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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.]

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.

Download this file (Building a Discipling Culture (2).pdf)Building a Discipling Culture136 kB

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.

Download this file (Building a Second Brain.pdf)Building a Second Brain164 kB

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.

Download this file (Building a StoryBrand3.pdf)Building a Story Brand155 kB

There is a God-given anointing called “understanding” for the purpose of building the church as community! When grace is given, power is always received. All the rich treasures of Christ are connected to the spirit of understanding, which is connected to being united in love. The level of power and authority that we see in Act 2 were outcomes of the Church being in community [oneness imparted by the Holy Spirit]. In the Bible there are 4 words that can often be used interchangeably: grace, spirit, power, and anointing. Oneness is the real meaning of the word unity. Understanding as an anointing brings about unity. Community cannot be built without it. An explosion of love is the goal of the central anointing of Pentecost. The main message of the New Testament is that we are meant to be of one heart and mind with all the believers. We miss the bulk of Pentecost when we miss the “us.” The main reason for the baptism of the Spirit is to cause you to become of one heart and one mind with the believers. The key to building community is power, and it is not possible to create community without the anointing to do so. The Great Awakening occurred in the 1730s and 1740s with Jonathan Edwards. He then led people into a solemn public renewal of their covenant with God, to lock-up the way Christians should live and respond to God into a legalistic structure. The making of the Solemn Oath and Covenant, along with all its vows, was the direct and immediate cause of the ending of the Great Awakening. Revival falls off because people who were hungry are no longer hungry. Vows and human covenants take away freedom and kill off faith and hunger for God. Our tithe should always flow in the direction of the authority Christ has placed over us in the ministry. The very use of the word ‘grace’ seems to make God very tender – He can’t resist. At the end of every meeting where you teach a suitable theme, impart it. God intends to change His people, but He does so through leaders. This is God’s apostolic method.

Download this file (Building an Apostolic People.pdf)Building an Apostolic People258 kB

Great literature depends upon a passionate commitment to the real world, which demands a foundation in a deeper order of things grounded in the nature and will of God. In the journey of the mind to God, Tolkien helped Lewis to realize that the problem lay not in Lewis’s rational failure to understand the theory, but in his imaginative failure to grasp its significance.

Download this file (cslewis.pdf)cslewis.pdf60 kB

[Father-in-law to Hudson Taylor, disciple of Watchman Nee, provided the capital to launch Moody Bible Institute, first missionary to the heart of Africa].  We can trust Him too little, but we cannot trust God too much.” Bangala became to them what Greek was to Paul, and Hindustani has been to the missionaries in India. A straw hat on his head of his own make, a loin-cloth, and you have the Heart of Africa native missionary complete.

[This is one of the most important books I've ever read]. You already are hearing God’s voice and have been for years. We have made an art form of distancing themselves from God and then blaming God for the distance. He continues to speak to us symbolically through daily events as if they were parables. Prophesy is sharing something God has shown you. Retreating to the supposed safety of “figuring things out for ourselves” is another version of the fleshly mind trying to think independently of God. The Spirit has led us into truth that our Bibles and church traditions alone did not. Christian deism: God set things up in the beginning but has pretty much left the running of things to us, only intervening in our lives if absolutely necessary. Signs are only meant to encourage us along the path of faith not to help us overcome our skepticism. The cynic is a thief of hope. The beatitudes show us a type of “prophetic respiration’ in which the disciple inhales the fullness of the Spirit in contemplative prayer then exhales justice and mercy into the community.

Download this file (Can you hear me 2.pdf)Can you hear me 2.pdf163 kB

Economic cycles are driven by financial flows--quantities of savings and credits--not by inflation or interest rates. Today’s financial markets increasingly must serve as refinancing mechanisms rather than as new financing mechanisms, making the capacity of capital (balance sheet size) more important than the cost of capital (interest rates). Money means savings plus credit. The 3 liquidity components are Central Bank provision, private sector supply and cross-border inflows. Refinancing pressure makes balance sheet size and inflows of liquidity much more important than interest rates. Changes in velocity effectively measure the impact of credit. Economic agents typically default because they are illiquid, not because they are insolvent. The business cycle tends to follow the liquidity cycle by around 15–20 months.

This is a short primer on the role and value of financial capital and why slowing growth will accelerate income inequality. Soaring inequality concentrates income in the hand of those who tend to save, which is a deleveraging affect. Does this reflect an advance of the Kingdom of God? To him who has shall more be given.

