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.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Little Blue Country

This entry is a part of a series from July 29-August 13. Join me in taking your family on a World Tour Vacation at Home using the Operation World prayer guide.

Ethiopia
Today's pick came from Girl 7. She closed her eyes and panned her index finger across the map which came to rest on Kenya. Then for no apparent reason (but that perhaps the country adjacent was blue) she changed her pick to Ethiopia.
What a rich history this small, land-locked country has! One of the first Christian nations as well as one of the oldest known nations; it is suspected that coffee originated here. Caffeinated beverages are highly valued around here, so that was an exciting tidbit.

We talked about the famines in the 80s and how people helped bring aid to the country, but that now we needed to pray that their own agriculture grows in spite of the fact that the soil is tired after 3000 years of cultivation. A few of us prayed, and then we watched the YouTube video of the "We are the World" song that many artists including Michael Jackson and Kenny Rogers sang to raise money for the suffering people at that time.
Good Intentions
In the beginning of this journey, I expected long, in depth conversations. Now I am finding that short and sweet is best. We seem to learn more, it is fun and it takes the pressure off. Just a thought.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Reimagining Italy

This entry is a part of a series from July 29-August 13. Join me in taking your family on a World Tour Vacation at Home using the Operation World prayer guide.
Note: Guest blogging is husband Jon

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

Japanese Intermission

This entry is a part of a series from July 29-August 13. Join me in taking your family on a World Tour Vacation at Home using the Operation World prayer guide.

Intermission
We've been watching different Disney movies as a family to get ready for our trip in October. We've been putting off the Robin Hood request because it’s just so long for an after dinner movie. Tonight we broke it in two parts and visited Japan during intermission with our chocolate surprise (which was a shared Hershey milk chocolate bar).

Japan
I gave the kids paper and pencils and had our oldest tell us about the Japanese art style manga. Then I let them draw as we talked. I gave them each a “test” question to guess at.
  1. Is Japan landlocked, an island or a peninsula?
  2. True or false: There are many immigrants in Japan.
  3. True or false: The Japanese can believe in whatever religion they choose.


We also talked about prayer requests. This is what I appreciate most about Operation World, the prayer requests. Tonight we prayed:
  • 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.


Good intentions
It was all I could do today to follow through on this trip. Much of motherhood is pushing through. Whether it is cleaning a bed in the dark of night or slathering sunscreen on a moving target, sometimes it is just about getting the job done and being consistent. Maybe I don’t have extra creativity to give, but I can give all I have for the day and trust that God will make up the difference—even if it means letting something go for the day.

Until tomorrow! Blessings…

Answers: 1) A group of islands. Four large and 3000 small. 2) False. Only 1.5 percent of those living in Japan are not indigenous. 3) True. Religious freedom is written into their constitution.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Under the Happy Tree

This entry is a part of a series from July 29-August 13. Join me in taking your family on a World Tour Vacation at Home using the Operation World prayer guide.

Under the Happy Tree
I don’t know if I decided to undertake today’s trip under the “Happy Tree” in our front side yard because it might make ME happy or because it might help the kids. Sometimes I think our emotions are so intertwined that what benefits me emotionally really does help them.

We did a late lunch. Something like one in the afternoon. It took that long for my kids to come out of the funk they were in due to the “no screen time” day we are having. After their attitudes last night we had to implement a consequence and that’s what I decided would be best. I hate being “mean mom,” but I figured if too much media was causing them to think that talking with their parents was boring, we had a problem.

I was so discouraged last night. Several years ago I may have pitched the whole idea if I got push back like that, but I really feel like they need to go through the ups and downs and continue on in the hard things. Otherwise, how are they ever going to manage their emotions when they are older?

So the picnic. As you can see I packed a little picnic of food they would like and set it up under the tree. I didn't bring out the Operation World book yet. I figured I would talk to them and see how they were doing. When their blood sugar had sufficiently risen, I casually approached the subject.

“I know you guys had a hard time last night with the vacation.” I start.

