CAUTION! Intelligence at Work! CAUTION!

Intelligence, thinking, and reasoning are all difficult and complex concepts that impact our lives every day. As humans, we are constantly gauging our abilities. Intelligence is the most measured ability of all in our Western culture. Intelligence, as defined by psychologists, is the capacity to understand the world, think rationally, and use resources effectively when faced with challenges. With different theories of intelligence available, each giving a specific definition of what intelligence can be, there is clearly a lot of ambiguity in this area of study.

Divergent thinking versus convergent thinking, practical intelligence and emotional intelligence, and fluid and crystallized intelligence are all examples of the many theories and types of intelligences. How do we sort through these many different types of intelligences? Personally, I prefer Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences which includes eight different forms of intelligence, each holding a distinct area of expertise. The eight categories which Gardner defined show the assortment of talents and intelligences that God has given us as individuals. Though I may not be an intelligent linguist, musically I hold much talent from God. This intelligence theory appeals to me because of the great ease with which it sorts out all kinds of intelligence.

Other theories limit the definition of intelligence and restrict what can or cannot be intelligent. The information-processing approach of intelligence degrades so many aspects of intelligence which can be exhibited by people, which results in the degrading of those people. Our education system currently is set up in a fashion which models this diminishing attitude toward multiple kinds of intelligence. Standardized tests are the means by which we assess a student’s intelligence. These tests often undermine the greatest abilities of the student. Creativity is discouraged through our education evaluation. Creativity, which can be associated with divergent thinking, is a vital part in our intelligence, yet it is not considered on any standardized intelligence test or encouraged and developed in our schooling. Our very nature craves success, which is reinforced by test scores, compliments, and accomplishments in our skills and talents. A degrading test score deflates the self-esteem of an individual. The importance of supporting all sorts of intelligence is certainly commanding.

Having established that importance, the evaluation of intelligence tests is noteworthy. These tests, which are designed to quantify a person’s level of intelligence, need to take into consideration what intelligence is and how it then can compare with other types of intelligence. Is the test reliable and valid? Approaching the results of current intelligence tests should be approached with caution because of the possible reactions one can have. Intellectual disabilities or giftedness, as well as diversity in culture and ethnicity, may be reason for test scores to be interpreted in such a way as to diminish the individual who was scored. The many different kinds of intelligence that can be exhibited may not be tested or emphasized, making a person or race look unintelligent. Employers, educators, policy makers, politicians, and other authoritative figures may create discriminatory attitudes towards these people. This result needs to be avoided at all cost.

In America, race is a large issue, which gives rise to the concern for evaluating intelligence between these different races and cultures. Environment, and thus culture, is more of a factor when it comes to intelligence than genetics, however, race is still a stumbling block when assessing intelligence. In my life, I am surrounded by mostly white folks, but I have lots of experience with African American people as well. I have a number of friends who are African American, and I serve at His Place, an urban outreach project of the Pittsburgh area Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. As I work with the children in His Place, who are mostly African American, and as I associate with my friends, I need to be conscious of my views of intelligence. Being wary of the different types of intelligence one can exhibit is vital to my encouragement of these people and love of them. Jesus talks of this in Luke 10:25-37 with the parable of the Good Samaritan. We should not be like the priest or Levite, but the Samaritan who had mercy on the broken man. The second greatest commandment is love your neighbor as yourself. Approaching intelligence with caution, mercy, and an open mind is key in loving others and promoting Christ.

The complexity and diversity intelligence carries with it makes it a difficult load to carry, but with the support of all kinds of intelligence so as to encourage and love others, we can make the load a lot easier.

Uncovering Loneliness

Life is a very interesting piece of work that God has created. There are so many connections between different things throughout time, relationships, love, happiness, anger, confusion, and loneliness. Loneliness is a tough feeling to have. It doesn’t hit you right away, it just slowly eats its way into your life and then you feel completely lost once you truly recognize it. I would guess that loneliness is the number one cause for suicides in America. Loneliness is also probably a small reason as to what has caused Facebook and Twitter to become so popular. Loneliness is a devastating problem.

Wait…

Where does loneliness come from?

Seriously… think about where it comes from.

God.

This is just my train of thought here. I have looked at the scriptures and have seen a small pattern woven through them. Why would God create us? God created us for a purpose, right? Give glory to him (Romans 11:36, 1 Cor 10:31), obey him (Luke 11:28), and bringing others to Him (Mat 28:16-20). Those are all very closely related and our other purposes are all based around those. But think about this: why did he want us? Why did he create us in the first place? Why does he want us to be alive and live eternally? You see, he wanted us because He wanted to be loved, just like we want to be loved. And it means so much more when those people choose to love us, just like it means so much more when God gives us the choice to love Him or reject Him.

Loneliness. It just shows us that we need others, just like God needs others. Tenth Avenue North just released a new EP with the song No Man is an Island, which speaks about the loneliness we may feel. But that loneliness is just a mental feeling if we just realize that God is always there with us. Yes, we may be able to have other earthly friends but God is there, just waiting for you to come to Him and be eternally satisfied. 

