John Maxwell - The 360° Leader

“He who mistrusts most should be trusted least.” ~ Greek proverb

It takes nine months to produce a baby — no matter how many people you put on the job.

You cannot give what you do not have. In order to develop your staff, you must keep growing yourself.

Max DePree said that it is the first responsibility of a leader to define reality.

When you don’t want to have a difficult conversation, you need to ask yourself: Is it because it will hurt them or hurt me? If it is because it will hurt you, then you’re being selfish. Good leaders get past the discomfort of having difficult conversations for the sake of the people they lead and the organization. The thing you need to remember is that people will work through difficult things if they believe you want to work with them.

p240
Re: The Law of the Niche: All players have a place where they add the most value.

When I was in high school, I was fortunate to have a coach who understood this. During one of our varsity basketball practices, our coach, Dan Neff, decided he wanted to teach us a very important lesson about basketball. He got the first- and second-string teams out on the floors to scrimmage. That wasn’t unusual—we scrimmaged all the time. Our second team had some good players, but clearly the first team was much better. This time he had us do something very different from the norm. He let the second-string players take their normal positions, but he assigned each of us starters to a different role from our usual one. I was normally a shooting guard, but for this scrimmage, I was asked to play center. And as I recall, our center was put in the point-guard position.

We were instructed to play to twenty, but the game didn’t take long. The second team trounced us in no time. When the scrimmage was over, Coach Neff called us over to the bench and said, “Having the best players on the floor isn’t enough. You have to have the best players in the right positions.”

What’s worse than training your people and losing them? Not training them and keeping them.
p268
If your people aren’t following, you need to listen more. You don’t need to be more forceful. You don’t need to find more leverage. You don’t need to come down on them. If you listen, they will be much more inclined to follow.
p275
I’ve never known a person focused on yesterday to have a better tomorrow.
p276
St. Francis of Assisi said, “Start doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing what is impossible.”
p286
Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.
p287
There’s an old saying that a smart person believes only half of what he hears, but a really smart person knows which half to believe.
p288
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The biggest job in getting any movement off the ground is to keep together the people who form it. This task requires more than a common aim; it demands a philosophy that wins and holds the people’s allegiance; and it depends upon open channels of communication between the people and their leaders.”
p298-307
[12 Questions Leaders Should Ask Themselves Daily]
  1. Do I place a high value on people?
  2. Am I committed to providing resources for leadership development?
  3. Do I place a high value on leadership in my organization?
  4. Am I continually looking for potential leaders?
  5. Do I know and respect my people?
  6. Am I providing my people with leadership experiences?
  7. Do I reward leadership initiative?
  8. Am I providing an environment where people can ask questions, share ideas, and take risks?
  9. Am I growing with my people?
  10. Am I drawing people with potential into my inner circle?
  11. Am I committed to developing a leadership team?
  12. Am I unleashing my leaders to lead?
p307
I’ve found that leaders who go from leading alone to successfully developing 360-Degree Leaders go through three stages:
Stage 1: The Loneliness of Leading
“I am the only leader.” When you are the one leader, you really have to personally lead everything.
Stage 2: The Lifting of a Leader
“I’m one of only a few leaders.” When you being leading and developing other leaders, then you lead only some of the more important things.
Stage 3: The Legacy of a Leader
“I’m only one of many leaders.” When you develop 360-Degree Leaders, then you lead only a very few strategic things.

Megyn Kelly - Settle for More

Chpt 3, Loc 635
Ten days before Christmas 1985, my family was beginning to gather together for the holiday, with Suzanne home from college. Pete was attending college nearby and was frequently underfoot, though on this particular day he’d opted to watch a football game with his friends rather than at home. I wanted to get the same class ring [my friend] Kelly was ordering. Dad said it was too expensive. I kept complaining, and he kept saying we couldn’t afford it.

I wouldn’t let it go.

He’d had it. He turned and walked out of the kitchen. That was the last exchange I would ever have with my father.

