Read for Your Soul

As someone who often values quantity over quality when it comes to reading — somebody who cares more about reading 25 above average books in a year than 10 great ones — this spoke to me (and my pride).

Let me close with a caution: Beware of reading for quantity to impress anyone. Read for your soul. If we could live a thousand years, and experience a thousand relationships in the thousand times and places and cultures, perhaps we wouldn’t need books in order to (eventually) become wise. But our lives are short, and God has been merciful to give us many places, many times, many cultures, and many experiences distilled into books.

Find the ones that strengthen your faith and make you want to live all-out for God. [DG]

Integrity Over Clicks

As someone who runs a media organization — albeit a tiny one — this really resonated with me. How often have I valued clicks over integrity? Even more so, how often have I valued my own interests over the interests of our community.

The Word > The Human

This post made me realize how much confidence we (I) find in what other humans provide us rather than in what only the Lord can deliver. We as humans are vessels, no doubt, but true power and true life-changing transformation is only engendered from one place. And it’s not us.

The fact is, an orphan can teach how to care for aging parents. An unmarried man can teach on marriage. A childless woman can teach on parenting. A poor man can teach about the temptations that come with being rich. God’s Word speaks to every one of these issues and authority in these matters does not flow from experience but from Scripture.

Any Christian can teach these things confidently and powerfully because the confidence and power come not through experience or accolades, but from the source. The job of the teacher is not first to speak of or out of his experiences, but to speak of and out of the Word. [Challies]

Judgement, Time, Perspective

I have realized of late how little I’ve captured ideas, quotes and thoughts and published them on here. Will try to improve that in the future on a more micro level (says every blogger ever).

Here’s one I found from an article on the art of investing in the Failing NYT recently.

“Every world-class investor is questioning right now how they can improve,” he said. “So, in a machine-driven age where everything is driven by speed, perhaps the edge is judgment, time and perspective.” [NYT]

Three Levels of Wealth

I loved this on wealth from Stewart Butterfield, who co-founded Slack as well as Flickr, two of the sites I use often in my #bloglyfe. He was on How I Built This with Guy Raz, and he talked about three levels of having money.

I really feel like there’s kind of – there’s three levels of wealth in the world. The first level is, I’m not stressed out about debt. Like, people who no longer worry about their credit card bills or their student loans. That’s, like, level one of wealth.

Level two is, I don’t care what stuff costs in restaurants. You know, you’re like, I really want this thing, but it’s $18. But the other thing’s $12. So I’ll get the $12 one. There’s a level where – like, suddenly it doesn’t really matter which – how much you spend on a particular meal.

And then the ultimate level of wealth is, I don’t care what vacation costs. Like, I don’t care how expensive the hotel is or which flight we go on. Beyond that, I really don’t think it makes any difference.

This makes sense in my head. I don’t know that these levels are worth pursuing — especially the last two — but I think what he’s saying is probably correct.

On Leadership

This is astoundingly good.

The Choice by W.B. Yeats

I love this. Especially the first two lines.

The intellect of man is forced to choose
perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.
When all that story’s finished, what’s the news?
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:
That old perplexity an empty purse,
Or the day’s vanity, the night’s remorse.

Thoughts on Digital Minimalism

My life has been at least partly influenced by my wife’s desire to partake in some of the habits of an analog minimalist. I find myself making decisions in other areas based on these principals.

So I was thrilled to find this podcast where Ezra Klein interviewed Cal Newport about ridding yourself of inessential clutter within the world many creatives work: online. I was even more thrilled to find this post by Newport on digital minimalism.

The bottom line of this general thinking is that a simple, carefully curated, minimalist digital life is not a rejection of technology or a reactionary act of skepticism; it is, by contrast, an embrace of the immense value these new tools can offer…if we’re willing to do the hard work of figuring out how to best leverage them on behalf of the things we truly care about. []

I feel the anxiety of social media and digital clutter often and on a physical level so the push to get away from this, to say “no” to following one more person or one more blog is welcomed.

The rub is how to incorporate a quiet professional life when, by definition, my job is to make noise and stir things up. I think it’s possible. I just think it’s very difficult which also means the reward for doing so will be great.

On The Pursuit of Online Fame

One of the battles I find myself waging — and presume most writers who are Christians wage — is pushing back against the desire and pull of being online famous. I think there is a craving within us all to receive adulation from as many people as possible, and the easiest path to that is writing funny, compelling stuff on the internet.

[raises hand]

But Piper recently had an interesting twist on this war.

But let’s end where we began. Yes, it is a sin to want to be famous. However, it may not be a sin to want to be influential. In fact, it may be a sin not to want to be influential. We should want to win more and more people to Christ. It is a sin not to want our lives to count for winning more and more people to Christ. [DG]

It’s just as easy to go the other way and become an online hermit, rejecting every opportunity for establishing yourself as a writer. Both extremes are easy. The difficult path, per the usual, is sidling up and riding that through line of popularity because you’re good at something and humility because you’re to always point to Jesus.