January 2014

The Things That Matter Most


What a Great Phrase. The Things That Matter the Most.
These things must never be at the mercy of the things that matter less and which matter the least.

Yet this is exactly the struggle we have today. We live in a world of contstant, continual Interruption and Distraction. One study says the typical "office worker" is interrupted 23 times every hour. Other studies suggest that senior management has the same, constant interruption and distraction.

Of course we are busy and we have multiple responsibilities that intrude. As the workplace has tightened up by
downsing - eliminating jobs...
they called it rightsizing - getting the right number of people in the workplace
which meant most of experienced supersizing of our jobs.

Too much to do, too many responsiblities, which meant interruption and distraction.

Questioned By Life


Victor Frankl, quote, questioned by life

Victor Frankl is one of those people positioned to hold us to a higher standard of existence. This is one of his statements. As a Christian, I must reframe this with God as the Source of Life, the Meaning of Life, the One to whom I am accountable for my life.

Join Stay Leave


Marcus Buckingham tells us why people join, stay and eventually leave organizations. I took his core ideas, developed them a little and put them in a one page file for you.

If you are an employer or supervisor, this framework can help you maximize employee longevity. If you are an employee this will give you some perspective on how you are doing with your place of work.

longevity_of_work.pdf

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants


The Way to See Farther...
This is one of my favorite quotes. It has been attested to many people. As best I can tell, Bernardus Silvestis, a 12th century scholatic, is the original author. If anyone knows otherwise, let me know.

This idea gives me humility.
For I do see farther (note: Not further!) then many of those who have gone before. But it is not by dint of my own Herculean efforts. It is becaues I stand on their shoulders. I benefit from their wisdom, their experiene, their lessons, their insights -- all which has been passed on to those who are curious enough to learn.

This idea gives me direction.
I will see farther as I find good shoulders on which to stand. Who are the GIANTS on whom I will stand? Who are the wise guides from whom I will learn? Who will be the great conversationalists of the past with whom I will dialogue? 

Seven Common-Sense Things To Do Today

Sometimes it is just some common sense, growth-mindset, seize the moment, but also live with high intentionality - that we need. Many times we know what is a good way to live the day... we just forget to do these things.  They are neglected. String consecutive days of neglect and you begin to see a pattern emerge. So, I need reminders. Here is what I was recently reminded to do (not in any order of priority).

1.  Read more books
2.  Ask more questions.
3.  Listen more closely.
4.  Go on more adventures.
5.  Be around more good energy.
6.  Connect with more people.
7.  Learn new things.

Four Areas Where Wisdom is Needed


First, a few quotes on the subject of wisdom . . .

By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
and third by experience, which is the bitterest. 

Confucius, philosopher

Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the best and highest goal,
together with the surest means of attaining it.
 
J. I. Packer. theologian

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7, King Solomon

Defining Wisdom


Wisdom. Truth. Knowledge. information. Insight. Enlightenment

Philosophy - the love of wisdom.
Theology - wisdom about God.

Wisdom is living according to what is good, true, right and beautiful. Wisdom is therefore, more than knowing facts. Wisdom is the reordering of your life so that it aligns with the good, the true, what is right and what is beautiful. Wisdom is a Way of Living.

Authors, Platforms and Publishing

Just a quick post with a short assessment of the Christian book publishing industry, by Scott McKnight.

publishing.pdf

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International

BrianRice@lcileaders.org

 

THREE Observations in Thinking About Wisdom


Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the best and highest goal,
together with the surest means of attaining it.  J. I. Packer

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

Several years ago, a friend gave me a "gag gift." My sense of humor loved it, but I never used it. It was a T-shirt with a headshot of Bart Simpson staring out at the people who are the characters of The Simpsons. The caption (large letters) said, "I see a lot of stupid people."

He is Building Himself a Palace


And you thought you were going to be a decent little cottage...!
C. S. Lewis quote, building a palace
In other words - God's plan and vision for what HE WILL DO IN YOU

God's Love is Not Wearied by Our Sin


I am a collector of C.S. Lewis QUOTES. I like to find good visuals on the internet that have his quotes on them. I also make my own. Here is one of my favorite C. S. Lewis quotes. That is saying something because he has so many quotes that I love. But this is Way High Up There on my list of favorites.

C. S. Lewis, God's love is not weary, cure of the soul

I have done Lectio Divina readings on this several times. Four great themes emerged for my reflection.
1. God's love is not wearied by my sin and indifference.
2. God's love is relentlessly determined to cure me of my sin.
3. God'ls love will pay any cost necessary AND ask us to do whatever is necessary
4. I am invited to live with this same unwearied, relentless love when it comes to the sins and indifferences of others.

That's it. That's all. Except for the daily living into and out of this deep reality.

Why People Join, Stay and Quit


He is a genius.
He has written great books.
He is a compelling author.
He knows what is really going on in organizations.
Marcus Buckingham has some needed perspective on why people join, stay and eventually quit organizations. Here is some of his perspective.

