Archive for April, 2011

Good Friday IV: Annual Reflections

April 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Last Good Friday, I wrote:

My goal ought to be pleasing God first, people second.  I’m not sure how to measure how well I’m pleasing God, but just because it can’t be measured quantitatively doesn’t mean that it’s not a valuable goal.  I’ll reflect upon this idea more next Good Friday.

This is intriguing, because I’ve felt major concern about this idea of targeting measurables.

Distilling success into measurables eliminates those things most important in life.  Who can measure love and loyalty and compassion?

My goal for the upcoming year is to reject measurables as an evaluative tool in lieu of qualitative measures like self-reflection and the Golden Rule.

I will create and submit to measurable evaluations when necessary, but I will strive to avoid the temptation to base my satisfaction on the success of meeting these goals.

Doing the right thing is different than meeting a goal.  This year, I will choose the right thing over the measurable thing as often as possible.

Please pray for me!  This will be hard.

Categories: annual goals, good friday

Knock ’em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide 2011 by Martin Yate, CPC

April 21, 2011 Leave a comment

When I was a college student, I read What Color Is Your Parachute, a classic in job hunting advice.

Knock ’em Dead is a worthy successor!

I received a free eBook copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

Because of the many internet resources available, I recommend purchasing the eBook format of this book.

Mr. Yate is a consummate professional and writes with great authority.  No matter your job search needs, this book is written with you in mind.

The only area in which I differ with the author is his high regard for another book, Alan Lakein’s classic How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life.  If you benefit from to-do lists, then use Mr. Yate’s and Mr. Lakein’s time management principles.  Otherwise, I recommend using Stephen Covey’s timeless 7 Habits of Highly Successful People instead.

Don’t take my word for it, though.  If you’re interested, check out before you buy this book.  You’ll find that the book, in conjunction with the free resources online, are worth every penny!

This book receives my highest recommendation, and good luck in your job search!

Categories: book review, BookSneeze


April 21, 2011 Leave a comment

In verses 17-26, we learn that even prison is not too great an obstacle for people to communicate God’s love through Jesus.

Categories: Acts of the Apostles

Popular Healing

April 20, 2011 Leave a comment

In verses 15-16, we read that the apostles were so powerful that even their shadows brought healing.

That’s an incredible level of faith.

Categories: Acts of the Apostles

Respect and Fear

April 19, 2011 Leave a comment

In verses 12-14, Luke describes the reaction of people who experienced the many miracles of the apostles.

They were impressed but afraid of the punishment Ananias and Sapphira experienced.

Becoming a Christian was not something to be done lightly.

Lie and Die

April 18, 2011 Leave a comment

The story of Ananias and Sapphira, in verses 1-11, is shocking and disturbing.

They sell some property and conspire to keep a portion of the profits for themselves.

They lie about the purchase price and are struck dead.

Peter asks, “Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?”

It’s better to be honest and keep your stuff than to sugar-coat your generosity and pretend you’re better than you really are.

Jolt! Get the Jump on a World That’s Constantly Changing by Phil Cooke

April 18, 2011 Leave a comment

The author, Phil Cooke, may be a successful TV producer.

But I don’t find him a compelling author.

My impression is that Mr. Cooke was expecting to serve up a book full of nuggets of worldy wisdom, grounded in a Biblical perspective and seasoned with a career in Hollywood.

Unfortunately, on many occasions, the author’s vignettes and interpretations came across as a bit shallow and misguided.

For instance, in “Jolt #7,” we read about a TV soundman who caught a vision to advance in his career.  However, this process put a strain on his marriage because of new responsibilities and opportunities for travel.  Mr. Cooke criticizes the soundman’s wife for being upset about her husband’s new responsibilities and frames this interaction as manipulative and short-sighted.

But I see the wife’s point-of-view and think that it is questionable that her concerns were all inappropriate and manipulative.

The layout and structure of the book are very interesting.  If you read the chapter titles, section headers, and quotes (found on nearly every page), then you may find this book worth an hour of your time.

Otherwise, I’d suggest you pass.

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

Categories: book review, BookSneeze

Outline of Acts 5

April 17, 2011 Leave a comment
  1. Ananias and Sapphira lie and die
  2. Christians heal the sick, are feared and respected
  3. The apostles are arrested
  4. The apostles are miraculously released from prison
  5. The apostles teach about Jesus
  6. The Sanhedrin gets mad
  7. Gamaliel persuades the Sanhedrin to release the apostles
  8. The apostles are flogged and rejoice

Common Prayer Contemporary Liturgy

April 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Thanks to Christopher Janson for this tip!  Shane Claiborne and others have compiled Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.

Check out for daily readings, a Google calendar of significant spiritual and historical events, and links to songs from a variety of Christian traditions.

Categories: liturgy, Prayer

Holy Week

April 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Holy Week corresponds to April Break this year, so I will have extra time to explore the Book of Common Prayer liturgy.  I am looking forward to this experience.

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