14 Letter Quotes

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...You're omniscient, right?" "For the most part, yes." "Then you have to tell me this ‘cause I have to know. What's at the end of everything?" He shrugged. "That's easy enough." "Then tell me." "The letter G.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
Reading list (1972 edition)[edit] 1. Homer – Iliad, Odyssey 2. The Old Testament 3. Aeschylus – Tragedies 4. Sophocles – Tragedies 5. Herodotus – Histories 6. Euripides – Tragedies 7. Thucydides – History of the Peloponnesian War 8. Hippocrates – Medical Writings 9. Aristophanes – Comedies 10. Plato – Dialogues 11. Aristotle – Works 12. Epicurus – Letter to Herodotus; Letter to Menoecus 13. Euclid – Elements 14. Archimedes – Works 15. Apollonius of Perga – Conic Sections 16. Cicero – Works 17. Lucretius – On the Nature of Things 18. Virgil – Works 19. Horace – Works 20. Livy – History of Rome 21. Ovid – Works 22. Plutarch – Parallel Lives; Moralia 23. Tacitus – Histories; Annals; Agricola Germania 24. Nicomachus of Gerasa – Introduction to Arithmetic 25. Epictetus – Discourses; Encheiridion 26. Ptolemy – Almagest 27. Lucian – Works 28. Marcus Aurelius – Meditations 29. Galen – On the Natural Faculties 30. The New Testament 31. Plotinus – The Enneads 32. St. Augustine – On the Teacher; Confessions; City of God; On Christian Doctrine 33. The Song of Roland 34. The Nibelungenlied 35. The Saga of Burnt Njál 36. St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica 37. Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy;The New Life; On Monarchy 38. Geoffrey Chaucer – Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales 39. Leonardo da Vinci – Notebooks 40. Niccolò Machiavelli – The Prince; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy 41. Desiderius Erasmus – The Praise of Folly 42. Nicolaus Copernicus – On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres 43. Thomas More – Utopia 44. Martin Luther – Table Talk; Three Treatises 45. François Rabelais – Gargantua and Pantagruel 46. John Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion 47. Michel de Montaigne – Essays 48. William Gilbert – On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies 49. Miguel de Cervantes – Don Quixote 50. Edmund Spenser – Prothalamion; The Faerie Queene 51. Francis Bacon – Essays; Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum, New Atlantis 52. William Shakespeare – Poetry and Plays 53. Galileo Galilei – Starry Messenger; Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences 54. Johannes Kepler – Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; Concerning the Harmonies of the World 55. William Harvey – On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; On the Generation of Animals 56. Thomas Hobbes – Leviathan 57. René Descartes – Rules for the Direction of the Mind; Discourse on the Method; Geometry; Meditations on First Philosophy 58. John Milton – Works 59. Molière – Comedies 60. Blaise Pascal – The Provincial Letters; Pensees; Scientific Treatises 61. Christiaan Huygens – Treatise on Light 62. Benedict de Spinoza – Ethics 63. John Locke – Letter Concerning Toleration; Of Civil Government; Essay Concerning Human Understanding;Thoughts Concerning Education 64. Jean Baptiste Racine – Tragedies 65. Isaac Newton – Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Optics 66. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz – Discourse on Metaphysics; New Essays Concerning Human Understanding;Monadology 67. Daniel Defoe – Robinson Crusoe 68. Jonathan Swift – A Tale of a Tub; Journal to Stella; Gulliver's Travels; A Modest Proposal 69. William Congreve – The Way of the World 70. George Berkeley – Principles of Human Knowledge 71. Alexander Pope – Essay on Criticism; Rape of the Lock; Essay on Man 72. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu – Persian Letters; Spirit of Laws 73. Voltaire – Letters on the English; Candide; Philosophical Dictionary 74. Henry Fielding – Joseph Andrews; Tom Jones 75. Samuel Johnson – The Vanity of Human Wishes; Dictionary; Rasselas; The Lives of the Poets
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading)
...Je n’ai pas cessé de l’être si c’est d’être jeune que d’aimer toujours !... L’humanité n’est pas un vain mot. Notre vie est faite d’amour, et ne plus aimer c’est ne plus vivre." (I have never ceased to be young, if being young is always loving... Humanity is not a vain word. Our life is made of love, and to love no longer is to live no longer.)
George Sand (The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters)
Auch ist es vielleicht nicht eigentlich Liebe wenn ich sage, daß Du mir das Liebste bist; Liebe ist, dass Du mir das Messer bist, mit dem ich in mir wühle. An Milena Jesenska (14. September 1920)
Franz Kafka (Letters to Milena)
You could’ve sent a message to a letter station at one of the portal gates.” “What should I have written? Dear Harlot, rumor has it that you are very happy with your new life in Rothkalina with your beloved brother Omort. I hear that you have all the gold you could ever want, and I know how much you always enjoyed a good blood orgy. Well done, Melanthe! By the way, would you like to meet for a rational discussion about our future?” “Well. I did have a lot of gold.” Do not strangle her!
Kresley Cole (Dark Skye (Immortals After Dark, #14))
At Ge 1:1 God used a matrix of sevens: (1) Seven words. (2) 28 letters (28 ÷ 4 = 7). (3) First three words contain 14 letters (14 ÷ 2 = 7). (4) Last four words contain 14 letters (14 ÷ 2 = 7). (5) Fourth and fifth words have seven letters. (6) Sixth and seventh words have seven letters. (7) Key words (God, heaven, earth) contain 14 letters (14 ÷ 2 = 7). (8) Remaining words contain 14 letters (14 ÷ 2 = 7). (9) Numeric value of first, middle and last letters equal, 133 (133 ÷ 19 = 7). (10) Numeric value of the first and last letters of all seven words equal 1,393 (1,393 ÷ 199 = 7). (11) The book of Genesis has 78,064 letters (78,064 ÷ 11,152 = 7). So, what is the big deal about seven? Jesus is our Shiva (7), our Shabbat (7th day). (Lu 6:5) You couldn’t see this messianic reference, however, unless you are reading in Hebrew. This book is the beginning of an amazing pilgrimage.
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program for Christians)
My mom believed that you make your own luck. Over the stove she had hung these old, maroon painted letters that spell out, “MANIFEST.” The idea being if you thought and dreamed about the way you wanted your life to be -- if you just envisioned it long enough, it would come into being. But as hard as I had manifested Astrid Heyman with her hand in mine, her blue eyes gazing into mine, her lips whispering something wild and funny and outrageous in my ear, she had remained totally unaware of my existence. Truly, to even dream of dreaming about Astrid, for a guy like me, in my relatively low position on the social ladder of Cheyenne Mountain High, was idiotic. And with her a senior and me a junior? Forget it. Astrid was just lit up with beauty: shining blonde ringlets, June sky blue eyes, slightly furrowed brow, always biting back a smile, champion diver on the swim team. Olympic level. Hell, Astrid was Olympic level in every possible way.
Emmy Laybourne
The Taking Of Turns Monday, June 14, 2010 You are in some songs that still get played on the radio when the DJ is feeling nostalgic. You are in a book you once lent me (never returned) with yellowed pages. You are in trees when I touch them, even ones without names carved into them. You are in the way someone on the street laughs as I pass them. You are in a box I keep filled with letters. You are in a ring I no longer wear. And, every day, you each get a moment to haunt me.
Iain S. Thomas (I Wrote This For You: 2007-2017 (I Wrote This For You #1))
PSA19.14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
Hamilton has often been extolled as the exponent of a rational foreign policy based on cool calculations of national self-interest. But his April 14 letter expressed his unswerving conviction that nations, transported by strong emotion, often miscalculate their interests: “Wars oftener proceed from angry and perverse passions than from cool calculations of interest.
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)
In TIME June 7, 2010 On the sustainability of the publishing industry, in the Chicago Tribune: "I think that book publishing is about to slide into the sea. We live in a literate time, and our children are writing up a storm, often combining letters and numbers.... The future of publishing: 18 million authors in America, each with an average of 14 readers, eight of whom are blood relatives. Average annual earnings: $175." - 5/26/10
Garrison Keillor
We should expect nothing less from the language that was originally given by God, to His human family. Hebrew was the method that God chose for mankind to speak to Him, and Him to them. Adam spoke Hebrew—and your Bible confirms this. Everyone who got off the ark spoke one language—Hebrew. Even Abraham spoke Hebrew. Where did Abraham learn to speak Hebrew? Abraham was descended from Noah’s son, Shem. (Ge 11:10-26) Shem’s household was not affected by the later confusion of languages, at Babel. (Ge 11:5-9) To the contrary, Shem was blessed while the rest of Babel was cursed. (Ge 9:26) That is how Abraham retained Hebrew, despite residing in Babylon. So, Shem’s language can be traced back to Adam. (Ge 11:1) And, Shem (Noah’s son) was still alive when Jacob and Esau was 30 years of age. Obviously, Hebrew (the original language) was clearly spoken by Jacob’s sons. (Ge 14:13)
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program for Christians)
The idea of universal consciousness suffuses both Western and Eastern thought and philosophy, from the “collective unconscious” of psychologist Carl Jung, to unified field theory, to the investigations of the Institute of Noetic Sciences founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell in 1973. Though some of the Methodist ministers of my youth might be appalled, I feel blessed by the thought of sharing with an octopus what one website (loveandabove.com) calls “an infinite, eternal ocean of intelligent energy.” Who would know more about the infinite, eternal ocean than an octopus? And what could be more deeply calming than being cradled in its arms, surrounded by the water from which life itself arose? As Wilson and I pet Kali’s soft head on this summer afternoon, I think of Paul the Apostle’s letter to the Philippians about the power of the “peace that passeth understanding . . .
Sy Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness)
I saw letters he wrote at age 14 before his recent spell of silence: they were perfectly normal and better than average writings, in fact sensitive and better than anything I could have written at 14 when I also was an innocent introverted monster.
Jack Kerouac
Similarly, some biblical views of women are superior to others. And so the apostle Paul’s attitude about women is that they could be and should be leaders of the Christian communities—as evidenced by the fact that in his own communities there were women who were church organizers, deacons, and even apostles (Romans 16). That attitude is much better than the one inserted by a later scribe into Paul’s letter of 1 Corinthians, which claims women should always be silent in the church (1 Corinthians 14:35–36), or the one forged under Paul’s name in the letter of 1 Timothy, which insists that women remain silent, submissive, and pregnant (1 Timothy 2:11–15).
Bart D. Ehrman (Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know About Them))
He's meeting his girl now, a girl not much older than 14. A five-and-ten-cents store Cleopatra, a four letter word.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
In a spookily prophetic letter, Pearl Payne had once written, “My history is unusual and may be of interest to medical men of the future.”14 She could never
Kate Moore (The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women (Bestselling Historical Nonfiction Gift for Men and Women))
JOB14.7 For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
PRO14.29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
ACT14.9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, 
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
PRO14.12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
PRO14.23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
PSA50.14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:  PSA50.15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
PSA90.14 O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
PRO14.17 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
PRO14.1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
ROM8.14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
JOH14.13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
ACT24.14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
HEB6.13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,  HEB6.14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
You can also write a letter of apology to yourself. Go on, you deserve it. Tell yourself why you should have been kinder to yourself, and share your intention of how to change things in the future.