I watched him walk toward the living room, and then I stormed up to my bedroom without saying good night or even acknowledging him. I turned out the light and went to sleep angry. The last image I have of my father alive is of him alone on the couch, staring at the Christmas tree. That sight would haunt me for the rest of my life—the picture of a good man, exasperated and alone.

Just before midnight, Suzanne ran into my bedroom.

“Wake up!” she shouted. “Daddy had a heart attack.”

Chpt 4, Loc 857
One year we [Megyn and Jim (college boyfriend)] went to a Final Four chapionship dinner; the teams included Yale, Loyola, UNC North Caroline, and Syracuse. Each captain gave a speech to a packed hall. The guy from Yale said, “There have been a lot of eyes on Yale this year, a lot of questions about us. People wonder why we do drills the way we do, why we warm up the way we do. . . . The way we wear our socks is very innocuous. It’s all about teamwork and brotherhood.”

Jim gets up there for the Syracuse team and says, “I can’t speak for all the teams, but we at Syracuse did not have our eyes on Yale, and we didn’t wonder about their drills or their socks. But we were wondering what the word ‘innocuous’ means.”

Chpt 17, loc 3153
I've never worked at a place where some star employee—man or woman—was unknown to everyone, tolling away unnoticed. If you believe this is happening to you, ask yourself if you have worked as hard as possible, studied extensively, and made yourself invaluable. If you can’t honestly say you have done all of those things, quit complaining.

Tim Tebow - Shaken

chpt 1, pg 8
“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
chpt 4, pg 81
I love the saying, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work as hard.”

Martin Luther wrote, “This life is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness. It is not healthy, but healing; not being, but becoming; not rest, but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it. This is not the end, but it is the road.”
chpt 5, pg 98
One of my favorite quotes is from my big sister Christy. In the midst of her struggles with health and the challenges of being a missionary overseas, she became convinced, “God will never waste pain that’s offered to Him.” I love that. God will never waste your pain. He will never waste your heartache. He will never waste your loss.
chpt 9, pg 177
Don't wait for something to happen or for someone to give you permission to do something right. Just do it. When’s the right time? For the most part, always.

One of my favorite sayings is “Oftentimes we don’t dream big enough and oftentimes we don’t start small enough.”

John Maxwell - Developing the Leader Within You

All of the following are from chapter eight, The Indispensable Quality of Leadership: VISION
p143
We see what we are prepared to see, not what is. Every successful leader understands this about people and asks three questions:
  • What do others see?
  • Why do they see it that way?
  • How can I change their perceptions?
p144
Bobb Biehl, in his book Increasing Your Leadership Confidence, says, “Keep in mind the difference between a winner’s and a loser’s mentality. Winners focus on winning big—not just how to win, but how to win big. Losers, however, don't focus on losing; they just focus on getting by!”

Keep asking yourself, “Survival, success, or significance?” Are you striving to simply survive, are you dreaming about success, or are you really out to make a truly significant difference?
p149-150
Successful leaders see on three levels:
  • Level 1. Perception: See what is now with the eyes of reality.
  • Level 2. Probability: Seeing what will be with the eyes of discernment.
  • Level 3. Possibility: Seeing what can be with the eyes of vision.
A futurist lives only on Level 3. A forecaster lives only on Level 2. A follower lives only on Level 1. A leader lives on Level 3, leads on Level 2, and listens on Level 1.
p151
Many visions aren’t realized because of strong, dogmatic people. To be absolutely certain about something, one must either know everything or nothing about it. Most of the time, the dogmatist knows nothing but conventionally says something.
p153
Some people can see a problem in every solution. Usually obstacles are the things you see when you take your eyes off the goal. Interestingly, some people think the ability to see problems is a mark of maturity. Not so. It’s the mark of a person without a vision. These people abort great visions by presenting problems without any solutions.

Cardinal John Henry Newman said that nothing would get done at all if a man waited until he could do something so well that no one could find fault with it.
p155
A prime function of a leader is to keep hope alive. Napoleon said, “Leaders are dealers in hope.”
p158
The successful Level 3 leader will see on three levels:
  1. The Perceptible Level: What is now seen—the eyes of reality. A leader listens on this level.
  2. The Probable Level: What will be seen—the eyes of discernment. A leader leads on this level.
  3. The Possible Level: What can be seen—the eyes of vision. A leader lives on this level.

