Leading a modern life while living the Gospel by Pascal Laliberté

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God, cocreator

June 12, 2014

We’ll never know for sure where God has touched the world. If he’s better than the best among us, maybe all that hiding was the plan all along.

The creator you won’t find

We’re finding out a lot of things about the beginnings of the universe. We’re just about to map the workings of the brain. It’s becoming quite hard to claim that God is necessary for the universe to be the way it is. Every day, we fill the gaps of our knowledge of life and physics, gaps where God used to be the occupant. No more.

Claiming that God was the creator used to be pretty evident, mostly unquestionable. Now, it’s getting clear that God isn’t needed for anything about the universe. Certainly not its evolution, and not even its beginnings.

We’re left pondering why anyone would believe in God in the first place. What’s the use? There’s no ground to sustain the belief. There’s no proof to be found.

And yet…

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Surviving a crisis of faith and living the Gospel fully

April 29, 2014

If you care about faith and about being a sensible, honest person, you’ve probably struggled with doubt. Maybe you’re going through a crisis of faith right now. If so, hold on.

A few years ago, I remember going through a crisis of my own, and my doubts made me feel like I was in a free-fall trying to grasp for something to hang on to. Around that time, I participated in a work retreat and confided these struggles to the facilitator (the host) of the retreat. In response, he shared the story of a man he once helped out:

This man was a native american who was torn between two identities: the warrior, and the healer. He felt both of these identities within him, and he felt them fighting, conflicting as opposites. The warrior within him wanted to fight and destroy; the healer within him wanted to heal others, renew them and re-build them. He felt wrestled between the two, restless at the energy it drew from him.

Before we continue with this story, let’s look at two opposing statements about God: ‘there is a God’ and ‘there is no God’. Which one is true?

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An introduction to mental models

January 19, 2014

A few years ago, I discovered something that turned out to play an essential role in my personal development: I found out about mental models. While before I was trapped in my own ways of thinking, I’m now much more in command of my thoughts.

I had taken a nine-month contract in another department within the university. As the contract drew near its end, I was haunted by the thought of coming back to my old job. I was sure that it would be horrible: my old team had been moved under a new department with a new supervisor whom I was convinced was a threat to the way I thought web design should be done. It was going to be impossible for me to fit into the new culture, I thought. I resented everything about coming back. I was stuck.

I was offered some leadership training while on that nine-month contract. While taking the course, I learned about something called mental models, and it not only gave me the answer on how to come back to my old job, it made me able to judo past many other life obstacles.

I came back to my old job, and not only did this mental model idea help me defuse a bad situation, it created an awesome one: this supervisor became one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. I had a blast working with him.

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Writing objectives you will accomplish

December 29, 2013

There’s a problem with most of the objectives we write down: most of them are written as wishes, and that’s why they don’t get done.

Arrows stopping short of the goal

Objectives we write usually end up looking something like this:

My objectives:

  • Lose 15 pounds by spring
  • Exercise twice a week
  • Spend more time with my family

This list has some good objectives. You’ll know when you’ll have lost 15 pounds and you know by when. You’ll know whether or not you’ll have stuck to your exercise routine. The first two are specific, measurable and tied to a schedule.1

What is this list missing? “Spend more time with my family” isn’t really specific nor measurable, but that’s not the biggest problem.

The biggest problem is that these objectives are stated as wishes.

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My system for keeping up with news

September 9, 2013

Illustration showing how overwhelming keeping up with the news can be. I developed a system for handling the news and updates from people I follow. Let me run through the problems I was experiencing, and I’ll step through the solution.

I used to feel overwhelmed with news and updates, tempted to ‘unfollow’ people and I wanted to reduce the time spent on this habit. Since the new system, I follow everybody I want and all the news sources I want, I check in just a few times a day (it could be less), and I keep up with the updates that matter to me.

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Leading a modern life while living the Gospel

It seems we have a choice to make: to live in a modern way, to live out our faith, or a little of each. Why not aim for both, to the max? To me, it's about two ideas co-existing, and in this I recognize the kind of Christianity that was intended from the start.

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