I publish WendellNotes for significant books I read to make their perspective available to friends and GIN subscribers who may not otherwise have time for them. Before I started writing WendellNotes in 2011, book notes were part of my Journal. [Brackets separate my comments from the author's.]
Ask for the Rain: Receiving Your Inheritance of Revival & Outpouring
We don’t pray for open heavens; we pray for open eyes to see what He already made available to us and ask for wisdom on how to access, experience, walk in, and release it. There is no revival without a divine discontentment. The house of God is the gate of Heaven when the elders become open to what God is doing. All of life gets reduced to one thing—how we steward the Presence of God. Discerning Gatekeepers of the Church of Jesus determine what gets into their church and into the city. The fulfillment of dreams is the byproduct of hosting Him well. The end goal of revival is holy discontentment. The key to seeing more is staying hungry. God intends to teach the spirit realm about His wisdom through those made in His image—us.
Over the coming century, the most vital human resource in need of conservation and protection is likely to be our own consciousness and mental space. The future will be nothing more than the running total of our individual mental states. We must reclaim ownership of the very experience of living.
Becoming the Voice of God
When you don’t have a prophet in your local church, you will always be playing a catch-up game with what God is doing. When a leader hears the word of the Lord, it gives him/her courage to act rightly. In the absence of the true authority of King Jesus coursing through our veins, other authority takes over. Without the prophets, people invest in man-made structures. Those with prophetic grace are easily bored and prefer fast-paced change. We are usually only too aware of our powerless state but remain completely ignorant of our truthless state. The point of leadership is to take you somewhere you cannot get to by yourself., so everyone wants to be led.
Modernization did not demote the elderly. It demoted the family. The average American spends a year or more of old age disabled and living in a nursing home. The systems we’ve devised were designed to solve some other problems. The single most serious threat of aging is falling. Far from growing unhappier, people report more positive emotions as they age. Assisted living isn’t really built for the sake of older people so much as for the sake of their children. Many of the things that we want for those we care about are things that we would adamantly oppose for ourselves because they would infringe upon our sense of self. The chance to shape one’s story is essential to sustaining meaning in life.
Amazon consistently ranks as the most trusted and beloved brand. It is becoming an operating system for your life. The foundational principles of the Bezonomics philosophy are customer obsession, extreme innovation, and long-term management. His secret is what he calls his flywheel. The software is the business model. Voice commands will become the most common way we interact with the Internet.
Bibi: My Story
[Bibi’s amazing personal story illuminates the amazing history of Israel and its likely future]. Learning is important above all else. The real foundation of peace in our area is hope derived from strength, and the consequent realization by our neighbors that Israel is here to stay. Arab propaganda systematically covered up the root cause of the Israeli-Arab conflict—the persistent Arab refusal to recognize a Jewish state. Whereas a public campaign should center on questions of justice, the appeal to leaders should center on interests. Say something clearly or nothing at all. It is not the Jews who usurped the land from the Arabs, but the Arabs who usurped the land from the Jews. My direct connection to Likud voters became the enduring basis of my political power. Without a basic understanding of economics, military affairs, technology and science, a prime minister is rendered helpless before the “experts.” The combination of military and economic power will give us diplomatic power. I emphasize that it was our historical right and not only our might that justified our claim to the Land of Israel. I seek to build Israel’s economic, military and diplomatic power to ensure its future and to achieve a genuine peace with those in the Arab world who wanted it. Free markets are indispensable for wealth creation. In democracies, significant economic reforms never reach fruition without leaders willing to spill their own political blood. We passed in the Knesset the most revolutionary free market program in Israel’s history. Once people get used to freedom they seldom want to go back. Government may not always go forward with new reforms, but they seldom go backward and undo reforms that have been passed. Money, trade and investments flow to freer economies and away from more controlled ones. Power attracts, weakness repels. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where all citizens have equal rights. The influence of geographic factors diminishes as technology grows. I set up a Bible study group that met in the prime minister residence.
Quantitative change has led to a qualitative one. Big data refers to things one can do at a large scale that cannot be done at a smaller one. With information, as with physics, size matters. It leads society to abandon its time-honored preference for causality, and in many instances tap the benefits of correlation. Social sciences have lost their monopoly on making sense of empirical social data. There is a premium on diversity within a group and in society at large. Correlations lie at the heart of big data and are now used so frequently that we sometimes fail to appreciate their inroads. FICO is also used as a cheap proxy for people’s income levels. MOOC (massive open online courses) may upend the entire education industry and pop the growing cost bubble. Infrastructures were focused on flows of water and knowledge, as were the telephone and the internet. In contrast, Datafication represents an essential enrichment in human comprehension. It is almost certain that the value of data will show up on corporate balance sheets and emerge as a new asset class. Data is to the information society what fuel was to the industrial economy.
