Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Resurrection: Ultimate Creativity

Did you ever wonder why God, the Creator of the Universe, chose the death and ultimate resurrection of His Son Jesus as the way to redeem mankind? Consider for a moment these thoughts...
  • God is the ultimate Creator - Consider the Garden of Eden.
  • Man, left to himself cannot be depended upon to always make good decisions - Consider the fall of man in the Garden.
  • Man's answer to his sinful condition never produces the desired results - Consider Adam and Eve hiding from God in the Garden, after the fall.
  • Man's condition is in need of some help, when it comes to redemption - Consider Adam and Eve getting banned from the Garden.
  • God, the great Creator, applied a masterful stroke of Divine creativity when He instituted the plan of redemption involving His Son, Jesus - Who else would have considered substituting their own sinless son as the replacement redeemer for mankind?
  • Needing the ultimate feat to overcome sin and death, God allowed Jesus to be killed, and then He raised Jesus from the dead: The Resurrection!
  • God offers this creative act as a free gift.
  • All a person has to do to receive God's gift is accept what Jesus did for them to forgive their sins trusting in Jesus alone for their salvation, and confess that Jesus is their Lord.
It's a really simple solution to a complex problem, and that is what makes it so creative!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Diversity Of Tribes

My wife made a comment to me this morning, remarking on the diversity of her Facebook “friends". She said that she had "good ol' boys" from the South, South Africans (not to be confused with African "good ol' boys"), locals from our current place of residence in DC, Australians, and even people from Guatemala.

I began to think about my Tribe (see Seth Godin's book Tribes), and the fact that like my wife's Tribe, it is very diverse. I too have friends from several nations (some of them developing), and I am connected with people I went to high school with...years ago.

I regularly communicate with church planters, missionaries and pastors. There are also former students from my days as a youth pastor, and current students who for some reason listen to my thoughts and musings.

Current and former colleagues find themselves part of my social network, and of course there are the life-long friends whose relationships and influence have endured for quite a while.

Then there are the singers, songwriters, musicians and worship leaders who are part of my "world". (Now that is a diverse group...). I even have a friend who was one of the first guys who mentored me as a twelve-year-old new believer.

Other than believing that Jesus is the "way, truth and life", I don't believe that you could get 50% of those who I have assembled through my social networks to agree on much else.

I began to wonder if that is a good thing, or a bad thing. Godin states that, "Smart innovators find or assemble a movement of similarly minded individuals and get the tribe excited by a new product, service or message."

I understand the reasoning in his comments. But, in keeping with my seemingly insatiable desire to challenge the status quo, I wonder if I have a wider influence and a more balanced understanding of the culture by maintaining a group of widely diverse relationships.

Is my leadership be more effective because there are those who argue, as opposed to those constantly agree? Am I widening my influence, or simply wasting my time? Is preaching to the choir a good leadership strategy?

Question: Do you believe that your relationships should be based on similar beliefs, or diverse opinions?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Capturing the Culture

Creators create for different reasons. Some create because there is stuff inside of them, and they need to get it out. Some create to because it relaxes them. Some create to make money. And then there area those who create because they are interested in capturing and changing their culture.

I know of a couple of guys and a gal who are doing just that. Their company is called C&I Studios, and as a film and video production company, they are seeking to be a positive voice in their world. Here's what they say:

Film is such a powerful force, and right now its being used mostly for pointless entertainment.
Our studio is venturing out against the grain to change that. We believe that film can be used
to educate, empower and inspire individuals to greatness.  C&I Studios is a Non-Profit film studio, so all of our films are about life and how to truly live it.  Our films also venture out to create social change and awareness throughout the world, with the use of professional media.

You too are a creator. Everyone is. You were made in the image of The Creator, and therefore you are creative. You have been given ideas, gifts, and skills, and the opportunity to use those ideas, gifts, and skills.

Question: What are you doing to capture and change your culture by using your creative ideas, gifts and skills?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What Did You Create Today?

I sometimes ask people I am with, "What did you create today?" Many times the question throws them off guard. I continue to press them to find out if there is any creativity flowing from their hearts and minds.

Too often we live in maintenance mode, simply doing things and keeping the status quo. It's easy to be in that mode, but I don't believe that is where we should live.

Busyness is often the enemy of creativity. We are so busy with doing the stuff, that we miss the opportunities to create, and to envision a new reality. (I am not referring to alternate realities, but rather envisioning, and seeing those visions become reality.)

Creativity says that we look out ahead of what is happening now and ask, "What if?" Some would call it dreaming, but dreams aren't a bad way to start something.

Question: What did you create today?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Unexpected Retreat Connection

Our Pastoral staff just returned from a three day retreat. It was a great time of personal spiritual evaluation, relationship & team building, and pressing into the heart of the Father. As one of our pastors, David Black challenged us at the beginning of the retreat, "This time will be full of burning bushes. Find yours."

Well, yes I found my burning bush, and no I am not going to post about it. All I will say is that I was caught unexpectedly with my shoes on, and quickly removed them, as I found myself standing on holy ground.

What I will describe is an unexpected encounter my wife and I had with another pastoral couple (not from our team), whom we met in the hallway on our way to breakfast. We invited them to sit with us at our table as we were by ourselves (we were late and all of the seats for the tables reserved for our pastoral team were taken).

As my wife Elaine and I love to do, we began to engage this young couple and ask questions about their lives, family and ministry. We found out that he was a musician, and worship leader, and was the leader of The Patrick Weber Band. They were simply taking a few days off and re-connecting as a couple, away from the young kids and the ministry.

Seeking to encourage them, especially with their musical craft, we found out as much as we could about their band, songwriting, and ministry opportunities they have been involved in. We listened as they shared of opportunities and doors that had been opened for them, and of anticipated blessings (translation: royalties due them).

Of course we got their Facebook info and other social networking stuff. We are friends now, I am a fan of their band. He will be sending me some CDs to put into the hands of some of my connections who may find some connection with them.

Please know that my wife and I were very focused on our team and what God was going to do among us that first morning. We did not plan on meeting and encouraging a young couple with their lives, marriage and ministry. But when my wife and I encounter people, we pretty much can't help ourselves, and we seek to invest in their lives.

Question: Who have you unexpectedly encountered and as a result invested something into?

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