Questions to Ask about Your Lesson

These questions are from Teach Like a Pirate by David Burgess.

Is there something we can write on the board or shine on our screens that will spark a conversation or create a buzz?

Is there some way we can get our class outside of this lesson?

Where would be the perfect place on campus to deliver this lesson?

Can I inject an activity that will get every student out of there seat at some point in this lesson?

Can I offer some sort of artistic opportunity — a chance for students to express their own art voice?

Can I offer an activity where they challenge each other?

Can I make it like National Treasure where they solve clues and they come to me for the next clue?

Can I use the amazing power of silence? Pictionary? Charades? Little placards that I turn over like in those videos that are strangely engaging?

Is there some way that I can turn this into a contest?

Is there something I can do to myself to immediately spark curiosity as they enter the room?

Is there something I can do to transform my space — can I change my room some way to deliver this lesson?

Can I use the people of my class as props (e.g. make a graph out of people) in order to demonstrate a point?

Death of Saints Precious in God's Sight

Ps 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.

Precious : yaqar ( yaw-kawr' )
- valuable
- prized
- rare
- splendid
- costly
- highly-valued
- glorious
- excellent

Matthew Henry:
Though no man lays it to heart when the righteous perish, God will make it to appear that He lays it to heart.
This should make us willing to die, to die for Christ, if we are called to it, that our death shall be registered in heaven, and let that be precious to us which is so to God.

Tombstone:
Another link is broken
In our household band
But a chain is forming
In a better land

2 Cor 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

1 Cor 15:36-44
36 ...that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 
37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain
38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 
39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind offlesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 
40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Dreams and Visions

Greek - Acts 2:17
men  3495 young men
see  3700 
visions 3706 
men  4245 presbuteros = elders = overseers
dream  1798 
dreams  1797 
 
Hebrew - Joel 2:28
men  970 youth, young man
see  7200 see, inspect, perceive, regard, look after, observe, discern
visions 2384 9x - vision, oracle, prophecy - used re: Nathan's vision to David of Solomon's temple 2 Sam 7:17
men  2205elders, ancients, senators, old, old men
dream  2492 25x - Jacob's ladder, Joseph's dreams
dreams  2472 55x - ¿seem muddy - not always understood?

Ecclesiastes 5:3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business, and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.

To believe = to be persuaded

“First, To be a Christian indeed is to believe on Christ’s name; it is to assent to the gospel discovery, and consent to the gospel proposal, concerning Him.” - Matthew Henry

- to acknowledge that He is [the King of Kings, the Savior, the Anointed One]

- to acquiesce in it [consent with enthusiasm]

Greek "pisteuo" means "to be persuaded"

- St Jerome, latin, "credo" (from "cor do": I give my hand) not "opinar" (I have an opinion)

- In 1611, "believe" meant "be loyal to a person to whom you are bound by promise or duty."

- Now, "belief" is more like an "intellectual assent"

Serving

Notes from a Weds PM class at Hillcrest Christian Church... The word "serve" is one of the biggest themes in the Bible and the preferred title of saints. "Serve" or "servant" are mentioned 1100 times in scripture. "Servant" was the coveted title of many from Abraham to Paul.

Thom S. Rainer - Simple Church

p26
To have a simple church, you must have a simple discipleship process. This process must be clear. It must move people toward maturity. It must be integrated fully into your church, and you must get rid of the clutter around it.

p33
People have come to know Christ, and they have stayed at the church. They have gotten plugged into ministry and are contributing to the body of Christ.

p43
[Re: Mk 2:27] Programs are made for man, not man for programs. If the goal is to keep certain things going, the church is in trouble. The end result must always be about people. Programs should only be tools.

Divine Providence, by Mrs. M.A.W. Cook

In some way or other
The Lord will provide;
It may not be my way,
It may not be thy way,
And yet in His own way,
The Lord will provide.

