Sunday, December 30, 2007

Good Power

Thread 1: There's a TV show I like called The Unit on CBS (can't believe the show is still going!) about the lives and missions of a secret, elite military team. During the latest episode ("Side Angle Side"), one of the team's wives helps "save" a gal from her suicide attempt. In talking with her husband she says, "When you're out on a mission ... I feel so helpless. But with this, I really felt (pause) powerful. I know, it's wrong to want power..."

Thread 2: I read a bit of business literature/theory, especially Jim Collins and Hamel & Prahalad. One thing they all key in on is what Collins calls a "Level 5 Leader" - the leader who leads on behalf of the organization, not him/herself. Example: CEO of CostCo makes ~$350,000 (as of 2006), "I figured that if I was making something like 12 times more than the typical person working on the floor, that that was a fair salary," he said. (ABC News interview) I'm sure he has nice bonuses and other benefits, but $350k?

Thread 3: I fear my own pride and strength of relationships. I fear what I might do with such . . . power. In an old Tuesday Night conversation (which we used to host in ~2004) it came out that Relationship can be measured in Power (persuasion). I REALLY didn't like that. But it seemed accurate.

Thread 4: I always - always - think there is a better or even perfect expression for everything. Call it perfectionism. Call it control. Call it "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Call it bringing the future into the now. Call it the Reign of Christ. I long for the ultimate expression of any/everything. Whatever is perfect for a given time/circumstance, that's what I want to think about, to pursue.

After weaving these threads (and I'm sure others), I have concluded that Power does not corrupt. Self-gaining use of power is an expression of corruption-already-existent. Two leaders I work with (a.k.a. my kids) often hear, "Leading is always for those being led - you never use leadership or power for yourself."

Yet I find that most Christians I talk to, read, or work with see Power as something toxic.

Like the wife in that episode of The Unit. Power is bad, only God can handle power. And is this not one of the messages just under the surface in The Lord of the Rings trilogy - those who want power are enslaved by it (power == ring). In the books, this is made even more clear by the character of Tom Bombadil.

It seams we humans either run away from power for fear of wanting it, abuse it, or try to develop a series of controls for (against?) those who have it (Elder boards, denominations, policies, etc.). But we never seem to develop power "skills."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More useless wastes of time, but fun

Surprisingly strategic ball game - use your red marbles to knock-off computer's yellow marbles before you loose all yours.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Will be Done

Had my head stuck in research lately - actually research of research (?). I'm convinced we can use research to find out what people are actually thinking, feeling. But this runs smack up against most everything church-health related (ex Natural Church Development (cf. graph in upper right), Vision Renewal, CRM, etc.).

they ALL have their pre-set list of what churches should be
[and none of them include the poor, for example]

This is really driving me nuts. How is it that with all the resources, insight, wisdom, and history that the Church has, we still cannot figure out how to stop swinging like a pendulum from one way/method/idea to the other?!? Why can't we see that these are short-term, reactive (at best!) solutions that will not get us further but simply different?!? And why is "different" such an important value? Why isn't "better" or "preparative"? Why do we have to be so today-driven? (or at best, today plus a little bit of the past)

Seriously, am I nuts? Does it disturb only me that the majority of people coming to Jesus (worldwide) are no longer Evangelical, non-charismatic (which, as I understand, has been what most Western Christians are/become)? Not that I'm bothered by their being non-Evangelical and somewhat charismatic (I think I might prefer that!), what's disturbing is how much of it all is reactionary. I'm sure you, reader, can think of a few other pendulums your country/culture are swinging on.

Seriously, am I nuts? Am I so fixed on an aberration of the future that I am I have lost touch with reality? Seriously?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Afraid of Pain

What kind of a sick culture mistakes

  • Not Feeling Pain for Strength?
  • Numbness or even Denial for Character or even Faith?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Expecting God causing me to Miss God

Reading in Matthew some more, and came across the goofy "Transfiguration." At the end of it, the disciples are asking, "Isn't Elijah supposed to come before the Messiah/Son-of-Man comes?"

Jesus replies, ""Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist" (Matt. 17:11-14, ESV).

