6:24-35

Scripture

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Observation

The people go across the lake in pursuit of Jesus. Jesus tells them they are following Him for the bread and not out of a desire to see God. He tells them not to work for physical food but for the food of eternal life.

They ask Him for another sign so that they can believe in Him, just as Moses gave their ancestors manna in the desert.

Jesus says it was the Father who gave them bread from heaven, and now Jesus Himself is the true bread of life that satisfies spiritual hunger and thirst.

Application

We can be so locked in to our unbelief that the greatest miracles no longer hold any wonder for us. The people who had experienced the feeding of the 5000 ask for a sign that Jesus is the Messiah. How many signs does it take?

Those who are spiritually hungry, the desperate ones, will reach out to Jesus and feast on Him because He really is the bread of life.

When we devote ourselves entirely to serving Him, to intimacy with Him, to following Him, then we are filled with every good thing.

Prayer

Lord Jesus you really are the bread of life. Thank you that in you I am satisfied. Amen.

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“Impossible” Engine

This is either a completely new form of propulsion previously unknown or a load of rubbish. It’s a worry when devices appear to defy conventional laws of physics.

From the SMH:

‘Impossible’ propellantless engine appears to work despite breaking laws of physics

Date
JIt took New Horizons more than nine years to reach Pluto, but a craft powered by an EMDrive could make it in less than two.

It took New Horizons more than nine years to reach Pluto, but a craft powered by an EMDrive could make it in less than two. Photo: NASA

Ridiculed as impossible by the scientific community, the electromagnetic propulsion engine – which could supposedly take a craft from Earth to Pluto in just 18 months without the need for rocket fuel – has apparently been confirmed by an independent scientist as working.

German scientist Martin Tajmar​, who has a history of debunking fanciful propulsion systems, claims in a paper he has tested a copy of NASA’s experimental device (known as the EMDrive) and that it does produce thrust. This is controversial because the theory that has been used to explain the device violates conventional physics and the law of conservation of momentum.

The EMDrive is complete crap and a waste of time. 

Sean Carroll

The EMDrive theoretically works by converting electric power into microwaves which bounce around inside an enclosed cavity, using the difference in radiation to move through an environment. This violates the laws of physics, which state that if something moves forward it must also push something back, as no propellant is expelled to balance the engine’s momentum.

The original EmDrive was invented nearly 15 years ago, but its use has been consistently ridiculed as scientifically impossible.

The original EmDrive was invented nearly 15 years ago, but its use has been consistently ridiculed as scientifically impossible.

Despite appearing to contradict our understanding of physics, NASA’s tests of the device (which has been described by overenthusiastic  media as an attempt to make a Star Trek warp drive) inexplicably produced a thrust in 2014. If the results were accurate, a much larger version of the device could have incredible implications on future space travel and colonisation, as well as on vehicles and buildings.

Tajmar​’s tests were apparently an attempt to replicate NASA’s work and see the results for himself. He was careful to state his testing cannot explicitly confirm or refute the claims of how the EMDrive works, only that the thrust produced is consistent with those claims, even in a vacuum.

“We do observe thrust close to the actual predictions after eliminating many possible error sources that should warrant further investigation into the phenomena,” Tajmar says.

Predictably, many in the scientific community remain unconvinced.

“My insight is that the EMDrive is complete crap and a waste of time,” American physicist Sean Carroll told tech site io9“Right there in the abstract this paper says, ‘Our test campaign can not confirm or refute the claims of the EMDrive’, so I’m not sure what the news is. I’m going to spend my time thinking about ideas that don’t violate conservation of momentum.”

Professor Tajmar presented his paper, which is not peer-reviewed, at the 2015 American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Propulsion and Energy Forum and Exposition this week.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/impossible-propellantless-engine-appears-to-work-despite-breaking-laws-of-physics-20150728-gimlhr.html#ixzz3hGNKAIpJ

Reflection on Ephesians 4:1-16

Scripture

As a prisoner for the Lord then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Observation

Paul urges us to live a life in accordance with our calling as followers of Jesus Christ. We should be humble and gentle with one another, making every effort to live in unity under the one God and Father of us all.

God has given gifts to the church- apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers- to prepare God’s people for service and to build up the Body of Christ in unity and maturity.

When we become truly mature we will be growing into Christ and not listening to the vain teaching and scheming of men.

Application

We must learn to live together as christians in genuine unity. For too long, the church has been mired by denominationalism, by envy, by competitiveness, and by false teaching.

If we take this chapter seriously, we will learn to love one another regardless of worship styles and the ways we express our faith.

Most of what divides christians is the superficial and irrelevant. We must learn to be people of love.

