Are you a Generous Mind?
Sunday, January 26, 2014
This is common sense but it escapes us so often. How could we have the space and forethought to share our ideas when we are rushing to appointments, cramming for tests or thinking about 20 other things besides the people we are standing in front of? The answer is, "It isn't possible." Being a Generous Mind requires margin in our lives.
This point was brought up by an executive of an organization that we have been talking with about our Generous Mind Mentoring Program. As he thought about the opportunity and his current life situation, he responded that he did not feel like he had the margin necessary to do it justice.
We are so glad he was in tune with his life and current situation to recognize his lack of margin for the mentoring process. And at the same time, his comment brings up a very important issue.
If we were to poll each of you reading this post today, most would say the same thing. So the questions is, "Is it ok for us to be living lives with no margin for generosity?" The answer, of course, is no. But the solution is not so easy. The reason for our answer is very simple - our lives our too busy.
But the busyness is not easy to get rid of. Our economic models, social circles and personal/professional growth trajectories have created lives that require breakneck speeds. Slow down and the wheels come off. That means that our lifestyles are only sustainable without the margin we truly need to be generous.
There are no easy ways to slow down your life because inserting the margin will require tough life choices. But if someone were to try it, one thing is for sure . . . they would have time to tell someone about it over coffee and may just inspire another person to make the switch.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
I walked away from The Ragamuffin film which depicts the life of Rich Mullins sad and thankful. Sad because I ask again, “Why God? Why then? I needed him.” And thankful to the man who made such sacrifice to sing of God’s furious love to a generation of suburban brats like me who were raised on the need to perform.
If the goal of the movie were, like a medley, to make you long for the real thing, then the film was a success. But with a medley you have the ability to turn that longing into i-tunes downloads. My desire to see Rich Mullins again—to hear him laugh and sing—is not so easily assuaged.
Watching the film is like seeing someone that reminds you of a friend. Maybe a cousin or a brother—you search for signs of your friend. You see an expression, a gesture, or hear a voice inflection, but he is not there. I realize that my expectations for this tribute film were not only unrealistic, but impossible. I was looking for a resurrection. I miss the man who wrote the soundtrack to my adolescence, and though I logically knew from the outset I would be disappointed, I was hoping to see him again.
Well-acted for the most part and wonderfully researched, Ragamuffin gives insight into Rich’s life. The depiction of Brennan Manning and his influence on Rich connected many dots for me. The actor who played Rich did a marvelous job on many levels, but I thought the roughness of Rich’s character was overemphasized. I remember Rich as grown out, but combed; tattered, but clean. He was rough around the edges, but not jagged. I don’t remember his hair detracting from his eye contact. When I met Rich backstage once, he looked at me as if I were the only one in the room—even though he never met me before.
But the thing I most miss is Rich’s laugh—and his ability to feel love and beauty and joy as deeply as he felt pain. The film team was able to capture Rich’s ability to feel deeply, but only on the cloudy side—like Johnny Cash. I miss the fun I saw Rich have on stage and the teamwork he fostered among the band members. I understand that humor is difficult to harness, and done badly is terribly embarrassing, but Rich was funny, and I miss that.
My thanks to the team for their hard work and diligence on this project. Please don’t take my disappointment as a reflection on your job well done, but simply a sign that I miss the real man, as I am sure you do too. Your film helped me remember him, but I should not expect to see this generous mind until I pass through the portal to the immortal. I will be excited to thank him for going before me in life and sharing the lessons God taught him through joy and pain.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Monday, August 05, 2013
Well, the weekend was crazy so we suspended our World Tour Vacation using Operation World. I guess every vacation needs some down days.
Anyway, we were back on the road today and visiting the amazing country of Italy. Our son loves Italy because of the food. So we let him search for a few great photos of Italian food on Google images and he showed his favorites.
We also talked about why so much of Italy is considered Christian but there still significant need to share the love of Christ there. That is a complex concept . . . not sure how much got through. We explained about the Pope and the Catholic Church. Our daughter had recently studied some of the differences between the Protestant and Catholic Church in Sunday School and shared some of what she remembered.
We also talked about the high literacy rate and the relatively few immigrants that live there. We got to look below Italy and see how close Libya is to them. That brought up some good discussion on immigrants and the lengths people will go to get to a country of greater opportunity.
We finished up wanting some of the amazing pizzas we saw in the pictures! It's fun when you can tie other countries to the passions of your kids . . . like we did with our son. He has always been passionate about baking and so Italy was a natural to get his attention.
How are you connecting your kid's passions to help them pray for the nations?
Thursday, August 01, 2013
- Is Japan landlocked, an island or a peninsula?
- True or false: There are many immigrants in Japan.
- True or false: The Japanese can believe in whatever religion they choose.
- That the people of Japan would understand the Bible since it is not easy to understand within their culture. This is where our oldest told us about Manga Messiah she found at the library that might be a help to Japanese trying to understand the Scripture.
- That the people of Japan would see that Jesus is not only God to other countries, but for them as well.
- That God would take care of the rising numbers of older people and that they would come to know Jesus in their old age.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
- That we wouldn't get into any more wars
- That people would know what is right and wrong
- That we would understand that we are not alone—that there are other countries out there
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
A Rough Start
Today we tried to go to Kazakhstan found in the Operation World resource on page 497. In spite of the irritation and attitudes around the table, we did learn quite a bit about the country.
- The name has 10 letters, but only three vowels—all a’s. (Here we had complaining that there was spelling involved in the activity.)
- It is three times the size of Colorado. (Here we had complaining that there was math involved.)
- It also has a similar climate to ours so we could “pack” our regular clothes (though now that I think about it, that probably wouldn’t fly with the culture).
- We pulled up pictures of the capital city which has amazing buildings and architecture.
- The food included mutton (lamb), horse, and sour milk (cue the “ewws” and “yucks”).
- To get tickets for the five of us would run $15,000!
- The church has gone from almost zero 23 years ago to over 15,000 believers now.
- The animals got the most interest: coyote, sheep, yak, bobcat and saiga (look this one up, it’s quite an interesting looking animal! It’s a little like a cross between a camel and a goat).
Tomorrow I may not wait until evening to visit our next site. I think the kids were tired by the end of the day which added to their behavior. Maybe starting when they are fresh will be helpful.
The blow-up globe we used today was fun. I think little kids would enjoy learning with it especially.
My discussion tonight with one of the kids (after two of them were sent to their rooms) revolved around a kid’s job of being teachable and praying for a teachable spirit—even when they don’t understand why something is important to their lives. I am glad that we went through this exercise tonight. It revealed a weakness we need to address. No fun, but good for us as a family.
Hopefully tomorrow's mood will upswing. Thanks for being on this journey together. I hope it encourages you to talk with your kids about how important it is to pray for God's kids all over the world.