Posts tagged ‘Reflection questions’

Answer the following two questions.  Your answer must be five to ten or more sentences long.  Place your answer it in a word document, save it, and either print it off and hand in or e-mail it to me.  The rubric on the right titled, Reflection Rubric, will be used to evaluate your response.

1)  A group of friends were partying on Saturday night, and then in church the next morning.  Is this hypocritical?  Explain why or why not.
2)  Describe TWO  examples from the movie that illustrate unholy behaviour, that is, behaviours that show disrespect.  Also explain the results of these behaviours. Did they bring the people involved happiness or unhappiness. Support your answers with examples from the movie.  Were the people better off as a result of the unholy behaviours, or were they worse off.  Explain.

Read the following story about trusting (having faith) in God totally. It is an excerpt from a book titled Those who Trust in the Lord Shall not be Disappointed. Then address the questions below.

Our car was stolen out from under our carport, and we had no theft insurance. With everyone thinking it was too late, including the Sheriff Department, this was a real temptation to be disappointed. It was a fact that the car was gone, and after two weeks the officers were insistent that it was already in Mexico.
Serious thefts were going on all around us—saddles, horses, horse trailers… There were all kinds of emotions involved to contend with—especially the fear of thinking, “if this could happen to us, what else could happen?” But fears, reasoning and doubt thoughts have to be stopped because they always precede and open the door to disappointment.

I can remember the night that Jack and I discussed the situation and finally came to the conclusion that there can be no “what ifs” with the Lord. We determined that night that even though it looked to be too late, we were going to trust God to work it out. We prayed and asked God to forgive and convict whoever had taken the car, and we chose to forgive them according to the Word.

One week later a young man turned himself in, saying that he had stolen a car and a company pickup. He was brought to our house where he confessed to us, “I’ve stolen all my life, but this is the first time I have ever felt guilty.”

He couldn’t remember exactly where he had left our car since he was stumbling drunk that night, but he did recall that it was left on a rodeo grounds. After doing some investigating, we found that a little community called Elm Grove, located about fifteen miles from Brownwood, had a rodeo the weekend before. And sure enough, there on the rodeo grounds was our ’64 black Chevrolet Impala Sports Coupe, without a dent or a scratch on it. The only thing that we could find changed was that it had a full tank of gas in place of the almost empty tank when it was taken!  Stolen Car story

This is claimed by the authors to be a true story.  Do you believe stories like this occur?  Do you believe that totally trusting God with a “problem” will be taken care of by God, as in the story above?  If you do, explain how this story might help your faith.  If you do not believe it, then explain how the events of the story could happen without God.  Your response needs to be 5 – 10 sentences. You must be convincing in your arguments.  The rubic titled, Reflection Rubric, will be used to assess your comments.  Type your response in the comment spot below.

“To look out at this kind of creation and?not believe in God is to me impossible”. – Astronaut John Glenn, first man to step on the moon.

Read the following and then send me your response to the question in the comment space.

Koenig H.G, et al. 1998. The relationship between religious activities and blood pressure in older adults. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 28: 189-213.

The relationship between religious activities and blood pressure was examined in 6-year prospective study of 4,000 older adults. Among subjects who attended religious services once a week or more and prayed or studied the Bible once a day or more, the likelihood of diastolic hypertension was 40 percent lower than among those who attended services and prayed less often (p<.0001, after controlling for age, sex, race, smoking, chronic illness and body mass index).

Tully J, Viner RM, Coen PG, Stuart JM, Zambon M, Peckham C, Booth C, Klein N, Kaczmarski E, Booy R. 2006. Risk and Protective Factors for Meningococcal Disease in Adolescents: Matched Cohort Study. BMJ 332: 445-450.

A study of meningococcal disease in adolescents in the UK showed that religious observance was as effective as meningococcal vaccination for preventing meningococcal disease.

