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CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Posted 9/13/13 at 1:15 PM | Christian Post

Fortune Cookie Day and Christian Discernment

Photo: Flickr/bingbing - Creative Commons

According to Holiday Insights, today is Fortune Cookie Day.

On the Catholic Answers Forums someone asks the question, "Is it a sin to read the little note in a Fortune Cookie?"

One person answers that question by saying, "No - unless you have faith in the fortune it is conveying."

Other Christians believe that we should avoid all fortune cookies.

A poster at Yahoo Answers asks the question, "How should a True Christian™ handle fortune cookies?"

The trademark symbol may indicate sarcarsm but here are several of the comments which indicate a diversity of opinion on the topic:

Bible League:

It is best to avoid fortune cookies. Have nothing to do with the works of darkness but rather reprove them. (Ephesians 5:11) FULL POST

Posted 8/30/13 at 4:44 PM | Christian Post

September Calendar of Church and Ministry Events and Conferences

Photo: See You at the Pole

 This year See You at the Pole is sponsoring Global Week of Student Prayer. The theme for 2013 is #IFTHEN based on 2 Chronicles 7:14.

If you are looking for Christian events not in September, check out our yearly calendar: FULL POST

Posted 8/9/13 at 10:06 AM | Christian Post

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit - Day Two

Marty Duren is live blogging the  Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. The two-day leadership conference is held at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois. Pastor Bill Hybels and other Christians leaders share what they've learned about the skills needed in leadership. Today (Friday, August 9th) is the last day of the conference.

10:12

Record keeping is a huge part of influence strategy. When people see progress they will continue in a given direction.--MD

10:11

The space we inhabit affects our choices.

10:08

To properly motivate we need to look at structural incentives. How to get better interest rates, etc.

10:05

The number of HOV lane violators in Washington State dropped by 80% when peers on the interstate report the violation via phone. That call generated a letter to the offender. There was no fine.

People don't like people on the interstate not to like them and modify behavior accordingly.

10:03

10:01

Businesses that excel spend a lot of time in coaching and training.

09:59

Motivation is a big part of the model, but ability is a big factor. Most people start with ability, skills, gifts.

09:56 FULL POST

Posted 8/8/13 at 10:59 AM | Christian Post

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit - Day One

Speaker Chris Brown

Marty Duren is live blogging the  Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. The two-day leadership conference is held at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois. Pastor Bill Hybels and other Christians leaders share what they've learned about the skills needed in leadership.

15:44

With the title I've been given, how can I be the best Jesus I can be?

15:43

If we aren't careful there are major cities who, in the next 20 years, will be getting some really nice civic centers because some major churches will be closing down. Reason? The church has been dependant on a single personality.

15:40

When you can make room at the top for the young eagles, you will get a healthier you, team and church or organization.

15:33

Spirtual leadership serves the staff, rather than protecting title and position. A secure leader will pick up a towel.

15:28

Never get caught up in the good thing and miss the God thing.

15:25

A pagan king (the Pharoah over Joseph) had a better idea of godly leadership than the king of God's people (Saul).

15:21

Saul did not have room in the chariot for David. He could not celebrate the achievements of others if they began to overshadow him.

15:20

Rather than being jealous of David, Saul should have embraced David and partnered with him. "We are members of the 11,000 Club."

15:16

When it got bad, Saul felt like any neck was better than his own.

Chris Brown session begins.

----------------------------------------

Liz Wiseman

End of fourth session.

15:09

The top of the intelligence hierarchy is the genius maker, not the genius.

15:08

Are you leading like a genius or a genius maker?

15:07

Asking instead of telling reveals the strength of the team.

15:02

Stop saying, "How hard can it be?" when things are really hard.

Extremely high capacity leaders need to take care they don't quash lesser capacity leaders by dismissing actual difficultures in the guise of optimism. --MD

14:53

Do we do our greatest damage when we withhold our most noble intentions.

14:52

Multipliers are talent magnets. They are debate makers. They are liberators, but they challenge their people to bring their best thinking.

14:50

Diminishers want to hire the best talent, but then treat them like curios on a shelf. They delegate small decisions. They spend a lot of time trying to get buy-in on decisions they have already made.

14:47

Dimishers are selfish, did not listen, control, micromanage.

Multipliers have vision, use talent, let the team drive, are trust gurus.

