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Balancing grace and conviction

The judgement (Credit: Olly via Fotolia)One of my favorite biblical texts is buried in a surprising place. In 1 Chronicles 12 we find a list of soldiers who served King David. Among them is the half-tribe of Manasseh with 18,000 troops (v. 31), Zebulun with 50,000 "seasoned troops, equipped for battle with all the weapons of war" (v. 33), and so on.

In the midst of such impressive fighting forces, we find the smallest group of all, and perhaps the most strategic: "Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command" (v. 32).

Do we need more "men of Issachar" today?

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A leader's heroes

Business superheroes on the beach (Credit: Rawpixel via Fotolia)The air might be full of radiation, but most in America wouldn't know it. That's because, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, "99 of 135 beta-radiation sensors in its RadNet system—which monitors in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico—aren't working and have been turned off." The RadNet system was built as a response to 9/11 and fears of a widespread nuclear radiation attack, but it seems as if it has been neglected as the public's attention has moved to other concerns.

The failure is emblematic of another, more sinister challenge of our times: the lack of critical thinking in our culture. C. S. Lewis famously declared that "the scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some degree immune from the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of his own age" (The Weight of Glory). Our problem, though, is that we are like the failed RadNet sensors: we can't even tell what the great "cataracts of nonsense" are.

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A leader's mentors

Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell speaks during a press conference on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, at the Dolphins training center in Davie, Fla. Campbell was announced as interim head coach after the Dolphins fired head coach Joe Philbin (Credit: Icon Sportswire/Hector Gabino)Things have to go poorly for an NFL team to fire their coach mid-season. Things have to be even worse when they fire the coach only 4 games into the season. Such was the case with the Miami Dolphins, as they recently fired head coach Joe Philbin after a dismal 1-3 start. Tapped to replace Philbin is Dan Campbell, former tight end of several NFL teams, including the Dallas Cowboys. Campbell becomes the youngest head coach in the league, and faces an uphill struggle to get the team to perform up to expectations.

In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated writer Peter King, Campbell spoke about how energized he was with the task of reinvigorating a seemingly lost team:

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Twitter's distracted leader

Jack Dorsey, co-foinder and Chairman of Twitter and Square, a mobile payments company, during an interview at Oxford Union, Oxford, England, November 21, 2014 (Credit: AP Images/Roger Askew)Twitter is now sharing a CEO with another company. Jack Dorsey, the newly minted CEO as of Monday, is also the CEO of Square, a company that pioneered mobile payments for small businesses. Dorsey will reportedly split his time between the two companies, even though Square is set to launch an IPO in the near future and Twitter faces substantial financial problems as it continues to struggle in the war for advertising dollars.

The move surprised few, because Dorsey has been involved with Twitter since he helped co-found it in 2008. While this is his second stint as CEO, this one comes with much higher stakes, as the company faces financial pressure due to its stagnant user-base and lack of traction with generating significant advertising revenue.

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Why is the Pope so popular? Leadership lessons from Pope Francis

Pope Francis is showed his portrait taken by a boy as he arrives in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican for an audience with with Altar boys and girls, August 4, 2015 (Credit: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)On March 13, 2013, Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He has since has been named Time magazine's "Person of the Year." Esquire named him their "Best-Dressed Man" for his simple vestments. Rolling Stone featured him on their January 2014 cover. Fortune ranked him as number one in their list of 50 greatest leaders. Forbes designated him the fourth most powerful person in the world, the only non-political figure in their ranking.

The Pope Francis Center for the Poor has been opened in the Philippines. Two biographical films of the pope are now in production. Argentina recently announced that its new soccer stadium will be named after Pope Francis.

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