It has been pointed out to me a number of times over the last years that Many Things were different between what Jesus did and what was "obviously" prophesied in the Scriptures before Him. [The last I heard it was in looking at how the End Times have been over-done :: Jesus re-interpreted a number of Scriptures, but the assumption is made, essentially, that He would not do that at His Second Coming]

So does this problem still exist with me? Do I make assumptions about how God is going to act and therein miss what He's actually doing? If I were the disciples, I never would have guessed that John was the Elijah to Come. John didn't . . . "fully" live out the prophecy ("restore all things"). And who kills Elijah!?!

  1. He's already dead and everyone knows you can't kill a zombie
  2. Were they not waiting for Elijah with much anticipation (cf. EVERY Passover meal had an empty chair for Elijah plus his return was a part of this annual, Jew-defining liturgy)?
So I expect (long for, assume from Scripture, etc.) God to do or be certain things. I expect Him to love "like a Father," for example. Have I misunderstood "Father"? I pray "help me follow You" but I also know that I have my own responsibility in this - does this dichotomy signal an expectation problem? I expect Him to always "be there" and never get frustrated with my constant coming to Him, going my own way, coming back, going away, ... Am I missing the discipline Scriptures? or just "plain relational common-sense" -- if I did that with Tara, there'd be problems! Does this also apply to God?

I expect God to protect His name. I expect Him to "do something" about those Christians over there ('there' being at a different church, in a different part of the country, in West Africa, etc.). Has my desire for "purity" caused me to miss God's desire for "His glory" ("His reflection")?

I expect God to be a "God of order" [can we say, Over-application of Scripture?!?] - what "kind" of "order"?

Where else am I self-blinded?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Wrong (church) Goal

As I was reading through Matthew 13, I noticed this: "the kingdom," which I take as being something like the Ultimate Expression of the Rule (sovereignty, control, etc.) of God, isn't made perfect/pure until the End. That is, the two parables that Jesus uses to talk about how the Kingdom is going to rid itself of the bad-guys have this "cleansing" at "the end of the world"!!

Yet I find myself trying to figure out how to get "them" out now. I find a similar approach in the Missional movement.

How can it be that Jesus is okay with having people contrary to His desire/plan? Why does He still allow Judas-types in His Body/Bride? This seems all-wrong to me. Yet it's God's method. So now I'm trying to assess: what of my understanding needs to change so that my 'approach' to the Kingdom is the same as God's? [Note: I know I made the jump from "Kingdom" to Church. I think it's a legitimate connection]

[more important, how do I know if I am a Judas-type or have slipped into being one?!?]

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ugly girl thought beautiful, asked to Prom

What it must have felt like to be a "sinner" in Jesus' time. I wonder if it was like other outcast groups today - they mock the "in" people, further the gap between themselves and the majority (including the "in" but not only them). But would really like to be accepted unconditionally. Would really like to stop working so hard to find an identity, especially one that is a contrast and not self-contained (not a tick but a real dog).

So when Jesus shows up and actually CALLS one of the "sinners," perhaps it is no surprise that the rest of them show up. And to actually EAT with Jesus - not just be acknowledged or "reached out" to. They are asked to enter Jesus' domain (albeit in Matt's home - but it's Middle Eastern intimacy to eat).

I read this passage and thought of all the cheesy, musical-like movies where the top-kids mock the bottom-kids but then there is that cross-over moment. And then the top-kids freak!

So do I see myself as a top-kid, bottom-kid, crowd? Do I let Jesus love all "sides?" I was just enjoying the story . . .

My Proof that God Forgives

I was wondering if there was a way to know that God will forgive no matter what someone has done. The following came together in my mind.

What would define "the most difficult to forgive"? For me, it would be the most personal offense. Something in regards to my family, perhaps? But I can imagine myself not forgiving my family (I've done this once or twice, although God has adjusted me) which kind of nullifies that offense as being "the worst."

For me, it would have to be something offensive as it pertains to my ideals, values, etc. - things in my brain. [While I am going to see God through this lens of myself, I am not claiming this is God's only perspective. I am elaborating on this aspect of God only] The following scenario came to mind.

When Jesus is towards the end of 3+ years of Gospel-recorded activities, He has been emphasizing the servant role for Himself and His disciples. In this context, James and John and their Mommy come to Jesus and ask to be First.

