Archive | October, 2009

Googlewave and Ministry

18 Oct

Ok, so I have not played with google wave, but I did a comment on some dudes blog, and then my post disappeared (hopefully in the mod queue, but you never know). Fortunately, I had it in my keyboard buffer, so I’m copying it here.

 

I’m sort of looking at this blue sky wise, ie what could be, not necessarily what is. Over the years, I’ve often run IM prayer chats, but their are two big problems. First is scheduling, and as part of that folks straggling in over as much as a 15 minute interval… and as part of that, we may be in prayer, and it gets interrupted with Joe has joined, and then folks welcome him (which is good, but it messes up the prayer part). If google wave has tab areas, one could be for welcome/fellowship another for prayer, such that folks could be involved in both at the same time if they want, or only one. Also, being a record is being created, one could also scroll up to pray at a later time frame.

 

Another issue with IM prayer, is scalability. Most IM clients like msn, yahoo, etc do a crash and burn when you get more than 10 or maybe 15 people on at once. They start stalling or loosing connections. Perhaps google wave will fix this.

 

Another thing I’m thinking of… is using it for teaching. Ideally if it had Greek fonts, or even cooler had Hebrew, the ability for student/teacher interaction, q-a, the whole deal could be amazing. Ie, one could play a video, and then students could chime in with questions in real time. The instructor could also post homework this way… and catch students making errors well before they spend days going down the wrong path.

 

One other area many of us struggle with, is we start something new, it may be a matter of study, prayer, worship, community, etc… and for a few days, weeks, or even months, we’re gung ho. And then things turn into goo and mud. Just like people, discipleship building can be muddy, messy, and sticky. Its all too easy to loose motivation. I’m thinking with a modest amount of tweeks, one might be able to make wave into some type of accountability tool. Its easy to blow off email, or schedulers, or the best of plans… But when 5 or more folks are looking for you to show up, and they start pinging your wave (if it was SMS or phone tie in)… thats accountability.

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Martin Luther on the Biblical Languages #outlawpreachers

15 Oct

Taken from the 1872 Luther College catalog as referenced from the book Luther College through sixty years, 1861-1921

Luther said that where the knowledge of Greek and Hebrew is not kept up, the Gospel will at last go under. As soon as the knowledge of these languages decayed, the Gospel was weakened and the Dark Ages came upon the Church. Many fearful abuses arose, The Revival of Learning was mainly a revival of language study. It brought light upon the Gospel again, In the languages arc locked up the thoughts of the ages. The languages of the Bible are a key to Scripture, “I had come no way”, said Luther, “had not the languages helped me and made me certain of Scripture, I might have been pious and preached correctly, but the Pope and the Sophists and the whole anti-Christian regiment I had no doubt let remain as they are, God forbid that we neglect the languages, for then we will neglect the Gospel.”

Explosive Properties of Agricultural Dusts

15 Oct

 

Explosive Properties of Agricultural Dusts
Type of Dust Ignition temperature of cloud degrees F Minimum ignition energy joules Minimum explosive concentration oz./cu. Ft. Maximum explosion pressure, psig Maximum rate of pressure rise, psi/sec Relative explosion hazard
Alfalfa 860 .320 .1 66 1100 Weak
Cocoa 788 .1 .045 65 1200 Moderate
Corn 752 .040 .045 95 6000 Strong
Corn cob 752 .040 .030 110 5000 Severe
Cornstarch 716 .020 .040 115 9000 Severe
Cotton linters 968 1920 .500 48 150 Weak
Cottonseed 878 .060 .050 104 3000 Strong
Grain, mixed 806 .030 .055 115 5500 Strong
Rice 824 .040 .045 93 3600 Strong
Sugar 662 .030 .035 91 5000 Severe
Tobacco 788 7 200
Wheat 896 .060 .055 103 3600 Strong
Wheat Flour 716 .050 .050 95 3700 Strong
Source: Kennedy, Patrick M., and John Kennedy,
Explosion Investigation and Analysis, 1990.

 

Some Leadership / Church bits

14 Oct

My commentary in blue, on some random leadership reading this AM.

Chuck Swindoll on leadership from CAT09

 

10 Things Chuck Swindoll Learned in 50ish Years of Ministry:

  1. It’s lonely to lead.
    Leadership involves tough decisions. The tougher the decisions, the lonelier it is.
  2. It’s dangerous to succeed.
    It is dangerous to succeed while being young. rarely, does God give leadership that young because it takes crushing and failure first.
  3. It’s hardest at home.
    Nobody at home is applauding you. They say, “Dad! You’re fly is open.”
  4. It is essential to be real.
    If there is one realm where phoniness is personified it is leadership. What I care about is that you stay real.
  5. It is painful to obey.
    There are rewards, yes, but it is painful nevertheless.
  6. Brokenness and failure are necessary.
  7. My attitude is more important than my actions.
    Some of you are getting hard to be around. And your attitude covers all those great actions you pull off.
  8. Integrity eclipses image.
    What you are doing is not a show. And the best things you are doing is not up front but what you do behind the scenes.
  9. God’s way is better than my way.
    God is going to have His way.
  10. Christ-likeness begins and ends with humility.