Andrea Owen (How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t: 14 Habits that Are Holding You Back from Happiness)
After a long and happy life, I find myself at the pearly gates (a sight of great joy; the word for “pearl” in Greek is, by the way, margarita). Standing there is St. Peter. This truly is heaven, for finally my academic questions will receive answers. I immediately begin the questions that have been plaguing me for half a century: “Can you speak Greek? Where did you go when you wandered off in the middle of Acts? How was the incident between you and Paul in Antioch resolved? What happened to your wife?” Peter looks at me with some bemusement and states, “Look, lady, I’ve got a whole line of saved people to process. Pick up your harp and slippers here, and get the wings and halo at the next table. We’ll talk after dinner.” As I float off, I hear, behind me, a man trying to gain Peter’s attention. He has located a “red letter Bible,” which is a text in which the words of Jesus are printed in red letters. This is heaven, and all sorts of sacred art and Scriptures, from the Bhagavad Gita to the Qur’an, are easily available (missing, however, was the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version). The fellow has his Bible open to John 14, and he is frenetically pointing at v. 6: “Jesus says here, in red letters, that he is the way. I’ve seen this woman on television (actually, she’s thinner in person). She’s not Christian; she’s not baptized - she shouldn’t be here!” “Oy,” says Peter, “another one - wait here.” He returns a few minutes later with a man about five foot three with dark hair and eyes. I notice immediately that he has holes in his wrists, for when the empire executes an individual, the circumstances of that death cannot be forgotten. “What is it, my son?” he asks. The man, obviously nonplussed, sputters, “I don’t mean to be rude, but didn’t you say that no one comes to the Father except through you?” “Well,” responds Jesus, “John does have me saying this.” (Waiting in line, a few other biblical scholars who overhear this conversation sigh at Jesus’s phrasing; a number of them remain convinced that Jesus said no such thing. They’ll have to make the inquiry on their own time.) “But if you flip back to the Gospel of Matthew, which does come first in the canon, you’ll notice in chapter 25, at the judgment of the sheep and the goats, that I am not interested in those who say ‘Lord, Lord,’ but in those who do their best to live a righteous life: feeding the hungry, visiting people in prison . . . ” Becoming almost apoplectic, the man interrupts, “But, but, that’s works righteousness. You’re saying she’s earned her way into heaven?” “No,” replies Jesus, “I am not saying that at all. I am saying that I am the way, not you, not your church, not your reading of John’s Gospel, and not the claim of any individual Christian or any particular congregation. I am making the determination, and it is by my grace that anyone gets in, including you. Do you want to argue?” The last thing I recall seeing, before picking up my heavenly accessories, is Jesus handing the poor man a Kleenex to help get the log out of his eye.
Amy-Jill Levine (The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus)
What makes a good coach? Someone who’s gone further than you, seen more than you’ve seen, failed in more interesting ways than you have, and prevailed in the face of challenges more daunting than you’ve faced.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
To your request of my opinion of the manner in which a newspaper should be conducted, so as to be most useful, I should answer, ‘by restraining it to true facts & sound principles only.’ Yet I fear such a paper would find few subscribers. It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more compleatly deprive the nation of its benefits, than is done by its abandoned prostitution to falsehood. Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knolege with the lies of the day. I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live & die in the belief, that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time; whereas the accounts they have read in newspapers are just as true a history of any other period of the world as of the present, except that the real names of the day are affixed to their fables. General facts may indeed be collected from them, such as that Europe is now at war, that Bonaparte has been a successful warrior, that he has subjected a great portion of Europe to his will, &c., &c.; but no details can be relied on. I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.” —Letter to John Norvell, 14 June 1807 [Works 10:417--18]
Thomas Jefferson (Works of Thomas Jefferson. Including The Jefferson Bible, Autobiography and The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Illustrated), with Notes on Virginia, Parliamentary ... more.)
Queen Wilhelmina of Holland entered the state of motherhood six times, but was never able to carry the child to maturity. All the science of Europe could not bring the child to birth. There was a dear lady in our congregation in South Africa who had formerly been a nurse to Queen Wilhelmina. Her son was marvellously healed when dying of African fever, when he had been unconscious for six weeks. Being a friend of the queen, she wrote the story of her son’s healing, and after some correspondence we received a written request that we pray God that she might be a real mother. I brought her letter before the congregation one Sunday night, and the congregation went down to prayer. And before I arose from my knees, I turned around and said, “All right mother, you write and tell the queen, God has heard our prayer; she will bear a child.” Less than a year later the child was born, the present Princess Julianna of Holland.
John G. Lake (The John G. Lake Sermons: On Dominion Over Demons, Disease And Death (Pentecostal Pioneers Book 14))
ACT6.14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. ACT6.15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
Admit it. If we were characters in a (super hot) romance novel, you’d be the vulnerable babe in need of a protector, and I’d be the hardcore alpha villain everyone secretly yearns to tame. Spoiler alert: I’m willing to let you give the taming thing your best shot. Because I’m a giver.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Captive (Lords of the Underworld, #14.5))
We are so unrepentant that we would rather perish than confess truthfully that we are sinners and justify God by means of confession. David justified the prophet Nathan's words: 'You are an adulterer, a murderer, and a blasphemer.' When David heard this, he was chastened and replied: 'The words are true.' He confessed his sins immediately and received forgiveness. Nathan did not write David a letter of indulgence, nor did he say to him: 'Make a pilgrimage to St. James, or have Masses read; or lie down in a hairy garment!' No, he said: 'The Lord has removed your sin.
Martin Luther (Luther's Works, Volume 22 (Sermons on Gospel of St John Chapters 1-4))
I know you don’t want to see me because I’m “dangerous,” “deranged,” and “possibly the worst being ever created by Zeus—or anyone.” But underneath this chiseled, bronzed exterior beats a heart of gold, probably. You’ll never know the truth unless you come out of hiding and take another peek under my hood.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Captive (Lords of the Underworld, #14.5))
PSA91.14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. PSA91.15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. PSA91.16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
First, concerning terms that refer to God in the Old Testament: God, the Maker of heaven and earth, introduced himself to the people of Israel with a special personal name, the consonants for which are YHWH (see Exodus 3:14–15). Scholars call this the “Tetragrammaton,” a Greek term referring to the four Hebrew letters YHWH. The exact pronunciation of YHWH is uncertain, because the Jewish people considered the personal name of God to be so holy that it should never be spoken aloud. Instead of reading the word YHWH, they would normally read the Hebrew word ’adonay (“Lord”), and the ancient translations into Greek, Syriac, and Aramaic also followed this practice.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
In the name of God, with the help of God I liked to clarify little bit regarding those Ayahs in the beginning of some Swras in the holy Quran which they are 29 Swras, these Ayas are as follows: {الم ,Swra Al-Baqara, Al-Imran, Al- Ankabwt, Al-Rom, Lukman, Al-Sajda} {المص ,Swra Al-Aaraf} {الر ,Swra Younis, Hud, Yousif, Ibrahim, Al-Hijr} {الر, Swra Al- Raied} {کهیعص, Swra Maryam} {طه, Swra Taha} {طسم, Swra Al-Shuaraa, Al-Qasas} {،طس Swra Al-Naml} {یس, Swra Yasin} {ص Swra Sad} {حم, Swra Ghafir, Fwsilat,Al- Zakhraf, Al-Dwkhan, Al-Jathya, Al-Ahqaf} { حمعسق, Swra Shwra} { ق, Swra Qaf} { ن, Swra Al-Qalam} Dear brothers and sisters if these Ayahs are clarified they will take years. With the assistance of God I would clarify one of the clarifications the letters of the Arabic alphabetical Abjadyah are 28 letters 14 letters are brightness {النورانیة} and 14 letters are darkness {الظلمانیة} the brightness letters are: { ا ح ر س ص ط ع ق ك ل م ن ‌ه ي} the rest of letters are darkness the clarification of these Ayahs In most Swras the God says these Ayahs as oaths and endless sacred God refer to these letters saying these are the holy Quran these are the miracles of Quran , the holy Quran is the light and guidance in the holy Quran lightness is above darkness go and discover the Quran more than the three fourths 3/4 of Quran consist on brightness letters. These Ayahs are the key of supplication, if someone attained the key of God’s door, easily will get close to God’s throne. The letters of Arabic alphabetical Abjadyah as follows: أ ب ج د هـ و ز ح ط ي ك ل م ن س ع ف ص ق ر ش ت ث خ ذ ض ظ غ Clarified by Kamaran Ihsan Salih on 09/06/2027
Kamaran Ihsan Salih
John said, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). John was particularly emphatic on this matter in his first letter, one of the purposes of which was to combat a heresy that denied that Jesus had been genuinely human: “Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God” (1 John 4:2–3).
Millard J. Erickson (Christian Theology)
Peter Drucker, in my view the father of modern management thinking, was also a master of the art of the graceful no. When Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Hungarian professor most well known for his work on “flow,” reached out to interview a series of creative individuals for a book he was writing on creativity, Drucker’s response was interesting enough to Mihaly that he quoted it verbatim: “I am greatly honored and flattered by your kind letter of February 14th – for I have admired you and your work for many years, and I have learned much from it. But, my dear Professor Csikszentmihalyi, I am afraid I have to disappoint you. I could not possibly answer your questions. I am told I am creative – I don’t know what that means…. I just keep on plodding…. I hope you will not think me presumptuous or rude if I say that one of the secrets of productivity (in which I believe whereas I do not believe in creativity) is to have a VERY BIG waste paper basket to take care of ALL invitations such as yours – productivity in my experience consists of NOT doing anything that helps the work of other people but to spend all one’s time on the work the Good Lord has fitted one to do, and to do well.”8 A true Essentialist, Peter Drucker believed that “people are effective because they say no.
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
When his father told him about his alarm at having forgotten even the most impressive happenings of his childhood, Aureliano explained his method to him […] with an inked brush he marked everything with its name: table, chair, clock, door, wall, bed, pan. He went to the corral and marked the animals and plants: cow, goat, pig, hen, cassava, caladium, banana. Little by little, studying the infinite possibilities of a loss of memory, he realized that the day might come when things would be recognized by their inscriptions but that no one would remember their use. Then he was more explicit. The sign that he hung on the neck of the cow was an exemplary proof of the way in which the inhabitants of Macondo were prepared to fight against loss of memory: "This is the cow. She must be milked every morning so that she will produce milk, and the milk must be boiled in order to be mixed with coffee to make coffee and milk." Thus they went on living in a reality that was slipping away, momentarily captured by words, but which would escape irremediably when they forgot the values of the written letters. (3.14)
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
Gentlemen,” he said, “I invite you to go and measure that kiosk. You will see that the length of the counter is one hundred and forty-nine centimeters – in other words, one hundred-billionth of the distance between the earth and the sun. The height at the rear, one hundred and seventy-six centimeters, divided by the width of the window, fifty-six centimeters, is 3.14. The height at the front is nineteen decimeters, equal, in other words, to the number of years of the Greek lunar cycle. The sum of the heights of the two front corners and the two rear corners is one hundred and ninety times two plus one hundred and seventy-six times two, which equals seven hundred and thirty-two, the date of the victory at Poitiers. The thickness of the counter is 3.10 centimeters, and the width of the cornice of the window is 8.8 centimeters. Replacing the numbers before the decimals by the corresponding letters of the alphabet, we obtain C for ten and H for eight, or C10H8, which is the formula for naphthalene.” “Fantastic,” I said. “You did all these measurements?” “No,” Aglie said. “They were done on another kiosk, by a certain Jean-Pierre Adam. But I would assume that all lottery kiosks have more or less the same dimensions. With numbers you can do anything you like. Suppose I have the sacred number 9 and I want to get the number 1314, date of the execution of Jacques de Molay – a date dear to anyone who, like me, professes devotion to the Templar tradition of knighthood. What do I do? I multiply nine by one hundred and forty-six, the fateful day of the destruction of Carthage. How did I arrive at this? I divided thirteen hundred and fourteen by two, by three, et cetera, until I found a satisfying date. I could also have divided thirteen hundred and fourteen by 6.28, the double of 3.14, and I would have got two hundred and nine. That is the year in which Attalus I, king of Pergamon, joined the anti-Macedonian League. You see?
Umberto Eco (Foucault's Pendulum)
The sun had set in its usual abrupt tropical manner soon after they had made themselves comfortable: night had swept over the sky, showing the eastern stars after the few minutes of twilight, and now on the larboard beam a glowing planet heaved up on the horizon, lying there for a moment like the stern-lantern of some important ship. Martin was a man of peace; Maturin, with certain qualifications, was in principle opposed to violence; yet both had absorbed so much of the man-of-war's and even more the letter of marque's predatory values that they fell silent, staring like tigers at the planet until it rose clear of the sea and betrayed its merely celestial character.
