From DSC:
I started today (Friday, April 10th) out by reading the Verse of the Day from BibleGateway.com — Romans 5:6-8 (NIV):

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless,
Christ died for the ungodly.
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person,
though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

It took me a while to grasp why Christians call this day “Good Friday,” as it represents one of the darkest days in history. “What’s so good about it?!” I often wondered. For we Christians believe that our LORD Jesus Christ had to knowingly go forth into a very hostile situation, upset the power structures of the day, and knowingly and willingly journey into His own torturous, pain-filled murder. A murder that would pay a price, a debt that He didn’t owe. He paid for that price for us…for our sins.. for me…for my sins. It was our/my debt to pay, not His.

And what’s more…Christ, hanging on the cross, experienced the feelings that God had forsaken Him. If you’ve ever had those feelings and that experience, it is a deep, dark, lonely place. Everyone else and everything else feels like a million miles away. It’s a place of being in one of — if not THEE — harshest deserts that life can throw at us.

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”  (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34)

But Jesus Christ did pay the price. He completed the work that He was sent to Earth to do. By doing what He did, Jesus Christ tore down the obstacles of us being in relationship with — and in direct communication with — our Heavenly Father.

So that IS good news. It’s because of what the LORD Jesus did on the cross that Christians say that this is a “Good Friday.” 

Thank you LORD for YOU!
Thank you for your grace, courage, strength,
forgiveness, and for your extravagant love!
On this day we remember what you did for us.

And on Sunday, let us exclaim:

 

NYC classrooms cancel Zoom after trolls make ‘Zoombombing’ a thing — from thenextweb.com by Bryan Clark

From DSC:
I’m a sinner. I know that all too well. But I’m tagging this with ethics, morals, and matters of the heart because I don’t have a tag for “I’m bumbed out that a solid technology gets ruined by a few bad apples.” It’s not the technology’s fault, per se. It has everything to do with the human heart….whether we like to admit/recognize it or not.

Also see:

“Zoombombing problems are more likely to occur for online events for which the link is circulated widely, or even posted on a public website.” (source)
 

From DSC:
A reminder to myself, and perhaps it will help someone else out there as well…

Philippians 4:8 (NIV) — from biblegateway.com

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

 

Not sure why, but Daniel Willingham’s words come to my mind:
“Memory is the residue of thought.”

Plus, I ran across this graphic as well:

 

Psalm 25:4-5 New International Version (NIV) — from biblegateway.com

Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.

 

Six quick— but very important— points about Coronavirus and poverty in the US –– from commondreams.org by Bill Quigley; with thanks to a colleague at WMU-Cooley Law School for her message on this.
The most vulnerable among us simply do not have the same options as the most privileged.

Excerpts:

In the United States, tens of millions of people are at a much greater risk of getting sick from the coronavirus than others.  The most vulnerable among us do not have the option to comply with suggestions to stay home from work or work remotely. Most low wage workers do not have any paid sick days and cannot do their work from home.  The over two million people in jails and prisons each night do not have these options nor do the half a million homeless people.

One.  Thirty-four million workers do not have a single day of paid sick leave. Even though most of the developed world gives its workers paid sick leave there is no federal law requiring it for workers.

Two.  Low wage workers and people without a paid sick day have to continue to work to survive.

Three.  About 30 million people in the US do not have health insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Four.  Staying home is not an option for the homeless.

Five.  Nearly 2.2 million people are in jails and prisons every day, the highest rate in the world.

Six.  Solutions?  [The article lists several.]

 

Isaiah 25:1 (NIV) — from biblegateway.com

Praise to the Lord

25 Lord, you are my God;
    I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
    you have done wonderful things,
    things planned long ago.

 

Psalm 34:18 New International Version (NIV) — from biblegateway.com

18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Proverbs 17:9 New International Version (NIV) — from biblegateway.com

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
    but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

 

An Existential Crisis in Neuroscience — from by Grigori Guitchounts
We’re mapping the brain in amazing detail—but our brain can’t understand the picture.

Excerpt:

Neuroscientists have made considerable progress toward understanding brain architecture and aspects of brain function. We can identify brain regions that respond to the environment, activate our senses, generate movements and emotions. But we don’t know how different parts of the brain interact with and depend on each other. We don’t understand how their interactions contribute to behavior, perception, or memory. Technology has made it easy for us to gather behemoth datasets, but I’m not sure understanding the brain has kept pace with the size of the datasets.

From DSC:
The word “mystery” comes to my mind when I read parts of this thought-provoking article — as does the phrase “Glory to God!. 

As I’ve watched my mom slowly leave us due to Alzheimer’s (as did my grandma on her side) and as I’ve watched my good friend prepare to leave us due to cancer, I’m also reminded to be grateful for the people in my life when they’re still there. Plus, I’m reminded to be thankful for good health when I have it. It may be cliche, but it’s true. And I’ll end this posting with another one:

“One doesn’t know the worth of water until the well’s run dry.”

 

Merry Christmas!

 

From DSC:
To those who celebrate it, Merry Christmas to you and to yours!

 

 

Merry Christmas all!

From DSC:
Before people start heading out of Dodge, I wanted to wish those of you who celebrate it, a very Merry Christmas! May you and yours enjoy some moments of deep peace this holiday season. And may you share some meaningful, wonderful time with those you love.

I’m grateful to our heavenly Father for His numerous gifts — especially for the gift of His Son, our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ!

 
 

Genesis 1:21 New International Version (NIV)

21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

 

 

Uh-oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system — from fastcompany.com by Mike Elgan
In China, scoring citizens’ behavior is official government policy. U.S. companies are increasingly doing something similar, outside the law.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Have you heard about China’s social credit system? It’s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” according to the Chinese government.

In place since 2014, the social credit system is a work in progress that could evolve by next year into a single, nationwide point system for all Chinese citizens, akin to a financial credit score. It aims to punish for transgressions that can include membership in or support for the Falun Gong or Tibetan Buddhism, failure to pay debts, excessive video gaming, criticizing the government, late payments, failing to sweep the sidewalk in front of your store or house, smoking or playing loud music on trains, jaywalking, and other actions deemed illegal or unacceptable by the Chinese government.

IT CAN HAPPEN HERE
Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.

Here are some of the elements of America’s growing social credit system.

 

If current trends hold, it’s possible that in the future a majority of misdemeanors and even some felonies will be punished not by Washington, D.C., but by Silicon Valley. It’s a slippery slope away from democracy and toward corporatocracy.

 

From DSC:
Who’s to say what gains a citizen points and what subtracts from their score? If one believes a certain thing, is that a plus or a minus? And what might be tied to someone’s score? The ability to obtain food? Medicine/healthcare? Clothing? Social Security payments? Other?

We are giving a huge amount of power to a handful of corporations…trust comes into play…at least for me. Even internally, the big tech co’s seem to be struggling as to the ethical ramifications of what they’re working on (in a variety of areas). 

Is the stage being set for a “Person of Interest” Version 2.0?

 

Philippians 2:5-11 New International Version (NIV) — from biblegateway.com

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

 

Mark 1:1-4 New International Version (NIV)

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God,[b]as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way”[c]
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”[d]

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

 

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