If I were Jesus, I would kick them out of my discipleship group (sic). How could they ask, nay, manipulate unto the goal of me-first, anti-servant?!?! Hadn't this been the POINT of all human-to-human interactions? And to have 2 of the 3 closest disciples pull this stunt! If I were Jesus I would have toasted them right there. Or I would have deliberately and recordably gone back in time, with Mark or Q or someone, and changed my calling of the Boys Of Dumber.

Yet when it's all over, one is His best friend and one is the pillar of the Church.

For me, that would have been an unforgivable offense - in my very face, ASK for me to go 100% contrary to that which is most important to me, for the sake of destroying one of the top 3 purposes for my existence. And they SO should have known this!

From a mental/rational point-of-view, I cannot see God as being unable to forgive.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Active vs. Passive - When God talks first

I have a lot of ponderings lately about God's sovereignty and/or "listening" to God and/or "Jesus as Head of His church." This has bubbled up.

The primary passage quoted on Spiritual Warfare states, "stand firm." Not really what I was taught to do by every action movie I've ever seen. It's even contrary to a lot of the John Eldridge stuff I like.

Why such a passive posture?

I would think that it has to do with that whole "faith" thing that Jesus talks about over and over and over (seriously, read the Gospels quickly and see if "faith" isn't perhaps the most dominant thread). I have to "leave it in God's hands" kind of thing.

So here's what struck me as I was passively (sic) listening to a sermon-thing this last Sunday at our local church.

I would rather have a Christianity that causes activity not unlike the offense in a football game. But God, I'm thinking, is asking me to play defense; I am supposed to react to what God is wanting, doing, etc. I am even supposed to react (stand firm) to what Satan et al. are doing.

I don't get to cause the play but I do get to pick, sometimes in advance, how I'm going to respond. Not just preparation, but actively picking my defensive posture (e.g. blitz, stunt, prevent, etc.).

I don't like this. It means I'm not in control. More on that . . .

Friday, September 28, 2007

A guy who tried to "live" every rule in the Bible

Don't know if you read/heard about this, but a guy does these year-long "experiments" where he immerses himself into something (I think round 1 was the Encyclopedia) for a year and then writes about the experience. While excessively fascinating from a philosophy/cultural point-of-view, it's kind'of fun.

Read the article to see how he viewed his time. Pretty good!

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Definition of "Health"

"We are coming to understand health not as the absence of disease, but rather as the process by which individuals maintain their sense of coherence (i.e. sense that life is comprehensible, manageable, and meaningful) and ability to function in the face of changes in themselves and their relationships with their environment." - Dr. Aaron Antonovsky

Monday, September 10, 2007

Did this REALLY happen?

In 1 Samuel 17:37 David says that God Himself was involved with David's killing (rescue) of a lion and a bear as David was protecting sheep.

Does God really get involved with that? Or is it possible that David took God's protection too far. I am NOT arguing against being heavily involved with Goliath's death.

Is it possible that God was NOT involved with the bear or lion and that David was mistaken?

What do YOU think?

Friday, September 07, 2007

More on metaphors: by Tony Miles

My blog-friend Tony Miles has a GREAT line in his latest (as of this post) blog: don't call me Veronica: reviewing sabbath: a beautiful mess

In it he writes:

Truth is both poetic and rational . . . Unfortunately, to hold truth (or anything for that matter) in tension means that we loose control over it.
(emphasis added)

I love how he makes the connection between tension (in this context, "tension" parallel to "metaphor" in that a metaphor is an incomplete [tense] picture) and control.

And this is why I read Tony Miles ;-)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The metaphor of "Salvation"

Some of the Emergent Church ('emergent village' to be precise) folks, at least around 2001, were making a pretty interesting rumbling about the use of metaphors. What was uncovered for me was how many of my thoughts about God and God+life (i.e. my theologies) were actually based on metaphors. Including "salvation," "son," even the word/idea "trinity."

My first reaction was to say, "No!" Not metaphor but rather real.

Then I came to believe that the reason for metaphors was to express something fully on my human level while pointing to (?) something greater than I could understand. The beauty of using a metaphor is that it often has more "levels" allowing my increased understanding and experiences with God to enlighten more levels - the metaphor doesn't contain ALL there is to grasp but allows me entry into the idea; often allowing more doors to be opened inside the metaphor itself since the metaphor is pointing to, explaining, something so grand.