Patrick O'Brian (The Nutmeg of Consolation (Aubrey & Maturin #14))
Even today, every night of the year, the Queen’s Keys are carried in great ceremony to lock up the gates of the Tower. The Chief Yeoman Warder at 9:53 meets his escort warders and they walk to the gates. They arrive at 10:00 p.m. exactly and are challenged by a sentry with a bayonet who cries loudly, “Who comes here?” The reply by the Chief is, “The Keys.” “Whose keys?” “Queen Elizabeth’s keys.” “Pass, Queen Elizabeth’s keys, and all is well.” The party passes through the Bloody Tower Archway into the fortress and halts at the Broadway Steps. At the top of the stairs, the Tower Guard presents arms and the Chief Warder raises his hat and proclaims, “God preserve Queen Elizabeth.” The sentry replies, “Amen!” Afterward, the keys are taken to the Queen’s House for safekeeping and the Last Post is sounded. This ancient ceremony was interrupted only once since the 14th century. During World War II there was an air raid on London. Bombs fell on the Victorian guardroom just as the party was coming through the Bloody Tower Archway. The noise knocked down the Chief Yeoman and one of the Warder escorts. In the Tower is a letter from the Officer of the Guard in which he apologizes to King George VI for the ceremony finishing late, as well as a reply from the King which states that the officer is not to be punished since the delay was due to enemy action.
Debra Brown (Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors)
in A Moral Vision of the New Testament. Hays says, “This means that for the foreseeable future we must find ways to live within the church in a situation of serious moral disagreement while still respecting one another as brother and sisters in Christ. If the church is going to start practicing the discipline of exclusion from the community, there are other issues far more important than homosexuality where we should begin to draw a line in the dirt: violence and materialism, for example.” [117] I am convinced that how the biblical prohibitions apply to monogamous gay relationships is indeed a disputable matter and that the teaching of Romans 14-15 should guide our response.
Ken Wilson (A Letter to My Congregation: An Evangelical Pastor's Path to Embracing People Who Are Gay, Lesbian and Transgender in the Company of Jesus)
And, finally, about silence—An idle or unnecessary word is the same thing as excessive speech; hence, Augustine says in the first book of his Retractions, “I cannot call it excessive speech when what is said is needed, no matter how many words are used.” 12 Solomon tells us, “In excessive speech sin shall not be wanting, but he that refraineth his lips is most wise.” 13 Where sin shall not be wanting, we must especially beware and guard against the condition all the more when it is so dangerous and difficult to avoid. This is what Saint Benedict did, saying, “Monks should study silence at all times.” 14 Studying silence is something more than simply keeping silent, for study is the pointed application of the mind to accomplish a given task. We do many things in negligence or even against our will, but we cannot study a thing without acting with purpose and will The apostle James, however, tells us how difficult it is to curb the tongue, but also how beneficial it will be. “We all offend in many things,” he says, but if any man offend not in word, then he is a perfect man. . . . For every nature of beasts and birds and serpents and the rest is tamed, and hath been tamed, by the nature of man, but the tongue no man can tame. . . . The tongue is indeed a small part of the body . . . but see how small a fire can kindle a great wood. . . . It is a world of iniquity . . . , an unquiet evil, full of deadly poison.
Pierre Abélard (The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse)
Fletcher believed—decided, really—that by chewing each mouthful of food until it liquefies, the eater could absorb more or less double the amount of vitamins and other nutrients. “Half the food commonly consumed is sufficient for man,” he stated in a letter in 1901. Not only was this economical—Fletcher estimated that the United States could save half a million dollars a day by Fletcherizing—it was healthier, or so he maintained. By delivering heaps of poorly chewed food to the intestine, Fletcher wrote, we overtax the gut and pollute the cells with the by-products of “putrid bacterial decomposition.” While other feces-fearers of the day advocated enemas to speed food through the putrefaction zone (and more on this in chapter 14), Fletcher advised delivering less material.
Mary Roach (Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal)
Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. —Psalm 85:10 (KJV) When my husband, David, made the heart-wrenching decision to leave his post as senior minister at Hillsboro Presbyterian Church, the church was strong, thriving, and ripe for new leadership. But leaving was complicated. No one has ever loved a congregation more than David, and the congregation responded in kind. So it was infinitely sad when an influential person began working to erase David’s legacy. We had looked forward to returning to Hillsboro after the proper transition period, but now amid the confusion, the outlook was cloudy. Would it work for David to come back? Would we lose our church family forever? Finally, a new minister was chosen. For me, I wasn’t sure how I would feel until I met Chris. My reaction was immediate. I have a pastor! But what about David? I would never go back to Hillsboro without him. Well, it seems God had planned ahead. Chris sent out a letter to the congregation, addressing the misperception that “it’s not possible to love the new pastor if you still love the previous pastor.” He dispelled that notion with five simple words: “It’s okay to love both.” Chris went on to describe his meetings with David and to announce that he had invited him to come back to Hillsboro where the two of them “share a love for the church and its people.” And so it was finished. We had a church home once again, where we could come and worship with our family and friends, a place where there’s enough love for everyone, and a new minister wise enough to know that’s true. Father, I pray for the day when all of us grasp the unlimited reservoir of Your love and can finally see its regenerating power. —Pam Kidd Digging Deeper: Ps 132:7; Eph 4:15–16; Col 3:14–17
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2014)
the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD. 11 ¶ And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamon-gog. 12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. 13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD. 14 And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. 15 And the passengers
Anonymous (King James BRG Bible (r) Old and New Testament: Blue Red and Gold Letter (tm) KJV Bible)
By contrast, elder brothers divide the world in two: “The good people (like us) are in and the bad people, who are the real problem with the world, are out.” Younger brothers, even if they don’t believe in God at all, do the same thing, saying: “No, the open-minded and tolerant people are in and the bigoted, narrow-minded people, who are the real problem with the world, are out.” But Jesus says: “The humble are in and the proud are out” (see Luke 18:14).8 The people who confess they aren’t particularly good or open-minded are moving toward God, because the prerequisite for receiving the grace of God is to know you need it. The people who think they are just fine, thank you, are moving away from God. “The Lord . . . cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud” (Psalm 138:6—New Living Translation). When a newspaper posed the question, “What’s Wrong with the World?” the Catholic thinker G. K. Chesterton reputedly wrote a brief letter in response: “Dear Sirs: I am. Sincerely Yours, G. K. Chesterton.” That is the attitude of someone who has grasped the message of Jesus.
Timothy J. Keller (The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith)
July 14, 1861 Camp Clark, Washington My very dear Sarah: The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days — perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more… I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing — perfectly willing — to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt… Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field. The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me — perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness… But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights … always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again…
Sullivan Ballou
The most famous illustration of what happens to those who question the orthodoxy is what befell economist Larry Summers. On January 14, 2005, Summers, then president of Harvard University, spoke to a conference on diversifying the science and engineering workforce.16 In his informal remarks, responding to the sponsors’ encouragement to speculate, he offered reasons for thinking that innate differences in men and women might account for some of the underrepresentation of women in science and engineering. He spoke undogmatically and collegially, talking about possibilities, phrasing his speculations moderately. And all hell broke loose. An MIT biologist, Nancy Hopkins, told reporters that she “felt I was going to be sick,” that “my heart was pounding and my breath was shallow,” and that she had to leave the room because otherwise “I would’ve either blacked out or thrown up.”17 Within a few days, Summers had been excoriated by the chairperson of Harvard’s sociology department, Mary C. Waters, and received a harshly critical letter from Harvard’s committee on faculty recruiting. One hundred and twenty Harvard professors endorsed the letter. Some alumnae announced that they would suspend donations.18 Summers retracted his remarks, with, in journalist Stuart Taylor Jr.’s words, “groveling, Soviet-show-trial-style apologies.
Charles Murray (Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class)
she feels lucky to have a job, but she is pretty blunt about what it is like to work at Walmart: she hates it. She’s worked at the local Walmart for nine years now, spending long hours on her feet waiting on customers and wrestling heavy merchandise around the store. But that’s not the part that galls her. Last year, management told the employees that they would get a significant raise. While driving to work or sorting laundry, Gina thought about how she could spend that extra money. Do some repairs around the house. Or set aside a few dollars in case of an emergency. Or help her sons, because “that’s what moms do.” And just before drifting off to sleep, she’d think about how she hadn’t had any new clothes in years. Maybe, just maybe. For weeks, she smiled at the notion. She thought about how Walmart was finally going to show some sign of respect for the work she and her coworkers did. She rolled the phrase over in her mind: “significant raise.” She imagined what that might mean. Maybe $2.00 more an hour? Or $2.50? That could add up to $80 a week, even $100. The thought was delicious. Then the day arrived when she received the letter informing her of the raise: 21 cents an hour. A whopping 21 cents. For a grand total of $1.68 a day, $8.40 a week. Gina described holding the letter and looking at it and feeling like it was “a spit in the face.” As she talked about the minuscule raise, her voice filled with anger. Anger, tinged with fear. Walmart could dump all over her, but she knew she would take it. She still needed this job. They could treat her like dirt, and she would still have to show up. And that’s exactly what they did. In 2015, Walmart made $14.69 billion in profits, and Walmart’s investors pocketed $10.4 billion from dividends and share repurchases—and Gina got 21 cents an hour more. This isn’t a story of shared sacrifice. It’s not a story about a company that is struggling to keep its doors open in tough times. This isn’t a small business that can’t afford generous raises. Just the opposite: this is a fabulously wealthy company making big bucks off the Ginas of the world. There are seven members of the Walton family, Walmart’s major shareholders, on the Forbes list of the country’s four hundred richest people, and together these seven Waltons have as much wealth as about 130 million other Americans. Seven people—not enough to fill the lineup of a softball team—and they have more money than 40 percent of our nation’s population put together. Walmart routinely squeezes its workers, not because it has to, but because it can. The idea that when the company does well, the employees do well, too, clearly doesn’t apply to giants like this one. Walmart is the largest employer in the country. More than a million and a half Americans are working to make this corporation among the most profitable in the world. Meanwhile, Gina points out that at her store, “almost all the young people are on food stamps.” And it’s not just her store. Across the country, Walmart pays such low wages that many of its employees rely on food stamps, rent assistance, Medicaid, and a mix of other government benefits, just to stay out of poverty. The
Elizabeth Warren (This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class)
1. Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you. 2. The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. 3. A wise man does not make demands of kings. 4. A mind needs a book as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep it's edge. 5. People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it's served up. 6. A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. 7. I swear to you, sitting a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one. 8. In the world as I have seen it, no man grows rich by kindness. 9. If a man paints a target on his chest, he should expect that sooner or later someone will loose an arrow on him. 10. Crowns do queer things to the heads beneath them. 11. In battle a Captain's lungs are as important as his sword arm. I does not matter how brave or brilliant the man is if his commands can't be heard. 12. A man is never so vulnerable in battle as when he flees. 13. Gold has it's uses, but wars are won with iron. 14. The man who fears losing has already lost. 15. Words are wind. 16. The unseen enemy is always the most fearsome. 17. Sharp steel and strong arms rule this world, don't ever believe any different. 18. Give gold to a foe and he will just come back for more. 19. In this world only winter is certain. 20. The gods have no mercy. That's why they're gods. 21. I have learned that the contents of a man's letters are more valuable than the contents of his wallet
George R.R. Martin
Carta a James Sandoe, 14 de octubre de 1949. Ahora estoy leyendo “So little time”, de Marquand. Recuerdo, o creo recordar, que fue bastante maltratada cuando apareció, pero a mí me parece llena de ingenio agudo y vivacidad, y en general mucho más satisfactoria que “Point of no return”, que me resultó aburrida en su impacto total, aunque no aburrida mientras se la lee. También empecé “A sea change”, de Nigel Demis, que parece bien. Pero siempre me gustan los libros equivocados. Y las películas equivocadas. Y la gente equivocada. Y tengo la mala costumbre de empezar un libro y leer sólo lo necesario para asegurarme de que quiero leerlo, y ponerlo a un lado mientras rompo el hielo con otros dos. De ese modo, cuando me siento aburrido y deprimido, cosa que pasa con demasiada frecuencia, sé que tengo algo para leer tarde en la noche, que es cuando más leo, y no ese horrendo sentimiento desolador de no tener a nadie con quien hablar o a quien escuchar. ¿Por qué diablos esos idiotas de editores no dejan de poner fotos de escritores en sus sobrecubiertas? Compré un libro perfectamente bueno... estaba dispuesto a que me gustara, había leído sobre él, y entonces le echo una mirada a la foto del tipo y es obviamente un completo imbécil, una basura realmente abrumadora (fotogénicamente hablando) y no puedo leer el maldito libro. El hombre probablemente no tiene nada malo, pero para mí esa foto, esa tan espontánea foto con la corbata chillona desajustada, el tipo sentado en el borde de su escritorio con los pies en la silla (siempre se sienta así, piensa mejor). He pasado por esta comedia de la foto, sé lo que hace con uno.