“It seems pointless if we’re not really going anywhere.” Boy 10 says.

“Well, I was wondering. I originally was going to go through in order, but if you were to pick four countries to visit, which would they be?”

We had a nice conversation about that. They were unanimous on Japan. England made the list as did Italy and Canada. Several U.S. sites also came up with significant disappointment that they were part of our own country (Florida and Hawaii were two).

“Well, how about we start out with the United States?” I suggest.

Girl 12.999 giggled and said sure.

United States
As I got the book, map and globe, the thunder in the not so distant mountains signaled that our time was limited. I pointed this out to give them hope that this would be a short visit. We had a pleasant time learning about our own country and talking about what might be the things we should pray for the U.S. These included:
  • 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

Then we prayed and packed up with not a drop of rain on us. That’s it.

Good intentions
I’m glad we started off with the United States. The biggest complaint I heard last night was that this trip didn't apply to them. Even though my goal was to help them see outside of themselves, I think the giant leap to Kazakhstan was too much for them. Even Jesus went in order from local to distant when he told his adult disciples that they would “be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NIV)

For the little ones
I wish we had sponsored a Compassion child much earlier. We started about two to three years ago and it has been such a great experience. I know it can seem overwhelming when you have little ones to start anything new, but to start growing that relationship now with a child in another country would be so wonderful for your kids and the child whose eyes shine out of your refrigerator door where his/her picture lives with along with crayon pictures and shopping lists. Consider it.


Thanks again for coming with me on this journey! Blessings…

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rough Start

This entry is a part of a series from July 29-August 13. Join me in taking your family on a World Tour Vacation at Home using the Operation World prayer guide.

A Rough Start
Well, not every family trip starts out smoothly. I didn’t exactly market this one intentionally. Plus, our kids want input into all family activities, so it should not surprise me that I met with some resistance. Ok, a lot of resistance. So much resistance that everyone is in bed feeling badly except me. I am feeling badly, but am up writing this blog to let you know all about it.
Kazakhstan
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).
Good intentions
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.

Also, I think I wung-it a little too much. I will definitely read the section first tomorrow so I can share more fluidly.
For the little ones
The blow-up globe we used today was fun. I think little kids would enjoy learning with it especially.

I think if I could go back several years, I would begin to weave into my conversation with my kids the importance of the whole world to God. I would talk more about how God has kids all over the world in faraway countries and that these are our brothers and sisters. I would pray for other countries as a family earlier in their development.
Discussion and Debrief
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.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Operation World World Tour Vacation at Home

This entry is a part of a series from July 29-August 13. Join me in taking your family on a World Tour Vacation at Home using the Operation World prayer guide.
 
Intro to the Kids
So we told the kids about our trip last night as we had chocolate surprise (which is our version of dessert). I guess it was a marginally positive response.
“We need to tell you about something we’re going to do this week,” Jon starts.

“Oh, no. This is about school isn’t it?” Tomboy-girl, 12.999, (a few weeks from 13) says looking at us through the tops of her eyes.
“No. We are going to take a world tour vacation at home,” I put in.

“We’re going around the world?” Boy, 10, asks.
“Yes, but in our minds.” I say mysteriously pointing to my temple.

Laughter deteriorates into Sponge Bob references. “Imagination,” Tomboy-girl, 12.999, quotes making a rainbow arm motion over the head, and the giggling continues for some time.
When order comes back to the sugar-laden group, we start to explain the idea. We are going to visit different countries using the Operation World prayer guide, we explain. Each day we will learn about a different part of the world.

