Jesus Feeding The Five Thousand With Five Loaves And Two Fish? A True Miracle

During this evening’s Vigil Mass the Gospel reading was from John 6:1-15. In it we hear of just one of the miracles of the loaves and fishes where our Lord feeds five thousand people with only five barley loaves and two fish. After all of the people finish eating enough fragments are gathered to fill twelve baskets. The people then say that Jesus is the prophet (mentioned in Deuteronomy) and want to make him a king.

I’ve heard that there are some who believe that this event wasn’t really a miracle. Some people believe that the crowd just happened to have food that they were already carrying and began sharing it with one another. They say that perhaps there is some other explanation to explain how five thousand people were fed.

As I read this passage there is no indication that it was anything else but a miracle. It says that a large crowd followed him due to the signs he was performing. To me this is important as it shows that they were already aware that he was responsible for genuine miracles which they were clearly seeing.

Next, after he receives this small amount of food he gives thanks and distributes them among these five thousand people. After this enough fragments remained to fill twelve baskets. There is no indication in any of these accounts that some other food sources became known and were utilized. In fact, if there was a natural explanation for this surplus of food it surely would have been documented in at least one of the accounts of these events. Had there been a natural explanation for the extra food the people would not have wanted to make him a king. They wanted to do this as they recognized him as the prophet foretold in Deuteronomy 18:15-18 and they believed this as they associated the miracle they had just witnessed with the miracle of the manna. They sincerely believed that the distribution of the manna was a true miracle and not something that could be explained as a natural phenomenon. If Jesus and his disciples had found other resources for food the crowd would hardly have made the connection with this distribution of food to the miracle of the manna. If their food had been distributed from other natural, ordinary sources they would not have believed that he was a prophet and would not have wanted to make him a king. Jesus is the new Moses and they definitely understood this. I would also add that the Eucharist is even a greater miracle as our Lord continues this miracle by distributing his own body and blood to countless numbers of people under the appearances of bread and wine. If we even suggest that the miracle of the loaves and fishes is anything but a true miracle I believe that it undermines not only the miracle of the manna in the Old Testament but the miracle of the Eucharist as well.

Many thanks to Steve Ray for writing his excellent article “Loaves And Fishes” which gave me many of the ideas for this post and gave me a clearer understanding of this issue.

 

Quick Tip: How to More Easily Access ACB Media Streams On An Alexa Device

Hello. Normally, if you want to play streams from ACB Media on an Alexa device you first need to open the ACB Media skill. Think of a skill being similar to an app on your smart phone or tablet. Because the name of the skill is ACB Media you would normally say, “Open ACB Media.” Alexa will verify that the ACB Media skill has been opened and will then ask you to choose a stream from 1 through 10. Once you specify a stream number, such as ACB Media 2, the stream starts. However, once you stop the stream you have to go through the same process all over again to play an ACB Media stream.

There is a way to slightly speed up this process. You can just ask Alexa to ask ACB Media to play a specific stream. For example, you could say, “ask ACB Media to play ACB Media 3.” You can shorten this even further by just asking for the number, such as “ask ACB Media to play 4.”

I hope this helps. Happy streaming.

Youtube Video From The American Printing House For The Blind: What Is an Optacon?

The American Printing House For The Blind uploaded a video to Youtube describing and demonstrating the Optacon. This video was uploaded to Youtube three weeks ago as of this writing. The video can be accessed via the above link.

Many subscribers to this list likely have fond memories of this device and some of you may well still own and use them. I have many memories of my own learning and using one starting when I was probably in the fourth or fifth grade. I eventually was given one to use at home and I often used them to read song lyrics on record covers, which I found fascinating. One of my fondest memories was when my father bought me a Sony ICF-2002 shortwave receiver when I had started college, possibly a bit earlier. The radio was supplied with a print booklet introducing the user to shortwave radio with a list of SW bands and their frequencies. I remember reading that booklet out loud using an Optacon and recording my reading onto a cassette. Following that I slowly transcribed that book into Braille by listening to my reading of it and manually typing it onto a Perkins Brailler using Thermoform paper in order to make the Braille last longer and give it what I thought was a more professional feel. Compared to how quickly I could have performed this task today using Bookshare, Duxbury and a Braille embosser It was time-intensive but I didn’t care. I wound up with the only Braille copy of this otherwise inaccessible booklet and I remember how proud I was that I transcribed it into Braille without any sighted assistance.