Palmer, R. F., D. Katerndahl, and J. Morgan-Kidd. 2004. A Randomized Trial of the Effects of Remote Intercessory Prayer: Interactions with Personal Beliefs on Problem-Specific Outcomes and Functional Status. J. Alt. Compl. Med. 10: 438-448.

A randomized clinical trial found a significant reduction in the amount of pain in the intercessory prayer group compared to controls. In addition, the amount of concern for baseline problems at follow-up was significantly lower in the prayer group when the subject initially believed that the problem could be resolved. Those who did not believe that their problem could be resolved did not differ from controls. Better physical functioning was observed in the prayer group for those with a higher belief in prayer. However, better mental health scores were observed in the control group with lower belief in prayer scores.

In the comment space below, explain your reaction to these studies.  Do you believe it?  If you do, clearly explain why you do?  If you don’t, clearly explain why you don’t.  How do you explain such results published in internationally recognized science journals? Your response needs to be 5 – 10 sentences.  The rubric called, reflection rubric, on the right will be used to assess your response.

“To look out at this kind of creation and?not believe in God is to me impossible”. – Astronaut John Glenn, first man to step on the moon

Death is terrifying because it is so ordinary.  It happens all the time —-Susan Cheever

Know one knows whether death, which people fear to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good. —-Plato (BC 427-BC 347) Greek philosopher.

[One] time he was asked if he believed in  an afterlife.  After a oment’s hesitation he said no, that he thought there was only “some kind of velvety cool blackness,” adding then: “Of course, I admit I may be wrong.  It is conceivable that I might well be reborn as a Chinese coolie.  In such case I should lodge a protest.” —Sir Winston Churchill, former British PM

“The soul comes from without into the human body, as into a temporary abode, and it goes outof it anew it passes into other habitations, for the soul is immortal.”  It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but only retire a little from sight and afterwards return again.  Nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals…and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some strange new disguise.”                                                                     ––Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I look upon death to be as necessary to the constitution as sleep.  We shall rise refreshed in the morning.” –Benjamin Franklin

Which of the above quotes best describes what you think about death?  Clearly explain the reasons for your choice.  If you strongly feel that none of the above quotes best describes what you think about death, then find a quote that you do and share it with us along with your explanations.

Be inspired with the belief that life is a great and noble calling; not a mean and groveling thing that we are to shuffle through as we can, but an elevated and lofty destiny.                                                                                           —William E. Gladstone

Life is just a mirror, and what you see out there, you must first see inside of you. Wally Amos

The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.                                                                               —Oprah Winfrey

The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.      Anonymous

Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.  —Gandhi

There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle.                                                 —Albert Einstein

Which of the above quotes best describes what life is all about in your view?  Clearly explain the reasons for your choice.  If you strongly feel that none of the above quotes best describes what you think life is all about, then find a quote that you do and share it with us along with your explanations.

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you’re getting this down.”                            —– Woody Allen

If love does not know how to give and take without restrictions, it is not love, but a transaction.                                                                                       —– Emma Goldman

Real love is not a feeling; love is an act of the will.  Love takes over when feelings fail, when the beloved is not longer even likeable.  As with any act of freedom, love includes a commitment to the other, a sacrifice of freedom.                  —– William J. O’Malley

Which of the above quotes best describes what love is in your view?  Clearly explain the reasons for your choice.  If you strongly feel that none of the above quotes best describes what you think about love, then find a quote that you do and share it with us along with your explanations.

Choose one of the following questions and answer it.  The page on the right hand side called Reflection Rubric will be used to grade your reflection.

1)  Morrie says to Mitch regarding his imminent death, “I’m a lucky man.  I still have time to learn.  I still have time to say goodbye.  Time to teach my final course about living.  When you know how to die, you know how to live”What do you think Morrie means when he says, “When you know how to die, you know how to live” ?  Summarize in a short paragraph what Buddhist Philosophy (which is what Morrie is referring to) what it really means.  To find out, read the article called Love the little Bird on your Shoulder.

