A brief primer on the 6 days of creation. It walks through what Genesis 1 says about each day, and tells the scientific implications. It covers GenesiA brief primer on the 6 days of creation. It walks through what Genesis 1 says about each day, and tells the scientific implications. It covers Genesis 1:1-25, explaining the meaning of biblical phrases, often defining the Hebrew words.
Notes The "waters which were above the firmament" (Gen 1:7) were most likely a spherical band of "waters" surrounding Earth's atmosphere, such as a blanket of water vapor in the ionosphere. The hydrological cycle wasn't functioning the same way then (Gen 2:5-6).
The waters above ended with the Flood (2 Pet 3:5-6). We observe no "waters above" now, and today's atmosphere doesn't hold enough water to rain 40 days and nights.
The "waters above" may have been responsible for allowing Earth to support the incredible biomass that became coal and other fossil fuels, for the large plant and animals that existed (e.g., dinosaurs), and for the long human lifespans before the Flood....more
This paragraph from near the end of the book is a good summary:
Lewis’s credo, we have seen, can be divided into three major categories: his opinions about nature, God and humankind. These opinions establish Lewis’s position in the areas of philosophy, theology, psychology and sociology.
Not as imaginative or engaging as the first in the series, The Lightning Thief. I think I'm too old to enjoy this series, so I don't intend to continuNot as imaginative or engaging as the first in the series, The Lightning Thief. I think I'm too old to enjoy this series, so I don't intend to continue with it. I may have liked it more when I was much younger....more
I gave up halfway through the audiobook, and I wish I'd given up sooner. It felt like a chore to listen to. There were some exciting parts, but they wI gave up halfway through the audiobook, and I wish I'd given up sooner. It felt like a chore to listen to. There were some exciting parts, but they were too few and far between. There were some interesting elements, and I wanted to like the story, but I just couldn't stay engaged....more
Scholarly and logical yet understandable. Part 1 explains the origin and history of Reformed theology (Calvinism). Part 2 explains the basic doctrinesScholarly and logical yet understandable. Part 1 explains the origin and history of Reformed theology (Calvinism). Part 2 explains the basic doctrines of Reformed theology, centered around the Five Points (TULIP). It quotes the Bible and Westminster Confession heavily. Much of the content in Part 2 is similar to another of Sproul's books, Chosen by God. That book has better explanations, though a narrower scope. This book complements it well. Notes follow.
Foundations of Reformed Theology "If God never violates human freedom, it is not because of any limit on his sovereignty. It is because he sovereignly decrees not to."
"Christ fulfilled the law for me and gained the merit necessary for my justification. This is the ground not only of my justification, but also of my assurance of salvation."
When James 2:24 says a man is justified by works, it means true faith manifests itself in (produces) good works. The verser appeals to Gen 22 when Abraham showed he had true faith, just justifying his claim to faith. This use of "justification" is different than in Rom 3:27-28 which appeal to Gen 15, where God counted Abraham righteous the moment be believed, before performing any works of obedience.
When we say we're justified by works, "by" refers to the works of Christ, the cause of our justification. We are justified by faith in the works performed on our behalf by Christ.
God's first covenant with humanity was the covenant of works. THe penalty for violation was death (not limited to spiritual death) on the day the sin occurred. That Adam and Eve didn't physically die on the day of their first sin was due to God's mercy and grace.
Originally all sin was a capital offense, so the OT penal code was actually quite merciful.
The covenant of grace doesn't destroy the covenant of works; it makes it possible for the covenant of works to be fulfilled.
Humanity's Radical Corruption (Total Depravity) Rom 3:9-18, 7:15-19; Eph 2:1-5; John 6:63-68
We can't convert ourselves or even prepare for conversion because "we have no desire for the righteousness of God, and free choice, by definition, involves choosing what we desire."
Calvin: "man is said to have a free will, not because he has a free choice of good and evil, but because he acts voluntarily, and not by compulsion. … man is not forced to be the servant of sin, while he is, however … (a voluntary slave); his will being bound by the fetters of sin."
"A person who is inclined in only one direction, whether to the good or to the evil, is still free in a certain sense. This freedom is real. For example, God is totally free, yet he is morally unable to sin. … This lack of desire for evil does not diminish God's freedom." Likewise, in heaven "we will still be free to choose what we want, but we will choose only the good because this is the only thing we will desire."
God's Sovereign Choice (Unconditional Election) Eph 1:3-12, 2:8-10; Rom 8:29-30, 9:10-16; John 6:43-44, 64-68
Election "refers to God's active intervention in the lives of the elect to work faith in their hearts. [Reprobation] refers, not to God's working unbelief in the hearts of the reprobate, but simply to his passing by them and withholding his regenerating grace from them."
God's hatred for the reprobate is different than human hatred. It's divine, holy, not malicious; it withholds favor.
Christ's Purposeful Atonement (Limited Atonement) John 17:6-12
In John 2:1-2, "our" likely refers to Jewish believers, so "whole world" refers to Gentile believers.
John 6:37-39 shows that Christ's work of saving the elect is certain; it's not a mere possibility of salvation for all.
The Spirit's Effective Call (Irresistible Grace) Regeneration precedes faith because it's a necessary condition for faith. The order of salvation (Rom 8:29-30) refers to a logical order, not necessarily a temporal order. We say faith precedes justification because justification is logically dependent on faith, not faith on justification. We are justified because we have faith. At the moment faith is present, justification occurs. Regeneration precedes faith because we can't exercise saving faith until we're regenerated.
God's Preservation of the Saints (Perseverance of the Saints) Matt 24:13; 2 Pet 1:10-12; 1 John 2:19-25; Phil 1:3-6; Rom 8:31-36
Sometimes Scripture seems to forbid the impossible and command the impossible (e.g., Matt 5:48). It's in this way Scripture warns the elect not to fall away. By calling us to the highest standards, it drives us to depend on grace.