I am well aware that there are people today who still miss the Optacon and some who continue to use them. In spite of the advances we have made with OCR technology there has never been anything quite like the Optacon before it or since Telesensory stopped selling them. While OCR technology does an impressive job at interpreting printed material the Optacon was unique in that we, the users, were the ones who did the interpreting. It gave us access to just about anything with print on it whether it was a newspaper or a can of soup. It’s possible that the Optacon generation became more familiar with the concept of fonts and the visual layout of a page more so than today’s generation who learn to use screen readers during kindergarten classes. In our day those of us who used the Optacon were truly the first screen readers.

While I admit that today’s OCR solutions can read printed material faster than the Optacon ever could and even though we can save the text of a novel very quickly to a computer I have always felt that it was regrettable that the Optacon never returned as I sincerely believe that it still might have a place in our modern, twenty-first century world.

Do you have memories of the Optacon that you’d like to share? Do you still own a working Optacon? Do you still use one and, if so, how do you use it today? Why is it of value to you in spite of other solutions which are available today? Feel free to leave your thoughts and memories in the comments.

Enjoy the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OzrjtAfl3Y

Recommendation For The Victor Reader Trek and Stream Second-Generation Magnetic Charging Cable From Accessible Electronics

I just received my magnetic cable from Accessible Electronics and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

This particular cable is for the second-generation Victor Stream as well as for the Victor Reader Trek. It will also accommodate other devices using a Micro USB port. It is available in lengths of 3 or 6.5 feet and, on the surface, appears like a typical charging cable with a micro USB cable connector on one end and a typical USB A connector on the other which can be inserted either into an AC plug or a computer’s USB port. However, the micro USB connector is actually a magnet which can be separated from the rest of the cable. In other words once the cable is plugged into the Victor you can pull just the cable away from the connector. The small USB connector stays into the Stream and the cable easily snaps back into the magnetic connector when you’re ready to charge the unit or connect it to a computer to transfer files to and from the Victor.

The theory is that doing this places less wear and tear on the USB connector port of the unit as well as the cable itself.

First, the magnetic connector is very unobtrusive and still allows me to easily and fully close my Executive Products case with no difficulties. If anything plugging the cable into the magnetic connector is even easier while in the case than using a standard non-magnetic cable and the connection is, as I expected, completely reliable. Not to mention that the cable with the attached connector connects to the Victor with an extremely satisfying click unlike the former cable I was using which never seemed to do this. Now that I have this new cable and a carrying case from Executive Products I am a very happy Victor Trek user.

I should also say that Humanware currently sells this case for ten dollars less. The above link will take you to the United States store. Online stores for other regions are available. Go to Humanware.com and look for the relevant pull-down menu to select a different part of the world that applies to you.

I just recently acquired my Victor Reader Trek. I will be composing a more detailed post regarding my feelings about the device along with the carrying case from Executive Products. Overall, I primarily have positive feedback about it and I do not regret my purchase.

David Goldfield,

Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist

JAWS Certified, 2019

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Email: tech-vi+subscribe

www.DavidGoldfield.org

New Group on Facebook to Discuss The Victor Reader Products From Humanware

I have created a group on Facebook for anyone to discuss Humanware’s line of Victor Reader products. This can include the Victor Reader Stream first and second generation, the Victor Reader Trek, the Victor Reader Stratus and even the Humanware Companion software as it relates to these products. Reminiscing about older Victor products such as the Victor Vibe and the Victor Wave are also fine. If you’re on Facebook just search for the group “Victor Reader Products From Humanware” and you are sure to find it. Please note that I am not a Humanware employee and this group is not an official support channel with Humanware. However, it is my hope that users will feel free to ask questions and offer support on using these products.

On a similar note there is also a Victor discussion group available on Groups.io. Please note that I did not create this particular mailing list but I am a subscriber. To subscribe to the Victor list you can send an email to

Victor+subscribe

David Goldfield,

Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist

JAWS Certified, 2019

Subscribe to the Tech-VI announcement list to receive emails regarding news and events in the blindness assistive technology field.

Email: tech-vi+subscribe

www.DavidGoldfield.org