Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Problem with Judgment

We all hope we exercise good judgment and most of us do, most of the time.  There is no problem with that kind of judgment.  I speak of our right to cast judgment upon others.  To assign them a label, or declare others good or evil.  We are not privy to all of the facts, yet we quickly pass judgment based on the assumptions that fill our heads..

Rarely do we know the circumstances behind the bad behavior we witness in others.  Just like we never see the hard work and anguishing self-doubt behind the successful among us.  We see failure and greed.  We judge at a surface level.  The truth lies deeper.

Chris Argyris calls it the Ladder of Inference.  We make assumptions based on our observations, draw assign meaning to those assumptions, then draw conclusions, which over time become the beliefs that drive our actions.  The problem is, our observations are selected from a broader set of available information, leading to faulty assumptions, incorrect meanings, and ultimately bad decisions.   

Be aware of the information fed to you.  Know its source and limitations.  Consider the possibility that the source has limited resources, or may even be diliberately misleading or distracting you.

Seek a broader view and consider more possibilities before judging.From a spiritual perspective, judgment is not ours to cast on others anyway.  That right belongs to God alone.  It is better to observe than to judge.  You just might learn something.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Gary Turk's "Look Up" Video: Powerful and True

This video might be powerful enough to shock people into reality.

Our kids don't know a world where people aren't always looking at their phones.

Are we really a world of smart phones and stupid people?  Not sure I'd go that far, but we definitely experience less in the real world because of the virtual world.  This video is filled with heart-stopping truths.  I will watch it again. And look up more often.  I invite you to do the same.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Agenda-Free Entertainment

I am done with agenda-driven entertainment.  If I see one more sustainability or tea party reference on a drama or sitcom, I'm going to lose it.  A cornerstone of a free society is a free and unbiased media.  We have lost that cornerstone.

We need to get back to good stories that bring us together.  Books we enjoy discussing.  Television  shows worth gathering the family around. There's plenty of room for agendas on the evening and cable news.  Leave them out of our entertainment.

I want to aggregate agenda-free entertainment.  If there is a movie, television show, book, or music artist that just rocks without the baggage of an agenda, let's promote that together. Comment or message me your suggestions.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spiritual Fuel: The Secret to a Balanced Life

With Holy Week upon us and Easter just a few days away, Christians will spend extra time contemplating the immense sacrifice Jesus made for us and celebrating our salvation through His resurrection. We will attend church and break bread with family and friends in His honor. But as the holiday passes, many of us will be challenged to sustain our focus on God in the face of worldly distractions.

A spiritual mentor of mine (who would insist on remaining anonymous) recently shared a simple but moving diagram, shown below, that he calls "Spiritual Fuel."

The spiritual fuel, of course, is your personal relationship with God. It is at the center because nothing else can sustain itself there. Not church, not work, not even your family and other relationships. The worldly things we cherish most are are of man, and are therefore imperfect. Only God is perfect, and our lives can only be sustained with Him as our center.

The beauty is, God strengthens the things we love about this world when we honor Him.

Our careers improve the more we use our gifts and manage time and money well.

Our communities grow stronger through outreach and fellowship.

Our families are fortified by prayer and obedience.

Our church grows stronger through everything the fuel cell puts forth.

I encourage you to read all of the Bible verses referenced in the diagram. No matter where you are, a Bible app on your smart phone is just a couple of clicks away. Sit quietly and read them all, and I promise it will move God a little closer to your center. Hopefully it will also make it a little easier to keep Him there long after Easter passes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Give a Christmas Jar (or two) this season!

A couple of years ago I heard about the Christmas Jar. For those unfamiliar, it goes something like this:

The Christmas Jars movement, begun in 2005, is aptly name after the New York Times bestseller Christmas Jars. With nearly a half-million copies in circulation, readers have adopted the tradition memorialized in the fictional tale—to fill a jar with spare change and then give it anonymously to someone in need at Christmas. The tradition lives on in author Jason Wright’s newest book, Christmas Jars Reunion (Shadow Mountain Publishing, Oct. 2009, ISBN: 978-1-60641-165-0, Hardcover, $17.95).

What began as an experiment by the author’s family has now turned into a national “pay it forward” movement of giving. Hundreds of readers have emailed Wright, sharing their experiences of giving jars; he also has received many touching accounts from those receiving jars. “This small action has the potential to heal families, teach people how to give again, and show those who need help that they are remembered,” Wright said.

While there is no way of knowing just how extensive the ‘Christmas Jars’ movement has become, (the idea is to give a jar anonymously), Wright divulges that he’s aware of communities in 39 states across the country where jars are being given. He has also heard from individuals in Canada, England, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Italy.

Read the entire press release below:
The Christmas Jar Movement

Are you doing a Christmas Jar this year? Do you know someone who could use one? It's not too late, and no amount is too small!