Monday, August 12, 2013

5 Questions To Ask Before Commenting Online

The Internet is great. It is the most expansive and pervasive meeting space ever created; a place where minds from across generational and geographic lines can communicate and share ideas.  It has the potential to bring us together in ways that allow us to think deeply and work together more creatively.  Or it can basically be like a high tech bathroom stall.  

Have you ever regretted something you said online?  If you are like most of us the answer is yes.  While the internet is a powerful tool to bring people together it can also tear us apart. Much of the disconnect between connection and outhouse humor centers on how we react and comment on the content we discover online.  What we write in the comment line has the power to move discussion forward or halt it in its tracks.  For the sake of your sanity and our evolution as a species here are five filter questions to consider before you post something online.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

6 ways mindfulness can make you more productive and happy

For many people mindfulness conjures up images of monks chanting or drops of water on a still pond. Something great for the mystic but not for those of us with lives and jobs. However mindfulness, when you boil it down, is simply awareness.  Awareness of your body, emotions and what is going on around you.  It really isn’t more complicated or mystical than that.  Achieving awareness however can be very difficult. In an age where each of us has in our pocket a device specifically designed to take us somewhere else; being present has become a rare and lost art. We are not just driving while distracted, we are living while distracted. This lack of mindfulness can affect not just our work but our health, relationships and emotional state.  So how does a person become more mindful?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What can Friedrich Nietzsche teach Christians about Courage?

Courage is necessary for leadership.  You have to be able to make difficult decisions and take risks.  A leader without courage is not going to be leading much of anything after a while.  This is true in the realms of business, religion and family too.  You need to have courage.

There are many kinds of courage but I want to focus in on two of them with the help of Friedrich Nietzsche.  Nietzsche is commonly known in Christian circles as the philosopher with the big mustache who declared, “god is dead.”  Though that quote of his is often taken out of context that is not why I am bringing him up.  In one of his essays, The Pale Criminal, he talks about two kinds of courage; the courage of the knife and courage of the blood.  His ideas on courage here are important for us to have in mind as we reflect on leadership and decision making.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

To my Christian brothers and sisters on both sides of the Gay Marriage debate

Believe it or not there are passionate followers of Jesus on both sides of this argument.  It is essential that we understand that or there can be no dialogue and we are headed as a church family for another divorce.  This is not a central issue of the faith but it has become a divisive one that is tearing people apart.  Wherever you are on the spectrum I respect your position but hope that there is also some room for examination and reflection.  Without that space we cannot find common ground.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What do your itching ears really want to hear?

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  - 2 Timothy 4:3

[Jesus] taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him.  But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said. - Luke 19:47-48

Every few months 2 Timothy 4:3 becomes a trending topic on Twitter.  It usually coincides with a pastor or teacher making a statement that another pastor or teacher disagrees with.  Usually the statement has to do with homosexuality or who is getting into heaven or the double whammy of whether or not homosexuals get into heaven.  That is not really the subject of this post.  This post is more concerned about how we use this verse and verses like it to shore up our position and in essence become the people who “gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

6 Ways to Honor Saint Patrick on Saint Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day is upon us and while it may be fun to wear green and pinch drunken strangers here are some ways to honor the saint that might actually honor the saint ;)

1. Spend time with Family and Friends (preferably sober):  While St. Patrick’s Day here in the States has devolved into “hey lets drink green beer” day it is important to remember that in Ireland it is closer in feel to Thanksgiving than Mardi Gras.  During Patrick’s day clan and kin were very important.  To celebrate this year take some time to honor your friends and family.  Strengthen your bonds of kinship and do not let your love grow cold. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Questions for Reflection: Lent

As Lent approaches many of us are considering, "What am I going to give up this year?"  While this is a good thing; Lent is about so much more than that.  It is about repentance, reflection, anticipation and new beginnings.  It is about taking a good look at ourselves and at Christ and finding ways to journey closer to him.