Monthly Archives: November 2016

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. ≈ Romans 8:37

On yesterday, November 9, 2016, in the mist of quiet solitude, I bowed my head in prayer. Since I remember, for the first time in umpteen years the chaos of the outside world reached out its tentacles. Attempting to take away what does not belong to it. Seeking, persona non grata… trying to make me feel unwelcome in my home. Remembering the prelude to the Gospel of John, I realized that grace and truth comes through Jesus Christ, alone.

Embracing Galatians 6:9, I changed the background photo on my computer screen. In that teeny-tiny act, I felt hope. It reaffirmed my belief that all things work together for the good of them that love God (Romans 8:28). Hope… that unbreakable spirit, which reassured me of the promises of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Hope… that Langston Hughes wrote, “scattered on the wind”. Scattered on the wind, so that I might understand the last line of his poem.

As I continued to stare at the computer screen, the image of beautiful majestic dark bluish-purple irises, my favorite flower, seemed to grow more vivid. The delicate blossoms bathing in sunshine looked as if they swayed rhythmically back and forth, in a warm summer breeze. A wise and kind-hearted woman walked by desk. Almost, immediately she turned around and strolled back to where I sat.

“Are you familiar with the Japanese irises?” She slightly grinned.

“No, I’ve never heard of them.”

“You should look them up.”

The tone of her voice sounded like the offering of a hint, causing curiosity. I thanked her for the advice. Then on my lunch break I did a little research.

According to Japanese folklore, the most common properties of the iris is its capacity to purify evil energies and offer protection. While in Greek mythology, the iris is named after the goddess of the rainbow, who was known for being a messenger. In western society, terms mainly associated with the iris are: faith, hope, wisdom, courage, and admiration.

There was the word, “Hope” radiant amongst its kin… Looking patiently back at me… just smiling. Hope revealed its wealth. Once again, I recognized my place in the universe and thanked my Father in heaven, that Jesus Christ is still mindful of me.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

 

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. ≈ Proverbs 3:13

This remarkable poem by Mother Teresa is called “Life Is”. The wisdom of its words can transcend an instance in time.

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. ≈ Proverbs 4:7

Holding opposite beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time; or acting in a way that is contradictory to one’s beliefs, ideas, or values; even being challenged by new realities that conflict with one’s beliefs, ideas, or values, can cause stress in individuals. According to the cognitive dissonance theory, folks tend to strive to keep their knowledge, actions, and attitudes consistent or consonant (Carter, van Veen, & Schooler, 2009, p. 1469), which leads to compartmentalization of thoughts.

Cognitive dissonance is an old familiar term from my psychology courses. A term I hadn’t thought about in years. A term that describes stark opposing beliefs in the mind of a person. Conflicting ideas that lead to contradictory behavior, which leads to unstable actions. While, some experts affirm that by compartmentalizing our thoughts, we can avoid cognitive dissonance. This fascinates me, in light of Psalm 139:23-24.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). How do we reconcile our opposing ideas and develop consistency in our thinking? How do we maintain unity of thoughts in the sphere of reality? An answer… seek God in Jesus name under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in order to de-compartmentalize our thoughts… by becoming wiser.

While knowledge and wisdom are similar. They aren’t synonymous! Biblically, wisdom involves the ability to recognize or evaluate what is true, right, and enduring. Knowledge, often refers to information gained from experience, reasoning, or associates. Therefore, getting knowledge isn’t enough. Since, knowledge can exist without wisdom, but not vice versa. We can be knowledgeable… without being wise.

Knowledge is knowing the what. Wisdom is knowing how to understand, judge, apply, and discern the when, where, and why of the what. It is wisdom that provides the insight to overcome cognitive dissonance. So, let us embrace the God given wisdom found in Proverbs 3:13 – 18. Let us defend our thoughts against cognitive dissonance. Let us affirm and re-affirm the virtues of Matthew 5:43-48 by de-compartmentalizing our thinking.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

 

Carter, C. S., van Veen, V., Krug, M. K., & Schooler, J. W. (2009). Neural activity predicts attitude change in cognitive dissonance. Nature Neuroscience, 12(11), 1469-1474.