A Simple Rule: Knowledge of God

How can we turn our knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is demanding, but simple. It is that we turn each truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.

J. I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1973), 18. Italics his.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Connect, Then Lead

A recent Harvard Business Review article, “Connect, Then Lead,” encourages leaders to establish trust through warmth before projecting strength. Here is an interesting excerpt from the article:

So which is better, being lovable or being strong? Most leaders today tend to emphasize their strength, competence, and credentials in the workplace, but that is exactly the wrong approach. Leaders who project strength before establishing trust run the risk of eliciting fear, and along with it a host of dysfunctional behaviors. Fear can undermine cognitive potential, creativity, and problem solving, and cause employees to get stuck and even disengage. It’s a “hot” emotion, with long-lasting effects. It burns into our memory in a way that cooler emotions don’t. Research by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman drives this point home: In a study of 51,836 leaders, only 27 of them were rated in the bottom quartile in terms of likability and in the top quartile in terms of overall leadership effectiveness—in other words, the chances that a manager who is strongly disliked will be considered a good leader are only about one in 2,000.

A growing body of research suggests that the way to influence—and to lead—is to begin with warmth. Warmth is the conduit of influence: It facilitates trust and the communication and absorption of ideas. Even a few small nonverbal signals—a nod, a smile, an open gesture—can show people that you’re pleased to be in their company and attentive to their concerns. Prioritizing warmth helps you connect immediately with those around you, demonstrating that you hear them, understand them, and can be trusted by them.

Excerpt from - Connect, Then Lead – Harvard Business Review

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

My Search to Find Context in the Noise

Imagine this scene.

You are spending time with loved ones when your smartphone suddenly buzzes with an app notification. Instantly, you go from enjoying the experience in the room to feeling slightly out of the loop. You quickly run through the possibilities in your mind of what kind of notification you just received. You ask yourself, “Did I just get an important text message? Did a friend just “Like,” ‘Re-tweet,” or ‘+1′ one of the photos I uploaded last night?”

You slip your phone quietly out of your pocket, and with your thumb on “autopilot,” you quickly tap the link in the pop-up to see what you are missing out on.

“I will just look quickly,” you tell yourself. “I won’t miss any of the action here in the room.”

The notification was alerting you that a friend just posted an op-ed to her social media feed. You open the article and skim it really fast. You get the general gist of the article and then go back to your “stream’ and give your vote of approval for the article with a “Like.”

Suddenly, someone in the room asks you a question, but you only pick up on the last two words of the sentence. “What was that?” you ask while continuing to look at the screen.

Does this story sound familiar? It sure does for me. My life is “noisy” at times. If I am truly honest with myself, I often let my digital tools interrupt my physical experiences and highjack my train of thought. I use the tools to keep-up-to-date on many topics and relationships, but oftentimes the resulting experiences are context-less. I comment on an update or an opinion piece without grasping the backstory or empathizing with the authors intent. I re-tweet a quote that was tweeted out of the author’s original context. How am I adding value to my network if I only interact in these types of ways?

I have started this blog as one way to be more purposeful in my digital interactions. I plan to write on the topics of education, family life, leadership, lifestyle, and technology.

The bottom line is that I want to explore ideas with greater context and I also want to share what I am learning with others.

I have several goals for this blog.

  1. I want to consistently discuss the thoughts and ideas that mean most to me in a more developed manner.
  2. I want to share experiences in a way that add value to others.
  3. I want to improve my writing and argumentation skills through consistent practice.

I hope you find valuable lessons through my learning process.

Question: How do you “find context in the noise” in your own life? I would love to hear your comments.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”