Birthing the Miraculous
[Because the Bakers live in such a desperate part of the world and look for the most difficult cases through which to display the love of God, they experience more than their share of tragedy and sorrow. I know of no one who has faced greater challenges to their faith than Roland and Heidi Baker. It is the army of children cared for by the Bakers’ ministry that are some of the best at bringing a miracle to an impossible situation. Heidi highlights the central key of keeping intimacy at the center of our journey and being lost in love with God. She shows that this is how to be fearless and find hope and perseverance in the hardest moments.] Developing a life in God’s presence above all else is the only way to fulfill our God-given destinies. To the degree we are united with God’s heart and in love with Jesus, we will be fruitful. All fruitfulness flows from intimacy. His method for changing your nation is you. Most of the time you will be confined to activities you know how to produce and control. God wants to take us beyond what we can control. While He is pruning us above the ground, He is also multiplying our root system below. I try to pray for 3-5 hours every day.
Talib was the only one who predicted the 2008 crisis and bet on it with his own money. Categorizing always produces reduction in complexity. Metaphors and stories are far more potent than ideas; they are also easier to remember and more fun to read. Ideas come and go; stories stay. We are better at explaining than understanding. Narrativity can viciously affect the remembrance of past events as follows: we tend to more easily remember those facts from our past that fit a narrative. To avoid the ills of the narrative fallacy, favor experimentation over storytelling, experience over history, and clinical knowledge over theories. It is the asymmetry of the bonus system that got us into the 2008 crisis--no incentives without disincentives. Capitalism is about rewards and punishments, not just rewards.]
Blue Zones, Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest,
Aging has only an accelerator pedal. Some things aid successful aging: social connectedness, doing something they feel is interesting or worthwhile. Men who drank 5 or 6 glasses of water a day had a substantial reduction in the risk of a fatal heart attack— 60-70% less. Regular napping decreased risk by a whopping 37%. Exercise and nuts helped. The big aha for me is how the agents of longevity reinforce one another for the long term. You need to build an ecosystem around you.
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
Mouthbreathing, it turns out, changes the physical body and transforms airways, all for the worse. Inhaling from the nose has the opposite effect. Big, heavy breaths are bad for us because they deplete our bodies of carbon dioxide. Learn how to inhale and exhale slowly. When we breathe slower and hold in more carbon dioxide, pH lowers and blood becomes more acidic. We produce and signal stem cells to build more maxilla bone in the face by clamping down on the back molars over and over--chewing.
Bridging the Racial and Political Divide
King Josiah’s reading of the Bible led to revival simply by reading their history. Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Benjamin Rush cited ending slavery as a primary reason to be independent from Great Britain. African Americans started every southern state Republican Party. On the 14th Amendment to the Constitution passed in 1866 [granting citizenship to all persons born in the US], not a single Democrat voted for it. Not another civil rights law was passed from 1875 to 1964 because in 1876 Republicans lost control of the Senate. In 1875, the Republican Congress banned all segregation, but in 1882, the Supreme Court struck down the law and in1896 reaffirmed their pro-segregation position. The Klu Klux Klan was started to oppose Republicans and was the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party. Not one Southern Democrat voted for either of the civil rights acts even in the 1960s! Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican. One simple act of gratitude caused Black America to quickly forget that the Republican Party was birthed in America [in 1854] as the antislavery party to end the scourge of slavery and combat the terror of racism and segregation.
Building a Discipling Culture
The question that keeps orthodox Christian leaders awake at night, the question on which everything else hinges is—how do we make disciples? Language creates culture. With Jesus’ leadership style, experience comes before explanation. (test before the lesson). Huddles work because once people experience invitation and challenge, it’s addictive. Most people experience the most spiritual transformation not when they are first being discipled, but when they start discipling people themselves.
Building a Second Brain
Knowledge begins with taking notes. Creativity depends on a creative process. We only really improve when we standardize the way we do something. Information is food for the brain. Knowledge capture is about mining the richness of the reading you’re already doing and the life you’re already living. Surprise is an excellent barometer for information that doesn’t fit neatly into our existing understanding. Completed creative projects are the blood flow of your 2nd Brain. To attain knowledge, add things every day; to attain wisdom, remove things every day. Notetaking is like time travel—you are sending packets of knowledge through time to your future self. When you drop the merely good parts, the great parts shine more brightly. As knowledge workers, attention is our most scarce and precious resource. Habits reduce cognitive load and free up mental capacity, so you can allocate your attention to other tasks. The fundamental tension—between quality and quantity—is a tension we share as knowledge workers.
Building a Story Brand
Words sell things. Story is a sense-making mechanism. When we use a story, we create a map. No one can look away from a good story. Companies tend to sell solutions to external problems, but people buy solutions to internal problems. Our website isn’t the only tool but it usually does the heavy lifting. People don’t read websites; they scan them.