Page: Random People Erwin McManus Ken Ham Craig Groeschel Voddie Baucham Books Unknown
You can choose your actions, but you can not choose the consequences.
Dr. Dan Fountain
(Regarding our ability to choose to sin.)
Be certain your feet are planted in the right place before you decide to stand firm.
No amount of success anywhere makes up for failure at the home.
Wife of Dr. Richard Swinson
Just because someone is not in a hospital does not make them healthy. Perhaps they disguise or simply ignore their sickness while they are on the outside. While in a hospital the sickness is brought into the light so that it may be healed. So it is with the church and sin.
Chuck Swindoll (paraphrased)
Insight for Living
No business can survive using failed methods, yet the church still tries. Any business that had lost as many customers as the church has would have changed their ways years ago. But the church tends to resent all that is new.
William Barclay (paraphrased)
Are you on Satan's hit list? Does he even care that you woke up today?
(Regarding the complacency of Christians.)
Mark Cahill Ministries
To look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is to me impossible.
November 1st, 1998
(On the fourth day as the first senior citizen in space.)
I had not thought about my occult involvement for years and considered it experiences of a child. Now I know that both God and Satan took my involvement seriously. It really made no difference if I took it seriously or not.
You reap what you sow. You reap more than you sow. You reap in a different season than you sow.
Christian Working Woman
[What are] the marks of [Christian] maturity? Self-sustaining in spiritual devotions. Wise in human relationships. Humble and serving. Comfortable and functional in the everyday world where people of faith can be in short supply. Substantial in conversation; prudent in acquisition; respectful in conflict; faithful in commitments.
I never get enough sleep. I stay up late at night, cause I'm Night Guy. Night Guy wants to stay up late. 'What about getting up after five hours sleep?', oh that's Morning Guy's problem. That's not my problem, I'm Night Guy. I stay up as late as I want. So you get up in the morning, you're ... (?), you're exhausted, groggy, oooh I hate that Night Guy! See, Night Guy always screws Morning Guy. There's nothing Morning Guy can do. The only thing Morning Guy can do is try and oversleep often enough so that Day Guy looses his job and Night Guy has no money to go out anymore.
Ep 67: The Glasses
We do not just say what we believe, we end up believing what we say. That's why I propose that we should consciously correct our vocabulary so it conforms to revealed biblical truth. [This is also good reason to think before we speak!]
Heaven (pg 130-131)
Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.
Gravity and Grace
All sun and no rain makes a desert
Old Arab proverb
Well me and B, we hate supermodels, it's not that we know anyone personally, it's just that I'm tired of being compared.
You can not look me in the eye and tell me that one day you came before God and said show me the truth and read this book for yourself. And when you were done reading it before the presence of the Lord you thought to yourself I got it, Jesus is Michael the Archangel! There is no way you can tell me you came up with that, that was fed to you by someone else. And I don't want to sit here and feed you a different theology. I'm asking you would you just please come before God and read this book [the Bible]. Come before Him and say Lord, Holy Spirit, show me truth. And then see what you come up with. Be in search of truth and don't let other people tell you what the truth is.
Cornerstone Community Church
[One of the great disappointments of Modernity (a cultural paradigm resulting from the European enlightenment which touted myths of progress, enlightenment and objectivity) was] everybody's liberation turns out to be somebody else's slavery. Everybody's economic boom turns out to be at somebody else's expense. So all our great stories, all our controlling meta-narratives are broken down into little stories. We've just got to get on and do our own thing. If that's how we feel, well that's how we've got to be. That's the moral imperative, almost the only moral imperative within much Post Modernity: if it feels good, do it. Now that's fine if you live in cyberspace where you can create your own virtual realities accessed from your own suburban sitting room. It makes no sense at all where there are real lines drawn on real pieces of ground and where human beings get shot if they cross them or happen to be born on the wrong side... [But] we shouldn't ultimately be frightened of the Post Modern critique. It had to come. I believe it is a necessary judgment on the arrogance of Modernity. A judg ment from within. Our task [since neither paradigm is fully accurate] is to reflect Biblically and Christianly on this moment of despair, to see our way through the despair and out the other side.
Christian Hope in a Postmodern World
Many Christians want to win the war without fighting a battle
Worker for Billy Graham
The central conservative truth is that it is culture not politics that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Senator (D) New York
We are weary of the superficial and eager for the supernatural
God's will is too important to be easy
A local pastor
If you take (give yourself) the name [then] play the game. [Deuteronomy 29:29]
Love is a magnet
People say all the time 'It must be tough for you and your Muslim family to have come to Jesus...' And I always say 'Not half as tough as it is for the American church that are lost, who close their eyes and pray more to a black void than a Christ that they know intimately, and yet agree with everything that I say from the pulpit.' Honestly for me and my family it was very black and white. But so many of the people that I preach to in church, for them it is not black and white, it is shades of gray right in between. My wife was that way, my wife grew up in the church. Her story couldn't be more different than mine... For her, it wasn't about repenting from unrighteousness as much as it was about repenting from self-righteousness.
A Call To Grace (book)
The Bible is a true account of things that really happened to explain a God that is really there.
There are 3 parts of obedience: do it all, do it now, do it wholeheartedly.
Don't worry about how things look, think about how things are.
Don't eat from the tree that's in the middle of the garden. That was the second thing God said. The first thing God said was, listen to this: "eat from any tree in the garden." That's the first thing. See God's good! He's a good God. Out of all, eat, enjoy. But from the tree that's in the middle [Genesis 2:9] God says, don't eat from that, because the day you eat that you will surely die. [Genesis 2:15-17] You see the serpent is wanting to distort the thinking of Eve before he starts sharing the lies, and the distortion is first to question the word of God and the second is to question the goodness of God. When we question the word of God and when we question the goodness of God and we make it ourselves to sit down as judge of God we are in trouble. Then the next thing that happens is we start to believe lies.
God doesn't get everything He desires (that everyone would repent 2 Peter 3:9). Everything He decrees happens because He is sovereign. Even all His decrees are not his desires. We shouldn't expect to achieve all our goals either.
People say 'I don't believe in the prosperity gospel, God is not like that.' Yes he is, he blesses everything. But if all you preach is prosperity you're not preaching the whole entire council of God because God also breaks things too... See blessing and brokenness always go together... so that other people see in our brokenness who it is that we are trusting [Mark 6:41-44]
One Heartbeat Ministries
What's liberating about Islam is that one is spared from having to think... There are rules for everything. I'm spared from having to think. I just have to learn the rules, and then act. So I know that I'm doing the right thing. It's liberating.
It's easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
You can't slander human nature, it is worse than words can paint it.
When it comes to rearing children, every society is only 20 years away from barbarism. Twenty years is all we have to accomplish the task of civilizing the infants who are born into our midst each year. These savages know nothing of our language, our culture, our religion, our values, or our customs of interpersonal relations. The infant is totally ignorant about communism, fascism, democracy, civil liberties... respect, decency, honesty, customs, conventions, and manners. The barbarian must be tamed if civilization is to survive.
Dr. Albert Siegel
The Stanford Observer (newspaper)
October 1973, p.4 (quoted)
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
Kent M. Keith
paradoxical commandments .com
[Our Founders clearly believed that] government's limited purpose is to protect the exercise of natural rights that pre-exist government, rights that human reason can ascertain in unchanging principles of conduct and that are essential to the pursuit of happiness. [Woodrow] Wilsonian progressives believe that History is a proper noun, an autonomous thing. It, rather than nature, defines government's ever-evolving and unlimited purposes. Government exists to dispense an ever-expanding menu of rights -- entitlements that serve an open-ended understanding of material and even spiritual well-being. The name "progressivism" implies criticism of the Founding, which we leave behind as we make progress. And the name is tautological: History is progressive because progress is defined as whatever History produces. History guarantees what the Supreme Court has called "evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society." The cheerful assumption is that "evolving" must mean "improving." Progressivism's promise is a program for every problem, and progressivism's premise is that every unfulfilled desire is a problem.
George F. Will
The danger of a government with unlimited power
We don't serve victory. We don't serve results. We serve God. And if, years from now, that means we're the last people left on earth standing for Truth--so be it.
Rev. Ren Broekhuizen
If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.
Charles H. Spurgeon
I think the most interesting result that we found in the Gallup survey is a number, which we absolutely did not expect to find. We found that with respect to the happiness of the experiencing self. When we looked at how feelings vary with income. And it turns out that, below an income of 60,000 dollars a year, for Americans... people are unhappy, and they get progressively unhappier the poorer they get. Above that, we get an absolutely flat line. I mean I've rarely seen lines so flat. Clearly, what is happening is money does not buy you experiential happiness, but lack of money certainly buys you misery, and we can measure that misery very, very clearly. In terms of the other self, the remembering self, you get a different story. The more money you earn the more satisfied you are. That does not hold for emotions.
The riddle of experience vs. memory
The goal of parenting is to train our kids to be independently dependent on God. That their relationsip with God isn't all about us. But somehow we release them and go 'you know you need to depend on God, you understand [and] don't need me anymore; you've got His word, you've got Him, you've got His spirit. Now go.' That's the same thing Peter was saying to this church. [2 Peter 1:15]
Do you do this: pray and tell God 'I want to know the truth of this book, I want to know what it says. God I know I have all these desires and all these things I want to be true but I got to get rid of that. Show me the truth, even if I don't like it. Even if it goes against everything I've ever been taught just please tell me the truth. I just want your truth even if it makes it harder for me I gotta know what's true.' Pray that then open up this book and try to interpret. And say 'God put aside all what I want.' Because there are a lot of things I wish were true that aren't in here. There's things I wish weren't true and they are in there... I want to stand with those who hold up the truth. Because if you do that then God will give you the interpretation of His word, He'll give you the truth of His word... This is not a matter of interpretation, the problem we have is it's an issue of respect. Respecting this as true and knowing those prophets couldn't have known this unless they were really carried by the Holy Spirit of God therefore I should respect this book. [2 Peter 1:20]
Cornerstone Community Church
The most important lesson I could ever teach
[God] is telling Israelis and Palestinians his message very clear: 'I didn't come to take sides. I came to take over.'
Mosab Hassan Yousef
Son of Hamas
When you listen to the voice of God in your life, when you respond to God's speaking and nudging you to do things, most of the time it's not for you. Other people benefit. When you listen to God it can create the most beautiful moments in your life.
Heroes and Villans (wk2) Elijah
[1 Samuel 8:4-22] God seems to be obsessed with freewill. God is obsessed with sometimes giving us what we ask for or allowing the thing we want to happen even though it's not the thing that's good for us... God allows you to make decisions that may not be the best decisions but also you have to live with those decisions.
Heroes and Villans (wk3) Saul
Jesus was never defined by what he was against... I think the church (Christianity) has fallen into the trap of being defined by what it's against...
If we knew anything about 'the lost' surely we'd know enough not to call them 'lost'.
North Point Church
[Government's purpose is] an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself.
14th century Arab scholar
God grant us the wisdom to discover the right, the will to choose it and the strength to make it endure, amen.
There are laws that enslave men and laws that set them free. Either what we hold to be right and good and true is right and good and true for all mankind under God or we're just another robber tribe.
There's a peace that's only to be found on the other side of war.
We're not simply asking you to bless our efforts, we're asking you to make sure that we're doing what you're blessing.
[Exodus 3] Moses, because he asked good questions got more information about God's character and provision, it was only when Moses said 'Let somebody else do it.' That's when God got hot.
[Isaiah 54:13] I realized that God wanted my kids to learn the truth of His word more than I did. He's on my team... Just get together, I'll teach you. Just open the book, I wrote it, I know what it means and how to apply it to your life.
Teach the Word of God at Home
Admiral David Faragut, the first admiral of US Navy, went to sea as a midshipman when he was 9 years old. Years later when he was involved in a battle in the war of 1812 with a British ship, the Americans won that battle and Faragut was given command of the captured British ship with the British captain and his crew in the hold now manned by an American crew from the American ship. He was given command of that ship and told to sail it from the coast of Peru all the way down under [Cape Horn] and all the way back up to Boston. Probably 4,000 miles I would guess. He was 12 year old when he was given that command. Benjamin Franklin was educating himself in a way that would scare a Harvard senior to death when he was 14 and 15. Thomas Edison was running a business printing a newspaper on a railroad train up to a thousand miles from home when he was 12 years old.
What's the key to winning elections? It's loosing elections and going back. One of the problems with Christians is we campaign for something... if we win we go home, if we loose we go home. No more folks.
Take Back the Land
Opposites might attract when it comes to personality but never when it comes to character... You have to be what you want, and that's how you'll get it.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
What we really see is that God is omnipotent and when He creates something He doesn't create something halfway and then wait for some imaginary process to take place and do this... He creates things complete.
Creation, Dinosaurs & the Ark
Ideas have consequences.
The problem is not the [vocal atheists] of the world, the problem is the [Christians] of this world who are more comfortable in our padded pews than we are out there engaging the culture in conversation. We're the problem.
Christians should be excellent in everything. We have retreated from every aspect of culture, have we not? Name me one aspect of culture we haven't abandoned, one discipline? Law, medicine, politics, government, economics? What do we got? We still have the pulpits, maybe. We have created our own little ghettos.
