Archive for the ‘Cultural Ideas’ category

Wise and Patient

July 15, 2009

Will Henry wrote, “Fools live to regret their words; wise men to regret their silence”. Just reflect on those words and realize how much patience is involved in being wise. remember, patience does not mean silence or inaction; it is action and speech at the right time.

Success Questions Pt 7

April 27, 2009

This question is powerful and can change your life. Take sixty seconds and write out your answer on paper. This is the next question:

“What one great thing would you dare to do if you knew you could not fail?”

There are no limitations to the answer to this question. Write down the biggest goal you would have. When you’ve written it down, think about this fact, you are your own guarantee that your goal is achievable. The reason I asked you to write your goal down was that your act of writing something out means that you can accomplish that one thing.

You may think that I’m taking things too far, but how hard was it to write down those words? Or did you not even bother because you thought it would never happen?

Write it out and see what happens.

Iconoclasts

February 21, 2009

The book, Iconoclast, by Gregory Berns, is an incredible amalgam of information concerning both the brain and the action centers of the individual. Dr. Berns describes an iconoclast as someone who “does something that others say can’t be done”. What follows is a listing of different people who have done just that.

One of the positive aspects to this book is its delivery of technical information in a way that is accessible to anyone. Distilled down into themes we all know such as perception and fear, he makes distinctions about the imagination and mindset that separate the ordinary and the free-thinkers that define the term “Iconoclast”.

Systems vs. Sytematic Theology

February 11, 2009

One of the greatest changes that I see in the future of the church is a shift from a systematic approach to theology to a more inclusive holistic Systems approach. The integration of so many differing systems into our daily environments will eventually warrant a change in the direction of the theological approach of most churches. Whereas in the past we have been somewhat satisfied with compartmentalizing differing aspects of theological interest.

We have been content to “zero in” on faith, grace, salvation, righteousness, etc. exclusively. Now there will be decidedly all-encompassing approach that will examine how these all are related to one another and dependant on each other. As the strings that connect shift, so does the related change in the tension between each area. What is exciting about all of this is that it brings a new dynamic to the conversation(s) concerning every issue that was previously looked at in exclusivity.

Systems Theology will seek to bring more of a solid foundation to much of the weaker present offering of “new church”. I’m reading a book now about the changes and shifts in cultures as different paradigms take shape. This is a key concept as we look both where we’ve come from and where we’re going.

The (re)Myth: Part 2

February 6, 2009

In the process of looking at words used too long by the Church are some others. Another word is, “Revolution”. This is a word full of baggage and energy, some positive, but mostly negative. In the global sense, Revolution is all about overthrowing something (be it a belief system or a way of experiencing church). To those doing the “revolutionizing”, nothing could be greater than removing the old guard with something new.

Later, however, the posture is much different. Somewhere someone will want to “Revolutionize” this new way of doing things for a new, newer way and the cycle continues. The one word that should be used instead is “Reformation”.

To re – form something is truth. To take the expression and refigure it is the great challenge, not obliterating the visage of the past church. When we use our language, we must use care and think from different perspectives.

ReJesus

January 22, 2009

rejesus

Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost have a new book out called ReJesus. It is one of the most compelling reads as to how we can never get outside of our own distinct cultures to a pure Jesus. In every age Christians are compelled to again struggle with the meaning of Jesus again. Neibuhr wrote in Christ and Culture that we always are reshaping Jesus out of our cultural imaginations. Jesus is the center of the religion of Christianity, and yet, as Jacques Ellul, the French theologian questions, “How has it come about that the development of Christianity and the church has given birth to a society, a civilization, a culture that are completely opposite to what we read in the Bible, to what is indisputably the text of the law, the prophets, Jesus and Paul?”

To follow Jesus requires not simply believing in belief, but to encounter Jesus on an ongoing basis. This is true spiritual transformation. It becomes more than knowing about him. It must become about experiencing redemption, following his way, becoming like him and taking up his cause all the while in the current Western context.