Tomboy Girl, 12.999, said that she would like it if we did some sort of cool art from each part of the world. Boy, 10, was still fixated on reliving the Sponge Bob episode referenced earlier and Girl, 7 remained her quiet and observant self, not revealing her thoughts. Maybe she will break her silence sometime during our trip in the next two weeks.
So, we’ll see how things go tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Good intentions
I always have good intentions. Some become reality; others float off into the ideasphere, hopefully to come to rest in someone else’s grey matter who can do justice with the thought. So, in the hopes of being a generous mind, here is what has been floating around in my head as things I might implement over the week given the kids’ state of mind, my energy level and the weight of the calendar.
  • Mark the book with little tabs for the days and countries we will be visiting
  • Read the entry ahead of time for each day
  • Google each country for visuals and to orient myself to each country
  • Locate a large world map in the house so we can find and mark each country on the map as we go
  • Make the time special somehow. Perhaps with a snack, candle at the table and/or special music to set the mood

For the little ones
Ok, so the only reason I can write now is because my children have somehow slipped past the preschool ages and I have just a bit more energy and clarity of thought than I did several years ago. I am not the super-mom type—just a low-energy, high emotion person raising three munchkins who are now 12.999, 10 and seven. I realize that my trip will not look the same as those of you who have smaller kids, so I will attempt to think back a few years and consider how I may have done this endeavor differently when my kids pronounced “cereal” as “eeahck” and “mommy” as “mahddy.”
Some thoughts so far:
  • Use a blow up globe to explain what the world is like
  • Color as you talk about each country to keep their little hands busy
  • Have a special snack laid out on the table to make this time something to look forward to each day

5 Things Publishers Can Learn from Benjamin Franklin

I'm so enjoying Benjamin Franklin's biography by Walter Issacson. We hear so much about Franklin, but until you read about his life in detail, the complexity and breath of his life is hard to imagine.

One of the things I was surprised about was how industrious he was in the area of publishing. And as I have read the biography, I have pulled out a few lessons that publishers can learn from his approach:

  1. Getting direct access to publishing and distribution infrastructure is key.
    Franklin had his own press and wrestled away the role of Postmaster for Philadelphia from one of his competitors. This gave him the ability to quickly print and distribute his content to his audience. Today we don't need to own our own presses, but we need direct and fast access to the production of product in such a way that we can act quickly as opportunities arise.
  2. Don't wait for good content to come to you...seek it out!
    Franklin identified the talent and message of George Whitefield, the Great Awakening preacher, and worked with him to publish most of his sermons and other resources in America. Franklin built a friendship with Whitefield even though they did not agree on spiritual matters.
  3. Create interesting content internally.
    Franklin developed these anonymous characters who he used to talk about various topics and issues. Many of them were very humorous and were able to say things that others could or would not say. His use of these characters created very interesting and eye-catching content that kept the colonies enthralled.
  4. Care about issues and allow your publishing to challenge the status quo.
    Franklin was not afraid of dealing with the difficult issues. Now, as I described above, he did it many times through a concocted third party. But he published controversial ideas and new thinking. He did not allow the establishment to define what would be acceptable to publish. This made his content fundamentally different from the content of others. It also made him a trusted voice among the people.
  5. Diversify your work so that a variety of revenue streams can carry your efforts forward.
    Franklin was an entrepreneur. He was a talent agent, a printer, a publisher, an author, a scientist, a politician and an organizer. Each of these things had a revenue stream and each one added to his ability to engage his community.
I hope these ideas are helpful as you strive to innovate in publishing space.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Generous Mind is Optimistic

"The prospects are bright as the promises of God." - Adoniram Judson

A fundamental characteristic of a Generous Mind is optimism. An optimistic attitude is so critical because we must feel that the ideas God  has given us can make a difference.

If you don't feel what you know is worth sharing, what are the chances you will share it? But a healthy optimism will create that passion to see an idea spread.

Optimism helps you:

1. Stay the course when you hit challenges.
2. Communicate your idea clearly and passionately.
3. Illustrate how your idea can make real change in the world
4. Identify with others who are seeking insight more readily.

If you have not had much success sharing your latest idea, ask yourself this question: "Do I feel that my idea can make a real difference in people's lives?"

If you don't feel that it can, then put it away and wait till you can answer "YES!"

