Friday, October 30, 2015

Valuable Advice . . . Taken With Discernment

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Invent Your Future: Starting With Your Calling
Paul David Walker, Highpoint Executive Publishing, New York, USA, 2015



Valuable Advice . . . Taken With Discernment

Always looking for more material for a workshop I lead intended to help people of faith find their unique “significance” in service, I agreed to review this book.  To that end, I found it served a most worthwhile purpose but I could not swallow all the advice hook, line, and sinker.
Author Paul David Walker has tons of experience in helping professionals succeed. And the material for this book flows out of his strong ability to integrate a process he very much believes in with testimonies from some of his highly successful clients.
Much of what he recommends each of us aim for is most necessary for success (and significance). As clearly stated in the Foreword by John King, author of Tribal Leadership, Walker is also trying to address, “in the background . . . the spiritual quality of leadership in the individual.”  For example, we do need to Know Ourselves. We need to realize that the greatest strength of a hurricane comes from its eye – the very element that is the most still in the entire phenomenon; and thus we must remain calm in our reactions and decision-making, operating from strength.
While he does not call it a formula for “Inventing Your Future”, he does give us five critical steps – Know Yourself (about ‘becoming your calling’ and discovering your gifts and passion), Find the Answer (about mastering the present, embracing wisdom, and using intuition), Paint Compelling Pictures (about conceiving the future and creating high-impact statements), Building Commitment (about inspiring everyone, seeing and feeling possibility, and tapping into imagination and intention), and Responding to Reality (about responding to present reality, cultivating intention and purpose, and gathering the courage to act). A sixth step is really one that is fundamental to all the others and is undertaken simultaneously and throughout the process, namely Mastering Inner Stillness (about achieving ‘command presence’ and getting into the zone).
While most of the book’s other reviewers couldn’t say enough nice things about it (as I tried to), I felt to be true to myself (something Walker himself insists we do), I had to make some different comments.  For example, I found his section on ‘wisdom’ and the need for it very long and not that helpful.  Wisdom is very important and great if you have it, but my experiences tell me you can’t just go out and get it as he suggests.  That is, it’s not a commodity, as knowledge is.  Many people do find their calling without a lot of it, since wisdom is a gift, not a product one just decides to order up a healthy serving of.  Walker seems to require wisdom and its creation, along with wealth and wellbeing as what must be priorities for all who “invent their future”.  I think these criteria may fit many a capitalist today, but they are no longer the majority in our society.  I would have preferred he kept more with the idea of ‘getting knowledge’, which he refers to, rather than expecting all readers to become ‘wise’.  Wisdom is something that would provide us with a definite edge providing it comes from its true source, God Himself, something that the book’s Foreword writer possibly alludes to when he speaks of the ‘spiritual quality of leadership’.
Secondly he spends time talking about working on our consciousness and connecting with our ‘genius’ that Roman mythology defines as our “guardian deity or spirit that watched over each person from birth”.  Walker redefines it as follows: “collaboration with the natural flow that extends from the present, and from the knowledge, intention, and consciousness of an individual or group.  It is achieved through Integrative Presence, which enables you to integrate all the realities of the flow of the moment while simultaneously combining them with the intention of your genius.” It sounds very ethereal to me, at least, and readers that are not into mysticism may find some of it a little hard to swallow.
The section on ‘knowing ourselves’ has some interesting and very true quotes, not the least of which are two by Tony LoRe, Founder, Youth Mentoring Connection, which state, “A person’s gift is just behind their wounds” and “I don’t believe I can burn out if I am always in my purpose.” Walker does a great job of expanding on these thoughts.
Walker also provides us with one of the best discussions on ‘using intuition’ I have read in a long time.  He quotes Don Ross, Chairman and CEO, New York Life, as saying, “Whenever I have gone against my intuition, I have regretted it.” Walker gives us lots of good examples in this regard.
The book is full of very insightful snippets for those of us who want to be better at our purpose and life in general. And for those who are prepared to follow exercises and other recommendations the author suggests at the end of each chapter, there is no doubt one can well improve their chances of ‘inventing their (own) future’ by reading this book.
    -- Ken B. Godevenos, Accord Resolution Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario. 15/10/30  

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Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Book You Really Can't Judge By It's Cover


Beyond The Comfort Zone: The War That Never Ends
Frank Wilkins, Xlibris, USA, 2015