Heb 6:4-6 speaks of regenerated Christians because it says they've repented, and only regenerated Christians truly repent. These verses may be an argument rather than a genuine warning; they may be an ad hominem argument, taking the other party's view to its absurd logical end (such as 1 Cor 15:17). Heb 6:9-12 supports this interpretation, because it shows confidence that the elect will do the things accomplishing salvation....more
Like the Hyperion books, this is engaging, richly imaginative sci-fi. It's action-packed and full of cliffhangers. I like that it carries forward someLike the Hyperion books, this is engaging, richly imaginative sci-fi. It's action-packed and full of cliffhangers. I like that it carries forward some of the mysteries of the Hyperion books, though I hope more of them are resolved in the next book.
As a Christian, I'm not a fan of how the Church is presented in this book, but I had to keep reminding myself that it's a fictional story about a fictional modified version of Catholicism in the future, not a commentary on my faith.
This book reveals how literature, mythology, and Lewis' life influenced The Chronicles of Narnia. It also explores spiritual and moral lessons. I espeThis book reveals how literature, mythology, and Lewis' life influenced The Chronicles of Narnia. It also explores spiritual and moral lessons. I especially liked the chapters "Classical and Medieval Elements" and "What's in a Narnian Name?"
In my notes below, quotes are from the author, unless I say they're from Lewis.
Emeth Emeth's salvation is explained by Lewis' inclusivist view:
"… that Christ's reconciling work may sometimes apply even to those who are not aware of it. Lewis did not feel that he was being unorthodox in this matter. He refers several times in his letters to Christ's portrayal of judgement in which he welcomes those who fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and visited the sick, saying that all such service done for the least of his brethren is accounted as service done to him."
In a 1952 letter, Lewis said, "I think every prayer which is sincerely made, even to a false god … is accepted by the true God, and that Christ saves many who do not think they know him."
Moral Psychology Lewis preferred simple, old-fashioned things, and complained about preoccupation with luxury and technology. In the Chronicles, it's the evil characters who are always thinking about tech and industrial development (Uncle Andrew, Edmund while with the Witch, Shift the Ape).
When a reader asked about the fate of the feasting squirrels in Lion, Lewis answered that they were returned to normal when Aslan rescued the others who had been stone.
Classical and Medieval Elements
"Lewis's whole person was drawn to a time when Western civilization could with some accuracy be called Christendom and when a predominant literary form was epic romance. The world of Aquinas and King Arthur, of Boethius and Beowulf."
Lewis included pagan mythological elements in his stories because Lewis believed that the noblest classical myths represented "a real though unfocused gleam of divine truth falling on human imagination" (Lewis). "Lewis noted with approval how medieval and Elizabethan authors freely mixed classical and Christian elements in their creative works."
Lewis used archaic language to contribute to the atmosphere of medieval romance.
Lewis didn't believe in astrology, but he found it imaginatively attractive. It encourages humility (forces of nature control us more than we control them), and movement of planets and stars confirms cosmic order.
What's in a Narnian Name? Word "frank" originally referred to a French nobleman in England. In Middle Ages, frankness suggested the aristocratic ideals of gentleness, courtesy, honesty.
"Puddleglum" comes from a 16th century poet who described the river Styx as a "puddle glum."
Jewel is named after an Anglican cleric whose heart was good but who was too easily drawn into rash controversies.
Dr. Cornelius is named after Cornelius Agrippa, a 15th century Christian scholar who believed one could practice a certain amount of white magic without danger to one's soul.
The green kirtle was inspired by the kirtle and green sash in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
For names of good characters and places, Lewis used liquids and nasals, which have musical, soft tones. For bad characters and places, he used dissonant-sounding names with fricatives and plosives, which sound prosaic and harsh.
Roonwit has the "wit" to read "roons" (runes).
Lewis' Literary Artistry It's usually negative lame characters who make sexist remarks.
Tash isn't a demonization of Islam; he's modeled on Middle Eastern Efreets (demons).
The objectionable traits of the Calormenes come from Lewis' source materials, which arose among Middle Easterners, not outsiders. There are several anti-racist passages in the Chronicles.
Definitions, Allusions, and Textual Notes Mice nibbling Aslan's cords: allusion to one of Aesop's fables.
White stag: Celtic lore includes a white stag who grants one wish to those who catch him.
Bridge Builder: translation of Pontifex Maximus, a Roman official in charge of bridges. Early Christians called Christ "the Pontifex" because he built a bridge between humans and God, mortality and immortality.
Salamanders in fire: medieval texts speak of gnomes in the earth and salamanders in fire.
Tirian and Jewel's rage: echoes Moses striking down and Egyptian slavemaster....more
Most of the book is made up of a series of chapters about The Chronicles of Narnia, each one walking through the book chronologically, pointing out exMost of the book is made up of a series of chapters about The Chronicles of Narnia, each one walking through the book chronologically, pointing out examples of two major themes in that book. For example, "Magic and Meaning in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." These chapters contain too much summarizing and too little original material. I got more out of the last part of the book (Annotations) which contains definitions and allusions.
In my notes below, quotes are from Schakel unless I say they're from Lewis.
"The fullest imaginative experiencing of The Magician's Nephew comes through reading it as a flashback, for that is the way Lewis thought of it as he wrote it, and those are the narrative strategies he consciously or unconsciously built into it."
Magician "contains one of the most direct contemporary social comments" of the books. Aslan tells the children that some wicked person in the world may discover "a secret as evil as the Deplorable Word and use it to destroy all living things" referring to Hitler, Stalin, and the atomic bomb.
In Last Battle, the rules of Shift's "government" reflect "Lewis' concern over the increasing tendency, in his day, toward collectivism and government intrusiveness" in Britain after World War II.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Some legends hold that Lilith (Adam's first wife in legend) was changed to a demon or jinn as punishment for leaving Adam, or that she became Satan's wife who gave birth to jinni.
Lewis invented the names Cruels and People of the Toadstools.
The World Ash Tree alludes to Yggdrasil in Scandinavian mythology. It represents Deep Magic (or Natural Law) being universal, embedded in the universe since the dawn of time, and the foundation on which social order rests.
