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Likeable Leadership

Like, thumb upInstagram is reportedly going to switch its chronological news feed to one based on algorithms. This means that instead of seeing photos displayed in order of when they are posted, you'll see them arranged by what Instagram thinks is best for you. According to Instagram, "To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most. The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you'll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post."

While there has largely been backlash to the announcement so far, it is easy to see why the company is making this shift. Algorithmic ordering makes it much easier for the company to advertise. They can more strategically place their sponsored content next to similar content from the people you follow. It is also a decision that others in the industry have already embraced (Facebook and Twitter). One of the basic results of this change is that photos with more likes will rise to the top of your news feed. "Likes" are digital currency, and if your photo doesn't get likes, it won't get high priority in the new ordering.

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Celebrity Leadership

paparazziDisclaimer: With the Oscars and Grammys in our recent memory, and with our increasing fascination in America with all things celebrity, I thought I would write a farcical letter of advice to a young Christian aspiring to be a celebrity leader a la C. S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters.

So you want to be a celebrity? That is wonderful! What a time to aspire to such greatness. With the masses increasingly addicted to their small screens, it's easier than ever before to get their attention. You can imagine how much harder it was when there was only television! You have come to the right place for advice. In all my accumulated years of helping celebrities, I've developed the following three pieces of advice. I hope you will follow them diligently.

Rule #1 Always look out for your personal image.

I know you are a Christian and that you want to use your platform to "give God glory." Great! Just remember that God wants you to get some glory too. Anything is possible if you just have the faith to believe it! So dream big, and don't let obstacles get in your way. When Jesus said to "take up your cross," he wasn't talking literally. He was talking about all the various people that will try to bring you down along the way. He doesn't want you to suffer; he wants you to succeed.

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Endings and beginnings

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia smiles before speaking at a constitutional law symposium where he delivered a talk called “Interpreting the Constitution: A View From the High Court,The recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has already turned out to be one of the most pivotal moments of 2016. The political rancor surrounding his successor will carry on indefinitely as the race for the presidency heats up. Articles have already been written about his legacy, offering keen insights on his impact as one of the most important jurists of the last half-century. He was a strong Catholic, a man who embraced his faith's role in his public service. He was also a man who cultivated lasting relationships. While he was devoted to his family, one of the more unheralded aspects of his life was the way he shared friendships with those who were ideologically different than him. His long friendship with Justice Ginsberg is just one example.

But beyond Justice Scalia's legacy, his death affords the opportunity to explore the power of endings and beginnings in leadership. It is fascinating to note that his death occurred on the first weekend of Lent, which is the long-standing Christian season of reflecting on the significance of Jesus' death. Lent itself is a season where endings and beginnings coalesce, because Lent anticipates Easter, the ultimate Christian beginning.

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How to solve the world's problems

Can you hear me - a man holding a Bible and looking up to God (Credit: Prixel Creative via Lightstock)Scientists say the oceans are rising at the fastest rate since the founding of the Roman Empire, leading to tidal flooding that is already affecting coastal cities. A partial truce in Syria was announced Monday, but it does not apply to the Islamic State and the Nusra Front, two of the most lethal extremist groups fighting there.

Seventy-one percent of Americans say the shootings and random violence we've seen in recent months—in South Carolina, Oregon, Michigan, and San Bernardino, California—are now a permanent part of life in the U.S. Not surprisingly, a new study reports that one out of three Americans don't get enough sleep. Stress ranks high on the list of reasons.

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For the Martyrs

ERBIL, IRAQ - AUGUST 11, 2014 - A man stands still outside the Mar Tshmony church. 500 Christian families have been sheltered at Mar Tshmony church, after an unprecedented ISIS advance into Kurdish controlled territory, mainly Qaraqosh for the second time. These refugees are begging for passports to get out Iraq and even called on Western governments to offer them asylum as their culture faces the danger of extinction. (Credit: Photo by Vianney Le Caer / Pacific Press/Sipa USA)February 15th marked the 1-year anniversary of the beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians at the hands of ISIS soldiers. The vivid scene is awful to recall. The 21 men, clad in orange jumpsuits, kneeling down in the sand as their black-clad executioners stood triumphant over them. Refusing to denounce their faith in Jesus, these men paid the ultimate price. Their legacy lives on, as the courage and bravery they showed in the face of such vicious hate testifies to the power of their faith.

Eric Metaxas, in the introduction to his book 7 Men, says this: "So from the gospel stories of Jesus' life, you get the idea that seeing a person's life is at least as important as getting a list of lessons from that person. Yes, sermons are important, but seeing the actual life of the guy who gives the sermon might be even more powerful."

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