For most, not all, but for most Americans the financial pressure we feel is a pressure that makes us feel like we actually have less than we need when the truth is we just have less extra than we used to have. And if you've ever traveled to any 3rd world country, been any other place, maybe even in this country, and seen people with less than you have you understand that to be the case. But we feel this pressure because our extra is being shoved down... Jesus came around 2,000 years ago and he addressed our extra... Jesus said [to paraphrase] that 'greed is defined by what you do with your extra.' He says that 'greed is the assumption that the extra is for my consumption'... Now we don't define greed that way. In fact we don't define greed at all. Every once in a while we think we spot it in somebody else... It's almost impossible to see greed in the mirror. We can see anger, or fear in the mirror, but not greed, and that's because greed is such a subtle thing. So Jesus in His characteristic way says let me define it for you in such a way that you can't possibly miss it. [Luke 12:13-21]
In God We Trust
Jesus, save me from your followers!
Everyone wants economic growth, but nobody wants change.
Economist Paul Romer
In the United States, we tell students the same thing a hundred times. On the 101st time, we ask them if they remember what we told them the first hundred times. However, in the 21st century, the true test of rigor is for students to be able to look at material they've never seen before and know what to do with it.
Professor of education and psychology at the University of Washington
The Church is the Church only when it exists for others. To make a start, it should give away all its property to those in need. The clergy must live solely on the free-will offerings of their congregations, or possibly engage in some secular calling. The Church must share in the secular problems of ordinary human life, not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others.
There are truths in one country which are falsehoods in another.
[Note I do not agree with Ms. Sanger but I think these quotes are worthy of preserving so we realize how evil her motives were and her legacy still is.]
The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.
The most serious charge that can be brought against modern 'benevolence' is that it encourages the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents and dependents. These are the most dangerous elements in the world community, the most devastating curse on human progress and expression.
It now remains for the U.S. government to set a sensible example to the world by offering a bonus or yearly pension to all obviously unfit parents who allow themselves to be sterilized by harmless and scientific means. In this way the moron and the diseased would have no posterity to inherit their unhappy condition. The number of the feeble-minded would decrease and a heavy burden would be lifted from the shoulders of the fit.
We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.
[Joshua 10:11] People say 'the Bible is boring.' The Bible isn't boring, you're boring, read it... God can do more in a moment through favor than you can do in a lifetime of trying to do it your own way.
[Joshua 10:12-13] The greatest humility you can demonstrate is to put yourself in a situation where if God doesn't come through you're going to look stupid. That's the humblest thing you can do is to say 'God, only You can do it.'
If the size of your vision for your life isn't intimidating to you then there's a good chance it's insulting to God... Because what you ask God for is a direct reflection of what you believe about His capabilities, His capacities, His character and His nature.
[Joshua 10:9] If you're going to pray that God would make the Sun stand still then you'd better be ready to march all night... God always involves your faith and your works before He supernaturally brings His grace into your situation. It's the way He's chosen to do it.
If it's never been done before maybe that's because God was saving it for you.
[Mark 5:35-43] The smartest thing Jairus did in this situation was just keep his mouth shut and do what Jesus said. That's a great strategy for when you find yourself in a situation when it looks like everything is against what God has promised you in your life.
Sun Stand Still (wk 2)
We sin and something dies.
North Point Church
Religidiculous (wk 1)
I define creativity as 'the process of having original ideas that have value.'
Sir Ken Robinson
Divergent thinking is not the same thing as creativity, but it is a good example of it. It's the capacity to think non-logically: to think analogically and associatively. They gave a series of tests to 1,600 three- to five year- olds. If they achieved above a particular score they would be considered geniuses divergent thinking. Of the 1,600 children, 98% scored at the genius level or higher for divergent thinking. They gave the same tests to the same children five years later at the ages of 8 to 10. Then 32% scored at the genius level in divergent thinking. They gave the same test to the same children at the ages of 14 to 15 and the result was 10%. Interestingly, they gave the same test to over 200,000 adults and the figure was 2%. [Matthew 18:3]
George Land & Beth Jarman
Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future Today
Quoted by Sir Ken Robinson
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death
Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.
In the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who says there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University, page 214)
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
The more I study science, the more I believe in God. (The Wall Street Journal, Dec 24, 1997, article by Jim Holt, "Science Resurrects God.")
[John 5:1-15] Religious teachers and leaders often make one fatal mistake. They [fail to] distinguish between principles and methods... Principles - God tells us... "love your neighbor, read your Bible, pray." Very clear. Methods - a lot of fredeem on how we do that. What religious leaders do if they are legalistic in nature, they take principles and methods and they elevate their methods as equal with God's principles... God's principles come from scripture. [The pharasees] methods did not. They made them up. So they say, "Well it is written in the law." It's not written in the law that you can't carry your mat. I mean the guy's just been healed, and he's walking home, and they're ticked off because God works in his own way to accomplish his own purposes. His methods may violate your religiosity. If you were raised in church, you have certain expectations for method that maybe work fine for you and are not a problem. But to impose those upon people is legalism. And what tends to happen is people who have a liberal theology, they take the methods and the principles and they chuck them both. The people who are legalistic, they take the methods and the principles and they enforce them both. A good solid Christian takes the principles and enforces them strongly, and takes the methods and leaves a lot of flexibility.
You know who bothers you the most? People just like you. Beause each of us is so weird, there's only room for one.
Healing at Bethesda
In all these countries [Russia, China, Lybia, Iran] loyalty to the leader or the ruling party is of primary importance. The ruler or the ruling party makes the law, and the law's first aim is the perservance of the privileges... In West, the law has authority, not the rulers. Their political power is temporary, and the law does not serve the ruling party.
The Montreal Review
The Freedom Genome in Ancient Rome
Saudi culture itself and the fact that the majority of us do not accept other lifestyles and impose our own on other people is another. And the fact that from fourth to 12th grade we do not teach our children that there are other civilizations in the world and that we are part of the global community and only stress the Islamic empires over and over is also worth re-evaluating.
How Long Before the First Step?
Are we trying to be godly or are we trying to be God?
Let It Go
None can believe how powerful prayer is, and what it is able to effect, but those who have learned it by experience.
No one has the right to choose to do what is wrong.
(need better citation)
Let's say that-for the same amount of money it takes to build the most powerful computer in the world-you could make 1,000 computers with one-thousandth the power and put them in the hands of 1,000 creative people. You'll get more out of doing that than out of having one person use the most powerful computer in the world. Because people are inherently creative. They will use tools in ways the toolmakers never thought possible. And once a person figures out how to do something with that tool, he or she can share it with the other 999.
Sometimes the technology just doesn't want to show you what it can do. You have to keep pushing on it and asking the engineers over and over again to explain why we can't do this or that-until you truly understand it. A lot of times, something you ask for will add too much cost to the final product. Then an engineer might say casually, 'Well, it's too bad you want A, which costs $1,000, instead of B, which is kind of related to A. Because I can do B for just 50¢.' And B is just as good as A. It takes time to work through that process-to find breakthroughs but not wind up with a computer no one can afford.
Inc. Entrepreneur of the Decade (1989)
to design the division of tasks so that the customers are positively challenged and emotionally rewarded and [even] proud about their achievements, their competence, or their learning progress... However, there is a delicate balance, as a futile attempt to master certain tasks... may not only cause a high level of frustration but may also draw (justified or not) the customer's anger toward the service provider.
E-Commerce and the Digital Economy
Faith is not believing in Jesus, but believing Him.
Part of maturity is understanding that what you want isn't always what you get or need.
Prayer is not to inform God what we want, but to invite him into what's important in our life.
Always we hear the cry from teenagers 'What can we do, where can we go?' My answer is, 'Go home, mow the lawn, wash the windows, learn to cook, build a raft, get a job, visit the sick, study your lessons, and after you've finished, read a book. Your town does not owe you recreational facilities and your parents do now owe you fun. The world does not owe you a living, you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy, and talent so that no one will be at war, in poverty, or sick and lonely again.' In other words, grow up, stop being a cry baby, get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone. Start behaving like a responsible person. You are important and you are needed. It's too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday. Someday is now and that somebody is you!
Judge Phillip B. Gilliam of Denver, Colorado, published on December 17, 1959, republished by Northland College (NZ) principal John Tapene in his school newsletter April 2010 (Herald)
My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey:
If when you say whiskey you mean the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.
But, if when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman's step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life's great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.
This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.
Noah S. "Soggy" Sweat, Jr, 1952 Wikipedia
Bruce Jones, a former Amazon supply chain vice president, describes leading a five-engineer team figuring out ways to make the movement of workers in fulfillment centers more efficient. The group spent nine months on the task, then presented their work to [Jeff] Bezos [founder and CEO of Amazon.com]. "We had beautiful documents, and everyone was really prepared," Jones says. Bezos read the paper, said, "You're all wrong," stood up, and started writing on the whiteboard. "He had no background in control theory, no background in operating systems," Jones says. "He only had minimum experience in the distribution centers and never spent weeks and months out on the line." But Bezos laid out his argument on the whiteboard, and "every stinking thing he put down was correct and true," Jones says. "It would be easier to stomach if we could prove he was wrong, but we couldn't. That was a typical interaction with Jeff. He had this unbelievable ability to be incredibly intelligent about things he had nothing to do with, and he was totally ruthless about communicating it.
The Secrets of Bezos: How Amazon Became the Everything Store from Bloomberg Businessweek October 10, 2013
I very frequently get the question: 'What's going to change in the next 10 years?' And that is a very interesting question; it's a very common one. I almost never get the question: 'What's not going to change in the next 10 years?' And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two -- because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. ... [I]n our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that's going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It's impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, 'Jeff I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher,' [or] 'I love Amazon; I just wish you'd deliver a little more slowly.' Impossible. And so the effort we put into those things, spinning those things up, we know the energy we put into it today will still be paying off dividends for our customers 10 years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.
If we have data, let's look at data. If all we have are opinions, let's go with mine.
Jim Barksdale, former Netscape CEO (11 Best Data Quotes)
Because cybertechnology is logically malleable, its uses often generate policy vacuums an conceptual muddles.
(Paraphrase of James H. Moor in Ethics and Technology)
We are seduced into thinking that the right to choose from a menu is the essence of liberty, but with respect to relevant outcomes the real power, and hence the real freedom, is in the determination of what is on the menu. The powerful are those who set the agenda, not those who choose from the alternatives it offers.
Benjamin Barber, Consumed
(Quoted in Story of Stuff)
Students with an information-age mindset expect education to emphasize the learning process more than a canon of knowledge. They want to be part of learning communities, with hubs and spokes of learners, rejecting the broadcast paradigm of television (or the note-taker in the lecture hall.)
(Quoted in Global Achievement Gap)
Don't let your studies interfere with your education.
(Quoted in Global Achievement Gap)
Innovation: Making changes to something established by introducing something new.
Invention: Creating something new that has never existed before.
The New Oxford Dictionary of English, 1998
(Quoted in Applying Innovation)
Here's the thing about innovation: I'm not sure any of us needs a definition. We don't need a journalist to tell us what it is. Or who really gets it. Innovation is like obscenity: We know it when we see it. It's hard to miss when paradigms shift. So no one is fooling anyone with all the press releases and internal memos. All we're doing is sending another cool word to the literary junk pile.
Innovation is Executive Porn
When you approach your customer and learn the answer to these two questions you will know what you need to do:
- What are you doing that you wish you didn't have to?
- What can't you do that you wish you could?
The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.
Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.
I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
(See sample1 or sample2 of his work.)
In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The idea that good will pardon a rebel who has not given up his rebellion is contrary both to the scriptures and to common sense.
A. W. Tozer
There are about four reasons why we have crime to begin with. One of them is, of course, that we live in an extremely unethical society. We live in a society that doesnt teach ethics at home, a society that doesnt teach ethics in school because the teacher would be accused of teaching morality. We live in a society where you cant find a four-year college course on ethics. ... So today you have a lot of young people who have no character, no ethics, and they find no problem in defrauding somebody or stealing from somebody or cheating somebody. Until we change that, crime is just going to get easier, faster, more global, harder to detect... Until that changes, crime is always going to be with us... how we can bring about that change[?]... You need to bring character and ethics back into schools... You need to bring it back into colleges and universities as part of a curriculum.
The Real Ethics Guru
If you're not mad at your church then you're not involved. (Note this is not a criticism of the church but rather a reminder of perspective.)
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.
What you put in your stomach or head can't be taken away.
Chinese proverb (paraphrase)
Vocation is where our greatest passion meets the world's greatest need.
The best speakers know enough to be scared... the only difference between the pros and the novices is that the pros have trained the butterflies to fly in formation.
Edward R. Murrow
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
President Dwight David Eisenhower
'In the old world,' Frederick F. Reichheld said, 'you can have medium loyalty and still make a buck,' protected by a convenient location or the customer's lack of information. In the Internet world, there will be no place to hide, no substitute for earning high loyalty. 'The economics are going to be obvious,' he predicted. 'People are going to be forced to do the right thing or get out of business.'
Fred Andrews A Man of Words Is Still Partial to One: Loyalty
It is a sad fate for a man to die too well known to everybody else, and still unknown to himself.
Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.
Money is a great servant but a bad master.
In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.
Ipsa scientia potestas est. - Knowledge itself is power.
If we are to achieve things never before accomplished we must employ methods never before attempted.
Philosophy when superficially studied, excites doubt, when thoroughly explored, it dispels it.
Great boldness is seldom without some absurdity.
He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.
Nature cannot be commanded except by being obeyed.
A little science estranges a man from God. A lot of science brings him back. (haven't confirmed attribution yet)
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Educated, eyes-open optimism pays; pessimism can only offer the empty consolation of being right.
It's not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It's the customer who pays the wages.
Having money's not everything, not having it is.
The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.
Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.
The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.
Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.
There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.
Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not "making friends and influencing people", that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.
The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The true dangerous thing is asking the wrong question.
People in any organization are always attached to the obsolete - the things that should have worked but did not, the things that once were productive and no longer are.
