From DSC:
Check out this very cool news from my friend and Bible Study fellow — Mr. Patrick Mohney, President of SEA Biofuels, LLC

 

SEA-BiofuelDotCom-march2013

This is really amazing.

First of all, people in the developing world, even today, use either campfires or some other smokey cooking system.  This type of cooking is the norm for three billion people today, this leads to millions of deaths per year, as well as a leading contributor of greenhouse gases.  Also, I learned that in some parts of the world, women that normally collect the cooking fuel, are the subject of physical violence and rape as they collect fuel in a territory that another clan, family or tribe feel belongs to them.  I hear these things and think, “Seriously, we have to fix this!”

We could fix this, if we had a clean and environmentally friendly alternative fuel that they could afford.  Now we have just that.  We make fuel from excess agricultural waste like rice husks, coconut shells or almost any woody bio-material.

The stove-fuel combo is the most efficient in the world, but the reason that I am excited about it, is that it is less expensive to operate for the consumer than the alternative fuels.  As it turns out, people that use wood or charcoal to cook with, usually pay for it, and it is not cheap.  Our fuel is usually half to three quarters of the price of the status quo fuel at retail to the consumer.  This is why our stove and fuel is presently the only option that is scale-able and can help millions, or billions of people.

I know you are busy, but we can solve this for half of the worlds people, if you could just pass this on or make some noise.  Like us on FB.

Our mission statement is, “Be a Blessing to others and you will be Blessed”.

God Bless you and your family.

Patrick Mohney
President
SEA Biofuels, LLC

 


From DSC and Patrick:
Contribute something today — make the world a better place to live in.

 

What is Maundy Thursday?
What do Christians celebrate on Maundy Thursday?

Excerpt:

Maundy Thursday is observed during Holy Week on the Thursday before Easter. Also referred to as “Holy Thursday” or “Great Thursday” in some Christian denominations, Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper when Jesus shared the Passover meal with his disciples on the night before he was crucified. In contrast to joyful Easter celebrations when Christians worship their resurrected Savior, Maundy Thursday services are typically more solemn occasions, marked by the shadow of Jesus’ betrayal.

What Does “Maundy” Mean?
Derived from the Latin word mandatum, meaning “commandment,” Maundy refers to the commands Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper: to love with humility by serving one another and to remember his sacrifice (emphasis here and purchased/modified graphic below from DSC).

 

 

MaundyThursday-March2013

 

Matthew 16:15-16 (NIV) — from biblegateway.com

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Coop’s Column – Royally Welcomed — by Dale Cooper

 

….the whole multitude of disciples began to praise God joyfully with
a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying:
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven.” (Luke 19.37-38)

 

Excerpt:

I give the rest of this column to Jorge Bergoglio, former archbishop of Buenos Aires, recently elected as Pope Francis I. In his Palm Sunday 2008 address to his Argentine flock,  the Archbishop declared: 

“Today, here in Buenos Aires, like in Jerusalem on that day, the street made way for Jesus. The street received Him properly. The crowd stood, begged for blessings, blessings for their families, blessings for their businesses, their houses, their autos…  Blessing, what does that [really] mean? [It means] that Jesus “speak well” of something, that He approach! That He enter families, hearts, homes, autos, businesses…Jesus out in the street, interacting with the crowd…There. His desire is, just as the gates of the city were opened to Him, the same is done with the doors to our hearts. Every Holy Week He asks the same thing: “Open your heart to Me. I’m not here to mortify you! I’m not here to boss you around! I’m not here to take anything from you…I’m here to give you everything. I want to make you happy.” That’s what He’s telling us. If we slam the doors to our hearts in His face, He suffers. Although He is used to it, He suffers. And we lose the opportunity to become happy.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 — from Bible Gateway’s Verse of the Day

But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

From DSC:
I appreciate Kevin Wheeler’s comment on Jay Cross’ posting entitled “A Solution to the College Crisis” (emphasis below from DSC)

In response to Jay Cross:

Higher education in the United States is broken. Costs are ouf of control. Students are dissatisfied. Graduates can’t get jobs. Says MIT’s Andy McAfee, “What’s going on is halfway between a bubble and a scandal.” I propose we put higher ed back on track by founding Corporate Colleges. Corporate colleges break higher […]

Jay,

As you know I have written a book on Corporate Universities and have spent many years at the “coal face” of learning, work and formal education. What you propose is actually what many corporate universities are offering today (except for your funding approach). It works well at the professional levels where people already have skills and degrees but seek additional competence.

it works much less well with entry level folks and people with minimal education. Many of these folks lack basic skills or are functionally illiterate. Some are reluctant to sink time into learning, especially if it reduces pay. Many have social issues and have had bad experiences learning in school. They are not predisposed to learn in any way that looks like learning.

They need personal attention, work-based apprentice-like education, and a tremendous amount of coaching with consistent motivation or interest falls off. It is a dilema that technology works much less well at this level and therefore costs for coaching go up while the benefit to a corporation is minimal. Most organizations would rather invest in those who are already performing than try and educate entry-level or marginal folks.

Everything you propose makes perfect sense, but it is damn hard to get it to work in reality.

.

From DSC:
This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been trying to address — if people don’t like learning, it will be very hard to get them to become lifelong learners (something that has become a requirement these days). 

To those of us working within K-12 and/or higher education:

One of the greatest gifts that we can possibly give to our students is a chance for them to identify and develop their God-given passions, interests, and abilities.  If we create the “space” for this to occur, an enormous amount of internal energy and will power will be released.

Check out this video for a perfect example of this!!!

.