Mike Donehey, the lead singer for Tenth Avenue North, went into a little bit of there new song with Air1, a christian radio station, and he said some really encouraging stuff regarding loneliness.

“You’re made like God. That’s why you feel lonely. You’re made for others.” That quote really hit me. I had never related God with loneliness until I heard that, but it is so beautiful.

So what we need to realize with all of this information is that we have God with us all the time. No matter what we go through, God has us in His hands and won’t let us go. He will be By Your Side whenever you fall, whenever you are struggling, and whenever you have everything going right. In every circumstance, whether you have earthly friends or not, you have God. Hold on to that and bury that deep in your heart so you never lose sight of that. Then realize that is something to share and not hold by your self. Other people are hurting and struggling too. Let’s share the love of God and help others escape their loneliness.

Fly Fly Away My Beauty

Have you ever experienced the annoying sensation of knowing a fly is buzzing around you or your food? When you are aware of a fly buzzing around you or the objects that you originally thought you were going to throw into your stomach, a terrible hatred is brought up within us. If you have not experienced this hatred then you must be extremely lucky, or you live in Antarctica. Either way, the fly, whether it be a regular house fly, a deer fly, a fruit fly, a horse fly, or any other kind of fly, they all tend to be mindbogglingly annoying. Why is this? Well the simple and obvious answer is that they buzz around us and are rather disgusting when analyzed. They never seem to leave.

This weekend I realized something. I went camping this weekend and of course we had food. This food was mighty delicious, as was evident by the flies gathering around it and the plates that were sitting around this food. I immediately felt a hatred towards these flies. How could they go around thinking they had the authority to steal and dirty our food? These worthless little annoyances needed to just scram so we could enjoy our fire and canned apple pie filling in peace. In this moment of hatred is when I had my moment of realization: What if that hatred towards the flies is a sin? I was hating God’s creation! God did create those flies and he said that his creation was good every time he created something (Book of Genesis). I was condemning God’s creation to death. How cruel is that? Yes they were bothering us, but what if that is Satan? What if the devil is using God’s creation to fuel our sinful nature by presenting it in an annoying way? Romans 1:20 says some pretty crazy stuff when Paul says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

As I thought about this, I sat and observed these flies sitting on our paper plates. They were so cool. They were so disgusting but in a cool way. God was there showing himself through those tiny little beings! Magnificent! All I had to do was slow down and just see the flies as what they were–God’s creation. But, please take a moment and slow down right now as you read this. If I saw God through some little annoying flies that could possibly be used by Satan, what could God do with us? We have the opportunity to accept and share Jesus’ sacrifice and the gift of the Holy Spirit that comes with it. That is powerful.

Now I am not saying that these thoughts are all completely true and we should stop hating flies. No, I am just making a point to focus your attention on where God is. He is everywhere! He is in those little flies, the wheat in the fields, the flowers in your garden, the water flowing from your sink, and the brain in your head. God can reveal himself to you through so many things. We just need to look for Him. Also, Satan can use many different things to bring us away from God and we need to be careful of these things.

So next time you see a fly, or something else that may annoy you often, try to look for a glimpse of God in that subject and realize how much God can do with our lives if we surrender them to Him.

Complexity

I have recently been marveling at how much we have learned about ourselves throughout our history. The human race is an extremely complicated being, as it was intended to be. Humans are complex creations because of our physical complexity, psychological complexity, and our spiritual complexity. All of these complexities have been studied over the course of our history and many unique and stunning pieces of information have been found.

First off, physically we are a puzzle that has been put together perfectly so that we can live without complications.  Our bodies are full of little “machines” that, in general, work perfectly. Even when something does go wrong, there are many ways that the body can fix those emergencies. In a post on buzzfeed.com, a list of 23 amazing facts about the human body are revealed in some short little pictures. Pictures #13 and #14 state that every minute, three hundred million cells die in our bodies but that three hundred billion are created each day. What could create something that works out so perfectly? Also, cells themselves are amazing pieces of work. A site on the University of Utah’s Health and Science page, http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/cells/scale/, shows just how small some of the cells in our body are. Those cells, though, carry the DNA, RNA, lysosomes, Nuclei, ribosomes, and so much more and all of these parts of a cell do special jobs that help you and I live every day! On listverse.com, Jamie Frater shows us fifteen facst about the body in an article titled, “Top 15 Amazing Facts About the Human Body”. The first fact states that the “Stomach’s digestive acids are strong enough to dissolve zinc. Fortunately for us the cells in the stomach lining renew so quickly that the acids don’t have time to dissolve it.” That is some astonishing information! Another fact: “A single human blood cell takes only 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.” The human body is a clear sign that there is a God that created us with a purpose to glorify Him. Only He could create our complex bodies!

The second complex aspect to our human race that I have marveled at lately is our psychological complexity. We are constantly thinking and “feeling” feelings. In an article in the Huffington Post, Bruce Davis, Ph. D., talks about trying to talk to our significant other when we have all these thoughts running through our minds. He explains that we have somewhere from 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts flying around in our minds per day and with all those thoughts, how do we make time for expressing those thoughts, especially to our life partners? This article sheds a little light on how complex we are psychologically. The fact that we are always wanting a significant other is a curious aspect of humans, and the rest of creation. Some weird facts about our psychology are presented in a list on mindclockwork.com. One of these facts state that, on average, your mind wanders 30% of the time. Little things like dreams, love, depression, and anxiety are mysteries that are created because of thoughts, chemicals, or other unknown pieces of our minds.