There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer. Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, 1973
The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well [that] the product or service fits him [or her] and sells itself. (source)
My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.
The demands on the skill, knowledge, performance, responsibility, and integrity of the manager have doubled in every generation during the past half century. source)
Peter F Drucker
Anybody who thinks having money will make you happy, hasn't got any money.
Wealth isn't about having a lot of money, it's about having a lot of options.
The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.
In school, we're rewarded for having the answer, not for asking a good question.
Richard Saul Wurman
In all affairs, it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.
We hear only those questions for which we are in a position to find answers.
He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.
It's less important to answer questions than to question answers.
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?
First inaugural address
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to his kids. After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing God said to them was: "Don't"
"Don't what?" Adam asked.
"Don't eat the forbidden fruit," said God.
"Forbidden fruit? Really? Where is it?" Adam and Eve asked, jumping up and down excitedly.
"It's over there," said God, wondering why he hadn't stopped after making the elephants. A few minutes later God saw the kids having an apple break and he was very angry. "Didn't I tell you not to eat that fruit?" The First Parent asked.
"Uh huh," Adam replied.
"Then why did you do it?" God asked exasperatedly.
"I dunno, " Adam answered.
God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.
But there is a reassurance in this story. If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give your children wisdom and they haven't taken it, don't be so hard on yourself. If God had trouble handling his children, what makes you think it should be a piece of cake for you?
The First Parent
Your title makes you a manager, your people will decide if you're a leader.
Forbes Thought of the Day
If you study science deep enough and long enough, it will force you to believe in God.
Lord William Kelvin
it's all very well for atheists to want Christian values, but if people are told they can't believe Christianity's Bible, those values, as we see all around us, are simply not sustainable in society. It's as if the post-Christian West is still living off of the last gasps of Christianity's cultural capital, which is being rapidly exhausted.
Atheists credit the Gospel
[Tom] had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it -- namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, at the very end of chapter 2. James 4:2-3.)
Most people use statistics the way a drunkard uses a lamp post, more for support than illumination.
The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter - 'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
Loyalty to the Nation all the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."
Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Letter from a Birmingham Jail
I'm not interested in politics, I'm interested in governance. Customer service is public service.
Why Craig's List Is Such a Mess
[Some companies are] obsessed with their competition, [others are] obsessed with why they do what they do [and,] where they're going. The reason Apple frustrates their competition is because secretly, they're not even competing against them, they're competing against themselves.
The bookshop has an entire section called 'self help' and it has no section called 'help others'.
Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.
Common sense is not so common.
Love truth, but pardon error.
I don’t know where I am going, but I am on my way.
Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.
A pervasive emphasis on the expectations market has reduced shareholder value, created misplaced and ill-advised incentives, generated inauthenticity in our executives, and introduced parasitic market players. The moral authority of business diminishes with each passing year, as customers, employees, and average citizens grow increasingly appalled by the behavior of business and the seeming greed of its leaders.
Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto
Book: Fixing the Game
Quoted in artcile: The Dumbest Idea In The World: Maximizing Shareholder Value
There is something inside of this humanity that says 'God is holding out on us, he is keeping something from us. There must be an adventure or life, there must be something so extraodinary that can be found if I just eat of the other tree because God is just trying to limit my experience. God is trying to limit my pleasure. God is trying to limit my life.' [Genesis 2:15-17,3:1-8] They didn't really believe that the prison was in the choice of moving away from the presence of God, and that freedom and liberty and adventure in life is in the presence of God.
When I worked among the urban poor I had a definition of wholeness, it was 51%. I thought 'Hey if I could get people to give 51 percent and take 49 we will be doing really well.' Because I thought to myself that's a huge goal for me. If I could just give 2% more than I take, I have made a huge adjustment in my life. Because let's be really honest, without Jesus Christ most of us are just consumers. We see human relationships for what we can get... We find nice spiritual relational language to justify our own consumer mentality.
I began discovering that foolishness was fundamentally an improper connection between cause and effect (which is also superstition) and that a lot of wisdom is just connecting the dots.
August 8, 2003
The bottom line is it far more important to change what people care about than it is to change what they believe. Now I know that may seem like heresy but the reality is that there are things you can believe without caring about them. But you cannot care about something without believing in it... What happens is when you live in the Christian context you just assume that people care about the same things you care about.
Get Real With Leadership
June 11, 2004...
Speaking to MP3 Culture
October 18, 2004
If you do not do what he says your heart will become hard and your ears will become dull and his voice will become silent to you. And there will be a day if you choose not to treasure his voice that you will not even remember hearing the voice of God, and you will deny that God even speaks. But if you treasure his voice and respond to his spirit you will have an intimate conversation with God all of your life. [Hebrews 3:7-19]
Get Real With Leadership
June 11, 2004
[Acts 17:16] One of the things that we have to continually remind ourselves, in our own context at Mosaic, is that if we not distressed that people are worshiping the wrong god then we'll never pay the price to effectively communicate Jesus in the world in which we live. And really, isn't a burden for people the driving motivation for communicating effectively?
We need to make sure that we stop traveling down the paved roads. Have you noticed how we all have all the same exact answers to all the same questions? I don't know where people without Christ get it but they have a manual, and they all ask the same questions. But you know why they do that? It's also because they know our stupid thoughtless shallow narrow minded answers... You know what it is, a lot of us have this huge target on our foreheads that says ask me I'm stupid. I will give you the same exact answer that every other Christian will give you without thinking it through... You need to stay off the paved road. If you've heard the answer a thousand times think through it again.
[Matthew 14:22-33] There are things you can see that exist in the invisible when you step out and begin to walk with Christ. Is it possible that certain things are invisible when you are not moving at the rate of speed that God is moving?
I think we need to be willing to take the long journey home. We need to stop arguing with people through the format of boxing and start using Tae Kwon Do. Stop blocking their shots and punching back. We need to take the full weight of their argument and just go on their journey with them and let it take us to its natural conclusion. And you know what is going to surprise you? You think God and his truth is just over here and if you go down the journey with them you are going to move further from the truth. But what you are going to find is if you go down their road it's going to sort of meander all the way back around because their truth is not truth and it will find it's way back to God. That's why Paul could begin with a statue to the 'unknown god' and know it would lead him all the way back to Jesus. [Acts 17:22-31]
Speaking to MP3 Culture
October 18, 2004
You cannot effectively recruit people to something that isn't more significant than the life they're living right now.
[1SA 17:1-27] The movement of Jesus Christ has been crippled... because we are oftentimes more moved by people who are being paid to advance the gospel than those who are passionate to advance the gospel. Now everyone else was impressed by what the king would give them if they killed Goliath. None of that impressed David. What made David mad was that the name of God was being defiled and the purpose of God was not being advanced. I think the problem is we depend on people who are at all being paid. Now I'm not saying we shouldn't have people who are paid, but what I am saying is if a person is doing his job because he's paid, he's the wrong person doing the job. Because you cannot recruit volunteers unless people sense from your gut and your core that you would do this nomatter what.
The first risk if you start calling out volunteers is that you'll get them. The second risk is you're going to get people you didn't want. [1SA 17:28-29]
[ACTS 6:1-4] We can't possibly do what God created us to do if we do this other thing. And so many times this whole issue of a volunteer revolution just comes down to God's actually at work and you can't possibly do it all. The only possibility that you do not need to expand your volunteer base is that nothings happening.
We let the church drift to become and institution, a relic of things once great, because our kids are in college and we have to pay the bills. But that volunteer, they're not getting paid by the church. You get them fired up about God and they will face anyone. You get them with that fire in their eyes that the world needs Jesus Christ and the church shouldn't even exist unless she fulfills God's heart. That volunteer becomes absolutely dangerous. And that is the volunteer that will watch your back when you enter into the battle and fight for the heart of God at the core of the church.
I think that you and me, we're going to be ok if we look back at our lives and go 'Yeah, I wasn't really all that good. I did everything I could just not to bore the masses. But man, you should see what they did. And I had a small part of that. I created an environment where people's dreams and visions could be unlocked.'
I've been studying churches for over 20 years and I have found one consistant characteristic of growing churches, or actually two. Every growing church has immorality and heresy. And in fact when you say you want to be a New Testament church, which one? Corinth? Galatia? And we act like it's so terrible... You do get quality control issues because whenever you open up to people on a broad level you get human shrapnel, because people are a mess. But what I find in the scriptures is that the solution is to actually call people to the mission of Christ, because it's the mission that actually fixes heresy and fixes immorality. Instead of trying to be legalistic and creating all these doctrinal programs to make sure everybody believes all the right stuff, just tell them "Read the Bible, follow Jesus, love people" and I guarantee you this stuff will begin to push away.
A Volunteer Revolution
October 29, 2004
A lot of us think that a white lie hurts less than the hard truth, but it's just not true. See human beings are created for truth. We're designed to resonate with truth. And when we live in falsehood our souls get sick. Truth isn't just about being right and wrong, truth is about being healthy and whole.
Every human being is on a search for meaning, and what we want to do is we want to download the journey before they even take the first step. But you can't be afraid of the questions. You just can't.
[Journalists asked me:] 'What about this whole thing of intelligent design not being allowed in schools?' Oh, that's real simple. See in the sixties, most of the professors at universities were conservatives. And if there's one thing I know about young people it's that they will rebel against 'the institution'. They will defy 'the man'. And so you get all these conservative institutions where the brightest and best minds in America were liberals. And now all the universities are essentially facultied by liberals. And some of the brightest and sharpest minds across America are conservatives. You see whatever you put in the institution you're going to have revolution. So just go ahead. Only teach evolution. Let them hear that there's another option out there, but it's banned. You are creating the context for a revolution of intelligent design and these 17 year olds are going 'I don't care if you say I cannot study this. I'm going to get one, and I'm going to figure this thing out on my own.'
October 13, 2005
When given the opportunity God always chooses the path of forgiveness. You see, the intersection between you and God is not supposed to be an encounter where you experience the wrath and judgment and condemnation of God. But here is the difficulty, God gives you the right to choose. And if you do not choose the path of forgiveness what is a Holy God to do with you?
When a person looked at me and said 'I'm sinless', you know what I told them? Well then Jesus didn't come for you. It's not my job to make them honest. When they looked at me and said 'Hey, I don't have any sin' well then Jesus didn't come to you because Jesus only came for sinners. And I said you're doing better than me because I sinned really early, I blew this thing at a very young age, I'm a prodigy I started sinning right away. But you are spectacular [but] there might come a day, you might live long enough where you blow it, where you sin. On that day, Jesus came for you. You don't have to spend your life convincing people that they're sinners. Just go find people who know that they're sinners and convince them there's hope, and that God's not their enemy, that God is the way to life. [John 8:10-11]
God Walked Among Us
Jesus in the Sand
April 18, 2004
But there is something wrong where our [the church's] best community isolates the outsider. Real community creates inclusivity, warmth, accessibility, love, compassion, friendship for the person furthest out. Not simply for the person furthest in.
Where God is not, is not sacred, no matter how much stained glass and how much care you've taken to make it look religious. But anywhere where God is, is sacred, no matter how much Jim Beam and Jack Daniels surround the room. Jesus left the temple, and the Pharisees and religious leaders never even noticed that God was gone. Wherever Jesus goes, that is holy ground. [Matthew 21:14-17]
God Walked Among Us
Jesus in the Temple
April 25, 2004
Whatever is on your heart, what God is saying to you, the moment you understand it - that is the moment you are supposed to act on it, not later. That moment. [James 4:17]
God Walked Among Us
Jesus in the Garden
May 23, 2004
What you find here in this brief conversation is Cain new exactly what to do he just chose not to do the right thing. Which I think says a lot more about us than we think. I think the reason there are so many religions in the world is not because God has left it so confusing. I think it's because in the end we want God to meet us on our standards, not us meet God on his. [Genesis 4:7, Deuteronomy 30:11-14]
June 12, 2005
I know sometimes that this book [the Bible] seems really big. But if you think about it, if this is the primary document of God's conversation with humanity it's really small. So every line, every verse, every space, every word would be so important.
Go Unless You Get a No
March 19, 2006
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you have to pursue truth wherever it takes you. You just can't be afraid of the questions.
You know what's so funny? We want our freewill but we don't want to live with the consequences of our choices, do we? You see, get mad at God because He didn't make you a puppet. If you want a reason to get mad at God, get mad at God because He gave you the right to choose and you're probably not responsible enough to choose, and neither am I. See we can't get mad at God because He created us thinking creative beings, and then we make destructive choices and we can't be ticked off at God because we made destructive choices. [Proverbs 19:3]
Life's Toughest Questions
Does God Care?
September 10, 2006
What we worship affects what we become. [Romans 1:23-25 (really RO 1:18-32)]
Life's Toughest Questions
What about sex?
September 24, 2006
When you look at the backdrop of human history and religion you have to basically categorize religion into two categories: they are either legalistic or fatalistic. See, either religions say look, God is aloof or they say God is impersonal. And so sometimes God is aloof and that leads to legalism. And so then you have all these rules and all these rituals and all this criteria that you have to live up to and strive toward so that God might accept you into His kingdom. And the message of Jesus is different than [both of these]. And the other one is essentially fatalism that says, really, you have no control over your destiny. It's all mapped out, it's all prepackaged, it's all preplanned, and you have an illusion, a perception of freedom and choice but the truth of the mater is that you don't really get to choose, it's all set into order. And what you find is that those two different views inform world religions... You [must] choose between legalism (Islam, Buddhism) and love, fatalism (Humanism, Universalism, Buddhism, Calvinism) and freedom.
