Mar 082013
 

Pilgrim Theology.
Michael S. Horton.
Sound theology, then, does not start with something else, something more basic and universal, and then add the gospel later on. Even when evaluating a wider horizon, the Christian is wearing “gospel” glasses. C. S. Lewis put the matter well: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.”

Page: 22

The study of theology is the study of God which is, in reality, the study of the gospel, the good news of God’s self revelation to us. Without the light of the Gospel, any musings about theology would be similar to studying the sun at night, you could see some of its reflected glory but never get a true picture of it.

Mar 062013
 

N.T. Wright walks me through Christ’s passion using the Gospel of Luke thanks to a review copy of the book from NetGalley.

Book Info

Lent for Everyone: Luke, Year C: A Daily Devotional
by N.T. Wright
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Published: 10/25/2012
ISBN-10: 0664238955
ISBN-13: 978-0664238957
Started: 03/06/2013
Finished: 04/25/2013
Source: NetGalley
Format: e-book

Publisher Synopsis

Lent for Everyone: Luke, Year C provides readers with an inspirational guide through the Lenten season, from Ash Wednesday through the week after Easter. Popular biblical scholar and author N. T. Wright provides his own Scripture translation, brief reflection, and a prayer for each of the days of the season, helping readers ponder how the text is relevant to their own lives today. By the end of the book readers will have been through the entirety of Luke, along with Psalm readings for each Sunday. Suitable for both individual and group study and reflection, Wright’s Lenten devotional will help you make Luke’s gospel your own, thoughtfully and prayerfully, and your journey through Lent a period of rich discovery and growth.


Author Info
N. T. Wright is the author of numerous best-selling works, including the New Testament for Everyone commentary series, Simply Christian, and the Christian Origins and the Question of God series. He is Professor of New Testament at the University of St. Andrews.

Mar 062013
 
Page: 6

Being organized is not easy but the more you practice, the more you make it a habit, the easier and more natural it becomes.

It is like swimming. You are either treading water or slowly sinking; progress is getting yourself back to the surface before you drown, not arriving at a destination. However, treading water at least becomes easier the longer you do it. At first it takes concentration and focus and energy simply to stay afloat, but eventually you get into better shape and can breathe evenly again. However, you never get so good at it that you can stop. Stop, and gravity and entropy will immediately begin pulling you down again.

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Mar 052013
 

Disney U .
Doug Lipp.
amazon.com
LibraryThing
GoodReads
Google Books

When it comes to being a good employer, who better to learn from than Disney! As the old saying goes, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy;” so also your customers satisfaction is directly dependent on your employees’ attitudes. I am looking forward to learning how I can make our offices a better workplace.

I was able to get a review copy of Disney U and so will put aside my current business read, so I can get this read by the time book gets published at the end of the month.

Book Posts

Focusing on the Things You Can Change

Book Info

Disney U : How Disney University Develops the World's Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees
by Doug Lipp
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional
Published: 03/29/2013
ISBN-10: 0071808078
ISBN-13: 978-0071808071
Started: 03/05/2013
Finished: 03/25/2013
Source: NetGalley
Format: e-book

Publisher Synopsis

In helping Walt Disney create The Happiest Place on Earth, Van France was responsible for a breakthrough in employee training.  In 1955, he created a singular Disney approach and attitude between employee and customer: The Show and The Cast, backstage and on-stage. These are the very essentials of the program still used today among thousands of Disney employees and at all Disney properties worldwide.

 

France has been described as “a strange combination of three of Disney’s most famous characters – Jiminy Cricket, Mary Poppins, and Donald Duck,” and his program also combined key elements: Training, management, human resources, innovation, engagement, smiles, laughter, and a lot of fun.

 

DISNEY U by long-time Disney insider Doug Lipp, offers anecdotes of France’s  timeless company values and leadership lessons in both conception and action.  Together they created a training and development dynasty; Lipp unpacks how any company can create a similar level of hands-on care that keeps customers coming back.

