We can scarcely indeed look into any part of the sacred volume without meeting abundant proofs that it is the religion of the affections which God particularly requires.
Joy is enjoined on us as our bounden duty and commended to us as our acceptable worship.
A cold, unfeeling heart is represented as highly criminal.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart . . .” Matthew 22:37
“Love one another with brotherly affection.” Romans 12:10
“Never flag in your zeal.” Romans 12:11
“Rejoice in hope.” Romans 12:12
“Weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15
“Rejoice in the Lord always.” Philippians 4:4
“Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Spurgeon in Counsel For Christian Workers:
His way went wrong after his thought had gone wrong. You cannot deviate from truth without ere long, in some measure, at any rate, deviating from practical righteousness. This man had erred from right acting because he had erred from right believing.
Suppose a man shall imbibe a doctrine which leads him to think little of Christ, he will soon have little faith in him, and become little obedient to him, and so will wander into self-righteousness or licentiousness….
It is vain for us to imagine that holiness will be readily produced from erroneous as from truthful doctrine. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? The facts of history prove the contrary. When truth is dominant morality and holiness are abundant; but when error comes to the front godly living retreats in shame.
A good exhortation from Edwards on the importance of learning about the practical dimension of life and our vocations:
Many who mean well, and are full of a good spirit, yet for want of prudence, conduct themselves so as to wound religion. Many have a zeal for God, which doth more hurt than good, because it is not according to knowledge, Rom 10: 2. The reason why many good men behave no better in many instances, is not so much that they want grace, as they want knowledge. (From “Christian Knowledge: The Importance and Advantage of a Thorough Knowledge of Divine Truth,” p. 162 in volume 2 of the Banner edition of his works.)
In other words: Good intentions are admirable. But we should not think that they are enough. If we have good intentions but do not understand how to do things right, we will end up doing harm — and this, in turn, not only hurts people, but casts a bad reflection on the gospel.
It’s easy to leave this in the realm of the abstract and think it applies mostly to people other than ourselves. So, to make this a bit more concrete, here’s what this means.
If you are in a position of leadership, you need to learn how to lead. You should not think that your natural inclinations are sufficient to make you a good leader. Some people do have better instincts than others, but in both cases we need to actually apply ourselves to learning from others — including through reading books — about what it means to lead well.
If you are a manager and responsible for the more detailed planning and coordinating of things, you need to know how to manage. For some people, this comes more naturally. But for others, they have a lot to learn. But, once again, in both cases it is important to learn from the best people outside of yourself. This can mean, as with leadership, reading some books and articles, being intentional to learn from other managers in your organization, and going to some of the one-day seminars that you probably get fliers for in the mail every so often. (They’re not perfect, but some of them can be pretty helpful.)
If you are a pastor, learn about preaching. If you are a missionary, don’t just wing it, but make sure you have a strategy. And, be diligent to learn about the culture you are in so you can properly contextualize.
If you are in marketing, subscribe to Seth Godin’s blog and read some of his books. If you are in finance or run an organization, make sure not to let financial considerations be the main thing in how your business is run, don’t let the short-term be the primary consideration, and realize that cost-cutting often backfires (also this). (And, be ruthlessly ethical.)
If you are in construction, don’t cut corners or allow your business model to be based upon giving people as little as possible for their money (which is, according to Proverbs 18:9, actually a form of vandalism).
If you work at a fast food restaurant, give people quick service. If you are a truck driver, be extra safe by trying to be always asking “what if” questions about things the other drivers around you could do that would cause problems (that’s actually one of the core skills of the best truck drivers, according to Marcus Buckingham’s First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently).
And this list could go on and on. The point is: see the vocations God has given you in your life as important and see people as important. And therefore be diligent in fulfilling your vocations and upgrading your skills so that you are actually doing good, and not thinking it is sufficient to merely intend to do good.
John Piper’s latest book, Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian, will be released September 30 and is available for pre-order.
