Thursday, December 15, 2016

Visioneering from Andy Stanley


Day 5 devotional reading:

Have you ever prayed anything along these lines: “Father, let my light shine before people in such a way that they may see my good works and glorify you”?
I don’t hear prayers like that very often. Our prayers hover close to our personal visions and dreams. All too often we focus our prayer energies on trying to get God to bless something, change somebody, or grant us success with a project. Yet he is far more interested in the consistency of our light in environments where light is not appreciated. All our projects, dreams, and visions are merely potential opportunities for the Father to draw attention and people to himself.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens: A Brief History of HumankindSapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great book on the history of mankind as we know it. I am not sure that it is historically accurate but that is probably not the author's point. We are on a trip and are definitely head to a different place.

You need to read this book with an open mind.

View all my reviews

Friday, October 21, 2016

Debate moderators completely failed millennials -- and everyone else By John D. Sutter, CNN

(CNN)In 2016, likely the hottest year on record, there's one question US presidential debate moderators had a moral obligation to ask Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton: How do you plan to address climate change and rid the economy of fossil fuels?
That's just unbelievable.
We're already seeing seas rising in Miami, wildfires worsening in the West and deaths related to swollen rainstorms in Louisiana. The effects in the future, if we don't curb emissions, will be much worse, including drowned coastal cities, supercharged droughts in the Southwest, mass extinction in the natural world and the likely end of the coral reefs.
Trump and Clinton couldn't be farther apart on this issue, with Trump calling global warming a "hoax" masterminded by the Chinese and Clinton (while not bold enough) saying she will work to curb emissions and build on the progress of December's Paris Agreement.
Everyone knows what the science requires: Zero-net carbon emissions by 2100, at the latest. Neither candidate would get us there, but Clinton would keep walking in the right direction while Trump would run back toward the coal era with eyes closed and ears plugged.
This is the most critical issue of our time. Future generations will look back perplexed at why it escaped our focus.
I bet millennial voters already feel that way. As an old-ish millennial (I was born in 1982, so I meet Pew's definition, but barely) I can say the debate moderators and their questions largely failed to address my biggest concerns and those of my peers. Climate change, LGBT rights, education, student debt -- all of that got shortchanged for (repeat) discussions of the national debt, Medicare, Social Security, etc.
Debate moderators, of course, have the unenviable task to trying to represent the awesomely diverse patchwork of interests that is the United States. But climate, particularly, is far too pressing for any of us to ignore. More tactically, it's baffling that the interests of millennials were sidelined when the moderators surely must know we represent the largest age group in the country. Media companies love to pander to our tastes and wallets. So why then would they largely exclude us from these critical conversations about the future of America?
Vox's Brad Plumer identified a few reasons they avoid climate, specifically.
"It's possible the debate moderators don't understand what's at stake. It's possible they don't care. Or it's possible they're afraid that any question on the topic might seem too partisan. After all, Clinton thinks the issue is pretty serious and has a bunch of proposals to address it, whereas Trump says it's all a hoax invented by the Chinese. Under the circumstances, even a halfway intelligent question about climate policy would sound 'biased.'"
Some of those theories also make sense when applied to LGBT rights. I was stunned when Elaine Quijano -- who, at 42, is the youngest debate moderator in decades -- failed to ask the vice presidential candidates about their stances on LGBT issues.
Mike Pence, Trump's running mate, voted against legislation to prevent LGBT people from being fired because of who they are (that's legal in most states); wanted to use government money for "gay conversion therapy"; and called anti-LGBT-hate-crime legislation "radical." He deserved to be interrogated on those bigoted stances. Maybe moderators, as Plumer suggests, are worried about being labeled partisan for telling it like it is.
That's a shame because we millennials tend see these issues on moral terms.
As one of my Facebook friends suggested, perhaps younger-focused issues didn't come up in the debates because we are in an unprecedented election, with Trump facing allegations of sexual assault and waffling on whether he supports the democratic process. "This wasn't a normal series of debates so let's not pretend," he wrote. "One existential crisis at a time."
That's a fair point, but there was ample time to address climate, LGBT rights and education. According to Grist, the candidates only spent 5 minutes and 27 seconds on climate and environmental issues -- mostly because Hillary Clinton brought it up on a couple of occasions. Out of 270 minutes, that's so little time it's inexcusable.
The moderators -- ages 69, 63, 57, 49 and 42 -- largely failed to reflect key concerns of younger voters.
In doing so, they missed an opportunity to bring younger people, who are far less likely to vote than older generations, into this process. And they failed hold the presidential candidates accountable for their views on climate, LGBT rights and education -- three key issues that will shape this country many generations into the future.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Be happy no matter what happens

From my FaceBook Friend - Roland Colson from

Dr. Dale Henry is a friend of mine. He is an author, a teacher, a lecturer, a friend and a Christian. He told me one time to never let anyone take your happiness away. You can be happy no matter what happens in your life if you don’t let others control your attitude.

Paul told us in Philippians there were people who affected his ministry while he was in prison in Rome. There were some he considered comrades and encouraged him in his ministry. Others were criticizing, competin...g with, or conspiring against his ministry.

“It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me.” (Philippians 1:15-17)

Few things can steal your happiness faster than being criticized or feeling like others are working against you behind your back. We all want to be loved. We all want approval. We want people to like us.

Yet Paul says in Philippians 1:18, “But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.”

You will always be as happy as you choose to be! If others are unhappy, that’s their choice. If you haven’t got someone’s approval by now, you’re probably not going to get it. And you’re going to be miserable if you try to live for the approval of others.

Philippians 1:28-30 - Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.

We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.

You can be happy no matter what happens in life if you look at your problems from God’s viewpoint and never let what other people say or do control your happiness.

God wanted you to know this today.

TGIF – Today God Is First

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Reality - complex technology is hard

From Deep Work by Cal Newport:

The complex reality of the the technologies that real companies leverage to get ahead emphasizes the absurdity of the now common idea that exposure to simplistic, consumer-facing products - especially in schools - somehow prepares people to succeed in a high-tech economy.  Giving students iPads or allowing them to film homework assignments on YouTube prepares them for a high-tech economy about as much as playing with Hot Wheels would prepare them to thrive as auto mechanics.

Foot note on page 31