Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rest like Jesus

There is a pretty familiar story in Mark 4:35-40, where Jesus tell his disciples, "Let us cross over to the other side."

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 

In this story we see that both Jesus and His disciples were experiencing the same situation and storm but the the way they reacted was very different. On one side we see the disciples panic and think that they were going to die and on the other hand we see Jesus resting like there was no storm.

As Christians we know that storms are a part of life and we also know that Jesus is our example on how to live our lives. Since we know that there are going to be storms that are unavoidable in our lives, we need to make sure that we prepare ourselves to act the way that Jesus did. 

We often find ourselves reacting the way the disciples did because in most cases we don't trust place our faith in God's Word. We know this because of what Jesus said after calming the seas. In verse 40 he asked them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”. If the disciples truly placed their faith in what Jesus said they would not have panicked because He clearly said, "Let us cross over to the other side."

So the real question is do we believe God's Word and do we really place our trust in Him? How we react in the storm reveals a lot about who we really are. It would do us good to learn from Jesus and rest like He did when we face our next storm. Let the Word do the work. 

Rest in Him and you will cross over to the other side. 

Why is it hard for us to rest in a storm? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Journey by jason Anderson - Book Review

A few days ago I started reading The Journey by Jason Anderson and here is a quick review of the book.

I think the book is a great read for every christian. It matters very little if you just started learning about Jesus and became a Christian or if you have been one for decades. There are things you will learn from this book that will help in your personal journey no matter what stage of life you might be in.

The author writes the book in a conversational style and draws parallels between the Israelites' journey from Egypt to our Christian walk with God. So if you are feeling stuck or just need to make sense of what is happening and where you are in your life, this book might just help you answer those questions. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Faith in God ...

  1. ... is a gift from God. 
  2. ... is a servant. 
  3. ... works by Love.
  4. ... gives.
  5. ... takes.
  6. ... can move mountains. 
  7. ... is the victory. 
  8. ... is the currency in the Kingdom of God. 
  9. ... is the substance of what we hope for. 
  10. ... is the evidence of the unseen. 
  11. ... comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God. 
  12. ... does not consider the circumstances. 
  13. ... is no respecter of person. 
and when we have IT, God is pleased! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Life manifesto

I came across this manifesto while I was checking out HOLSTEE, so I thought I would pass it along. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Notes from Dave Ramsey from Chick-fil-a Leadercast 2011

Here are a few things that I got out of the talk. 
  1. Leadership is a service and it is a privilege. 
  2. When you as the leader mess up, you not only have a negative impact on the people that you lead but also on their families and community. 
  3. Leadership has its privileges but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. 
  4. 5 things that caused us to win:
    • People matter: Its how we live. Customers matter. Your team matters. People are not commodities. Eat, live and die for your team. Make sure you are loyal to your team, before you wonder about their loyalty to you. 
    • An excellent team matters: Excellence needs to be a part of the DNA. Absolutely no gossip allowed. 
    • Slow & steady matters: Slow and steady wins the race. Don't get distracted. Business done well is a crock pot. you have to cook it long. 
    • Financial principals matter: Stay out of debt. Run your life and your organization on a budget. Be generous. 
    • A higher calling matters: Play for something bigger than yourself. You will fight harder and think smarter when you do. You will not quit when you play for something big and have a sense of calling. Answer the question, "Why do you do what you do?"

Friday, June 10, 2011

Learning to learn well

Learning is choice and it is a process! It is something that takes commitment.

Anybody who wants to grow and develop themselves have to make the choice to learn. Often times we sit and wait for the right opportunity or right people to come by us in order to learn and that is something that we need to stop doing.

The reality is that we can always learn from everybody and everything around us. We can learn from businesses, sports teams, politicians, history, books, mentors, movies and the list can go on and on. The reason I say we can learn from everybody and everything is because we can learn both what to do and what not to do or how to do and how not to do certain things.

For example, there are both good and bad business leaders. There are good and bad examples in every area of life. We can learn from peoples success and from their failures as well.