Here’s a summary:
JOHN PIPER brings the light of the gospel to bear on racial issues in this groundbreaking book. Bloodlines begins with Piper’s confession of his own sins and experience with racial tensions, along with how God has been transforming him and his church. He enables readers to grasp the reality and extent of racism, and then he demonstrates from Scripture how the light of the gospel penetrates the darkness of this destructive sin. The book concludes with sections on what Jesus’s atoning death means for racial issues, interracial marriage, and prejudice. With great sensitivity and compassion, along with a careful reading of the Scriptures, Piper helps readers navigate the painful landscape of racial sin, showing that in the gospel we all have a common bloodline and that through the blood of Jesus, race and ethnicity become secondary for a common people of God.
Learn to pursue ethnic harmony from a biblical perspective, and to relate to real people different from yourself, as you take part in the bloodline of Jesus that is comprised of “every tongue, tribe, and nation.”
And here are a few endorsements:
“For years, I have yearned for a biblically sound, theologically anchored resource on race. God has answered that prayer. This is an important, foundational work and I am sure it will be used of God to remind all of us of the power and precious, priceless dignity of the gospel.”- Crawford W. Loritts Jr., Senior Pastor, Fellowship Bible Church, Roswell, Georgia; author, A Passionate Commitment
“John Piper has given us an exquisite work on the matter of race. He addresses the issue with biblical and theological soundness coupled with personal sensitivity and practical advice. This is a must read for those who wish to pursue unity God’s way.” – Tony Evans, Co-founder and Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship
William Wilberforce, the great social reformer and evangelical, in A Practical View of Christianity (1797):
Nor does [the Christian] churlishly refuse to associate with the inhabitants of the country through which he is passing; nor, so far as he may, to speak their language, and adopt their fashions. But he neither suffers pleasure, not curiosity, or society, to take up too much of his time; and is still intent on transacting the business he has to execute, and on prosecuting the journey which he is ordered to pursue.
A lot of productivity advice seems to focus on giving you tips to stay focused on and get motivated to do things you don’t want to do. I’m actually not into that sort of thing.
I think that if you are doing a lot of work where you have to “goad” yourself to get it done, you are probably in the wrong job. Plus, a lot of the detailed tactics for self-motivation don’t work long-term. It is far better to make procrastination a non-issue, which is what my first point gets at.
1. Love what you do
The best motivation is to love what you do. It’s far better to tackle the “problem” of motivation at the higher level so that you don’t even need to deal with the more detailed and specific motivational tactics.
The three components of motivation are autonomy, mastery, and purpose. If you find yourself needing to be motivated, rather than identifying tactics like “reward yourself after you get done with a hard task,” take a look at whether you believe in the purpose of your tasks (and, before that, actually know the purpose!), whether the tasks are too hard (or too easy), and whether you have the freedom to do them in your own way.
The best type of motivation is to want to do the things you have to do — to be pulled toward them by a desire to do them and make a difference and serve others — rather than to be pushed towards them through carrots and sticks (rewards and punishments). Intrinsic motivation trumps extrinsic motivation every time. When you like your work, procrastination typically becomes a non-issue.
Now, at the same time, there will always be tasks now and then that we just find ourselves entirely dis-inclined to do. Maybe it’s even a task we ordinary love, but we are extremely tired that day and yet are on a deadline and need to get it done. Or maybe there are other factors interfering. In these cases, tactics can sometimes be useful. Here’s one I’ve found useful.
2. Take Breaks After Starting the Next Part of a Task, Rather Than In Between
When you take a break, don’t take your break at a natural stopping point. Instead, get to a natural stopping point, and then start into the next segment of the task. This gets you into it a bit and gets your wheels turning. Then take your break. While you are on your break, your mind will be inclined to get going again, since you’ve already started in to it. So it will be easier to come back from the break and avoid letting the break turn into an extended period of procrastination.
Critique — done well — is a gift to the one being criticized. We should welcome the opportunity to have our thinking corrected and clarified. We see through a glass dimly, and God has gifted the church with teachers who often see things more clearly than we do at present. In God’s providence and through the gift of common grace he may also use unbelievers to critique our views, showing our logical mistakes or lack of clarity.
Critique done poorly — whether through overstatement, misunderstanding, caricature — is a losing proposition for all. It undermines the credibility of the critic and deprives the one being criticized from the opportunity to improve his or her position.
It’s impossible in a blog post to set forth a comprehensive methodology of critique — if such a thing can even be done. But there are at least three exhortations worth remembering about criticism.
