Categotry Archives: Blog

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Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, Liz Wiseman, Session Four

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Categories: Blog, Leadership, Tags: , , ,

Liz Wiseman

Liz Wiseman is president of The Wiseman Group, and former executive at Oracle Corporation, a Fortune 100 company.

Liz Wiseman bio

President of The Wiseman GroupLiz Wiseman

Former executive at Oracle Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, she held positions as Vice President of Oracle University and as the global leader for Human Resource Development for 17 years

President of the Wiseman Group, a Silicon Valley leadership development firm

Contributor to Harvard Business Review and author of the best-selling leadership strategy book, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

Liz coined the term “Multipliers” to describe leaders who amplify the intelligence of others utilizing specific practices to deliver twice the performance for their organizations

Liz Wiseman’s Amazon Page

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Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, Patrick Lencioni, Session Three

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Categories: Blog, Leadership, Tags: , ,

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Patrick Lencioni bio

Named as one of The Gurus You Should Know, Fortune Magazine and America’s Most Sought-After Business Speakers, The PatrickLencioni_300Wall Street Journal

A leading organizational consulting firm, The Table Group advises clients with ideas, products and services to improve teamwork, clarity and employee effectiveness

Author of ten business books with more than three million copies sold, including The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything in Business

Patrick continues to be one of the Summit’s most requested speakers

Patrick Lencioni’s Amazon Page where his books are available

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Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, Colin Powell, Session Two

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Categories: Blog, Leadership, Theology, Tags: , ,

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Founder of the not-for-profit organization America's Promise Alliance, as well as the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service at his alma mater, the City College of New York

Colin Powell Bio

Senior level advisor to four U.S. presidents, in the roles of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Advisor and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become the 65th U.S. Secretary of State
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Served in the U.S. Army for 35 years, rising to the rank of four-star general

Founder of the not-for-profit organization America’s Promise Alliance, as well as the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service at his alma mater, the City College of New York

Author of the recently-released book It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership

The Amazon Page for Colin Powell where his book is available.

Should start around 10:30 CT.

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Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, Bill Hybels, Session One

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Categories: Blog, Leadership, Theology, Tags: , ,

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Up first for the Leadership Summit will be the pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, Bill Hybels.

Session One is scheduled to begin at 8:30 CT.
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Up first for the Leadership Summit will be the pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, Bill Hybels.

This is an new plugin for live blogging. Give me some feedback in the comments if it is or is not working well.

Also feel free to comment as to the content. Discussion is welcome!

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Infanticide: the old barbarism is new again [VIDEO]

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Categories: Abortion, Blog, Infanticide, Justice, Video

Infanticide

Until recently only a few far left doctors and ethicists dare defend infanticide. Now, in the morbid and rabid defense of abortion-on-demand, the murder of children after a live birth is the domain of "choice."

[dropcap]E[/dropcap]arlier this year the word “infanticide” wormed its way into the national consciousness. A video surfaced of Planned Parenthood spokesperson Lisa Snow advocating for infanticide. Her pro-infanticide advocacy took place in a Florida legislature committee meeting. Medical treatment for survivors of attempted abortions, even if not the emergency variety, should be withheld if desired by the mother.

Subsequently out-of-mind commentary by MSNBC’s resident out-of-mind commentator Melissa Harris-Perry speculated when life begins “depends an awful lot on the feeling of the parents. A powerful feeling, but not science.” This is, of course, the depths of stupidity. Turns out the new infanticide is just the old barbarism.

If you extend this line of thinking there is simply no way to tell any parent that killing a child is ever wrong. If life begins with the feeling of the parents, it must end the same way.

Officer: “Ma’am, did you kill your son?”
Former mother: “Not really. I no longer felt like he was alive. What’s the big deal?”

Unfortunately, it is not only the ridiculous tripe of Harris-Perry at play.

Vivian Norris encourages HuffPo’s women readers to abstain from having sex with their men as long as their men vote pro-life. She breathlessly asserts:

But women, take heed: Don’t give in if your man, boyfriend, husband, toyboy is not voting for your best interests, your reproductive health — do not sleep with that man! I don’t care how cute or charming he is! I don’t care if he is your husband of many years. Resist! Go swimming! Meditate!