True ministers- apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers- will be working to bring the church into unity. Only the false ministers will use their positions to divide the flock of Christ,

Prayer

Holy Spirit work in my life so that I can love my brothers and sisters. Show me how I can break down barriers to people from other churches and traditions. Amen.

Lyle Shelton honours the one man in Labor who stands for truth

From Lyle Shelton: “Our political class has fallen victim to a culture that has lost its capacity to reason.

How a decision to sit was the biggest stand for truth at Labor’s conference

Labor’s 47th National Conference in Melbourne at the weekend marked the party’s end of tolerance for the natural family as the gold standard for children.

It’s been a slow burn but it is now official. The party’s capitulation to the sexual revolution and Greens’ social policy is complete.

After 2019, any Labor parliamentarian who votes to support marriage as one man and one woman will be automatically expelled from the party.

There is now no room in the party for an aspiring candidate for office who wishes to uphold the definition of marriage that is in the best interest of a child.

As Labor’s president Mark Butler put the motion, the ‘ayes’ were loud and proud.

“All those against?” A solitary “no” which sounded like WA Senator Joe Bullock rang out. I was sitting up in the bleachers so it was hard to tell for sure.

Earlier as Penny Wong, Labor’s lesbian Senate leader, rose to speak she was greeted with a sustained standing ovation.

One man, the former head of the Australia’s largest trade union, Joe de Bruyn, could not bring himself to genuflect before the rainbow regime.

It takes courage not to go with the crowd. It takes even greater courage to do this when the crowd are the people of the party for whom you have given your life.

Someone with an iPhone snapped Joe and put him on Twitter. His decision not to bow was ridiculed with almost 200 re-tweets.

What the mockers will never understand is how much courage that took.

Earlier in the conference, Labor voted to make it their policy to support access to assisted reproductive technology for same-sex attracted people.

Watch now for Australia’s prohibition on commercial surrogacy to begin to be chipped at.

There was no debate about the ethics of denying children their natural mother or father, a necessary by-product of ART.

The irony of all this was hearing on the radio on the drive to work this morning the victims of the forced adoption practices of the 1950s-1970s telling heart-wrenching stories of removal.

Do we seriously think a boy growing up with lesbians will never have an ache in his heart for his dad?

I see how my kids love and relate to their mother. There is a maternal bond that two men cannot fulfil no matter how much the law tries to pretend otherwise.

The Greens and Labor talk a lot about the natural environment for birds and plants.  Labor’s conference said nothing about the natural environment for a baby.

And if you think I am being partisan, I am not. It is a Liberal, Warren Entsch, who is leading the charge to abolish husband and wife from the Marriage Act when Parliament resumes in August.

Our political class has fallen victim to a culture that has lost its capacity to reason.

Labor Leadership holds the rainbow flag

Yes, it is a sad day to see the alternative party of government vote to expel anyone who wants to support marriage as the best environment for a child.

But we must use this seminal moment in Australian politics to wake ourselves up and resolve to re-build a marriage culture.

Doing this will require speaking. It will require challenging the assumptions of our friends who have put a rainbow wash through their Facebook profile.

Ideas have consequences. If bad ideas are the only ones prosecuted in the public square, as was the case at Labor’s conference, then we should not be surprised if viral ideas take root in our culture.

Truth always resonates with ordinary people but it can only resonate if it is spoken.

By remaining in his seat, Joe de Bruyn stood for truth.

We all need to take a leaf out of his book.

ETS- fake market with fake words

Jo Nova explains that an ETS is a tax and there is no free market involved in CO2

 

The Emissions Trading Scheme monster idea is back – but the conversation is booby-trapped with fake words

 

It’s a tax that’s “not a tax” and a “free market” that isn’t free.

Joy. An emission trading scheme (ETS) is on the agenda again in Australia. Here’s why the first priority is to clean up a crooked conversation. If we can just talk straight, the stupid will sort itself out.

The national debate is a straight faced parody — it could be a script from “Yes Minister”, except no one would believe it. Bill Shorten argues that the Labor Party can control the world’s weather with something that exactly fits the definition of a tax, yet he calls it a “free market” because apparently he has no idea what a free market really is. (What union rep would?) It’s like our opposition leader is a wannabe entrepreneur building a  Kmart that controls the clouds. Look out Batman, Billman is coming. When is a forced market a free market? When you want to be PM.

The vandals are at the gates of both English and economics, and we can’t even have a straight conversation. The Labor Party is in flat out denial of dictionary definitions — is that because they can’t read dictionaries, or because they don’t want an honest conversation? Let’s ask them.  And the idea central to modern economics — free markets — when will the Labor Party learn what one is? It’s only a free market when I’m free to buy nothing.