His three exhortations are:
- Understand before you critique
- Be self-critical in how you critique
- Consider the alternatives of what you are critiquing
Martin Luther in 1516, before email:
“I would need almost two secretaries; I do almost nothing all day but write letters.” Luther and His Katie, 35
What Does it Mean to be Pure? Or, How We Often Minimize What Jesus Really Means When He Says We are to Be “Pure in Heart”
Our daughter’s name is Kate, which means “pure.”
The other night I came in to tuck her in a bit late, and she said “I just got done praying.” Which is fantastic (she’s 6). I said to her “what did you pray for?” One of the things she said was: “I prayed that I would be pure, just like my name means.”
That is really, really great. Lord, may it be so.
Kate’s prayer echoes, of course, Matthew 5:8 (though she doesn’t know it!): “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Now, being 6, she probably has a very small idea of what it means to be “pure.” But most of us who are adults do, too.
Most of think of purity mainly in relation to lust. To be pure is to refrain from lustful thoughts and lustful desires. That is critically important (Matthew 5:27-30). And, it flows from being pure in heart. But that is not the main meaning of purity. The main meaning is far, far more.
Jesus expounds on what it means to be “pure in heart” in two other places in the Sermon on the Mount:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth . . . but lay up for yourselves treasure sin heaven … for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy [literally: "single"], your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:19-24).
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
It was always puzzling to me what Jesus meant by “the eye is the lamp of the body” in 6:22 But if you look at it, you see he has simply switched metaphors.
Jesus just got done telling us to lay up treasures in heaven, not on earth, so that our heart will be in heaven — not on earth. Then he says “the eye is the lamp of the body” and that if it is healthy, everything else is right for you. In other words, what he has just said about our heart — fix it on heaven — he is expounding on, only now using the metaphor of the “eye.”
He is saying, in effect, “let your eye be single — be focused on just one thing, on heavenly realities.” Let your eye — your heart — be set on God.
He then re-iterates this in different terms in the verse next verse, setting it against the backdrop of the biggest competitor to God for many: money. “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
In other words, once again, you cannot have two ultimate priorities. “No one can serve two masters.” You can only have one master, one ultimate priority, and it is to be God.
Jesus then applies this to worry (for worry is often a result of not having our priorities straight), and then re-states the point again in different words: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (6:33). Seek first the kingdom of God. Let that, and that only, be your ultimate priority and aim. If you have other ultimate aims, your heart is not “pure” — it is not single and wholly devoted to God, but divided. The pure heart is the heart that is fully devoted to God, set on heaven, loving him and not ultimately other things like money.
Does this make us so heavenly minded we are no earthly good? Is Jesus saying “don’t care anything about this world? Let ‘the things of earth become strangely dim’?” No. To have God as your ultimate priority is not to become a hermit and care nothing for this life; it is rather to care even more for this life — but for a different reason. We now care about it because we care about loving others and living out the priorities of God’s kingdom in the face of injustice and hardship and trouble — as Jesus said right at the start of the sermon: “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Love for God lives itself out through love for our neighbor (1 John 4:21).
Bringing this all back to Matthew 5:8: To be “pure in heart” means to be single-minded for the glory of God. It is to have God and his kingdom as your ultimate priority, with no competitors. It is to serve one master, not two. It is to have a single eye, treasuring heaven and Jesus more than anything in this world. It is for your ultimate aim and priority and value in life to be knowing Jesus Christ and, from that, living a life of good works so that he, not you, is glorified (Matthew 5:16).
Clearly, the result of this will be that you are not ruled by lust (5:27-30) — or anger (5:21-26), or undependability (5:33-37), or retaliation (5:38-41), or stinginess (5:42), or lack of grace and generosity (5:43-48), or love of the praise of men (6:1-4), or money (6:24). The entire sermon, in a sense, is an exposition of what it looks like when your heart is pure. And so we see that having a pure heart is not simply a matter of not lusting, but a whole lot more. And, beyond that, we see that all of these qualities of a pure heart stem from the fact that you are single-mindedly devoted to the glory of God.
That’s what it means to be “pure in heart” — and that’s what I pray for my daughter.