2)  Mitch asks Morrie, “Do you ever wish you were young?” Morrie provides an interesting response to this question.  He says, “Nah.  I’ve been young.  I know how miserable it can be being young.  Aging isn’t decay, you know.  Its growth!  This  culture worship’s youth.”  Do you agree with Morrie that our culture worships youth?  Why is this so?  Read the article Why do We Idolize Youth?   to find out a possible answer.  Do you agree with the article ?  Why or why not?


Tuesdays with Morrie is a true story.  These are the real people.

Central to Jesus’ teachings is Love.  Jesus did not actually use the word love all that much.  He spoke more often of the results or expressions of love:  service to others, compassion, forgiveness, and reconciliation.  According to the teachings of Jesus, love of God cannot be lived out apart from love of our fellow human beings.

Key teachings of Jesus

To understand the words, sayings, and stories of Jesus, we must keep in mind the vehicle by which they come to us, that is, the Gospels.  The Gospels are the faith community’s reflections upon and expressions of Jesus’ life and message.  In other words, we do not find Jesus’ everyday, casual conversation in the Gospels.  We have, rather, his most significant thoughts and ideas – expressed through the words of those who heard him.  In most cases, these words were passed on orally for many years before finally being recorded in the Gospels.


Below are listed some of the key teachings of Jesus as found in the canonical Gospels.  Read the texts below and summarize the teaching.  You can use oremus Bible Browser to help you do this.

  1. Golden Rule (Matt 7:12 or Luke 6:31)
  2. The Greatest Commandment (Mark 12:28-34 or Luke 10:25-28 or Matt 22:34-40)
  3. Love Enemies (Matt 5:43-48 or Luke 6:27-28, 32-36)
  4. Retaliation (Matt 5:38-42 or Luke 6:29-31)

Reflection: Consider, for a moment, how the world might be a different place if all people chose to follow these four teachings.  Set aside any thoughts of, “that will never happen” or  “People would never do that”.  Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone did. Write a reflection consisting of one or two paragraphs describing how the world would change if everyone chose to follow just these four teachings.  Use examples to support your reflection.

Enter your response on your blog, print it and hand it in.  The rubric used to grade this reflection is called Reflection Rubric, found on the pages at the right

Read the following two excerpts.  What is your reaction?  Are you concerned by some of these survey results?  Some say, “The survey results do prompt concerns about teens’.  Reflect by answering the above questions. Your reflection must include a discussion about conscience in terms of what you’ve learned in class.   Serious and thoughtful comments only Please.  The rubric which will be used, called reflection rubric, is found on the left.

Once you have completed your assignment, print it off and hand in or send it to me via e-mail (  to be graded.

Today’s teenagers say they are confident in their ability to make ethical business decisions. And if it takes lying and cheating to get to the top … oh, well.

Nearly half of students polled in a Junior Achievement survey said they think it’s OK to lie to their parents, and more than a third of them think they need to break the rules at school to succeed.

The survey of 750 students ages 12 to 17 was conducted by Deloitte, a global accounting and consulting firm.

Eighty percent of students surveyed think they will be able to make ethical decisions when they enter the work force. On the other hand, 38 percent think that in order to succeed, rules must be broken. Forty percent think it is acceptable to lie to their parents, and 61 percent of them say they have done so in the past year.

In what the survey sponsors called a troubling sign, only 54 percent said they look to their parents as role models. The other students said they have no role model at all, or look to their friends.

“There is a troubling incongruent between the degree to which teens feel ethically prepared to enter the work force, and the unethical behaviors in which they engage,” said David W. Miller, director of the Princeton University Faith and Work Initiative.

“The survey results do prompt concerns about teens’ future workplace behavior and forecast serious challenges to businessmen around how they will need to prepare and train these future leaders.” (Full article)

[Note:  This article is based on an American survey]

Teens agree with their parents’ values. A nearly unanimous 98 percent of those surveyed said their parents had set a good example of right and wrong. When we asked teens how their own attitudes about right and wrong compared with their parents’, 70 percent said “pretty much the same.”