[John 14:6] You say 'Well why does Jesus say he is the only way?' He's not giving you the bad new from His perspective, He's giving you the bad news from reality. He's saying no one else is coming for you. There is no other God who loves you and passionately pursues you and longs to forgive you of your sin and to heal you from your brokenness. So choose life because the Lord is your life. [Colossians 3:4]
Life's Toughest Questions
Is Jesus the Only Way?
October 1, 2006
[Acts 17:26-27] What the scriptures tell us is that God has strategically given every person the time and place where they should live so they would have the optimal opportunity to come to Him. I know it's hard for us to believe that a person might have a better chance of finding God as a [for example] Muslim or a Hindu than as a [for example] Presbyterian or a Baptist. But I have met enough Presbyterians and Baptists to know that there are people who are Buddhist and Hindu who are closer on their journey to finding God than the others.
If you don't want to believe, nothing in the world is going to overcome your doubt.
Life's Toughest Questions
Is Faith Nonsense?
October 8, 2006
[Genesis 18:23-25] I think many times life's toughest questions are crafted around our misunderstanding of who God is. Or our perception that somehow God is not more loving or more holy or more compassionate or more just than we are.
Life's Toughest Questions
Is God in your future?
October 15, 2006
I think sometimes the way it's experienced [by non believers] is almost like Christians want to say 'This is the only way because we want to be right and we want everyone else to be wrong'... And what Jesus is saying is there's no one else that loves you like this. You can make up all the gods you want but you'd better check and see if that god is proactively pursuing you with their love.
Life's Toughest Questions
October 29, 2006
[Matthew 4:1-4] Just read the Bible and all your hunger goes away. Well only of course if you eat the Bible, then your hunger starts going away. You see what Jesus was not doing was spiritualizing this question, this temptation, this struggle. I mean a lot of times we read the Bible and we spiritualize everything and it really doesn't mean anything to us. What Jesus was not saying is 'I don't need food, I have the word of God.' That's not what He was saying, He wasn't saying 'oh just sit down and read'. What Jesus was telling the evil one is you don't understand the dynamic of what actually satisfies the human soul. It's not the bread that meets our needs, it's that God has given that bread the capacity to satisfy our hunger. It's not water that quenches our thirst it's that God has spoken and given water the capacity to quench our thirst.
January 28, 2007
What an amazing thing that John sees about love. [1 John 4:18] Perfect love casts out all fear. Love drives fear out of your life. Which makes more interesting the phrase in the scriptures that says the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom or the beginning of knowledge. [Proverbs 1:7] But you're going 'Wait wait a minute, perfect love casts out all fear but we are supposed to fear God?' Well you see, what you fear establishes the boundaries/​parameters of your freedom... And fear can connect you to very cruel masters... And with God it is different. You see when you focus all your fear to God then God in His perfect love casts out all fear. He is the only one when you focus your fear on Him He doesn't hold you in a cage to that fear but He liberates you to live free with Him... I think I should make this note, fear is not a bad thing. Sometimes the best thing to feel is fear, it's different than living under the control of fear.
February 11, 2007
Sometimes we put way too much pressure on each other to be everything. Don't do that to your job. I meet so many people who are so unhappy in their jobs. It's not your job it's you. That's why every time you change jobs you find the same problems because you brought them, the problems weren't there before you got there. You go 'I hate my job'. No you hate your life, get it right. It's worse than you think. Your job just reflects your life because your job isn't supposed to meet the deepest longings of your soul. And so you have some goals and some ambitions and the best thing that could happen to you is don't accomplish them because at least you can still live with the mirage, the illusion that if I could just attain that, then my life will be fulfilled. The worst thing that can happen to you is you get it and you realize it's been all a waste. It's not that it's not good to do exciting and wonderful and significant things, it's that they can't take the place of God in your soul. Because your soul craves [Him].
March 18, 2007
What brings you freedom is not the freedom to chose. It's the choices you make in freedom that determine whether you will be free. Just because you are free to make choices doesn't mean you are going to live a free life. There are some of you here tonight, and even in the early stages of your life you have already made choices that have cost you so much freedom. Choices that at one time you chose but now they own you. And if you were to be measured and described by some geopolitical definition you would be the most free person in the world. But you know more than anyone else how far your experience and existence is from being free.
Life is Short...
January 13, 2008
Sometimes what happens is we tend to sanitize the scriptures. And we forget really what's going on.
February 3, 2008
You don't have to become enemies once you disagree and see the world differently. And after it was over this young businessman... came to me and said 'I am strangely compelled by your message of Jesus... I am so very much attracted to this philosophy, this teaching, but I have this question that just demands to be answered, it doesn't make sense to me.' And I said what's that? And he said 'If this Jesus that you are presenting tonight is real, this is the Jesus that is true, how do you explain that every Christian I have ever met is dogmatic, judgmental and condemning?' And once again I just felt so sad, and I was so grateful that he didn't put me in that category that day and I felt that was a huge win... And I said 'You know those people you met that were dogmatic, judgmental and condemning and they were Christians?' He said yeah, and I go 'Well they were just dogmatic, judgmental and condemning people who happened to be Christians. But if they had been Buddhist or Muslims or atheists they would have been dogmatic, judgmental and condemning people. It just happens to be who they chose to be and then they added Jesus. It's not Jesus who makes you like that. It's that we try to bring Jesus into that.'
Coming Soon to Judge
February 10, 2008
And while it was true that poverty has the symptoms and the realities of lack of food and lack of clothing and lack of shelter, those pale in comparison to the poverty of lack of opportunity. And even that is diminished when you begin to discover that one of the things that is lost in the midst of poverty is the capacity to imagine a different life, a different world. And there is a poverty of dreaming that brought such despair and hopelessness.
Slavery and Freedom
February 17, 2008
Stop making decisions based on what's right and wrong, make decisions on what is most noble.
Recalibrate Your Priorities
April 13, 2008
All healing in this life is temporary. And it's a part of this bigger picture of what God is doing in the world. But I want you to see also with me that what we find from Jesus in this moment is that God would never use rules, as an excuse to avoid compassion. That God would never use religion as an excuse to not do the most good. In fact, you wonder what was unexplainable, follow the story with me and listen to the comedy of this, alright. Cause sometimes we read the Bible and we just know the story but listen to the comedy... [John 5:1-15, the Pharisees criticize a man who's been lame for decades but healed by Jesus on a Saturday and walking home, carrying his mat. Their response is essentially] 'Its the Sabbath, how in the world are you up walking? You were the paralyzed guy. I've seen you for 38 years, always there. Were you faking?' Thirty-eight years! And all they are focused on is the guy picked up his mat on the Sabbath because their stupid, meaningless, insignificant rule said you shouldn't do that. Because this is what it means to be holy, to be religious, so they're more focused on the fact that the guy picked up his mat than the fact that he could pick up his mat, much less pickup himself... And what's happening here is the religious leaders have been using the rules of God, the commands of God, the guidelines and the insights as an excuse from doing the most good. And for some reason along the way we begin to think that God gives us commands just to control us... and we tend to think of God as this ominous puppeteer trying to control your life, to diminish your freedom and pleasure and enjoyment. And what we find here is in fact the opposite. It's that God has never given us a command to diminish our freedom but to actually accentuate it. God has never given a command to control us, but to liberate us, to free us. So it wasn't a problem at all for Jesus to tell the guy on the Sabbath 'You're healed, get up and walk home'. But for some strange reason we become more concerned with the rules and the rituals than we do with the people. It's the only way you can explain even what's happening in the church all over the world. It's a harsh thing to say but when I talk to spiritual leaders I tell them 'Look, you guys chose to keep your rituals and loose your children.' See the truth of the mater is a lot of us love our traditions more than we love our families. And people always ask me 'well why do you guys do what you do at Mosaic' and I go 'it's because we actually love people more. We just care more about our kids, we care more about our friends, we care more about our city than we care about our stupid traditions and rituals and the way we've done things'... And what we find here is Jesus is reminding us what God's priorities are, where His heart is.
You never need to protect yourself from doing more good. And I think so many times the question we ask is 'well should I do this or this?' And I go 'I don't know, just do the most good you can, and see how that works out for you.'
Jesus Power Over Disease
May 31, 2009
I remember years ago this intern in our community said it this way: Sunday is just a commercial for what happens the rest of the week at Mosaic.
[Matthew 18:19-20] This faith journey that you're on, it's not just for you. Yes it needs to be personal but it's not supposed to be private... There's a part of your relationship with God you can only experience alone and it's really important to have that. But there's a part of your relationship with God that only happens together.
I think sometimes we forget that no matter how much power, no matter how much wealth, no matter how much success, no matter how much notoriety a person has their soul is still desperately searching for God.
F.S. for Mosaic
January 24, 2010
I think wisdom is the integration of a life lived around the true, the good and the beautiful.
[2 Corinthians 3:6] I meet a lot of people who come to church and go 'I just want to go deep.' That's common Christian vernacular. 'I want to go deep in the word.' What does that mean? It's not that thick, you've got to be very cramped in there going deep. You know what I find? You see we pretend that we are followers of Jesus but we're actually followers of John Locke. We think that knowledge makes us better. It just makes us more arrogant. And so whenever I hear people say 'I want to go deep in the scriptures' they usually mean 'I want to be in this Bible study where we break down the words and go into the Greek and the Hebrew and we can just know more and know more.' The scriptures never talk about deep like that. That's called shallow. Deep is when you allow your soul to be absolutely permeated by the presence of God. Deep is when you allow truth to change and transform you, to make you good, and to produce the beautiful from your life.
Too Smart for Your Own Good
March 14, 2010
[Genesis 3:19] [God] says look, you came from dust, you're going to go back to dust because this is the consequence of the severing of your relationship with me. He's not saying this is the way it's supposed to be. He's saying this is what's going to happen. You're going to live in this trap of time that was never supposed to be a prison for you, it was supposed to be a playground. But because you have walked away from me the playground turns into a prison and you're trapped in time.
Is This All There Is?
April 11, 2010
[Ecclesiastes 5:1-2] Don't think that some ritual or some routine or some religious activity is going to actually connect you to God, because that's the sacrifice of a fool. The sacrifice of a fool is playing religion with one hand and then just living an [ungodly life] with the other hand and thinking somehow that God isn't going to see what's really inside of your soul.
April 25, 2010
[Ecclesiastes 9:14-15] There's a sense in all of us that whenever life seems to be bigger than us that we just feel like people have a misperception of who we are. And so sometimes we try to compensate by acting really arrogant and acting really narcissistic and acting like we have it all together and hoping that people will buy into the propaganda of who we are. But when we're alone by ourselves we're scared to death to get found out. And the only way possible you could ever stay in that place where you think you're all that, when you think you're the biggest thing on this planet, is when you're living a life so small that you are big because your life is so insignificant. We seem to have a choice. We can either live insignificant lives and lose our significance or we can pursue significance and feel insignificant in the pursuit. Because the moment you pursue a God sized dream, the moment you begin to allow God to expand what your life can become, the moment you begin to own the sense that every one of us are to live a life that actually matters and actually counts you're going to feel an incredible sense of insignificance. You're going to go 'Why in the world God, would you want to do that with me? How in the world could you think I'm capable of that?' And you see this over and over in the scriptures, people who once they are confronted by God no longer feel like they are God.
Making Your Life Count
May 2, 2010
There are some people who are just trying to find the idea that will free them from work completely, not realizing that the most wonderful exciting invigorating thing in life is to have an idea that works, not an idea that frees you from work. That the goal in life isn't to get out of work but to get everything out of work that you're supposed to get out of it. And I know it doesn't sound like a really exciting virtue, but probably the most defining virtue that will separate you from other people is your commitment to work hard. [Ecclesiastes 11:6]
Eventually hard work gets mistaken for talent and if you're really fortunate hard work will get mistaken for genius. But strangely enough if you don't work hard no matter how talented or gifted or brilliant you are, all that talent will simply be mistaken for potential. (Note that he's not being pessimistic and saying all talent is an illusion but rather he's just making a comment about hard work.)
Live Like It Matters
May 16, 2010
I don't like it when Christians say 'well I can convert him/​her.' That's really dishonoring that other person. And then you marry someone and you say 'eventually I'll convert them.' What you're really saying is 'I'm marrying you, but not for who you are, I'm marrying you for who I can eventually manipulate you to become'... That's not what a marriage should be built on. [2 Corinthians 6:14]
The way you can circumvent the process is you can start having sex. Because having sex gives you the false perception that you've now moved to intimacy. It gives the woman a sense of intimacy and it give the guy a way out of intimacy. But... once you start having sex before marriage the level of intimacy, true intimacy that you have, is pretty much as far as you're going to go no matter how long you're together and even if you marry. Because you basically have stunted the relationship at that level of intimacy. And so what's going on here is that a lot of you are pretending to move toward real relationship by having sex. And when people ask me who could you marry, I tell them marry the person you can talk to all night without ever needing to have sex to have intimacy.
April 22, 2007
Pursue your dreams, but pay the bills... because you gotta do both.
May 6, 2007
Sometimes we think we're genious just because we can see the problem... It doesn't take genious to critique someone's best effort and say it's not enough.
All you have to do to be seen as a heretic is just to see things clearly. (Remember, Copernicus was regarded as a heretic.)
