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Friday, November 7, 2014

Truth Makes Strange Bedfellows

What outside force is most likely to upset your contentment? Since God does not always change negative outside forces, what can be changed in you so that contentment is possible?....(Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1636).


Philippians 4:4-8 New International Version (NIV)

Final Exhortations (from Paul)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.


Matthew 6:25- 27, 33 (NIV)

Do Not Worry (Jesus points the way.)

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?... But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine, p 130.  (Shirzad adds the science.)

Once the amygdala determines that there is credible danger, the brain shifts primarily into survive mode. This results in a cascade of neurochemical events, including the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Few people realize that when you go into fight-or-flight mode, the mind – not just the body – becomes narrowly focused. It begins to selectively look for negative signs of danger while ignoring positive signs of opportunity....

The good news is that positivity is also self-reinforcing and self-fulfilling. Positive emotions bathe our brains in serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals have multiple effects. They make us feel good. They energize the learning centers of our brain, which help us in organizing, storing, and retrieving new information. They facilitate making and keeping more neural synaptic connections, which in turn help us think more quickly, be more adept at complex and big-picture problem solving, and generate more outside-the-box creative possibilities.

Many hold almost instinctively that in order to avoid fear, we must continually be in escapist (or fighting) mode. Since fear is well known to everyone, it is possible that we can spend most of our time trying to escape. Ironically, escapists activities (like reflexive aggression) usually only make the problem worse. Then, like one escaping with substance abuse, when we return to reality we find everything worse and more stressful than before.  Another way we can try to escape is by relying on modes of behavior that seek to unrealistically control the situation.  For example, I can make a habit of constantly blaming others for every problem. This obviously does nothing to face the problem creatively. Jesus, Paul, and Shirzad Chamine point the way to a mental climate that makes possible exploration, enlightened creativity, and constructive patterning of complexity. More and more it appears that science and spirituality share common views regarding the nature of man.

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