Friday, February 17, 2006

How Not to Influence People - Christianity Today Magazine

Interesting. I haven't read this book yet, but assuming this review is accurate, I makes me wonder when conservatives are going to realize that what we need is less other side bashing and more loving influence. The title is what bothers me. Why take a twist on a much criticized book from 10 years ago. If anything, Santorum has proved Rodham-Clinton's influence with It Takes a Villiage. Did he not have a message of his own that could stand on a title of its own development?

How Not to Influence People - Christianity Today Magazine

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Child's quote about change

"The thing I don't like about change is that it is always so different."
-- Elie Johnson, Grade 5

Quote Details: Josh Billings: A dog is the... - The Quotations Page

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
Josh Billings
US Humorist (1818 - 1885)
Of course, a dog loves to eat is own poop too.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Homes reflect our loss of community

Have you ever noticed that home design over the last 100 years have changed, and with each change the dweller's connection with their neighborhood has been lost? Look at these examples taken from Lincoln, Nebraska. (I chose Lincoln because it is a hearland community that in many ways typifies America.

Notice house is small. Very small when you consider that int 1900 the average size family was much larger than in 2000. The porch is the prominant feature. Both the house and the lot are narrow so on either side, not too far away are the neighbors. With the home being so small, it is easy to imagine that the family used the porch as an extention to the rest of the home.

1950Post WWII, the house is still small, but now situated parallel to the street. Thus the neibors walls, while still close to the home structure, have a feeling of being further from the living space. Also, look how much deeper the front lawn has become.

1980This home shows a maturing of some principles started in the post-WWII era. The front yard is deeper and while the two houses are very close in space, one gets the feeling that that isn't space that a person would normally use. There is an active side of the yard and an inactive side. The active side is dominated by concrete. Notice also that the front door is now more difficult to reach for any visitor.

What feature on this house is more noticable than anything else? If you didn't say garage, then you and I are looking at different pictures. Interestingly, several features have re-immerged from the 1900 home. First, the porch. But I get the feeling that this porch is more decorative than useful. Second, the front yard is smaller. But then again, it seems that the yard is completely unusable. In fact, this house is build for people who own garage door openers. They drive up, pull in, and spend 95% of their time inside.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Level 5 Leadership

Jim Collins describes a leader that often surpasses all others. He calls this leadership Level 5 Leadership in his book Good to Great. Here are the qualities of a Level 5 Leader:

  • Ambition for the organization: Setting up successors for success.
  • Compelling modesty.
  • Unwavering resolve to do what must be done.
  • Looks outward to give credit and inward for responsibility.
The Level 5 Leader has both great ambition for the company/organization/mission and great humility. His pride is in the accomplishment of the organization rather than himself.

What Kind of 'Sound' Is Switchfoot Making?

What Kind of 'Sound' Is Switchfoot Making?

Here's an interesting perspective on the music of Switchfoot. Is it OK to be a band of Christians with out being a "Christian" band? On first glance most Christians would say "no." But I wonder if there isn't some shortsightedness to that answer.

The good news is that Switchfoot is reflecting the same values that Christians uphold. They're doing it in a giant arena. How many times have Christians complained that today's music is too vulgar? Here is a band that is doing something about that.

The complaint is that Switchfoot analyses the problems of the world, but never gives the prescription. Of course, the prescription is Jesus Christ.

I believe that it is important for all Christians to uphold the truth that Salvation is found only in the person of Jesus Christ. However, if Switchfoot were to make this the theme of their music their audience would shrink to fit the Christian community. How many musical groups does the Christian community need preaching the Gospel on Christian radio? I'd say we have plenty of those, and too often the Christian record producers force artist into a "Jesus Jingle" mode with happy little lyrics that water down the real issues that people are dealing with.

Saying that Christian musician must always produce music with explicit references to the Gospel is like saying Christian engineers should only design church buildings, or Christian store owners should only own Bible book store. (You know? The stores that sell all the little plaques with the footprints poem.)

We need more Switchfoots in the music business. We need Switchfoot style movie makers. We need people with Switchfoot's perspective in the news media and in every industry.

As long as Switchfoot continues to write songs that are consistent with the Christian message, the Christian world must acknowledge their benefit to the world and to the message of Jesus Christ, whether or not they ever specifically ask their audiences to "ask Jesus into their hearts."