Sunday, March 12, 2023

Remember by Lisa Genova

I recently read a Blinkist summary of this book and was fascinated by the following section:

“If you’re of a certain age you might remember January 28, 1986, when a space shuttle careened high in the blue sky over Florida and burst into a ball of flames. The explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger left no survivors and was witnessed by millions on live television.

Twenty-four hours later, a pair of psychology professors at Emory University asked their students to jot down an account of what they were doing when they either witnessed or learned of the explosion. Two and a half years later, the professors followed up with the students and again asked for a personal account of that fateful January day. For almost every student, the memory had changed.

When the professors revealed to the students the discrepancies between their accounts of the day the Challenger exploded, some of the students insisted that their current version was correct and that the version they jotted down within 24 hours of the fiery launch was flat wrong. Surprised? Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal.

Our episodic memory may be powerful and vivid, but it’s probably wrong.

First, while our attention can capture an incredible amount of sensory information, it can’t catch everything. We’re limited by our perspective and guided by our interests and expectations. Then, as we translate the sensory data into neural activity, our beliefs and biases again play a strong hand. Finally, in order to distill that neural activity into a stable, retrievable pattern, we edit creatively. We omit some details and add others under the influence of our imagination, assumptions, and the suggestions of others.

After this point, the memory goes into storage. If left untouched, the neural connections that make up the memory physically recede. Gaps appear. We forget.

Retrieving the memory doesn’t preserve its accuracy either. We recall the neural pattern and fill in the gaps with invented information. What’s more, we reinterpret the remembered moment in the context of our present circumstances. We create a narrative to jibe with our current opinions and mood, effectively reshaping yesterday for today.

Each time we remember, we rewrite and save the amended version, and the previous version is gone. Our latest version of memory feels real to us because it’s the only version we have.”

This helped me understand the frustrating experience when talking with someone and realizing that the story they are telling today is different from what happened or what they said previously. As the above material points out, the story we tell ourselves can change over time. If we are angry with someone, the story may get worse over time. We will be fully convinced of “facts” that never happened.

If you have ever kept a journal and then read it many years later, you will find that what you remember now may be different from what you wrote down.

My big take away is to realize that memory is not always reliable. It may be just an invention.

Monday, February 6, 2023

My Second Salvation

I became a Christian on October 14, 1973. Salvation came and I was saved. Without knowing all that it would mean, I decided to follow Jesus. Massive changes happened in my life.

If you want to read that story, click here.

My second salvation happened sometime toward the end of July, 2010. It was on that day that something just as miraculous happened. In the same mysterious way as the first time, an awakening came and with it, grace for change. Of course, I had known for years that I was dangerously overweight but I felt powerless to change. I liked food too much and my previous efforts to lose weight had failed to produce any lasting change. But on that day something happened. For the whole story, click here.

As I have thought back now, twelve years later, I see that my second salvation brought so much more than weight loss. It became a springboard to changes in so many other areas. It was like I was enabled to see the other areas in my life, family, and business that not only needed change but there was encouragement that they could change. A book would come my way and that book would lead to another and on and on. As I put things into practice, so many areas of my life began to improve.

God didn’t do all of it and I didn’t either. It is still mysterious to me where his power and my cooperation meet together. One thing I do know is that when his grace showed up on those days, if I had ignored it or put it off, my life would be dramatically worse. I also see that on a smaller scale, the same thing happens many times every day.

Say yes and take the hand when it is offered to you. Walk the path that is placed before you.

If you are overweight like most Americans, my story can help you. Is today your day?

Get it here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

The Book of Proverbs - Be Transformed Version


The Book of Proverbs


Be Transformed Version


Timeless Wisdom From Scripture


Book Cover


The Book of Proverbs like never before!


Welcome to this new version of the Book of Proverbs. I hope the timeless wisdom, knowledge, and instruction from the world's most famous book becomes a companion and friend in your life journey. There are 31 chapters and if you read one each day, you will have read them all in a month.

The goal is not to study the book, but to let it dwell within you and bear its good fruit. That won't come from a study or a one-time read. It will take time, month after month. However, as the book promises, gaining wisdom and understanding will be more valuable than anything else you will ever desire.

For decades, I have read a chapter of Proverbs every day, completing the book every month. I wanted to expose my grandchildren to this source of wisdom but realized there were a lot of words and concepts they might not understand. About four years ago, I started looking for a standalone version of the Book of Proverbs in an easy to understand but accurate version. That led me to this project, which I embraced with enthusiasm and passion.

The base of this version is the public domain World English Bible, but little of it remains. I have made many changes where I think a different word or concept would be better understood for a young or older reader. Most important was to remain accurate, and I have resisted the urge to paraphrase.

Get Wisdom!
Get Understanding!
Be Transformed!


 Click to order your copy

Kindle or paperback from Amazon

Donate to support the project


Sunday, August 28, 2022

Consumed by Hate, Redeemed by Love

Consumed by Hate, Redeemed by Love: How a Violent Klansman Became a Champion of Racial Reconciliation

I first heard of Thomas Tarrants in a Christianity Today cover story about him in 1978. A radical terrorist who hated blacks and Jews, he was involved in more than 30 bombings of churches, synagogues, and homes before the FBI captured him.

After many years in prison, he was radically transformed by an encounter with Jesus through reading the Bible. This book is an update of an earlier one and gives details of what has happened in his life in the fifty some years since his conversion and release from prison.

He also gives some warning and instruction to us here in the present where hatred and division have become so common even amongst Christians.

I read this book in one day. I could hardly put it down.