 

Disney University continues to turn out some of the most engaged, loyal, wildly passionate and customer-centered employees the business world has ever seen. Maintaining that high level of sustained enthusiasm – through crises, slumps, and crashes – is a testament to Disney’s investment in people and positive psychology.

 

The concepts of Disney U can bring the “Imagineer” mentality to your own company – by always putting people first. 


Author Info
Doug Lipp is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author and consultant on customer service, leadership, change management and global competitiveness. His thought-provoking, learn-by-doing presentation style has motivated hundreds of thousands of people around the world to maximize personal and professional success. By age 29, Doug was the head of the training team at the world-famous Disney University at Disney's corporate headquarters. Fluent in Japanese, he was later on the start-up team for Tokyo Disneyland, Disney's first international theme park. After leaving Disney, Doug co-developed an international consulting firm with a Stanford University professor, teaching diverse teams of professionals how to better themselves in the marketplace. Doug is the author of numerous articles and eight books on leadership, customer service, and international business. His latest book, Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World's Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees is full of never-before-told stories offering timeless lessons from Disney's legendary leaders. In writing Disney U, Doug interviewed with Disney legends, Disney University Founders, and countless Disney Executives and visionaries who welcomed him into their historic days with the iconic leader Walt Disney. Not many know about Van France, the Disney University Founder charged with the task of creating this famous training empire.


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Mar 052013
 

God Is on the Cross.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
amazon.com
LibraryThing
GoodReads
Google Books

Who better to reflect on the meaning of Lent and Easter than Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Book Posts

  • God Is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • God Is on the Cross – Good Friday and Easter
  • Good Friday & Easter – God’s Judgement & Grace

  • Book Info

    God Is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter
    by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
    Published: 03/28/2012
    ISBN-10: 0664238491
    ISBN-13: 978-0664238490
    Started: 03/05/2013
    Finished: 04/10/2013
    Source: NetGalley
    Format: e-book

    Publisher Synopsis

    These forty stirring devotions will guide and inspire readers as they move thematically through the weeks of Lent and Easter, encountering themes of prayerful reflection, self-denial, temptation, suffering, and the meaning of the cross. Passages from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s letters and sermons provide special encouragement as readers prepare themselves spiritually for Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Supplemented by an informative introduction to Bonhoeffer’s life and a Scripture passage for each day of the season, these daily devotions are moving reminders of the true gift of Christ on the cross.


    Author Info
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of the most well-known and beloved theologians of the twentieth century. Renowned for his classic works Life Together and The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer's legacy took on another dimension when he was imprisoned and executed for participating in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.


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    Feb 242013
     
    HIdden Docusign Feature

    HIdden DocuSign Feature

    While trying to figure out how to customize DocuSign, I came across a cryptic message on their discussion forum asking, “Can I use @Sender in a Template?”.

    I know about @me and @Sender when creating an Envelope, but when I add it to a Template, the Role information auto-populates it to my name/email information. Is there a way to make it auto-populate to whichever account member is using the template?

    I can find nothing in the Docusign documentation about using @me and @Sender but I was not worried about that, it is not hard to put your own name in if you are just doing a single envelope. But we might send out numerous documents a day created from a DocuSign template and it would be great to have the sender’s name and email filled in automatically.

    A DocuSign moderator replied that it was not possible:

    That functionality is currently not supported. I think that would definitely be a nice to have so I would file that as a Product Enhancement so that maybe we can get it into the new Sending UI that will take into account whether it’s a template or not.

    Two hours later another person from DocuSign replied it was possible:

    Sure there is, just make the Role name Sender in the template and it’ll work.

    Sure enough! If you name one of the template roles “Sender” then DocuSign will fill in the sender’s name and email address when the envelope is created using the template. I changed the first role in the template from “Agent” to “Sender” and now the Agents only have to fill in the client’s name and address. I wonder how many other secret hidden features are lurking under the surface.