The point . . . the idea of being "saved" (in a non-Biblical, non-Christian-specific way) usually means to be removed from a situation - saved from something. I read N.T. Wright write about God allowing bad things ("the theodicy problem"). Good article. It got me thinking about how unique our Salvation is compared to the typical use of the word. Our Salvation does not remove us from the location of the problem (sin, imperfection, distance from God, no-relation to God, unable to live as a subject of the King, etc.).

But perhaps this metaphor has been tainted by our common use of "salvation." Is it possible that part of what has happened in Western theology is that we use the Salvation metaphor so much (I would propose it is the primary metaphor, eclipsing all other metaphors combined) that we have accidentally let it focus our attention on the "out of here" nature of the word? God through Jesus didn't come to save me out (off) of this planet. But the metaphor reinforces this kind of thinking, I think.

N.T. wrote his article using a more "healing" than "saving" metaphor. Really, picking up the "redemption" metaphor more than the "salvation" one. Healing vs. Fixing. Living in this new metaphor, on purpose, for a while might change my view on people, my disobedient kids, my awful parenting, my neighbors, my thought-life, etc. I tend to like shiny, new things. What if I have to "recycle" everything (sorry, a bit of my Washington home coming through here!)? My assumptions about the innate evil-ness have to be replaced if something is redeemable. [Like our last house - some saw it as evil and needing to be destroyed, Tara saw it as redeemable]

I'd rather be fixed - the Bible stories-out healing. I'd rather be saved, God seems to choose redemption (buying back, re-owning, re-valuing).

Friday, August 31, 2007

More kid fun

My 10 year old daughter is trying to explain to my 60+ mother the how and why of a Myspace account. If you don't know Mikaela, imagine a very precocious and highly verbal girl explaining the need for a Myspace account and all the great things one can do with their home-page.

[Note: my daughter got her Myspace account last night. 2 friends, one is me. She has changed the background/theme twice. She has a song playing from a High School Musical 2 actress. She has a picture up of her (proving she is too young to actually have a Myspace).]

I had a VERY hard time catching my breath after listening to Mikaela talk to Oma about Myspace, especially when Mikaela had a hard time understanding why her grandmother doesn't understand the incredible weight of Myspace nuance.

The world is changing.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mouth of children

Thought this was a great commentary on society(ies):

Tara: Why is that so expensive?
Mikaela: Because it's cool!
Luc: That's stupid.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My life at this time

A blog entry that is so incredibly accurate to the way I think and so relevant to my current life-situation, only way more beautifully written/crafted than my own observation about life . . .

Monday, July 30, 2007
Steering is this: empowering leaders, resourcing plans, evaluating outcomes.

The active alignment of money, mandate and measurement is *not* judging tactics or leading execution. Steering is all about alignment. Steering is not making things happen. It is catalyzing the circumstances that allow for things to happen.

Steering is about a certain indirect influence in the future that is always already coming. The public face of steering is strategy embodied in initiatives. One steers initiatives. One executes projects.

One steers through initiatives as one turns a ship with the slight movement of its wheel. One executes projects as one swabs the deck of the ship that turns.

Another continuum to put people on

I have made the observation that there is yet another continuum that people tend to fall on. Unless I am only seeing in lame, binary sorts of ways.

Here's another line:
Teach now (e.g. teachable moment) but remember-the-moment later
- and -
Live in the moment now and see life-lesson(s) as one remembers/reflects

It's a Teach vs. Presence sort of thing.

I have some people in my life who like to always evaluate the moment as it happen (usually by teaching). But will reminisce about the past. I find this awkward: why didn't you just be Present with me when the event happened?!? Why did you teach me then, but reminisce with joy as if it was a delightful time - I didn't enjoy the time, you were teaching at me!

I have some people in my life who just want to be present, but later find all kinds of interesting things to talk about. Like people who will fully engage a movie and then talk about the movie, the motifs, the parallels to life, real stories that spring from the movie, etc. It's as if no memory exists if it didn't have all kinds of implications (personal, social, etc.). Like some blogging friends for whom the only parts of reality that exist are the ones they journal/blog.

Then I have friends who do not observe where they are/have-been present. As if the past just falls off behind their feet into an abyss.

What am I?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Am I super?

Saw the preview for a reality show called "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?" on the SciFi network. This primed my thinking for today's self-observation . . .

