Look away and be persuasive?

I’m fascinated by this article, whose link is below.  As it states, we’ve been told and taught all our lives to make eye contact with the person to whom we are talking.  But, maybe we shouldn’t be so assertive with our eyes.  Maybe we should look away from time to time when we’re talking with someone and, especially, when we’re trying to persuade someone to our way of thinking.  Perhaps, by looking someone in the eye, we are actually challenging the other person’s stance on the issue.  Perhaps, by looking away periodically, we would be seen as less aggressive.  Someone once said, “The eye is the window to the soul.”  Maybe, when we look someone in the eye, that person subconsciously believes that we’re looking into their soul, entering an area where we do not belong.  In Matthew 6:22 [NIV], the Bible says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,  your whole body will be full of light.”  Let us be givers of light, but not so much that we blind those with whom we come in contact.  If we gave them everything we know of God all at once, it might be too much for them.

‘Til next time….



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Learning more from the positive

Interesting article below.  Seems to indicate that as our brains develop, we learn more from positive experiences than from negative. According to the study cited in the article, “…positive information is processed in many parts of the brain, while negative information tends to be centered in the prefrontal cortex, Sharot says. That’s the part of the brain that matures last, into the 20s in many cases. It’s the area in charge of judgment and problem-solving.”  So, how do we impress on our kids the negative consequences of certain actions?  Do we need to take a “back door” route by, say, extolling the positives of doing something else rather than warning of the negative consequences of the activity we want to avoid?  What about the Hebrews described in the Old Testament, in the book of Deuteronomy, chapters 28 through 30?  God gave them a choice–a choice to choose life and blessings by obedience to the Almighty and a choice to choose cursing by disobeying Yahweh.  The choice was clear–blessings by obedience or cursing by disobedience.  Yet, the Israelites chose cursing–choosing it fairly quickly after Moses died–by disobeying God.  (Just read the books of Judges, Kings, and Chronicles to see the evidence.)  In the same way, children, teens, and young adults seem to discount the risks of dangerous or inappropriate behavior. Science says it’s because their brains aren’t fully developed.  But what about those young people who heed the warnings of their parents or other authority figures or experts?  Could it be that, though the prefrontal cortex is not fully developed, that some are more willing to access their God-given capacity to believe their parents or others in authority over them or other experts.  It’s a matter of trust, I believe, just as we should trust our loving God who made us.

‘Til next time…


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How Parents Can Back Off But Still Love Their Kids

I think this is something that we can all learn–how to love our kids and what they do without being overbearing and pressuring them.


Elmore has some great things to say here, especially as it pertains to simply supporting our kids in what they do, whether it be sports, music, drama, or whatever it is.  I also like that he cited the years of research that supports his view of simply being there for our kids and simply letting them know that we love them.  Let’s use the “six simple words” stated in this article to help our kids relax when they perform: “I love to watch you play.”  That’s all they really need to know.  Oh, you can substitute “play” with “perform,” “act,” or whatever.  But by saying those six simple words, you are affirming your kid without evaluation, pressure, or judgment.  And how empowering can that be for our children, to be loved unconditionally!  How many of us would have like the same thing as we were growing up?

Ephesians 6:4 (New International Version)

 4 Fathers,do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.




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The Cheater’s High

Here’s an interesting article I found a few months ago:


Now, why is there a cheater’s high?  Is it from the satisfaction of getting away with cheating?  Perhaps, as the article does not say.  It’s interesting that the article points out that those that cheated or benefitted from the “proctor’s” cheating for them seemed to have no problem with the cheating.  This brings up an issue that the article barely addresses in its final paragraph: the issue of morality. In the article linked above, Nicole Ruedy, of the University of Washington, said “The good feeling some people get when they cheat may be one reason people are unethical even when the payoff is small. It’s important that we understand how our moral behavior influences our emotions.” Did you catch that? Our moral behavior influences our emotions! I also submit that the reciprocal is true–our emotions influence our moral behavior if we don’t have a foundation on which to stabilize our morals. It seems to me that those who felt good about cheating–no matter how small the benefit of cheating–would already have it their minds and hearts that cheating–when the chance of getting caught or the perception of no harm being done–was actually situationally right.  Obviously, these would be people of questionable character because they truly have no problem with being dishonest.  The way I look at it is, if you have no problem with being dishonest in an experiment, you would have no problem being dishonest in real life.

If you are a Christian and your goal is to follow Jesus Christ and walk in His righteousness, cheating, lying, and dishonesty should be off-limits to you. Proverbs 29:27 says, “The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright.” The two are on opposite ends of the continuum; they cannot coexist together.  Either you are righteous and upright or you are dishonest and wicked. Also, Luke 16:10 states, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” I think this is self-explanatory. However you are with little is how you will be with much. Don’t cheat; it’s dishonest. The Christian needs to be above that.  Of course, if you’re not a Christian, I suppose it doesn’t matter to you but just keep in mind that you’ll still have to explain yourself to God after you pass from this world.




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It’s all about Hope.

Hope.  Do you have it?  I trust that you do.  Without hope, you might feel all is lost.  When you feel that way, you might be tempted to take your own life.  Don’t do it! 