Raymond Chandler (Selected Letters)
Could it be that we lose some of the visual functions that we inherited from our evolution as we learn to read? Or, at the very least, are these functions massively reorganized? This counterintuitive prediction is precisely what my colleagues and I tested in a series of experiments. To draw a complete map of the brain regions that are changed by literacy, we scanned illiterate adults in Portugal and Brazil, and we compared them to people from the same villages who had had the good fortune of learning to read in school, either as children or adults.41 Unsurprisingly perhaps, the results revealed that, with reading acquisition, an extensive map of areas had become responsive to written words (see figure 14 in the color insert). Flash a sentence, word by word, to an illiterate individual, and you will find that their brain does not respond much: activity spreads to early visual areas, but it stops there, because the letters cannot be recognized. Present the same sequence of written words to an adult who has learned to read, and a much more extended cortical circuit now lights up, in direct proportion to the person’s reading score. The areas activated include the letter box area, in the left occipitotemporal cortex, as well as all the classical language regions associated with language comprehension. Even the earliest visual areas increase their response: with reading acquisition, they seem to become attuned to the recognition of small print.42 The more fluent a person is, the more these regions are activated by written words, and the more they strengthen their links: as reading becomes increasingly automatic, the translation of letters into sounds speeds up.
Stanislas Dehaene (How We Learn: Why Brains Learn Better Than Any Machine . . . for Now)
Fifty Ways to Love Your Partner 1. Love yourself first. 2. Start each day with a hug. 3. Serve breakfast in bed. 4. Say “I love you” every time you part ways. 5. Compliment freely and often. 6. Appreciate—and celebrate—your differences. 7. Live each day as if it’s your last. 8. Write unexpected love letters. 9. Plant a seed together and nurture it to maturity. 10. Go on a date once every week. 11. Send flowers for no reason. 12. Accept and love each others’ family and friends. 13. Make little signs that say “I love you” and post them all over the house. 14. Stop and smell the roses. 15. Kiss unexpectedly. 16. Seek out beautiful sunsets together. 17. Apologize sincerely. 18. Be forgiving. 19. Remember the day you fell in love—and recreate it. 20. Hold hands. 21. Say “I love you” with your eyes. 22. Let her cry in your arms. 23. Tell him you understand. 24. Drink toasts of love and commitment. 25. Do something arousing. 26. Let her give you directions when you’re lost. 27. Laugh at his jokes. 28. Appreciate her inner beauty. 29. Do the other person’s chores for a day. 30. Encourage wonderful dreams. 31. Commit a public display of affection. 32. Give loving massages with no strings attached. 33. Start a love journal and record your special moments. 34. Calm each others’ fears. 35. Walk barefoot on the beach together. 36. Ask her to marry you again. 37. Say yes. 38. Respect each other. 39. Be your partner’s biggest fan. 40. Give the love your partner wants to receive. 41. Give the love you want to receive. 42. Show interest in the other’s work. 43. Work on a project together. 44. Build a fort with blankets. 45. Swing as high as you can on a swing set by moonlight. 46. Have a picnic indoors on a rainy day. 47. Never go to bed mad. 48. Put your partner first in your prayers. 49. Kiss each other goodnight. 50. Sleep like spoons. Mark and Chrissy Donnelly
Jack Canfield (A Taste of Chicken Soup for the Couple's Soul (Chicken Soup for the Soul))
The most consistent execution of this project is to be found in the Letter to the Hebrews, which connects the death of Jesus on the Cross with the ritual and theology of the Jewish feast of reconciliation and expounds it as the true cosmic reconciliation feast. The train of thought in the letter could be briefly summarized more or less as follows: All the sacrificial activity of mankind, all attempts to conciliate God by cult and ritual—and the world is full of them—were bound to remain useless human work, because God does not seek bulls and goats or whatever may be ritually offered to him. One can sacrifice whole hecatombs of animals to God all over the world; he does not need them, because they all belong to him anyway, and nothing is given to the Lord of All when such things are burned in his honor. “I will accept no bull from your house, nor he-goat from your folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the air, and all that moves in the field is mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world and all that is in it is mine. Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving. . . .” So runs a saying of God in the Old Testament (Ps 50 [49]:9-14). The author of the Letter to the Hebrews places himself in the spiritual line of this and similar texts. With still more conclusive emphasis he stresses the fruitlessness of ritual effort. God does not seek bulls and goats but man; man’s unqualified Yes to God could alone form true worship. Everything belongs to God, but to man is lent the freedom to say Yes or No, the freedom to love or to reject; love’s free Yes is the only thing for which God must wait—the only worship or “sacrifice” that can have any meaning. But the Yes to God, in which man gives himself back to God, cannot be replaced or represented by the blood of bulls and goats. “For what can a man give in return for his life”, it says at one point in the Gospel (Mk 8:37). The answer can only be: There is nothing with which he could compensate for himself. But
Benedict XVI (Introduction To Christianity)
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."  13 In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (NKJV)        Covenant determines how God relates to people.        The Old (Law) Covenant: God had to relate to sinful people as a Holy Righteous God would/had to. Do bad get cursed, do good get blessed.        The New (Grace) Covenant: God relates to sinful people through Jesus, reconciling them to Himself and no longer relating to them through the Law since Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law on the behalf of people. Heb 7:18-19              The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. (NIV)        The Law Covenant was weak and useless in providing people with right-standing before God because nobody could ever keep it perfectly (Gal 3:10, James 2:10, James 4:17).        The better hope by which we draw near to God is not our own righteousness or holiness, but through Jesus Christ’s free gift of righteousness. (Eph 2:8-9, Rom 3:20-26)        Because of this Jesus qualifies you to do the same works and greater because you have the same right-standing before God as Jesus has. (John 14:12). Gal 3:11-14              Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith."  12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them."  13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."  14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (NIV)        NO ONE is justified by the law. No one can please God by keeping the law and living holy.        Righteousness (right standing before God) is attained by faith in Christ only.        The Law is not of faith which makes relating to God through it not pleasing to Him. (Heb 11:6)        Jesus became a curse for us, removing the right of the curse of the Law to come on us. (This doesn’t mean the curse doesn’t exist)        Living under the Law, trying to be justified by your own efforts to live holy and pleasing to God is A CURSE! No good will come from it.        In fact, you alienate yourself from the life of Christ by doing it. (Gal 5:1-5) 2 Cor 3:4-9              Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant- — not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! (NIV)        Law Covenant: Ministry of DEATH and CONDEMNATION.        Engraved on stone: 10 Commandments.        Grace Covenant: Ministry of LIFE and the SPIRIT.        Engraved on our hearts Rom 8:1              There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (NKJV)
Cornel Marais (Administering the Children's Bread)
Paul’s passion was to proclaim Him who had done so much for him. Katangellō (proclaim) means to publicly declare a completed truth or happening. It is a general term and is not restricted to formal preaching. Paul’s proclamation included two aspects, one negative, one positive. Admonishing is from noutheteō. It speaks of encouraging counsel in view of sin and coming punishment. It is the responsibility of church leaders. In Acts 20:31, Paul described his ministry at Ephesus: “Night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.” But it is also the responsibility of every believer. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that man and do not associate with him, so that he may be put to shame. And yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother” (2 Thess. 3:14-15). Colossians 3:16 commands, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another.” Paul expressed his confidence that the Romans were “full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able also to admonish one another” (Rom. 15:14). If there is sin in the life of a believer, other believers have the responsibility to lovingly, gently admonish them to forsake that sin. Teaching refers to imparting positive truth. It, too, is the responsibility of every believer (Col. 3:16), and is part of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:20). It is especially the responsibility of church leaders. “An overseer, then, must be … able to teach” (1 Tim. 3:2). Admonishing and teaching must be done with all wisdom. This is the larger context. As discussed in chapter 2, wisdom refers to practical discernment—understanding the biblical principles for holy conduct. The consistent pattern of Paul’s ministry was to link teaching and admonishment and bring them together in the context of the general doctrinal truths of the Word. Doctrinal teaching was invariably followed by practical admonitions. That must also be the pattern for all ministries.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Colossians and Philemon MacArthur New Testament Commentary (MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series Book 22))
CHAPTER ONE The Entrance into Jerusalem and the Cleansing of the Temple 1. The Entrance into Jerusalem Saint John’s Gospel speaks of three Passover feasts celebrated by Jesus in the course of his public ministry: the first, which is linked to the cleansing of the Temple (2:13-25), the Passover of the multiplication of the loaves (6:4), and finally the Passover of his death and Resurrection (for example, 12:1, 13:1), which became “his” great Passover, the basis for the Christian celebration of Easter, the Christian Passover. The Synoptics contain just one Passover feast—that of the Cross and Resurrection; indeed, in Saint Luke’s Gospel, Jesus’ path is presented as a single pilgrim ascent from Galilee to Jerusalem. To begin with, it is an “ascent” in a geographical sense: the Sea of Galilee is situated about 690 feet below sea level, whereas Jerusalem is on average 2500 feet above. The Synoptics each contain three prophecies of Jesus’ Passion as steps in this ascent, steps that at the same time point to the inner ascent that is accomplished in the outward climb: going up to the Temple as the place where God wished “his name [to] dwell”, in the words of the Book of Deuteronomy (12:11, 14:23). The ultimate goal of Jesus’ “ascent” is his self-offering on the Cross, which supplants the old sacrifices; it is the ascent that the Letter to the Hebrews describes as going up, not to a sanctuary made by human hands, but to heaven itself, into the presence of God (9:24). This ascent into God’s presence leads via the Cross—it is the ascent toward “loving to the end” (cf. Jn 13:1), which is the real mountain of God. The immediate goal of Jesus’ pilgrim journey is, of course, Jerusalem, the Holy City with its Temple, and the “Passover of the Jews”, as John calls it (2:13).
Benedict XVI (Jesus of Nazareth, Part Two: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection)
The next big task for Alexa may be making dinner… and that may not be as far-fetched as it sounds.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Throughout the letter, the subject of persecution is never far away, whether it be potential, imminent, or incipient (1:6; 2:12, 19–20; 3:13–17; 4:12, 14; 5:8–10). The attacks are blamed not on Jews (although they may have been involved), but on pagans who are baffled and angry by the believers’ “peculiar” manner of life in opting out of so much of everyday practices. As a consequence, they slander Christians as wrong-doers (2:12; 3:16) and abuse them as renegades
Norman Hillyer (1 & 2 Peter, Jude (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series))
The name of God (3:13-14) may be rendered "I AM WHO I AM," as it is in the NIV, or "I will be what I will be." In Hebrew, the abbreviated form "I am" is related in some fashion to YHWH, often spelled out as Yahweh (and commonly rendered "LORD," in capital letters; the same Hebrew letters stand behind English Jehovah). The least that this name suggests is that God is self-existent, eternal, completely independent, and utterly sovereign: God is what he is, dependent on no one and nothing.
D.A. Carson (For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God's Word, Volume 1)
Indeed, “theory” is a poor word to choose when seeking to understand the testimony of the Bible. 14 The Old and New Testaments do not present theories at any time. 15 Instead, we find stories, images, metaphors, symbols, sagas, sermons, songs, letters, poems. It would be hard to find writing that is less theoretical.
