Making faces in class

Friday, December 26th, 2008
My home office is connected to our conference room. When I'm not using it for meetings or client work, my wife uses it to conduct homeschool lessons for the children.

The laughter level was higher than usual - perhaps too much to stay focused. As principal, I decided to step in to see what the commotion was all about...
   
Kelly and her magnifying glass in school

It seems that Kelly had discovered the face-distorting potential of her magnifying ruler...

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Emmanuel

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008
Emmanuel. It means, literally, "God with us." It's the ultimate gift; the real Christ story.

It's a message that is easily and often lost in the midst of commercialism, internet, blogging, life, presents... and even Christmas. But, it's a message we all need to know and remember - not just once a year.

There are many ways to celebrate Christmas -- many beautiful traditions. In the midst of your celebration, I encourage you to take a moment to recalibrate, if necessary, on the real reason for the season.  Don't miss the message. Don't miss the Christ in Christmas.

Merry Christmas and good night!

How Santa Gets Things Done in Time for Christmas

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008
Have you ever wondered how Santa maintains perspective and control over everything that has his attention? I mean, with all of the letters, a toy shop to supervise, flight plans and air travel restrictions to deal with ... and the weather! It's enough to drive any normal person crazy.

I always thought Santa must have a secret to staying productive. Apparently, he does.

My wife, Kathy, is a life-long Disney fan and we love to spend time at the park. A friend of hers arranged for this dedication.

Via: Sun 7 News (Click on the link below)

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Too Busy Not to Pray

Sunday, December 7th, 2008
Did that title get your attention? It got mine. In fact, for the years that book has been sitting on my shelf, it's been calling out to me, irritating me frankly, as I rushed about with the business of life in the fast lane. Well, this weekend, I was home sick, something for which I'm actually quite thankful as it gave me an excuse and an opportunity to slow down.

TooBusyNotToPrayBookCover.jpgThis afternoon I reread a book, one that I purchased almost two decades ago. It's called Too Busy Not to Pray: Slowing Down to Be with God, by Bill Hybels. In just thirteen short chapters, Hybels considers a number of topics, beginning with the adventure of prayer, reasons we don't stop to pray, the power of prayer and a biblical pattern of prayer, finally concluding with a brief chapter on "Living in God's Presence."

I had read this book before, but it impacted me much more on the second reading, probably because when I read it for the first time I thought I had all the answers. I don't have all of the answers, just a lot of gray hair and I found the book inspiring and thought-provoking. I really appreciated Hybels' practical examples and illustrations. I probably ended up highlighting a third of the book to come back to and review in greater detail.

My next action, (after praying of course), will be to create a mind map of the key points. I find mind mapping a useful tool when I am studying or thinking about complex topics. Inspired by fellow Lotus Notes blogger, Thomas Duff, who somehow manages to write 3+ book reviews a week, I think I'll try and review this book over the next six months to a year. The book is not very thick but the concepts are quite rich and I want to treat these with the attention they deserve. For this reason, I will create a category on the blog to classify what I learn from the book.

Whether your prayer life is rich and relational, sporadic or even nonexistent, I strongly recommend the book.


UPDATE:
Apparently, the book has remained a best seller and this year the publisher even released at 20th anniversary edition.
Amazon Link: Too Busy Not to Pray: Slowing Down to Be With God
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