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    Feb 242013
     

    DocuSign Logo

    We have just started using DocuSign at the office and it should speed up our signature gathering considerably. While putting DocuSign through the paces I noticed that the emails sent to clients from Docusign were probably designed by programmers and not marketers, so it was time to figure out how to modify them. DocuSign has a lot of published documentation. Very redundant in many areas but totally lacking in many of the higher-end features. The only documentation I could find just stated that it was possible to manipulate DocuSign’s email output by editing the XML Resource Files found in Branding section. So it was time to explore and learn as well as a lot of trial and error.

    First I downloaded the DocuSign_EmailResources.xml file that controls all the outgoing emails from the “Branding” section and started digging around inside the code. Using some searching I found that the text from the email I wanted to update in the “EnvelopeActivation” title section.

    My first change was simple and probably unnecessary. I noticed the company logo had a generic alt tag. Why not put the company name in there?

    Original:
    <td colspan="2" style="white-space:nowrap;background-image:none;">
    <img src="[[EmailLogoPath]]" alt="Email Brand Logo" /></td>
    
    Updated:
    <td colspan="2" style="white-space:nowrap;background-image:none;">
    <img src="[[EmailLogoPath]]" alt="[[SenderCompany]] Logo" /></td>
    

    The emails had a line that just said “Review Documents” under the logo which made no sense to me. I looked and found that it was controled by the tag “EmailTitle” but could not find where this tag was set. It was not the title of the email. So, I just removed the tag and replaced it with similar text but this time hot-linking to the document needing signed.

    Original:
    <td colspan="2" class="TitleStyle">
      [[EmailTitle]]
    </td>
    
    Updated:
    <td colspan="2" class="TitleStyle">
      <a href="[[QuickURL]]" target="_blank" id="A1" >
        Review and Sign Documents</a>
    </td>
    

    Next was a line that said “Sent on behalf of at which I got rid of completely since I was going to have a signature line at the bottom of the email with the exact same info yet in a more readable format.

    Original:
    <p>Sent on behalf of <a class="LinkStyle" href="mailto:[[SenderEmail]]">[[SenderName]]</a> at [[SenderCompany]].</p>
    
    Updated:
    
    

    Next I cleaned up the email body by removing the hot-link to the recipient’s email (Why would they want to click their own name?) Then I added the personalized signature line that would follow the envelope’s “EmailBlurb”.

    Original:
    <p>[[RecipientName]] (<a  class="LinkStyle" href="mailto:[[RecipientEmail]]">[[RecipientEmail]]</a>),</p>
    <p>[[EmailBlurb]]</p>
    <p>[[RecipientNote]]</p>
    
    Updated:
    <p>[[RecipientName]],</p>
    <p>[[EmailBlurb]]</p>
    <p>[[RecipientNote]]</p>
    <p>Thank-You!</p>
    <p>[[SenderName]]<br />
    <a class="LinkStyle" 
      href="mailto:[[SenderEmail]]">[[SenderEmail]]</a><br />
    <a class="LinkStyle" 
      href="https://MidColumbiaInsurance.com" target="_blank">[[SenderCompany]]</a><br />
    (509) 783-5600</p>
    

    I really didn’t understand why the link to the document that the client expects to sign was just labeled “Review” instead of “Review & Sign”. So I fixed it. While I was at it, I made the “ButtonArrow” tag a seperate link so that the space between the text and the graphic was not underlined. (Yes, I can be OCD). The other odd thing is that this “ButtonArrow” graphic appears to be just a square transparent file.

    Original:
    <a class="action" 
      href="[[QuickURL]]" target="_blank" id="A1" >Review Documents [[ButtonArrow]]</a></td>
    
    Updated:
    <a class="action" 
      href="[[QuickURL]]" target="_blank" id="A1" >Review and Sign Documents</a>&amp;nbsp;
    <a class="action" 
      href="[[QuickURL]]" target="_blank" id="A1" >[[ButtonArrow]]</a>
    

    Finally, I renamed and moved the “MORE OPTIONS” section to go under the DocuSign tag line. “More Info” was more accurate and sounded better. The “Change Signer” link was also removed since we will never use it so it just leads to an error message saying they are not allowed to change the signer.