A carbon market is a forced market. Who wants to buy a certificate for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions? Only 12% of the population will even spend $2 to offset their flight emissions. How many Australians would choose to spend $500? Why don’t we ask them?! Why — because Bill Shorten knows what the answer would be.

Then, on top of all that, is the hypocrisy — the Labor Party say an ETS is the most efficient way to reduce carbon, but they know it isn’t true, because they also insist we buy 50% of our electricity from renewables. Even with an ETS, no one would choose wind power or solar to reduce CO2. They are that stupid.

But a fake free market will help the Global Financial Houses. Buy a carbon credit and save a Banker!

When will Labor start to speak English?

Definition of “Tax”: noun

1.a sum of money demanded by a government for its support or for specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, sales, etc.
2.a burdensome charge, obligation, duty, or demand.

So let’s call it what it is, the ETS-tax. Confront the Labor Party with their inability to speak honest English. There is deception here, written into their language. As long as they won’t speak English, how can we even discuss their policy?

Can someone tell Labor what a “free market” is?

Real free markets are remarkable tools and very efficient, but we can never have a real free market on a ubiquitous molecule used in all life on Earth. It’s an impossibility.

The Labor Party is simply stealing a good brand name. This fake market in air certificates does not meet even the basic requirements of a true free market. It’s a market with no commodity, no demand, no supply, and no verifiability of goods delivered. You and I are not “free” to choose to buy nothing. Most of the players in this market are not free to play — who pays for yeast, weathering, or ocean cycles?

As I said in The Australian:  people who like free markets don’t want a carbon market, and the people who don’t trust capitalism want emissions trading. So why are socialists fighting for a carbon market? Because this “market” is a bureaucrat’s wet dream.

A free market is the voluntary exchange of goods and services. “Free” means being free to choose to buy or to not buy the product. At the end of a free trade, both parties have something they prefer.

To create demand for emissions permits, the government threatens onerous fines to force people to buy a product they otherwise don’t need and most of the time would never even have thought of acquiring. Likewise, supply wouldn’t exist without government approved agents. Potentially a company could sell fake credits (cheaper than the real ones) and what buyer could spot the difference? Indeed, in terms of penance or eco-branding, fake credits, as long as they were not audited, would “work” just as well as real ones.

Despite being called a commodity market, there is no commodity: the end result is air that belongs to no-one-in-particular that has slightly-less-of-a-trace-gas. Sometimes it is not even air with slightly less CO2 in it, it is merely air that might-have-hadmore-CO2, but doesn’t. It depends on the unknowable intentions of factory owners in distant lands.

How strange, then, that this non-commodity was at one time projected to become the largest tradable commodity in the world – bigger even than the global market for oil…

 

Making a Light Box

I had a little fun this afternoon building myself a light box from some old corflute signs we had lying around.

A light box, for the uninitiated, is a box for taking photos of small objects. It has a white interior and one or more windows with a diffuser and a light source. This gives you the advantage of controlling the amount and direction of light falling on the object, assuring the colours are right and there are no shadows.

You can spend hundreds of dollars on a good light box, or you can make a mediocre one in under an hour at close to zero cost. There are lots of plans and instructions on the net. I used this plan, with some modification due to using a different sized sheet.

Here is the final set up:

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As you can see, it is simply a white box with  Fred Nile on the lid. The window is on the left side and on the outside there is a halogen floodlight as the light source. The diffuser in the window is high tech- two thicknesses of “Bake” paper. There seems to be a huge amount of light absorbed by the paper, so next time I will try just one thickness.

So here is one of my first attempts at photographing little Ted:

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Great photo, a pity about the colours! The background is supposed to be white!

The problem is the colour of the light which is not as white as the camera is expecting. I tried to correct it quickly in “Shotwell”, and I could have spent some time in Gimp getting it right, but much better to adjust the camera settings and get the light balance right from the start. I quickly downloaded the manual for my camera- after 8 years and nearly 8000 photos it’s probably time to read the instructions 🙂

The procedure for setting the white balance is very simple, once you find the right menu. I selected the “Tungsten” setting which gave me the correct white background, and here is my little friend in his true glory

img_7708

Easy peasy!

You might notice there is a gap where the back doesn’t quite meet the base. That’s because I just pushed the bits on to the table without taking much care with fitting them properly!

A bit of craft and a bit of photography, together with some mathematics (I had to adjust the measurements a little to fit my boards), a great way to spend a couple of hours when it’s too cold and windy to ride your bike.