Transplant Tourism: A Euphemism for Organ Trafficking!

What could possibly go wrong? Take the survey and find out!

What could possibly go wrong? Take the survey and find out!

I am studying a Science Communication paper this summer semester, and instead of studying new topics for all the different styles of writing and presentation, we are covering the theme of organ transplantation and organ availability for all our various media.

So-o-o-o interesting, to really study a topic in depth that was completely foreign to me.

One of the communication methods we must discover and use is writing and analysing a survey. If you have the time (just 5 or 6 minutes maximum) I would really appreciate it if you would take the survey our group designed.

We want to find out about what types of legislation you would feel comfortable with the New Zealand government enacting, should they decide to try and increase the supply of organs for transplantation, which is currently very low, globally.

Sorry the survey is now closed

 

Restoration and Prophecy

HydrangeasProphet Kris Valloton prophesied the restoration of marriages over those who had a broken heart. He followed with a message about what happens when God has given you a prophetic word and the brook dries up!

1 Kings 17: 1 – 7

You may be doing exactly what God has called you to do, but for some reason time has passed and what you expected to happen just doesn’t and you feel like God has left you hanging with regards to His prophecy. Kris explained that some prophecies have an expiration date. It can be our own fault they ran out. You may have been disobedient to God’s intention! You might say you’ll keep standing on your prophetic claim until hell freezes over. Well, Hell has frozen over, so you might as well do something about it.

In Exodus 32 Moses hears from God that He is so angry with his people that He is ready to destroy them. Moses reminds God of the promise He had made to Israel and God relents. He tells us that sometimes we receive words from God like an obedient slave rather than a close friend. Often times He is testing our heart rather than determining our destiny. A friend of God is someone who interacts with Him, not just one who obeys. Moses tells God that unless He goes with them into the promised land, they did not want to go. They felt compelled to be in relationship with Him which also showed their influence with Him. What is the purpose of all this, God?

In 1 Kings 17: 8, God tells Elijah to go down to Zarephath in Sidon, to a widow who was to provide for him. When Elijah arrives, the widow is about to eat her last meal with her son and prepare to die, because they have so little. Elijah says to her in faith, just bake me a loaf of bread first. He told her God promises that her jar will not run out, and it doesn’t. Kris reminds us that when all around looks hopeless, and yet you have had multiple confirmations for what you are doing, stop feeling sorry for yourself and start prophesying into your own situation.

Kris also warns however, that there is a spirit of entitlement brooding over the body of Christ. We are sons and daughters of the king – the Bible tells us so! He makes it clear that we don’t become a king until we have been a good slave. He put it this way – some people are so busy working all their way down from the top! Sometimes our head gets too big to wear the crown designed for us.

In 2 Kings 4: 1 – 7, when there was a famine in the land, Elisha helped a poor widow. She thought all she had was a small jar of oil, but Elisha used this and her faith to multiply what she had and she was able to earn enough to repay her husband’s creditors.* So many times we compare what we have or don’t have to meet our needs with the size of the need. This shouldn’t be the case in God’s kingdom. With Him, all things are possible. Jesus fed 5000 with just a small lunchbox.

In 2 Corinthians 12: 9 we are reminded that God’s grace is all we need, and that our weakness can combine with God’s strength to accomplish all. We are not just our strengths – we are also our weaknesses. But, God has divinely designed us to be flawed in areas so we have to depend on Him or others around us to function properly. If we have weaknesses, when we divinely accomplish something, we certainly know God has had to be there for it to happen. We are to give to others, and our standard of measure will return to us in the same standard. Give abundantly and reap abundantly. The measure itself is not of amount, but of sacrifice. God expects equal sacrifice, not equal giving.

Hebrews 11 reminds us that it is faith that pleases God. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. If we stop hoping, our heart can get sick. In verse 13, the heroes of faith all died before their promises had been received. Hope feels; Faith sees; Lover never fails. There is no such thing as blind faith! To do the impossible you have to see the invisible.

 

What all teachers in regular classrooms can do for the gifted … # 1

gifted education blog
Making learning different and meaningful for all.

Teachers often think they just haven’t got time to differentiate the curriculum for gifted students. They may not use these exact words, but they look at all the other things they have to report on each week, and doing something extra on top of that for a small minority is beyond them. Besides, if they don’t really have training in teaching gifted students, what should they do?

Here are a few things that could be done in the regular classroom that would help gifted students and not hinder the rest of the class along the way. And it won’t take too much extra time, but will probably save you much stress and time in the long term. It is the start of an ongoing set of ideas especially helpful when getting started with meeting the needs of gifted children in the regular classroom.