We all know that Jesus is like God, fewer are aware that God is like Jesus, ans fewer still would admit that Jesus shows us the perfect example of what Human is – AND that we should seek to be like that perfect example. Roman 8:29 speaks of us being conformed into the likeness of his Son. It speaks of us being like Jesus.

What would our world look like if we became more like Jesus who was like God? Would we not wake to a better world? Instead of worshipping Jesus, what if we followed Him. What if we used the mysterious Christ as an example to what our own lives could be?

Too often we have relegated Christ as a figure to be looked at or revered – separated from us. We learn at an early age “how” to worship, but Jesus came to show us how to live. It is in the living that we learn to know him and experience that abundant life He spoke about.

Barack Obama – 44th President

January 20, 2009

One of the most brilliant moments from the festivities of today was the poem recited by Elizabeth Alexander.

“Praise Song For the Day”

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other’s
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.

Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what’s on the other side.

I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,

picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need
. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,

praise song for walking forward in that light.

Acting Out of the Box

January 1, 2009

One of the things that I’ve been thinking about lately is how often we take things that are, at first revolutionary, and then relegate them to the role of a staple item. As an example, a business could have made a name for themselves by doing a particular ting or producing a particular product. Eventually, the business prides themselves on being revolutionary by producing the same product.

 

There is a lot to be said for thinking outside the box. Hundreds of books have been written about it, and many are good. The subject of thinking outside of the box is a must in today’s business world, but it takes another step to really make a difference. Thinking is important, but it’s not enough. Thinking is passive. The only way things get done and change really happens is when we stop thinking out of the box and start acting out of the box.

 

Look at your own situation at the beginning of the year. I’m certain you’ve thought about a lot of things you want to do or change. Take one, an in the next five minutes do some action that brings you closer to making it happen. It could be as simple as a phone call or an email. You need to make the call – so make it.

 

Let 2009 be a year of action – and let me know what you’re doing to make 2009 the best year we’ve ever seen!

Between Christmas and New Years

December 29, 2008

The days that sit between Christmas and New Years have always intrigued me. For months we’ve looked toward the Christmas frenzy and then, in those few days, Christmas is over and the New Year is coming. It is in these days that reflection can come – in between a few naps!

 

Reflection is good and natural at the end of anything, but especially at the end of a year. The most typical feeling I’ve encountered from people can best be explained by St. Catherine of Siena in her dialogues. God is reported to have said to her, “I am He who is; and you are she who is not.” Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever experienced your is-not-ness?

 

If you look back on this year and notice items missing or experiences lost; if you’ve come face-to-face with your is-not-ness, recognize it, reframe your plans and reimagine what the next year can be.

Living Rich For Less

December 17, 2008

Living Rich

So you want to own the home you love, make memories on wonderful vacations with family or friends, finance college educations, and help others too?
 
You can—starting here and now.
 
With lively humor, proven know-how, and practical principles for financial health, Living Rich for Less helps you stretch your dollars to realize the lifestyle of your dreams. Ellie Kay’s entertaining and enlightening examples show you simple steps to save, spend, and give smart, and her three main principles are undergirded by dozens of effective rules and hundreds of Cha-Ching Factor™ tips that keep or put money in your pocket.
 
Ellie knows what it’s like to be financially-strapped or struggling, wanting to be the Joneses but feeling as poor in spirit as in pocketbook. She went, within two and a half years, from being a new wife and mom with $40,000 in consumer debt and seven children (and college educations) to support, to being completely debt-free and within fifteen years able to pay cash for eleven different cars, give away three of those cars, buy two five-bedroom houses (moving from one to the other) and nicely furnish each, take wonderful vacations, dress her family in fine fashion; and support more than thirty non-profit organizations in more than a dozen different countries, giving away more than $100,000.
 
Isn’t that the kind of transformation to a rich life that you want?
 
Living Rich for Less helps anyone get there in our taxed-out, maxed-out times. Because financial security doesn’t mean just genuine prosperity, but being able to live luxuriously, give generously, and care for yourself as well as the others around you.
 
Why keep up with the Joneses when you can be them?

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