Seth Godin on Writing Every Day

Operation Christmas Box

O Be Careful Little Hands What You Type!

  There’s an industry in the job market that is growing. It is the position of Data Mining. What’s Data Mining? It is people sitting at their computers and       looking for information. They are looking for information about you and what you are doing. These are not people who are trying to steal your identity or your banking information. In fact, they are not stealing anything. They are just looking at the information you are giving all of us.

 

Why this segment of the job market is growing is because corporations, banks and colleges are hiring these Data Miners to look for information about you. And the main place they are looking is in the social network sites.

They look at what you are writing about yourself and about your activities. They are looking at what you write about your current employer and your friends.

Some of this information is compared to statistical data to determine if you are  a good candidate for a loan or a job. One example I found was this: you write how good friends of yours got a divorce. Statistics show that if your friends get a divorce, you are more at risk of getting one. If you get divorced, then you’re more likely to default on a loan. Therefore a bank might scrutinize your application more thoroughly than it would have.

However, many companies and schools are looking at your character. Does this person complain frequently? Are they critical of co-workers or other people? Does this person give out too much information about their employer, their friends? Is this person negative? Would what this person does after work impact their work habits? Would this person’s lifestyle reflect poorly on this company or school?

 

Basically, it comes down to this: what we say (or type) does matter. What you type does reflect who you are.

 

The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking;

the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.

Proverbs 15:28 (NLT)

 

Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious,

but fools are consumed by their own lips.

Ecclesiastes 10:12 (NIV)

 

 

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Making It Simple

In the 1980s, Tom Peters, having traveled around the world interviewing heads of large corporations, put together a two-day presentation with 700 slides on the subject of leadership excellence. He was to present it to the directors of PepsiCo, which was headed by a man named Andy Pearson. But Peters knew Andy wouldn’t sit through a long presentation. Mulling this over, Peters sat in his office overlooking San Francisco Bay, closed his eyes, thought for a few moments, then leaned forward, and jotted down eight things on a pad of paper.

Those eight principles became the basis for the book he coauthored that changed the landscape of corporate life in America. The title of the book was In Search of Excellence.

 

Today, you can find hundreds of books, magazines, newsletters and e-newsletters, videos, cd’s, seminars and probably a lot more, all dealing with how to live your life, how to be successful, how to have peace or security or whatever else you want.  Jesus knew we needed it far simpler than that.  He knew eight things would even be too many.  So He told us this:

 

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”  – Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

 

We chase after so much in our lives.  We fill our lives with busyness and stuff and still feel empty.  When all we need to realize is that we need Him and to put Him first.

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How Are Your Walking?

When the late actor Sir Alec Guinness began pouring himself into a new character, the first thing he focused on was the legs.

The goal was to discover how the character carried himself day after day. Once Guinness had the walk right, he could ask why the man walked that way. This would then affect his stature, speech, and mannerisms. If he could get the feet and legs right, the rest would follow.

 

Not only is this true for actors, but it is true for our Christian life as well.  How  we walk impacts everything else about us.  If we as Christians are unwilling to walk in the light of God’s truth, we will find ourselves overwhelmed by the world.  We will be forced into living by the world’s standards, trapped by the world’s limits and addicted to the world’s ways.  Yet if we walk in His steps, our lives are filled with His joy, His peace, and His life.

 

How we walk determines the shape and the course of our lives.  So be careful how you walk.

 

“Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.”  –  John 12:35 (NIV)

 

So, how are you walking?

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Are You Addicted?

 Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of Words That Hurt, Words That Heal, has lectured throughout this country on the powerful, and often negative, impact of words. He often asks audiences if they can go 24 hours without saying any unkind words about, or to, another person. Invariably, a small number of listeners raise their hands, signifying “yes.” Others laugh, and quite a large number call out, “no!”

Telushkin responds: “Those who can’t answer ‘yes’ must recognize that you have a serious problem. If you cannot go 24 hours without drinking liquor, you are addicted to alcohol. If you cannot go 24 hours without smoking, you are addicted to nicotine. Similarly, if you cannot go 24 hours without saying unkind words about others, then you have lost control over your tongue.”

 

How long could you go without saying something unkind to your spouse, your child, your parent, to the clerk who can’t seem to get your order right?  How long could you go without saying something ugly about that person you are having a hard time getting along with, especially when the person you are visiting with can’t stop criticizing the other person.  You might realize that you are addicted to harmful words.

Ask the Lord to help you hear what you are saying today.

 

“Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” – Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)

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Nuts and Bolts Maintenance

In the book, Arabian Nights, Sinbad the Sailor warns his shipmates about a great magnetic rock in the Indian Ocean that is so powerful that it draws all the nails and bolts out of passing ships. The ships literally fall apart and sink.  Sinbad tells his shipmates that they were to steer clear of that rock lest they lose their lives.

This world has a magnetic pull on us as Christians.  It draws us away from God’s heart.  The world distracts and entices us.  Gradually pulling us out of the circle of God’s loving embrace.  It draws us away from Christian fellowship and from spending time with God.  The influence of this world loosens the nails and bolts that holds our lives and our families together. The things of this world that promise peace, love and joy are the very things that destroy us.

Suzannah Wesley, the mother of John and Charles, put it this way: “Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritual things, whatever increases the authority of the body over the mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may seem in itself.”

 

Sinbad’s advice to his sailors is good advice for God’s people. Steer clear of the things that would pull your life apart. Instead, set your course towards what your heart truly longs for: God’s heart. As you seek His heart, the bonds of your life are strengthened.  And worship, public and private, is how you seek Him.

Worship tightens up the spiritual bonds that hold our lives  together.  It is what holds us together in a world that wants to pull us apart. It holds together all the loose ends of our fragmented lives.

 

Don’t let the world pull you apart.  Spend time with God in worship and your life will hold together.

 

“For in him we live and move and have our being.? As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”  – (Acts 17:28, NIV)

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Paradox of Our Time

George Carlin

Cover of George Carlin

Here is a small article written by George Carlinthat I came across and shared in my sermon last Sunday.  Enjoy if you can.

- The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

- We spend more, but have less. We buy more, but enjoy less.

- We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

- We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

- We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

- We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

- We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

- We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years!

- We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.

- We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

- We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

- We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

- We write more, but learn less.

- We plan more, but accomplish less.

- We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.

- We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

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Finding Freedom

Who’s Your Fan?

In Montana, a state with fewer than 900,000 people, the governor is one of the most recognizable people.  However, fame must not go to one’s head, as Gov. Marc Raicot learned one day.  While traveling about the state, Raciot walked into a convenience store to pick up a soft drink. As he approached the counter to pay, he noticed a spark of recognition crossing the clerk’s face.

“Has anybody ever told you that you look like the governor?’’ the clerk asked.

Not knowing whether he faced a fan or foe, Raicot answered, “Yes, they often do.”

“Boy, I’ll bet that makes you mad, don’t it?” replied the clerk

 

We never know for sure what others may think of us.  We may be humbled when we find out.  One thing for sure is that we never have to worry or wonder what God thinks about us.  He sent His son to tell us and His Word, the Bible, is clear; you are special and of much value to Him. Read His Word and you will see that He is your biggest fan.

 

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

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