I went for a walk this morning. Partly to warm-up my muscles so that I don't hurt my back and partly for my "health." Health being eventually related to attractiveness, sadly.

So I'm pondering my sin as I walk around (?) and thinking that I want:
1) to have power to have things happen (i.e. my will be done)
2) I want to be wanted (desired, lusted after, good-looking in a spandex top, fun at parties, bright unto all situations, etc.)

YIKES! I want to be a super-hero!!

I know I used to want to be a super-hero so I could fly. But that was in the early 70's. How sad to see my immaturity like this (or like the picture above.

Then to top it all off, I came back, sat down, talked about this all with God, confessed and repented, felt embarrassed over the silliness of my pride that had seemed so reasonable early this morning, bowed my head in shame . . . and realized my zipper had been down the entire walk.

Monday, July 30, 2007

If you want to know me, read this . . .

I found the webpage that perfectly describes me (and maybe you, if you know Myers-Briggs junk):

Here is me:

ENTP: The Mad Scientist

The ENTP, like the ENTJ, is charismatic, outgoing, and intelligent. ENTPs are often quickwitted, clever, and genial; they typically display a highly organized, rational cognitive ability which makes them natural scientists and inventors.

ENTPs are creative, complex people who seek to improve their understanding of the natural world, usually by building armored fifty-story-tall robotic monsters with iron jaws and death-ray eyes, or by creating genetically mutated plagues that spread unstoppably across the land, turning all who are contaminated into mindless zombie drones. They are less likely to want to conquer the world than to destroy it utterly, reducing it to nothing but slag and rubble--though this is often merely a side-effect of their pursuit of knowledge.

RECREATION: ENTPs enjoy recreational activities which challenge them physically and intellectually, such as water skiing and porting Linux to their iPods. They are also fond of collecting gadgets like combination cellpone/PDAs and orbiting arsenals of brain lasers, which they may port Linux to as well.

COMPATIBILITY: ENTPs and ENTJs make natural companions, as the one's unspeakable hunger for power complements the other's unspeakable hunger for knowledge. They do not generally build successful relationships with ESFJs, as ENTPs they are prone to behaving in inconveniently erratic ways, which pisses ESFJs off to no end; and because ENTPs simply do not know how to dress appropriately for formal occasions.

Famous ENTPs include Spencer Silver (the inventor of Post-It Notes), Robert Oppenheimer, and Dr. Jeckyll.

Find yourself at:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Another angle on human collections

"The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them." attributed to Albert Einstein

Been reading "Finding our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time" by Margaret Wheatley. It's a look at human systems (organizations, companies, groups, pairs, etc.) through the lens of biological systems. From these evolutionist (and often Evolutionist) biologist comes the following set of needs organisms have (note: the more complex the being, the more these needs are felt):
1) the need to be myself and live (or create) out of my sense of self
2) the need to be with others, in actual community

Here's the basics of their framework . . .

3 Conditions for a Sustainable, self-organizing Organization (human or otherwise!):

1) Identity: the making-sense capacity of the organization
- core values, lenses/filters, intent of the org.
- the "self" is an internal construct
- self generated
- creates filters, values, etc.
- canNOT be created externally, only externally disturbed
- why try to shape what cannot be reached?!?

2) Information: the Medium of an Organization
- in-form, what forms from the Inside
- data becomes information when it is used by the "in" to form itself

3) Relationships: the Pathways of Organization
- data/information is passed, shared, amplified down these paths
- identity is created and re-created
- community is had, held, formed, given to new members

I find the #2-Information point interesting. Have I, as a pastor, tried too hard to change what I cannot even touch? Granted, the Spirit can mold there, but I cannot form in those places (values, ethics, morals, habits) that I was trying to reach with sermons, advice, meetings, events. [this point is directly tied to the ideas of "teachable moments" and "salting the oats"]
- I also like how date becomes information

#3-Relationships is expanded on quite a bit throughout the book. It is definitely a two-way system. More than just feedback, there is a equality that 's interesting: the head (human head, for example) that cannot get data except by Relationship, but the members only pass along that data which they consider Informative!!

This angle of bio-systems is fascinating my mind!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Word "Culture" is Recursive

I know someone who I think is mean and rude. I have a friend whom I really enjoy, very nice person, who thinks the mean/rude person is "quite pleasant."

