Priority Management Tips

Dave Kraft has a very helpful article on Priority Management Tips (pdf) that gives some helpful points on managing to-do lists well.

Update: I’m not able to get the direct link to the pdf to work, but if you scroll down on this page, you will find it about half way down. While you’re there, note that there is a lot of other helpful content worth taking a look at!

August 28, 2011 | Filed Under Managing Yourself | 3 Comments 

The Secret of Those Who Do So Many Things

Drucker, in The Effective Executive:

“Effective executives know that they have to get many things done — and done effectively. Therefore, they concentrate — their own time and energy as well as that of their organization — on doing one thing at a time, and on doing first things first.”

“This is the ‘secret’ of those who ‘do so many things’ and apparently so many difficult things. They do only one at a time. As a result, they need much less time in the end than the rest of us.”

“The more one can concentrate time, effort, and resources, the greater the number and diversity of tasks one can actually perform.”

Note that: The more you concentrate your efforts, the greater number and diversity of things you can do. Concentration results in getting more done, not less.

August 27, 2011 | Filed Under Managing Yourself | Leave a Comment 

9 Books I Recommend on Leadership

My article at The Gospel Coalition.

The 9 books are:

  1. The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians, DA Carson
  2. Spurgeon on Leadership, Larry Michael
  3. Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future, Andy Stanley
  4. The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make, Hans Finzel
  5. Leaders Who Last, Dave Kraft
  6. The One Thing You Need to Know, Marcus Buckingham
  7. You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference, Mark Sanborn
  8. Leadership, Rudy Giuliani
  9. Built to Last, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras

Read the whole thing for a short summary of the most significant insights from each, and why it’s important for Christians to read secular books on leadership as well as Christian ones.

One other thing (which is not in the post): The second book I listed was Spurgeon on Leadership. For those who don’t think it’s important for Christians to think about and understand leadership, I hope helps point in another way. If even Spurgeon understood leadership and was an effective leader, then maybe it is pretty important for the rest of us to care about leadership as well.

We should not pit caring about sound doctrine against caring about leadership. Spurgeon didn’t, and neither should we.

August 26, 2011 | Filed Under Leadership | 8 Comments 

What Does it Mean that the Earth Will be Filled With the Knowledge of the Glory of God?

It means that the earth will be filled with Christians.

To see this, we need to go back to Genesis 1:26, where God gives his purpose in creating people:

Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. (Genesis 1:26; see also vv. 27-28).

To be in the image of God means to reflect him and represent him. Reflecting God is at the essence of being in his image.

And reflecting God is the same thing as glorifying God. To glorify something means to make it look great (not, in this case, like a microscope, make something small look bigger than it is, but like a telescope — showing just how big something really is). So for God to say that he made us in his image is the same as to say that he made us to display his glory.

Further, when God gives dominion to humankind “over all the earth,” it shows that his purpose in creation was to fill the whole earth with his glory. That’s why God created humans — to fill the earth with his glory. This includes fellowship with him and one another, reflecting back to him the radiance of his worth in our character, actions, and delight in him.

Then the fall happened, and man sinned (Genesis 3). Theologians distinguish between the natural image of God and the moral image of God. We didn’t lose the natural image of God in the fall — for example, God reaffirms, after the fall, that man is in his image (Genesis 9:6). This is why all people still deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

But we did lose the moral image of God. This means we stopped reflecting God’s moral attributes; we became corrupted and sinful, reflecting the opposite of what God is like. This is why Paul can say that, in Christ, we are being restored in the image of God (Colossians 3:10).

Here’s what this means: The mere expansion of the human race over the whole earth no longer fulfills God’s purpose in creation. It fills the earth with people in his natural image — possessing intellect, emotion, and will — but who are out of fellowship with God and ultimately against him (Genesis 6:5; Romans 3:10ff; etc.).

Yet, God prophesies that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14 and elsewhere). In other words, God’s original purpose to fill the earth with his glory — his glory reflected through human beings – will be fulfilled.

But how can that be, since we have sinned and no longer reflect the character of God? This is what redemption accomplished. By dying for us, Christ secured not only the forgiveness of our sins, but also our sanctification (and ultimately glorification). Through Christ, we are made new and come to reflect the moral image of God once again (Romans 8:29). And, this is only through Christ (Romans 8:1-8; John 14:6).

Which means, therefore, that the promise that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” is a promise that the earth will be filled with Christians. It is a promise that God’s plan of redemption will be successful in bringing people to faith in Christ in every people group in the entire world.

Since it is through people reflecting the glory of God that God’s glory fills the earth (Genesis 1:26), and since we only truly reflect his glory through the redemption that Christ won for us and gives to us (Romans 2:28-30; Colossians 3:10), the promise that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God’s glory is a promise that it will be filled with those who believe in Christ and glorify God in him.

One could even possibly say that it is a promise of the worldwide success of the gospel.

Or, it is at least an echo of that. One question could be: “does this promise refer to the new heavens and new earth, when all has been made new after Christ returns, or a time before he returns?” I don’t know for sure — I haven’t totally figured out the details of my eschatology! (Other than, of course, the most important things: Christ will return physically, the dead will be raised [believers and unbelievers], the final judgment will happen, and there will be a renewed heavens and earth for all the people of God.)

