Friday, December 31, 2010

New Book Favs: 2010

1. The Chestnut King, N.D. Wilson
2. Herman Bavinck, Ron Gleason
3. Defending Constantine, Peter Leithart
4. Generous Justice, Tim Keller
5. What I Learned in Narnia, Douglas Wilson
6. The Fort, Bernard Cornwell
7. Colonel Roosevelt, Edmund Morris
8. Loving the Little Years, Rachel Jankovic
9. In the Company of Others, Jan Karon
10. Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxis
11. Abortion: A Rational Look R.C. Sproul

New Music Favs: 2010

1. Still, Nathan Clark George and Mark Stoffel
2. My Cry Ascends, Greg Wilbur
3. Twelfth Night, HEM
4. The Distance In Between, Matthew Perryman Jones
5. Infinite Arms, Band of Horses
6. So Runs the World Away, Josh Ritter
7. A Good Day, Priscilla Ahn
8. Feedback, Derek Webb
9. In Feast or Fallow, Sandra McCracken
10. Raising Up the Dead, Caedmon’s Call
11. Broken Bells, James Mercer and Danger Mouse

Monday, December 27, 2010

What I've Learned from TR

1. The first prerequisite of true leadership is a happy home. The private life is the proving ground for the public life.

2. Leadership is the art of pursuing the ideal in the midst of a world that is something less than ideal—and never losing sight of either notion.

3. A leader is an idealist who is simultaneously blessed with a strong dose of reality.

4. A leader knows that what is really important in life rarely puts on airs of importance.

5. There is little extraordinary about the achievements of a genius, a prodigy, or a savant. Inevitably, a great leader is someone who overcomes tremendous obstacles and still succeeds.

6. A leader has the ability to take any circumstance and see it through the lens of happy providence. He is living proof the fact that laughter is indeed, the best medicine.

7. The efficacy of leadership depends, to a large degree, on the leader’s incognizance of the consequences of doing right.

8. A leader understands that failure is merely the backdoor to success.

9. A leader will always prefer to be faithful than famous.

10. A leader invariably lives his life as a sincere imitator of the best attributes of others. Heroes always have heroes.

11. With great privileges come great responsibilities. Blessings bring with them duties. And the joy of liberty is the most sober obligation ever entrusted to men or nations.

How to Deal with Critics

1. “Remember, it is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

2. "Receive constructive, helpful criticism; use it to grow, learn, change, and repent. Shrug off destructive, hateful criticism; just acknowledge it as a lamentable but inevitable part of life in this poor fallen world." Francis Schaeffer

3. “It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do. Ten percent of people will find a way to take anything you say or do personally. Expect it.” Tim Ferriss

4. “People are always least productive in reactive mode.” Samuel Smiles

5. “Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity.” Colin Powell

6. “If you are really effective at what you do, ninety percent of the things said about you will be critical.” Scott Boras

7. “If you want to learn, grow, and improve, you must be content to be thought foolish and stupid as you do.” Epictetus

8. “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” Elbert Hubbard

9. “The best way to counter-attack a hater is to make it blatantly obvious that their attack has had little or no impact on you. That, and showing how much fun you’re having. Don’t get angry, don’t get even--focus on living well and that will eat at them more than anything you can do.” Tim Ferriss

10. “No commendation is greater than the condemnation of one’s fiercest sworn enemies.” Theodore Roosevelt

11. “Keep calm and carry on.” Winston Churchill

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bah Humbug: As Far As the Curse Is Found

1. Humbug is an old word of indeterminate etymology meaning “spectacle” or “hoax” or “jest,” often referring to some unjustified reputation or publicity.

2. Of course, the word is most often associated with Ebenezer Scrooge, a character created by Charles Dickens in The Christmas Carol. He famously dismissed Christmas declaring, “Bah! Humbug!” Interestingly, variations of the term make appearances in any number of European languages:

3. Humbug may well be derived from the Old Norse words hum, meaning “night” or “shadow” or “dark air,” and bugges, a variant of bogey, meaning “apparition” or "ghost."

4. In Icelandic, húm means “twilight.”

5. In Faeroese, hómi means “unclear.”

6. Humi in Swedish means “dark suspicion.” This word may well be derived from the Old Swedish verb hymla, still in use, which means “to conceal," "to hide," or "to evade the truth.”

7. In Old English and Anglo Saxon, hum means “to deceive.” And bugges is a word that appears in Wyclif’s earliest translation of the English Bible meaning “specter.” And that may well be derived from the much older Celtic word bwg, meaning “scarecrow.”

8. But, it could also be derived from the Early Italian, uomo bugiardo, which literally means “lying man.”

9. Uim-bog is supposed to mean “soft copper” in Ancient Gaelic—still used in Ireland as slang for “worthless money.”

10. In other words, “Bah! Humbug!” may very well be an apt declaration for Christmas (much to the chagrin of Scrooge): it is the declaration that Christ has come to expose the fraudulence, the impotence, the bugaboo nonsense of this poor fallen world; but even more, He has come to replace the dark specters, the apparitional hoaxes of sin, the evasions of the truth at the heart of sin.

11. Thus: He has come to make His blessings flow as far as the curse is found.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Favorite Christmas Books

1. On Christmas: Poems, Essays, and Stories by G.K. Chesterton
2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
3. Corrie’s Christmas Memories by Corrie ten Boom
4. Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon
5. No Holly for Miss Quinn by Miss Read
6. Village Christmas by Miss Read
7. The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories by O. Henry
8. Christmas Bells and Other Poems by H. W. Longfellow
9. Texas Night before Christmas by James Rice
10. The Fourth Wiseman by Henry van Dyke
11. Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien