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Tag: James 1:5

brain and artificial intelligence

Avoiding Mind Tricks

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing,” said Greek philosopher Socrates. We can think we are so smart, but our brains are easily fooled. The boys and I binge-watched some old episodes of Brain Games. While a dance crew preformed their routine, the audience had to count how many times the dancers stepped into a circle. Because of their focus on the ring, over fifty percent of the crowd missed a large penguin strolling casually across the stage. The next segment showed how our brains make assumptions about shading. The host showed a Rubik’s cube where the center color on the shadowed side appeared orange, but on the unshadowed top, the center square looked brown. When the squares were moved next to each other, they turned out to be both brown, but the shadow tricks us.

In psychology labs, I was warned against many different types of bias that could alter results. Here are a few I remember:

Selection bias – over or underrepresenting certain people groups in the sample.

Observation bias – where participants in the sample group are aware of being watched and alter their answers or how they act (consciously or unconsciously).

Confirmation bias – researchers (consciously or unconsciously) look for results or patterns to agree with their opinions or conjecture.

Between biases and mind tricks, it seems our logic often can be flawed. We’re disillusioned into relying on reasoning skills to guide us, but truth is, humans are easily deceived, which makes the devil’s job a lot easier.

If the brain isn’t reliable, then what about our feelings? Perhaps we should let our hearts be our guide. Yet, anyone who’s thought they’d met Mr. Right only to get dumped knows the heart can be capricious at best.

Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that appears right, but in the end, it leads to death.” When we live by logic or emotions, we can easily be led astray. If we don’t know God’s wisdom and plan for our lives, then we’ll wind up settling for a secular counterfeit. Feelings and rational thought can become the idols we sacrifice ourselves on.  However, the bible says, fear of the Lord leads to wisdom (Proverbs 15:33), and if we ask God for wisdom, it will be given to us (James 1:5).

If we seek Godly wisdom, we can walk in our purpose with confidence. But how do we know when wisdom comes from God? James 3:13 says it will show with deeds done in humility and a good life, and in verse 17, James states, “The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

God has a plan for us, but so does the world. God’s plan is to give us life to the full, but the world’s plan will leave us empty. We can choose life and to be life-giving.

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Mel Gibson as William Wallace in the movie Braveheart

What is Your Battle Cry?

“Freedom!” was the epic battle cry William Wallace (played by Mel Gibson Mel Gibson as William Wallace in Braveheartin the movie Braveheart) that stirred his ragtag group of Scottish warriors. “Remember the Alamo!” was shouted by General Sam Houston, after the deaths of Texas independence fighters who held out for thirteen days outmanned and outgunned in a mission house called the Alamo. The cry rallied his troops against the superior Mexican army and reminded them of Texan courage under fire. “Give me liberty or give me death,” was spoken by Patrick Henry to raise a militia and fight against British tyrannical rule. It soon became the colonial minutemen battle cry as they marched under banners that read “Liberty or Death.”

A New Battle Cry

At the start of each year, I ask God to give me a new battle cry or a new focus. God may be able to offer some people a phrase or an entire prophecy but I’ve learned I can only handle a word or two. Last year mine was in-tune. I’d like to say I honed in on God, that I keyed in on His wavelength, but I was more like the talking dogs in the movie Up. One-minute God and I are having a great moment and then … squirrel. It was a yearlong growing process where I learned tuning-in also meant tuning some things out.

A Daily Ask.

For 2019, James 1:5 has come to my attention. “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for owlasking.” In the past when I’ve read this I’ve always prayed, God help me to understand this specific circumstance, or what to say to this specific person, or what to write for this blog. However, it struck me that praying for wisdom shouldn’t be based solely on circumstances. It should be a daily ask. And since God’s ways are higher than our ways, wouldn’t we want to daily ask for wisdom to align our mind and logic with His?

Don’t Wait for Wisdom. Seek It.

Don’t just wait around for God to drop a wisdom bomb on you. It should be something that we seek out. Proverbs 2: 3-5 says,

    “Indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
    and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
    then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.”

The book of Proverbs is an entire book of the Bible dedicated to wisdom and it has thirty-one chapters which happens to be one for every day of the month. It’s as if God knows we need a daily dose. 

If we ask, God has made it clear that He is willing to provide. When Solomon requested wisdom instead of riches, long life, or death to his enemies, it reads to me as if God was giddy to supply it. God told Solomon in 1 Kings 3:10-14, “I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life!”

I can picture God with a big triumphant smile, pumping his fist and saying, “Atta-boy.”