Do not make him dinner, do not go fetch him a cold beer from the fridge, do not iron that shirt, hell, do not change that diaper… do not make his life a little nicer this summer if he does not “get it” and learn to respect women! Instead, volunteer some time for senators like Wendy Davis, go with a group of women to Austin and make your voices heard. Get on the computer and the social networks and organize.

And while you are on your way to Austin as a volunteer, do not forget your urine and feces. These, it seems, are the tools of the pro-infanticide lobby.

In this exchange with The Weekly Standard, Planned Parenthood president, Cecile Richards, was unable to explain the difference between a late-term abortion and the infanticide of Pennsylvania abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Truthfully she was probably more unwilling than unable. Until recently only a few far left doctors and ethicists dare defend infanticide. Now, in the morbid and rabid defense of abortion-on-demand, the murder of children after a live birth is the domain of “choice.”

Political writer Kirsten Powers argued against an expansion of “reproductive rights” so broad as to include infanticide.

If the majority of Americans oppose elective late-term abortion, why do we have [Wendy] Davis complaining to CBS’s Bob Schieffer that the male politicians who are championing the late-term abortion ban are “bullying women”? Maybe it’s she who is bullying the rest of us into supporting a view that is mocked by scientific advancement; namely 3-D sonograms. Maybe we should be thankful for the men and wonder what is wrong with the women who think protecting the right to abort your baby for any reason up to the 26th week is a “human right.”

Human-rights movements have traditionally existed to help the voiceless and those without agency gain progressively more rights. Yet in the case of abortion, the voiceless have progressively lost rights at the hands of people who claim to be human-rights crusaders. Abortion-rights leaders have turned the world upside down. They want us to believe that a grown woman is voiceless, that she has less agency than the infant in her womb who relies on her for life. A woman has so little agency, we are told, that she is incapable of getting an abortion before the fifth month of her pregnancy. To suggest she should do so is a “war on women.” It’s an insult to women dressed up as “women’s rights.”

Given the advances in NICUs abortions needed to save the life of the mother would have dwindled to nearly nothing. Arguing any need for a woman’s right to a third-trimester abortion is based on moral, philosophical and legal fictions.

Graphic photo:

infanticide

This, according to Planned Parenthood, is between a woman and her doctor. [Image Credit]

In an essay last year in Slate, William Saletan admits what defenders of children have long argued: there is no logical difference between the killing of an unborn child and a born child. Says Saletan regarding the euphemistically termed “after-birth abortion”:

The case for “after-birth abortion” draws a logical path from common pro-choice assumptions to infanticide. It challenges us, implicitly and explicitly, to explain why, if abortion is permissible, infanticide isn’t.

Yes, William, it does.

I would add it also challenges you to own it and admit it. Your ilk has long said pro-lifers only care about unborn children, not born ones. It is clear now that those who support the infanticide called after-birth abortion care about neither.

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Dear Mr. Watterson: A Calvin & Hobbes documentary [VIDEO]

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Categories: Art, Blog, Culture, Humor, Movie Reviews, Video, Tags: , , , , ,

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Now, more than 10 years following the final pane of Calvin & Hobbes comes a documentary: Dear Mr. Watterson.

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]alvin & Hobbes, without argument or even much discussion, is the best comic strip ever. Now, more than 10 years following the last glorious pane of the spike haired kid with the most vivid of imaginations and his kind-of-stuffed tiger, a documentary film: Dear Mr. Watterson: An exploration of Calvin & Hobbes.

From the website:

Calvin & Hobbes dominated the Sunday comics in thousands of newspapers for over 10 years, having a profound effect on millions of readers across the globe. When the strip’s creator, Bill Watterson, retired the strip on New Year’s Eve in 1995, devoted readers everywhere felt the void left by the departure of Calvin, Hobbes, and Watterson’s other cast of characters, and many fans would never find a satisfactory replacement.

It has now been more than a decade since the end of the Calvin & Hobbes era. Bill Watterson has kept an extremely low profile during this time, living a very private life outside of Cleveland, Ohio. Despite his quiet lifestyle, Mr. Watterson is remembered and appreciated daily by fans who still enjoy his amazing collection of work.

Mr. Watterson has inspired and influenced millions of people through Calvin & Hobbes. Newspaper readership and book sales can be tracked and recorded, but the human impact he has had and the value of his art are perhaps impossible to measure.