    Original:
    <td colspan="2" class="FooterOuterStyle">
      <span class="FooterHeaderStyle">MORE OPTIONS:</span>
      &amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;
      <a class="FooterLinkStyle" href="[[ChangeURL]]" target="_blank" id="changeurl" >Change Signer</a>
      &amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;|&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;
      <a class="FooterLinkStyle" href="http://www.docusign.com/senders-support/support-main-page" target="_blank" id="support" >Support</a>
      &amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;|
      &amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;
      <a class="FooterLinkStyle" href="http://www.docusign.com/resources/intro-to-electronic-signatures" target="_blank" id="esig" >About electronic signatures</a>
    </td>
    
         ..some stuff not shown..
    
    <td class="BottomTextStyle">          
      <p><strong>DocuSign. </strong>The fastest way to get a signature.&amp;reg;</p>
      <p>[[EmailSupport]]</p>          
      <p>[[WhiteListText]]</p>         
    </td>        
    
    Updated:
    <td class="FooterOuterStyle">
      <p>
      <strong>DocuSign. </strong>The fastest way to get a signature.&amp;reg;<br />
      <span class="FooterHeaderStyle">More Info:</span>
      &amp;nbsp;
      <a class="FooterLinkStyle" 
        href="http://www.docusign.com/senders-support/support-main-page" target="_blank" id="support" >DocuSign Support</a>
      &amp;nbsp;|
      &amp;nbsp;
      <a class="FooterLinkStyle" 
        href="http://www.docusign.com/resources/intro-to-electronic-signatures" target="_blank" id="esig" >About electronic signatures</a>
      </p>
      <p>[[EmailSupport]]</p>  
      <p>[[WhiteListText]]</p>     
    </td> 
    
    

    Learned a lot. Hopefully by documenting it here I will remember what I did when we decide to do something else down the road.


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    Feb 142013
     

    Wild.
    Cheryl Strayed.
    amazon.com
    LibraryThing
    GoodReads
    Google Books

    2 hours into the 11+ hour audiobook and am giving up. There are too many good books to read. This book was recommended by Oprah’s Book Club on June 12th, 2012 and by July 15th it hit #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, where it stayed for seven weeks.

    The numerous reckless and stupid things she recalls piled too high for me to continue. Sure she was depressed, sure she was lonely, sure she was young, sure ….

    Here are some quotes from Goodreads (the Amazon quotes seem like hype from the Oprah book club):

    What kind of dimwit would decide to backpack the Pacific Crest Trail alone with zero backpacking experience? Apparently the same kind of dimwit who would try heroin just because the stranger she spent the night with happens to need a fix. – Jeanette (Netterooski)
    A self-absorbed, ill-prepared woman, 26 years old, leaves her husband (a decent guy) for no good reason, mucks her life up even further with drugs and reckless sex, then engages in some vacuous navel-gazing on the Pacific Crest Trail. – Cathy
    So much baggage. As a backpacker myself, I cringed to read about hoisting a backpack so heavy that she could only strap it on while sitting on the ground. How she managed to balance that pack and not let it accidentally fling her off the Sierras, even after Albert put that bag on a diet, is beyond me. And those tight boots that ate her toenails and mangled her feet into a fine pulp!! – HappyReader
    I know what Cheryl felt like on the Pacific Crest Trail because I felt like that reading her book. Neverending. Arduous. But without that whole enlightenment part. – Nikiverse

    Book Info

    Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
    by Cheryl Strayed
    Publisher: Knopf
    Published: 03/20/2012
    ISBN-10: 0307592731
    ISBN-13: 978-0307592736
    Started: 02/12/2013
    Abandoned: 02/14/2013
    Source: Mid-Columbia Library
    Reason: #1 New York Times Bestseller Non-Fiction
    Format: audiobook

    Publisher Synopsis

    Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection.