One of our most disturbing findings concerned the problem of cheating in school. Seventy-four percent told us that teens “in general” think it is usually or sometimes okay. When we asked individuals if they personally thought that cheating is “usually okay, sometimes okay or never okay,” a still surprisingly large 38 percent said it was usually or sometimes okay.

Teens polled expressed a strong sense of responsibility for their fellow man. Eighty-three percent considered it essential to “take action to help” if they heard someone screaming or saw them being attacked. Seventy percent of our teens felt it essential to report a crime they had witnessed. Even more encouraging, our poll showed that teenagers have a strong foundation in faith and morals. Nearly three out of four (71 percent) report they believe in God; 18 percent of those polled go to a house of worship once or more a week. We also asked teens what they would do if they found themselves “unsure of what was right or wrong.” The majority, 43 percent, said they would try to do “what would be best for everyone involved.” Only one in ten would take the self-serving path of “doing what would help me to get ahead.”  (Full article)

[Note:  This article is based on a Canadian survey]

Select one of the questions to answer.

  1. Scene:  Matthew finally confesses to Sr. Prejean.  The dialogue went as follows:
    Sr. Prejean:    “Do you take responsibility for both of their (the victims) deaths?”
    Matthew:    “Yes ma’am.” (Matthew breaks down and cries)
    Sr. Prejean:    “…You did a terrible thing.  But you have dignity now.  Nobody can take that from you.  You are a Son of God, Matthew”.
    Matthew: (crying)     “Nobody ever called me a Son of God before.  They’ve called me a son of a you know what…”

What does Helen mean by “dignity”?  What does the above conversation tell you about Matthew’s self-esteem? You may need to draw from your unit one notes. Why was Sr. Prejean so insistent that Matthew takes responsibility for his actions? What does Sr. Prejean mean by “You are a Son of God, Matthew.”


2.  During another discussion between Sr. Prejean and Matthew   Poncelet the following dialogue occurspicture-12
Sr. Prejean:    “Was your Daddy a racist?”
Matthew:    “What kind of question was that?”
Sr. Prejean:    “You have to teach a child to hate.  I was just wandering who taught you.”
Matthew:    “I just don’t like niggers.”
Sr. Prejean:    “Have you ever known any black people?”
Sr. Prejean:     (Talking about black people) “...I know some pretty cool people.  A lot of hard working people.”
Matthew:    “I know a lot of welfare taking coloreds sucking up tax dollars”
Sr. Prejean:   “Have you ever been the object of prejudice?”
Matthew:    “No.”
Sr. Prejean:    “What do you think people say about men on death row?”
Matthew:      “I don’t know.  Why don’t you tell me.”
Sr. Prejean:    “They’re all monsters.  Disposable human waste.  Good for nothing sucking up tax dollars.”

What is prejudice?  Does prejudice come from ignorance? Are people taught to hate?  Explain.   Do you agree that people on death row are “all monsters?  Disposable human waste.  Good for nothing sucking up tax dollars.” Why or why not?  Remember, your opinion has no validity unless you provide reasons with evidence or examples.

3.   picture-21During a discussion between Sr. Helen Prejean and a Catholic Priest, the Priest says, “Are you familiar with the Old Testament?  Thou shalt not kill (Exod 20:13).  If anyone sheds the blood of man, his blood shall be shed.” (Gen 9:6).  Sr. Helen responds with, “Yes Father.  Are you familiar with the New Testament where Jesus talks about grace and reconciliation? (Matthew 6:14)” Why is there two very differing views on how to deal with murderers in the bible? Explain.   Which testament (old or new) should be given president?  Why?  Is using scripture text to justify your position acceptable?  Why or why not?

To help you understand the two dominant images of God in scripture, go to bible, and enter Genesis 6:11-13 to get a feeling of the OT image of God.  Then to get a feeling for the NT image of God, enter 1 John 4:7-9 and 1 John 16-17.

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