Identity

What is the Message of Christmas?

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What is the message of Christmas? Maybe it's that we are not alone. Maybe it's that life is not meaningless. Maybe it's that life does have a purpose. Maybe it's we are not some random accident. Maybe it's that there is hope. Maybe it's that there is a God, and it ain't you.

Maybe it's life has meaning, love conquers hate, and that God is with us. For us. Over us. Beside us. Within us. And wanting to be borne by us and through us, in quiet conquering love to be a gift again to the hurting waiting world.

Home Isn't Home Anymore

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A new study by Ikea of 22,000 people in 22 countries suggests that many people no longer feel home at home. 45% go sit in their cars in order to get a break.

What does this say about society? What does it say about me being a person of hospitality and safety? What might it say about the church trying to make people feel at home?

How to Build a Movement in 4 Easy Steps

 If you are a leader who built something unique over the years (a business, a church, a foundation, a philosophy) and you now sense/know/feel called to unleash a movement that is bigger than yourself out of it, the first thing to recognize is the biggest blockage to growth - to it really taking off - might be… you.  So take a look at this link for 4 “Easy” (yeah, right) Steps to building a movement, and learn with me over the 7 next days as I share and comment on 7 Ted Talk links with ideas from some of my favorite thinkers. On the docket this week I’ll be posting:  How to Get Ideas to Spread (Seth Godin) Oct 10 Contagious: Why Good Ideas Catch On (Jonah Berger) Oct 11 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation (Celeste Headle) Oct 12 Alone Together (Sherry Turtkle) Oct 13 The Puzzle of Motivation (Daniel Pink) Oct 14 The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters (Priya Parker) Oct 15 Compassion and the True Meaning of Empathy (Joan Halifax) Oct 16  If you have a small group, task force, or team you want in on the discussions, invite them to this link and into a conversation on a private Facebook group you set up, a coffee/dessert club or another venue for personal thoughts and reflections.

If you are a leader who built something unique over the years (a business, a church, a foundation, a philosophy) and you now sense/know/feel called to unleash a movement that is bigger than yourself out of it, the first thing to recognize is the biggest blockage to growth - to it really taking off - might be… you.

So take a look at this link for 4 “Easy” (yeah, right) Steps to building a movement, and learn with me over the 7 next days as I share and comment on 7 Ted Talk links with ideas from some of my favorite thinkers. On the docket this week I’ll be posting:

How to Get Ideas to Spread (Seth Godin) Oct 10
Contagious: Why Good Ideas Catch On (Jonah Berger) Oct 11
10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation (Celeste Headle) Oct 12
Alone Together (Sherry Turtkle) Oct 13
The Puzzle of Motivation (Daniel Pink) Oct 14
The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters (Priya Parker) Oct 15
Compassion and the True Meaning of Empathy (Joan Halifax) Oct 16

If you have a small group, task force, or team you want in on the discussions, invite them to this link and into a conversation on a private Facebook group you set up, a coffee/dessert club or another venue for personal thoughts and reflections.

Here’s a Ted Talk worth a listen, and a book worth a read. https://ideas.ted.com/how-to-build-a-successful-movement-in-4-steps/

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Unraveled, Elders, Dementia

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Our friend Lori Hammel has four nights left, playing the younger age of a character with dementia in the off-Broadway play Unraveled this week. If you’re any where near NYC, go see this gripping drama.

I have asked her to reflect on three questions to share with our network:

1. What did you learn about dementia through this process?
2. What did you learn about yourself through this process?
3. What did you learn about living life while you’re young and healthy and award?

I look forward to her reflections on this after the play is over.

Life is Short, Art is Long

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One of my favorite sayings by China's #1 Christian artist and my dear friend Dr. He Qi, is "Life is short, art is long"

I've used it in a key song in the screenplay for "Baby Silkworm and the Alien Invasion". Shortly before the harvest of earth begins, old Master Han gathers 12 disciples and teaches them the best of the ancient Chinese stories, songs and fables. They are to go to the north, south, east and west and remain in hiding until the danger has passed, then return and teach their ancient identity to the children. Maybe the ancient culture - and their identity - can be saved. Here's the  song.

GREAT MASTER HAN
Books will be burned
And the tall towers rust
Even your monuments turn into dust
In spite of your glory
Regardless your fame
In one hundred years
No one will remember
your name

Life is short
Art is long
Hide all your treasures
In stories and song
Sing it to children
Again and again
And after you’re gone
They’ll live on, they’ll live on
Amen

If there is one lesson I’ve learned, I have learned
Everything owned can be lost, 
can be burned
Possessions posses you
And cause you much pain
Even your statues
Dissolve in the rain

Art is long
Life is short
Paint all your stories
And hide them in art
Tell them to children
Again and again
And after you’re gone
They’ll live on, they’ll live on
Amen

If you have a message
you want to live on
Send it to the future
In art and in song
Sing it loud, sing it often
Paint it soft, paint it brave
Long after you’re dead
Part of you will walk
from your own grave

Life is short
Art is long
Hide all your treasures
In stories and song
Sing them to children
Again and again
And after you’re gone
You’ll live on, you’ll live on
You’ll live on
Amen