Heroes & Villains
August 1, 2010
What ends up happening is you have this very pure, simple, elegant faith. And then over time people start attaching things to it, and that's called religion. And when we attach religion to it, it becomes cumbersome and weighty and burdensome, and before you know it even that core pure authentic faith at the center is lost. Because the religion just consumes it and overwhelms it, sometimes even destroys it. And given the best case scenario I don't think we add things because we're tying to be malevolent or malicious or destructive. I think what happens is there's this pure thing, this beautiful thing, this authentic true thing, described as faith, and this connection that happens to God through Jesus Christ. And then people feel responsible or they feel a stewardship for it. And so they start attaching things to make sure the pure thing isn't violated, isn't diluted, or in any way harmed. Not realizing that pure, elegant, authentic faith is the most powerful thing the universe has ever experienced and it doesn't need to be protected by religion.
[Acts 2:36-39] The word 'baptismo' means to be immersed, to be drenched, in a sense to be drowned, to be consumed, enveloped. But the church had moved to sprinkling and they were now sprinkling infants and so the word baptism created a huge cultural dilemma because they no longer taught people that the process, the symbolism was a water grave, that it was life and death and resurrection. And so rather than create a cultural, theological controversy they didn't translate the word 'immersion' they simply translated the word 'baptism.'
November 21, 2010
Any faith that is not rooted in truth is not a faith worthy of your life.
Truth Between Us
October 1, 2011
It's [one thing to] disagree about ideas and it's still possible to care about each other as human beings.
Truth Between Us
October 15, 2011
What you find is that so many religious systems and religious doctrines are created to try to leverage God out of a fear that He is less compassionate and less merciful than us. And so baptism became the Christian version of circumsision, hoping that baptism would wash away our original sin that we were told was passed on to us through this damaged state from Adam to us, rather than believe that the grace and mercy of God is the ultimate protection, not a ritual, but God's compassion and His character.
Truth Between Us
October 20, 2011
If there really was a worldwide flood then what would the evidence be? Billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth.
If a skeptic were to approach the average Christian today and ask questions like: Where did the Bible come from? How do you know it's the Word of God? Where did God come from? How did Noah get all the animals on the Ark? How do you fit dinosaurs with the Bible? If we all go back to Adam and Eve, where did Cain get his wife? I suggest that most Christians would not have answers to these and many other basic questions. These are just some of the questions that are thrown at Christians today to intimidate them, because the humanists know most Christians can't answer them. God's people have been so evolutionized that they just ignore these questions and tell people to just trust in Jesus. But these are the questions that need to be answered to show we can defend God's Word. [1 Peter 3:15]
[1 Chronicles 12:32] One of the things we need to be doing and you'll see it at the Creation Museum, we help people understand this is real history. This is true. And the boat didn't look like some overloaded bathtub with giraffes sticking out the chimney. I also said to [this Sunday school teacher] it's one thing to teach kids Noah's flood happened but do you understand the times to prepare them for the world?
The Relevance of Genesis
It's designed to do what it does do. What it does do it does do well. Doesn't it? Yes it does. I think it does. Do you?
(Regarding the evidence of intelligent design in all animals)
You may not believe the Bible but I do... I don't use evidence to prove the Bible, I'm going to use the Bible as a starting point and show the evidence fits.
Live at the Vancouver Olympics outreach
One of the most dangerous things that we can do as parents is expose our children to just a little bit of God... (Consider how the flu vaccine works.) I would argue that as parents so many of us unknowingly give their children just a little bit of the things of God, making them immune to all of His goodness and glory and power and majesty. They find themselves knowing just a little bit about God but not knowing God personally and intimately in a life changing way. [Matthew 22:36-40]
What you believe determines how you behave.
People just instinctively reject Jesus because Christians have been about all truth and very little or no grace... And truth without grace leads to legalism and judgmentalism. But then there's the flip side and that's the mindset of the world today and that's relativism and subjectivism. And that is all grace and no truth... But when Jesus came he came for grace and truth [John 1:14,17 NIV] and when you seek Jesus and you experience grace and truth He is life changing.
Although it is politically incorrect and incredibly unpopular and I just put myself in a corner by saying this where people all over the world will criticize me and hate me, I believe if there was any other way to God besides Jesus then there would have been absolutely no reason for His birth, His sinless life, His death on the cross, His resurrection and His ascension. And those who knew Him and saw it died the death of a martyr because they realized that He is the way and the truth and the life [John 14:6] and there is no other name by which a person can be saved [Acts 4:12] besides the glorious and matchless name of God's son Jesus Christ. By that I stand and would give my life to forever.
So You're Dead... Now What
Let's build a quick foundation as we ask ourselves 'what is the church?' It's many things but we'll look at three to build a foundation today.
Behind the Curtain
We can do far more for the kingdom of God together than we can apart. We can do infinitely more to reach people and minister to [them] when we partner with churches around the world than when we try to do it alone (Ephesians 4:3-6).
Behind the Curtain
Our sexuality is Satan's easiest door to [our] shame... Shame leads to wrong thinking, which leads to wrong doing, which leads to destruction... Guilt makes us realize 'I did a bad thing' but shame makes us think 'I am a bad person'... There are things that only grow in the dark: fungus, mold, shame...
Satan's Sex Ed
We agree to do anything short of sin to reach people who do not know Christ. We want to err on the side of being aggressive rather than err on the side of being passive or conservative. Why is that? Because we do not believe that the church exists for us. We believe that we are the church and we exist for the world. [1 Corinthians 9:19]
My vision for your campus/​network church is you would be so generous and so godly and so different that even people in your community that don't agree with our faith and say 'we don't know about that Jesus thing, but at least these people take it seriously and they are generous and they are different and they're making a difference in the community.' Because when you show people love and when you serve them and when you're generous, it's hard to hate someone who's serving you. And so when you show them the love of Jesus it brings credibility to the message of Jesus. [1 Peter 2:12,15]
(wk 2: partners)
[Acts 4:13] Today's system is all messed up. Think about the church world today. You go and look in any Christian magazine for ministry and you look in the back and there's little advertisements and you can look for want adds for senior pastors. 'Our church is looking for a senior pastor' and then they list the qualifications. Here's what you're going to see almost every single time. They're going to ask for a senior pastor who's been in ministry for at least 10 years, is married and has a seminary degree. Which when you think about it what that says is Jesus Christ the Son of God could not be the pastor of most churches in our country! Think about it, He's not qualified. Jesus, the Son of God, is not qualified by man's system. Man is looking for people who fit into the world's system, God is looking for idiots [who believe Him at His word].
(wk 3: idiots)
[Luke 5:29-30] Whenever you befriend sinners you always offend Pharisees.
Don't tell me this church is too big. As long as there's one lost person or one hurting person in the community in which we live this place is not too big. Don't get selfish Christianity all over you. You want a small church?... Just don't love your small church so much that you don't ever reach anybody for Christ so your church can stay small. You [should] have a vision to reach out to people. The church is never, ever too big when there are people who do not know Christ. We are not spiritual consumers, we are spiritual contributors. We are the church and we are here for the world.
Many home school families will start school on the same day that the government sends kids back to school. You ought to start a week later just on general principal.
Family Driven Faith
The abortion debate in the United States and around the world has virtually nothing to do with life. It has to do with feminism. Here's what I want you to get. As the feminist movement grows and we move toward egalitarianism we're erasing the distinctions between men and women. Remember that's what we're talking about here. The reason we're having a problem with biblical manhood [Ephesians 5:23, 1 Peter 3:7] is we don't understand the lines of distinction between men and women. But as you erase the lines of distinction between men and women there's one little pesky issue that's always there. That's this little thing called pregnancy. So on the one hand we keep saying "There's no difference between men and women. There's just not a difference. We're the same, we can have the same pursuits, the same goals, the same everything. And that one little pesky thing keeps popping up. It's pregnancy. So if you want complete egalitarianism and for a woman to be able to define herself in a way that is completely the same as that of a man there's one thing you have to be able to do. And that is control and eliminate pregnancy and child bearing. That's what abortion is about, it's about feminism.
By the way, the abortion debate, not a hard debate. It's really not. But have you noticed this? Even when so called conservatives are debating on abortion here's what they don't do. (It's platitudes.) One person has this statement over here, here's his platitude: "Well I believe in a woman's right to choose." And then there's another person on the other side. What's the other person on the other side say? "Well I believe in the sanctity of human life." That's it, debate over. That's what we call the debate. I'm going wait a minute, hold on, no, debate the issue. Cause the guy over here is supposed to look at that guy and say "Wait a minute, you believe in a woman's right to choose please finish the sentence. Cause I believe in a woman's right to choose also... so you need to finish your sentence. You believe in a woman's right to choose to hire someone to murder her unborn child while still in the womb." Finish the sentence. And then as you finish the sentence here's a question I want you to answer. Do you know when life begins? If the answer to that question is yes and you know when life begins then you knowingly condone murder. If the answer to that question is no, and you don't know when life begins, then you knowingly condone a process that is likely to be murder. So in either instance you're condoning murder.
How come nobody does that in these debates?... Nobody's going to origin of life. Why? Because the debate is not about life. Abortion is about feminism. Pure and simple, that's what it is. And even those people who call themselves "pro-life" are [die hard] feminists and that's why they will not debate this issue aggressively. Cause they know that even if they win the debate on it's merits they've lost because they did not bow to feminism.
Why daddy, why is it important [to read]? It's important because a man has to learn how to read so that he can read the word of God for himself. I want you to read God's word and I want you to know what God's word says. And the closer you get to reading the closer you get to reading God's word for yourself... You also need to learn how to write.
Why daddy, why do I need to learn how to write? It's important that you learn how to write because writing is communication and we're commanded in God's word to speak forth God's word to the nations. If you are going to be an effective communicator you have to learn how to write. So you need to learn how to write so that you can communicate God's word effectively. Then you need to learn how to do math.
Why daddy, why do I have to learn how to do math? Well because math is basically reasoning put to numbers. It's symbols that teach you how to reason, and you want to be an intelligent man so that you can be an articulate man and you can give an answer for the hope that lies within you. So we have to do math so that we learn how to be reasoning beings, but there's another reason that you learn to do math. It's the same reason we learn how to do science.
Why? Because the heavens declare the glory of God and you need to learn how to read the heavens just like you read the Bible. So that in God's general revelation you can see and hear Him speak just like you do in God's special revelation.
That's a huge difference from 'math, science, reading, writing, arithmetic, it doesn't matter who teaches that because they're completely divorced from our religion.' One raises a child who says 'I go and I do this so that I can pass a test and get a job. Another raises a child who says everything that I do is for the glory and the honor of the most high God.
Thoroughly Christian Education
Nothing shapes worldview like education.
God is not running for [the office of] God. He was the only one around when the votes were cast and there's never going to be a recount.
Love is an act of the will accompanied by emotion that leads to action on behalf of it's object.
Inform, transform, conform
Getting Your House in Order
Besides question number one (show me separation of church and state in the constitution) question number two is this. When you only isolate Jesus isn't it the separation of Christianity and state?
The Ever-Loving Truth
[The Bible is] a reliable collection of historical documents written down by eye witnesses during the lifetime of other eye witnesses that report to us supernatural events that took place in fulfullment of specific prophecies and claim to be devine rather than human in origin. [2 Peter 1:16-21, 1 John 1:1-3, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8]
Most people who believe 'we're basically good,' they don't have kids.
Why I Believe the Bible
June 30, 2005
Leaders never have to tell people that they're the leader. Men if you have to tell your wife that you're the head of your house it's because you're not. It's because you are not conducting yourself in such a way that she knows who you are because of the character you exemplify. Male headship is not about lording it over those whom we lead. It's about being so Christ like that it is evident to everyone around us that we are the head of our home. It's about being the spiritual priest, the spiritual prophet, the physical provider, and the physical and spiritual protector of our households.
Radical Feminism says 'we're seeking egalitarianism, there's no difference between men and women, what any man can do any woman can do and we should not see distinctions between men and women.' There's one area however where the egalitarian has a problem and that's the area of child bearing. That's a distinction you can't get rid of, which is why the abortion movement is tied to the feminist movement. That's why when you make an argument with somebody who's pro abortion and you talk about when life begins you may as well be speaking Martian. They don't care when life begins, the point is "a woman having control over her own body." A woman deciding whether or not she will have children, thereby placing her in a situation where she can have complete egality with men. That's why people ignore out of hand and almost completely the scientific arguments against abortion.