At some time or other
The Lord will provide,
It may not be my time.
It may not be thy time.
And yet in His own time,
The Lord will provide.

Despond then no longer,
The Lord will provide;
And this be the token—
No word He hath spoken
Was ever yet broken.
The Lord will provide.

March on, then, right boldly
The sea shall divide;
The pathway made glorious
With shoutings victorious,
We'll join in the chorus
The Lord will provide.

I Have a Problem

Source: Ray Comfort's facebook page.

“FATHER, I HAVE a problem. It’s weighing heavy on me. It’s all I can think about, night and day. Before I bring it to you in prayer, I suppose I should pray for those who are less fortunate than me—those in this world who have hardly enough food for this day, and for those who don’t have a roof over their heads at night. I also pray for families who have lost loved ones in sudden death, for parents whose children have leukemia, for the many people who are dying of brain tumors, for the hundreds of thousands who are laid waste with other terrible cancers, for people whose bodies have been suddenly shattered in car wrecks, for those who are lying in hospitals with agonizing burns over their bodies, whose faces have been burned beyond recognition. I pray for people with emphysema, whose eyes fill with terror as they struggle for every breath merely to live, for those who are tormented beyond words by irrational fears, for the elderly who are wracked with the pains of aging, whose only ‘escape’ is death.

“I pray for people who are watching their loved ones fade before their eyes through the grief of Alzheimer’s disease, for the many thousands who are suffering the agony of AIDS, for those who are in such despair that they are contemplating suicide, for people who are tormented by the demons of alcoholism and drug addiction. I pray for children who have been abandoned by their parents, for those who are sexually abused, for wives held in quiet despair, beaten and abused by cruel drunken husbands, for people whose minds have been destroyed by mental disorders, for those who have lost everything in floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes. I pray for the blind, who never see the faces of the ones they love or the beauty of a sunrise, for those whose bodies are deformed by painful arthritis, for the many whose lives will be taken from them today by murderers, for those wasting away on their deathbeds in hospitals.

“Most of all, I cry out for the millions who don’t know the forgiveness that is in Jesus Christ . . . for those who in a moment of time will be swept into hell by the cold hand of death, and find to their utter horror the unspeakable vengeance of eternal fire. They will be eternally damned to everlasting punishment. O God, I pray for them.

“Strange. I can’t seem to remember what my problem was. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

When Lust Conceives

John Gill -
Then when lust hath conceived…
A proposal of pleasure or profit being made, agreeable to lust, or the principle of corrupt nature, sinful man is pleased with it; and instead of resisting and rejecting the motion made, he admits of it, and receives it, and cherishes it in his mind; he dallies and plays with it; he dwells upon it in his thoughts, and hides it under his tongue, and in his heart, as a sweet morsel, and forsakes it not, but contrives ways and means how to bring it about; and this is lust's conceiving. The figure is used in (Psalms 7:14) on which Kimchi, a Jewish commentator, has this note; ``he (the psalmist) compares the thoughts of the heart (Nwyrhl) , "to a conception", and when they go out in word, this is "travail", and in work or act, this is "bringing forth".''

Matthew Henry -
As holiness consists of two parts-forsaking that which is evil and cleaving to that which is good, so these two things, reversed, are the two parts of sin. The heart is carried from that which is good, and enticed to cleave to that which is evil.
"Their sin lies at their own door, and therefore their blood will lie upon their own heads."

Then, when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; that is, sin being allowed to excite desires in us, it will soon ripen those desires into consent, and then it is said to have conceived.

Robertson's Word Pictures -
Then (eita). The next step. The lust (h epiqumia). Note article, the lust (verse 2 Peter 14) which one has. When it hath conceived (sullabousa). Second aorist active participle of sullambanw, old word to grasp together, in hostile sense (Acts 26:21), in friendly sense of help (Philippians 4:3), in technical sense of a woman taking a man's seed in conception (Luke 1:24), here also of lust (as a woman), "having conceived." The will yields to lust and conception takes place. Beareth sin (tiktei amartian). Present active indicative of tiktw to bring forth as a mother or fruit from seed, old verb, often in N.T., here only in James. Sin is the union of the will with lust. See Psalms 7:14 for this same metaphor. The sin (h amartia). The article refers to amartia just mentioned.