What attracted me to the opportunity to review this book was a promise that, as the symbol on the front shows, it wasn’t about “questions”, but rather “answers”.  And in particular, answers to global wars that never seem to end – the cultural war concerning the very existence of God and the religious war as to which supreme spiritual entity of our affections is indeed the “one and only true” God.
As a Christian, the topic as well as the background of the author, Frank Wilkins, intrigued me.  Frank graduated from high school, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, served as a radioman, and afterwards earned his Bachelor of Science degree. It was that normal of a life. That’s the very point he strives to make – the regular man and woman of this world – us simple common folks can indeed find answers and the truth to the very issues that cause global warfare.  God is there to be sought and found for those willing to remove their blinders.  By definition the truth exists and we can ascertain it.
Wilkins makes no bones about being an agnostic for the early part of his life and then a Roman Catholic.  It makes sense therefore that some of his evidence for the existence of God comes from his own experiences and that part of the Christian faith that he found a home in.  However, a good portion of it also comes from universal history and facts attested to by both believers and non-believers.
He has this amazing ability to dig through the questions and objections of atheists and others with respect to the denial of God’s existence, assuring them that if they really want to get out from behind blinders and take a hard look at facts, they can find the truth. He identifies realities of life that must be contended with.  One example is the reality that one’s life will definitely end. He helps true seekers struggling about whether or not a God, if He existed, would accept them by suggesting they should not be hard on themselves – “Do you think He let those Roman soldiers nail His Son to a wooden cross just so you could sit there and damn yourself for the rest of your life?”
Wilkins also takes on historians who have time and again distorted history to hide the inconvenient truth and the entertainment industry that pushes adults and worse still, young children, into promises of lies for the sake of the almighty dollar. He gives several well-known examples of historic battles where the outcome was decided because God decided to show up on the battlefield. That alone makes for fascinating reading.
Wilkins has an interesting perspective on Islam, Muslims, and the end of the world as well, but allows all of us to make up our own minds, always reminding us not to knock the ideas of others.  He is not too happy about all the distinctions and fights in Christianity, but again explains their existence as another reality.  Also of interest are his views of predestination as it relates to modern science, of evolution and Darwin’s usefulness, and of the actual age of the world.
This is a great book to help anyone get a grip on the answer to the question, “Is there a God?” For one who has been a life-long believer belonging to the Protestant arm of the faith, it helped me to understand the thinking of those who are not growing up in the Church, as well as to gain a clearer perspective on some very famous “miracles” the Roman Catholic Church holds dear to, and how these very miracles help explain their view of the Virgin Mary and the mother of Jesus.
Bottom line for Wilkins is this: “No amount of denial can prevent anyone from ultimately meeting their Maker face to face. You might as well try to deny the existence of the IRS in order to avoid paying taxes.
He strongly recommends that when you get to “a point where we catch ourselves putting our faith in anything besides God”, that’s the very point we need to realize that for us, it would be foolish to deny His existence.
    -- Ken B. Godevenos, Accord Resolution Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario. 15/10/24


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Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

WHAT ARE YOU DOING in your "NON-RETIREMENT"?


THE FUTURE OF WORK

What do you plan to do in non-retirement?

Leah Eichler  --  Special to The Globe and Mail

I’ve never understood retirement. Naturally, the concept of travelling more and engaging in leisurely pursuits sounds compelling, but work gives me – and most people I know – a sense of purpose. I can’t ever imagine outgrowing the desire to learn new things and meet new people. I likely take these cues from my parents, who love their work running a real estate company and plan to keep on doing it as long as it’s physically possible.

This movement away from traditional retirement is certainly a trend in Canada. The Sun Life Canadian Unretirement Index has been asking Canadians for seven years whether they will be working at age 66. The answer is increasingly Yes. 

This year marks the first time where more Canadians (32 per cent) expect to be working full-time at age 66 than fully retired (27 per cent). Another 27 per cent expect to be working part-time.

Leave it to Hollywood to cash in on the zeitgeist with The Intern, a new film starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. Mr. De Niro plays a 70-year-old widower who leaves retirement to become a senior intern at an online fashion company run by a young chief executive officer, played by Anne Hathaway.

While the film may have received some mediocre reviews, many will relate to Mr. De Niro’s character – bored with retirement, he goes back to work only to find himself the oldest person in the office, according to Nancy Collamer, the Connecticut-based founder of MyLifestyleCareer.com, which offers advice to clients on their “second act” careers. She also wrote the book, Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit From Your Passions During Semi-Retirement.
“The notion of a strictly leisure-focused retirement is quickly becoming outdated. Many of us can expect retirements that will last 30 years or longer. That’s a lot of hours to fill and a lot of years to fund,” Ms. Collamer said in an interview.
“As more people pursue second-act careers, it will become increasingly commonplace to see boomers pursue internships as a way to gain experience in a new field of interest,” she added.