Februrary 24, 2008
God may have given [women] 50,000 words per day and her husband only 25,000. He comes home from work with 24,795 used up and merely grunts his way through the evening. He may descend into Monday night football while his wife is dying to expend her remaining 25,000 words. (page 58)
Dr. James Dobson
Love for a Lifetime
Focus on the Family
I... heard James Dobson compare life to a Monopoly game. We work hard to accumulate things so we can impress people who will probably resent us anyway. Then one day it's all over, we give it all back, and someone puts us in a box and closes the lid. Suddenly the dollar bills, deeds, and hotels don't matter. What matters is whether or not we pursued righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. What matters is whether or not we are ready to face God. (page 89)
Money: A User's Manual
Bob Russell Ministries
The fact that something is a 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity' is irrelevant... A great company will have many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. (page 143)
Good to Great
At what point does the legitimate desire to protect become a repressive system of abuse? (location 912)
When we make faith more about us than Jesus, religion goes bad. (location 3794)
Religiously Transmitted Diseases
When it comes to collisions between paradigms and empirical reality, the latter usually loses (location 178)
Information is neither a physical nor a chemical principle like energy and matter, even though the latter are required as carriers. (location 426)
Matter and energy are basic prerequisites for life, but they cannot be used to distinguish between living and inanimate systems. The central characteristic of all living beings is the "information" they contain, and this information regulates all life processes and procreative functions. Transfer of information plays a fundamental role in all living organisms. (location 835)
There is no known law of nature, no known process, and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter. (location 1026)
In the Beginning Was Information
We are more than just sensitive to changes in context. We're exquisitely sensitive to them. (location 1833)
What Mavens and Connectors and Salesmen do to an idea in order to make it contagious is to alter it in such a way that extraneous details are dropped and others are exaggerated so that the message itself comes to acquire a deeper meaning... something the rest of us can understand. (location 2609)
Smoking was never cool. Smokers are cool. (location 2971)
The Tipping Point
In the first two seconds of looking-in a single glance-they were able to understand more about the essence of the statue than the team at the [museum] was able to understand after fourteen months. (location 192)
With a logic problem, asking people to explain themselves doesn't impair their ability to come up with the answers. In some cases, in fact, it may help. But problems that require a flash of insight operate by different rules. (location 1594)
The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter. (location 3316)
Sometimes we can make better judgments with less information. (location 3452)
Once someone has reached an IQ of somewhere around 120, having additional IQ points doesn't seem to translate into any measurable real-world advantage. (location 974)
The particular skill that allows you to talk your way out of a murder rap, or convince your professor to move you from the morning to the afternoon section, is what the psychologist Robert Sternberg calls "practical intelligence" [and] includes things like "knowing what to say to whom, knowing when to say it, and knowing how to say it for maximum effect..." It's practical in nature: that is, it's not knowledge for its own sake. It's knowledge that helps you read situations correctly and get what you want. And, critically, it is a kind of intelligence separate from the sort of analytical ability measured by IQ. To use the technical term, general intelligence and practical intelligence are "orthogonal": the presence of one doesn't imply the presence of the other. (location 1256)
The consumer turns to the company and says, 'Give me more for less.' And then companies turn to employees and say, 'If we don't give them more for less, we are in trouble. I can't guarantee you a job and a union steward can't guarantee you a job, only a customer can.' (location 4424)
[IBM discovered that] an extraordinary company could only be built on a critical mass of extraordinary people. (location 6628)
The [new] job of government and business is not to guarantee anyone a lifetime job-those days are over. That social contract has been ripped up with the flattening of the world. What government can and must guarantee people is the chance to make themselves more employable. (location 6630)
The jobs are going to go where the best-educated workforce is with the most competitive infrastructure and environment for creativity and supportive government. It is inevitable. And by definition those people will have the best standard of living. This may or may not be the countries who led the Industrial Revolution. (location 7252)
The fact that technology allows us to access, create, and receive more and more information doesn't mean that our minds can absorb it all. Moore's Law applies to microchips, but not to the human brain. Our capacity to process and analyze information doesn't double every twenty-four months. (location 8884)
'We are not running an exchange-we are running a community.' Indeed, with 105 million registered users from 190 countries trading more than $35 billion in products annually, eBay is actually a self-governing nation-state-the V.R.e., the Virtual Republic of eBay. And how is it governed? The philosophy of eBay, said [Meg] Whitman, [CEO,] is 'Let's make a small number of rules, really enforce them, and then create an environment in which people can fulfill their own potential.' (location 10568)
The World is Flat
Collectivism is the rule in our world, and individualism the exception. (location 853)
Where there is ignorance, fantasy reigns. (location 1393)
In weak uncertainty avoidance cultures, like the USA and even more in the UK and, for example, Sweden, managers and nonmanagers alike feel definitely uncomfortable with systems of rigid rules, especially if it is evident that many of these are never followed. In strong uncertainty avoidance cultures, like most of the Latin world, people feel equally uncomfortable without the structure of a system of rules, even if many of these are impractical and impracticable. At either pole of the uncertainty avoidance dimension people's feelings are fed by deep psychological needs, related to the control of aggression and to basic security in the face of the unknown. (location 2156)
The Western concern with Truth is supported by an axiom in Western logic that a statement excludes its opposite: if A is true, B, which is the opposite of A, must be false. Eastern logic does not have such an axiom. If A is true, its opposite B may also be true, and together they produce a wisdom which is superior to either A or B. (location 2524)
What is good or bad depends in each case on where one wants the organization to go, and a cultural feature that is an asset for one purpose is unavoidably a liability for another. (location 2878)
It is dangerous to assume one knows one's organization's present cultural map and how it should be changed. Organizations can look very different from the top than from the middle or bottom where the actual work is done. (location 2894)
Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede
Cultures & Organizations: Software for the Mind
We all want technology to work like buildings and machinery. Cathedrals and bridges (even with moving parts) might work as designed very well for a very a long time. We assume technology should be the same way: once implemented it should just work. But technology isn't a discrete thing, it's a combination of individual components that are constantly being modified to suit the similarly changing needs of the business and to exploit the potential of new capabilities. Something else people work on experiences perpetual change: gardens. Gardens are not fixed in time. There are too many influences, too many factors that can change and impact its state. Not only are its individual components in a constant state of growth (or, indeed, death) but each component can also impact everything else. Also, seasonal effects stimulate their own cycles of new growth. Technology components are not plants: we have not yet invented self-building robots or self-modifying code. However, it is the gardening state of mind that is needed today.
Paraphrase from The Technology Garden (multiple authors)
to discipline or correct poor behavior, it is better to bring the child in closer, instead of pushing him away or rejecting him. (location 496)
If there is anything we've got to teach them, it is "trust us; we'll be there for you." (location 542)
On a night while you ate steak and fresh vegetables, safe in your comfortable house and enjoying warm conversation with your family, this child might have gone to bed hungry, dirty, and lonely, even rummaging in garbage cans for food. (location 770)
Children feel safest with adults who are kind but firm leaders. If a parent is indecisive and lets the child run the show, that's stressful to the youngster. He gets the unspoken message that he is on his own and has to fend for himself - after all, if his parents can't even control a little kid like him, they are bound to be ineffective in a crisis. Parents need to calmly demonstrate that they can handle whatever comes up. (location 1203)
The behavioral re-do and physical practice are critical components of this process (location 1784)
it is important to talk through his part of the compromise. (location 2358)
Reassure your child that everyone has feelings and it's good to express them - as long as it's done with respect. You can tell your child, "It's always okay to say how you feel with respect. So you can say, 'I feel angry about that rule' or 'I feel sad about not having somebody over when my brother does,' and you'll never be in trouble for saying those words - if you say them with respect." (location 2810)
Karyn B Purvis & David R Cross
The Connected Child
The old phrase "knowledge is power" is not quite correct. Understanding is power (location 64)
Geeks are the knowledge workers who specialize in the creation, maintenance, or support of high technology. (location 149)
Geekwork is less about behavior and more about thought, ideas, and the application of creativity. In more traditional forms of work, controlling employee behavior is the primary point of management. If the assembly worker responsible for attaching the wheel to the front of a car attaches that wheel to the car, then he has fulfilled his primary function: his behavior has delivered value. If a short-order cook at a restaurant accepts orders, cooks food, and hands it to the server, he has fulfilled his task. For geeks, it's different. For geeks, behavior plays a much smaller part in the delivery of value. A programmer may sit at his desk all day and type keys on the keyboard quietly without bothering anyone else, but if he's typed a sonnet instead of a program, it's of no value to the organization. With geekwork, you are attempting to harness the creativity of individuals and groups in its purest form. And although behavior plays a role, it is substantially less important than in almost any other form of work. Because power is about the regulation of behavior, it has very little effect on creativity. Traditional methods of exercising control have little positive effect on the inner state of mind of geeks. And so power itself becomes substantially less important a facet of the relationship between leaders and geeks. (location 242)
The client had fallen into the classic trap of believing that saying something is the same thing as communicating it. (location 447)
Many of the constraints that geekwork imposes on leaders and geeks stem from the fact that it is fundamentally creative... work that cannot be controlled in the traditional sense. Inspiration rarely works on a schedule, rarely arrives at the exact moment that the project plan prescribes, and can't be hurried, pressured, or "incentivized." Innovations can't be scheduled, and insight can't be managed. Although they call it computer science, most geekwork looks more like art than science. (location 806)
You can't create intrinsic motivation, but you can create the environmental conditions under which it develops, just as you can provide conditions under which it is killed. Your challenge is to encourage intrinsic motivation and support it with appropriate extrinsic motivation. (location 1170)
Exactly how risk management is done is not as important as the fact that it is being done on projects. It may be the biggest return on investment you can get in project management. (location 2043)
One of the fundamental tenets of modern quality management states that quality is planned, designed, and built in - not inspected in. The cost of preventing mistakes is generally much less than the cost of correcting them when they are found by inspection. (location 3828)
Perform Quality Control: Tools and Techniques: The first seven of these tools and techniques are known as Ishikawa's seven basic tools of quality.
Strategies for Negative Risks or Threats (location 5537)
Project Management Institute
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Fourth Edition
Philosophers often distinguish between two types of values, intrinsic and instrumental. Any value that serves some further end or good is called an instrumental value because it is tied to some external standard. Automobiles, computers, and money are examples of goods that have instrumental value. Values such as life and happiness, on the other hand, are intrinsic because they are valued for their own sake. (page 39)
When you discover what the authorities are doing an you protest it, you are told, "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about." Of course, you could respond that even though you have nothing to hide, you believe that you still have quite a bit to worry about: that is, you have to worry about how to retain your basic freedom and civil liberties as a United States citizen under such conditions. (page 215) [There's a difference between nothing to hide and nothing to lose]
Unlike tangible objects, which are exclusionary in nature, intellectual objects (e.g., software programs) are nonexclusionary. (page 230)
consider that copyright laws, originally intended to cover print media, were designed to encourage the distribution of information. We have seen that these laws have since been extended to cover digital media, inhibiting the distribution of electronic information. (page 254)
Tim Berners-Lee, who invented HTTP (the protocol used on the Web), never bothered to apply for a patent for his invention or for a copyright for his code... Also consider that Doug Englebart, who invented the mouse, received no patent for his contribution, (page 254)
In the near term, corporations and some individuals will profit handsomely from privatization of information policy. In the long term, however, our society may be worse off intellectually, spiritually, and even economically if the short-term goals of privatization are not balanced against the interests of the greater public. (page 257)
AmI's supporters suggest that humans will gain more control over the environments with which they interact because technology will be more responsive to their needs. However, Brey notes a paradoxical aspect of this claim, pointing out that "greater control" is presumed to be gained through a "delegation of control to machines." But this, he suggests, is tantamount to the notion of "gaining control by giving it away." (page 365)
Herman T Tavani
Ethics and Technology
if the gains from trade in commodities are substantial, they are small compared to trade in ideas. (location 2407)
The hinge of this metamorphosis was the Industrial Revolution, begun in Britain in the eighteenth century and emulated around the world. The Industrial Revolution made some countries richer and others (relatively) poorer; or more accurately, some countries made an industrial revolution and became rich; and others did not and stayed poor. This process of selection actually began much earlier, during the age of discovery. For some nations, Spain for example, the Opening of the World was an invitation to wealth, pomp, and pretension - an older way of doing things, but on a bigger scale. For others, Holland and England, it was a chance to do new things in new ways, to catch the wave of technological progress. And for still others, such as the Amerindians or Tasmanians, it was apocalypse, a terrible fate imposed from without. (location 2962)
Wealth is not so good as work, nor riches so good as earnings. (location 3035)
Compare the Protestant and Catholic attitudes toward gambling in the early modern period. Both condemned it, but Catholics condemned it because one might (would) lose, and no responsible person would jeopardize his well-being and that of others in that manner. The Protestants, on the other hand, condemned it because one might win, and that would be bad for character. (location 3100)
The British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper has argued that this reactionary, anti-Protestant backlash, more than Protestantism itself, sealed the fate of southern Europe for the next three hundred years. Such retreat was neither predestined nor required by doctrine. But this path once taken, the Church, repository and guardian of truth, found it hard to admit error and change course. How hard? One hears nowadays that Rome has finally, almost, rehabilitated Galileo after almost four hundred years. That's how hard. (location 3203)
Believe the data; the interpretation remains a problem. Theoretical economists have long appreciated this difficulty. (location 3444)
Some things will never happen if one does not try to make them happen. (location 5463)
The key lay in the commitment to work rather than to wealth. (location 6262)
the three G's: God, Gold, and Glory. They all mattered, but the greatest of all was Gold, because gold paid the bills, armed the fleets, lured and consoled the flesh. (location 6767)
"What is rich?" asks a merchant banker of the Persian Gulf: Rich is education... expertise... technology. Rich is knowing. We have money, yes. But we are not rich. We are like the child who inherits money from the father he never knew. He has not been brought up to spend it. He has it in his hands; he doesn't know how to use it. If you do not know how to spend money, you are not rich. We are not rich. Without this knowledge, this understanding, we are nothing. We import everything. The bricks to make houses, we import. The men who build them, we import. You go to the market, what is there that is made by Arabs? Nothing. It is Chinese, French, American... it is not Arab. Is a country rich that cannot make a brick, or a motorcar, or a book? It is not rich, I think. (location 7049)