100% agree with the above, and I’m a bit far from 50 years in leadership… many of these I picked up pretty early on despite the school of slam head into the wall. Such a process is usually is slow and painful, but the concepts do come to light pretty fast.

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Some commentary on Frank Viola’s book from Tony Morgan’s blog.
At 2008-01-03 08:36:03 Art said:
“They will bring their own songs, they will write their own songs, they will minister out of what Christ has shown them–with no human leader present!”Um… no they won’t. They won’t do much of anything without a leader. They won’t even clear the 16 inches of snow (don’t you miss northern Indiana Tony?) off the church steps and handicap ramp. They leave it for the “leader” to do it alone. They won’t bring food for the food pantry. “Leader’s” job. They won’t even show up to worship let alone write their own songs.Barna and Viola overestimate the commitment that nominal Christians have to anything. Sheep won’t do much else but die without a shepherd

At 2008-01-03 10:59:55 Derek said:
Art: “Barna and Viola overestimate the commitment that nominal Christians have to anything. Sheep won’t do much else but die without a shepherd.”This cracks me up. The passive spectator mentality is a byproduct of the presentational style of worship/teaching, and then you say house church can’t work? One of the reasons I’ve been drawn to house church is because of it works against people’s tendencies to be docile. We’ve had people leave our house church because they just wanted to sit in a pew and “be fed.” That’s exactly the kind of damage Viola speaks of.

Ouch, on the sit in a pew and “be fed” mentality, but its true, same deal with Art’s comment. To put on blinders and not admit such doesnt happen, egads…Ultimately, docility is likely human nature, but rather than embracing it, and encouraging it with a specific leadership model, it should be challenged.. and when its not challenged for a period of time, there will be huge problems. In many ways, I dont know that said problems once ingrained are correctable without starting over.

From a starting gate pov, I do think most will rise to the task, but what about those who don’t? What about those who can’t? They should not be left out in the cold.

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5 Traits of the New Creative Leader
 
Yesterday’s leadership skills will not work in today’s fast-moving and evolving world. Only creative leaders who are visionary and empathetic will succeed. Here are five things you can do to succeed as a creative leader:

  1. Instead of commanding, coach your team and organization toward success.
  2. Don’t manage people, empower them. The know-how, experience, and solutions are often out there; it’s a matter of helping people discover them.
  3. Cultivate respect by giving it, instead of demanding it.
  4. Know how to manage both success and failure.
  5. Show graciousness in your management rather than greediness. Be humble about your successes and whenever possible, give someone else the opportunity to shine.
from tip of the day, Harvard Business Publishing http://hbdm.harvardbusiness.org/email/archive/managementtip.php?date=101409

All good things… well pretty obvious things too, except the part about managing failure. That one is far too often overlooked, but I think its critical. In many ways, its one of those things a guy picks up early on, like right out of school etc… and if one doesnt along the way, there can be some pretty rude awakenings in their future. Often times failure management is more critical than on the success side… unless one always plays things so safe, as to never fail, but then thats sort of a failure right from the get go anyhow.

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Five Statements Worth Remembering During Your Next 50 Years of Leadership: from Chuck Swindoll

  1. Whatever you do, do more with others and less alone.
    It will help you become accountable.
  2. Whenever you do it, emphasize quality not quantity.
  3. Wherever you go, do it the same as if you were among those who know you the best.
    It will keep you from exaggerating. it will help keep your stories true. Your good friend will tell you things that others will not. They will hold you close to truth.
  4. Whoever may respond to your ministry, keep a level head.
  5. However long you lead, keep on dripping with gratitude and grace.
    Stay thankful. Stay gracious.
Whatever you do, do more with others and less alone It will help you become accountable.

True… its very easy for lone ranger types to go off the reservation… however, a big contraindication to this, is the makeup of the others. Ie a group of yes men is pretty much worthless accountability wise. Same deal with a group who embraces the status quo, and who do not want to grow. Doing more with others can be a very a good thing, but it has to be the right type of others, or it can be a major disaster. Getting those others, ie building the right team is the challenge. 

Wherever you go, do it the same as if you were among those who know you the best. It will keep you from exaggerating. it will help keep your stories true. Your good friend will tell you things that others will not. They will hold you close to truth.

Ah, and there in lies an issue too… far too often best friends are either yes men, or are birds of a feather. Few will embrace diversity, and of those that do, it can serve to drive a wedge between folks, and thus knowing one another really well becomes self limiting. I’m not saying Chuck is wrong… but there is a lot of nuance to this.