  1. Accept there are gifted students, even if you don’t know what they should look like. If a parent tells you their child is gifted, it is usually not out of pride or bragging. It is because they have lived 24/7 with this child for their entire life, and they know there is something different about the way they think and do life. Being accepted as they are is one of the best things you can do for a gifted student, and it doesn’t take you any time at all, short of a thank you or a smile when parents offer you advice that might help you with their child.
  2. Think about what sort of investigations could be done at a deeper level right at the planning stage. This is the time you should be thinking about your gifted students, not just when they finish early or start to cause you challenges in the classroom lessons. Just as you have to think about ESOL or physical disabilities when you are planning, so you should consider how what you are planning will affect the child who might already know what you are planning to introduce to everyone in your classroom.
  3. Use labels  and practices that will not alienate your gifted child from their peers. If you say “Extra for experts” you imply that only those who complete the task at hand are experts, and worthy of a greater challenge. Gifted students are worthy of a challenge all the time, as is every student in the classroom. If they already know what is being taught, they should not have to repeat it just to earn an extra challenge. Try finding out what level each child is at before you start a topic; pretest, or maybe challenge them with the “Five most difficult first” strategy. If anyone is already familiar with the difficult level, then they should have an advanced level made available to them, or something that will challenge them to apply this knowledge in a new way.
  4. Choice is paramount for gifted students. This involves being flexible in what you will accept as an outcome that displays what the student has learned. It might be negotiated individually with the gifted student, or be part of a whole class choice system. Having a variety of products based on learning preferences, or Bloom’s taxonomy, or The Six Thinking Hats, or allowing a different context for a standard problem will accommodate the needs of gifted students to work on meaningful tasks that they are passionate about.
  5. Have a variety of question starters at all levels of thinking displayed prominently in the classroom to provide the opportunity to “differentiate on the spot” when challenged by a student needing something extra “now”. Ask the student to reword a topic with a particular question starter, or decide it yourself.   Useful starters are … In what ways could you…? Thinking about this from the …’s point of view, how else could you …? Show how many different ways it might be possible to …? From your experience, how has this helped you …? If you are not very creative, ask someone else in the school who is, or brainstorm some good question starters at your next syndicate or staff meeting.
  6. Ask your gifted students what they are interested in – it could be Antarctica, Roald Dahl books, Science Fiction, trains, aliens, or anything that they can sit and learn about for hours. Try to incorporate these passions into the curriculum they do at least once a term. Ask them a question about it at least once a week. Give them a smile at least once a day, especially when you see them reading or hear them talking about their favourite topic.

Try these six ideas out over the next few weeks, or whenever the time is appropriate, and let me know how you get on.

When the battle is at your door

Technophobic grandmaHelen Calder finished the conference with another message involving a man who fell short, and allowed a woman to overcome on the day of battle. Men do have responsibilities in life … serious, important responsibilities … but when a man falls short of these, God is quite willing to use a woman to stand in his place. Deborah, the prophetess from Judges 4 gave Barack a word from God, to take 10,000 men and conquer Sisera the oppressor. He would not go unless Deborah went with them. She did, but told him the honour of the battle would instead be given to a woman.

Long story short, the woman to whom Deborah was referring, Jael, went against her husband, and while the wicked Sisera slept, Jael stabbed him dead with a tent-peg, and showed him to Barack when he finally caught up with them. The battle honour was certainly due to this Bedouin housewife. In Old Testament times, her role was that of an enforcer of the Law. But, today, in New Testament times, we must be enforcers of Grace.

In a crisis, when a miracle is needed, we are not supposed to just go with the status quo, we must be dispensers of grace. Helen taught 5 truths to remember when the battle comes to your door:

  1. With God in your life you are powerful. Even one woman, Jael, with God, was the majority and overcame the battle. We may look like we are nothing of value to others, but with God on our side we become mighty victors.
  2. You are significant. It is not about our position, our personality, our part, or about the others around us. Jael was not a thermometer that rose and fell as she went up and down. She was a thermostat – she set the temperature. She wasn’t going to entertain this evil oppressor even though her husband wanted to.
  3. You have everything at hand you need to succeed. And if the battle seems to be overwhelming, you only need to call out to God and praise Him. He will be with you.
  4. Your place is significant. You don’t need to be anywhere else. God has put you in the exact places He wants you to be, to fulfil His desires.
  5. You have options. Are we going to flee at the first sign of difficulty? Or will we be the grace enforcers God wants us to be? We get to choose. Impact others’ lives with the message of good news, or say it’s too hard and leave it for someone else?

