Are you a Generous Mind?

Are you a Generous Mind? If you are intrigued by the idea, this is a place to explore what it means to you. Our blog focuses on helping you to learn what it means to be generous with what you know. You will find helpful tips and encouraging examples that will inspire you to release your ideas to the world! Find out more at www.generousmind.com.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Theology of Migration

I have been so impressed by the latest collection of essays from Andrew Walls, Crossing Cultural Frontiers (Orbis). It is deep and well thought out but approachable and inspiring. With the significant focus I have had on the refugee crisis and migration in general, I was particularly attracted to his chapter "Toward a Theology of Migration.

He describes the centrality of this human pattern in this way, "Migration receives no single, defining treatment in Genesis, but the book offers so many examples of migration that the reader is left in no doubt that it is one of the constants in human life." (pg. 52)

Walls paints a picture over all of human history showing the movements of civilizations and how God has utilized each of these movements for His glory. I especially appreciated his distinction between Adam's migration out of the Garden of Eden and Abraham's migration to the Promised Land. Walls describes the Adamic migrations as "involuntary and punitive" and the Abrahamic migrations as "voluntary and hope driven." History is a ebbing and flowing of these two types of migrations as God exerts discipline and rewards faith.

This migration framework is helpful as we look at the migrant crisis of the 21st Century where over 65 million are forcibly on the move with hundreds of millions more moving to find a better life.

The main insight I was left with was that God is working through each of these movements to bring us into deeper relationship with Him. What a powerful reminder even in these liminal moments.

Friday, October 20, 2017

A God that is Greater than our Feelings

"Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything." 1 John 3:20

Isn't it wonderful to have a God that is greater than our feelings? When we feel sad, God brings joy. When we feel anxious, God brings calm. When we feel angry, God brings peace and forgiveness. 

His character, goodness and love can override all our negative emotions that swell up inside us and threaten to crush our spirits. 

But the trick is, that while God is greater than our feelings, He does not impose His remedy to our flawed feelings on us. We must ask Him for the joy, calm, peace and forgiveness necessary to banish those evil urges to rely on our own ability to handle the deep realities of life. 

But beyond how grateful I am for God's ability to harness my emotions, I am even more thankful for the fact that He made me with emotions. Instead of being dull and feeling-less creatures, we are full of energy, excitement and inquisitiveness. Only in His big understanding of how He made us, could God have given us so much life. 

So as you give your emotions to God today, don't forget to also thank Him for those very same emotions. They are life-giving!

Monday, October 09, 2017

Starting a Job Search as a Generous Mind

Today starts our job search in earnest. We have spent months praying and processing what God might want us to do after leading GMI. But most of that processing has been among a small group of people that God brought to us during our sabbatical.

Today, we get to open that process up generously. So after all of Mindy and my discussions, we have created a web site to allow you to hear from our heart and connect with our passion. On this page there are links to my various social media, an introduction letter, an infographic, his CV, and a Program & Product Inventory.

My hope in this job search is that I can be a Generous Mind by sharing what I have learned, how I have grown and the passion I have at the intersection of innovation, ideation and integration.

This generosity is not only to get a job. There is more to it than that. We want our journey to instigate, inspire and inform you as you are on your own journey. So whether you have any thoughts about my future career or not, take a moment to see how God has moved in our lives and ask God to use it to bless you in your journey.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