Suzanne Cook, a social gerontologist and adjunct professor at York University’s department of sociology and its centre for aging research and education, refers to this trend of finding new pursuits in the second half of life as “redirection.”
“It involves using skills and experience by pursuing a new direction. The result is personal renewal and reinvention. Individuals who are redirecting are engaged in a new type of work. However, it is a process that begins with exploring options and then deciding what to do next,” she said.

Dr. Cook will be leading a new study funded by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC), a charitable organization that advances research in the field of career counselling and career development, to gather information on Canadians in their 50s, 60s and 70s as they seek out their second or even third careers.
The research is important, explained Dr. Cook, to better understand how these encore careers unfold so that improved resources and tools can be made available for the unprecedented number of older adults currently in or entering this phase. She cites data from a 2011 Statistics Canada report, Perspectives on Labour and Income, that show the employment rate of men 55 and over increased to 39.4 per cent from 30.5 per cent between 1997 and 2010. For women during that same time frame, the employment rate nearly doubled, to 28.6 per cent from 15.8 per cent. (The most recent labour force survey, from August, 2015, shows the numbers have risen further. The current employment rate of men 55 and over is 40.9 per cent; for women 55 and up, it’s 29.8 per cent.)

As for the future of retirement, Dr. Cook predicts that more people in their 60s and 70s will want or need to work – but they will also be ready for a change in the type of work they do. She envisions a future where the workplace will be redesigned to better accommodate older workers so they may continue to contribute. Alternatively, many will choose self-employment in order to set their own schedules.

Despite the social and economic changes that workers in North America have experienced, a traditional view of retirement persists, which remains a challenge for aging workers. With luck, films like The Intern will help highlight this perspective. When I hit 66 in 25 years, I imagine I’ll still want to pursue new opportunities. Life is too interesting to play golf and bake for the grandkids.

Ms. Collamer, 58, says that conventional retirement is nowhere in the cards for her, either.
“I don’t expect to retire for many years to come. That said, I do plan to slowly reduce my income-generating activities to make more time for volunteer projects, travel and other personal priorities. My mom worked on a freelance basis as a reporter until she was 84. [She] was a great role model that I hope to emulate,” she said. 

- - - 30 - - -

If you’re a Christian, what will YOU be doing in NON-retirement? [Or if you are heading to college, do you know why?]

Find out by taking the GPS workshop – “God’s Plans for your SIGNIFICANCE!” --  ideal for individuals and couples.   Find out more at:


You can reach us by mail at:

SCA International, 12 – 17665 Leslie Street, Newmarket, ON, L3Y 3E3, Canada

Or email us at: info@scainternational.org

CALL NOW TOLL-FREE: 1.877.474.2689 (and ask for Devika or Ken)


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Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Have We Been Missing the Apostle Paul's Intent for Writing Romans?


Hope For The Nations: Paul’s Letter to the Romans, A Corporate Reading
Tom Holland, Apostolos Publishing Ltd., London, UK, 2015

                                              