We can learn how to react or not react in certain situations. We can learn how to treat people with respect and how not to abuse people around you. We can learn how to handle pressure and make decisions  and on and on......

So the next time you find yourself not learning and growing or complaining about the lack of opportunities and mentors, take the time to think about the people around you and start making a list of things that you can learn from them. As you start learning well, the mentors and opportunities that you are looking for will eventually show up!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

7 lessons from 'The Go-Getter'

Here are some highlights from the book The Go-Getter by Peter B.Kyne. It is a very short book. Only 55 pages but a very, very good book. I highly recommend it. 
  1. Have the courage to tackle the job. 
  2. Don't take no for an answer. Keep trying. 
  3. Your leaders request is tantamount to an order!
  4. Get the job done!
  5. Its hard to reject someone who simply will not be rejected. 
  6. Don't wait for people to have a lot of experience before you give them responsibilities. 
  7. Providing opportunities and training for the people you lead is critical for the future of any mission.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

5 ways to think critically

Last week I wrote about 5 roadblocks to critical thinking. Here are five things that will help you to think critically.
  1. Work on controlling your emotions and get yourself 'out of the situation' so that you can think clearly instead of emotionally. 
  2. Always ask the question, "How do I/they/she/he/we know that?"
  3. Make decisions to serve others and not to protect yourself or your interest!
  4. Always know and understand your context before copying someone or applying something you learnt from others. 
  5. Be willing to learn and relearn! 
What would you add to this list?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Empower vs Overpower

You are a leader and you have people following you.

As a leader you have power. It might be power that you earned earned by leading well or it can be power that was given to you. Either way, the reality is that you have power and Every time you interact with people and make decisions, you have the choice to either empower or overpower.

Overpowering is easy.

Empowering on the other hand is hard.

But again you are the leader because you are called to do hard things. Empowering people takes patience, unselfishness and courage.

Two choices; empower or overpower.

Choose wisely! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

John Piper interviews Rick Warren

This video has been out on the web for a few days and thousands of people have already seen it. If you have not seen the video, I would really recommend that you watch it.

It can get a little complicated at times. It was for me. I actually had to listen to a few parts a few times before I got the point. It was slightly bothered at the number of people who had problems with Rick Warren's book 'The purpose driven life'. I know that there are a lot of people that have already changed their minds after watching this interview.

I really hope that there will be more interviews like this so that most of the controversies that are talked about on the internet would stop and pastors would get a chance to explain themselves. I really believe that most of the things that are fought over in the church are because of miscommunication and misunderstanding.

Anyway, those are few of my thoughts. Let me know what you think of the interview.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

5 Roadblocks to critical thinking

Every leader has the responsibility to think critically of the things around them. I don't mean that they have to be critical of others but that they have to think critically of the decisions and actions that are being taken both by themselves and others around them.
Here are some of the roadblocks that leaders face when it comes to thinking critically:
  1. Pride: It is not an uncommon thing for a leader to start thinking that his way of thinking and doing is the right way, especially when he experiences a certain level of success in the things that he has worked on. This can often stop a leader from thinking critically because he will constantly reply on his way of doing things even when the circumstances call for a change.
  2. Cultural bias: Everybody is a product of the environment and culture that they are raised in. The values and stereotypes that they learn become a part of their lives. This causes leaders to look for things that support their views instead of taking an objective and critical look at things.
  3. Ignorance: You cannot think critically if you do not have enough information about a particular thing. Leaders can make the mistake of not learning enough before they can make a decision.
  4. Always agreeing with 'experts': There is nothing wrong with learning from experts in the field and people who have done things that you would like to do but at the same time it is not wise to blindly agree and accept everything that is said by them.
  5. Isolation: You cannot think critically if you never spend time with others who don't necessarily think like you and who don't agree with you. Isolating yourself from people who don't think like you will only make you think that your way of thinking is the best way. You will end up thinking your ideas are strong but in reality they only stand because they haven't been challenged.
What are some of the other roadblocks that you can think of when it comes to critical thinking?