This film is not a quest to find Bill Watterson, or to invade his privacy. It is an exploration to discover why his ‘simple’ comic strip made such an impact on so many readers in the 80s and 90s, and why it still means so much to us today.

Filmmakers interviewed fans of Calvin & Hobbes, cartoonists and industry professionals. Among those interviewed: Berke Breathed (Bloom County), Lee Salem (United Press Syndicate), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), Jef Mallett (Frazz), Seth Green, Keith Knight (The K Chronicles), Jenny Robb, Jan Eliot (Stone Soup), and Bill Amend (Foxtrot).

Check out the excellent trailer below for Dear Mr. Watterson, the Calvin & Hobbes documentary, opening nationwide November 15, 2013.

I will be there.

Dear Mr. Watterson Teaser Trailer from Dear Mr. Watterson on Vimeo.

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Towards genuine racial reconciliation

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Categories: Blog, Justice, News, Opinion, Race, Theology, Tags: , , ,

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Racial and cultural unity are evidence of the gospel's influence. To elevate one's race or the politics of one's race above the unity of Christ's body is to denigrate the very gospel we all claim.

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ctor Romany Malco has weighed-in well beyond the media limits of Martin / Zimmerman:

To constructively discuss Trayvon would require empathy, introspection and an understanding of America’s social and economic history. This is why the open forums we have seen thus far seem to fuel more ignorance and bias than reasonable debate…And from where I stand, anyone who still relies on corporate-owned media pundits to support an argument isn’t equipped to offer worthwhile solutions.

from A Message to Trayvon Martin Sympathizers

Saturday saw a multitude of Justice for Trayvon rallies across the U.S, about a hundred in all. Though the Justice For Trayvon Martin Facebook page boats 299,000+ likes the combined turnout for all the rallies was considerably less. USA today put it in the “thousands” a number echoed by CNN.

The case the non-U.S. based RT provided more details on rally numbers: around 800 in New York, 2,000 in Atlanta, 500 in Miami, 200 in Indianapolis, 1,000 in Washington and 500 in Chicago. Carry this average to all 100 cities and just north of 80,000 protested. As these are the larger cities in the country the actual turnout was probably less. (This site claims 3,000 in Chicago.)

If this Justice for Trayvon rally slideshow from HuffPo is any indication, participants were overwhelmingly non-white.

Participants in the Justice For Trayvon rally, Oakland, GA. (Image credit)

Participants in the Justice For Trayvon rally, Oakland, GA. (Image credit)

Support for Martin or Zimmerman falls along, predictably though not exclusively, racial lines. An African-American friend of mine declined to write an article for this blog believing it had been discussed enough already. Another simply did not respond to the same offer. A third welcomed the opportunity, and I hope to publish his article soon.

[pullquote]Even followers of Christ are not on the same page[/pullquote]Racial reconciliation in the U.S. has proven an elusive goal. Some whites point fingers toward Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson spitting “race baiter” while some African-Americans point to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and see only racists with microphones. It seems to many whites that African-American churches do nothing but talk about race, civil rights and activism, while most white churches never mention race, civil rights or activism (unless you count abortion and adoption). Even followers of Christ are not on the same page.

During my last year in the pastorate Black History Month rolled around in February as it does annually. One Sunday the African-American grandmother of one of our bi-racial kids was visiting from out of town. After the service she asked if we would be emphasizing Black History Month. I said, “No. We have no plans to do that.” She asked, “Why not?” I said, “It just hasn’t been something we’ve done historically.” “Well,” she continued,”I really think it is important for my grandson to know these things.”

I was not really sure what that meant or what our church had to do with it, but I ended with this promise: “We have two African-American families at our church. I will contact them and see what they say. If they say we should observe Black History Month we will try and make plans accordingly.” (One of these families was headed by a husband and wife who are African-American, the other was an interracial marriage with the husband being African-American.)

The African-American couple responded, “No. We don’t expect the church to do anything like that.” The man in the interracial marriage was very forceful, “Absolutely not. In fact, if this church observes Black History Month we will leave the church.” “Why?” I responded, not a little taken aback. “Because,” he preached, “the church isn’t about race. It isn’t about racial history. The church is the place where we are not supposed to focus on race. It’s supposed to be about Jesus!”

And, amen.