This is a book that presents both traditional concepts as well as new ones on what the Apostle Paul was intending for his audience to fully grasp.  That sounds mundane but I must admit I could not put it down.  It’s written by a scholar but within easy reach of a layman like me.  Tom Holland, Senior Research Fellow in Biblical Studies at the Wales Evangelical School of Theology, has given us a well researched and extremely well written book that speaks to every believer in a valuable and timely way.
His theory is that it is all about “context” and he shows us why time and time again.  Holland says for years we have taken the letter to the Romans as one speaking primarily to “individuals” in the church – to you and me.  But he shows us why Paul was writing about, and to, much larger groups – Israel, the Gentiles, and the new combined Church as an entity. He is careful to point out that this position does not exclude the idea that the points which Paul is making to the Roman Church are not as applicable to the individual Christian – they are, but when studying the Epistle we must remember his intended audience.
Holland argues and shows that Paul, in just about every key phrase in the letter, was drawing from the Old Testament, and especially Isaiah.  He talks about the first, second, and third Exodus of the people of Israel, the Jews, and how God has led them out of slavery, gave them a great part to play in history of all mankind’s salvation, and now is calling them to be part of the Gospel that they themselves ushered in.  He is careful however to distinguish between all of the Jewish people and those that were (and will be) a “remnant” and those that still will accept the Gospel.
He points out the various “covenantal” themes we find in Romans tied to the rest of Scriptures.  He helps us see and understand why when reading Romans we need to look at the references therein to the Old Testament from the perspective of how the early Church read it.
This is a great book for those studying Romans, teaching it in a group or to a class, or preaching a series on it.  For the individual student, it serves as a modern commentary on each verse.  Holland takes great effort to not put down the thoughts of others, but also shows us why he personally tends to go with a particular view.  I like that.
He deals extensively with the tension caused by the requirement that converted Jews placed on Gentiles to be circumcised. He also deals with the issue regarding the eating of meat sacrificed to idols and explains particularly well why that may be a problem to Gentile converts and not to Jewish ones. (The answer he provides was instrumental, by extrapolation, in helping me understand why certain Christians object to alcohol today and why some do not.) Both issues he addresses were major contributors to the discord between the two sources of origin for the original Christian Church.  In the process he deals with how Paul sees the purpose of the Law in the Old Testament and for the new Church, as well as for us today.
The book is full of gems of knowledge and wisdom for the taking. Issues that I personally struggled with were helpfully explained time and time again.  My copy of the book is filled with my notations on new insights.
You can listen to preacher after preacher and teacher after teacher on Romans and never really understand the “big message” or see the “big picture” of what the author is trying to share.  Getting a hold of a scholarly work rewritten for non-scholars yet communicating the secrets of historical and contextual hermeneutics to bring alive God’s Holy Word allows you to stop and think and question and reflect.  Tom Holland does just that for you.  I very highly recommend it to all.  I will be looking for more of his books.
The author’s bottom line (and his own desire for writing) is given away in the very title of this book – there is indeed “Hope for the Nations” of both Gentiles and Jews.
    -- Ken B. Godevenos, Accord Resolution Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario. 15/10/08  

Thanks for dropping by. Sign up to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends. Ken Godevenos, Church and Management Consultant, Accord Consulting.  And while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.  Ken.

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

12 Tips To Prevent Parents From Going Crazy


“Back To The Family” – 12 Tough “Common Sense” Wisdoms for Parents
from Dr. Ray Guarendi, Practicing Clinical Psychologist & Parenting Expert


1.     Some parents today say, “My Johnny is not doing drugs; and hasn’t shot anyone.  He’s a good kid.”  Dr. G. says, “Virtue is not the absence of pathology; it is the presence of morals, character, and the seeking of God.”

2.     Some parents ask, “At what age should Suzie be allowed to . . .?”  Dr. G. says, “Moral trustworthiness is a better gauge than age.”

3.     Parents: “Do you have any research statistics relating age of first date to chance of promiscuity later on?”  Dr. G. says, “Yes, here they are . . .”
First Date: 13 or younger, 90% chance of promiscuity.
First Date: 14 to 15, 60% chance of promiscuity.
First Date: 16 or older, 20% chance of promiscuity.

4.     Dr. G: “Culture is in deep trouble when psychological correctness (is it normal?) trumps moral correctness (is it right?).”

5.     Dr. G. says, “I can give you lots of ideas as to how to regain and maintain respect and authority with your children, but I can’t give you the will power to do it!”

6.     Dr. G. says, “The change we seek in our children, has to com from a change  in their parents when it comes to respect, love, authority, and more.”

7.     Dr. G. says, “Authority is a good word.  It is not ‘volume’.  It’s ‘follow-through the very first time!”

8.     Dr. G. says parents today give too many privileges, freedoms, technological gadgets, etc., just because kids reach a certain age and there’s peer pressure to do so (both from other parents and other kids).  That’s not the problem.  The problem is they do it without a reciprocal level of responsibility.

9.     Dr. G. says, “Don’t tell me your child is a challenge because he is ‘strong-willed’.  If his teachers aren’t seeing the strong-will in him, you don’t have a strong-will child, except when he deals with you.”

10.  Parents think being strict is being mean today.  Dr. Ray says, “Strict is not mean.  It’s not nasty. It’s been consistent and conservative in the context of love.”

11.  Dr. Ray on spanking: “No research whatsoever that indicates spanking in a loving home under control leads to what they throw at it.  They have ‘bias’ surveys but not research.”

12.  On timing, Dr. Ray says, “It’s never too late to change your style of parenting, but the longer you wait, the harder it gets.”

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed him and would strongly recommend that you try to catch him if you get a chance or consider some of his material.  Check him out at: http://drray.com/ .

Reported by Ken B. Godevenos, Accord Resolution Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario. 15/09/04

Thanks for dropping by. Sign up to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends. Ken Godevenos, Church and Management Consultant, Accord Consulting.  And while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.  Ken.

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.