Monday, December 22, 2008

Advent in Another Light

Photos like this one I found on helps me see beyond my finite imagination into what the Day of Lord may look like.

Revelation 19:11-16
The Message

Then I saw Heaven open wide—and oh! a white horse and its Rider. The Rider, named Faithful and True, judges and makes war in pure righteousness. His eyes are a blaze of fire, on his head many crowns. He has a Name inscribed that's known only to himself. He is dressed in a robe soaked with blood, and he is addressed as "Word of God." The armies of Heaven, mounted on white horses and dressed in dazzling white linen, follow him. A sharp sword comes out of his mouth so he can subdue the nations, then rule them with a rod of iron. He treads the winepress of the raging wrath of God, the Sovereign-Strong. On his robe and thigh is written, King of kings, Lord of lords.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Book Review: Welcome to College by Jonathon Morrow

Fresh out of High School and that last summer break, you pack up your child and send them out into the world. You have had 18 years to prepare them for the world, and now you send them out into it. Your biggest concern is for their safety and that maybe they will call home now and again. But what about their faith? Have you, your church, and their youth group been enough? Are they strong enough? Do they know where to find the answers? Do you?

Morrow provides a handy and engaging resource for just this dilemma. The book is as wise as it is current. Designed not just for full reading but also a flash-point resource, the book is packed with Godly wisdom, practical advice and “been there, done that” experiences. A synopsis of each chapter provides a quick review. Written for the college student or a mentor, this book has value for anyone who has ever been perplexed about the complex issues surrounding college. It is a relevant work in helping you to think Christianly, live Godly, build your faith, and defend God and his word. All this is in easily digestible bits for the student on the run.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Efficiency and Effectiveness: Making the Most of the Day

Lately, I have been leaving the normal work day feeling under accomplished and scattered. It feels like a miracle if I can dedicate more than 15 minutes to a single task without being interrupted. Your personality strengths can cast shadows of weakness. Like the shadow cast from an object by the sun, efficiency is a strength and an enemy. Efficiency is not effectiveness. Producing something fast does not mean it is effective. In addition, I thought being efficient would free up more time. Funny thing how the work is never finished. This realization began several months ago and a few thoughts have generated since.

First, effectiveness is when enough of the right things are done right. Are you doing something you could easily delegate to someone else—to someone who is more skilled, better suited, or is spiritually gifted for that particular task? Spend most of your time using your natural talents. I am most effective for the organization when I am doing the tasks that I do best well.

Secondly, learn to say no. Too many people are measuring how effective or important they are by how many tasks they can keep in the air at a given moment. Divorce yourself of the idea that long hours and accomplishment are connected. We all know a computer runs at its slowest when it has too many operations open at once. The same applies to our lives.

Thirdly, there is a clear relationship between how fast you acquire news and how much it costs to discover that news. For example, you can check your email twice a day pretty easily. Once every fifteen minutes has a disruption cost. Ringing your phone every sixty seconds is an extremely expensive efficiency choice. What was initially meant to make me more efficient has produced the inability to focus for more than 15 minutes on a single task. Turn it off.

Finally, if you spend your meeting checking your text messages, sending email, and surfing the internet, then no, you are not productive. However, if you know how and when to use these tools properly, then technology can definitely increase your efficiency.

Anyone who feels frustration and distraction during the work day...I'd love to hear your thoughts.