Monday, July 08, 2013

Download Our Recent Talk on Content Ecosystems

Your content is part of an ecosystem and understanding that dynamic is critical to your success as a generous mind. Recently Jon Hirst presented at the Publishers Institute on this topic. The audio is now available for purchase from their site: http://www.christianpublishers.net/?page_id=92

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Generosity in an Age of Surveillance

All over the world we are becoming more and more aware of those who are watching us. Whether it be a government, a "big data" corporation or our home owners association, there are cameras everywhere who are trying to turn surveillance into political and commercial advantage.

And it is in this environment that we are called to be generous. But being watched tends to discourage our generosity. We don't know how our actions will be interpreted or if our ideas will then be used for purposes beyond our control.

In this environment the tendency is to "circle the wagons" and try and regain control over our lives. We reason that once we have control we will be able to share our resources freely again. We assume that our generosity is only valid if we manage how it is received.

But that rationale goes against the very grain of being a Generous Mind. When we stipulate that our generosity will only flow when we are in control of our surroundings, we guarantee that we will never share much of anything.

Instead, generosity is about realizing that God is in control and that He will use the gift we give how He wants. Do you believe this? If you do, then give what you have freely and let those who are watching see how God will work!

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Generous Fill up

"For I walk every day in the midst of need, and I must not walk there empty." E. Stanley Jones

We have a confession to make. Most of the time we are walking around on "empty." But that is probably true for most of you reading this post.

We fill our lives with activity rather than with meaning and understanding. Our actions are driven by a need to "be a part of the action." But we are lacking the basic training and regular exercise we need to sustain the "action" we so desire to join.

That is why it is so important for a Generous Mind to generously fill up their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical tanks on a regular basis. Times in prayer, long walks, book reading, riding bikes, and many other such activities are ways we can generously fill up so that we are ready to generously give back.

If you find that your mind has little ability to be generous, your emptiness could be the cause. Fill up generously today!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Freedom leads to Generosity

This afternoon our daughter was entertaining herself by writing poems. It was so much fun to watch her get so much joy out of the fun little poems she was crafting. Then she looked over at me and said, "You have freedom when you write poems!"

What an amazing statement from a young learning mind!

What was she saying? She was recognizing that with freedom come ideas. When we feel free, we are released to dream, imagine and think new thoughts. In contrast, when we are captive our creativity and thinking are held back and controlled by others.

Freedom creates the environment for new ideas. And the result of a free mind is that it is open to sharing its ideas with others because others have allowed it the freedom to think.

Freedom thus predisposes its beneficiary to be a Generous Mind. A natural response to our freedom is to be free with what our freedom has produced.

Are you free today? Do you feel empowered to think and create or are there forces in your life holding you captive. Only a soul that is free to think will be a generous soul.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Generous Input

One of the things we love about the Internet and the crowdsourcing it has empowered are the small but significant ways you can be generous with your input. Because of the dynamic and growing networks of people around the world, you can now share your input into decisions that have a real impact on organizations and individuals that you care about.

One example that you can join today is Brigada's crowdsourced logo project. They used a logo tournament site to get over one hundred potential logos and have now narrowed it down to 8 possibilities. Now it's your turn to help this great missions resource site pick a logo that you feel represents its ministry. Take a moment to view the top 8 logos and rate/comment on them by clicking here.

Then look for ways that you can give those within your network a chance to be generous with their input!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Generous Colab

It was a blessing to be at the Colab 2013 event in Chicago last week. I will be sharing more from my notes in the coming days. The event was a small, invite only collaboration event designed to create opportunities for connection and engagement. There were some great donors, organizations and churches there.

Here is the Storify story of the event with quite a few contributions from the Generous Mind team:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Generosity or Manipulation

Have you ever tried to control the outcome of something you cared about? Maybe you try and control your children’s behavior or you try and exert control over a big project at work. If you strive to do it in your own strength, your main weapon is almost certainly manipulation. But the minute manipulation is inserted into your arsenal your efforts are no longer aligned with the Kingdom. They are now your own efforts to control your world for your personal benefit.

