iBooks vs. Kindle – Which is better for a theological library?

IBooks

Image via Wikipedia

I have been considering investing in digital books instead of physical books as I continue to build a library of books for ministry. The question that I have for you is: Apple’s iBooks or Amazon.com’s Kindle. Here is what I have so far:

Kindle – Pro

Kindle – Con

  • Black and White books
  • A Kindle has a single use.

iBooks – Pro

  • Color books
  • An iPad has multiple uses
  • Reader is available only limited devices
  • Integrated into a device that I already own (iPhone)
  • I am generally a fan of Apple

iBooks – Con

  • Smaller selection of books
  • Books seem to be outside of Apple’s core product strategy
What other pros and cons have I missed? Have you used these platforms? Which do you recommend?

Take thou Authority and Responsibility…

Seth Godin

SetImage via Wikipedia

In the post, Responsibility and authoritySeth Godin (picture to the right) inspired me to suggest a change in the phrasing used at the ordination of every United Methodist Elder. The post is short enough to warrant reposting:

“Many people struggle at work because they want more authority.

It turns out you can get a lot done if you just take more responsibility instead. It’s often offered, rarely taken.

(And you can get even more done if you give away credit, relentlessly).”

This post lead me to the conclusion that it would be helpful to reword the phrase used by a United Methodist bishop when ordaining elders should be “Take thou responsibility and authority…”

7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis

I recently finished reading Seven Lessons for Leading in Crisis by Bill George. This is a short book that explains basic leadership lessons as described in the names of each chapter:

  1. Face Reality, Starting with Yourself
  2. Don’t Be Atlas; Get the World Off Your Shoulders
  3. Dig Deep for the Root Cause
  4. Get Ready for the Long Haul
  5. Never Waste a Good Crisis
  6. You’re in the Spotlight: Follow True North
  7. Go on Offense, Focus on Winning Now

I found the first three chapters to be particularly helpful. I have a tendency to try to take all the responsibility for getting things to turn around if I am part of a team that is facing a crisis. It was helpful to be reminded to be honest with myself, share responsibility and look for the root of the problem. While the focus of this book is on business leaders, I found solid parallels with leadership in the church. The guidance is illustrated well by narrative examples of leaders who have performed well or poorly in crisis. I found this to be a helpful technique.

I recommend this book to people looking for an easy read that provides pithy guidance on leadership.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher.

Boundaries

I appreciated the landmark title from Drs. Cloud and Townsend – Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. Cloud and Townsend move through defining boundaries, examining boundaries in different circumstances and finally suggestions on how to develop healthy boundaries. This is basic boundary stuff and it is good.

While it does contain quality material, it was not the most engaging read. I found it to be quite helpful for those who may be experiencing boundary crises. I will use some of the work from this book in my time providing guidance for people in the congregation and also look forward to improving my personal boundaries. I recommend it to all church leaders and those who feel that they may have taken on too much in their life.

Amazon Kindle and the UM Publishing House

I think that it is a no brainer for the denomination to offer resources on the Amazon Kindle. Imagine these available electronically and portably:

  • The Book of Discipline
  • The Book of Resolutions
  • The Book of Worship
  • The Pocket Book of Worship

I found myself wishing for this last weekend when I was at the bedside of a dying congregant. I did not have my pocket book of worship, but did have my iPhone via the Kindle App. I wished that I could have had those resources at my finger tips.

In addition, Kindle‘s could be given to General Conference participants and updates could be received electronically and in a way that is searchable – no need to print volumes of paper.

What might be preventing the United Methodist Publishing House from moving in this direction? How might I (or you) be helpful in making this possibility a reality?

Flickering Pixels

I just finished reading Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith by Shane Hipps. After just finishing the book I felt thoughtful, peaceful, powerful, aware and enlightened. This book was an unexpected breath of fresh air into my life.

Hipps is a Mennonite pastor in Arizona who formerly worked in advertising. He has a distinct perspective on media and how it shapes the way that we think. Hipps suggests that the book is about “training our eyes to see things we usually overlook” (14).

Hipps is a proponent of Marshall McLuhan’s phrase – the medium is the message. Hipps helped me to think critically about the media with which I engage in every day. I am more aware of the effect that the medium itself has on me as well as any given content.

Hipps ranges across a wide variety of topics within the field of technology and faith. After addressing media, images and how our brain learns and process information, he makes a clear connection with God. God communicates in many different ways with God’s creation and in a very real sense the medium is the message, particularly in the person of Jesus Christ.

I unequivocally recommend this book to those who seek to be more aware about the infoluence which technology has on life and faith.