Women who find themselves ‘by themselves’ don’t have to fear that they will not cope with life’s tragedies alone. We have a kind and loving Father in Heaven who is ready and willing to stand beside us and support us through the trial. He has placed in us from conception, the seed of significance that no-one can take from us. Choose to rise up today, and claim your rightful place, not in the worldview of ‘feminism’ but in God’s view of equality and joint heirship with His son.

Forgive them and move on

In life we can come up against people who hurt us. Maybe unintentionally, by not realising the depth to which they drag us down with them to places we don’t want to go. When life throws you a curved ball you may have to pick yourself up and move on. One thing to make sure of is to not hold bitterness in your heart about the situation. It will only cause you grief.

Be on the lookout for good things that come your way. Be expectant. Don’t pine for what you once had but allow your spirit to be refreshed and made beautiful again. At the point just before forgiveness you are at a crossroads. Don’t let your anger stop you from taking the road to freedom. Remember what road you were once headed on and again head towards your destination.

You might feel like you are just picking up the leftovers for a while but you will be positioning yourself for a blessing. Just put one step in front of the other and keep moving.

These words of wisdom were shared at a women’s conference tonight at Harbourside Church. Thank you for relating the story of Ruth to us so eloquently Helen Calder. When Ruth chose obedience, not because it appealed to her, but because God wanted her to, she was blessed. God said to her, “Rise up daughter. Receive the fresh anointing for the new day.” What an encouragement for me, especially as I had decided some time back this was the best choice for me to move forward.

Gifted Resources for the Regular Classroom

A reminder here for some interesting, higher order thinking, inquiry learning for your students.

Here is a link to the books I have written for teachers to use within their regular classrooms, to help broaden inquiry learning topics for their gifted students. See them at the Essential Resources website, or at your local teacher resource centre.

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Each book (9 in total) has between six and twelve units that address specific aspects of giftedness or topics that interest gifted students. The Teacher Notes page addresses some of the issues gifted students encounter in the classroom, and give you ideas on how to deal with them.

Here are some of the Units covered in each of the three levels:

Juniors (Ages 5 – 7)

Feelings and Opinions
So Many Questions
Having the Choice
Working Together
Tenacity and Compromise
Overcoming Frustration

 

Middles (Ages 8 -10)

Caged, But Free
Extreme Work Environments
Seasons and Cycles
Secret Places
Contraptions
From My Perspective

 

Senior (Ages 11 – 13)

Beyond the Atmosphere
Tipping the Scales of Justice
DNA Discovery
Living in Cultural Harmony
Following the Evidence
Search for the Truth
Sustainable Choices

Experiencing the Gifted

The trouble that arises from teachers and students alike not understanding someone’s differences can be widespread in the classroom. For gifted students, teachers not understanding their intentions, or criticising them for a seeming indiscretion, can damage their feelings of self-worth for years to come.

So how do you teach the teachers-to-be about gifted students in a way that doesn’t parade the gifted into more self-conciousness? Easy, by all accounts – view gifted people in films and identify with the common characteristics.

See Viewing Giftedness through Different Lenses: Film Character Analyses | Ako Aotearoa, an excellent article by Massey University’s Gifted expert, Tracy Riley.

I have a soft spot for this type of teaching and learning, because I have a son who was failing at NCEA English, until he changed schools in Year 12 and was catered for brilliantly at his new school. At this school, English Through Film was a popular class for students who were not that good with the standard reading and writing in the curriculum. It worked – he passed, and he finally enjoyed a year of English at school!

“Find Your Great Work” Movie – by Michael Bungay Stanier

Following on from yesterday, watch this Find Your Great Work Movie – by Michael Bungay Stanier. Michael challenges us with five ways to find our great work:

  1. Things only get really interesting when you take full responsibility for the choices you make.
  2. Changing your focus changes what is possible.
  3. You must make the full choice – what to say “yes” to, and what to say “no” to.
  4. If everyone’s happy then you are not doing great work.
  5. If you’re doing it yourself, you are not doing great work – will you open the door to others?

Great work will make a difference to others. Sometimes we can be so wrapped up in what we want to do, we forget about our impact on others. Being empathic takes you out of the zone of self-fulfilment to ‘other centred’-fulfilment. As teachers, we need to look at our students to see that they are truly learning, before we accept any praise for ourselves. Unless they are truly learning, we are not truly teachers. Are we?

Just a thought to ponder online, as you prepare for the variety of students in your class this year!