14:45

Multipliers believe their people are smart and they will figure it out. Dimishers believe people always will need help.

14:41

The difference between pressure and stress is a matter of control. If you withhold pressure, it causes stress on the others who work under you. Don't spread the stress; spread the pressure.

14:37

Verbal affirmation not only affirms, it opens ideas. One coach told a player, "You are fast." He'd never thought about it before, but the kid noticed he began to run harder. The coach pointed out something true, but unseen by the player.

14:32

People around you do their best work when you live like a multiplier. People get smarter as they work around you.

14:31

Multipliers get so much brain power from their talent that they essential double their workforce for free.

14:28

Liz has to follow comedian Michael, Jr. He was fantastic. --MD

-----------------------------------------------------------

Speaker Patrick Lencioni

End of third session.

12:55

Three signs of a miserable job: irrelevance (my job does not matter), immeasurement (using the wrong metrics), anonymity (no one knows or cares about me or what I do).

12:54

When we allow others to evaluate themselves we lose a measure of control, and that's why we resisite it.

12:53

How often and what you measure depends on what you are doing. People need a metric for feedback to help employees know they are doing a good job.

 

12:50

We had a bit of rain and lightning, so the Internet was out for a while. Which is really sad since Patrick Lencioni hit a grand slam.

----------------------------------------------------

Speaker Colin Powell

End of second session

12:21

Leaders in churches want to be challenged.

12:18

I have chosen to spend the rest of my life helping kids.

I told my pastor if we are really going to live our faith we have to leave our affluent area and adopt this all Hispanic and Black kids.

12:14

Tell me early.

Tell me about the problem early so we can get it taken care of. Let me give you some guidance.

12:14

Hybels: "What leader on the world stage did you have tremendous respect for?"

Powell: "I cannot name just one. I'm the product of every person has impacted my life."

H: "You're dodging this."

P: "Of course I am. But you mentioned one earlier, Nelson Mandela."

12:11

Promote people based on their potential not on their performance.

12:10

"What character in a young leaders is a real red flag?"

"Ego." Powell said this with no hesitation at all.

12:09

Subordinates know when a peer isn't getting the job done because they are right there with them. And, they are waiting for the leader to do something about it.

Promoting the one not getting it done is not the answer. --MD

12:07

"How do you know when to fire someone, and when to give that same person a second chance?"

"I tried to adapt the personalities of my subordinates."

12:05

Get mad, but then get over it.

12:02

It will be better, because we can make it better.

12:02

Hybels: "You do a lot of your leadership by proverbs, or axioms."

"It'll look different in the morning." "Yeah, it may not."

11:59

I'm sure throughout my career some people saw and officer and some people just saw a black guy.

11:59

Discussion turns to racism:

"Were you ever a part of racial discrimination?"

"Yes, but I was also fortunate in that I came along as the country was making changes. Fort Benning was great, but Columbus, Georgia was a segregated city."

"As a practical matter, a segregated army made no sense."

11:57

Hybels is commenting on Powell's interaction with a bunch of wounded veterans. He always started the conversation, "Were you a good soldier?"

Powell: The warrior wants to be recognized as having served their country and buddies well.

11:55

Now being interviewed by Bill Hybels

11:54

Failure is an option--every time. Great leaders understand this and plan accordingly.

11:53

If you want to make sure you keep moving forward, have a destination.

11:53

Great leaders have themes people understand that are constantly repeated.

11:50

Subordinates must be empowered and trusted.

11:50

People need to know their zone of operation and have freedom to operate within it.

11:49

Hire people who can do the job and let them do it.

11:47

I worked with a number of presidents, both Republican and Democrat, and enjoyed working for all of them.

11:45

The best organizations I've been are the ones where the individuals know their purpose. That collection of individuals give the organization purpose.

11:44

Even the clean-up crew has a purpose. I didn't believe I could achieve my purpose as secretary of state if she didn't achieve her purpose in cleaning the offices.

11:43

How are we making a contribution to society by what we are doing?

11:43

It's the followers that get it done. I've tried to focus my leadership efforts on the followers.

11:41

Never as a child dreamed of being chairman of the joint chiefs.

11:40

Powell could not attend VMI, the Citadal or Texas A&M because of the racial biases of the South.

11:39

Educated in the public school system.

11:38

Powell, as far as I can tell, as no notes, no lecturn, and no teleprompter. --MD

11:36

Colin Powell's latest book is It Worked for Me.