Does it make a doctrine less a matter of belief because it claims to be scientific? (location 7793)
the end of economic policy is not low prices and discount distribution. The goal is market share, increased capacity, industrial and military strength. Producers are more important than consumers. Anyone can buy, but not everyone can make. (location 8175)
The dream appealed to the critics and victims of capitalism, admittedly a most imperfect system - but as it turned out, far better than the alternatives. Hence the Marxist economies long enjoyed a willfully credulous favor among radicals, liberals, and progressives in the advanced industrial nations; and a passionate, almost religious endorsement by the militant "anti-imperialist" leaders of the world's poor countries. Many colonies, now independent, turned to the socialist paradigm with a hunger and passion that defied reality. These favorable predilections long concealed the weaknesses of such command economies. (location 8499)
Communism offered "singing tomorrows." But waiting had to be paid for, and tomorrow never came. When did the people in the queues work? The joke had it, they made believe they worked, and the state made believe it paid them. The worst aspect of the system, however, was its indifference to, nay, its contempt for, good housekeeping and human decency. Prosperity forgone was bad enough. In a world that had once created and still preserved some beautiful things, the new system mass-produced ugliness: buildings and windows out of true; stained and pocked exteriors, raw cement block; equipment out of order, rusting machinery, abandoned metal corpses - in short, raging squalor. Necessarily, what the system did to things, it did to people. How to survive in a wasteland dotted with junk heaps? In a world of systematic contempt for humanity? "White coal," they called the people shipped in jammed, fetid freight cars to useless labor and oblivion in frigid wastes. (location 8517)
Marxian Socialists and Communists, for all their lip service to science... well illustrates the human limits of good intentions. (location 8820)
David S Landes
The Wealth and Poverty of Nations
the World War II saying: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." (location 98)
We have a shortage of sharing rather than a lack of enough. (location 273)
Growth as a goal has supplanted the real goals, the things growth was supposed to help us achieve. What I and many others have come to see... is that too often, as a strategy, focusing on growth for growth's sake undermines the real goals. Too much of what gets counted toward "growth" today... undermines our net safety, health, and happiness. (location 298)
Before we can change a paradigm, we need to identify it as a paradigm rather than assume it is truth. (location 373)
I'm not against Stuff. In fact, I'm pro-Stuff! I want us to value our Stuff more, to care for it, to give it the respect it deserves. I want us to recognize that each thing we buy involved all sorts of resources and labor. Someone mined the earth for the metals in your cell phone; someone unloaded the bales from the cotton gin for your T-shirt. Someone in a factory assembled that pair of sunglasses, and they might have been exposed to carcinogens or forced to work overtime. Someone drove or flew this bouquet around the country or the world to get it to you. We need to understand the true value of our Stuff, far beyond the price tag and far beyond the social status of ownership. Stuff should be longlasting, made with the pride of an artisan and cared for accordingly. (location 415)
When we cut down a virgin forest to make disposable wooden chopsticks, wrapping them in paper and then burning fossil fuel to ship them halfway around the world, aren't all those processes, not really production but simply consumption, aka destruction? (location 460)
We also need to require manufacturers to take back electronics when we are done with them. Takeback programs, like those now mandated throughout the European Union, allow manufacturers to recover the tantalum (and other ingredients) for reuse, thus keeping electronic waste out of landfills and decreasing the pressure to mine more. (location 1130)
American University professor Deborah Bräutigam suggests that governments in natural-resource-based economies don't rely on taxes from citizens, which means that the contract between government and its citizens is weak; citizens can't hold their leaders accountable (location 1308) [No representation without taxation]
if all countries used resources at the rate that the United States does, we would need about 5 planets to sustain us. (location 1373)
Each new generation of technical improvements in electronic products should include parallel and proportional improvements in environmental, health and safety as well as social justice attributes. If semiconductor capacity can double every two years, how about likewise halving the number of toxic chemicals and doubling the usable life span of these same devices every two years? (location 1834)
I have to ask: why have these warnings been aimed at getting people to cease eating fish, rather than at getting the industries to stop putting mercury into our environment? (location 2080)
We have to work harder to pay for all the services that neighbors, friends, and public agencies used to provide, so we're even more harried and less able to contribute to the community. It's a downward spiral. (location 3613)
We need to chart a different course. Let's start by challenging the fundamental assumption that producing and consuming Stuff is the central purpose and engine of our economy. We need to understand that the drive to overconsume is neither human nature nor a birthright. We need to object when we are identified as "a nation of consumers"; individually and collectively, we are so much more than consumers, and those other parts of ourselves have been relegated to subordinate roles for too long. (location 3692)
The architects of the system came up with a strategy to keep consumers buying: planned obsolescence. Another name for planned obsolescence is "designed for the dump." Brooks Stevens, an American industrial designer who is widely credited with popularizing the term in the 1950s, defined it as "instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary." In planned obsolescence, products are intended to be thrown away as quickly as possible and then replaced. (location 3826)
[A second strategy was] "perceived obsolescence." In this case the item isn't broken, nor is it really obsolete at all; we just perceive it as such. Some people call this "obsolescence of desirability" or "psychological obsolescence." This is where taste and fashion come in to play. (location 3853)
From a childish point of view, I want the best, cheapest, fastest coffee. From an adult point of view, I want coffee that makes the world safe, healthy, and just. (location 4020)
You've heard that expression "Necessity is the mother of all invention"? How about: Poverty is the mother of recognition of trash as containing valuable resources? Not so catchy, I know, but it really is true. (location 4292)
for every pound of trash that ends up in municipal landfills, at least 40 more pounds are created upstream by industrial processes - and that a lot of this waste is far more dangerous to environmental and human health than our newspapers and grass clippings. (location 4333)
Because bottle bills are so effective, every time an attempt is made to introduce or expand a bottle bill, the beverage industries go ballistic opposing it - to the tune of $14 million in campaign contributions aimed at defeating a national bottle bill between 1989 and 1994. The opponents argue that deposits are inefficient and old-fashioned, that reusing bottles threatens public health, that deposits simply duplicate what recycling already achieves, and that it constitutes a regressive tax that will hurt local businesses, leading to job losses. Their arguments are bogus. Really, it's about money: it's the beverage industries that will bear the costs of collecting and refilling bottles. (location 4498)
citizens don't have to be running around picking up after and reinforcing the bad behavior of companies who persist in making poorly designed, excessively packaged toxic junk that breaks too easily and is hard to recycle. If the companies which design and produce this Stuff were held responsible, they'd be making better, longer-lasting, and less-toxic Stuff in the first place. (location 4575)
If you eat, compost. Simple. (location 4807)
It is simply wrong for the world's richest countries to dump hazardous waste on the world's poorest ones. Period. I remember talking to a U.S. congressional representative who told me I should find a compromise position. Like what? (location 5151)
Despite its rainbow-bright image, recycling is often a dirty process... Just because it's called recycling doesn't mean it's green. (location 5270)
The official term for the "you made it, you deal with it" approach - of which I am a huge fan - is "extended producer responsibility" (EPR), which holds the producers of goods responsible for their entire lifecycle. (location 5284)
Zero Waste is the mother of environmental no-brainers. (location 5304)
Story of Stuff
The agile development movement argues that requirements will always change... because a business is a dynamic entity that is constantly changing. The obvious conclusion: the business analyst works with the development team to implement a solution development approach that embraces changes, reduces the cost of changes, and welcomes changes that add value to the business. (location 427)
Kathleen B Haas, Don J Wessels, and Kevin Brennan
Getting It Right
Jesus is being lost in a religion bearing His name. People are being lost because they cannot reconcile Jesus' association with Christianity. Christianity has become docile, domesticated, civilized. We have forgotten that there is a kingdom of darkness stealing the hopes and dreams and souls of a humanity without God. (location 189)
his fire-and-brimstone message was entirely directed toward the religious, not the irreligious. He was a barbarian in the midst of civilization. And frankly the civilization made him sick. He had no patience for domesticated religionists who were drowning in their own self-righteousness. (location 223)
Jesus understood His purpose was to save us not from pain and suffering, but from meaninglessness. (location 312)
God's will for us is less about our comfort than it is about our contribution. God would never choose for us safety at the cost of significance. God created you so that your life would count, not so that you could count the days of your life. (location 437)
Anyone who can picture Jesus as the great Advocate of tradition is doing some serious doctoring of biblical history. Jesus was anything but the poster child for status quo. With a band of brothers and a small community of others, Jesus instigated an uprising that He expected to reach the very ends of the earth. (location 1046)
I've seen far too many kids raised in Christian homes who are indifferent to Christ and often carry a great disdain for the church. Sometimes it's the result of blatant hypocrisy, but other times it's the result of nothing less than sheer monotony and boredom. We raise our children in the cocoon of a domesticated faith and wonder why they run as far as they can to find adventure. (location 1096)
Erwin Raphael McManus
The Barbarian Way
all Enron proves is that in an age of increasing financial complexity, the "disclosure paradigm" - the idea that the more a company tells us about its business, the better off we are - has become an anachronism. (location 2088)
Puzzles are "transmitter-dependent"; they turn on what we are told. Mysteries are "receiver-dependent"; they turn on the skills of the listener, (location 2141)
If you were to graph the troubles of the LAPD, it wouldn't look like a bell curve. It would look more like a hockey stick. It would follow what statisticians call a power law distribution - where all the activity is not in the middle but at one extreme. (location 2270)
In the early 1990s, Culhane's database suggested that New York City had a quarter of a million people who were homeless at some point in the previous half decade - which was a surprisingly high number. But only about twenty-five hundred were chronically homeless. It turns out, furthermore, that this group costs the health-care and social-services systems far more than anyone had ever anticipated. Culhane estimates that in New York at least $62 million was being spent annually to shelter just those twenty-five hundred hard-core homeless. "It costs twenty-four thousand dollars a year for one of these shelter beds," Culhane said. "We're talking about a cot eighteen inches away from the next cot." (location 2299)
They need time and attention and lots of money. But enormous sums of money are already being spent on the chronically homeless, and Culhane saw that the kind of money it would take to solve the homeless problem could well be less than the kind of money it took to ignore it. (location 2318)
It is very much ingrained in me that you do not manage a social wrong. You should be ending it. (location 2340)
There isn't enough money to go around, and to try to help everyone a little bit - to observe the principle of universality - isn't as cost-effective as helping a few people a lot. Being fair, in this case, means providing shelters and soup kitchens, and shelters and soup kitchens don't solve the problem of homelessness. Our usual moral intuitions are of little use, then, when it comes to a few hard cases. Powerlaw problems leave us with an unpleasant choice. We can be true to our principals or we can fix the problem. We cannot do both. (location 2397)
Solving problems that have power-law distributions doesn't just violate our moral intuitions; it violates our political intuitions as well. It's hard not to conclude, in the end, that the reason we treated the homeless as one hopeless undifferentiated group for so long is not simply that we didn't know better. It's that we didn't want to know better. It was easier the old way. Power-law solutions have little appeal to the right, because they involve special treatment for people who do not deserve special treatment; and they have little appeal to the left, because their emphasis on efficiency over fairness (location 2450)
The picture promises certainty, and it cannot deliver on that promise. Even after forty years of research, there remains widespread disagreement over how much benefit women in the critical fifty-to-sixty-nine age bracket receive from breast X-rays, (location 2706)
Late bloomers' stories are invariably love stories, and this may be why we have such difficulty with them. We'd like to think that mundane matters like loyalty, steadfastness, and the willingness to keep writing checks to support what looks like failure have nothing to do with something as rarefied as genius. But sometimes genius is anything but rarefied; sometimes it's just the thing that emerges after twenty years of working at your kitchen table. (location 3858)
your child is actually better off in a bad school with an excellent teacher than in an excellent school with a bad teacher. (location 3916)
A group of researchers - Thomas J. Kane, an economist at Harvard's school of education; Douglas Staiger, an economist at Dartmouth; and Robert Gordon, a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress - have investigated whether it helps to have a teacher who has earned a teaching certification or a master's degree. Both are expensive, time-consuming credentials that almost every district expects teachers to acquire; neither makes a difference in the classroom. Test scores, graduate degrees, and certifications - as much as they appear related to teaching prowess - turn out to be about as useful in predicting success as having a quarterback throw footballs into a bunch of garbage cans. (location 4065)
In teaching, the implications are even more profound. They suggest that we shouldn't be raising standards. We should be lowering them, because there is no point in raising standards if standards don't track with what we care about. Teaching should be open to anyone with a pulse and a college degree - and teachers should be judged after they have started their jobs, not before. (location 4096)
Psychologists call this tendency - to fixate on supposedly stable character traits and overlook the influence of context - the Fundamental Attribution Error (location 4758)
What the Dog Saw
the likelihood of being able to build a truly comprehensive integrated application that fits everybody's needs is, well, slim. The German language has a term for it: eierlegende Wollmilchsaun, referring to an egglaying, wool-giving, milk-giving pig - a farmer's dream, except for the fact that, unfortunately, it doesn't exist. (location 7238)
an intrinsic part of a service includes its technical properties, such as performance, capacity, and availability. Those properties are collectively referred to as the service level. (location 7712)
An important decision about SLAs concerns what parameters to use to define the service level objectives. A parameter in an SLA must meet three criteria, discussed in the following subsections:
- Significance: It must be significant and meaningful for the service that is being defined.
- Relevance: It must be relevant to the context in which the service will be used.
- Measurability: It must be measurable and objectively verifiable. (location 7792)
it can be important for the SLA to contain an escape clause that specifies the conditions under which the service contract can be terminated prematurely - better an end with horror than a horror without end. (location 8026)
Lenin's adage that trust is good but control is better? (location 8040)
as so often in real life, if there is no accuser, there is no crime (location 8044)
The classical metrics here are the following:
- Mean time between failures...
- Mean time to repair...
- Mean time to maintenance. (location 8655)
Complexity of operational tasks can be assessed in a number of ways, many of which were first articulated in a paper by Brown, Keller, and Hellerstein that was published at the IM 2005 conference. Three different categories of complexity are distinguished:
- Execution complexity...
- Parameter complexity...