About Catching Your Breath

There is a short hike near our home where you can quickly scale the side of the bluff, walk along the top and then descend into our community park. I suppose it could be done in a half hour but its better done with some stops along the way. The stops are different in nature. 
As you go up the rocky include of the bluff you stop to catch your breath and regain your energy for the next steep push. Once you are on the top the stops are more relaxed as you hike the small ridge trails, watch the birds or look out over the valley with Pikes Peak in the distance. Finally, as you come down into the park, the stop at a bench has the satisfaction of sitting in comfort; having almost finished the hike. 
As I reflect on my two-month sabbatical, I have realized a few things I wanted to share and to document as I begin my job search and doing some consulting for nonprofits. 
  1. This sabbatical is most like a rest at the top of the bluff. I have spent 20 years climbing the incline. Now as I sit at the top and look out over a world where God is at work, I have new perspective. As I get ready to hike the ridge, I am now benefiting from all the lessons learned as I climbed and I have the benefit of new perspective. This next stage promises to be a time of restoring strength, deepening relationships and honing skills.
  2. I understood better that most of my thinking about my life was related to the “What – Where – When – How” questions. I was good at asking those, but I was not good at asking the “Who – Why” questions. These last two are in a different category and the first set of questions can’t really be answered until you know the answers to the second set. I wrestled with “Who am I?” and “Why am I on mission with my God, family and community.” Once there is clarity on those two the others lose their intensity and power and become simple logistics. 
  3. I wrestled through Steven Covey’s assertion in The 8th Habit that “With people, fast is slow and slow is fast.” I have always been a person who drives hard towards a goal. I get frustrated easily when people are not on the same page or won’t go as fast as I wish they would. That definitely comes out in my driving! But I am realizing that slowing down to understand others, communicate clearly, build trust and get clarity about the objectives allows you to move much faster than if you assume most of those things. 
  4. Adrenaline is a great tool to make the final push, get out of the way of danger or psych yourself up for a challenge. But it’s not the kind of energy to live on daily. For years I have been using adrenaline to make my daily schedule possible. These bursts of energy have been hard to channel, impossible to maintain and draining over the long haul. I need that slow and steady energy of a marathon runner for most of my life and I need to put adrenaline back in its place. 
  5. Nothing can take the place of presence and proximity. You can do a lot through media, technology tools and other communications resources, but in the end, sitting across from someone and talking cannot be replaced. I have spent a career in innovating through media. This has caused me to rely to heavily on media in impacting the lives around me. 
So even as I write this blog, I realize that the real impact of these sabbatical insights will mostly come over coffee or on hikes as I share them and learn from those I am investing in. 
That doesn’t mean these insights can’t be a blessing and help you wherever you are. But I hope that I can connect with many of you in person over the coming months and discuss these insights and others as we seek to understand each other and the God we serve.
Thanks for listening! Now that I’ve caught my breath. Its time the next phase of the hike! 
(If you would like to connect with me as I consider new opportunities for my next phase of service, please visit this page and then reach out.)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sharing Information in an Emergency

One of the amazing results of digitally-enabled networks is the ability to share information that is vital to the entire community. While you might only have one small piece of the full story, when your information is crowdsourced together with the information of hundreds of others, you create real insight and understanding.

This CrowdRescue Puerto Rico Infrastructure Map is an example of that. People from around the island have submitted road closures, mud slides, utilities outages, and so much more. By allowing the community to report on the status and making it available, we allow hundreds more people to be part of the solutions that must be marshaled to support the island in this crisis.

The amazing thing about efforts like this is that it empowers those serving and those receiving service in equal portions. Not everyone will be rescuing people, clearing roads or running new power lines, but many more will and many more will benefit.

Are there crowdsourcing efforts that you should be joining as you seek to be a generous mind?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Multiplier Question

We all know what it is like to be short on resources and asked to be more effective. In Liz Wiseman's book Multipliers, based on significant research done with global leaders, she talks about the characteristics of a leader that multiplies the efforts of others rather than diminishes them.

As I was listening to the book today, one thing that stood out was a question she referenced when talking about how to help multiply the efforts of others. She encouraged the reader to ask the question "What kind of intelligence does this person have?"

I love this question because it does 2 things:

  1. It assumes everyone you work with is intelligent and insightful.
  2. It recognizes that the contributions of each person around you will be different and powerful if rightly understood. 
Many times we look a person over, make some assumptions about their potential and then put them in a box that limits their contribution. What would happen if we asked this question of each person we worked with regularly? I think we would uncover and empower whole new pieces of their potential!

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Few Square Feet of Generosity

Photo from the Little Free Library site.
I've recently become aware of an amazing movement (50,000 strong) that was sitting in my back yard. It is called The Little Free Library and the concept is simple. People all over the world sign up to be the steward of a Little Free Library and either build our buy a small library box that sits  on their property in a place that is accessible to the community. Then they begin to build a network of people in the community that will put a book in every time they take one out.

This simple concept creates a physical space for generosity. By putting up this little box and inviting your neighbors to take from it and give to it, these stewards have created a tangible place to practice being a generous mind.

Being generous with ideas is often a very cerebral affair. That is why generous minds tend to be known for books, lectures, TED Talks, coaching, mentoring and the like. But what The Little Free Library does is give actual physical space to the discipline of being a generous mind. I now have somewhere I can go on a regular basis to see what someone else has been reading and share with my neighborhood the ideas I treasure and value.

As you practice generosity with ideas, consider ways to make that act tangible for those around you. Don't let your discipline reside in your mind alone but give it that physical outworking that allows those around you to understand the gift you are giving and participate in it.