Fleming Rutledge (The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ)
Money changes everything. In Billionaires, a book by political scientist Darrell West, one member of the three-comma club brought up his “get-a-senator” strategy—a handy tactic, given that a lone senator can block objectionable legislation or pull strings on a favored donor’s behalf. West recalls how Senator Rand Paul held up Senate action for years on a treaty that would have forced Swiss banks to reveal the names of twenty-two thousand wealthy Americans who had assets stashed in overseas accounts, presumably to evade taxes. (An invasion of privacy, Paul insisted.) In another case, a billionaire hedge fund manager persuaded Democratic senator Edward Markey to write a letter to the SEC calling for an investigation of Herbalife, a multilevel marketing company the financier suspected of fraud, and whose stock he also happened to be short-selling. The effort paid off. After Markey’s letter was made public, Herbalife’s share price plummeted 14 percent.
Michael Mechanic (Jackpot: How the Super-Rich Really Live—and How Their Wealth Harms Us All)
Well,” said Cadfael, leading the way into his workshop, “that’s over. Late but at last, whatever she may have written to him, her letter is on the way to the man for whose heart’s comfort it was intended. And I am glad! Whatever the rights or wrongs of their affection, in the teeth of danger and despair love is entitled to speak its mind, and all others should be blind and deaf. Except God, who can read both the lines and between the lines, and who in the end, in matters of passion as in matters of justice, will have the last word.
Ellis Peters (The Hermit of Eyton Forest (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #14))
This letter is filled with truth from Scripture that you can hold on to. I encourage you to read God’s love letter to you and know these truths for yourselves: Psalm 139:13 1 John 4:18 Deuteronomy 3:22 Romans 8:31 Isaiah 54:17 Exodus 14:14 Psalm 91:11 Genesis 50:20 Philippians 4:19 Genesis 1:27 Psalm 34:10 Zephaniah 3:17
Sadie Robertson (Live: remain alive, be alive at a specified time, have an exciting or fulfilling life)
Prayers to deities preserved from the ancient Near East share many of the same themes as Biblical prayers. Individuals sensed guilt and divine abandonment (see notes on Ps 6:1, 3; 13:1; 32:4; 51:1, 5); they felt physical suffering (see notes on Ps 22:14, 17; 38:2–3), emotional pain and shame (see notes on Ps 6:6; 25:2) and loss of friendship (see note on Ps 31:11); and they faced death (see note on Ps 16:10). At times their afflictions involved legal entanglements accompanied by slander and curses (see notes on Ps 17:2; 41:5–6; 62:4). They responded with cries for a divine hearing (see note on Ps 55:17) and justice (see the article “Imprecations and Incantations”). In ancient Mesopotamia, letters written to gods and deposited in the temple also served to bring requests before the deity. The use of rather generic names in these letters, as well as their transmission through the curriculum of scribal schools, suggests that anyone could relate his or her experience with those recorded in these prayers. In later tradition, similar prayers were cited orally by a priest rather than deposited in the temple. Much of the language of these prayers and letters, including the Biblical psalms, was general and metaphoric, allowing these texts to serve as examples for others to use in their specific circumstances. While the details of hardship might have differed, the emotional experiences and theological thoughts could be shared by anyone. As in Biblical psalms, the Mesopotamian prayers include protests of innocence, praise to the deity and vows to offer thanks for deliverance. Often specific attributes of the deity are named that correspond to the affliction and desired deliverance of the worshiper. Such elements function within the lament as motivation for the deity to respond to the worshiper’s plight. ◆ Key Concepts • Many psalms are an expression of emotion, and God responds to us in our emotional highs and lows. • Psalms is a book with purpose. • Psalms 1–2 embody the message of the book.
Anonymous (NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture)
Third, he recalls what happens when an emperor or grand official pays a state visit to a city or province. The leading citizens, seeing him coming, go out to meet him in the open country in order then to escort him royally into the city. Like that, those “who are alive,” he says, will “meet the Lord in the air.” How else can he describe the coming together of heaven and earth? The point is not that people will be snatched away from earth and end up in “heaven.” As we see frequently in his letters, that is never Paul’s view. The point is that heaven and earth will come together14 and those who belong to the Messiah will be part of it. The one “literal” statement in this text is the central and important one—the Messiah’s people who have already died will rise first.15 Those who have died while believing in Jesus are safe in his presence, and they will be raised when he appears. Then all these other things will happen too.
N.T. Wright (Paul: A Biography)
My dying words to you are “Say good-by to mathematical logic if you wish to preserve your relations with concrete realities!” ’ (CWJ 12: 103, 1908). Russell made his reply in a letter to the logician Philip Jourdain: ‘I would much rather, of the two, preserve my relations with symbolic logic.’14
Cheryl Misak (Cambridge Pragmatism: From Peirce and James to Ramsey and Wittgenstein)
You don’t grow if you’re not willing to take risks.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
THE FIRST DAY OF FREEDOM!’: this was how Daniel O’Connell headed one letter on 14 April 1829, the day after Catholic Emancipation became law in Britain and Ireland.
Antonia Fraser (The King and the Catholics: England, Ireland, and the Fight for Religious Freedom, 1780-1829)
A third way departs from the "open and affirming" and the "love the sinner, hate the sin" approach by regarding the question of whether and how the biblical prohibitions apply in the case of monogamous gay relationships as a "disputable matter" in the Romans 14-15 sense.
Ken Wilson (A Letter to My Congregation: An Evangelical Pastor's Path to Embracing People Who Are Gay, Lesbian and Transgender in the Company of Jesus)
14yBut above all these things zput on love, which is the abond of perfection.
Thomas Nelson Publishers (NKJV Study Bible, Full-Color, Red Letter Edition, eBook: The Complete Resource for Studying God’s Word)
You can also incorporate a breath prayer to anchor you and support you as you breathe. I love the simplicity and significance of another name God uses for Himself, Yahweh, which is rooted in the Hebrew letters that compose the phrase “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). We know that out of reverence, speaking the name of Yahweh became taboo for the Jewish people at some point, yet Richard Rohr notes that it seems to mimic our very breath: “The one thing we do every moment of our lives is . . . to speak the name of God. This makes it our first and last word as we enter and leave the world.”[10] To practice the breath prayer, Choose Yahweh or another two-syllable word to anchor you. Inhale through the nose with Yah (or the first syllable) for three seconds. Exhale with weh through the mouth (or the second syllable) for six seconds. As you feel able, practice this conscious breathing for one to two minutes.
Aundi Kolber (Try Softer: A Fresh Approach to Move Us out of Anxiety, Stress, and Survival Mode--and into a Life of Connection and Joy)
as I was studying the Shareholder Letters, I realized they split into repeatable Growth Cycles that Bezos applies to pretty much every endeavor: test, build, accelerate, and scale with the principles falling into each area.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
The Growth Cycles and 14 Principles Again, as I was studying the Shareholder Letters, I realized they split into repeatable Growth Cycles that Bezos applies to pretty much every endeavor: test, build, accelerate, and scale with the principles falling into each area. Three of the principles helped Amazon grow through strategic testing: •Encourage “Successful Failure” •Bet on Big Ideas •Practice Dynamic Invention and Innovation
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Three of the principles helped Amazon build for the future: •Obsess Over Customers •Apply Long-Term Thinking •Understand Your Flywheel
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Four of the principles helped Amazon accelerate its growth: •Generate High-Velocity Decisions •Make Complexity Simple •Accelerate Time with Technology •Promote Ownership
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
And four of the principles helped Amazon scale: •Maintain Your Culture •Focus on High Standards •Measure What Matters, Question What’s Measured, and Trust Your Gut •Believe It’s Always Day 1
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Thus, Edison may more accurately be described as the father of commercial research and as the world’s most prolific inventor. He also commented more directly on the industrialization of the trial-and-error process, saying, “The real measure of success is the number of experiments that can be crowded into twenty-four hours.” Roughly two hundred years later, Jeff Bezos has taken the same type of commercial approach to invention and innovation.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Here’s what my friend and business associate Kurt Huffman said: “People are afraid of the consequences of failure. People are afraid of being fired, ridiculed, hurt, black-listed, demoted, etc. People may still not like failure. I don’t ‘like’ failure. But when I know the consequences of my failure are seen as learning opportunities rather than a pink slip, it facilitates rather than stifles innovation.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Instead, encourage people to take smart risks because the reality is the biggest risk most businesses make today is not taking enough risk.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
After thirty-five-plus years of studying the business side of risk, I believe there are really only two kinds: risks of commission and risks of omission. In other words, risks you take and risks you don’t take.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Jeff Bezos is, arguably, the master of risk.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
He started by taking a risk with an idea for a dot-com business and, with the money he would scrape together and with a loan from his parents, he leveraged that idea into Amazon, a company that has gained worldwide recognition and made him the wealthiest man in the world. And that’s why Bezos is such a master of risk.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Principle 1: Encourage “Successful Failure
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Principle 4: Obsess Over Customers
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
I constantly remind our employees to be afraid, to wake up every morning terrified. Not of our competition, but of our customers. Our customers have made our business what it is, they are the ones with whom we have a relationship, and they are the ones to whom we owe a great obligation. And we consider them to be loyal to us—right up until the second that someone else offers them a better service.” —Bezos (1998 Letter)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Working backwards from customer needs often demands that we acquire new competencies and exercise new muscles, never mind how uncomfortable and awkward-feeling those first steps might be.” —Bezos (2008 Letter)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Obsess Over Customers Q: Sit down right now and write a description of your prototypical (good) customer. What are their three to four key traits? What are their biggest problems that you can help solve? Q: What can you do today to improve that customer’s experience with you? Q: Challenge your team to come up with a new idea every week to super-serve your customers, no matter what the cost.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Principle 5: Apply Long-Term Thinking
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Apply Long-Term Thinking Q: Do you have a list of long-term (and longer-term) goals for your company—both financial goals and strategic goals? Q: Is your team rewarded only on quarterly or even annual performance without any reward for actions that will only pay off over the long term? Q: How can you change short-term rewards to encourage long-term thinking?
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Principle 6: Understand Your Flywheel
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
In an article about flywheels and business written for Inc., Jeff Haden said, “The premise of the flywheel is simple. A flywheel is an incredibly heavy wheel that takes huge effort to push. Keep pushing and the flywheel builds momentum. Keep pushing and eventually it starts to help turn itself and generate its own momentum—and that’s when a company goes from good to great.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
In other words, if Amazon consistently improved these six areas, it would consistently apply pressure to its flywheel (and it didn’t matter where you started): 1.Greater selection and convenience 2.Customer experience 3.Traffic to its website 4.Number of sellers 5.Lower cost structure 6.Lower prices
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
The Amazon flywheel (also known as “The Virtuous Cycle,” where a complex chain of events reinforces itself through a feedback loop) defined what inputs were needed to accelerate growth–and that flywheel remains virtually unchanged today.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
It’s not easy to work here (when I interview people I tell them, ‘You can work long, hard, or smart, but at Amazon.com you can’t choose two out of three’), but we are working to build something important, something that matters to our customers, something that we can all tell our grandchildren about. Such things aren’t meant to be easy.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Focus on High Standards Q: What are the three or four important characteristics of your highest-performing, highly-successful employees? Q: Do you (and your hiring managers) focus on those characteristics when hiring? Q: Who is responsible for “quality control” at your company—and how are they doing?