It does seem to me, though, that racial reconciliation remains rather elusive because there is too little interaction between people of different races. Personal racial profiling remains as strong as ever whether it ever occurs on a rainy Florida night or not.

All old white guys are not crackers.

All African-American men in hoodies are not criminals.

Think all Asians are good at math? Why? Which Asians would those be, anyway? Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese? What about the Yemenis, Afghanis, Indians, Lebanese, Uzbeks, Sri Lankans?

All African-American women are not on welfare.

All white men are not Klansmen.

All Hispanics do not have pink and purple houses.

All African-American men are not deadbeat dads, wantonly fathering children all through the ‘hood.

All white women are not “The Housewives of .”

This list could go on for a while.

Are so many white people unwilling–or unable–to see the connection from the Scottsboro Boys to Emmitt Till to Medgar Evers to Amadou Diallo to Trayvon Martin as many African-Americans can? (Or just see the head scratching example of former Chicago police officer, Howard Martin, an African-American, who was shot 28 times by four white police officers only to find himself charged with attempted murder.) If we try and understand it, should we be condemned if it is not natural and normal to us?

I remain convinced the biggest obstacle to racial reconciliation is God’s people, of all races, not being intentional enough in talking to each other, getting to know each other, and sharing life together. Let someone preach on Jesus’ breaking down all barriers between Jew and Gentile and there is a hearty “Preach it!” But, break for lunch and you will see mostly segregation by choice. There is comfort in not crossing racial boundaries. It is a lot easier to wag the head at a guy with sagging pants or laugh at the guy who spent $2,000 on a lift kit for his redneck truck than it is getting to know them.

If you are white do you even wonder why a black man feels persecuted in the land of the free and home of the brave? Is it not possible–yeah, even probable–that we are missing something? If you are black do you wonder why white people do not see what you see, why we are not moved viscerally the same ways you are? Surely we are not all racists.

Perhaps we should approach racial boundaries the same way Jesus did: He broached them with intentionality. He “needed” to go through Samaria to meet a mixed-race woman at a well. He got in a boat and sailed to Decapolis, where were located ten cities worth of people the Jews did not like. He ministered to a Syro-phenician woman whom Jesus’ racial kindred viewed as dogs. He called a sympathizer with the Roman occupiers to be a disciple (Matthew), as well as a man committed to overthrowing that same government (Simon the zealot). He made it clear He had sheep not of the Jewish fold. It appears that Jesus considered any hostility creating racial or cultural boundary something to be torn down.

The apostle Paul wrote that God is God of Jews and Gentiles (that’s everybody folks, Romans 3:29), that salvation is offered to each without distinction (Romans 10:12), that Jews and Gentiles comprise the same body of Christ (Ephesians 3:6), that those in Christ are utterly equal (Colossians 3:11). I cannot imagine any stronger wording describing racial unity than that used by the apostle: “Christ is all, and in all.”

What can Christians of all races do?

1. Intentionally befriend people of different races and/or cultures. I do not need multi-cultural friendships so they may all be astounded by my wisdom. I need them because I am incomplete in their absence. I need understanding.

2. Be open about differences, disagreements and ignorance. No, I do not understand why so many African-American guys wear pants so loose their undies are showing. But, that lack of understanding need not keep me from attempting to be friends.

3. Keep at it. It may seem weird. It may be weird. But, there is not reason to stop.

4. Be slow to respond to racially sensitive public debates until talking with someone of the affected race. Sometimes our perspective not necessarily wrong, but the timing and content of our response may not be helpful. It is worth the wait not to deepen our cultural rifts.

5. Grow to appreciate other cultures. We are not in competition. God created culture and allows the flourishing of a breathtaking variety of human cultures. Appreciation encourages learning and learning brings greater appreciation.

Racial and cultural unity among believers are evidence of the gospel’s influence. To elevate one’s race or the politics of one’s race above the unity of Christ’s body is to denigrate the very gospel we all claim. Likewise, to pretend differences are unimportant and hurts imagined is to deny the very power of the gospel to sanctify us to the uttermost. God’s people cannot play that game. If we do, we will find we are losers at every turn.

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Seven degrees to Kevin Bacon, but only three to the NSA

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Categories: Blog, Politics, Theology, Tags: , ,

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Ali Negeb Aljazeera is befriended by the campus missionary, Bob Christian. They exchange multiple phone calls, share meals, talk about religion, politics and, occasionally, terrorism.

