Monday, September 22, 2008

New Location

For my blog, new additional pages, and new interactive features, I'm taking a step up in the technological age (thanks to my wife) and discontinuing this site.

New location:


Friday, September 19, 2008


All of this video is good. But this month, focus on just one principle, and how you can apply it in your life. My focus for this month is cutting the useless components. Devising a not to do list.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ending the vicious cycle

My last post was about the vicious Christian cycle. We get pumped for Jesus, fail and sin, wallow, then get rededicated and pumped for Jesus again. Then sin, and on and on we go. The end of this spiral is depression, melancholy and death.

The only remedy to end the vicious cycle is a healthy awareness of who this life is about. If the Christian life is about you, you're screwed! All hope rises and falls based on your spotty performance. And hence, "the cycle." But when you realize this life is about God and not you, then you can rise and never fall, because your life is based upon Jesus' spotless life. Always approach the throne of God with confidence, because this life was never about you in the first place. Always walk humbly with confession and repentance showing the way. It's about exchanging our life for a life that is "in Christ." (as Paul would say) You don't have to go through life anymore worrying about yourself, God has your life in His hand. Instead, spend your energy focusing on serving others and praising Jesus for His radiance.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The vicious Christian cycle

This short reading from "Grace Walk," is always useful to understand the common Christian struggle. I have used the concept before in messages, it seems to hit the nail on the head.

"I lived many years of my Christian life trapped in what I call the motivation-condemnation-rededication cycle. From the earliest years of my Christian life, I had a mental picture of what I thought I should be. In this picture there was always a wide gap between where I ought to be and where I was. Sometimes when I was especially motivated, I would feel the gap had narrowed a bit. When I was winning people to Christ or spending a lot of time praying and studying the Bible, I felt that I might actually one day be able to bridge the gap and be a victorious Christian.
But inevitably, my motivation level would diminish and my fury and fire would die down. That decline always led to a sense of condemnation. Even when I had done nothing wrong, I would feel guilty for not doing all the things that I believed I should be doing. The devil had a field day with me during this phase. Sometimes I would become spiritually indifferent. Other times I would wonder if I would ever be consistent in my Christian life. I would wallow in my misery until I couldn’t stand it anymore; then I would finally rededicate myself to God, confessing my spiritual slothfulness. With genuine contempt for my inconsistency, I would ask God to help me be more consistent. I would promise to read my Bible more, pray more, win more souls, whatever I thought it took to get back on course. I resolved to try harder than ever to live for God. Yet no matter how hard I tried, I never experienced real peace about my Christian life." "Grace Walk," Steve McVey.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thou shalt not stuff powerpoint slides

Here is a great rule. Dare I even say a presentation commandment. Don't stuff your powerpoint slides with information overload. Cramming is prohibited. They're hard to decipher quickly and easily, and put audiences to sleep.

On ppt slides, never say with words what you can say with a picture. You're the speaker, so YOU use words, let your slides be your visuals. Some say no more than 6 words per slide. Think VISUALS, not WORDS, when crafting your next stack of ppt slides.

Powerpoint slides should be closely akin to the design of billboards. And what are billboards known for? Words or visuals? VISUALS! You're not driving on a highway hoping to catch 3 bullets with 25 words on it. You need something you can absorb in 3 seconds. So next time you're thinking ppt presentation think billboard method. Think 3 second glance by an audience member, and see if they can grasp everything you're trying to throw at them.

"Presentations are a 'glance media' — more closely related to billboards than other media.... Ask yourself whether your message can be processed effectively within three seconds. The audience should be able to quickly ascertain the meaning before turning their attention back to the presenter." — Nancy Duarte

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thinking Presentation Design

1) Connect with your audience:
Make a connection with your audience and their goals and their interests. This goal is supported by the principle of Relevance and the principle of Appropriate Knowledge.

2) Direct and hold their attention:
You must get and keep their attention and interest and let them know what is important and what is not. This goal is supported by the principles of Salience, Discriminability, and Perceptual Organization. Attention is drawn to areas that are perceptibly different, so leverage design principles such as contrast and make differences big and obvious.

3) Promote understanding & memory:
You must make it easy for them to follow, digest, and remember your material. This goal is supported by the principle of Compatibility, the principle of Informative Changes, and the principle of Capacity Limitations.

For more go here.

Another great lesson is the timeless, "Less is More." Strip down and cut away. Clear the rubbish so that only the critical point shines through in simple elegant design. Great lessons are learned by design and transference of meaning in comic books. Amplification through Simplification!
"By stripping down an image to essential 'meaning,' an artist can amplify that meaning..." — Scott McCloud

For more go here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Heaven is no goal

Many, young and old, think heaven is the goal. But, heaven is a lousy goal! It's an atrocious goal! It's a ridiculous goal! And I'm not even exaggerating! A couple decades of an evangelistic movement have left a terrible wake of ineffective and inactive Christians. Americans sit brainwashed, worshiping a god dangling the heaven carrot in front of them. (Think about all those old cartoons. The characters are always chasing the dangling carrot right in front of their noses but never getting it!) Unfortunately, when no one teaches differently, many come to believe in this cartoon picture. They think God dangles heaven carrots, and you get it when you die. I assure you, this is a woefully inadequate picture of the Almighty.

Who ever reaches the dangling heaven carrot anyways? Only dead people! Think about it!!! So, while you're living you can't even get the carrot anyways! Therefore, what a terrible goal to set for this life! So stop chasing it! It's not even a viable option for living people! So, what are a whole bunch of Christians waiting to do? I suppose die, so that they can cash in their Jesus chips for the prize.

How totally misguided and backwards! How about getting a vision for this life instead of waiting around to die to achieve the heaven goal. Get some goals for this life, don't sit on your hands waiting for the next! We can live aimlessly now waiting for a carrot, or we can make an impact for Jesus immediately!

So the goal properly defined is this. Union with Christ and union with our neighbor. This is a the goal for this life. To listen to God's voice, and for God's love to spill out of our hearts into other people's lives. The rest of the goals, are between you and God, and your specific community of believers. How has God specifically wired you? What are distinctive features of your community of believers that God desires to capitalize upon for His kingdom purposes? God has a mission for you and your co-laborers, and an assignment specifically tailored for you! Find your niche, and get to work! Now that my friend is a goal worthy of your life!