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Principle 13: Measure What Matters, Question What’s Measured, and Trust Your Gut
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Math-based decisions command wide agreement, whereas judgment-based decisions are rightly debated and often controversial, at least until put into practice and demonstrated. Any institution unwilling to endure controversy must limit itself to decisions of the first type. In our view, doing so would not only limit controversy—it would also significantly limit innovation and long-term value creation.” —Bezos (2005 Letter)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Wandering in business is not efficient … but it’s also not random. It’s guided—by hunch, gut, intuition, curiosity, and powered by a deep conviction that the prize for customers is big enough that it’s worth being a little messy and tangential to find our way there.”—Bezos (2018 Letter)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
We enable experimentation at massive scale to help Amazon build better products for customers. A/B testing is in Amazon’s DNA and we’re at the core of how Amazon innovates.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
The term free cash flow is the amount of cash flow a company has left over after paying the fixed expenses it needs to keep the doors open—such as rent, necessary equipment, maintenance or upgrades, technology—and keep current in its debt obligations.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Measuring Financials When it comes to financial data, most publicly traded companies focus on earnings, earnings per share, and earnings growth rate. But not Bezos. Bezos prefers free cash flow per share.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Principle 12: Focus on High Standards
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
There’s an old saying in business: “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
But door desks can also be a symbol of innovation and a reminder to not just be frugal, but creative.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
They also present opportunities for Amazon employees to discuss what Day 1 means with each other and outsiders. When a new person comes to Amazon, if they don’t know already, they might ask why so many people use doors as desks. When a new vendor comes to the Day 1 building, they might ask about the building’s name or read the placard on the side. Each time an employee, vendor, investor or visitor asks such a question, it creates an opportunity for the Day 1 mentality to be reinforced in the mind of the person answering.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
In several conversations I had with former Amazonians, one of the cultural distinctives at Amazon is the ability for virtually any employee to come up with an idea, pitch it to their manager, and if the idea is good enough, receive permission to experiment to validate the premise. If it works, the idea will be implemented throughout the unit, team, group, or division. Amazon’s culture is one where everyone has a chance to innovate and see innovations through to implementation.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Again, he calls it the “two pizza rule”—the meeting can’t be any bigger than can be fed by two large pizzas.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
So how did Amazon grow from just Bezos and a few developers to 647,500 employees and maintain their “peculiar” culture? I believe one of the biggest reasons is they have tried to be intentional about not letting success “go to their heads.” As I said in the beginning, Amazon is not a perfect company. But obviously, they are doing something right.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Maintain Your Culture Q: Can you articulate what your company culture is? Q: If you asked the same question of your employees, would their answer be the same as yours? Q: What can you do to reinforce the key (positive) elements of your company culture?
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
During our hiring meetings, we ask people to consider three questions before making a decision: “Will you admire this person?
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Will this person raise the average level of effectiveness of the group they’re entering?
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
If your customer experience is inconsistent, you will never be able to scale. If your customer experience is frequently poor, you will never be able to scale. You will only be able to scale when your customer experience is consistently good.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.” —Bezos (2016 Letter)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Along what dimension might this person be a superstar?
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Our ultimate financial measure, and the one we most want to drive over the long-term, is free cash flow per share.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
EPH6.11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. EPH6.12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. EPH6.13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. EPH6.14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  EPH6.15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  EPH6.16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. EPH6.17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE with VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
sensible phenomenon that had previously called forth the spoken utterance, to the shape of the utterance itself, now invoked directly by the written character. A direct association is established between the pictorial sign and the vocal gesture, for the first time completely bypassing the thing pictured. The evocative phenomena—the entities imaged—are no longer a necessary part of the equation. Human utterances are now elicited, directly, by human-made signs; the larger, more-than-human life-world is no longer a part of the semiotic, no longer a necessary part of the system. Or is it? When we ponder the early Semitic aleph-beth, we readily recognize its pictographic inheritance. Aleph, the first letter, is written thus: ​  Aleph is also the ancient Hebrew word for “ox.” The shape of the letter, we can see, was that of an ox’s head with horns; turned over, it became our own letter A.13 The name of the Semitic letter mem is also the Hebrew word for “water”; the letter, which later became our own letter M, was drawn as a series of waves: . The letter ayin, which also means “eye” in Hebrew, was drawn as a simple circle, the picture of an eye; it is this letter, made over into a vowel by the Greek scribes, that eventually became our letter O. The Hebrew letter qoph, which is also the Hebrew term for “monkey,” was drawn as a circle intersected by a long, dangling, tail ​ . Our letter Q retains a sense of this simple picture.14 These are a few examples. By thus comparing the names of the letters with their various shapes, we discern that the letters of the early aleph-beth are still implicitly tied to the more-than-human field of phenomena. But these ties to other animals, to natural elements like water and waves, and even to the body itself, are far more tenuous than in the earlier, predominantly nonphonetic scripts. These traces of sensible nature linger in the new script only as vestigial holdovers from the old—they are no longer necessary participants in the transfer of linguistic knowledge. The other animals, the plants, and the natural elements—sun, moon, stars, waves—are beginning to lose their own voices. In the Hebrew
David Abram (The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage))
As time went by, the closing statement at the end of each Shareholder Letter remained the same, and only became more succinct: “As always, I attach a copy of our original 1997 letter. It remains Day 1.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
From what he’s written in the Shareholder Letters and elsewhere, Bezos believes in the concept of “successful failure.” The learning process is so important he intentionally builds failure into his business model.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
What really matters is, companies that don’t continue to experiment, companies that don’t embrace failure, they eventually get in a desperate position where the only thing they can do is a Hail Mary bet at the very end of their corporate existence. Whereas companies that are making bets all along, even big bets, but not bet-the-company bets, prevail. I don’t believe in bet-the-company bets. That’s when you’re desperate. That’s the last thing you can do.” —2014 Business Insider IGNITION conference
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Again, Amazon builds “failure” into its budgets to give it the flexibility to allocate resources to many things they know will fail. Not only will the few successes overcome the multiple failures, but Amazon learns from, and builds upon, its failures to make other endeavors successful.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
At Amazon, testing is a way of life; it means encouraging all team members to try new things to improve the way Amazon does business. If something doesn’t work, they aren’t punished—they are encouraged to examine what didn’t work and learn from it. When something works and has big potential, Amazon bets big. They give everyone the tools to be inventive at every level. Testing makes Amazon an extremely creative organization. But testing, by definition, requires risking failure. Most businesses view failure as a risk to be avoided. Bezos thinks the exact opposite.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
The First Bezos Letter to Shareholders Jeff Bezos wrote his first letter to shareholders in 1997. (Each shareholder letter typically comes out in April of the following year. For commentary and analyses of future Shareholder Letters—2019 and beyond—go to TheBezosLetters.com.)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
You can be competitor focused, you can be product focused, you can be technology focused, you can be business model focused, and there are more. But in my view, obsessive customer focus is by far the most protective of Day 1 vitality.” —Bezos (2016 Letter)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Measure What Matters, Question What’s Measured, and Trust Your Gut Q: Have you identified the key data drivers in your business? Q: Are you able to sort through all the data you measure and figure out which metrics really matter? Q: (You are measuring something, right?)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Principle 14: Believe It’s Always “Day 1
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
First, Day 1 is representative of all the leadership principles that have helped make Amazon what it is today. It is the anchor for acknowledging and remembering their beginning values and their dogged focus on serving the needs of customers and even “delighting” customers. Second, Day 1 is a mindset, not a list of steps or strategies. It is the mentality through which all decisions are made. It is designed to keep everyone in the company focused on doing what is right in each situation, not just what is possible given Amazon’s size and influence. Because, like a child’s tower of building blocks, if the foundation isn’t stable, the tower will come tumbling down. And then it’s Day 2. It bears repeating: “Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.” —Bezos (2016 Letter) On Day 1, there are few—if any—things more important than customers.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Resist Proxies A key part of Amazon’s “It’s always Day 1” philosophy is what Bezos calls “resisting proxies.” In simple terms, proxies (in this context) are any form of excuse people use to blame others for less-than-ideal actions or decisions. They give people an excuse to distance themselves from their actions. Common examples of proxies include policies, procedures, processes, and sometimes even orders from another person.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Have you ever been frustrated by a company representative who couldn’t help you with an issue because of “company policy,” “procedures don’t allow for that,” or they were “only following orders”? If so, you have experienced an employee not resisting proxies. At Amazon, “company policy” or any other proxy is no excuse for doing the wrong thing for the customer.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
On March 14, 1899, this ambiguous arrangement was formalized in a memorandum sent to the Qing Government by Claude MacDonald, the British Minster at Peking. Echoing the East India Company’s language to the 1846–48 boundary commissioners, MacDonald wrote to the Zongli Yamen73 proposing “that for the sake of avoiding any dispute or uncertainty in the future, a clear understanding should be come to with the Chinese Government as to the frontier between the two States.” Yet the memo also went on to assert that “it will not be necessary to mark out the frontier. … The natural frontier is the crest of a range of mighty mountains, a great part of which is quite inaccessible.” It was sufficient from the British perspective to outline the prominent features of the Indus watershed in the memo, and to cite this line described on a map of the “Russo-Chinese frontier brought by the late Minister, Hung Chun, from St. Petersburg, and in possession of the Yamen.”74 The vague description in the letter, which generates to this day much debate between India and China, suggested a line that largely followed what the British understood to be the Indus watershed limit, though they still did not have a satisfactory map to represent the whole region. As the viceroy, Lord Elgin, had earlier written to the Secretary of State for India, “we regret that we have no map to show the whole line either accurately or on a large scale.
Kyle J. Gardner (The Frontier Complex: Geopolitics and the Making of the India-China Border, 1846–1962)
JUSTIFYING OPPRESSION While history has proven Malthusianism empirically false, however, it provides the ideal foundation for justifying human oppression and tyranny. The theory holds that there isn’t enough to go around, and can never be. Therefore human aspirations and liberties must be constrained, and authorities must be empowered to enforce the constraining. During Malthus’s own time, his theory was used to justify regressive legislation directed against England’s lower classes, most notably the Poor Law Act of 1834, which forced hundreds of thousands of poor Britons into virtual slavery. 11 However, a far more horrifying example of the impact of Malthusianism was to occur a few years later, when the doctrine motivated the British government’s refusal to provide relief during the great Irish famine of 1846. In a letter to economist David Ricardo, Malthus laid out the basis for this policy: “The land in Ireland is infinitely more peopled than in England; and to give full effect to the natural resources of the country, a great part of the population should be swept from the soil.” 12 For the last century and a half, the Irish famine has been cited by Malthusians as proof of their theory of overpopulation, so a few words are in order here to set the record straight. 13 Ireland was certainly not overpopulated in 1846. In fact, based on census data from 1841 and 1851, the Emerald Isle boasted a mere 7.5 million people in 1846, less than half of England’s 15.8 million, living on a land mass about two-thirds that of England and of similar quality. So compared to England, Ireland before the famine was if anything somewhat underpopulated. 14 Nor, as is sometimes said, was the famine caused by a foolish decision of the Irish to confine their diet to potatoes, thereby exposing themselves to starvation when a blight destroyed their only crop. In fact, in 1846 alone, at the height of the famine, Ireland exported over 730,000 cattle and other livestock, and over 3 million quarts of corn and grain flour to Great Britain. 15 The Irish diet was confined to potatoes because—having had their land expropriated, having been forced to endure merciless rack-rents and taxes, and having been denied any opportunity to acquire income through manufactures or other means—tubers were the only food the Irish could afford. So when the potato crop failed, there was nothing for the Irish themselves to eat, despite the fact that throughout the famine, their homeland continued to export massive amounts of grain, butter, cheese, and meat for foreign consumption. As English reformer William Cobbett noted in his Political Register: Hundreds of thousands of living hogs, thousands upon thousands of sheep and oxen alive; thousands upon thousands of barrels of beef, pork, and butter; thousands upon thousands of sides of bacon; and thousands and thousands of hams; shiploads and boats coming daily and hourly from Ireland to feed the west of Scotland; to feed a million and a half people in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and in Lancashire; to feed London and its vicinity; and to fill the country shops in the southern counties of England; we beheld all this, while famine raged in Ireland amongst the raisers of this very food. 16 “The population should be swept from the soil.” Evicted from their homes, millions of Irish men, women, and children starved to death or died of exposure. (Contemporary drawings from Illustrated London News.)