"Orknies" is probably Old English "orcneas," walking corpses (also source of Tolkien's "Orcs").
Voyage of the Dawn Treader "Balmier" here means more crazy or foolish. Poesimeter: a machine name invented by Lewis, with a pun on the meaning of "meter" in poetry. Choriambus: the Latin name for a metrical foot, extending the pun in "poesimeter."
Silver Chair Bism: Lewis's adaptation of the Greek "byssos," meaning "bottom" or "the lowest deep," perhaps influenced by the English "chasm."
Magician's Nephew The Witch's climbing over the wall of the garden alludes to Satan leaping over the walls around Paradise in Milton's Paradise Lost, and to John 10:1.
Last Battle "Written in the skies" and "the stars never lie" are consistent with the medieval setting, where astrology was treated as legitimate science.
"Holy trees" means special because of being from Lantern Waste; not that they were to be worshipped.
"In Narnia other figures mythical in our world have turned out to be real, and so does Tash." Lewis isn't saying that other gods exist in our world.
Aslan's acceptance of Emeth suggests that Lewis was an inclusivist, not a universalist or exclusivist. "An inclusivist allows for the possibility that God will extend grace to those who earnestly seek the Truth and have virtuous lives even though they have not heard of Christianity."
"God has not told us what His arrangements about the other people are. We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him. … People in other religions … led by God's secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity … thus belong to Christ without knowing it. … Many of the good Pagans long before Christ's birth may have been in this position."
This book explores several ordinary "workaday" virtues (such as generosity, sacrifice, and hospitality) demonstrated in The Lord of the Rings (and TheThis book explores several ordinary "workaday" virtues (such as generosity, sacrifice, and hospitality) demonstrated in The Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit and The Silmarillion). Each chapter includes Bible examples and verses. I was underwhelmed; there's nothing especially deep, enlightening, or thought-provoking....more
I didn't learn much. Even though I've read several Narnia books I still expected to get more out of this. It tells how Lewis used his stories to "sneaI didn't learn much. Even though I've read several Narnia books I still expected to get more out of this. It tells how Lewis used his stories to "sneak" Christian truths past the "watchful dragons" of those with an unfavorable opinion of Christianity, using fairy tales as the vehicle. It says that we shouldn't press the Chronicles for direct parallels; they're meant to be stories infused with morals that plant the seeds of Christianity, not be one-to-one parallels.
Author Hooper is a Lewis authority; he was Lewis' biographer, and was Lewis' secretary near the end of Lewis' life.
"But such parallels, variously transfigured as they are in Narnia, are not what the books are about. Indeed, I do not think it is specially the identifiable biblical elements which cause us to regard the Narnian stories as Christian books. Almost every page of every book is suffused throughout with moral substance of a quality which I don't believe anyone, whatever his beliefs, could fairly object to."
"Is it not frightfully unfair that this new life should be confined to people who have heard of Christ and been able to believe in Him? But the truth is God has not told us what His arrangements about the other people are. We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him."
The last is an interesting quote when considering Emeth, though I don't agree with Lewis' view of alternative (non-Christian) paths to Heaven....more
This shows how to make better hiring decisions by basing them on data rather than vague feelings. It explains how to create hiring criteria and assessThis shows how to make better hiring decisions by basing them on data rather than vague feelings. It explains how to create hiring criteria and assess candidates rationally. It's based on the authors' significant firsthand consulting experience and input from many successful executives and hiring managers.
It's about hiring employees, but can be applied to hiring independent contractors too.
I've been focused on building the team at my web agency, OptimWise, for the last 2 years. As I read this book I wanted to immediately put the techniques into practice.
I read this because it was recommended by a friend who owns a web agency and also by Brent Weaver, who runs uGurus. I'm a graduate of uGurus' Bootcamp and am a member of their Mastermind.
Your #1 Problem The A Method for Hiring 1. Scorecard: document describing exactly what you want person to accomplish, mission, outcomes and competencies. Not job description. 2. Source: systematically find high-quality candidates before you need them. 3. Select: follow a series of structured interviews to gather relevant facts about a person so you can rate them against your scorecard. 4. Sell: persuade candidate to join.
Scorecard • Mission: 1-5 sentence executive summary of job's core purpose (why role exists), written in plain language. • Outcomes: 3-8 clear, specific outcomes a person needs to accomplish, ranked by priority. Define what must get done, not what activities person will be doing. Set high but reasonable outcomes. Make as quantifiable, objective, observable as possible. • Competencies: how person will fulfill mission and achieve outcomes. Identify as many role-based competencies as appropriate to describe behaviors person must demonstrate to achieve outcomes. Identify 5-8 culture-based competencies (how person must fit company culture).
Top competencies: efficiency, honesty/integrity, organization and planning, aggressiveness, follow-through on commitments, intelligence, analytical skills, attention to detail, persistence, proactivity.
Use scorecards to • Set expectations with new hires • Monitor employee progress over time • Objectify annual reviews • Rate team annually
Source 5 best methods for sourcing 1. Referrals from business network (mentioned by 77%) 2. Referrals from personal network (77%) 3. Hire external recruiter (65%) 4. Hire recruiting researcher (someone to use Internet and phone to create a list of candidates) (47%) 5. Hire internal recruiter (24%)
Ask people you meet, "Now that you know a little about me, who are the most talented people you know who might be a good fit for my company?"
Ask employees for referrals. Their referrals are often better than outside referrals.
Select: 4 Interviews Screening Interview 20-30 minute phone interview to filter out B and C candidates.
Start by asking questions. End by offering to answer candidate's questions. That way, you can tailor your answers to fit them.
After candidate answers any question, ask a "What," "How," or "Tell me more" follow-up question to get details.
Questions 1. What are your career goals? 2. What are you really good at professionally? 3. What are you not good at or not interested in doing professionally? 4. Who were your last 5 bosses, and how will they rate your performance on a 1-10 scale when we talk to them?