So we all have "lenses" color the way we take in reality. In clinical psychology, it is well documented that people who are depressed have "bad luck" and those who are giddy seem to always have "good luck" - even when they have all-but identical things happening to them.

So I watched my friend-I-like interact with the mean/rude person. Sure enough, they were both pretty nice to each other.

I'd like to propose another metaphor that runs parallel to (and interacts with) lenses - that is Bubbles. It works like this: how I act not only colors how I see the world, but also how people act towards me. It's as if there is a bubble around me that affects Others; when people enter my bubble, they are affected by being in "my bubble" and act differently. It's as if the color of my lens affects the way I view the world, but the color of my bubble affects the color of the Other's lens. If I have a blue lens and a blue bubble, then my red-lensed friend sees things purple-y when in my bubble (red + blue = purple).

That's why my friend-I-enjoy likes the mean/rude person because the mean person isn't mean around my friend - my friend's bubble affects the mean person. It's more than just a happy person and a happy lens, the mean/rude person changes.


I have noticed that pastors tend to know some of there staff and some of "the congregation." Usually about 20 people (that's an emotional statistic that I just made-up to convey a hypothesis/conclusion). I've noticed that when someone close to a pastor/speaker has a deep up-movement (or down-movement) in life, the pastor starts seeing most people in a much more positive (or negative) light. Even more frequent, the whole church-body "is doing well" when the majority of "the 20" is doing well.


Putting these two together, I would like to propose that the word and idea of "culture" is recursive, that is, self-defining. [In the Linux world, there is a "program" called Wine - the letters spell out "Wine Is Not an Emulator." That is a recursive description in that the word "Wine" is in the definition of "Wine."] Here's what I see happening (read: hypothesis with no experiment coming)...

We think we are seeing a "culture" - foreign nation, inside the U.S., etc. But it's impossible to loose our lens(es) nor our Bubble. So the lens we look at "culture" with is tinted. And all of our direct (anecdotal) experience with a "culture" is tainted by both our lens(es) AND our bubble. That is, people of a given "culture" will be viewed with a bias (lens) as well as interact with me in a unique way (due to my Bubble). Further, my assessment of a culture becomes a part of my lens by which I observe that culture (plus a part of my bubble). This, it would seem, is a bit spiral.

So is it possible that "the culture" around me has much more to do with the 20 people closest to me? That I read cultural news through such a deeply colored lens that it really is more about my 20 closest?


Ever been categorized by someone who has completely missed? When I was working in the computer realm, I was thought of as a geek. When I talk to people at my local church, many of them think I'm a musician (most of how most people know me is from my involvement with the music on Sunday mornings). When I consult pastors, they see me as a academic. Mikaela and Luc's friends think I'm a "professional clown."

So when I hear my pastor/ministry friends talk about being "culturally relevant" or reaching out to those of a certain "culture," I cringe. If I am correct and culture IS recursive, then treating a "culture" as "those out there" makes absolutely no sense.

So what - maybe I should stop being "culturally relevant" and be interested and invested in at least "the 20" closest to me and perhaps another 20 whom I come across -- since "culturally relevant" is actually a misnomer ;-)

Push back if you get time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Stop Arriving and Start Traveling

Jesus does NOT satisfy.

He sustains.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Levels of Death

I) Sometime in grade school (c. 1978), I read a book called A Walk Across America. What's relevant is that the guy's dog died midway through the first leg of the journey. I wept. It was the last, major emotion I remember feeling until the 2000's, save a few incidents.

II) We saw Bridge to Terabithia the other night. I cried. It felt the same as that book in grade school. I realized, upon reflection this morning, that what I felt was the Loss of Relationship Future. That is, I actually dread the idea of a good relationship not lasting.

III) It doesn't take long reading commentaries on the Bible or going to a Bible or theology class before one comes across this, "The definition of Death is separation." That makes more sense as I get older.

Conclusion: I realized this morning that a huge part of my world(view) is Great Relationships. I strive to help them exist, I attempt to provide a multiple-source paradigm so that people are not left without Great Relationship should one relationship end.

Internally, I am working to prevent what God has allowed: death. If I can't prevent it, I try to make sure it can be easily and quickly replaced. It is a major part of my vision for the future.

Now I have to figure out if and where I am out of resonance with God.

