Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: Life to the full

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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Jack, Queen, and King of spades

Go Ahead and Shoot the Moon

Any chance my husband gets, he will shoot the moon. Shooting the moon is a Jack, Queen, and King of spadesstrategy in the card game of Hearts. If done properly, the person who shoots the moon passes along the 26 points to the other players. If they’re short one card, then they’re stuck, because the person with the lowest points wins the round.

I’ve never successfully done it. I’m a play-it-safe kind of gal. Sometimes, I’m trying harder not to lose than I am to win. My husband calls my method of playing ducking, which only changed my method to a do-anything-to-prevent-my-husband-from-shooting-the-moon strategy.

Walt Disney's DumboDumbo, Disney’s flying elephant, also liked to play it safe. The only way Timothy Q., the circus mouse could convince Dumbo to attempt to fly was to have him hold a magical feather. Yet, the magic wasn’t inside the feather. It was inside of Dumbo. The feather became a blindfold prohibiting Dumbo from seeing what he was truly capable of achieving.

What feather or excuse are we clinging to instead of realizing the potential within ourselves? I like safety, but when does the comfort of playing it safe become an idol of pleasure?

Steven Furtick, Pastor of Elevation Church in NC, did a sermon illustration about being daring for God. When Steven gets to heaven, he wants his guardian angel to be relieved because of how exhausting it was to protect his charge. Like Steven Furtick, I don’t want to get to heaven and have God say, “You did okay, but I had so much more for you if only you’d have been willing to step out in faith.”

God’s will is bold. Noah built a boat, and it had never rained before. David, a small sheepherder boy with a slingshot, defeated a military giant. And, Gideon the least in his family among the weakest clan, who hid from the Midianites in an old winepress to thresh his wheat, defeated the massive Midianite army with a small band of three hundred men.

John 10:10 says, “I came so that you may have life and have it to the full.” Jesus didn’t say a little bit or halfway. He said so that you may have life to the full. You are God’s creation. Live life full. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Choose to be the person you’re meant to be, not merely the person you’ve allowed yourself to become.

Step out in faith. Keep working until God demonstrates the extraordinary. Don’t lean on your own understanding, instead, trust in God (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Go head. Make your guardian angel sweat a little.

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