Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Engaging people

A great way to be significantly more productive is to start anything you're about to do with one question: What does a wildly successful outcome for this meeting, project, conversation -- whatever it might be -- look like? If you ask that question up front you co-create success: people knows what you're shooting for and actively work towards making it happen.
From a recent article The Best Way to Start Everything Important. The thrust of the observation is that to truly engage other people, we must always start with that one question: What does a wildly successful outcome for this meeting, this project, this sales call, etc. look like?

Friday, 22 May 2015

How online addiction works

The process starts with a cue or stimulus. That’s an external trigger. It’s most effective if it arrives when the target is feeling some kind of discomfort (which Eyal calls an internal trigger), from which it can promise relief—like a Facebook message that happens to arrive in your inbox just when you’re feeling alone. “The more times users go through the Hook, the more the product forms an association with internal triggers like loneliness, boredom, or fear,” Eyal explains. “When we’re lonely, we turn to Facebook. When we’re feeling out of the loop, we turn to Twitter.
From a very helpful piece in How Facebook and Candy Crush Got You Hooked The main lesson appears to be that online addiction is not accidental, it is deliberate inbuilt into the programme. Whilst this should not necessary stop us from using these platforms it should make us more vigilant how we use them. This is especially so since unlike alcohol or cigarettes there is no warning labels.

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2015

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A tale of two hymnals

I was recently attending a church service where, as it so often happens, the hymn "O Church Arise" was on the hymnal list. The hymn is generally very lovely, but I always struggle singing this verse :

So Spirit, come put strength in every stride,
Give grace for every hurdle,
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful.
As saints of old still line the way,
Retelling triumphs of His grace,
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When with Christ we stand in glory.

It is clear that this verse is inspired by Revelation and Hebrews. But unfortunately, the last lines can be easily misunderstood by non-Christians or those new to Christ. In other words the sort of people churches ought to pay special attention to.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Losing for Jesus?

An interesting piece about a competitive "Christian football" team in the UK that has lost every single match it has played so far this season. Not sure what actually what makes a football team "Christian". At the time the story broke, it had conceded 120 goals in just 16 matches. The manager says his team is losing because of the club's Christian principles. Amory Green Rovers FC manager Marc Hodsdon told the Express :
We are absolutely shocking to be fair. We could well be Britain's worst football team — but we are certainly the nicest…Last Wednesday, we lost 15-1 in our local derby yet we walked off the pitch being the happier team.…We have had a lot of praise from the league for our sporting attitude. We have never had any sending off and we never abuse the ref. Our attitude is always spot on.
The manager is certainly to be commended for prioritising participation ahead of winning at all costs. There is a sense in which the winner takes all mentality of sports robs us of the very fun that sports are meant to convey. I was particularly warmed by how they try and allow others on the fringe of competitive sports due to their health to take part.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Found in Him By Elyse Fitzgerald (A Review)

Elyse Fitzgerald’s Found in Him aims to draw followers of Jesus into a closer and assured recognition of Jesus' presence and power in our lives. It encourages us to shift away from the obsession of self driven change and focus on our oneness with Jesus (commonly called “union”) and his amazing oneness with us (the “incarnation”). The book is not a systematic theological presentation on our union with Christ, large volumes have already been written on that. It is an invitation into a deeper reflection and appreciation of the work of God because only by doing that do we experience real transformation.

The book is divided in two parts. The first part introduces the importance of God becoming man. It considers how Jesus’s earthly life, his manhood, substitutionary death on the cross and bodily resurrection assures us of our salvation. The second half focuses on considering the benefits of the work he did, particularly as our representative, brother, and husband. We are reminded that though Jesus' primary goal in becoming man was to complete the work the Father had given him, this work also had another goal: to bless us by pouring out all the benefits he had earned on our unworthy yet beloved souls. These blessings come to us through being united to Jesus.