I thought these were some very good points over at the First Things blog.
(HT: Justin Taylor)
Update: I’m not able to get the direct link to the pdf to work, but if you scroll down on this page, you will find it about half way down. While you’re there, note that there is a lot of other helpful content worth taking a look at!
Drucker, in The Effective Executive:
“Effective executives know that they have to get many things done — and done effectively. Therefore, they concentrate — their own time and energy as well as that of their organization — on doing one thing at a time, and on doing first things first.”
“This is the ‘secret’ of those who ‘do so many things’ and apparently so many difficult things. They do only one at a time. As a result, they need much less time in the end than the rest of us.”
“The more one can concentrate time, effort, and resources, the greater the number and diversity of tasks one can actually perform.”
Note that: The more you concentrate your efforts, the greater number and diversity of things you can do. Concentration results in getting more done, not less.
My article at The Gospel Coalition.
The 9 books are:
- The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians, DA Carson
- Spurgeon on Leadership, Larry Michael
- Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future, Andy Stanley
- The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make, Hans Finzel
- Leaders Who Last, Dave Kraft
- The One Thing You Need to Know, Marcus Buckingham
- You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference, Mark Sanborn
- Leadership, Rudy Giuliani
- Built to Last, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
Read the whole thing for a short summary of the most significant insights from each, and why it’s important for Christians to read secular books on leadership as well as Christian ones.
One other thing (which is not in the post): The second book I listed was Spurgeon on Leadership. For those who don’t think it’s important for Christians to think about and understand leadership, I hope helps point in another way. If even Spurgeon understood leadership and was an effective leader, then maybe it is pretty important for the rest of us to care about leadership as well.
We should not pit caring about sound doctrine against caring about leadership. Spurgeon didn’t, and neither should we.
It means that the earth will be filled with Christians.
To see this, we need to go back to Genesis 1:26, where God gives his purpose in creating people:
Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. (Genesis 1:26; see also vv. 27-28).
To be in the image of God means to reflect him and represent him. Reflecting God is at the essence of being in his image.
And reflecting God is the same thing as glorifying God. To glorify something means to make it look great (not, in this case, like a microscope, make something small look bigger than it is, but like a telescope — showing just how big something really is). So for God to say that he made us in his image is the same as to say that he made us to display his glory.
Further, when God gives dominion to humankind “over all the earth,” it shows that his purpose in creation was to fill the whole earth with his glory. That’s why God created humans — to fill the earth with his glory. This includes fellowship with him and one another, reflecting back to him the radiance of his worth in our character, actions, and delight in him.
Then the fall happened, and man sinned (Genesis 3). Theologians distinguish between the natural image of God and the moral image of God. We didn’t lose the natural image of God in the fall — for example, God reaffirms, after the fall, that man is in his image (Genesis 9:6). This is why all people still deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
But we did lose the moral image of God. This means we stopped reflecting God’s moral attributes; we became corrupted and sinful, reflecting the opposite of what God is like. This is why Paul can say that, in Christ, we are being restored in the image of God (Colossians 3:10).
Here’s what this means: The mere expansion of the human race over the whole earth no longer fulfills God’s purpose in creation. It fills the earth with people in his natural image — possessing intellect, emotion, and will — but who are out of fellowship with God and ultimately against him (Genesis 6:5; Romans 3:10ff; etc.).
Yet, God prophesies that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14 and elsewhere). In other words, God’s original purpose to fill the earth with his glory — his glory reflected through human beings – will be fulfilled.
But how can that be, since we have sinned and no longer reflect the character of God? This is what redemption accomplished. By dying for us, Christ secured not only the forgiveness of our sins, but also our sanctification (and ultimately glorification). Through Christ, we are made new and come to reflect the moral image of God once again (Romans 8:29). And, this is only through Christ (Romans 8:1-8; John 14:6).
Which means, therefore, that the promise that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” is a promise that the earth will be filled with Christians. It is a promise that God’s plan of redemption will be successful in bringing people to faith in Christ in every people group in the entire world.
Since it is through people reflecting the glory of God that God’s glory fills the earth (Genesis 1:26), and since we only truly reflect his glory through the redemption that Christ won for us and gives to us (Romans 2:28-30; Colossians 3:10), the promise that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God’s glory is a promise that it will be filled with those who believe in Christ and glorify God in him.
One could even possibly say that it is a promise of the worldwide success of the gospel.
Or, it is at least an echo of that. One question could be: “does this promise refer to the new heavens and new earth, when all has been made new after Christ returns, or a time before he returns?” I don’t know for sure — I haven’t totally figured out the details of my eschatology! (Other than, of course, the most important things: Christ will return physically, the dead will be raised [believers and unbelievers], the final judgment will happen, and there will be a renewed heavens and earth for all the people of God.)
But we do know this: the gospel will reach all people groups before Christ returns (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 7:9-12). So it seems likely that the promise of Habakkuk 2:14 and related passage will have a type of fulfillment in this age, before Christ returns, and that the ultimate fulfillment will be in the new heavens and new earth.
So whether the main emphasis of the passage is on the new heavens and new earth or this age, the promise is clear: God will accomplish his original purpose of filling the earth with his glory. And this means that he will fill the earth with the gospel and those who have come to him through it, such that they are more and more being renewed in his image and displaying his glory in all of life.
And one on crafting ideas well:
An excellent wife:
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels” (Proverbs 31:10).
“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 3:13-15).
Suffering for Christ:
“By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward” (Hebrews 11:24-26).
Great comments by John Piper from his latest sermon:
“But you do not believe, because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Notice three things. First, when the Father gives his sheep into the omnipotent hand of the Son, they are still in the Father’s hand. Verse 29: “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Even though the Father has put them into the Son’s hand, they are in the Father’s hand. What does this imply?
Second, notice that Jesus explains this with the words of verse 30: “I and the Father are one.” His final answer about his identity is way beyond messiahship. It is oneness with God the Father.
And third, notice that Jesus takes us to this answer by showing how this oneness serves our salvation—our eternal safety and joy. The Father and I are one. No one can take you from me because I am stronger than all. And no one can take you from my Father, because my Father is stronger than all. When you are in my hand, you are in his hand, and when you are in his hand, you are in my hand. Our omnipotence, and our unity are your safety, your salvation.
Now there is a lesson here, and I want to drive it home. Jesus takes us to the heights of doctrinal truth about himself. He is one with the Father. “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14). But he does it by showing us the immediate implication for our lives: No one can snatch you from my hand. Or the Father’s hand. Which are one hand. In other words, doctrine, theology, biblical propositions (like “I and the Father are one”) are always related to their implications for human life. Don’t be afraid of doctrine. Just be afraid of disconnected doctrine. Doctrine that doesn’t make a difference for life and eternity.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Here’s the last sentence of Mossberg’s article:
And that’s why the day Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple isn’t like the day a typical CEO resigns.
Here’s his resignation letter, along with some more details, including some speculation (which seems right) on the reason:
We have no additional details yet on why Jobs is leaving, although the spot assumption is that it’s related to the pancreatic cancer for which he received a liver transplant in 2009 (during which time Cook was in charge). The fact that Jobs is taking over as board chairman, rather than resigning that seat too, would seem to indicate that his condition isn’t imminently debilitating — but there also is a strong possibility that the chairmanship is more symbolic than operational.
Remember to pray for Steve Jobs’ health, if you think of it. Not because he’s well known. I’ve always thought it strange, for example, when a well-known person has a problem and people say “pray for so and so.” To be honest, one of my first thoughts (and perhaps this is sin) is: “I don’t even pray for my neighbors the way I should; it seems like favoritism to pray for this person when the only reason I even know about his problem is because he’s famous.”
But I think the best principle is, to take a variation on one of Wesley’s quotes, to “pray for everyone we can.” Whenever we know of any need, we should take the opportunity to pray if we can.
And, right along with that, we should also be proactive to seek out the needs of those who aren’t well known but are, rather, the very opposite, giving extra effort to praying for “the least of these” who are so often overlooked.