About 2 1/2 months ago, the Grand Junction (Colo.) Daily Sentinel ran a week-long series about suicide in the Grand Valley.  It was a very eye-opening series. However, it drove home to me that the majority of folks that complete or consider suicide are those that have lost hope.  They see no way out other than a permanent way out.  Some of these articles describe the pain and regret of those relatives whom the one who completed suicide has left behind.  It’s gut-wrenching. Some of the articles tell of those who are now trying to help those who are considering taking their own lives.  I commend them.  At the public forum on suicide in Grand Junction near the end of September, I was able to speak briefly with Lorna Ward.  She was emphatic that it was the lack of hope that pushed toward attempting suicide.  Now, she’s glad she’s still with us because she has found hope and a purpose.  Some of the articles that were in The Sentinel speak to the stigma of suicide and even the stigma of talking about it.  We really need to bring this subject more in the open.  It can’t keep being shoved under the carpet.

KREX-TV also had some stories on suicide this year.  I have posted links to stories from both KREX and The Daily Sentinel below.

If you are considering suicide, you need to know two things: God loves you and there are people that love you.  With you gone, your friends and family would feel an emptiness that could never be re-filled.  It’s really most important that you know that God loves you.  God wants the best for you.  God knows exactly what you need.  And God expressed His love for you by sending His Son Jesus for you.  Jesus died on a cross for you around 2000 years ago so you could have hope.  Hope to know you’re loved.  Hope to know that you have value in the eyes of God.  Hope to know that there is always security with God.  Don’t give up on hope because God hasn’t given up on you. God will always give you hope–and you need that hope to continue on.














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Daylight Saving Time MUST end!!

Here we go again.  We’re messing with our clocks according to the custom our U.S. Government legislated in 1966.  This evening, we “fall back” and set our clocks back an hour to go back to Standard time. (Actually, Daylight Saving Time seems to have become the “standard” since we’re on Daylight Time for 33 out of 52 weeks in the year.) This is a farce!!  Why do we do this?  I can think of no good reason to change our clocks twice a year.  Let’s look at the reasons why we should just be like Arizona (except for the Navajo Reservation) and leave the clocks alone.

1) Let’s get it out of the way now–someone is going to say “tradition.”  Okay, it’s traditional to change the clocks, you might say.  Well, it’s been tradition for only 47 years and the U.S. has been a nation for 237 years.  Also, time in the U.S. was not uniform until the railroads began making cross-country trips and there was a need for time zones.  In addition, the government has been messing with this tradition for the past 35 or so years, anyway.  Did you know that DST was first just six months long instead of the current eight months?  DST was first from the last week in April until the last week in October.  The dates have been changed two or three times since, the most recent being in 2007 when the current 33 weeks of DST went into effect.  So, let’s just throw tradition out the window.

2) It saves energy.  Really? There have been a number of studies looking at whether DST results in energy savings.  The results have been mixed and the studies that show energy savings show those savings to be statistically insignificant. (Note the Indiana study in the links below.) The energy savings may have been significant 35 or 45 years ago but with 1) energy-saving technology and 2) any energy savings that might have been are cancelled with the proliferation of air conditioning in the summer and the increased use of heating in the waning weeks of DST.  So, no, DST doesn’t really save energy.

3)  It’s for the farmers.  Uhh, no, it’s not.  How this misinformation got started, no one really knows.  Farmers were the one vociferous lobby against DST in the 1920s when the idea of using DST after World War I was proposed.  DST actually disrupts agricultural routines twice a year.  I’m sure farmers and ranchers would be more than happy to not to have to change the clocks and mess with milking the cows, feeding the pigs, and harvesting crops at different times of the day.

4) Let’s be honest–changing clocks twice a year is inconvenient.  There is really no logical reason to do this.  As our nation and world has become more technologically advanced and more of a 24/7 world, Daylight Saving Time no longer serves a useful purpose and should be abandoned.  Besides, a majority of the nations of the world don’t observe Daylight Saving Time. Here’s my proposal:  pick one time–Daylight or Standard–and stick with it 12 months out of the year.  Arizona has it right–don’t mess with the clocks!

(When you read the links below, pay no attention to the Standardtime.com proposal to have just two time zones; that’s a little too radical, I think.)





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You mean you DON’T want it fixed?

Last week, I saw a video on Facebook that really made me laugh and amused my wife as well.  But it also pointed out a major difference between men and women.  First, here’s the video:


Ladies, how true is this?  Have you had this experience?  And, men–can you relate?  And which of you gets the most frustrated?

Now, I’ve been married for over 24 years and it took me at least half that time to learn that sometimes, my wife didn’t want me to fix whatever the problem was she was talking about.  She wanted me to listen, to understand, sympathize, and empathize.  She also wanted a hug. Fixing wasn’t necessary.  And I think it’s hard for us men to understand that.  When we are presented by our wives with what we perceive as a problem, we want to fix it; in other words, we want to make it right and good for the woman we love. But, obviously, that’s not always what they want–if they ever want that at all!  Apparently, what they really want is someone who simply understands, who reminds them that they’re not alone, and that you’re really with them–good and bad, better or worse, thick and thin, etc, etc, etc.  Perhaps if we remember that, relationships with our wives might go a little smoother.  Remember, fellas–it’s not about the nail.

But, ladies, keep in mind–we men like to fix things, just for you.

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