- Memory complexity (location 8698)
Network Management Fundamentals
Teaching kids the history of the Electoral College doesn't prepare them to be more thoughtful voters - or even to want to vote at all. (location 250)
Schools haven't changed; the world has. And so our schools are not failing. Rather, they are obsolete - even the ones that score the best on standardized tests. This is a very different problem requiring an altogether different solution. (location 315)
The simplest explanation for the low level of intellectual work and general lack of curiosity found in classrooms - even in our best high schools - is that our schools were never designed to teach all students how to think. Since our system of public education came into being at the turn of the last century, the assumption has been that only those in the college-preparatory classes were going to have to learn how to reason, problem-solve, and so on, and historically they comprised only a small percentage of students. And even those few often learned such skills in school more by accident than by design. For the most part, teachers haven't been trained to teach students how to think. The textbooks and tests we used in the past were not designed to teach and assess the ability to reason or analyze - and they remain substantially the same today. Throughout history and until very recently, most people worked with their hands - not with their heads - and so they didn't need these analytical skills in their daily life. Many generations of the most successful students were often more likely to learn how to think from the conversations they had with parents at the dinner table or during family trips than from their classes. They came to school smart and motivated and left the same, and whatever "value-added" some teachers provided often was and continues to be the result of random acts of excellence - at least in public schools. (location 347)
To better understand how all of our schools must adapt to new realities, we need to explore three fundamental transformations that have taken place in a very short period of time: ...  the sudden and dramatic shift from information that is limited in terms of amount and availability to information characterized by flux and glut. (location 383)
If you want to encourage young people to be scientists, it's not how much they can retain but how much they can explore. It's how you ask the next question. I can look up anything, but I can't take it to the next level without pushing and exploring. (location 497)
Our system of public education - our curricula, teaching methods, and the tests we require students to take - were created in a different century for the needs of another era. They are hopelessly outdated. (location 543)
When I ask large audiences of educators at conferences where I speak how many have read the latest business books, sometimes I don't see a single hand go up. From the little they glean in the media, most educators remain instinctively suspicious of the intentions of corporate leaders who claim that today's graduates are unprepared for the world of work. They've been hearing that the competition is getting ahead and "the sky is falling" for more than twenty years, even as the American economy has appeared to be the envy of the world. Like William Whyte in the 1950s, many educators are concerned that preparation for work is a demand to teach only practical skills and blind obedience to employers. But what preoccupies many educators, as we will see, are the growing pressures to prepare all students for the increased number of "high-stakes" standardized tests. They simply don't have time to worry about abstractions like workforce preparedness. They're a lot more worried about their school or district making what's called "adequate yearly progress" so they're not stigmatized as "failing." Meanwhile, none of us know very much about what's really going on in middle-class classrooms today (location 606)
I believe that the AP system - and, indeed, much of what passes for academic rigor in college, which the courses attempt to mimic - is not merely "old-fashioned," as Dina suggested. It is hopelessly obsolete. We have long defined rigor in schools as mastery of more and more complex academic content. Many parents who demand more rigor in their children's schools want to see more homework - more math problems and vocabulary to memorize. And many teachers who are considered more rigorous demand that students move at a faster pace and cover more material in their classes. This definition of rigor was institutionalized early in the last century when "Carnegie units" became the way college entrance requirements were defined and standardized - four years of English, three years of math and science, two of a foreign language, and so on. Taking more academic (as opposed to vocational) courses, in which students were required to "cover" (i.e., memorize) more academic content, became the widely accepted definition of rigor for both high school and college and has remained unchallenged for at least a century. But consider how different that era was compared to today's era of information flux and glut. A hundred years ago, there were comparatively few public libraries, most people didn't have access to encyclopedias, and Bill Gates hadn't even been invented yet. Memorizing material made some sense. You couldn't just go look it up, and what you memorized was likely to still be true ten or even twenty years later. Today, though, we're faced with radically different circumstances. (location 2225)
The most important skill in the New World of work, learning, and citizenship today - the rigor that matters most - is the ability to ask the right questions. Old World rigor is still about having the right answers - and the more, the better. (location 2240)
In today's world, it's no longer how much you know that matters; it's what you can do with what you know. (location 2249)
I graduated in June and felt completely unprepared for my new profession. I was now a fully certified and credentialed teacher, with a framed degree and a state certification paper to prove it. Today, by the standards of the No Child Left Behind law, I would be deemed "highly qualified" because of my degree and subject-content preparation. The trouble was, I really didn't know the first thing about teaching. I felt I'd learned absolutely nothing about how to be a good teacher in my master's program. And they were going to set me loose on a bunch of high school students? It sounded a little bit dangerous to me. (location 2621)
John Seely Brown chairs the International Advisory Board for the Ministry of Education in Singapore... "Their new mantra is 'teach less, learn more,'" Brown told me. "Schools need to focus more on projects and the inquiry method. They need to engage students with passion." (location 3510)
"As the corporate world moves more and more to barely reachable efficiency levels, they're stripping all dignity from jobs. They say they want creative, innovative thinkers, but then they benchmark them for speed..." What Brown has observed is that many companies do need workers who can innovate, but in many cases they have not yet created the working conditions and incentives that encourage employees to give their best. In effect, they are trying to play a new game by the old rules. (location 3569)
The Met's Five Learning Goals represent specific intellectual and interpersonal skills in which students must demonstrate mastery through their projects and internships. (location 4163)
In the age of the Internet, using new information to solve new problems matters more than recalling old information. (location 4542)
Students can always look up when the Battle of Gettysburg took place, or who General Sherman was, but they can't just Google the causes of the Civil War and make sense of what comes up on the screen. To understand such an issue, you have to know how to think critically, and you need a broader conceptual understanding of American history, economics, and more. As we've seen, these skills and this kind of knowledge are rarely taught or tested in high schools today. (location 4635)
we first must have a long-overdue dialogue - a discussion that might well start with a simple admission and a question: I thought I knew what students needed to learn and what a good school looks like - because I was a student once and I went to school, and it worked for me. But times have changed. And maybe students today do need something different. I wonder what it is? (location 4721)
Employers are beginning to wise up to the fact that students' college transcripts, GPAs, and test scores are a poor predictor of employee value. Google famously used to hire only students from name-brand colleges with the highest GPAs and test scores. However, according to recent interviews with Lazlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google, these data are "worthless" as predictors of employee effectiveness at Google. The company now looks for evidence of a sense of mission and personal autonomy and is increasingly hiring people who do not have a college degree. (location 5132)
While use of standardized tests to measure school and teacher effectiveness has mushroomed since I wrote the first edition of this book, I have discovered that no corporations make important hiring or promotion decisions on the basis of a standardized test score. (location 5208)
Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education, recently wrote, "The drop in student engagement for each year students are in school is our monumental, collective national failure. There are several things that might help to explain why this is happening - ranging from our overzealous focus on standardized testing and curricula to our lack of experiential and project-based learning pathways for students" (location 5212)
One of the reasons why our current education reform efforts are unlikely to produce real improvements is that they are compliance-driven, punitive, and rooted, I believe, in a profound distrust of teachers. (location 5256)
Global Achievement Gap
Innovation is a process that transforms ideas into outputs, which increase customer value. (location 302)
Creativity is a mental process that results in the production of novel ideas and concepts that are appropriate, useful, and actionable. (location 335)
A common mistake technology companies make is to focus on the technological capability of their offering rather than on how that technology can satisfy customer needs. (location 377)
The driving force in creating disruptive technologies is the same as for any innovation, that is, to add value for customers that will encourage them to purchase products and services over and over from the same organization. (location 560)
when an organization's turnover [a.k.a. revenue] is decreasing, this is perhaps the time when the investment percentage should be increased. (location 906)
As a consequence of the turbulent nature of innovation, a certain level of failure is an inevitable part of the innovation process and directly related to the level of risk the company is comfortable exposing itself to. (location 917)
Organizations can learn more about failure when it is openly discussed and debated. Lessons learned from failure often reside longer in the organizational consciousness than lessons learned from success. (location 924)
The balanced scorecard is regarded by many analysts and practitioners as one of the most effective management techniques in recent decades. The balanced scorecard was developed by Robert Kaplan and David Norton (1996) as an approach to strategic management and associated performance measurement and development initiatives. (location 1528)
The balanced scorecard divides strategic objectives, performance measures, and any associated development initiatives into four perspectives:
it is incorrect to think that controlling implementation according to the plan guarantees success. On the contrary, often, the more high performing the team, the more it wants to deviate from the plan and improve the specification as it goes along. In practice a good project team and an effective leader constantly modify the project's plans as it develops. They check the modifications with the stakeholders and the external environment, identify any problems, replan where necessary, and renegotiate resources and support if needed. (location 1925)
in order to maximize a person's value to the organization, the optimal number of projects for a person to be involved in is two (location 2346)
Transactional leaders often are regarded as conservative bureaucrats who abide by the rules of the organization. A transformational leader, on the other hand, is viewed as a maverick who continuously challenges established authority, attempts to seize every opportunity, questions every rule, and motivates and controls people through personal loyalty. (location 2471)
David O'Sullivan & Lawrence Dooley
Because leaders usually have more power and control than followers, they also have more responsibility to be sensitive to how their leadership affects followers' lives. (location 7877)
being honest is not just about telling the truth. It has to do with being open with others and representing reality as fully and completely as possible. This is not an easy task, however, because there are times when telling the complete truth can be destructive or counterproductive. The challenge for leaders is to strike a balance between being open and candid while monitoring what is appropriate to disclose in a particular situation. Many times, there are organizational constraints that prevent leaders from disclosing information to followers. It is important for leaders to be authentic, but it is also essential that they be sensitive to the attitudes and feelings of others. (location 8026)
Peter G Northouse
Leadership: Theory and Practice
I have often wondered since reentering the United States why I feel such great culture shock. How can I feel such a disconnect with the place where I was born, raised, and for eighteen years called home? How can I feel that my real home is a place in which I have spent just over a year? I have blamed it on many things. American extravagance. The grocery store that almost sends me into panic mode due to the sheer quantity and variety of foods. People who build million-dollar homes. The lack of understanding and lack of thanksgiving on the part of all of us. The ease with which we receive medical care. The amount of stuff that just clutters our lives. All these things make it difficult to readjust, yes. But what has been the biggest shock to my system, the huge disconnect, is that I have stepped out of my reliance on God to meet my needs. I "miss" Jesus. He hasn't disappeared, of course, but I feel so far from Him becaues my life is actually functioning without Him. By "functioning" I mean that if I am sick, I go to the drugstore or to the doctor. If I am hungry, I go to the grocery store. If I need to go somewhere, I get in my car. When I need some advice or guidance, I call my mom or go plop on my roommate's bed. If I want to feel happy, I get Brad, my little brother, or someone else to make me laugh. I keep forgetting to ask God first to heal me, to fill me, to rejoice with me. I have to set aside "time to pray" in the morning and at night instead of being in constant communication with Him. In Uganda, because I was so physically "poor," I was completely dependent on God and spiritually as wealthy as ever. As I sit here writing, I am frustrated with my own stupidity, my human willingness to step back into dependence on stuff and these places I swore I detested.
Kisses From Katie
Traditional management, which performed so well in economic terms in the twentieth century, is no longer a good fit for today’s social and economic conditions. (Location 550)
Businesses have to change their focus from producing goods and services to an explicit goal of delighting clients. It's no longer enough merely to remove defects... Delighting clients is the primary goal-a means to competitive advantage and profitability. It takes precedence over profits, turnover, and market share. (Location 600)
When the delight of the client is kept continuously and rigorously in mind, many of the problems of the workplace disappear, and the possibilities of a different kind of work-more productive and more satisfying-become possible. When that principle is ignored, all sorts of workplace problems become insoluble. (Location 1144)
The fact that clients are more likely to be delighted, businesses are more likely to be profitable, and workers are more likely to be fulfilled in their work constitutes a triple win for all involved. (Location 1167)
Once the firm adopts self organizing teams aimed at delighting clients, downsizing and outsourcing are seen in their true light as counterproductive to everything the firm is trying to accomplish. (Location 1563)
A further cause was the failure to recognize that self organizing teams were at odds with the prevailing default model of management: hierarchical bureaucracy. As a result, when real teams emerged, particularly high performance teams, management had a tendency to suppress them. That’s because a high performance team typically becomes more productive by breaking the rules, and a bureaucracy hates having rules broken. A group that breaks rules may be tolerated for a period, but eventually the rules take over, the group is “brought back into line,” and high performance ends. The participants return to the daily grind. Enhanced productivity is not enough to save the group. In a bureaucracy, order trumps performance. (Location 1955)
The essence of bureaucracy is that the manager knows best and stays in control at all times. (Location 2060)
The Leader's Guide to Radical Management
While searching for God's will we must not overlook God's word.
Any pan is 'no-stick' if you no cook in it
God created us in His own image and yet we try to return the favor, and ultimately no matter what we feel or no matter what we think does not determine or change who God is in His purest essence. [We also want to make everyone else in our image.]
Q: Why is there a double standard for men and women on the issue of sex and first dates? A: It is easy for a woman, all she has to do is walk into a bar and say 'ok' so the label 'easy' is accurate. But it is much more difficult for a man, so if he succeeds he is admired for his persuasion skill. [Note I do not approve of sex outside of marriage but found this to be a very honest explanation worth recording.]
Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Life is a roller coaster, not a monorail.
Our problems are big if we have a small God but small if we have a big God.
Salvation is free (to receive) but cost Christ everything (to make available) and still costs you everything (to obey).
If Satan, our spiritual enemy, can't make us really really bad then he'll try to make us really really busy.
Sin never leaves us happy, satisfied or content, it may have momentary pleasure but it evaporates and leaves us empty and miserable.
Exposing sin is like exposing cancer, it may not be fun but can save your life.
What have you done that you believe in and are proud of?
If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? [Matthew 7:20]
The church today is neither super nor natural.