 

IfStudentsDesignedTheirOwnSchools-March2013

 

To those folks working within the corporate world:

How can your organization’s culture be tweaked to better support people and their development?  This might be putting more resources towards helping internal employees develop their own learning ecosystems — based upon their interests, passions, career goals — and/or hiring entry-level folks and then helping develop them.  Besides helping to make the world a better place, this approach just might just turn out to be a solid business move.

Passion-Based Learning Conference: Spartans Connect II — from ryanbretag.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Just like the past two years ago, we asked our students and faculty what they are passionate about. But we didn’t stop there. As Dan Pink said, “If people tap their strengths, and use them in the service of something larger than themselves, passion will take care of itself.” So we asked questions like these:

  • What do you do for fun?
  • What are your interests?
  • How do you spend your free time?
  • What do you love doing – something you get lost in, find flow with?
  • What are you passionate about.

The Lord Speaks

38 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

“Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?

“Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt’?

12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
and their upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.

19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
for days of war and battle?
24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no one lives,
an uninhabited desert,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen?

31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?
Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons
or lead out the Bear with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom
or gives the rooster understanding?
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
and the clods of earth stick together?

39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?

 

From DSC:
THIS is what it could look like if students OWNED their own learning and could pursue their own passions! — A powerful piece!
Well worth your time if you are involved with — or concerned about — education in any way, shape, or form.

The video starts off with this troubling/deep assertion by a student (which I’m sure varies in actuality across the board):

  • “It’s crazy that…in a system that is meant to teach…and to help the youth, there is NO voice from the youth at all.”

 

IfStudentsDesignedTheirOwnSchools-March2013

 

From DSC:
A few radical — but powerful ideas — to help students OWN their own learning (something that they will need for the rest of their lives):

  • More choice, more control
  • Research what you want to research — “The most important thing about your question is that you ACTUALLY  WANT to know the answer.”
  • Students pursue their own passions — be that an interest in music, art, science, aviation, or in another discipline.
  • Student present their findings to each other — which involves more of a team-based approach (i.e. peer pressure in a positive way here, strongly encouraging each other to do their best work so as not to let others down)
  • Peer evaluation
  • No quizzes
  • No grades
  • Often no adults in the room; if adults are there, they are acting more as guides and facilitators
  • Multiple types of “assignments”/activities — some individualistic, some group work, some long-term

A couple of questions kept running through the back of my mind:

  • Did they hand select these particular students for this program?
  • If so, what were the predominant characteristics of those students?

 

 

With that said, this is a very powerful piece — well worth your time to check out.

 

 

Unswervingly resolute — from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship / Coop’s Column by Dale Cooper

 

Description of column:

This week we join Jesus and his disciples at a spot just outside the city of Jericho. They’ve made their way southward from the Mount of Transfiguration a week or so earlier and are now at a place a few miles west of the city where two important roads intersect. One road leads west toward Jerusalem and the other north toward Galilee. That intersection, and the choice of which road to take, became something of a crossroads’ moment for Jesus.

 

Prayer [DSC’s prayer for sure]

“O Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Establish my heart in your will.
Grant me true repentance for my sins;….
To You, my God….be praise and glory forever
For all the benefits you have given me,
And for all Your mercies to me, a sinner,
For your name’s sake.
Amen.”

 

1 John 4:9

1 John 4:9

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

Landscape photography: 10 beautiful examples — from  creativebloq.com

Example:

 Vincent Piotrowski

On a Yellow Stripe Road by Vincent Piotrowski

From DSC:
This beautiful picture brings some scripture — Genesis 9:12-16 — to my mind:

12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

 

ArtStart-Feb2013

From DSC:
Some very frustrated reflections after reading:

Excerpt:

Right now, boys are falling out of the kindergarten through 12th grade educational pipeline in ways that we can hardly imagine.

 

This situation continues to remind me of the oil spill in the Gulf (2010), where valuable resources spilled into the water untapped — later causing some serious issues:
.

From DSC:
What are we doing?!!! We’ve watched the dropout rates grow — it doesn’t seem we’ve changed our strategies nearly enough! But the point that gets lost in this is that we will all pay for these broken strategies — and for generations to come!  It’s time to seriously move towards identifying and implementing some new goals.

What should the new goals look like? Here’s my take on at least a portion of a new vision for K-12 — and collegiate — education:

  • Help students identify their God-given gifts and then help them build up their own learning ecosystems to support the development of those gifts. Hook them up with resources that will develop students’ abilities and passions.
    .
  • Part of their learning ecosystems could be to help them enter into — and build up — communities of practice around subjects that they enjoy learning about. Those communities could be local, national, or international. (Also consider the creation of personalized learning agents, as these become more prevalent/powerful.)
    .
  • Do everything we can to make learning enjoyable and foster a love of learning — as we need lifelong learners these days.
    (It doesn’t help society much if students are dropping out of K-12 or if people struggle to make it through graduation — only to then harbor ill feelings towards learning/education in general for years to come.  Let’s greatly reduce the presence/usage of standardized tests — they’re killing us!  They don’t seem to be producing long-term positive results. I congratulate the recent group of teachers who refused to give their students such tests; and I greatly admire them for getting rid of a losing strategy.)

    .
  • Give students more choice, more control over what their learning looks like; let them take their own paths as much as possible (provide different ways to meet the same learning objective is one approach…but perhaps we need to think beyond/bigger than that. The concern/fear arises…but how will we manage this? That’s where a good share of our thinking should be focused; generating creative answers to that question.)
    .
  • Foster curiosity and wonder
    .
  • Provide cross-disciplinary assignments/opportunities
    .
  • Let students work on/try to resolve real issues in their communities
    .
  • Build up students’ appreciation of faith, hope, love, empathy, and a desire to make the world a better place. Provide ways that they can contribute.
    .
  • Let students experiment more — encourage failure.
    .

 

Psalm 100 (NIV)

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

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