Daily Post #18

Have you ever read the poem, “What Are Heavy”? If not, please do! Recently, my wife reads it to us each morning at breakfast and we are currently memorizing it. It is beautiful.

This is a wonderful article about the leadership of the president of Purdue University over the past ten years. He is retiring. It is a great read if you are a leader or even thinking about it.

What has your cell phone done to you? Read these two paragraphs in Time Magazine (2015) about attention span, the mobile era, and goldfish.

Continue reading “Daily Post #18”

Daily Post #17

Do you ever speak in front of people? I do sometimes. The question that always haunts me is, “What are my motives?” I refer to “motives” in the plural because we are complex creatures, and no person ever acts with one motive. Motives are layered, and we are not always even conscious of every layer.

That being said, we are sometimes aware of some of our motives because of our ability to introspect. Jesus cares about motives. German Protestant theologian Helmut Thielicke wrote in the early 1900s that a specific type of motive (related to the Lord, to glorify the Lord, etc.) is what distinguishes Christian ethics from other types of ethics. This played a key role in my PhD work on supererogaiton. After all, other ethical systems sometimes require a similar act as what Christian ethics requires, but the motive is different (definitely on display if you compare Kantian ethics with Christian ethics). James writes: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3). In Matthew 6, Jesus talks about giving, praying, and fasting. At the heart of each teaching was motive. For example, Jesus says: “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others” (Matthew 6:5).

Motive counts.

Concerning public speaking, I am convinced that one of the main motives one should have is this: to help others. One is to speak to help others. Will what I speak help? Or, am I merely performing? If one is not careful, one will be self-focused when speaking, caring only for the quality of the performance and not whether it helps.

Daily Post #16

My grandad passed yesterday. We are all very sad to say the least. He was an absolutely wonderful man and I have the honor of officiating the memorial service. He was a rock. He was a pillar. He was security for so many. His almost 90 years was a rich life. Most importantly, he was a Christian.

I will soon be delivering a commencement speech for those graduating High School. What a time of promise and hope. Everything is in front of these graduates. You could say that far more is in front of them than behind them (in terms of years, God willing). They are just getting started.

I share the above because I was struck by the contrast between the two. Death and grief on one end, and life and promise on the other. Yet, this is not completely accurate. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:13–14 that Christians are not condemned to grieve like those who have no hope: “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” In other words, every person in my family that is a Christian (a clear denial of universalism) will see my grandad again. As C.S. Lewis said, the pain now will be part of the joy later.