You cannot be a Generous Mind and rely on manipulation to influence the world. A Generous Mind gives freely from their ideas without trying to control them. That doesn’t mean that those ideas don’t end up in products and services that can produce a return for you. However it does mean that a Generous Mind does not invest time in manipulating the way the ideas are used for their personal benefit.

The line between a productive idea and a manipulative idea is fine and fuzzy. That is because it mostly has to do with motivations of the heart rather than a list of “do’s or don’ts.”
If you release an idea productively, you make it available in ways that are focused on your readers and will be useful to them. For example, a Generous Mind who came up with a new cookbook for children might realize that a DVD product to accompany the book would be an excellent way for the children to interact with the cooking process and get a sense for how to participate with their mom or dad. The desire is to see the idea used more fully and the result is a new product that adds value to the customer and is sustainable for the author.
But if you are releasing an idea in manipulative ways, that is different on many levels.  One example of a manipulative mind is the contract that governs how your ideas are released. Many of these contracts are written to confuse and discourage your audience rather than to empower them with the idea you have brought to life. The way your contracts are written is an important indicator of your desire to be generous.
As I continue to process Tim Jore’s book “The Christian Commons,” one of the things that has jumped out at me is the manipulation that often exists in the contractual process. Tim describes one of the main advantages of a Creative Commons license as follows, “Every Creative Commons license includes a human-readable summary of the license. In a few clear paragraphs, the license summary explains exactly what the legal code (the actual license) does, in terms that do not require a degree in copyright law to understand.” (pg. 233)
This “human-readable summary” is an effort by the group behind the Creative Commons to be clear and open with what the rights and restrictions are. This makes the contract an open document rather than an effort to manipulate the audience through smoke and mirrors.
As you share your ideas with the world, are your motives focused on generosity or manipulation?

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Generosity with Your Intellectual Property

In an age where information is currency, Intellectual Property is critical to so many aspects of our careers and businesses. We spend significant time protecting, managing and turning our ideas into products . . . and there is nothing wrong with that. It is how we can sustain our creative energies.

But is our model for protecting and managing IP a Kingdom model? That is what Tim Jore explores in The Christian Commons: ending the spiritual famine of the Global Church. This well-researched book asks us to think through how traditional copyright protections limit the ability of the Global Church to resource the believers where the church is growing the most.

While the book focuses on moving from a traditional copyright model to the Creative Commons standard which is much more open, I appreciated that Tim did not minimize people's ownership of their content or the rights that they are allowed to exert over that content. Instead he focused on challenging people to select a Creative Commons approach to protecting their content out of a motivation of generosity.

By taking that approach to the issue, Tim affirmed people's hard work, rights and the value of being rewarded for their efforts. At the same time, he challenged those people to generously give of their content to those who can most use it.

I would have liked to see more in the book about encouraging the more open model among Majority World authors and publishers rather than the focus on Western resources being translated or modified for use in the Majority World. We have exported many of our models to the Global South and shackled our partners with many of the problems that were inherent in those models.

The best parts of the book are the last few chapters that make a very clear and easy-to-read case for the need for new paradigms in managing Intellectual Property. I loved Tim's integration of Scripture to help think through the Kingdom response to content.

I hope this book will start a healthy discussion about more sustainable models of managing IP within the Kingdom. We desperately need to unleash the ideas God has given us!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Why Do You Publish?

The word publish used to have a very narrow meaning. But today...

Everyone is publishing all the time. You publish pithy quotes to Twitter, updates to facebook, photos to Instagram and soapbox speeches to your blog.

Everyone is publishing all the time. So the question "Why do you publish?" is a very important one. As we talk with thought leaders, usually there are a few potential reasons why someone is driven to publish:

They want to be known and respected.
They have something to share with the world.
They want to connect with others and share experiences.
They seek to use content as a tool to build an enterprise.

Each of these motivations are different and come out clearly in what you publish. It only takes about 10 minutes reviewing a person's social media, blog and web site to get a clear idea of what drives their publishing. Try it, the exercise can be very enlightening and also very helpful as you consider your own answer to that question.

