Friday, September 25, 2009

The Book of Our Life

We all have at least two versions of the books of our lives...some have more than two versions. What we do with those versions says a lot about how we REALLY feel about those we show our books to.

Assuming that there are only three versions:

Version "C" is the version that shows us as we want the world to see us. Every event has a purpose and a simple, positive explanation. Every thought has meaning. Every crisis a happy ending. We are the hero, never the villain, our motives are always pure.

Version "B" is the version that shows us as we want our friends to see us. Pretty much the same as the "world version", but with a some selected weakness. The kind of weakness that only goes to prove how human and sensitive we are. It's like the answer you give your potential boss while being interviewed about your "biggest weakness" - we take a potentially negative answer and spin it so that it sounds like a strength. This version has a few missing details from the "C" version and maybe even a few accounts that are not there. We are occasionally the villain, but we have learned from our mistakes.

Version "A" is the REAL version. It is the one that we would write to God in our weakest moment - knowing that He already knows how it went so there is no reason to skip any details, no reason to spin anything. It's unabridged and uncensored. We are villain, hero, pawn, king, patsy, queen, shepherd, leader and follower...

Here's the thing about Version "A" - what you do with this version says A GREAT DEAL about who you REALLY ARE...
  • Some will never even write it. Yes, I believe that many of us will never write this book. They replace it with either Version "B" or Version "C" - yes they CALL it Version "A", but it is censored before the ink hits the page. The idea of accepting who we are - the way we are is sense in opening ourselves up to ourselves and to God.

  • Some will never share it with anyone. They may share it with God in private, but those pages will never be exposed to more than the two eyes God gave them. Their "B" version may fly off the shelves, but this version is locked away in a safe place - hidden from all.

  • Some share it with others:

    • Some share it with close friends and family - I can speak from experience here - this is dangerous...fraught with risk. But, as with other things in life, high risk has the potential for high gain. Sometimes you get a big payback and things are great!

    • Some share it with their best friend and spouse - this has some risk, but much less risk than the previous, the rewards can be great too.

    • Some share it with only their spouse - what a wonderful gift to the person you love - your soul mate. A beautiful, open, loving relationship has the book out in the open, on the table next to your You take it with you on walks in the fall, you take it with you on drives to see the family, you take it with you when you answer the phone when the debt collector calls, you take it with you when you find out you may have cancer... You write in it and your spouse reads it and remembers and loves every word...
"The Book of Our Life" has only one real version, but may have many arrangements or abridgments. God knows the real version, but He has also read all of the abridgments - He knows what we want everyone else to read about us, He has seen all of the things we want to forget...and...HE LOVES US ANYWAY.

In fact, He loves all the versions of our book, but wants us to share the real version because He's the author (we penned it) but he wrote it and because of that it is beautiful.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Social Networking and The Church Part 1

I'm working on a proposal for managing Social Networking at my Church... I thought I would just let if fly here while I'm working... Silly me...

Communication is critical to success in life – this is nothing new. If you don’t think so, historians around the world believe that one of the greatest achievements in the last 1000 years is Gutenberg’s printing press in or around 1440. It’s interesting to realize that the one of the first things ever printed in Europe was The Bible. Communication was coming out of the “dark ages”, but no one then would have dreamed where that first book would take us.

Fast forward about 569 years and the world is very different, how we communicate has changed a great deal, but our need to communicate is stronger than ever. If there was anyone in Gutenberg’s time that thought what was happening wasn’t important they have long since been forgotten. One of the reasons that the movable printing press was so important in the course of history was that it allowed information to reach people that had no way of getting it before. Now, more common people had a chance to own a copy of God’s word or some other important communication, to read for on their own. 569 years later we take communication for granted, we don’t just like it – we expect it, we crave it and we live for it.

Gutenberg’s printing press was “bleeding edge technology” – I can only imagine those around him clamoring to find out what was next, how it worked and how they could get in on the action – just like some of us do with technology today. Technology is a word that we throw around a great deal in our society and when we do with often put the technology before the purpose behind it (“form over function”). When we do that we often get into trouble and the message get’s lost and our credibility disappears with it which then affects our effectiveness of spreading God’s word. Christ would want us to be as effective as possible with our marching orders in Matthew 28:19,10

“go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”

using every tool available to us and using those tools in such a way as to allow us to be successful in spreading His “good news”.

Knowing this, we need to be diligent, careful and creative with the communication tools at our disposal in order to be as effective as possible in our mission to tell the world about the good news of Christ.
"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18