From Mike Allen’s Playbook the other day:
TOP TALKER –Supply-chain leak on iPad 3 — WSJ.com (not in print edition!): “Apple … has ordered … display panels and chips for a new iPad it is aiming to launch in early 2012 … The next generation iPad is expected to feature a high resolution display – 2048 by 1536 compared with 1024 by 768 in the iPad 2 … One component supplier to Apple said the company has already placed orders for parts for about 1.5 million iPad 3s in the fourth quarter.”
This is great news. 2048 x 1536 is a huge improvement. This would make the iPad far more usable, in my view. And it’s great to know, if the WSJ is accurate here, that the iPad 3 will likely be coming in early 2012.
In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath point out that bad ideas often keep circulating, while good ideas often have a hard time succeeding.
Why is that?
That’s the question their book — which most have probably heard of by now — answers.
To make an impact, your idea has to stick. A “sticky” idea is one that is understood and remembered, and has lasting impact. A sticky idea changes the audience’s opinions or behavior.
How do you make your ideas sticky? They give six points. Here they are, from my notes on the book:
- Simple. This gets people to understand.
- Unexpected. This gets people to pay attention and maintain interest.
- Concrete. This gets people to understand so they remember.
- Credible. This helps show that your idea is true.
- Emotions. This gets people to care.
- Stories. This gets people to act.
The rest of the book unpacks each of those ideas. It is well worth a read if you haven’t already.
Last summer, in preparation for writing my book, I read 15 or so books on writing and publishing. I then went back through the books and typed up the most important points from them into a single document (which came to 66 pages).
Out of all of this — and based also just on what I already knew about writing from classes (especially from two incredible English and composition teachers in high school) and just plain writing a lot — I pulled together what I take to be the top 9 core principles for effective writing.
Here they are:
- Omit needless words
- Use the active voice
- Be clear
- Be concrete and specific, permeating the work with details. For non-fiction, interviews are a helpful way to do this.
- Build your work around a key question
- Create tension
- Be yourself
- Write with nouns and verbs, not adjectives and adverbs
- Give the reader room to play their role (for example, when you state an amazing fact, don’t then say “that’s really amazing.” Let readers do their own marveling)
If you have other core principles that you think should be included in this list, I’d love to hear them.
This was an enjoyable and insightful read.
But I really enjoyed the second half, and focused on Brady using every spare moment to mentor and teach. For almost the entire third quarter, he sat with his top three receivers, Deion Branch, Wes Welker and Chad Ochocinco, newly acquired from the Cincinnati Bungles (see photo below). Brady was talking non-stop, gesturing, getting up and demonstrating, etc. Ochocinco was asking questions, and Welker would get in on the reply. Crass and disparaging as it is to compare football to mission, I have to admit that the exchange really reminded me of a missionary teaching his men how to run with the ball entrusted to us by our Coach. We are to do and teach. Show and tell. Find a “Peter, James and John” and help our disciples to be successful (in God’s eyes) …
Also from my notes on Chip and Dan Heath’s article:
- Before the audience will value the info you’re giving, they have to want it. Demand has to come before supply.
- Therefore tease, don’t simply tell, by opening knowledge gaps and filling them.
- “Great presentations are mysteries, not encyclopedic entries.”
- “Curiosity must come before content.”
- Don’t structure your presentation by asking “what’s the next point I should make” but “what’s the next question I want them to wrestle with.”
And, here are a few great points on using data well:
- Don’t lead with the data — that leaves it abstract, and doesn’t move people emotionally. Tell a story about an individual first, and then say “our research suggests that there are 900,000 stories like this, in Mumbai alone.”
- “Data are just summaries of thousands of stories — tell a few of those stories to help make the data meaningful.”
You’ll notice these articles are in agreement with the same basic three questions to consider, but they complement one another in a helpful way.
Here’s the summary from the end of Keller’s article:
Your vocation is a part of God’s work in the world, and God gives you resources for serving the human community. These factors can help you identify your calling.
Affinity is the normal, existential/priestly way to discern call. What people needs do I vibrate to?
Ability is the normal, rational/prophetic way to discern call. What am I good at doing?
Opportunity is the normal, organizational/kingly way to discern call. What do the leaders/my friends believe is the most strategic kingdom need?
Your life is not a series of random events. Your family background, education, and life experiences—even the most painful ones—all equip you to do some work that no one else can do. “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do“ (Eph. 2:10).