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.

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.

 

CIY Conference

This past week I went onto a week long vacation ot Tennessee. This vacation was with my church youth group to CIY MOVE! This week was an awesome experience! Christ in Youth is a fun, entertaining, and very awesome way to learn about God and find what He wants you to do with your life! I definetely learned a few things through the week. It is also an amazing way to get closer to your youth group.

CIY MOVE was incredibly fun. The Music was awesome. The band, the Caleb Rowden Band, was exciting and played some AWEsome songs. Caleb Rowden is a great singer and really gets the crowd into the songs. The free time with the youth group was fun as well. We played Wallyball, four square, soccer, and we even played in a dodgeball tournament. We lost in the first game but it was an exciting game. The sessions and sermons were cool as well. The messages each speaker gave us were inspiring and moving. The stories shared were terrible, but such good testimonies of getting back to Christ through the darkness. We talked a lot about Trusting God and Fatherlessness. They emphasized on the first day that God is our Heavenly Father and we need to treat him like that–with respect, fear, awe, but also like a friend and helper for us.

The group that put the CIY week together did a fantastic job and I was very impressed with it all. They did a great job communicating, organizing, and creating a fun week for all us highschoolers; and they got some fantabulous speakers. They all spoke with such influenctial passion and kept me connected with the words they were saying. I loved it.

The CIY group also did a great job of focusing it all on the youth group. We did everything together, and we didn’t go off and make new friends and forget about the others that came with us–we still made new friends though. But the lessons, seating, and sessions were all great for connecting as a youth group. I enjoyed that a lot.

I have a lot of great memories now from that trip. I strongly encourage anyone or any church to go and attend this conference. It is awesome. I am already looking forward to going back again next summer.

GO CIY!

How I’ve Seen God in My Life

I haven’t seen many amazing miracles in my life, but I have noticed the many little things that God has thrown into my life. It is almost like God’s “stew”. When you make a stew, you can put in the main ingredient such as meat or noodles, but there is more to a stew or soup than just meat or noodles. Vegetables, spices, and even just plain old water are all important but sometimes unnoticed ingredients. The same thing happens in life! There is much more to life than big miracles and moments. The little things I have noticed are at my church on Wednesday nights and in my general way of life.

Lately, I have noticed many different “spices” of “vegetables” in my Wednesday night youth group. The lessons we do always seem to have some affect at the right time. For example, our most recent lesson was on worship and how we need to worship God through everything we do, and I have been noticing lately that, when I apply that lesson, my day has gone much smoother and simpler.

The other way I’ve seen God in my life is through the simple luxuries of my life. I have great parents and sisters, an awesome dog, cats, a TV, guitars, games, food, and water that I don’t have to walk thirty minutes to get. All this is a major blessing that I and many others have that we often take for granted.

I haven’t seen many major miracles or “meats” from God, but I have seen many smaller blessings and helpful moments from God. Those little spices and vegetables are a great part of life and I am gald God has laid his hand on those parts of my life.

Hopeful Weekend

A picture of the cards in the game Phase 10.

Image via Wikipedia

Well, my parents are riding in the MS150 this weekend. It is a 150 mile bicycle ride that I would have to do a lot of training for. My parents had to train a lot, but I would have to train more for it. Anyways, so my grandparents and aunt are over to watch us. We have played Phase 10 so far, and I won! Yeah! We are about to eat pizza now. So, it has been fun so far. We are probably going to play a lot more games today, and tomorrow we are going to church and then going out to eat. So, I think this weekend should be fun!

I have a few post ideas that are not just about my life, so I will try to get them up soon. Well, I’ll talk to ya’ll later!