Robert Zubrin (Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism)
Bezos solves this by articulating two types of decisions: 1.Type 1 decisions are major decisions with big consequences and no turning back. 2.Type 2 decisions are ones that can be changed or reversed, and the world isn’t going to come to an end.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
First, never use a one-size-fits-all decision-making process. Many decisions are reversible, two-way doors. Those decisions can use a lightweight process. For those, so what if you’re wrong? “Second, most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, in most cases you’re probably being slow. Plus, either way, you need to be good at quickly recognizing and correcting bad decisions. If you’re good at course correcting, being wrong may be less costly than you think, whereas being slow is going to be expensive for sure. “Third, use the phrase ‘disagree and commit.’ This phrase will save a lot of time. If you have conviction on a particular direction even though there’s no consensus, it’s helpful to say, ‘Look, I know we disagree on this but will you gamble with me on it? Disagree and commit?’ By the time you’re at this point, no one can know the answer for sure, and you’ll probably get a quick yes.” —Bezos (2016 Letter)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Amazon Leadership Principle—Bias for Action: Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk-taking.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
•Type 1 decisions are usually more strategic, and Type 2 decisions tend to be more operational. •Type 1 decisions typically involve changing what you are doing, while Type 2 decisions are more often related to how you are doing it.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Principle 8: Make Complexity Simple
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Bezos even implores potential investors to avoid investing in Amazon if their investment philosophy is inconsistent with long-term thinking. And he did so right in the 1997 Letter to Shareholders, written at a time when most startup companies were virtually begging for investors.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
So, if the company is better positioned today than it was a year ago, why is the stock price so much lower than it was a year ago? As the famed investor Benjamin Graham said, “In the short term, the stock market is a voting machine; in the long term, it’s a weighing machine.” Clearly there was a lot of voting going on in the boom year of ’99—and much less weighing. We’re a company that wants to be weighed, and over time, we will be—over the long term, all companies are. In the meantime, we have our heads down working to build a heavier and heavier company.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
In the 1979 hit song The Gambler, Kenny Rogers famously said, “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em; Know when to fold ‘em; Know when to walk away; And know when to run.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
One area where I think we are especially distinctive is failure. I believe we are the best place in the world to fail (we have plenty of practice!), and failure and invention are inseparable twins. To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment.” —Bezos (2015 Letter)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Amazon knows that invention and innovation require experimentation, experimentation requires failure, and learning requires tracking and measuring your results.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Encourage “Successful Failure” Q: Do a “tolerance for failure” inventory at your company. How is failure handled? Q: When is the last time you used a failure as a “case study” to improve your business? Q: What can you do in your company or business to communicate that failure is an opportunity to learn and improve?
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Bet on Big Ideas Q. When is the last time you bet on a really big idea? Q: What can you do to encourage your team (or even yourself) to be willing to explore new big ideas? Q: What is a big idea right now that you’d be willing to bet on?
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Practice Dynamic Invention and Innovation Q: Set aside time in the next thirty days to ask yourself: What is the next new thing I want to try in my business? Q: How can you set up a “Lab126” in your company?
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Principle 2: Bet on Big Ideas
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Principle 3: Practice Dynamic Invention and Innovation
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Emphasizing customer obsession allows Amazon employees to become solution-focused rather than problem-focused. Bezos wants to always be ahead of the game… he wants to “solve problems before they happen,” meaning he doesn’t want screw-ups to happen in the first place.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Return on Risk,” or ROR, is a term I use to refer to the relationship between the cost of risk and its return (which isn’t always financial). It’s similar to how you would think of a “Return on Investment,” or ROI.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Not requiring total agreement for everything. To make that happen, Amazon has a “disagree and commit” system for employees, including Bezos. The idea is that everyone won’t agree on a given decision, but it’s still possible for people who disagree to work toward the same goal—they are all in it for the common goal: what’s best for the customer. Bezos mentioned not being sure about a proposed Amazon Prime television series, partly because of his level of interest in it, and partly because of the business terms of the deal. He said: “They had a completely different opinion and wanted to go ahead. I wrote back right away with ‘I disagree and commit and hope it becomes the most watched thing we’ve ever made.’ Consider how much slower this decision cycle would have been if the team had actually had to convince me rather than simply get my commitment.” —Bezos (2016 Letter)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Principle 9: Accelerate Time with Technology
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
What is at the center of your company’s flywheel? Q: What are the key drivers or activities that turn your flywheel? Q: How do those drivers reinforce each other to make your flywheel spin faster?
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
The senior team at Amazon is determined to keep our decision-making velocity high. Speed matters in business—plus a high-velocity decision-making environment is more fun too.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Some decisions are consequential and irreversible or nearly irreversible—one-way doors—and these decisions must be made methodically, carefully, slowly, with great deliberation and consultation. If you walk through and don’t like what you see on the other side, you can’t get back to where you were before. We can call these Type 1 decisions.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
But most decisions aren’t like that—they are changeable, reversible—they’re two-way doors. If you’ve made a suboptimal Type 2 decision, you don’t have to live with the consequences for that long. You can reopen the door and go back through. Type 2 decisions can and should be made quickly by high judgment individuals or small groups.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Each meeting starts with a thirty-minute quiet time where everyone thoroughly reads the memo. From there, all attendees are asked to share gut reactions—senior leaders typically speak last—and then delve into what might be missing, ask probing questions, and drill down into any potential issues that may arise. “I definitely recommend the [six-page] memo over PowerPoint. And the reason we read them in the room, by the way, is because just like, you know, high school kids, executives will bluff their way through the meeting as if they’ve read the memo. Because we’re busy. And so, you’ve got to actually carve out the time for the memo to get read and that’s what the first half hour of the meeting is for and then everybody has actually read the memo, they’re not just pretending to have read it. It’s pretty effective.” —2018 Forum on Leadership, “Closing Conversation with Jeff Bezos,” George W. Bush Presidential Center at SMU23
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Steps to Create a Six-Page Narrative 1.Write the Press Release (This is the press release you would release in the future when the project is launched that tells the world about the project and why it’s important.) 2.Write the FAQs (Answer the common questions people will ask, in advance.) 3.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Generate High-Velocity Decisions Q: Do you have a mechanism for distinguishing between Type 1 and Type 2 decisions—and does everyone on your team understand the difference? Q: Do you have a system in place for making Type 1 decisions well? (What’s your version of the six-page memo?) Q: Do you have a mechanism in place for making Type 2 decisions fast?
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Make Complexity Simple Q: What are the biggest “barriers to entry” for new customers to doing business with you? Q: What can you do to make it easier for existing customers to increase their business with you? Q: What’s the most complicated or complex part of your customer’s experience with you—and how can you simplify it?
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
AWS and the Seven-Year Lead When creating Amazon Web Services (cloud computing), Amazon was essentially creating their own internal Internet Operating System (IOS) and then leveraging their technology infrastructure into a profit center. He said, “IT departments are recognizing that when they adopt AWS, they get more done. They spend less time on low value-add activities like managing datacenters, networking, operating system patches, capacity planning, database scaling, and so on and so on. Just as important, they get access to powerful APIs [Application Programing Interfaces] and tools that dramatically simplify building scalable, secure, robust, high-performance systems. And those APIs and tools are continuously and seamlessly upgraded behind the scenes, without customer effort.” —Bezos (2014 Letter) In other words, Amazon took the proprietary infrastructure they built for themselves and turned it into a service that any developer could use for their own purposes.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Accelerate Time with Technology Q: How are you using technology to speed up your business growth? Q: In what way could you use technology to make part of your business obsolete (before your competitor does it for you)?
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Principle 10: Promote Ownership
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Owners are different from tenants.” “Long-term thinking is both a requirement and an outcome of true ownership. Owners are different from tenants. I know of a couple who rented out their house, and the family who moved in nailed their Christmas tree to the hardwood floors instead of using a tree stand. Expedient, I suppose, and admittedly these were particularly bad tenants, but no owner would be so short-sighted.” —Bezos (2003 Letter)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
In the 2002 Letter, Bezos started using the term “shareowners” instead of “shareholders” when referring to Amazon’s investors. In essence, investors really do “own” a part of Amazon, and they should feel like owners and not tenants who have no interest in the company and only want financial gain.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Pay to Quit … was invented by the clever people at Zappos, and the Amazon fulfillment centers have been iterating on it. Pay to Quit is pretty simple. Once a year, we offer to pay our associates to quit. The first year the offer is made, it’s for $2,000. Then it goes up one thousand dollars a year until it reaches $5,000. The headline on the offer is ‘Please Don’t Take This Offer.’ We hope they don’t take the offer; we want them to stay. Why do we make this offer? The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.”—Bezos (2013 Letter)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Promote Ownership Q: Do you offer any compensation to your team in the form of company “ownership”—including a share of profits or growth? Q: Do you regularly communicate to your team your short-term goals and your long-term goals for the business? Q: Is there an incentive (or a barrier) for employees to improve or fix areas of the business outside of their own department or responsibilities?
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Amazon Leadership Principles “We use our Leadership Principles every day, whether we’re discussing ideas for new projects or deciding on the best approach to solving a problem. It is just one of the things that makes Amazon peculiar [a word used by Bezos and most Amazonians].”30 Customer Obsession: Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers. Ownership: Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job.” Invent and Simplify: Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here.” As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time. Are Right, A Lot: Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs. Learn and Be Curious: Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Hire and Develop the Best: Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice. Insist on the Highest Standards: Leaders have relentlessly high standards—many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and drive their teams to deliver high quality products, services, and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed. Think Big: Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers. Bias for Action: Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking. Frugality: Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size or fixed expense.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Earn Trust: Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders don’t believe their or their team’s body odor smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best. Dive Deep: Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit: Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly. Deliver Results: Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Three inward innovations illustrate Amazon’s workplace culture: Career Choice, Pay to Quit, and Virtual Contact Center. Amazon is also at the forefront of continuing education for its team, implementing a program called Career Choice, where it prepays 95 percent of tuition for employees to take courses for in-demand fields, such as airplane mechanic or nursing, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. For some, Amazon will be their long-term career of choice. For others, Amazon recognizes it might be a stepping-stone on the way to a job somewhere else and they might need new skills to get that job. Amazon is more than willing to help them attain those skills, even if another company will benefit from Amazon’s investment in education.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
While Amazon’s claim of being okay with paying for people to train for jobs at other companies sounds altruistic—and it very well might be—a side benefit for Amazon is the type of workforce that program would encourage. Specifically, if people don’t want to be at Amazon, they have ways to leave. If they are taking advantage of the program, they are incentivized to work hard and perform well while at Amazon to not lose the tremendous opportunity of a paid-for education. It is an innovative—albeit counterintuitive—way to build a strong workforce. Pay to Quit is an example of another counterintuitive program that Amazon supports. Though it came originally from Zappos with Amazon’s acquisition of that company, Bezos touts it as a favorite way to build a strong workforce. Again, as he says in the 2013 Letter,
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Principle 11: Maintain Your Culture
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
we are working to build something important, something that matters.” —Bezos (1997 Letter) “We never claim that our approach is the right one—just that it’s ours—and over the last two decades, we’ve collected a large group of like-minded people. Folks who find our approach energizing and meaningful.” —Bezos (2015 Letter) “We challenge ourselves to not only invent outward facing features, but also to find better ways to do things internally—things that will both make us more effective and benefit our thousands of employees around the world.” —Bezos (2013 Letter)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
So, the real question for me is, how do you go about maintaining a Day 1 culture? “It’s great to have the scale of Amazon, we have financial resources, we have lots of brilliant people. We can accomplish great things. We have global scope; we have operations all over the world. But the downside of that is that you can lose your nimbleness, you can lose your entrepreneurial spirit, you can lose that kind of heart that small companies often have. And so, if you could have the best of both worlds, if you could have that entrepreneurial spirit and heart, while at the same time having all the advantages that come with scale and scope—think of the things that you could do. “So, the question is how do you achieve that? The scale is good because it makes you robust. A big boxer can take a punch to the head. You also want to dodge those punches. So, you’d like to be nimble; you want to be big and nimble. I find there are a lot of things that are protective of the Day 1 mentality. I already spent some time on one of them, which is customer obsession. I think that’s the most important thing.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Virtual Contact Center allows employees to provide customer service support for certain products from home. As Bezos puts it, “This flexibility is ideal for many employees who, perhaps because they have young children or for another reason, either cannot or prefer not to work outside the home.” —Bezos (2013 Letter)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
For Amazon, savings are more than a corporate competitive matter. Indeed, the company holds “frugality” up as one of Amazon’s Leadership Principles as it “breeds resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention.” In an interview with CBS’s Bob Simon for 60 Minutes, Bezos connected frugality to his #1 rule: Think about the customers’ needs first. “It’s a symbol of spending money on things that matter to customers and not spending money on things that don’t,” Bezos explained to Simon.33 The company still hands out the “Door Desk Award,” a title given internally to select employees who have a “well-built idea” that creates a significant savings for the company and enables lower prices for customers. It’s not just blog names and door desks that keeps the Day 1 mentality visible, either. When Amazon grew to occupy its own office building in Seattle, Bezos named the building “Day 1.” On the side, Bezos added a placard34 reminding everyone who enters the building of the founding Day 1 principle from the 1997 Letter to Shareholders: “There’s so much stuff that has yet to be invented. There’s so much new that’s going to happen. People don’t have any idea yet how impactful the Internet is going to be and that this is still Day 1 in such a big way.” —Bezos (1997 Letter)
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Amazon Leadership Principle—Ownership: Leaders are owners. They think long-term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say ‘that’s not my job.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Decision-making. Done the Amazon way, employees are empowered to make Type 2 decisions. When an employee is able to make a decision on behalf of the company, particularly to help a customer, they are likely to feel empowered—a vital way to connect with the values of the company.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
And, finally, it requires you to always—above all things—make decisions as if it is your first day in business, with passion and focus on customers. Be lean, be focused, and remember what mattered on Day 1 still matters. Scaling makes Amazon able to come full circle—to leverage its successes and begin again the process of testing another offering.