It is also interesting to note that nations even have a certain amount of psychology based on the people that live in them. For example, America, as explained by Alexis de Tocqueville, has a very individualistic nature. Also, Tocqueville says, “As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?” These sorts of things represent a nation and are all created by the people that live and rule in the country.

The final general complexity of humans is their spiritual complexity. The truth is that we are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26) and we were the only creation of God’s that He “breathed life” into (Gen. 2:7). We were created to give God glory. In many places in the New Testament it gives the glory to God, such as 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Philippians 2:11. God chose us to be his children. Isn’t that amazing? Yet, we let sin creep into our lives and now do not deserve God’s gift of eternal life, but He still gives it to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. God’s love for us is astounding and makes us his prize possession. In all of the things in his beautiful, complex creation, he chose us. So what must we do in response to that?

We have to choose Him.

Christmas Music

Merry Christmas (Bing Crosby album)

Merry Christmas (Bing Crosby album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christmas music is always the signal that Christmas is coming. On many stations, it starts playing before Thanksgiving! That’s a little too early for me. But once we get in to December and and all the lights go up and the tree is decorated… that is the best time for Christmas music. But one thing really annoys me when it comes to Christmas music. When artists, such as Jeremy Camp, Casting Crowns, and others  start making remixes of classic songs like Silent Night or Winter Wonderland, it just seems wrong. Those classic songs by artists such as Bing Crosby just seem like THE Christmas Songs that we listen to and when new artists go and try to create their own version, it just sounds wrong.

 

Now some new versions of classic songs are amazing. Such as Matthew West‘s “O Come All Ye Faithful” on his The Heart of Christmas album. And there are some great songs out there  now that have never been heard before: “How Many Kings” by Downhere is a great song as well.

 

Christmas is a time of traditions, so I feel like most of the classic Christmas music is the best choice of music, unlike the new stuff. But there are one or two songs out there that are pretty good.

 

-George Stanley with a C.

 

Idlewild & Soakzone Park

Idlewild and Soak Zone

Idlewild and Soak Zone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Idlewild and Soak Zone Park advertises that it was voted the number one kids park in the world. That statement is definteley true–mainly because of the word KID in it. I went to Idlewild park yesterday. Some of the rides were fun, and the wave pool was relaxing, but I didn’t have FUN, if you know what I mean. It was a relaxing day with a a few moments of low excitement. Basically what I am saying is that I have grown up into someone who wants the big rides. So Idlewild was a nice time with friends and family. That is basically my review of Idlewild from this year.I will say that I enjoyed being relaxed and just sitting in the bath tubs that they call the spider. Funny story, me and a friend of mine quickly found out that we had the perfect weight combination between the two of us. It was quite… umm, spinny. The round up was cool, and the flying aces were fun. The Wild Mouse wasn’t working though which is probably the best ride in the park, although I can’t really remember since I haven’t ridden it in 2 years.

Idlewild was relaxing. That is pretty much it. That is my post for the day! (and probably the next week. 😛 )

-mscunited0950

REAL STEEL

Ok, so I am finally making my REAL STEEL review since it didn’t work on the other one. First of all, Real Steel is my favorite movie of all time! That is basically the whole review.

The acting was GREAT, the plot was GREAT, the story was GREAT, the robots were AWESOME, and… and… and… Everyone needs to see this movie. I really enjoyed this movie because everything was just done so wonderfully! I have heard some critics say that it was ok and that the plot was cheesy and everything, but even though the plot is sort of common, it is so much better than the critics say. I never listen to the critics anyways because we watched Nomeo and Juliet and right before the movie started, my dad got his Galaxy Tab out and looked up the reviews. He said that it wasn’t getting good ratingsat all from the critics. But we watched it and it was just fine! Wasn’t the best movie in the world, like Real Steel is, but it was still pretty good. And the humor in it was pretty good as well.

Sorry, I’m getting off track. Back to Real Steel. I told my mom and dad on the way home from the movie theater that if real boxing was robots punching each other, I would totally be into it! It is awesome! But instead we have people punching each other and making a big deal out of it. That is pretty stupid to me.

The robots were amazing too. For animation, (I am guessing that they were animated) the robots were fantastic. Everything was so believeable and fun and entertaining. If you don’t like this movie I hope that it is because you don’t like robots, sci-fi, or you were just really crazy that day. Because there is nothing that you can’t like about this movie! I would love to watch it again and if they made a 2nd Real Steel (although I don’t know what it would be about besides punching robots) I would want to go to the theaters right away and see it, because the first one is just so incredibly good.

Well, I am guessing that you have figured out by now that I love this movie and that I think everyone in the world should see it because it is so entertaining and fun! I give this movie a complete 5 stars and I don’t care what anyone says about that! It is final! Good night!

-mscunited0950