Thursday, May 31, 2007

The First Right Answer

Roger von Oech in his book A Whack on the Side of the Head shares a variation of the following story and how it relates to the tyranny of the first right answer.

A high school teacher
walked in to her class one day, walked up to the blackboard and made a mark similar to the one below. She simply asked, "What is it?"

The class remained silent, with the exception of a few heads looking around looking somewhat bewildered. Several moments passed and then someone piped up, "It's a chalk mark."

The teacher looked around the room. As she did, it was obvious that everyone was in agreement. "That's it....?" She asked. "I'm surprised at you. I did this yesterday with a bunch of kindergartners and they gave me a huge list of things..." Things like:

a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of my shoe,
a smashed bug,
a snowball,
a little rock,
my daddy's cigarette butt,
a guitar,
a hook with a worm on it,

and the list went on...

What happens to our creative and imaginative abilities as we get older? The average four-year-old asks roughly 200 questions a day, while the average twenty-year-old asks a lumping 20. That number often only diminishes more with age.

Part of the problem could be that since our first days in the educational process, we have been well trained to find “the answer." And more often than not, there was only one. We looked for “the one,” filled in the blank, and moved on to the next question. That works well for breezing through a biology class, where most of us didn’t want to be there in the first place. I used to love those “easy” teachers that handed us the fill-in-the-blank worksheets… Each question encoded with the exact phrase of the book…

The challenge is… Life and ministry doesn’t always adhere to a fill-in-the-blank methodology. In fact, it rarely does. But many of us still go through life looking for the "right answer," and generally we stop at the first one. Problems, crisis, issues in relationships, family, and ministry arise, and we quickly fill-in-the-blank. As a result, our thinking capacities have been limited and our creativity and imagination rendered handicap.

Moreover, perhaps there's a "Second Right Answer," or third or fourth. Creativity, innovation and inspiration are generally not discovered until we delve into the process of looking, asking, and searching for the second, third, fourth and so on "Right Answer."

It has been said,

"Nothing is more dangerous than an idea
when it is the only one we have."

(Emile Chartier)

May we begin to see things with the eyes of a kindergardner. May we be able to recover our inquisitiveness, sense of discover, and there could be more than one answer...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Almost Time to Start... Color Outside the Lines

Tomorrow night our Summer Semester starts here at Calvary Temple. For some time I've been thinking, planning, brainstorming, and simply day dreaming about facilitating "Color Outside the Lines." Color Outside the Lines is going to be more than a class... It's going to be an experiment... One huge lab... a learning environment were we will explore the art of learning, creativity and communication.

I foresee this learning environment proving beneficial to a variety of people in various circumstances... But two huge objectives are: those involved in facilitating communication in small and large contexts will gain new insights and skills as it relates to crafting talks, speaking and engages those they are interacting with. Secondly, I expect to see all of our levels of creativity get Super-Sized with loads of fun.

As I have been story-boarding out the different elements for the upcoming weeks, I have become more and more excited. Probably more than anything, I recognize a need for myself to grow and develop in creativity, as well as my communication skills. I'm looking forward to learning, growing, expanding, laughing, becoming more creative, childlike, engaging, not to mention getting to know a bunch of people better over the course of eleven weeks that we'll be together at the South Gate Cafe.

Avi Sona Jobe

Born: May 27, 2007

Time: 10:28 AM

Weight: 8 Pounds .5 Onces

Length: 21 Inches

Yesterday when they took Avi down to clean her up and check all the vitals.

As she was crying... she stopped breathing and turned a little purple. This happened twice.

So... They took her down in NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit -to run some blood tests and make sure there's no infections...

***No Infections***

Daddy's Official Report: "I would have stop breathing too if they'd taken me from "Hot-Momma," stripped me naked - or in her case kept her naked - and started poking my rib and prodding my sides..."

The down side: Avi had to spend the night down stairs just to be sure nothing else is askew... Charissa and I went down during the night to feed her... We'll actually Charissa did most of the feeding... i was more of the wheel-chair-chauffeur.

....Charissa is doing well and feeling great (considering she just delivered a 8Ib baby.

She will be discharged from her current room and moved to the third floor near the NICU. They want to keep Avi one more night "just to make sure" everything continues to be alright.

The upside: since Charissa will be staying in a "Parent Room" it is equipped with all the monitors - thus Avi gets to stay in the same room...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Dancing of the Mind...

Every year about this time (at least, since I've been in South Bend), I have a reoccurring thought, "I love spring time..." I think this because this is the time of year it gets warm enough for me to hit the great outdoors and go running and mountain biking. I absolutely love to do both. Of course there's the physical challenge and benefits of getting in shape, but there's another reason that the busier I am becomes more and more a valued commodity.

Running generates one of the few times in my day when my mind and thoughts are simply free to "dance." I could direct the direction in which my thoughts hoover during these times via. intention reflection or my beloved iPod, but there is something about abandoning all stimuli and simply letting the "mind dance" where it may...

