The Official Website of Kendel Christensen

In my zealous pursuit of knowledge, I had the idea to (instead of keep them in Microsoft OneNote), share some of the nuggets that I find during my week when I don’t have enough time or enough content to justify individual posts. So here are some things I came across this week.

Making Decisions
“Brainstorm every possible solution you can think of. Write down every idea — even the crazy ones. Sometimes the crazy ideas lead you to new solutions you hadn’t thought of. Trust that the solution is there, and you will find it.”
From Tips for making tough decisions, 

On the pressure to succeed:
“your value is not, and never will be, on the line. Your value is infinite and determined by God, so make sure to leave your value out of it.”

 After relating a story about feeling awkward at a karaoke party:
 “When you are experiencing fear… your focus is all on you!  You are worried about looking stupid, not being liked or being rejected.   You are totally insecure.  Insecurity, by nature,  is a very selfish place to be!   It’s all about you!
 As soon as I felt more secure (or less afraid) my fear level went down and in this place… LOVE could show up again.  Now that I wasn’t worried about myself, it became really easy to focus on others. After a couple minutes I was looking for other people who felt awkward who I could reach out to.
Why didn’t I do that in the beginning?
 I was too focused on me.
 So the moral of the story is… FEAR seriously messes up your life and robs the world of your love. When you are afraid for yourself – you aren’t capable of loving others.”

 “the voice of fear in your mind believes that if you can see bad in others, if you can make them “the bad guy” then you must, by default, be the “good guy”.
When you find mistakes, character flaws or badness in another person… there is a subconscious feeling of superiority that shows up…The problem is… in reality we are all exactly the same.
 We all have both good and bad in us.
 We all have good moments and bad moments.  We all make mistakes and are sometimes selfish or rude.  We all do it!  There are no good guys and bad guys… There is just all of us imperfect, stupid, struggling, scared, trying to do better but screwing up all the time human beings!  There is just all of us imperfect but amazing, gifted and innately good, same as everyone else human beings!
We are all the same.
 If we were to see people accurately, we would see them with compassion and forgiveness because we would see that they are the same as us.  They may have different weaknesses than ours but we both have weaknesses!  No one is better than another.
 We would see their infinite and absolute value along with our own!  We would realize that we don’t have anything to be afraid of… we are all good enough… and we could just start loving each other.”

Mark Zuckerberg visited BYU:
I also attended a question and answer session with the founder of Facebook when he visited my Alma Mater.  Most of the questions focused on technology and political policy related thereto (interesting, but not potentially life-changing, and therefore, do not belong on my website, but one of the last questions sparked a real gem. Mark was asked about how to get in to the higher levels at Facebook. It felt like he answered it as a general hiring question, but I take it as a mantra for the changing working world in general. He said something to the effect of “We want people with passion. You have an engineering degree. That’s great. What initiative have you taken ON YOUR OWN? Or have you JUST gone to classes? What community involvement have you engaged in? In what way do you want to change the world? If you can’t convince us that you have enough passion to change the world in some way, we don’t want you. We want people who, in interviews, tell us that Facebook is SO FAR from what it could be that it is BROKEN and by sheer force of will, they want to fix it in big ways–to take it to the next level by their passion for what the world SHOULD be.”  It was quite inspiring. And I COMPLETELY resonated with it. I was recently accepted to Teach for America, and I think what really set me apart was my enthusiasm. It really showed them that I want to change things. I wasn’t content with just “doing” the job, I wanted to be a teacher that would transform kids’ worlds–invite them to a higher level of viewing and living life (which is also how I view my own life–which is why I take the counsel of books and prophets so literally).
Families in Luke  
Today I attended a fireside with the director of the Jerusalem Center for dozens of years, Dr. S. Kent Brown. The man is a genius. He has studied the book of Luke for over 20 years, and shared with us some insights, all on the theme of families in the Book of Luke. Some insights were:

“Nor given in marriage.” Not meant to be passive voice, but rather, is reflexive–as in “give herself”. Showing that Jesus is teaching that women should have a say in their marriages (and not be treated as objects only–e.g., to be “given away” to the husband).

Daughter of Jairus: put the noise outside, the static of the world. Was 6 months away from betrothal age. Saved a potential new family.

Miracle of casting the nets. Gave their families food and income.
Build his house : can be *household* on bedrock.
Two other thoughts, not really related to family, but nonetheless very interesting, are
1. The story of the quadriplegic: “sins forgiven?” How so? He can’t move. Mean that he can’t dig a pit or steal etc, rather his sin was that he resented his lot.

2. Christ Never performs a miracle for no reason. Look for the reason, find the principle.

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