Things You Never Hear in Church

(Seen on facebook)

  1. Hey! It's my turn to sit in the front pew.
  2. I was so enthralled, I never noticed your sermon went 25 minutes over time.
  3. Personally I find witnessing much more enjoyable than golf. 
  4. I've decided to give our church the $500 a month I used to send to TV evangelists. 
  5. I volunteer to be the permanent teacher for the Junior High Sunday School class. 
  6. Forget the denominational minimum salary, let's pay our pastor so he/she can live like we do. 
  7. I love it when we sing hymns I've never heard before! 
  8. Since we're all here, let's start the service early. 
  9. Pastor, we'd like to send you to this Bible seminar in the Bahamas. 
  10. Nothing inspires me and strengthens my commitment like our annual stewardship campaign! 
  11. I couldn't find space to park outside. Praise God!!

Adversity's Blast

And ye, who have met with Adversity's blast,
And been bow'd to the earth by its fury;
To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass'd
Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury -
Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,
The regrets of remembrance to cozen,
And having obtained a New Trial of Time,
Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen.
- Thomas Hood

Brain Dump -- Learning from a Redwood About Ministry that Endures

Redwood Trees
- are huge (can't tell how big they are without people in the shot)
[Don't tell me about your building or your bank account; tell me how many people you've reached]

- have been here longer than we have
[This thing didn't start when you came into position and it won't end when you leave ]

- oldest and tallest are found in valleys/gullies with year-round streams and where fog-drip is regular
[We need some year-round streams and some fog-drip!]

- thick bark protects from fire and insect damage
--- can go through fire and not get burned [Can't wear our feelings on our sleeves]
--- anything damageable is too high to be reached by fire [Must lay up treasures in heaven.]

* Succession Planning
- new Redwoods feed off older, fallen Redwoods

Jesus didn't finish everything He started (Acts 1:1 "began"), and you may not finish everything you start either

- Jn 15:15
- Acts 20:20
- 2 Tim 2:2

* Keep the main thing the main thing
- Redwoods are happy being trees, don't wish they were something else
- God determines the main thing, not you
- Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
--- lift with your legs, not with your back

* Cooperative, not Competitive
- Redwoods don't fight each other -- they help each other
- What if God decided to save 1000 souls in your city, but He did it through the church next door?
- Cooperative -- work together, Eph 4:16
- Not competitive -- no envy, each should esteem others better (Phil 2:3-4)

Brain Dump -- The Real Jesus

Genesis 1:26
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Romans 8:28-29
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

[churchianity] is raising a lot of nice unbelievers who go to church. - unknown

Romans 1:23
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Matthew 24:23-24
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Matthew 14:28-29
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.



Mama Jesus - "Ah, hon, tell mama all about it." "Let me kiss your boo-boos away."

Flannel-Graph Jesus - The one we imagine walking on the sea shore or carrying a lamb, but not doing much today.

All-American Jesus - loves baseball and apple pie, wants everyone to have a nice house and nice care.

Bartender Jesus - someone to tell your troubles to

Mystic Jesus - so deep you can't understand Him, or like the force on Star Wars

Historical Jesus - acknowledged as a historical figure, but died years ago

Help-Me Jesus
- version 1, "help me, Jesus, achieve my dream"
- version 2, the one we call on in 911 moments, "Help me, Jesus!"
- version 3, "So help me Jesus, I'm gonna bust you if you don't straighten up!"

The Real Jesus
- loves you as you are, but also loves you too much to leave you that way
- might be a little like Sergeant Gunny (Kids' favorite commercial: "You know what makes me sad? You do! Maybe we should chug on over to mamby-pamby land where maybe we can find some self-confidence for you, you jackwagon.  Tissue?  Crybaby!")
- might be a little like eagles who boot eaglets from the nest to teach them to fly
- might be a little like giraffes who repeatedly kick their newborns over to teach them to stand up.
- The real Jesus was anything but boring.
- Jesus was not crucified for His pacifism!

