Psalms 16:1-2 — from bible.com

Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

 

Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

From DSC:
I get this piece of scripture…big time.

In the early fall of my senior year in college, I wanted to be sure that the LORD wasn’t a hoax. I didn’t want to commit the rest of my life to Him if He wasn’t real. From that point on, until a Maundy Thursday service at the Alice Millar Chapel on NU’s campus the next spring, I felt that the LORD was 10,000 miles away from me. I couldn’t hear Him or sense Him. I won’t go into details, but it turned out that the LORD was definitely at work. He was changing my identity (though it felt more like a ripping away of my identity) from an athlete to one of His adopted children. I’m glad He was at work, but I wouldn’t want to relive that year ever again.

 

1 Peter 3:8 NIV — from my.bible.com

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

 

Discovering Autism and Community Later in Life — from aane.org by Brenda Dater, Executive Director

Excerpt:

This month we are discussing autism and aging. Many older adults in AANE’s community were children in the 1950s, 60s and 70s when the diagnosis of autism as we understand it today didn’t exist. Some were misdiagnosed with conditions like childhood schizophrenia, but many were just harmfully labeled as odd or having behavior problems. Because of the lack of awareness and understanding about autism, many have come to their diagnosis, or self-understanding, in their fifties, sixties, seventies and beyond, often after many years of being misunderstood or not fitting in at school, work, or socially. The stories they tell about feeling relief to have an explanation for their experience and finally…finally feeling like they belong warms my heart.

 

Genesis 9:12-16

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.”
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Summer landscape with wheat field, road and a beautiful rainbow

 

16 Wash and make yourselves clean.
    Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
    stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    plead the case of the widow.

From DSC:
Obviously, all of this goes for me as well. I constantly thank the LORD for His patience with me as well as His grace and forgiveness. I often seek His help, wisdom, and strength. Anyway, the above verse caught my eye due to Isaiah’s focus on justice and to seeing that justice is had by all.

And those reflections caused me to think about what the church is all about — at least for me. This brought to mind an old pastor friend of mine who once exclaimed, “The church is a hospital.”

Wow. That thought hit me powerfully. And you know what? I agree with him.

My pastor friend said that the church is a hospital -- and I agree with him

“The church” is a place for “sick” people who are in need of hope, healing, teaching, support, forgiveness, grace, love, wisdom, community, and more. Besides a place to worship the LORD, those are some of the reasons why I continue to go to church.

12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.


Along these lines, I’m trying to figure out what the LORD wants me to do (during this next year and beyond). I want to make a contribution. For those who pray out there, I could use your prayers on where He wants me to plug in.

 
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
 

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

From DSC:
Being transformed in our thinking is one of the LORD’s key goals for us and one of the areas where He is active in our lives. (Also see Romans 12:2.) Our thinking impacts many things, including our behaviors, attitudes, and perspectives.

But my reflection here is especially meant for new believers in Christ. This process of transformation takes time. Don’t expect immediate changes in some areas of your life. After you received Christ into your heart, you may doubt that anything has changed. But you will begin to see the world, God, and others differently over time. (Reading scripture regularly helps this process along.)

 

What Can We Learn from Barnes & Noble’s Surprising Turnaround? — from tedgioia.substack.com by Ted Gioia
Digital platforms are struggling, meanwhile a 136-year-old book retailer is growing again. But why?

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Daunt refused to play this game. He wanted to put the best books in the window. He wanted to display the most exciting books by the front door. Even more amazing, he let the people working in the stores make these decisions.

This is James Daunt’s super power: He loves books.

But I almost hate to say it, because the lesson is so simple.

If you want to sell music, you must love those songs. If you want to succeed in journalism, you must love those newspapers. If you want to succeed in movies, you must love the cinema.

But this kind of love is rare nowadays. I often see record labels promote new artists for all sorts of gimmicky reasons—even labels I once trusted such as Deutsche Grammophon or Concord. I’ve come to doubt whether the people in charge really love the music.

 

 

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 

 

Luke 1:76-78 

76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Luke 2:8-14

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 

Thriving education systems, thriving youth — from events.economist.com by Economist Impact

Some of the key topics to be discussed include:

  • What are the challenges in how we measure learning outcomes today, and how does this need to transform?
  •  What is a learning ecosystem? What does a successful learning ecosystem look like?  
  • What factors enable the development of thriving learning ecosystems?  
  • Who are the key stakeholders that make up the learning ecosystem? How do different stakeholders see their role in the learning ecosystem?
  • Which national policies need to be in place to support effective education ecosystems?
  • What information and data do we need to assess how well learning ecosystems are performing?
  • What data do we need to collect so that we don’t perpetuate traditional approaches to defining and measuring success? 

 
 

Nehemiah 9:6 — from biblegateway.com

You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

Neula captured by the Hubble

 

The Justice Gap: The Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-income Americans — from the Legal Services Corporation

Legal Services Corporation’s 2022 Justice Gap Report provides a comprehensive look at the differences between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs. LSC’s study found that low-income Americans do not get the help they need for 92% of their civil legal problems, even though 74% of low-income households face at least one civil legal issue in a single year.

The consequences that result from a lack of appropriate counsel can be life-altering – low-income Americans facing civil legal problems can lose their homes, children and healthcare, among other things. Help can be hard to access, so LSC is working to bridge this “justice gap” by providing pro bono civil legal aid for those in need. Find out more about LSC’s work to ensure equal justice for all by tuning in to the rest of the Justice Gap video series.

For more information on the Justice Gap, visit https://justicegap.lsc.gov/.

Also relevant/see:

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Legal Services Corporation’s 2022 Justice Gap Report provides a comprehensive look at the differences between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian