February 26: Read through the Holy Bible in a year.

Matthew 14:1-14 tells about John the Baptist being beheaded. It is interesting that most people know the name of the daughter of Herodias, but it is not in the Bible. There is another Salome in the Bible, but she was a follower of Jesus. After learning of the beheading of John the Baptist Jesus tried to withdraw from the people by boat to a solitary place, but there he found a large crowd, so he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Numbers 8 deals with setting the Levites apart for their duties.

Numbers 9 defines how the Passover shall be celebrated from that time on. It also describes the cloud over the tabernacle, if it lifted they moved on, if it stayed, they stayed.

Numbers 10 tells of making two silver trumpets and with the blasts from them they finally leave Sinai, still in formation , tribe by tribe.

February 25: Read through the Holy Bible in a year.

Matthew 13:31-58. Jesus told many parables on the Kingdom of heaven: The mustard seed and the yeast, the hidden treasure, the pearl of great price and the fishermen and the net. Then Jesus explained what the parables meant to his disciples. The parables were well received, except in his own hometown, about which Jesus said: ” Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor”.

Numbers 6 tells of the vow of the Nazirite, how he (or she!) must separate themselves totally to the LORD, not shave the hair, not eat anything from the grape, not even the dry skin, not touch any dead bodies and so on. When the separation is over an offering must be given. Thankfully the chapter ends with the priestly blessing: “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:  The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Numbers 7 has 89 verses, but the chapter only seems long since the same offerings for the dedication of the tabernacle are repeated for each of the twelve tribes.

February 24: Read through the Holy Bible in a year.

Matthew 13:1-30 Jesus told the parable of the sower and the parable of the wheat and the tares.

Numbers 3 lists the sons of Aaron and the Levites by clan.

Numbers 4 tells of the duties of the Kohathites, the Gershonites and the Merarites. Then these Levite clans are numbered.

Numbers 5 deals with purity, how to deal with leprosy or dead bodies, restitution for wrongdoings and how to deal with marital unfaithfulness, especially for women.

February 23: Read through the Holy Bible in a year.

Matthew 12:22-50. Jesus continued to heal in secret, but the Pharisees said he did it by Beelzebub (lord of the flies). What did Jesus answer? “A Kingdom divided against itself will not stand.”  Jesus also said “he that is not with me is against me.” There is no middle ground, and there is a sin that cannot be forgiven: Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Continuing on Jesus said that the only sign given will be the sign of Jonah. Finally Jesus in a way rejected his own mother and brothers by pointing to his disciples, saying: “Here are my mother and brothers, for whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother”.

Numbers 1 consists of a listing of the heads of the people that left Egypt, the first census. All the people from the twelve tribes were counted, except the Levites.

Numbers 2 tells how the tribes were to be arranged around the tabernacle, three to the east, three to the south, three to the west and three to the north and the Levites in the middle.

Mark 6:14-56, John the Baptist beheaded, the feeding of Five Thousand, Jesus walks on the Water.

 

 

 

Mark 6:14-56, John the Baptist beheaded, the feeding of Five Thousand, Jesus walks on the Water.

 
 
 

There has always been a strange fascination about beheadings. On Feb 12, 2018 the official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama were unveiled.

Former US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama stand beside their portraits after their unveiling at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, on Monday

Other works by Obama’s artist Kehinde Wiley: “Judith beheading Holofernes”

This one is also from the apocryphal book of Judith

Not to be outdone, in 2007 the then speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi went to Damascus, Syria, Tuesday April 3, 2007. Question: Why does an American Woman Infidel do the sign of the cross in the great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus Syria? Answer: Nancy Pelosi does the sign of the cross to pay her utmost respect to the skull of John the Baptist. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi looks at the tomb containing the head of St. John the Baptist inside the historic Umayyad Mosque.

 

Weather and climate forecasting, a difficult science to master.

An old British saying used to be: “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” We may not be able to do much about the weather, but at least we can try to save the world from the “Climate Crisis”. The term used to be Climate Change, but with the new administration the term has been upgraded.

When I grew up a long time ago in Sweden the old folks used to say “If you make it through February, you will make it another year.” This was of course before electricity and central heating”.

There is a saying in Norway: “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes.” Here is an example, the souwester” It works well in freezing rain.

The long term weather forecast for February, issued January 21 by the weather channel looked like this:

Great, no need to buy that extra sweater, and Texans can go another season with thin t-shirts and designer pre-torn jeans.

But the weather forecast three weeks later looked like this:

But the windmills don’t work in freezing rain, so the electric grid was challenged when over half of the windmills froze just as the demand spiked. Normally coal and natural gas electrical plants would have kicked in, but many of the coal plants had been shut down due to environmental regulations, and the emergency request to restart them were denied due to environmental concerns. The natural gas plants ran full bore until the natural gas pressure in the pipelines started dropping below safe levels. This lead to rotating power-outs to preserve gas line pressure. But in the wisdom of the authorities the gas line pressure compressors had been switched from natural gas to electricity (environmental concerns), so if the compressors were in an area of electric blackout, there went the gas pressure, causing a chain reaction, and the whole power grid came within hours of a total collapse. Only nuclear power hummed along as if nothing had happened, but nuclear power is a base load and cannot increase the power above a certain level. Back in 2017, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry proposed paying Coal and Nuclear Power Stations to keep at least 90 days worth of coal  onsite, for disaster resilience. At the time the resilience proposal was widely criticized as being a thinly disguised Trump scheme to pump government money into the coal and nuclear industries. So the plan was rejected by the bureaucracy. But in hindsight, a bit more resilience might have saved Texas from days of painful electricity blackouts, and even deaths.

The bill for these monumental miscalculations is yet to be paid. The cost of electricity for these 2 weeks off horror is yet to be paid. The Texans who were fortunate enough to have power have to pay the bill for intermittent electricity at a cost of two dollars per kilowatt-hour. A retired veteran on social security got a bill for over 16,000 dollars for part of February.

Since weather is so hard to predict, do we have any hope of being able to predict future climate? People keep trying. And they keep developing climate models. Here is a chart of most of them:

Not much has changed since this chart was first published. While the IPCC confidence in their climate models keep increasing, so does the difference between model prediction and actual temperature.

Climate finance continues to be the central issue in how the global community proposes to follow through with implementation of the Paris Agreement, which Joe Biden has decided to rejoin by executive fiat. This is in the opinion of his advisors, such as John Kerry appropriate in the context of the last IPCC report showing a USD 1.6-3.8 trillion energy system investment requirement to keep warming within a 1.5 degree Celsius scenario to avoid the most harmful effects of climate change (IPCC, 2018).

Does this still make sense?

Anyone?

 

 

February 22: Read through the Holy Bible in a year.

in Matthew 12:1-21 Jesus proclaimed he  is the Lord of the Sabbath and healed a man with a withered hand. Since this was on a Sabbath it was considered blasphemy. Jesus continued to heal all to fulfill the prophecy of the Prophet Isaiah.

After completing the book of Leviticus we take a one day break before we continue with Numbers and read

Ecclesiastes 5. Fear God, keep your vows. There is vanity in amassing riches, even vanity in seeking honor.

Ecclesiastes 6. Vanity is the theme, this time the vanity of desire.

Psalm 14 is short and to the point. It begins: “The fool has said in his heart, there is NO GOD.”

Psalm 15 is only 5 verses long but full of truth which carries on into the New Testament. For that reason there are five 5 references from the New Testament given.

Psalm 16, of David. A wonderful psalm of confidence in the LORD even in times of trouble. This is a prophetic psalm pointing to Jesus resurrection, it too is quoted in the New Testament.