Now, you probably won’t see me riding horseback, my face painted half blue, and raising my fist in the air and shouting, “WISDOM!” But, I am giddy myself when I think of what God is going to provide and how it will impact 2019 and the years to come. 

What is your word for this year? What is your Battle cry? Fight song? What is God putting on our heart? Ask for wisdom and our generous God will give it to you.

Wishing you a wise and wonderful 2019!

Happy New Year!

Intelligence  Vs. Wisdom
Here’s a profound post I found on the difference between Intelligence and Wisdom.

1. Intelligence leads to arguments.
Wisdom leads to settlements.

2. Intelligence is power of will.
Wisdom is power OVER will.

3. Intelligence is heat, it burns.
Wisdom is warmth, it comforts.

4. Intelligence is pursuit of knowledge, it tires the seeker.
Wisdom is pursuit of truth, it inspires the seeker.

5. Intelligence is holding on.
Wisdom is letting go.

6. Intelligence leads you.
Wisdom guides you.

7. An intelligent man thinks he knows everything.
A wise man knows that there is still something to learn.

8. An intelligent man always tries to prove his point.
A wise man knows there really is no point.

9. An intelligent man freely gives unsolicited advice.
A wise man keeps his counsel until all options are considered.

10. An intelligent man understands what is being said.
A wise man understands what is left unsaid.

11. An intelligent man speaks when he has to say something.
A wise man speaks when he has something to say.

12. An intelligent man sees everything as relative.
A wise man sees everything as related.

Intelligence is good
but wisdom receives better results

I found this on the Beyond the Opposites blog page. To see the full post along with some life hacks regarding smart verses wise people click here:

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Unmarked sign with arrow

Into Unknown Territory

I’m a hugger. Touch is one of my love languages up there next to quality time. Unfortunately, it seems those love languages don’t work great for a teenage boy. My oldest is thirteen going on fourteen, and he already believes it’s no longer cool to hug your mom. On occasion, he’ll humor me with annoyed patience as I give him a big squeeze, but for the most part, he wants to be left alone.

Unmarked sign with arrowBeing a mother to teenagers is a road I have never traveled down, and from what I’ve heard it’s a dark path most parents either stumble down pursuing their child or charge through ready to drag them out the other side for better or worse. It’s hard to look forward to the trials and frustrations of your baby testing the waters of adulthood. It’s a time when your past parenting mistakes become magnified and thrown back in your face, and when you have no choice but to let go of control and pray for the best. It’s scary, and most of us feel ill-equipped.

Even if you’re not a parent of teens, you may be struggling with other life events. Maybe you’re a new mom or dad, beginning retirement, entering into a new marriage, or fighting a painful diagnosis, life is full of unknowns. Doubts roll in like thunderclouds over a picnic, and we wonder if we are capable enough, strong enough, smart enough, or able to manage emotionally, mentally, and physically.

In the army when you lose your bearings, they will do what is called a back azimuth. Basically, it’s a 180-degree turnaround walk until they enter back into familiar territory. When I feel like I’ve lost my way or my courage, I do what could be called a God azimuth. I remind myself of who God says I am, and what God says I can do through scripture.

When I think I can’t go on, the Bible says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9

When I think I’m not smart enough, the Bible says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  – James 1:5

When I think I’m not able, the Bible says, “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”II Corinthians 9:8

When I think I can’t figure this out, the Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”Proverbs 3:5-6

And when I think I’m afraid, the Bible says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” II Timothy 1:7

In times of doubt, I have to not rely on what I know of myself, but of what the mighty, all-knowing, all-powerful God says about me.

Below is a prayer I have written and often pray for my boys. You may know someone who needs this prayer prayed over them, or maybe you need it prayed over yourself. Feel free to use it, re-post, or customize it for your needs.

May you be deeply rooted in God’s love. May you discover the joy of walking in his purpose. The world will try to pull you away and distract you especially when God comes calling, but I pray you will filter out those distractions, that your ears will stay tuned into His voice and your eyes focused on His face. I pray you will stay planted where God needs you and that your roots will grow deep and entangled with other Jesus followers who will share with you their substance and strength when storms and trials come. May you bear fruitful harvests and hear the praise spoken into your heart, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Know that I am always on your side, that I am praying for you, and that I will always love you and that God’s love for you is even greater than my own.

God’s angels are already being dispatched prepared to do battle for the lives this prayer represents. It is a powerful thing to know we are not alone in the fight.

God Bless you.

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