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Where do we put our money and time?

11 Dec

Ho, every one that thirsteth,

come ye to the waters,

and he that hath no money;

come ye,

 buy, and

eat;

 yea, come,

buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?

and your labour for that which satisfieth not?

 hearken diligently unto me,

and eat ye that which is good,

and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Isaiah 55:1-2

It’s not often that you come across two verses containing…wait for it…8 imperatives, or commands. And who are these commands addressed to? The thirsty and penniless. These verses are an extended metaphor which speak of spiritual thirst and spiritual bankruptcy.

The price is not gold and silver, but self-surrender—a seemingly high price to some of us, but one that we all can afford. Water (John 4:10), wine (Matthew 26:29), and milk (1 Peter 2:2) all represent spiritual blessings of salvation in Christ. Who are those commands addressed to? The thirsty and penniless. These verses are an extended metaphor and what we are looking at here are spiritual thirst and spiritual bankruptcy.

Verse 2 starts with two rhetorical questions:  Why do we spend our resources on that which does not feed us? Why do we spend our resources on that which does not satisfy us? Good questions. And yet we see it all around us–people spending time and money on that which only gives temporary pleasure. Bread represents the true life of the soul and spirit with Christ.

There are two imperatives in verse 2: Hearken diligently, shama’ shama’, and eat, ‘akal. In Hebrew when two imperatives are joined, the second expresses the consequences of the first. In other words, IF we hearken diligently to God’s calling to turn to Christ, we will eat that which is good and be satisfied by God’s word. As a result, our soul will delight itself in spiritual fatness—the kind of fatness to which we can all aspire!

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Metacognition Links

24 Sep

I’m noticing more and more links between what I am teaching teachers and my Christian beliefs and practices. For example, not this visual that I made for teachers:

Think how helpful metacognitive thinking is for a Christian:

  • Am I listening to the enemy’s whispers?
  • Am I thinking with God?
  • Am I thinking on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of any virtue, and of any praise? (Philippians 4:8)

Obviously, the response called for if we give a “yes” to the first question or a “no” to the next two questions is to change our thinking until it is aligned with God’s mind.

If we can begin practicing metacognitive thinking in our Christian lives, it will not only make our thinking better, but our lives better.

Growth or Fixed Mindset: Should I Forgive?

31 Jul

I’ve been studying a lot about fixed mindset and growth mindset for the educational coaching that I do.  Fixed mindset says that you are born with a certain intelligence and certain abilities. Growth mindset says that your intelligence and abilities can be grown with effort. The growth mindset is based on scientific findings of how much the brain can grow–in any area–with effort.

As a teacher, I believe in growth mindset. I can’t tell you how many times as an art teacher I’ve been frustrated by people saying, “I can’t draw.” “Just give me six weeks,” I beg, “You may not be Da Vinci, but I can teach you to draw.”

As a person, I have limited myself in other areas. (I’m not athletic. I’m not a math person, etc.)  If you want to learn more about these mindsets, here’s a 2-minute video by John Spencer. If you want to dig a little deeper, here’s an 8-minute video by Train Ugly. Here is a quick quiz to check your mindset.

According to Carol Dweck’s book, mindset: The New Psychology of Success, we even use mindsets in our relationships:

In a relationship, the Fixed Mindset wants revenge, wants their spouse/friend to pay penance, expects their spouse/friend to be able to meet their needs by “reading” their minds, their ideal relationship is one of (total) compatibility, and they believe that problems in the relationship indicate character flaws. One can have a fixed mindset in three areas: “You can believe your qualities are fixed, your partner’s qualities are fixed, and/or the relationship’s qualities are fixed.”

In a relationship, the Growth Mindset wants to understand, forgive, and move on.

My point here is not learning how to draw or do math but the fact that I believe God wants us to have a growth mindset.

And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]. Romans 12:2Amplified Bible (AMP)

Spiritual maturity is all about learning not only to forgive but to live in a state of forgiveness where we forgive, as Jesus did on the cross, without being asked for forgiveness. I believe this is a life-long process of learning that we can aspire to if we have a growth mindset. I’m am not saying it’s easy; just important.

12 So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself], put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper]; 13 bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive. 14 Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others]. Colossians 3: 12-14 (AMP)