It's amazing to see what I think about when I don't have to think about anything specific... It is during these times that creativity often flows, I begin to unintentionally see issues, problems, circumstances and even people from a different perspective - a better one - a more healthy one - a more productive one... For example, I've been working with a new computer program, trying to figure-out, navigate and learn the in's and out's of it. There were several things that I was unable to do and nearing a dead end, and that's after much troubleshooting and even consulting the Help Manual. Then, just yesterday as I was tracking through the woods on my afternoon run - mind dancing - as I downed a hill, turned a corner, and jumped some logs it came to me... The program flashed before my eyes.... and I saw something I hadn't seen before, even with the program open right in front of my eyes... In a fraction of a second I saw something, "that's it!" I thought. And guess what, several hours later, I opened up the program, gave it a whirl, and "Bingo."

These times are not only creative fueling, but therapeutic. I have found this part of my day life giving, renewing, and simply essential, and for things much larger than software glitches...

(As a side... mowing the grass often produces the same kind of space... a number of things can, if only we let out minds dance.)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

5-20-07 Philippians: ConsiderEverything

This is a dramatic presentation of the Book of Philippians presented at Calvary Temple in South Bend, Indiana on May 20, 2007 by Pastor Jerrell Jobe. Join in and see the Word of God demonstrated, illustrated and dramatized in a real and relevant way.

GPS... on the wrist

I am one of the strangest persons I know when it comes to Christmas and Birthdays... There are certain people in my family that always give money as their means of celebration... The old adage, "You know what you want better than I do... I didn't know what to get you... Get what you want..." We're all familiar with the drill...

We'll... what most people don't know is that I will hold on to this money for weeks.... and most times months before I will finally plunge in and spend it. One reason my be that these are the only times during the course of a year that I actually get to hold on to some 'green back' cash... Typically, I simply 'hand-over' the check stub to the wife'e who then sends all the accounted for money to its necessary landing - ie. the bills and such.

But Christmas and Birthdays are a different story baby - I get the "green" and I hold on to it... Why? Probably because other than my few technological gadgets that accessorize my laptop (and my obsessive love for books) - I'm a pretty simple person and rarely spend money to buy something new... So when Christmas and Birthdays come around I have a hard time just running out and spending it on the first thing that I see - after all, it will be another year (or at least 6 months) until the next Holiday/B.Day where I will once again be endowed with some cash.

We'll I finally spent the last of my Birthday money... A Bitter Sweet experience it always is... (Strange - I know - don't say I didn't warn you). My Birthday is at the end of March -- it's now the end of May - 2 months... Not bad actually, generally I'll stretch it out even longer than this...

So what was the last item...?

Timex Speed and Distance Ironman Triathlon GPS Watchtimexwatch_textmedium

That's right a watch... But not just any watch...! This baby sports GPS. It connects to up to 12 satellites - detects where on the planet I am - converts the signals to GPS data - and then signals back to my wrist indicating exactly how far I've been running, walking or biking since I started. Moreover, it calculates how fast I've been runner - miles per hour - pace - average - etc...

At least, that's what Timex boasts that it can do... Like I said, I just made the plunge... Currently it's being handed off from one U.S. Post Office to another until it finally makes it here to the great Michiana - South Bend, IN.

...I'll let you know how it works.......

Monday, May 21, 2007

Philippians: What if I forget...?

What’s your biggest fear when it comes to getting in front of people?

I had this thought as I was driving in Sunday morning... “What if I forget... What if I totally draw a mental blank and can’t remember a word... verse... or worst yet... a whole passage?”

These thoughts came quick and as they did they were accompanied with several layers of emotion... not so much the nervousness of getting in front of people... per se... but simply going blank...

Fortunately this only persisted for a few moments...

I resolved... “I know this book... I’ve spent ample time in it... and the very last thing did last night was to say it to myself without rift... I know it’s in there somewhere within... therefore the best thing I can do is trust I’ve done my part - and even more so trust that the Holy Spirit is an active agent in my life...”

God is faithful... Perhaps part of what Paul said in Philippians 1:6 regarding “He who began a good work within you, will carry on until completion...” has some daily practical traction to it...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Summer Reading 2007

Current Reads for Summer 2007...

New to the Backpack

Creative Prayer
by Chris Tiegreen

by Kyle Strobel

Experiential Worship
by Bob Rognlien

Organic Community
by Joseph R. Myers

Made to Stick
By Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Monday, May 07, 2007

5-6-07 Dealing with the Pharisee Within

Pastor Russ Fish uncovers some of humanities most Pharisaical tendencies... Many of these lay just beneath the surface... Listen in as Pastor Russ helps us to deal with the Pharisee within...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

4-29-07 Be a Chicken: Available

Why did the chicken cross the road...? Why do you do what you do? What is it exactly that God has handcrafted you for? This series begins to explore how God has crafted us and the process we go through to discover His plan for our lives. This is the third message in the series presented by Pastor Edgar Cabello.