Romans 12:12 (New International Version)

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

 

Romans 14:11

It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

Job 19:25

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.

Psalm 5:1-3

For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David.

Listen to my words, Lord,
    consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to you I pray.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly.

 

1 Chronicles 29:10-11 — from biblegateway.com

David’s Prayer

10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,

“Praise be to you, Lord,
    the God of our father Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
    and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
    for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
    you are exalted as head over all.


Why do the nations conspire[a]
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with a rod of iron[b];
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.

 

Isaiah 53:3-6 New International Version

3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

Matthew 27:45-51 New International Version

The Death of Jesus

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[c] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[d]

47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

What is the Significance of the Curtain Tearing in Two in the Temple? | Breaking Down the Bible

Luke 24:1-8 New International Version 

Jesus Has Risen

24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

Psalm 62:5-8 New International Version

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God[a];
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.

 

Jeremiah 17:7-8

7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
8 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.”

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Isaiah 25:1

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.

James 1:17

17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

John 3:27

27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.

Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

 

…that doesn’t mean everyone is having an easy time of it. Some Americans feel increasingly pressured by the surge in the cost of carrying their debt. Delinquency rates on their credit card debt and auto loans are now at the highest in more than a decade.

Just a serious note of caution for you and for your future families. 


And speaking of youth and personal finances — and seeing as it’s tax time — also see:

Topic no. 501, Should I itemize?

Deductions reduce the amount of your taxable income. In general, individuals not in a trade or business or an activity for profit, may take a standard deduction or itemize their deductions.

You should itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040), Itemized Deductions if the total amount of your allowable itemized deductions is greater than your standard deduction or if you must itemize deductions because you can’t use the standard deduction. You may also want to itemize deductions if your standard deduction is limited because another taxpayer claims you as a dependent. Itemized deductions, subject to certain dollar limitations, include amounts you paid, during the taxable year, for state and local income or sales taxes, real property taxes, personal property taxes, mortgage interest, disaster losses, gifts to charities, and part of the amount you paid for medical and dental expenses.

 

Immersive virtual reality tackles depression stigma says study — from inavateonthenet.net

A new study from the University of Tokyo has highlighted the positive effect that immersive virtual reality experiences have for depression anti-stigma and knowledge interventions compared to traditional video.

The study found that depression knowledge improved for both interventions, however, only the immersive VR intervention reduced stigma. The VR-powered intervention saw depression knowledge score positively associated with a neural response in the brain that is indicative of empathetic concern. The traditional video intervention saw the inverse, with participants demonstrating a brain-response which suggests a distress-related response.

From DSC:
This study makes me wonder why we haven’t heard of more VR-based uses in diversity training. I’m surprised we haven’t heard of situations where we are put in someone else’s mocassins so to speak. We could have a lot more empathy for someone — and better understand their situation — if we were to experience life as others might experience it. In the process, we would likely uncover some hidden biases that we have.


Addendum on 3/12/24:

Augmented reality provides benefit for Parkinson’s physical therapy — from inavateonthenet.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 John 3:18 (New International Version)

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Psalm 120:1 (New International Version)

A song of ascents.
I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.

 

This Teaching Routine Takes Just 5 Minutes. Its Impact Lasts Much Longer — from edweek.org by Elizabeth Heubeck

Second grade teacher Kaylee Hutcheson greets her students as they enter their classroom to start their day at Hawthorne Elementary School in Mexico, Mo., on Feb. 14, 2024.

 

From DSC:
After reading the book entitled “Love & Hate” by Bill Halamandaris — a book about Henri Landwirth, the founder of the Give Kids the World Village — and “On Purpose” by Pamela Landwirth, I was struck with several thoughts. Below are just some of them:

  • There is enormous power in a vision.
  • People want purpose and meaning in their lives. They want their lives to count. To matter.
  • People want to work for an organization that is concretely making the world a better place in which to live.
  • People want to buy from businesses that are making a positive contribution to the world.
  • Both love and hate are powerful. But let’s choose to go forward with love.
  • Parents, grandparents, and/or other guardians of critically-ill children carry enormous, hidden burdens. Let’s try to notice those burdens and help them out.
  • Life is precious.

Let's remember this -- Despite what we may hear and see, life is precious.


From DSC:
Recently, a group from our church went to serve down at the Give Kids the World Village, in Kissimee, Florida. I wanted to relay the specialness of this place and say a few words about the Founder of the Give Kids the World Village: a man by the name of Henri Landwirth. Over the last few weeks in the Orlando area, the Holy Spirit helped me to think about the power of a vision, as both Walt Disney and Henri Landwirth were visionaries.