Steve Anderson (The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon)
Bodø, Mandag 14. Februar 1916 Kjære Marie, Jeg faar dette avsted med ”Barøy” som kommer hit først i Eftermiddag og gaar til Hamarøy Gud vet naar. Nu har jeg kjøpt forskjellige saker til de Smaa. Kjære, lat dem først faa se på dem efter Tur og saa trække dem op. Og saa lægger du hver undersøkt Ting bort før du tar fat paa en ny. Tilslut vil de se paa alt igjen efter Tur... Kjære, lat dem nu ikke bryte istykker disse dyre Sakerne straks. Faar de Tilsyn saa har jeg Erfaring for at de varer længe. Saa har jeg kjøpt Appelsiner, Druer, Æpler osv, søt Kjeks, Chokolade. Desuten noget Ost, saapas at ogsaa Pikerne maa faa av den iblandt. Sveitserost findes ikke. (Av Mysosten maa Pikerne faa sit eget Stykke at søle med.) Jeg gaar nu ut og ser om jeg faar Blusetøiet og Klæde til Bordduken... Din Knut
Knut Hamsun (Selected Letters 2: 1898-1952)
Another thing to be noted about functions is that the important ones have names; and the really important ones have special symbols to denote them. The function I’ve sampled in Table 3-1 has the name “The Prime Counting Function” and the symbol π (N), which is pronounced “pi of N.” Yes, I know, this is confusing. Isn’t π the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, the ineffable 3.14159265358979323846264…? It is indeed, and this new use of the symbol π is nothing whatever to do with that. The Greek alphabet has only 24 letters and by the time mathematicians got round to giving this function a symbol (the person responsible in this case is Edmund Landau, in 1909—see Chapter 14.iv), all 24 had been pretty much used up and they had to start recycling them. I am sorry about this; it’s not my fault; the notation is now perfectly standard; you’ll just have to put up with it.
Anonymous
Dear KDP Author, Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year. With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores. The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion. Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market – e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive. Perhaps channeling Orwell’s decades old suggestion, Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices wasn’t only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette’s readers. The fact is many established incumbents in the industry have taken the position that lower e-book prices will “devalue books” and hurt “Arts and Letters.” They’re wrong. Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books. On the contrary, paperbacks ended up rejuvenating the book industry and making it stronger. The same will happen with e-books. Many inside the echo-chamber of the industry often draw the box too small. They think books only compete against books. But in reality, books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive. Moreover, e-books are highly price elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We've quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that’s 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger.
Amazon Kdp
Most people try to find meaning in life by building something that's not just here today and gone tomorrow. We strive to overcomeour sense of finiteness by producingsomething. Some people build equity and get a great sense of power and success by looking at their house and thinkingthrough their portfolio. Somebuild professional reputations throughskilland hard work and get a sense of power and success from their heavy responsibilities and the numbersof people that look to them for leadership. Some people build artistic expressions and exalt in what they have created. Some,moresimply, build hobbies and collections (of coins or beetles or buttons) and gain a senseof superiority from the size of their collection or the richness of their garden or the shine of their car or the wonders of their new Apple computer. The falseteachers in 2 Peter lined their pockets with money (2:14–16); elevated themselves aboveauthority (2:10), built a reputation as astute interpreters of Paul's hard letters (3:16;2:18),and gave themselves to sexual licentiousness. Peter's response to us and themisthis: it'sgoing to be burned up. The implication of verse 11is this: the only things that are going to survive the fires of judgment on this earth are the expressionsof holiness and godliness. I
John Piper
PSA48.14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE with VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
PSA27.14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE with VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
When his teaching is more straightforward, it is no less baffling or challenging. Blessed are the meek (Mt 5:5); to look at a woman with lust is to commit adultery (Mt 5:28); forgive wrongs seventy times seven (Mt 18:22); you can't be my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions (Lk 14:33); no divorce (Mk 10:9); love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Mt 5:44). A passage that gives us the keys to the reign, or kingdom, of God is Matthew 25:31–46, the scene of the judgment of the nations: Then the king will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” As Mother Teresa put it, we meet Christ in the distressing disguise of the poor. Jesus’ teaching and witness is obviously relevant to social, economic, and political issues. Indeed, the Jewish leaders and the Romans (the powers that be of the time) found his teaching and actions disturbing enough to arrest him and execute him. A scene from the life of Clarence Jordan drives home the radicalism and relevance of Jesus’ message. In the early 1950s Clarence approached his brother, Robert Jordan, a lawyer and future state senator and justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, to legally represent Koinonia Farm. Clarence, I can't do that. You know my political aspirations. Why if I represented you, I might lose my job, my house, everything I've got. We might lose everything too, Bob. It's different for you. Why is it different? I remember, it seems to me, that you and I joined the church the same Sunday, as boys. I expect when we came forward the preacher asked me about the same question he did you. He asked me, “Do you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?” And I said, “Yes.” What did you say? I follow Jesus, Clarence, up to a point. Could that point by any chance be—the cross? That's right. I follow him to the cross, but not on the cross. I'm not getting myself crucified. Then I don't believe you're a disciple. You're an admirer of Jesus, but not a disciple of his. I think you ought to go back to the church you belong to, and tell them you're an admirer not a disciple. Well now, if everyone who felt like I do did that, we wouldn't have a church, would we? The question, Clarence said, is, “Do you have a church?”25 The early Christian community tried to live according to the values of the reign of God that Jesus proclaimed, to be disciples. The Jerusalem community was characterized by unlimited liability and total availability for each other, sharing until everyone's needs were met (Acts 2:43–47; 4:32–37).26 Paul's exhortation to live a new life in Christ in his letter to the Romans, chapters 12 through 15, has remarkable parallels to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, chapters 5 through 7, and Luke 6:20–49.27 Both Jesus and Paul offer practical steps for conflict resolution and peacemaking. Similarly, the Epistle of James exhorts Christians to “be doers of the word and not merely hearers who deceive themselves” (1:22), and warns against class divisions (2:1–13) and the greed and corruption of the wealthy (5:1–6).
J. Milburn Thompson (Introducing Catholic Social Thought)
Our entire corporate overhead is less than half the size of our charitable contributions. (Charlie, however, insists that I tell you that $1.4 million of our $4.9 million overhead is attributable to our corporate jet, The Indefensible.)” -1993 letter
Mark Gavagan (Gems from Warren Buffett - Wit and Wisdom from 34 Years of Letters to Shareholders)
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The letter was given to Sharon by Bush to help Sharon justify his unilateral withdrawal of 9,480 Jewish residents and the Israeli Army from Gaza, as part of a ‘peace’ effort to create a new separate Palestinian state, as part of a future ‘two state solution’. Sharon relied on Bush’s letter. In the letter, Bush made four promises to Israel: 1.) The borders of the new Muslim state to be created would not encompass the entire West Bank (referring to Israel as “Judea” and “Samaria,” including Jerusalem), despite Muslim leaders demanding the complete withdrawal from the areas Israel captured when it was invaded in 1967; 2.) Jewish towns and villages in the West Bank would be incorporated into the borders of Israel; 3.) Muslims would have to forego their demand to be given the right to immigrate to Israel; and 4.) Israel’s existence as a Jewish state would be assured. Unfortunately, four years later, in 2008, the Bush administration abandoned these assurances made to Prime Minister Sharon in 2004. Secretary of State Rice told reporters in Israel on the occasion of Israel’s 60th Anniversary as a re-born State that the 2004 letter “talked about realities at that time. And there are realities for both sides…” In an interview in the Oval Office with David Horowitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post, President Bush had to be reminded of the letter by his National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley, who said in briefings that “Israel has tried to overstate the importance of a rather vague letter.” (Jerusalem Post, May 14, 2008).
John Price (The End of America: The Role of Islam in the End Times and Biblical Warnings to Flee America)
Pope Gelasius I (492-496) expressed his vision of the West in a famous letter to the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I, and, even more clearly in his fourth treatise, where, with reference to the Byzantine model of Melchizedek [who was king and priest at the same time (Genesis 14:18)], he affirmed that the unity of powers lies exclusively in Christ: “Because of human weakness (pride!), they have separated for the times that followed the two offices, so that neither shall become proud.” On worldly matters, priests should follow the laws of the emperor installed by divine decree, while on divine matters the emperor should submit to the priest. This introduced a separation and distinction of powers that would be of vital importance to the later development of Europe, and laid the foundations for the distinguishing characteristics of the West.
Benedict XVI
If I could be anyone, I’d be Abigail Adams.” “Because she did it all?” he asked. “Because she was glad to do it all and never complained, that’s how committed she was to what John was doing. I know—as a woman, a feminist, I’m not supposed to admire a woman who’d do all that for a man, but she was doing it for herself. As if that was the contribution she could make to the founding of America. And they wrote each other letters—not just romantic, loving letters, but letters asking each other for advice. They were first good friends, two people who respected each other’s brains, and then obviously lovers, since they had a slew of kids. True partners, long before true partners were fashionable.
Robyn Carr (Virgin River Books 1-4 (Virgin River, #1-4))
LETTERA 14 NON DOBBIAMO ESSERE SCHIAVI DEL CORPO Il marinaio temerario non si cura delle minacce dell'austro che agita il mare siciliano e suscita i vortici, e non si dirige verso la parte sinistra della costa, ma passa vicino a quel tratto costiero da cui Cariddi sconvolge il mare. Il marinaio più cauto, invece, chiede a chi conosce i luoghi quali correnti ci siano e quali indizi si possano trarre dalle nubi, e tiene la rotta ben lungi da quella zona malfamata per i suoi gorghi.
Seneca (Lettere a Lucilio)
referring to the end times nation that is rich and powerful, and that will fall in a moment as “The Daughter of Babylon,” the Bible also refers to this end times nation as: BABYLON THE GREAT. Those capital letters are as the words are set forth in Revelation 17:5. John refers to Babylon the Great as “a mystery.” In Revelation 14:8 we read: A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”  Then in Revelation 17:1-2: “One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries’ (referring three verses later to “a mystery, BABYLON THE GREAT” [capitalization in original]).
John Price (The End of America: The Role of Islam in the End Times and Biblical Warnings to Flee America)