Download this file (Capital in t 21st Century.pdf)Capitalism in the 21st Century192 kB

Ideas, knowledge, and social relations are intangible. Investment seems low because of not measuring all the investment being made. Intangible investments are in ideas, knowledge, aesthetic content, software, brands, networks, and relationships. They are shot through with systems and rely almost entirely for their success on things you cannot touch. Spillovers from intangibles make living in cities more attractive and increase inequality. As returns on capital exceed the growth of the economy, the slice of the economic pie owned by the rich will grow. What makes new infrastructure valuable is the development of new tools and habits of using them to connect and work together. The least physical form of infrastructure is trust and social capital. The growth of intangibles seems to increase inequality and social divisions, but making the most of their spillovers and synergies requires good social institutions and trust.

Download this file (Capitalism without Capita2.pdf)Capitalism without Capital166 kB

Coaching is management. Effective leaders create a sound strategy, recruit good people, lead by example, adapt to changing conditions, honor their commitments, admit their mistakes, and take responsibility for their failures. Confidence is earned with work, time, and dedication. Winning is a by-product of the process. Positive reinforcement is crucial to team building.

There are 8 conundrums—the Big 8. Christians believe in 5 things: God exists; God is good, God is all-powerful; God is all-wise; and evil exists. The overwhelming majority of pain in the world is caused by our choices. The universe is a soul-making machine. The point of our lives in this world isn’t comfort, but training and preparation for eternity. Suffering is the single greatest challenge to the Christian faith. We find ‘irreducible complexity’ in nature—organisms that could not have evolved. The origin of life is the Achilles heel of evolution. God makes sense of the universe’s origin & complexity, objective moral values & the Resurrection. People assume that what’s wrong for us is wrong for God. Every religion seeks to answer 4 questions: Origin, meaning, morality, and destiny.

Download this file (Case for Faith2.pdf)Case for Faith214 kB

Truth without grace is not really truth, and grace without truth is not really grace. Any religion that de-emphasizes either falls into legalism or license. The concept of idolatry helps people understand their own drivenness, fear, addictions, lack of integrity, envy of others, and resentment in theological terms. Depicting sin as an act of misplaced love, not just a violation of law, it is more compelling to many in our culture today. God ties the fortunes of the people of God to the effectiveness of their urban ministry. In Acts the church is associated with the city. If the gospel is unfolded at the urban center, you can effectively reach the region and the surrounding society. The city we see in Revelation 22:1-3 is the same garden we see in  Genesis. When God’s will is finally done and Jesus fulfills the cultural mandate on our behalf, the Garden of Eden becomes a garden city. One of the best ways to reach a region and country is to reach your own city. The kingdom of God means renewal of the world through the introduction of supernatural forces, not through political power. A person is too rich and multifaceted to be fully known one-on-one. We need to see him/her with others in a community environment. Everyone recognizes that the plight of children is part of the deep injustice of our world that we are duty bound to help improve.

Download this file (Center Church2.pdf)Center Church195 kB

The biggest mistakes in my career came from missing big market moves that hadn’t happened in my lifetime but had happened many times before. The British Empire generally occupied the countries in its empire while the American Empire has controlled more via rewards and threats. Human productivity is the most important force in causing the world’s total wealth, power, and living standards to rise over time, always rising for the same reasons—the quality of people’s education, inventiveness, work ethic, and economic systems to turn ideas into output. Capital markets allow people to convert their savings into investments to fund innovation and development. The human propensity to choose short-term enjoyment over long-term well-being exaggerates the highs and lows of the cycle because it pulls the good times forward at the expense of the future by creating the debt boom and bust cycle. The ability to make money, save it, and put it into capital (i.e., capitalism) is an effective motivator of people and allocator of resources that raises people’s living standards. Money and credit are the biggest influences on how wealth and power rise and decline, and along with debt, and economic activity, are inherently cyclical. All markets are primarily driven by growth, inflation, risk premiums, and discount rates. Interactions between what governments want to happen and what is actually happening drive the cycles. Equity markets allow savers to effectively transfer their buying power to entrepreneurs who could put it to productive and profitable use. The invention of capitalism was a key reason behind the shift from slow real GDP growth to faster growth.

Who you become is determined by how you pray. Imagination is the pathway of prayer. All of God’s promises have been transferred to us via Jesus Christ. Even when we die, our prayers don’t. If you haven’t written down your goals, you haven’t really set them. Journaling is the difference between learning and remembering.

Download this file (Circle Maker.pdf)Circle Maker157 kB