• Q 2: Push for 8-12. Ask for examples. • Q 3: Push for 5-8. If they give strengths in disguise, say, "That sounds like a strength to me. What are you really not good at or not interested in doing?" You can also say, "When we talk to your references, what will they say you're not good at or not interested in?" • Q 4: Press for details. Ask, "Why?"
Topgrading Interview 1.5 - 3 hours asking questions for each job held over the past 15 years, starting with earliest/oldest.
Questions 1. What were you hired to do? 2. What accomplishments are you most proud of? 3. What were some low points during that job? 4. Who were the people you worked with? Specifically: 4.1. What was your boss' name, and how do you spell that? What was it like working with them? What will they tell me were your biggest strengths and areas for improvement? 4.2 (When hiring a manager) How would you rate the team you inherited on an A, B, C scale? What changes did you make? Did you hire anybody? Fire anybody? How would you rate the team when you left on an A, B, C scale? 5. Why did you leave that job?
• Q 1: Reverse-engineer their scorecard. • Q 2: A players tend to talk about outcomes and results. • Q 3: Press by asking, "What went wrong? What was your biggest mistake? What would you have done differently?" • Q 5: A players often leave a job after being successful. They're often pulled out of jobs to greater opportunities, and their bosses are disappointed. B and C players are nudged or pushed out of jobs.
To interrupt candidate and get back on track, smile and enthusiastically say, "Wow! That's interesting. You were just telling me about X. I'd love to hear more about that."
To clarify candidate's achievements, ask how their performance compared to 1) previous year, 2) plan, and 3) peers.
Focused Interview(s) Have other team members conduct interview(s) focused on outcomes and/or competencies. Start by saying, "The purpose of this interview is to talk about [specific outcome or competency]." Ask questions below for each outcome or competency.
Questions 1. What are your biggest accomplishments in this area during your career? 2. What are your insights into your biggest mistakes and lessons learned in this area?
Candidate Discussion Grade candidate's scorecard based on skill (what they can do well) and will (what they want to do, and in what culture). Advance only A players.
Reference Interview Don't just contact the references the client provides. Pick 3 bosses, 2 peers or customers, and 2 subordinates from your interview notes. Ask candidate to coordinate calls to break through gatekeepers.
Questions 1. In what context did you work with the person? 2. What were the person's biggest strengths? 3. What were the person's biggest areas for improvement back then? 4. How would you rate their overall performance in that job on a 1-10 scale? Why? 5. The person mentioned that they struggled with X in that job. Can you tell me more about that?
A positive reference should be enthusiastic. Neutral, hesitant references or faint praise are a bad sign.
Final Decision Repeat skill-will analysis. Seek 90% confidence in fit of skill and will.
Sell: Seal the Deal Candidates care about 5 Fs: fit, family, freedom, fortune, fun.
Identify which of 5 Fs really matter to candidate, and address them when "selling" your company to them....more
An entertaining story of mystery and magic, with memorable characters and a feeling of wonder. It kept me guessing. It had great potential but, sadly,An entertaining story of mystery and magic, with memorable characters and a feeling of wonder. It kept me guessing. It had great potential but, sadly, didn't live up to it. It seemed the story was leading up to momentous events which didn't occur, and at the end there was too that still didn't make sense. There's not nearly as much action as implied from the description.
It's twice as long as it could've been to tell the story. I liked it more than I expected when my wife first described it to me, but less than I expected once I got into it....more
I skimmed this because I don't need this type of motivational self-help about mindset and attitude. I'm more in need of practical, actionable advice tI skimmed this because I don't need this type of motivational self-help about mindset and attitude. I'm more in need of practical, actionable advice than motivation. I wouldn't recommend it even to those looking for motivation, since this has far more stories than necessary to make a point. The topics are self-image, relationships, goals, attitude, work, and desire.
The only note I made: "Challenge the man in front of you and not the champion. … Each victory will make you stronger for the next challenge."...more
A short, practical, focused guide to generating leads and growing your brand through public speaking. It's straightforward and easily digestible. It'sA short, practical, focused guide to generating leads and growing your brand through public speaking. It's straightforward and easily digestible. It's based on the author's 20+ years of experience.
I've done some speaking over the years, but I don't intend to use speaking for biz dev for my web agency in the future. I find speaking extremely stressful and time-consuming (mostly the prep work). I'm preparing for a webinar next week, and have used a few of these tips in my preparation.
Notes End every talk by inviting attendees to continue the conversation. A good way is to have a discovery/qualification call to determine fit. At a minimum, offer a download or your newsletter.
Hire experts to jump-start your success: speaking consultant, presentation consultant, copywriter, etc.
Delegate non-critical activities, such as photo selection, proofreading, coordinating logistics.
Content ideas: Think of common pain points. Look at your existing content (blog posts, client reports, etc.). Share case studies. Make a list of takeaways.
When your agency is small, don't outsource speaking. People buy you. As agency grows, you can have an awesome employee who represents the firm well speak.
Request that host send a post-event email to attendees, with links to useful resources, to build your list.
Have a speaking fee, even if you normally waive it, to establish credibility.
Give audience a challenge: an easy to remember to-do. Never end on Q&A, because it's a weak note. Do Q&A, then end with your challenge.
You're speaking for biz dev, not to make a living as a speaker, so you can waive your fee (ask for travel reimbursement) or speak for $250-4000 with travel reimbursement. Invoice 50% up front and 50% at the event.
When you wave or reduce your fee, send an invoice showing your usual fee with subtraction.
Have a slide giving options for joining your email list: text their email address to you, go to a short URL, or drop card at table.
An encouragement to discipline, for the sake of both child and parent. I don't completely agree with Dobson about spanking, but the book still containAn encouragement to discipline, for the sake of both child and parent. I don't completely agree with Dobson about spanking, but the book still contains valuable parenting concepts and techniques.
Summary: give child maximum reason to comply with your wishes. Your anger is the least effective motivation.
I skipped nearly half the book, which deals with discipline in learning and disciplining teens, because my oldest is 3. I read this because I have a strong-willed 3-year-old.