But why does it matter? Some might say, "As long as I'm publishing good stuff, who cares why!" But it does matter. In the end the "Why" impacts the "What."

So how would you answer that question?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Will They Rise to the Challenge?

One of the things that I know tugs at the hearts of thought leaders who are seeking to be Generous Minds, is the question, "Will the people I give my ideas to respond with equal generosity?"

That is a valid question. In so many situations, we see people give of themselves only to have the recipients squander the gift. It's one thing if it is money but when it is a cherished idea, the squandering seems so much more personal.

So as we stand on the verge of sharing our next thought, we ask the question and consider whether our audience is worthy of our generosity.

But that is the wrong consideration. It is not about whether the audience is worthy of the idea we are about to share. Instead, we should consider whether we are ready to share it. In the end, we can only have control over our own actions and motivations. So asking if the audience will rise to the challenge goes beyond our sphere of influence.

The bigger question, as I stated above, is whether our hearts are ready to be generous no matter what the outcome is. That is when we know it is time to share the idea in front of us.

Are you paralyzed by your desire to see your ideas take off or are you focused on the right spirit of motivation in your generosity? The second is a much more worthy and attainable effort.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Are you Ready for the Museum?

"For the seekers of the Way, the buildings, rituals, documents, and theologies of the
Christian tradition serve as a rich museum that inspires our efforts to practice the way of Jesus.
They remind us that we are apart of an unfolding story and an ongoing conversation about
what it means to live as "children of the light" (John 12:36) in our time and place.
But we don't live in museums. The place where we create our "art" isn't in the clean
and well-ordered world of books, historic institutions or even public gatherings, but in the grit
and messiness of daily life and in our relationships with one another." 
Mark Scandrette, Practicing the Way of Jesus, 40-41



The museum's of this life are where our ideas are shared. They are the places in the public square where our ideas get walked around and tried on for size. But they are not where our ideas are "cooked up" are they? We love how Mark Scandrette contrasts the museums of our world with the laboratories of life. One is for presentation and the other is for preparation.

Mark filled out that idea by contrasting how the most amazing paintings are housed in these marble buildings with guards and hours of operation while many of them are created in out of the way studios that most people would not feel safe visiting.

So many times we value the ideas that get displayed in the beautiful "museums" of this world. But we do not tend to value where those ideas came from. The wrestling, polishing, defining and arraigning is not so appealing as the presentation.

But just as Mark is making the point about the "art" that is the life with Jesus, the "art" that is the crafting of an idea is valuable because of the process it goes through. The "grit and messiness of daily life" that Mark describes.

We all want to show our work and be affirmed by the "museums" of this world, but until we walk around with our idea in this world and allow it to rub shoulders with the people who will be impacted by it, then we are not yet ready.

Last week we talked about having the patience to wait to share an idea. Well, one of the reasons for that patience is that our ideas must be ready. We have to know that they represent what God is doing in our lives and the Truth of what God cares about in this world. Unless you can affirm that, your best bet is to keep walking around with what is on your heart!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Sometime You Have to Wait

Sometimes generosity has to wait. Instead of giving now, you need to wait and give when the time is right. We are sure there are examples of times when that is true with money but, surprise...surprise, we are talking about ideas in this case.

Tonight Jon heard a short interview with the Country music group Zac Brown Band talking about their latest hit - Goodbye in Her Eyes. In the interview one of the band members shared how the song took 12 years to write. They worked on it over time and then finally one day the last piece came together. Only then were they ready to release it. The artist talked about how he loved those songs that built over time.

What can we learn from this successful musician? Simply this . . . even if you have something to share, it doesn't mean it is time to do so. It may not be ready. In the end the value of your gift is not only in the sharing of it but in the completeness of it. That means that if you sense that your idea still needs more time to cook or more input then be brave enough to hold off.

We need to resist the shouts of our "Microwave Generation" and allow things to develop the way they should. Only then will they have significant impact as we share them.