Thursday, January 26, 2023

Why Do We Throw Up When We Get Dizzy?


I'm breaking away from the norm here.

Very seldom will I devote any space to passing on merely factual information. Truth Is... is devoted to lifting up Truth, not just Facts. (You can read about that by clicking here.) But I found the following quote from New Scientist's Eureka!: Mindblowing Science Every Day of the Year completely fascinating.

"Our balance system is controlled by three senses cooperating in complex harmony. The vestibular system in our inner ear informs us about the position of our head; our eyes tell us how our body is located in relation to the external world; and proprioceptors -- recep­tors in muscles and joints -- help us to figure out how our body is positioned in space, which is particularly helpful if we cannot see. These elements mature at different rates.

"The vestibular system is fully operational by the time a child has reached 6 months of age; proprioceptors need three or four years more. The development of the visual element is complete by around 16 years of age.

"The sensation of dizziness and nausea following a spinning move­ment is similar to motion sickness -- a result of the conflicting information our brain receives from the three elements mentioned above. When our body is rotating at speed our vestibular system and proprioceptors can feel it, but our eyes can't locate the horizon. Our brain is desperately trying to resolve this conflict and, because humans are primarily visual, it assumes that the other senses are hallucinating, probably because of intoxication. So the brain tries to get rid of the assumed poison by provoking vomiting."

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Truth is...When David wrote, in Psalm 139:14, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well," he didn't know the half of it.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

So You Want to Be an Alpha Male


You're familiar with the term "alpha male," right?

Think Leader of the Pack, Ruler of the Roost, King of the Mountain, Top Dog, Head Honcho...He Who Must Be Obeyed.

Well, I learned about a different kind of alpha when I read the following quote from Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves by Frans de Waal.

"Merciless tyrants do sometimes rise to the top in a chimpanzee com­munity, but the more typical alphas that I have known were quite the opposite. Males in this position are not necessarily the biggest, strongest, meanest ones around, since they often reach the top with the assistance of others. In fact, the smallest male may become alpha if he has the right supporters. Most alpha males protect the underdog, keep the peace, and reassure those who are distressed. Analyzing all instances in which one individual hugs another who has lost a fight, we found that although females generally console others more often than do males, there is one striking exception: the alpha male. This male acts as the healer-in-chief, comforting others in agony more than anyone else in the community. As soon as a fight erupts among its members, everyone turns to him to see how he is going to handle it. He is the final arbiter, intent on restor­ing harmony. He will impressively stand between screaming parties, with his arms raised, until things calm down."

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Truth is...this sounds a lot like Jesus. This sounds a lot like the kind of person I want to ape  -  er  -  copy.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Why Pray? Part Two


Jesus kind of opened a can of worms when he said this during the sermon on the mount: "When you pray, do not keep babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." (Matthew 6:7-8)

You can't really blame anybody for hearing that and then asking...

If God already knows everything, why do we need to tell him ANYthing?

I am encouraged in the midst of this by thinking about Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane before his arrest. Jesus was dreading the torture and isolation ("My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?") that was just around the corner. He fervently prayed for it not to happen. And yet, he knew that it was for this very purpose that he left his home in heaven, emptied himself of his godly rights and privileges, and took on the fullness of humanity's limitations and challenges.

He poured out all his anxiety from the deepest part of his heart until he was able to say "yet not as I will, but as you will."

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Truth is...A lot of the time, prayer is more about changing us than changing God. If I go to God with a request, it's because I know I am incapable of making the request happen on my own. Prayer is a reminder that It's Not All About Me.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Why Pray? Part One


From the outside looking in, I'll admit that prayer really seems kind of strange.

" do what? You sit in a room and talk to the air? the ceiling for favors?"

So right off the bat, it would be good to ask the simple question posed in this post's title: Why pray?

There are a couple parables Jesus told that will help you understand why my simple, bottom-line answer is what it is.

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

The Parable of the Persistent Neighbor

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Truth is...We pray because Jesus said so.