Pastor Bill Hybels

-------------------------------------------------------------

End of first session.

10:51

I'm still such a sucker for a changed life. Amen, Bill.

10:46

Some of the most rewarding experiences of a leaders marathon are received quite late in the race.

10:43

If you lead an organization long enough you will probably have to reinvent the organization, and you will probably have to reinvent yourself more than once. FULL POST

Posted 8/1/13 at 4:51 PM | Christian Post

August Calendar of Church and Ministry Events and Conferences

Many church youth groups will hold back-to-school events in August. Consider praying for students, teachers and church youth workers during this school year.

Photo: Barry Bowen

Posted 7/17/13 at 6:03 PM | Christian Post

Church History: Isaac Watts Born on This Day

Isaac Watts the famous hymn writer was born on July 17, 1674. Watts wrote more than 700 hymns, pastored a church and wrote books on the topics of theology and logic.

According to Wikipedia, "Watts' introduction of extra-Biblical poetry opened up a new era of Protestant hymnody as other poets followed in his path."

Tim Challies write that Watts showed bravery in writing his hymns:

It was a daring move when, in 1707, Isaac Watts published his first book of hymns. At that time it was the practice of almost every congregation of the Church of England to sing only Old Testament psalms in their public worship. However, Watts had grown to dislike this because it restricted the Christian from being able to explicitly celebrate in song all those aspects of the gospel that are fulfilled and illuminated in the New Testament.

Two of Watts most famous songs are When I Survey the Wondrous Cross and Joy to the World.

The latter song was inspired by Psalm 98 and unintentionally became a Christmas song, according to Robert D Kalis.

Fernando Ortega singing When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

FULL POST

Posted 7/11/13 at 6:07 PM | Christian Post

July 11 - Birthday of Annie Armstrong

Photo: Public Domain

On this day in history - July 11, 1850 - missionary Annie Armstrong was born. Armstrong is famous in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) which collects an offering each year in her name. The Annie Armstrong Mission Offering funds mission work through America and is collected at Easter. For 2013 the SBC set a goal of $70 million to be collected by this missions offering.

Armstrong helped found the Women's Missionary Union in 1888. The WMU, which is one of the SBC's most important agencies, publishes missions magazines and holds missions events to teach people about global missions.

Related Links:

Annie Armstrong Biography

Posted 7/10/13 at 9:07 PM | Christian Post

July 10 - the Birthday of John Calvin

Photo: Flickr/El Bibliomata - CC

Protestant reformer John Calvin was born on this day in history: July 10, 1509. Calvin was a prolific writer and theologian. His beliefs about God's sovereignty and predestination are at the core of the belief system called Calvinism.

In the book Commentary on the Book of Psalms Calvin describes his conversion experience:

"God by a sudden conversion subdued and brought my mind to a teachable frame, which was more hardened in such matters than might have been expected from one at my early period of life. Having thus received some taste and knowledge of true godliness, I was immediately inflamed with so intense a desire to make progress therein, that although I did not altogether leave off other studies, yet I pursued them with less ardour."

If you would like to learn more about the life of Calvin, check out the articles about him at Theopedia and Wikipedia. FULL POST

Posted 7/8/13 at 12:51 PM | Christian Post

Celebrating the Anniversary of the Roswell UFO Incident

Photo: Flickr/Brad Spry - Creative Commons
UFO exhibit in Roswell, New Mexico.

On July 8, 1947 the Roswell Daily Record ran the headline "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch In Roswell Region," about what would later become one of the most iconic UFO incidents. The headline and accompanying story sparked an American fascination with unidentified flying objects (UFOs), aliens and outer space. Here are some blogs to celebrate today, the 66th anniversary of Roswell.

"And if there's life on other planets..." Reflections on God and E.T. - Part 1 and Part 2 by Randal Rauser

Recent UFO sightings in China, Extraterrestrial phenomena and the Bible by Olabode Ososami

Would E.T. Be The End of Organized Religion? by Allen J. Epling

ALIEN GREYS? Are they Aliens or Demons? by Trey Smith

Posted 7/1/13 at 2:24 PM | Christian Post

July Calendar of Church and Ministry Events and Conferences

Many American churches will hold patriotic services in honor of Independence Day. Now is an appropriate time to pray for America's political leaders.

Photo: Barry Bowen

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