Monday, March 26, 2007

One simplistic view of effective Leadership

QuickDefinition to establish a starting point: Leaders act on behalf of their followers while directing same followers. In most situations, it's an issue of taking them from one "place" to another.

The nature of the "other place" is that it is, typically, more ideal than the current situation. As such, leadership can be seen as helping people experience more and more of "tomorrow" until today becomes what used to be the new tomorrow. Ideally, it's a cross-fade between Reality and Vision. Parts of tomorrow "infiltrate" today. Then more. And more.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

One question test for Depession

I may have some variant of a Psych. degree, so in theory I should be able to answer this myself. But, alas, I studied the hypothalamus much more than human interaction.

I stumbled across a song by Imogen Heap called "Hide and Seek" (featured on my friend's myspace site). It has a traditional, upbeat chord progression but somehow has a sad, longing overtone. It made me sad-ish just to listen to it.

So I did my typical response: self-observation (hah). Here's what I found . . .

The place of least friction in my soul is in the sad, the homesick, the slightly despairing.

I take to C.S. Lewis here who is the one that uncovered "desire" as a longing-for-God. So I don't know that I see this form of depression as being altogether evil. I don't live here all the time, but it is so easy for me to snap into this space. And it feels quite comfortable.

But I am curious about you - whoever you are reading this. If you are one who struggles with mild depression of some kind (clinical or otherwise), does this post resonate with you?

Or perhaps you would like to answer this: how would you describe the place where your soul seems most at ease, with the least friction, like being in the perfect spot on a slow river - the place where you can effortlessly float at that perfectly effortless speed?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

What might be after the Modern era

[Era defined as (1) what defines / how do we know what is "truth" and (2) what defines "authority"]

Two threads have been floating through my mind as I read both "modern" and "post modern" philosophers, critiques, some business articles, etc. I think they are coming together, but maybe not.

1) All things computer are coming to be led/run-by a unique blend of people. They are a combining art, industry, and economics. Example: Google (everybody's favorite example).
They are creating offerings, divisions, etc. like an Artist (i.e. most everything that Google does that is NOT the front-page search engine). They are innovating (ex. meta-tags instead of folders in Gmail), modifying (Blogspot, Google's maps and Google-Earth), and creating memory (the "cache" component of searching, the mass scanning of books, etc.).
They are helping form an industry/industries: information access, one-stop portal (with integration of parts like calendar, mail, search, map, entertainment, connection, purchasing, etc.). Notice "form" an industry: an industry to be sure, being created/formed - "art" words.
They are causing their own economy. Yes, advertising has been around. But not like this: Person-specific, cost by click, even you or I can make money by simply putting ads on our blog pages!
-- Most important: Google isn't stopping. Google is a trajectory company. They aren't looking to become #1 anything. They are looking to excel, at which point that will be #1 everything by means of their labor (as opposed to their "goals").

What I'm seeing is this: these companies aren't led by business folks. They are led by these hybrid artist/industrialist/economist persons. This is way more than just having a service-based company (vs. product based). I'm wondering if, for the first time, Art, Industry, and Economy are going to merge.
That would certainly change things! Art is typically the place where the future "is" - things happen in the world of Art before they happen in the world of "the common." But what if The Commoner is also an Artist? [Then again, maybe this is simply what happens at the turn of any age, like the "Renaissance Man" was to the beginning of the Modern period]

2) "... the flattening of the world means is that we are now connecting all the knowledge centers on the planet together into a single global network, which -- if politics and terrorism do not get in the way -- could usher in an amazing era of prosperity, innovation, and collaboration, by companies, communities, and individuals," The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman (page 8).

Almost sounds Marxist! Utopia not by war (one kind of power) but by knowledge (another kind of power).


So when my brain starts mashing these together I get this: might the next ere see "Truth/right" as that which contributes to the greatest number of people? If this holds true, the super-powers (economically, not militarily) are in for a rude shock. This would be the exact opposite of what happened in "the 60's" -- free love, semi-anarchy, etc. gave way to . . . Yuppies (read: money). What if they hadn't given way . . .

If you bother with such thoughts, please feel free to push back, agree, dismiss, etc. Just do it in a comment so I can grow personally. Thank you. the Management.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Test for no longer being a youth (or young adult)

It used to be . . . if I did not work-out, I would have extra energy that needed to be spent.

Now . . . if I don't work-out, I have no energy at all.

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