We join because of the WHY.
We join an organization because we are attracted to the vision, the mission, the purpose, the essence of the organization. We too believe in what the oragnization stands for. That is why we are interested, drawn and choose to JOIN. This is true for our places of work and worship. Of course we are also attracted to other things (salary, culture, values, ethos and more)... but, the WHY of an organization is crucial. Organizations MUST know how to promote the WHY WE EXIST message to attract the right kind of people.

We Love Being Right and Looking Good


Gospel identity, adoption, union in ChristWe love being right and looking good - pretending that we're better than we really are. We also love pretending that the people around us are more messed up than we are - that way we've given ourselves permission to yell at them, shame them, criticize them, or crush them.  (Pretty near exact quote from Gospel identity, published by World Harvest Mission. My handwiriting was illegible at several places, so I guessed as to what I had copied.)

Mega-Churches: Some Interesting Stats


There is some news and while it is all interesting, most of it is not that good!

I am a member of a Mega-Church.
I am on staff at this church. 
For a nice introduction that explains the features of the MegaChurch, read this web-article.
I am interested in the growth and health of the church in North America... so when up-to-date stats come out, I am interested. Here are some of those stats and then a little commentary on some of them. These stats came from The Leadership Network, Kate Tracy, posted 12/23/2013. 

C. S. Lewis: Of whom it could be said...

CS Lewis headshotAs I continue in the early days of 2014, with my C. S. Lewis project/focus, I am reading a very nice and accessible book - The Spiritual Legacy of C. S. Lewis by Terry Glaspy. In fact, this book is so good, that if you want to read ONE introduction to the life and thoughts of Lewis, I recommend this one. It is many short chapters (2-4 pages). Their brevity and clarity make them easy to read and easy to progress through the book.

In finishing the section devoted to Lewis' life, Glaspey has this to say about the man and his legacy:

A firm commitment to orthodoxy
A scintillating wit
A logical mind
An ever-fresh imagination
A man surrendered to God
In love with life
Ready to share all he could with others.

Mother Teresa - a Few of Her Thoughts


Something beautiful for God...
That is how Malcolm Muggeridge described Mother Teresa and her work. Something beautiful, extraordinary and holy.

I recently re-read his little classic about Mother Teresa and the documentary he did on her for BBC. Muggeridge is a brilliant and insightful journalist. His own reflections about Mother Teresa, her work and his own self-understanding in light of meeting here - are deeply moving. I wanted to give you a few thoughts from Mother Teresa that spoke to me, and which led to some personal reflection. I won't tell you my own reflection... rather, simply - let you do your own.

Mother Teresa, the work of God

When an Old Man Dies...


The Library Of Your Life
Yesterday... early... about 5:30 a.m., I came across this image and proverb. I was immediately drawn to it. I am a visual learner. I love the power of the image to communicate to my heart and mind, a truth, a possibility, an opportunity, an encounter. That is why I read. I am a visual learner. That is why I design creative communication experiences that are rich in image. That is why I find images and add the right quote/proverb/idea to the image. 

Tired Christian Phrases That Need Retired


I loved this fun article from Relevant.
20 Christianese Phrases We Really Need to Stop Saying

Read it... see which ones you like... and are there any others you would add to the list.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International
BrianRice@lcileaders.org

LCI - here to just help you, kind-of, you know . . .

Tips for A More Efficient New Year at Work


Here is the link to a nice, helpful list of: 11 Expert Tips to Help You Be More Productive in 2014.

For most of us, it is not that we are going to do ONE BIG thing ONE TIME and we move to greater efficency, effectiveness, and fruitfulness of work. Instead, it will be the accumulation and agreggation of many smaller things, done consistently over time.

What matters then is that we have a good understanding of what those "many small improvements" are and that we have some motivation and accountability to get them implemented and sustained.

So use this article as one more resource that is seeding helpful practices into your awareness. 

Journaling


I have been journaling for many (many) years now. I have quite a row of journals lined up on my bookshelf. My journaling practices have evolved and morphed over the years. About two months ago, I realized my journaling practices were a bit "stale" and I needed to make some changes. I won't go into what was stale or the changes I made - but suffice to say - change I did, and journaling feels quite fresh again. I enjoy it. I have insights and discernment every time I journal.

For many MEN - especially, they don't know how to journal... what to journal about... and they need some accountability. So... when I read this post on the blog site (The Art of Manliness) I knew it would be a winner for men who want to learn how to journal.

Deep Prejudices Against the Idea of a Holy God


Tim Keller, in his book, Encounters With Jesus says, "We all have deep layers of prejudice working against the idea of a holy God who can make ultimate demands on us." If we don't acknowledge that, we are not going to make good progress in our life with God.

Jesus - Moderate Responses - NOT ALLOWED


I am reading a lot of C.S. Lewis in recent weeks. One of his famous arguments is Jesus - Liar, Lord or Lunatic. Those are the three options. What IS NOT AN OPTION is Jesus as a nice guy, a good man, an interesting teacher. That is to reduce Jesus to something the Gospels never present as an option.

Jesus claims to be God… to be Lord… to be Savior… to be One With God… to speak the Words of God… to reveal God… And He sets forth dramatic invitations that require a response.

If Jesus is a liar or a lunatic… avoid him at all costs. Have nothing to do with him.