Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Make September Count

It's September. Summer is over. School has started. Fall is just around the corner. However you want to say it, the year is 2/3 over.

Here is a fresh opportunity for you to have have an impact, to create something, to do what you've been putting off for a while.

This morning as I was thinking and praying, I began to focus on something that I had been working on for myself, that I had set aside for a few weeks. I hadn't abandoned it. I was simply allowing the inertia that had been created to keep the momentum going. Well now is the time for me to breathe new life into this project.

Fresh starts are good. Re-starts are good too. Whatever condition you find yourself in creatively, you can always start now, even if you are starting again. You may not be able to wipe the slate clean, but you can begin again, now.

Jump-start, re-kindle, re-send. Case it anyway you want. Call it what you need to. Just take the step, turn the key, push the button.

Make this September count for you. Now.

Question: What can you do to make September count for you?

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Need To Create

The desire to create. The desire to reproduce ourselves. The desire to leave an impression. All of us carry some degree of a mark-making instinct.

And so children write on walls, taggers paint bridges, builders construct houses, and leaders invest in people. It's present in all of us: the need to create.

You may not think that you are creative, but deep down inside of you is the need to create, That's because you were made in the image of God, The Creator. We carry His DNA, therefore we are all creatives.

So write your song, post on your blog, rearrange the furniture, invest in someone's life.

Find your way of expressing your creativity. (I don't recommend tagging bridges without permission.)

Question: How do you express your creativity? Please respond below...

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Road Trip To Mom's

My wife and daughter left for Florida for my daughter's graduation trip, spending time with our son and his wife in Ft. Lauderdale. My oldest son is working all the time and is rarely home. So I found myself home alone (with Jack-Jack, may daughter's Chihuahua...although with her rarely home anymore, he has become my wife's and my dog).

Before my wife left, she suggested that I go see my Mom, so I decided to take some vacation time and visit her in Kentucky. I'm glad I did.

The 10 hour road trip was uneventful for Jack-Jack and me. I suggested singing and playing the license plate game, but Jack-Jack was uninterested in both. He simply wanted to lay in my lap for the entire journey, except for the times we stopped for gas and at rest stops, to uh... rest.

Well, Mom was glad I came to see her. I chose not to surprise her. I had done that a few years earlier with an unannounced visit, and my sisters and our families, along with my Mom's only brother, had a surprise 80th birthday party for her two years ago. Too many surprises may not be good for a 82-year-old's heart...so my sister whom she lives with made sure my Mom knew I was coming.

So why am I glad I came? Right now I'm sitting in a doctors office waiting room while my Mom is having a previously scheduled Doppler ultrasound test. No, my Mom does not have a storm brewing inside of her. The test is to see the condition of her carotid artery, which had given her some trouble and put her in the hospital last December.

Why am I glad I came? My Mom has talked to me non-stop. After all, I am her favorite son (read only son). She has been telling stories, updating me on her health, and pretty much being my Mom. She is letting me tell her about my trips to India, and commenting on how dangerous it is.

Why am I glad I came? Well, this is my only Mother, and as I get older (and so does she) I'm realizing the value of maintaining and further developing my relationship with her.

She deserves it.

Question: When have you been glad you chose to do something valuable in a relationship?

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thinking Inside The Box

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We have all heard the statement Think Outside the Box. I would like to challenge us to take a moment and think inside the box. That's right, open the lid and take a look at what you have before you decide what you need.

Sometimes we quickly dismiss the resources that we have available to us inside the box as being insufficient, outdated, and irrelevant. If we only had the newest gadget, the updated software, more money.

Maybe we could make what we have available work for us. Even if the box is empty, it becomes space to fill with our imagination.

Most parents have experienced the phenomenon of their young children losing interest in the gift they received, and playing with the box that it came in. Children have a unique ability to use their imagination, and are very comfortable using what they have.

We creatives (which includes everybody - we were made in the image of the Creator, and therefore we are all creative) automatically look beyond what's there, and visualize what could be. There is nothing wrong with that. Perhaps we could open the box, look inside, and take inventory of what resources are available to us.

Those resources may include "stuff", finances, and people. Be creative and innovative, and leverage those available resources.

Look inside your box. What do you have to work with? If it is empty, how can you use the box?

Question: How have you thought inside the box in creativity or problem solving? Please respond below.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Designing A Better Toilet

I had a "Facebook posting" conversation with a former student of mine (when I was a youth pastor - a lot of years ago). My former-student-turned-friend, Alex Haupt, was responding to this FB post of mine: Are you leveraging your resources? Blog re-post : http://bit.ly/9uJ6WG. (Did I just advertise my Blog in my Blog?)

After reading my a fore mentioned Blog re-post, Alex responded with: Good Reminder. I have been thinking about how to pitch a ministry idea to our staff. I plan bounce it off a couple people first. What is it with churches spending stupid money on the latest and greatest "whatevers"? I think in the end we ultimately end up only impressing ourselves.

Desiring to keep the conversation going, I returned with: Good point Alex. We do need to look at what we have available, and use existing resources. But don't completely rule out new "stuff and ideas". Where would we be without the printing press?

Alex's response: Or the toilet? God bless the family of Thomas Crapper.

Well our conversation, though starting off productive, kind of went down the um, er, uh...toilet. But the point was made: Use what you have, and if you have to, create what you need.

Alex's comment that we "ultimately end up only impressing ourselves" hung in my spirit for a long time. Sometimes I wonder why we create. Is is to impress others? To impress ourselves? Or do we create because we can't help it?

I have to ask myself this question often, because once I take my eyes off the reason I was created, then when I do create, I am missing my purpose and my destiny.

Question: Why do you create? Please respond below.

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