But first, it’s important to note that Henri survived FIVE concentration camps during WWII. He had no name there. He was known only as B4343.

Henri:

  • Was in concentration camps from ages 13-18
  • He lost both of his parents to acts of mass murder
  • Henri survived FIVE YEARS of hunger, torture, and horrendous conditions
  • He faced what looked like certain death several times

Yet as I was reading the book entitled “Love & Hate”, I kept wondering if I was seeing the fingerprints of God on Henri’s life.

After the war, Henri went in search of former Nazis, for whom he was filled with hatred. And while I don’t have time to relay the fateful day that changed Henri’s perspective and his life, the bottom line was that he didn’t want to become like his former captors the Nazis. Surprisingly and amazingly, he chose love, not hate.

Fast forward to Henri’s coming to America, working very hard, and climbing up the ladder of the Holiday Inn organization.

Then fast forward even further to the time Henri was looking for a location to build his vision. Quoting from page 139:

Henri took his checkbook and began looking for a location for Give Kids the World Village. He found it almost immediately in Kissimmee. When Henry looked at the lot, he could already see the Village there. Where others might have seen rows of burned orange trees and wetlands, Henri saw villages, a place for kids to fish, and a castle. “I could see it all,” Henri says, “as if my dream had already come to life.”

A few last notable things about the Give Kids the World Village:

  • According to the book by Bill Halamandaris, the Village was built with ZERO CONTRACTS and NO ADVERTISEMENTS from those who helped create the village! This is underheard of for $60+ million worth of facilities and the millions of dollars’ worth of donated services.
  • The Village has thousands of volunteers and it takes 160 volunteers per day to keep it running
  • Since 1986, Give Kids The World Village has welcomed more than 188,000 families from all 50 states and 77 countries.

So I want to leave you with the idea that we were witnesses of – and participants in – the tremendous power of a vision.

 

For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Proverbs 31:8-9 New International Version

8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 13:34-35 (New International Version)

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Psalm 145:8-14 New International Version

8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

9 The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.[a]
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.

 

Resisting the Youth Sports Industrial Complex — from educationnext.org by Jonathan V. Last; via the The Top 20 Education Next Articles of 2023 from educationnext.org
Children’s sports are corrupted, but parents don’t have to play along

Excerpt (emphasis by DSC):

That’s the point of Linda Flanagan’s Take Back the Game, a book about the corruption of youth sports. It should be required reading for every parent. It should be handed out in the hospital along with What to Expect the First Year and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.

Flanagan, a journalist and former running coach, has pulled off a rare trick: she diagnoses a societal sickness, traces the roots of the malady, and prescribes a cure.

The problem is that we have a Youth Sports Industrial Complex that forces kids into single-sport specialization before they hit middle school. It demands that children be involved in (expensive) club and travel sports programs starting in elementary school.

Her first dictum is to delay entry into organized sports as long as possible. Don’t sign them up for pee-wee soccer to get a jump on the club scene—send them out into the yard to kick the ball around. Have a catch with them. Shoot baskets. Let them tumble and do cartwheels in the grass. As Flanagan says, “Just let them play.”

Another key precept from Flanagan: The family is more important than kids’ sports.

Perhaps the most valuable lesson from Take Back the Game is that parents have agency.

 

Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. — from letter.visualgrowth.com by Ash Lamb
If you let other people plant those seeds for you, the garden, no matter how big or colorful, won’t be yours, it’ll be someone else’s.

Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds.

Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds.

What you think, you become.
.

Here’s a powerful mantra.

“I won’t outsource my thinking.”

Don’t let that popular influencer decide how you present yourself to the world.

Don’t allow some generic business guru to decide what type of business you should be focusing on.


From DSC:
I thought that Ash Lamb had some solid points here. And as I’ve read the Scriptures through the years, I’ve realized that ideas are like seeds. Like seeds, ideas can:

  • start small
  • take root
  • grow
  • become powerful, while transforming something bit by bit

So ideas can start small and be fragile. Many get squashed and never make it. And others don’t have healthy soil in which to grow. But other seeds grow roots. 

I’ve learned that we are transformed when our THINKING is transformed.

Here are just a couple of verses of scripture that emphasize that point:

When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

So ideas and thoughts/ways of thinking can be good/helpful or bad/not helpful. I just like the point that Ash Lamb made — to NOT outsource our thinking to others.

NOTE: The above thoughts aren’t just about our spiritual lives. People working in many types of organizations have witnessed some of these dynamics/phenomena with new ideas as well.

 
 
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