A story yesterday in The Atlantic paints, on a much larger canvas, the expanse of the NSA’s surveillance. Writes Philip Bump from the Capitol Hill testimony of Chris Inglis:

Chris Inglis, the agency’s deputy director, was one of several government representatives—including from the FBI and the office of the Director of National Intelligence—testifying before the House Judiciary Committee this morning. Most of the testimony largely echoed previous testimony by the agencies on the topic of the government’s surveillance, including a retread of the same offered examples for how the Patriot Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act had stopped terror events.

But Inglis’ statement was new. Analysts look “two or three hops” from terror suspects when evaluating terror activity, Inglis revealed. Previously, the limit of how surveillance was extended had been described as two hops. This meant that if the NSA were following a phone metadata or web trail from a terror suspect, it could also look at the calls from the people that suspect has spoken with—one hop. And then, the calls that second person had also spoken with—two hops. Terror suspect to person two to person three. Two hops. And now: A third hop.

So, to break it down consider this entirely fictional account (get that guys, entirely fictional):

Al Sahara Aljazeera lives in Yemen. He is on the terrorist watch list because he blogged about drones and his last name is Aljazeera. The NSA knows about Al.

Sahara Aljazeera’s brother, Ali Sahara Aljazeera lives in a metropolitan U.S. city where he studies at a university. He is not on a terrorist watch list, but exchanges pleasantries with his brother weekly. They often discuss politics.

Ali Sahara Aljazeera is befriended by the campus missionary, Bob Christian. They exchange multiple phone calls, share meals, talk about religion, politics and, occasionally, terrorism.

Bob is a friend of mine. We talk regularly about a number of topics.

One hop.

Two hops.

Three hops.

Boom.

All of a sudden, my phone records can be searched and potentially listened to from a stored recording, all by the NSA and all without a search warrant. Not to mention my online presence, text messages, and snail mail.

It’s 1984 in America again. Welcome.

Shocked? You no longer should be.

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Clarke and Dawe: The best satirists you’ve never seen [VIDEO]

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Categories: Blog, Humor, Video, Tags: , ,

John Clarke

Clarke and Dawe have worked together as a team for more than 25 years. The unsuspecting have on more than one occasion believed them to be part of a legitimate news show.

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]aving such a dominant media presence in the world, Americans miss out on a lot of television produced elsewhere. Aside from the availability of BBC and BBC America on cable, we are limited to Downton Abbey and reruns of Keeping Up Appearances on public television.

Over the years Australia has developed a quite robust television and movie industry. Appearing often on ABC (not that ABC, this ABC) is the satirical social commentary of John Clarke and Bryan Dawe.

Clarke and Dawe have worked together as a team for more than 25 years. The unsuspecting have on more than one occasion believed them to be part of a legitimate news show. Clarke always appears as some government official in suit and tie with Daw playing the role of a Tim Russert type interviewer. The interplay between them is sheer genius. This older segment, called “The Front Fell Off,” has served as the American introduction to the duo for quite some time.

One of the things that makes their social commentary so spot on is how they take what most people recognize to be true but will not admit, then make it sound normal. Here is their piece on the Federal Reserve practice of quantitative easing. (And here is Fed chairman Ben Bernanke saying the exact same thing in different words.)

In this bit Clarke plays a BP executive explaining the underwater oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

You can see dozens of similar clips on the Clark and Dawe YouTube channel.

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There is no problem with racial perception in America. None.

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Categories: Blog, Injustice, Race, Video, Tags: , , ,

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How do people respond when a white dude, a black dude, and a pretty blond all act as if they are committing a crime?

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]k. Maybe there is…

Consider how people respond when a white dude, a black dude, then a pretty blond all act as if they are committing a crime. The same crime. In the same location. At the same time of day.

That is what the ABC show, What Would You Do?, set to find out. Do people have different race based presuppositions in similar scenarios?

Even without the controls of a sociology experiment, the results are pretty astounding and frustrating. We still deal with racial perceptions. We might go as far to say that some perceptions about race are so ingrained as to be absolute blind spots.

Notice even the African-American women who are interviewed have a positive bias toward the white “thief.” Image may not be everything, but in cases of racial perception, it is more than enough.

Feel free to leave a comment below. A Disqus account is not necessary.

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