A dangerous prayer might be: Make me more like Jesus!



Disparity

Where in Acts can one find a bored Christian?

Rather, their own world was turned upside-down, and all the complacent religious folk got nervous saying, "Those that turned the world upside-down have come here also."

We teach our kids how to survive the world, but we ought to teach them how to change the world!

Misc Stats Regarding Decline of Family Values

Stats presented in a meeting in late 2010 or early 2011... sources not identified.

Population of married people in US is decreasing: 7.4% of population in 2000, 4.3% in 2007.

Separation of couples in America: 2.3 million are married but separated.

Divorce: 1970 4.3m, 1996 18.3m, 2000 21m, 2008, 25m

Co-habitation: 1960 - 439k, 2000 4.8m, 2007 12m

Single parenting: 2002 16.5m, 2003 20m, 2009 22m

Out-of-wedlock births: 1970 399k, 1980, 666k, 1990 1.16m, 2000 1.5m, 2007 1.72m

Fatherless families: 40% of households

Domestic violence: 2.5m per year

Adult health crisis: 70m will some sort of heart disease (due to lack of diet and exercise, along with 'anything is OK' attitude)

Childhood obesity - 60%

Addition to alcohol and drugs: 2003 195m, 2008 117.8m

Child maltreatment:
- Abused children in US: 2005 889k cases of substantiated abuse or neglect, 2006 2.4m, 2007 3.2m
- Foster children: 2007 500k, 2009 710k
- Kinship care: 6m living with grandparents or relatives
- Number of children who died at hands of their abusers: 1960 4, 2005 1460, 2008 1740

In the last 10 years, 4m children have aged out of foster care.

Juvenile justice system: 2002 126k, 2006 220k, 2011 400k+

Teen Crisis
- teen rape: 2004: 210k, 2008 410k
- teen pregnancy: 2006 750k
- teen abortion: 2006 2004k
- teen suicide: 2003 3rd leading cause of death in teens, 2005 2nd

Childless couples: 2007 27% by choice, 2009 36%

Church fellowship: population increased by 11.4% from 1986 to 1996, but church attendance decreased 12%

Faith in America today: 1990 86% Christian, 2001 79%, 2008 76% -- current trends predict Islam to be the dominant religion in America by 2050

George Mueller -The Life of Trust

... I fell into the snare into which so many young believers fall, the reading of religious books in preference to the Scriptures.  I read tracts, missionary papers, sermons, and biographies of godly persons. I never had been at any time of my life in the habit of reading the Holy Scriptures. When under fifteen years of age, I occasionally read a little of them at school; afterwards God's precious book was entirely laid aside, so that I never read one single chapter of it till it pleased God to begin a work of grace in my heart. Now the scriptural way of reasoning would have been: God himself has consented to be an author, and I am ignorant about that precious book, which his Holy Spirit has caused to be written through the instrumentality of his servants, and it contains that which I ought to know, the knowledge of which will lead me to true happiness; therefore I ought to read again and again this most precious book of books, most earnestly, most prayerfully, and with much meditation; and in this practice I ought to continue all the days of my life. ...like many believers, I practically preferred, for the first four years of my divine life, the works of uninspired men to the oracles of the living God. The consequence was, that I remained a babe, both in knowledge and in grace.

Jakob Nielsen - Mental Models

Users don't just confuse search fields; many less-techy users don't understand the differences between many other common features:
  • Operating-system windows vs. browser windows
  • A window vs. an application,
  • Icons vs. applications,
  • Browser commands vs. native commands in a Web-based app
  • Local vs. remote info
  • Different passwords and log-in options (users often log in to other websites as if they were logging in to their email)


It's amazing how one misconception can thwart users throughout an entire session and cause them to systematically misinterpret everything that happens on the site. Through failure after failure, they never question their basic assumptions. This is yet another argument for complying with preexisting user expectations whenever possible. If you don't, then make certain that you're clearly explaining what you're doing — while also realizing that you face the added challenge of users' reluctance to read very much.