Common Sense and Your Child 5 underpinnings to common sense child rearing 1. Teach child to respect parents. This instills a respect for all authority. If you become worthy of child's respect, they're more likely to accept your values as a teen.
2. The best opportunity to communicate often occurs after a disciplinary event. Nothing brings a parent and child closer together than for the parent to win decisively after being defiantly challenged. The parent's demonstration of authority builds respect. After discipline, welcome the child with open, loving arms, and talk heart to heart. Tell them how much you love them. Explain why you disciplined, and how they can avoid next time. This kind of communication is more difficult with time outs and taking away toys, because in those cases child is resentful and doesn't want to talk. Parental warmth after discipline shows you reject the behavior, not the child.
3. Control without nagging. Yelling and nagging are ineffectual. Use action to achieve the desired behavior (negative reinforcement, such as inflicting slight pain, or positive reinforcement, such as rewards). When child is misbehaving, calmly say, "You know what happens when you don't listen. I don't want to make you uncomfortable, but it's your choice."
4. Don't saturate child with materialism. When child is simply given gifts, they accept them with little pleasure and less appreciation. Give them a chance to long for something. Allow them to experience the thrill of temporary deprivation.
5. Establish a balance between love and discipline. Both extremes, oppression and permissiveness, damage the child. Excess "love" in the form of overprotection can spoil a child.
When you are defiantly challenged, win decisively. When child asks, "Who's in charge?" tell them. Treat them with respect and dignity, and expect the same.
Spanking Spankings should be reserved for moments when child defiantly expresses "I will not!" or "You shut up!" in words or actions. Spankings should be limited to ages 18 months to 10 years.
The spanking should cause genuine tears.
Spanking doesn't convey hatred, result in rejection, or make child more violent. The child who knows love abounds at home understands and won't resent a well-deserved spanking.
Spank with a neutral object, not your hand. Your hand should be seen as an object of love. If you spank your child with your hand without warning, they may come to fear your hand.
Spankings should be reserved for moments of greatest antagonism (usually after age 3). In other situations, a rap on the fingers or a few minutes on a chair is as effective.
Why spankings don't work Parent spanks infrequently and whimsically rather than consistently. Child must know certainty of justice.
Strong-willed child may tough it out. You must outlast them, even if it takes a few rounds.
Spanking is too gentle. Child must feel the message.
Spanking simply isn't appropriate for some children, based on their disabilities or sensitivities.
Reinforcement Positive reinforcement Grant rewards quickly.
Create a chart of responsibilities and behaviors. Each evening, allow child to place stars for good behaviors. Give pennies for good behavior. If child misses 3+ items in a day, give no pennies. Teach child to manage money (spend, give, save).
Don't reward all tasks. A child should do some tasks as a member of the family.
After child has challenged your authority, don't offer a reward if they obey, since that rewards defiance.
A reward can simply be a sincere compliment.
Negative reinforcement Almost any behavior learned through reinforcement can be eliminated if the reward is withheld long enough.
To extinguish whining, tell child you can't hear them when they're whining. After warning for 1-2 days, ignore child when they whine.
If you allow undesirable behavior to succeed (by giving in), you reinforce it.
Misc. Child shouldn't start fights, but self-defense is OK.
The best way to get child to do what you want is to spend time with them, having fun, before disciplinary problems occur. They won't be as tempted to test limits....more
This book is for the experienced WordPress designer, not the beginner. Although it does touch on some WordPress essentials, it's mostly a how-to guideThis book is for the experienced WordPress designer, not the beginner. Although it does touch on some WordPress essentials, it's mostly a how-to guide for creating WordPress themes and plugins, and generally bending WordPress to your will.
The book is laid out well, with colored blocks of code interspersed with the text describing it. There are very few screenshots and diagrams; more of these would have definitely helped me better understand what the code snippets were actually doing.
Notes WordPress security Add Secret Keys to wp-config.php Remove add_action('wp_head', 'wp_generator'); from header.php Create a new user with admin privileges and delete the default admin Use an editor account to post Force SSL encryption on the WordPress admin login page
Design and development Put functions in functions.php rather than modifying template files to make your changes theme-independent. Use plugins for everything that extends WordPress functionality. Use plugins instead of custom code whenever possible. Use functions.php for functionality unique to the theme Use Pages to work outside WordPress, for external services, feeds, etc.
Use categories for broad sorting, like Music or Books, and use tags like search keywords (author, genre, title) Use TDO Mini Forms to let users submit posts without logging into the admin panel External code can slow your site; only include it when necessary Put social bookmarking links between content and comments Use Facebook Connect or OpenID for unified logins
Feeds Promote feeds with links and RSS graphics Provide full posts in feeds, not just excerpts Offer alternative subscription methods, such as email Use FeedBurner
Portfolio 1. Your work show graphically (not just links) 2. Sell yourself; services offered, who you are, what you're like to work with 3. Easy way to contact you Add a blog to bring traffic to your portfolio
This is a useful guide for intermediate to advanced WordPress developers. It covers theme development, plugin development, and customizing sites for vThis is a useful guide for intermediate to advanced WordPress developers. It covers theme development, plugin development, and customizing sites for various uses. It has clear examples, code snippets, and color screenshots.
Use plugins rather than functions.php in most cases. Only use functions.php for functionality that’s unique to theme (such as layout settings or theme options). Don’t use functions.php for anything that controls output of content.
The Members plugin comes with a role editor, ability to hide parts of admin UI, and can help build a membership site.
A thought-provoking model for living by principles rather than your to-do list. It challenges the way most Westerners structure their days and weeks,A thought-provoking model for living by principles rather than your to-do list. It challenges the way most Westerners structure their days and weeks, and shows how to replace your hectic, stressful schedule with a peaceful, fulfilling one. Unfortunately, it's much more verbose than necessary; it's repetitive, with lengthy examples.
Summary: Live a principle-centered life. Listen to your conscience (which acts as a compass to "true north" principles ultimately from God) and put first things first (prioritize according to principles, and focus your efforts on the greatest long-term results).
