Matt Knight

My thoughts on faith, books, and life in general

Category Archives: Blogs

“Writing is Easy…”

Peggy Noonan discusses speech-writing in this piece on her Wall Street Journal Blog.

She discusses the hollow nature of many political speeches in the present era, saying:
“If you try to write ‘good lines’ you’ll likely wind up with strings of dumb, unconnected applause lines. The audience will probably applaud—crowds of supporters are dutiful that way, and people want to be polite—but they’ll know they’re applauding an applause line, not a thought, and they’ll know they’re enacting enthusiasm, not feeling it.”

She has some great thoughts. Read the article here.

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This Year Find Your Purpose

There are a lot of things that you should have on your “To Do” list this year, but if you haven’t already, you should put finding your purpose at the top of that list.

John Maxwell says:

There are two great days in our lives – the day we are born and the day we discover why.

What are you made for?
Dan Miller (author of 48 Days to the Work You Love) offers this:

Here’s an uncomplicated process for knowing your purpose:
What is the thing that I do that convinces me I’m making a difference?
Knowing your purpose doesn’t have to be big or original – it just has to be ‘you.’

In trying to find your life purpose, try asking questions like:
– What activities/work do I enjoy?
– If money were no object, what would I spend my time doing?
– What kind of person do I want to be?
– What do I want to excel at?
– What can I be really good at if I apply myself?

Michael Hyatt suggests picturing your own funeral (let’s overlook any morbid thoughts to get to the key question): How do you want people to remember you?

dilbert_purpose

Little numbers that rob our productivity

You Have One New messagephoto © 2008 bixentro | more info (via: Wylio)

Earlier this year, I read a great post by Chris Brogan about distractions. What struck me about this post is how true it rang in my life. If you’re like me, you’re really as “busy” as you feel.

Often when I feel like I’m really busy, or overwhelmed, it’s not because I really have too many important things to do. Instead, it’s because I’ve got so many distractions — little things that I’m doing that take time and energy away from doing the really important things. Maybe you’ve encountered the same thing in your life. Or it could be that it’s just me.

For me, this quote is the core of Brogan’s post.
Here’s the except:

“You are not as successful as you want to be because you’re looking at little numbers and wanting to pop them like digital bubble wrap, instead of working on the tasks that have no numbers beside them, but are worth so much more than the number to the right of these words.”

Check out the whole thing.

Maybe it’s your email that distracts you. You spend hours checking your email, looking for new messages, or it could be twitter, or maybe your favorite blog (or even waiting for people to comment on your latest blog post). Whatever it is, we’ve got to recognize that focusing on these little numbers is killing our productivity. Once we recognize that, maybe we can take the necessary steps to stay focused.

Re-Post: What a Trillion Dollars Looks Like

As we talk about the national debt, sometimes the numbers can get so big that we can’t wrap our brains around them.

This is something I ran across some time ago. It’s kinda scary, and eye-opening, but helps us get a better handle on just what a trillion dollars looks like.
Click Here to see what a Trillion dollars looks like.

The Miracle of God’s Judgment and Forgiveness

Like many other people, I am currently reading through the Bible. I started in the middle of last year, and have been trying to finish. (You’ll recall, one of my goals for this year is to be a finisher). One of my favorite bloggers is Jon Acuff, who has recently discussed his journey through the Bible and how some parts of the Bible are harder to read through than others. That is so true, and I’m in one of those parts now.

I’m reading through the major prophets (so-called because they’re the longer books of the prophets in the Old Testament – the shorter ones are the minor prophets). The greater part of these books are discussions of God’s judgment upon the nation of Israel. Time and again, God’s prophets expose the idolatry and wickedness of the Israelites, pronouncing His judgment upon them.

As I read this, I wonder, “Why is so much of the Bible dedicated to the judgment of God?” After all, we don’t talk about that much today. Does it really matter to us today?

Continue Reading…

Some thoughts on building a personal library

Would the statues please stay behind the green rope?photo © 2007 Nic McPhee | more info (via: Wylio)
One piece of advice that has greatly influenced my life has been the mantra: “leaders are readers.” Therefore, it follows that if you want to lead, you have to read. That’s one of the main reasons that I’ve had an on-going goal to read at least 30 books a year for the last few years.

As a student at Liberty University and then at Southwestern Seminary, I was constantly encouraged by professors and mentors to build my personal library. For ministers, this is important, because books are tools of our trade. They help us in our Bible study, leadership, counseling, and numerous other areas of our personal life and ministry.
Continue Reading…

User Reviews Worthless?

Today Yahoo Tech blogger Christopher Null writes about Why User Reviews are Worthless. While I’m not usually one of his readers, this was something that caught my eye.

Null says that when it comes to internet user reviews, the conventional wisdom that says more people give negative reviews than positive. According to him, many products receive high (sometimes perhaps artificially high) reviews. This can make it more difficult to choose the stand-out products from the crowd of wannabes.

I’ve bought a number of products online and I’ve seen some of both extremes. I’ve seen “firewall five” star reviews for products that should have been rated lower, but I’ve also seen some things (services, businesses, restaurants, apartments, etc) get some unfairly bad reviews from some folks who either had bad experiences or were simply haters.

So how do we tell the difference? Are user reviews worthwhile? My advice — before you make your big purchase online do all your research.

Dan Brown’s take on Tattooing

Alan Cross has a post I saw earlier today that really fascinated me. Tattoos are probably more popular than ever today. I personally have never gotten into tattooing, but know many people who have them. I have had a number of discussions over the last several years with young people about tattoos, and it’s just never been appealing to me.

Although, I probably wouldn’t agree with him on many other topics, I was really interested to see what Dan Brown (of Da Vinci Code fame) had to say about Tattooing and control. He suggests that, throughout history tattoos have been about control, and now they are about people displaying control over their own bodies. As Christians we believe our bodies belong to God. How does that affect our thoughts on tattoos?

Read Alan’s post here

Steve Harvey Introduces Jesus

It’s exciting to see a man like Mr Harvey using his influence to point to Jesus. Here Steve Harvey introduces Jesus:

HT:Ron Moore at HolyCoast.com

Article: Was Jesus a Racist?

Here is the opinion piece from Associated Baptist Press, written by Miguel De La Torre entitled, “Was Jesus A Racist?”

Seriously?

Come on ABP, why even put this out? If you’re interested, you can check out Dr. Thomas White’s thoughts on whether this is even the right question (hint: it’s not).

De La Torre’s article is indicative of the thinking of our age. Sometimes we can get really wrapped up in politics and project our political baggage upon the Bible text. That doesn’t make it right though. This piece is garbage.