Monday, June 29, 2009

Chaos Theology
Finding hope in the midst of the terror of creation.

The cover story for the July/August issue of The Atlantic is titled, "The Ideas Issue: How to Fix the World." The article addresses, among other things, the housing mess, the Afghanistan war, the collapsing environment, illegal immigration, and homeland insecurity. A subtext of many of the entries is international terrorism, the most dreadful and symbolic of global threats. These are all but snapshots of the terrible panorama of blood, fire, smoke, and darkness of the present world order.

Except that the word order hardly applies. It's chaos we're living in, and we are weary and sometimes frightened. Among the many filmmakers who paint this reality in vivid hues are the Coen brothers. Their movies always feature a character who brings chaos to the world. Yet whereas in early films, chaos is always brought under control (in Fargo, for example, police chief Marge Gunderson captures the cold-blooded killer Gaer Grimstud), at the end of their last film, No Country for Old Men, chaos is still on the loose.

Read more at Christianity Today
5 Traits: What Makes A Good Leader?
Posted on November 18th, 2008

What makes a good leader? Why are some leaders more effective than others? Leaders lead their team to victories. And most of all leaders make leaders out of their members. But how can you gauge a good leader? What makes them tick? Below are just some of the things which I believe a leader do that makes them a successful one:

1. Real leaders listen. A smart leader accepts that he does not know all the answers, that is why they listen to their people. By listening to their people, not only do they learn more and see things from a different perspective, it also encourages their people. Their people learn to speak their mind, be it something that might contradict the leader’s thought, because it put the member in a position which takes risk and responsibility. A quality of a future leader.

2. A leader connect to his people. A leader can relate to his people, and his people can relate to him. This only means that he knows his people, their interests, their families, their hobbies, and his people know his heart. He does not hide behind a tough emotion-less fa├žade, because while it may earn him respect, it will be brought about by fear and therefore may not get their loyalty.

3. A leader is a good teacher. A leader teaches his people, and usually he does this by example. But most all a leader’s thirst for knowledge rubs off in his people, that is why they also aspire to learn more as their try to emulate their leader.

4. A leader develop his people. Aside from just teaching them, an effective leader develops his people to be future effective leaders as well. That is why he help bring out the best in them.

5. A leader motivates. What’s the difference between development and motivation? When you develop your people, they will be motivated. More so when you listen, connect to and teach them. Motivation is not a one-time effort, it is a conscious sustained action to help his people aspire for more, tap their hidden talent and train them so that they will be ready when it’s their turn to carry the torch.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Why Sing Hymns

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)

The trend today is to replace traditional hymns with contemporary praise choruses. This is not a good trend, especially for youth and new believers who need a strong doctrinal focus. Hymns present clear expressions of the knowledge of God and biblical truth. Col. 3:16 admonishes— Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.

Read more at Surf-in-the-Spirit

Hymn Singing

December 31, 2002 AM
By Rev. Dr. Robert S. Rayburn
From: Biblical Worship

Over the past twenty-five years, the American evangelical church has moved away from the hymns we sing at Faith Presbyterian Church. What are now widely referred to as “praise songs” have replaced the hymns that had been sung in Protestant worship for many generations.

Churches began to sing these songs, often putting the text before the congregation by means of an overhead projector, in hopes that their worship would be more accessible to the ordinary American who, it was thought, found the established church music alien, dull, and hard to sing. So complete has been the transition in many churches that the rising generation of Christians is now largely unfamiliar with the literature of Christian hymns.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Keeping the main thing the main thing.
Tim Avery


One of my colleagues recently pointed me to the blog of Barry Werner, whose background includes serving as director of operations for World Wide Pictures at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. In his entries, Werner has been walking through the Old Testament and considering how different leadership principles are represented in the passages he reads.

One of his recent posts—which he relates to Numbers 33—addresses the issue of self-discipline. He's primarily talking about time management, and I found this line to be the most helpful:

The essence of self-discipline is to do the important thing rather than the urgent thing.

An urgent task, after all, is easy to discern. All you have to know is the deadline, and how much time will be needed to accomplish it. In fact, an urgent task is almost impossible to ignore.

But an important task—well, to discern that requires a bigger-picture perspective, something quickly lost on a busy afternoon. Without a concrete deadline to remind us or compel us, we let it slide. So what do you do to clarify your daily priorities and stick to them?

Tim Avery is the associate editor of

Posted by Tim Avery at 1:55 PM on June 15, 2009 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Read more at Building Church Leaders

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

'I Stayed'
There's power in knowing you and your spouse are in it for the long haul.
Christy Scannell

One of the advantages of living in San Diego, aside from the fantastic weather, is that we have two theaters that stage Broadway-bound shows, both to test how they fare with audiences and to get out the kinks before hitting the Great White Way. In the last few years I've seen several of these big productions, some winners (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and others not (The Full Monty).

A few years ago, my husband, Rich, and I zipped over to the Old Globe Theatre to take in A Catered Affair. We agreed the musical had its plusses and minuses, but one of the standouts was Tom Wopat (yes, that guy from the Dukes of Hazzard) singing a lump-in-the-throat-inducing number, "I Stayed."

To understand the impact of this song, you have to know that Wopat plays a 1950s middle-aged husband whose wife, among other issues, is accusing Wopat's character of having never really loved her. They married because she was pregnant, so she always suspected he rather would have been anywhere but with her. Now that their daughter is marrying and moving out of their home, she frets over what kind of life she will have with this man who only tolerates her.

Read more at Christianity Today Marriage Partnership

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Master the Art of Working Remotely
Gina Trapani, Work Smarter

10:23 AM Tuesday June 16, 2009

Over the past five years I've worked off-site and online for employers across the country using email, chat, and web-based collaboration apps. My work life has been the envy of my traditional nine-to-five friends. While they suit up in an office-appropriate outfit, grab the briefcase, and brave a commute every weekday, I get to work from home (and my employers get to save money on office space).

But working with people in different cities and time zones with minimal face time presents a whole new set of challenges. While the tools available for working remotely are better than ever, it's how you use them that really counts. Constant and clear communication is the key to a good remote working relationship. Here are some best practices I've found for working remotely online.

Read more at Harvard Business Publishing