The Clock and the Compass "Put people ahead of schedules, compasses [vision, values] ahead of clocks … traditional time management gets in the way. Calendars and schedules … keep us focused on the urgent instead of the important. … They often create misalignment between what really matters most and the way we live our daily lives."
The Main Thing it to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing Personal mission statement To create a personal mission statement, get a feeling for what's most important to you by doing the following: • List 3-4 things you consider "first things." • Consider your long-range goals. • Think about most your important relationships. • Think about contributions you'd like to make. • Reaffirm the feelings you want (peace, confidence, happiness, contribution, meaning, etc.). • Think about how you'd spend this week if you had only 6 months to live.
An empowering personal mission statement: • Is based on purpose higher than self. • Includes fulfillment in physical, social, mental, spiritual dimensions. • Deals with all the significant roles in your life (personal, family, work, community).
"We're always trying to fit more activities into the time we have. But what does it matter how much we do if what we're doing isn't what matters most?"
"It's easy to say 'no' when there's a deeper 'yes!' burning inside."
Each day, visualize yourself living your personal mission statement. Each week, before you plan your week, review your statement.
There are times when short-term imbalance creates long-term balance (living, loving, learning, and living a legacy, over a lifetime). Examples: parenting young children, a meaningful project, caring for an elderly parent, starting a business.
If you view your role in terms of tasks, you'll be frustrated by "interruptions" from people. If you view your role in terms of people, you'll find interactions with people fulfilling.
Balancing roles isn't "either/or," it's "and." Find ways to achieve goals for multiple roles at once. Examples: exercising and parenting by playing sports with your kid, or working on a work project and training an assistance while working on the project together.
Set goals in terms of what (goal), why (motivation), and how (actions).
Genuine guilt, not social, scripted guilt, can reveal when your actions aren't aligned with your principles.
The Synergy of Interdependence The "People" Paradigm puts people 1st and things 2nd, leadership 1st and management 2nd, effectiveness 1st and efficiency 2nd, vision 1st and method 2nd.
Stephen Covey's family mission statement "The mission of our family is to create a nurturing place of faith, order, truth, love, happiness, and relaxation, and to provide opportunity for each person to become responsibly independent, and effectively interdependent in order to serve worthy purposes in society."
Make your organizational culture an empowered, high-trust one that lives by "first things first together": shared vision, stewardship agreements, win-win.
The Power and Peace of Principle-Centered LIving In evaluating tasks on your list, view them not as things to do, but as indicators of a larger process to improve. Look for opportunities to delay, collaborate with others, delegate, prevent unnecessary tasks from arising, and improving efficiency.
By default, our happiness in a day depends on whether we can complete everything from the list we started the day with. Unexpected challenges frustrate us. Instead, our happiness should come from knowing we put 1st things 1st, regardless of our list. If we expect challenges, their arising shouldn't frustrate us.
Maximize time and effort by staying in your Center of Focus (things you can influence, are aligned with your mission, and are timely). Operating in your Circle of Influence (area of concern where you can make a difference) can do some good, but at the expense of something better. It's a waste to put effort into your Circle of Concern (everything you're concerned about) because you can't control or affect those things....more
Entertaining, imaginative, post-apocalyptic survival sci-fi. The gradual revelation of the truth kept me listening, despite some weaknesses in the ploEntertaining, imaginative, post-apocalyptic survival sci-fi. The gradual revelation of the truth kept me listening, despite some weaknesses in the plot. It was too juvenile for my tastes (teen romance and dialogue), but it is a young adult book. It's the type of book that makes me realize I take my safe, civilized life for granted. I liked it enough to try the second book in the series....more
Useful advice on the marketing of services based on 4 keys: price, brand, packaging and relationships. It isn't as astute as Selling the Invisible, whUseful advice on the marketing of services based on 4 keys: price, brand, packaging and relationships. It isn't as astute as Selling the Invisible, which I highly recommend. I like the advice on pricing, branding, specialization, and showing passion. Like Beckwith's other books that I've read, this one is based more on his experience and opinions than research.
I like that Beckwith’s answer to the question, “What one marketing change would help most?” is to appear more successful and confident, because people want to buy from successful companies.
Fallacies of Marketing “Successful marketing hinges on creating distinctions; best practices quickly become a common practices. Best practices also become a trap; you keep waiting for other practices to emulate rather than creating your own.”
Before you try to influence a prospect’s decision, find out what they've already decided, and why. Ask prospects, "What do you know about us? What are our strengths that led you to invite us to talk with you?" That conversation reveals the prospect’s misconceptions, and can help change their decision.
"Before you try to sell yourself, make yourself familiar." Prospects treat the unfamiliar with indifference or contempt. Use marketing to become familiar to the prospect before you try to make a sales presentation.
Your competition isn’t other firms; "You are competing with your prospect’s view of your firm."
"The more you bundle into a sale, the more you risk losing the sale entirely." Adding more elements to a sale complicates the transaction and confuses the prospect.
What is Satisfaction? "Your job is not to deliver a service; it is to create satisfaction. Make your clients believe they will be satisfied, and they will be, especially if you do it with passion.”
The First Key: Price "Price creates perceptions, then creates satisfaction.” “A price tells us how good a service probably is, then convinces us how good the service probably was."
“A high price actually improves the experience.” “Higher prices don't just talk; they tempt,” because people want to experience high-priced things. Faced with two identical services, someone who can afford the higher-priced one often chooses it, simply because of its high price.
“Increasing your price will not necessarily decrease your volume, any more than decreasing it will increase your volume.”
Offer tiered pricing. For example, offer platinum, gold, silver packages. The client who wants more pays more.
The Second Key: Brand "Your brand is your most valuable asset," even if you view your business as nothing more than its people.
The Third Key: Packaging "To make your service better, make it more beautiful." People believe that the more beautiful option is better.
What one marketing change would help most? “Look like you want to succeed.” Use your marketing to show that you believe in your business, and buyers will believe in it too. "The longer your office says struggling young attorney, the longer the struggle."