    A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.

    At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

    Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.


    Author Info
    Raised in Minnesota, Strayed now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, the filmmaker Brian Lindstrom, and their two children.


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    Feb 142013
     

    Argo.
    Antonio Mendez.
    amazon.com
    LibraryThing
    GoodReads
    Google Books

    The movie was such a big hit. I put a reserve in at the library for the DVD but I was #79 on the hold list. I knew I wanted to read the book anyway before I saw the movie. So glad I did.

    Book Info

    Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History
    by Antonio Mendez
    Publisher: Viking
    Published: 09/13/2012
    ISBN-10: 0670026220
    ISBN-13: 978-0670026227
    Started: 02/07/2013
    Finished: 02/14/2013
    Source: overdrive audiobook
    Reason: Wanted to read the book before watching the movie
    Format: audiobook

    Publisher Synopsis

    The true, declassified account of CIA operative Tony Mendez’s daring rescue of American hostages from Iran that inspired the critically-acclaimed film directed by and starring Ben Affleck, and co-starring John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Bryan Cranston.

    On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the American embassy in Tehran and captured dozens of American hostages, sparking a 444-day ordeal and a quake in global politics still reverberating today. But there is a little-known drama connected to the crisis: six Americans escaped. And a top-level CIA officer named Antonio Mendez devised an ingenious yet incredibly risky plan to rescue them before they were detected.

    Disguising himself as a Hollywood producer, and supported by a cast of expert forgers, deep cover CIA operatives, foreign agents, and Hollywood special effects artists, Mendez traveled to Tehran under the guise of scouting locations for a fake science fiction film called Argo. While pretending to find the perfect film backdrops, Mendez and a colleague succeeded in contacting the escapees, and smuggling them out of Iran.

    Antonio Mendez finally details the extraordinarily complex and dangerous operation he led more than three decades ago. A riveting story of secret identities and international intrigue, Argo is the gripping account of the history-making collusion between Hollywood and high-stakes espionage.


    Author Info
    Antonio Mendez served in the CIA for twenty-five years and is a highly decorated CIA officer, one of the top 50 officers in its first 50 years and a recipient of the Intelligence Star for Valor for the ARGO operation. The author of The Master of Disguise and Spy Dust, Mendez lives with his family in rural Washington County, Maryland.

    Matt Baglio has worked for a variety of news organizations and magazines. Author ofthe bestselling The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, he divides his time between California and Italy.

    Feb 122013
     

    Stolen Prey.
    John Sandford.
    amazon.com
    LibraryThing
    GoodReads
    Google Books

    Although this is John Sanford’s 22nd book in the Lucas Davenport “Prey” series, it is my first. I have a soft spot for these kind of stories, once started I want to get to the end.

    Book Info

    Stolen Prey: Lucas Davenport, #22
    by John Sandford
    Publisher: Putnam
    Published: 05/15/2012
    ISBN-10: 0399157689
    ISBN-13: 978-0399157684
    Started: 02/10/2013
    Finished: 02/12/2013
    Source: Mid-Columbia Library
    Reason: New York Times #1 Bestseller - June 03, 2012
    Format: audiobook

    Publisher Synopsis

    Lucas Davenport has seen many terrible murder scenes. This is one of the worst. In the small Minnesota town of Wayzata, an entire family has been killed—husband, wife, two daughters, dogs.

    There’s something about the scene that pokes at Lucas’s cop instincts—it looks an awful lot like the kind of scorched-earth retribution he’s seen in drug killings sometimes. But this is a seriously upscale town, and the husband was an executive vice president at a big bank. It just doesn’t seem to fit.

    Until it does. And where it leads Lucas will take him into the darkest nightmare of his life


    Author Info
    John Sandford is a Pulitzer Prize winner and the author of twenty-two Prey novels and eleven other works of fiction, most recently the Virgil Flowers novel Shock Wave. He lives in Minnesota.


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