But we do know this: the gospel will reach all people groups before Christ returns (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 7:9-12). So it seems likely that the promise of Habakkuk 2:14 and related passage will have a type of fulfillment in this age, before Christ returns, and that the ultimate fulfillment will be in the new heavens and new earth.

So whether the main emphasis of the passage is on the new heavens and new earth or this age, the promise is clear: God will accomplish his original purpose of filling the earth with his glory. And this means that he will fill the earth with the gospel and those who have come to him through it, such that they are more and more being renewed in his image and displaying his glory in all of life.

August 26, 2011 | Filed Under Theology | Leave a Comment 

3 Recommended Books on Writing

1. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

2. The Elements of Style

3. Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer

And one on crafting ideas well:

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

August 25, 2011 | Filed Under Writing | 1 Comment 

3 Things that Are More Valuable Than Wealth

An excellent wife:

“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels” (Proverbs 31:10).

Wisdom:

“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 3:13-15).

Suffering for Christ:

“By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward” (Hebrews 11:24-26).

August 25, 2011 | Filed Under Uncategorized | 3 Comments 

John Piper: "Don't be Afraid of Doctrine — Be Afraid of Disconnected Doctrine"

Great comments by John Piper from his latest sermon:

“But you do not believe, because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

Notice three things. First, when the Father gives his sheep into the omnipotent hand of the Son, they are still in the Father’s hand. Verse 29: “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Even though the Father has put them into the Son’s hand, they are in the Father’s hand. What does this imply?

Second, notice that Jesus explains this with the words of verse 30: “I and the Father are one.” His final answer about his identity is way beyond messiahship. It is oneness with God the Father.

Doctrine Matters

And third, notice that Jesus takes us to this answer by showing how this oneness serves our salvation—our eternal safety and joy. The Father and I are one. No one can take you from me because I am stronger than all. And no one can take you from my Father, because my Father is stronger than all. When you are in my hand, you are in his hand, and when you are in his hand, you are in my hand. Our omnipotence, and our unity are your safety, your salvation.

Now there is a lesson here, and I want to drive it home. Jesus takes us to the heights of doctrinal truth about himself. He is one with the Father. “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14). But he does it by showing us the immediate implication for our lives: No one can snatch you from my hand. Or the Father’s hand. Which are one hand. In other words, doctrine, theology, biblical propositions (like “I and the Father are one”) are always related to their implications for human life. Don’t be afraid of doctrine. Just be afraid of disconnected doctrine. Doctrine that doesn’t make a difference for life and eternity.

August 25, 2011 | Filed Under Theology | Leave a Comment 

Video: Steve Jobs' Career In Review

From the Wall Street Journal:

August 24, 2011 | Filed Under Current Events | Leave a Comment 

Walt Mossberg on Steve Jobs' Resignation

Here’s the last sentence of Mossberg’s article:

And that’s why the day Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple isn’t like the day a typical CEO resigns.

Read the whole thing.

Here’s his resignation letter, along with some more details, including some speculation (which seems right) on the reason:

We have no additional details yet on why Jobs is leaving, although the spot assumption is that it’s related to the pancreatic cancer for which he received a liver transplant in 2009 (during which time Cook was in charge). The fact that Jobs is taking over as board chairman, rather than resigning that seat too, would seem to indicate that his condition isn’t imminently debilitating — but there also is a strong possibility that the chairmanship is more symbolic than operational.

Remember to pray for Steve Jobs’ health, if you think of it. Not because he’s well known. I’ve always thought it strange, for example, when a well-known person has a problem and people say “pray for so and so.” To be honest, one of my first thoughts (and perhaps this is sin) is: “I don’t even pray for my neighbors the way I should; it seems like favoritism to pray for this person when the only reason I even know about his problem is because he’s famous.”

But I think the best principle is, to take a variation on one of Wesley’s quotes, to “pray for everyone we can.” Whenever we know of any need, we should take the opportunity to pray if we can.

And, right along with that, we should also be proactive to seek out the needs of those who aren’t well known but are, rather, the very opposite, giving extra effort to praying for “the least of these” who are so often overlooked.

August 24, 2011 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Leave a Comment 

iPad 3 Likely to Have High Resolution Display

From Mike Allen’s Playbook the other day:

TOP TALKER –Supply-chain leak on iPad 3 — WSJ.com (not in print edition!):  “Apple … has ordered … display panels and chips for a new iPad it is aiming to launch in early 2012 … The next generation iPad is expected to feature a high resolution display – 2048 by 1536 compared with 1024 by 768 in the iPad 2 … One component supplier to Apple said the company has already placed orders for parts for about 1.5 million iPad 3s in the fourth quarter.”

This is great news. 2048 x 1536 is a huge improvement. This would make the iPad far more usable, in my view. And it’s great to know, if the WSJ is accurate here, that the iPad 3 will likely be coming in early 2012.

August 24, 2011 | Filed Under Theology | 2 Comments 

← Previous PageNext Page →