"Choose images that at least imply that you are different. And at a minimum, choose images that convey quality."
"Your package is your service." "What does your offer look like? Does it look like excellence? Does it fit the prospect’s image of an extraordinary service?"
"The client who feels important feels loyal."
The Fourth Key: Relationships "Choose the clients who are most like you." They "will do more to build your business and any other clients."
Tell the prospect something they really care about: themselves.
"A service provider’s ability to explain what he does, rather than to do what he does, is what most influences a prospect’s impressions of his skill.” Communicating clearly is the essence of creating the impression of competence, skill, and mastery.”
"Find your specialty – no matter how narrow it is – and communicate it convincingly." The title “specialist,” however fraudulent or comical, packs a persuasive wallop. The specialist’s claim, “We do not know everything and do not try to, but we really know X,” can win business against larger and better-qualified competitors.
"A marketing firm tends to evolve to match its background and special knowledge." Think about which prospects would be attracted to your background and knowledge, and communicate appropriately.
Nothing bonds someone to you more than your sacrifice. You must sacrifice a lot to bond clients to you, because they weigh the balance sheet in their favor.
“Help your client with any request reasonably related to your business.” “An extraordinary service can do whatever their client needs done. If they can't do it themselves, they can find someone who can.”
Passion attracts clients, and helps keep them. "The passion to do something extraordinary, as much as and often more than the actual achievement itself, drives employees and bonds their clients to them." Excellent isn’t easily seen, but the passion for it is....more
Verses appear right across from each other (or very close to it), so it's easy to compare. Both versions use the same subject headings. In addition toVerses appear right across from each other (or very close to it), so it's easy to compare. Both versions use the same subject headings. In addition to the center references, there are textual notes (about different manuscripts, etc.). Reading two translations helps me better understand the text, especially in the case of the archaic KVJ....more
Imaginative, action-packed fantasy with subterfuge, court intrigue, and conspiracy. The mystery and twists kept me guessing. I enjoyed the climactic eImaginative, action-packed fantasy with subterfuge, court intrigue, and conspiracy. The mystery and twists kept me guessing. I enjoyed the climactic end....more
This was more motivational than actionable. It's full of good reminders, but I didn't create any to-dos (as I usually do for actionable non-fiction).This was more motivational than actionable. It's full of good reminders, but I didn't create any to-dos (as I usually do for actionable non-fiction). By the end of the book, I was asking myself, "Am I living the life I've been called to?"
This book shows how the right mindset is the key to success. It tells how by changing your thinking, you can change your life, and the lives of others. It ends with, "May thinking become your greatest tool for creating the world you desire."
Notes Focused Thinking Strike a balance between being accessible to those you lead, and withdrawing from them to think. "Walking slowly through the crowd allows me to connect with people and know their needs. Withdrawing from the crowd allows me to think of ways to add value to them."
Practice the 10-80-10 principle with people to whom you delegate. Help with the first 10% by casting vision, laying down parameters, providing resources, encouraging. Once they do the middle 80%, help them take it the rest of the way (last 10%).
Creative Thinking "It's easy to connect the dots if you know where you're going. Likewise, it's easy to connect ideas when you have a plan."
Realistic Thinking "Why not learn all that you can from good thinkers who have faced similar situations in the past? Some of my best thinking has been done by others!"
Possibility Thinking Choose to think positively, especially when it doesn't come naturally. George Lucas said, "I'm very cynical, and as a result, I think the defense I have against it is to be optimistic."
If you don't want to get into positive thinking, just eliminate all the negative thoughts.
When you start telling yourself how something won't work, stop yourself and ask, "What's right about this?"
"Dream one size bigger": set goals at least a step beyond what makes you comfortable.
Question Popular Thinking Challenge the process. "The greatest enemy of tomorrow's success is sometimes today's success."
Shared Thinking "Two heads are better than one - when they are thinking in the same direction. It's like harnessing two horses to pull a wagon. … when they pull together, they can move more weight than the sum of what they can move individually."...more
A thorough explanation of the Bible's teachings on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. I don't agree on all points, but this helped me think through thA thorough explanation of the Bible's teachings on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. I don't agree on all points, but this helped me think through the issues.
Summary Divorce is biblical in cases of adultery (sexual immorality) and when an unbelieving spouse insists on abandoning a believer. Remarriage is biblical when both spouses were previously unmarried or biblically divorced. "Guilty" party may also remarry once "innocent" party does.
Legal divorce does not break the bond. However, porneia does (Matthew 19:9) as does desertion (1 Corinthians 7:15). The Old Testament establishes that porneia broke this bond in that violators were stoned to death. Divorce was an act of God's grace to allow for the sustaining of the adulterer's life, while allowing the innocent party to view the relationship as truly broken and the former spouse as dead (Deuteronomy 22:22-24). In a similar way, divorce on the grounds of desertion allows freedom from the former union (1 Corinthians 7:15). The basic principle is that the marriage bond is broken by death. In the Law of Moses the death principle was extended to encompass the one who committed adultery, and Paul extended it to the one who deserted his spouse. This allows the innocent party to carry on with life, as though the former partner were dead.
Notes In OT, remarriage was allowed after divorce, except to previous spouse. This was to prevent marriage being reduced to wife-swapping.
When God commanded divorce in Ezra 9 and 10, it was a special one-time circumstance to preserve the Messianic line. This has no bearing on the NT.
In Matt 5, Jesus didn't nullify OT law on divorce any more than He nullified the law on murder or adultery.
In OT and the 2 schools of interpretation prevalent in Jesus' day, remarriage was permitted based upon an appropriate bill of divorce. The people Jesus was speaking to presupposed remarriage after divorce. So if Jesus meant to prohibit it, He probably would've been clearer.
In Matt 19:9, "Jesus was saying that divorce and remarriage not based on a biblical allowance was adulterous. If a divorce was granted on a biblical basis, porneia, then the innocent party had the opportunity to remarry."
Rom 7 doesn't teach that only death frees one from marriage. Paul didn't mention any exception in Rom 7 because he wasn't writing on divorce and remarriage, he was making a theological point. "Nothing is proved by the absence of a doctrine from one passage which is clearly stated in others." For example, the command to not kill doesn't always include exceptions which are stated elsewhere.
1 Cor 7:15 uses Greek "duoleo" for bondage, meaning enslave. In legal documents of hte day, phrase "not under bondage" meant all legal obligations were broken, and marriage contract dissolved. Same idea of breaking marriage covenant as v. 39.
1 Cor 7:28 permits remarriage after legitimate divorce. First part of verse is written to those who have lost spouse through death or divorce; second part is written to virgins (never married).
Divorced men can't be church leaders (pastors, deacons) because of 1 Tim 3:1-7. The requirement to be husband of one wife probably doesn't refer to polygamy, since it was illegal anyway. Likely refers to divorced and remarried. Lev 21:7 shows leaders are held to higher standards. Also, 1 Tim 3:4 requires leaders to rule/manage house well, and divorce is mismanagement. 1 Tim 3 also requires that leaders be blameless and above reproach, and divorced aren't.
"There is no constant state of adultery. To say that it is constant would make divorce the unpardonable sin, which it is not."
Physical abuse isn't a biblical reason for divorce, but the abused spouse may separate for protection.
A marriage begun in adultery doesn't need to be dissolved. Nathan didn't tell David and Bathsheba to divorce.
Guilty party may remarry once innocent party does, since latter dissolves initial marriage (Matt 19:9).
Parenting When disciplining child, ask 5 questions: 1. "What did you do?" Make them verbalize it. 2. "Was it right or wrong?" 3. "What should I do about it?" Have child suggest punishment. 4. "What other options did you have?" 5. "If this happens again, what will you do next time?"...more
A short and not very deep study of the Bible's teachings on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. I don't agree on all points, but I appreciate the explaA short and not very deep study of the Bible's teachings on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. I don't agree on all points, but I appreciate the explanation and biblical basis for the arguments.
Summary Divorce is biblical in cases of adultery (sexual immorality) and when an unbelieving spouse insists on abandoning a believer. Remarriage is biblical when both spouses were previously unmarried or biblically divorced. "Guilty" party may also remarry after repentance.
Notes The disciples' comment that it would be better not to marry (Matt 19:10) shows that they understood Jesus to mean that sexual sin is the only permissible ground for divorce among believers.
Deut 24:1-4 refers to an unbiblical/illegitimate divorce (legal but sinful). Wife is defiled by 2nd marriage because her divorce was for unbiblical reasons, not for remarrying per se.
When Jesus speaks in Matt 5:32 of causing the divorced wife to commit adultery, he means a wife who is divorced for unbiblical reasons (as the wife of Deut 24); for "any ground" short of fornication. Those individuals had no right to divorce, so the 2nd marriage is adulterous. Anyone who marries someone who's not biblically divorced commits adultery.
The words "released" in 1 Cor 7:27-28 are the same in the original: "luo" which means divorce. These verses allow remarriage after divorce. V. 28a is speaking to the divorced couple of v. 27.
Ezek 44:22 shows that "priests are in a special class and may not do what is perfectly right for others to do": remarry after divorce.
When a person is converted, they are to remain in the state they were in when saved (even in unbiblical marriage or remarriage) (1 Cor 7:17-24).
The "guilty" party may remarry after repentance. Just as one may marry a former murderer, one may marry a former adulterer or sinfully divorced person.
1 Cor 7:10-11 means that believers may not divorce. Paul doesn't mention the exception of Matt 19:9, but he knew of it.
1 Cor 7:11 calls divorced couple "unmarried," showing that marriage contract is dissolved. This is also used in Deut 24:1-4. Thus, to say divorced people are "still married in God's sight" is unbiblical.
Believers who divorce are required by 1 Cor 7:11 to remain unmarried so they can be reconciled.
Deut 24:1-4 uses language that makes it clear that divorce ends the marriage; the woman is only 1 man's wife at a time.
Rom 7:1-3 doesn't teach that only death breaks a marriage, because Jesus said that man can (through he may not) put asunder. Also, Paul was simply using marriage as an illustration here.
Jesus' statement on divorce in Matt 19 (and parallel passages was speaking to people in the church, responding to comments about Deut 24:1-4, which regulates divorce among believers. He didn't intend to cover all circumstances.
In 1 Cor 7:14, to be sanctified by the believer means the unbelieving partner is exposed to the gospel. The children being holy means they're under the care of the church, under positive influences; not that they're necessarily save.
1 Cor 7:12-16 means that believer must do all in their power to remain married to unbeliever, but if unbeliever insists on divorce, believer may divorce.
1 Cor 7:15 means that when unbelieving spouse leaves believer, all bonds of marriage are removed. Word translated "bound" is "duoloo," meaning "to enslave."
Exception clause of Matt 5:32 and 19:9 applies to divorce and remarriage in coordination, not just to divorce. In Matt 5:32, "Jesus says that one commits adultery by marrying another unless he has divorced his previous wife for fornication." In Matt 19:9, "the divorced wife and her second husband are warned that they will commit adultery unless she was divorced for fornication."
Deut 24:1-4 was meant to eliminate easy divorce by establishing serious consequences....more
This short poem by Tolkien is Bilbo's last song, which he sang at the Grey Havens before leaving Middle-earth. There are two sequences of illustrationThis short poem by Tolkien is Bilbo's last song, which he sang at the Grey Havens before leaving Middle-earth. There are two sequences of illustrations: large pictures of his trip to the Grey Havens and on the ship, and smaller pictures from The Hobbit. The large pictures start in Rivendell and end when with him seeing Tol Eressëa from the bow of the ship.
As a huge Tolkien fan, I felt quite nostalgic while reading this. The illustrations are by Pauline Baynes, famous for illustrating The Chronicles of Narnia, and they have a real Faerie feel to them....more