March 29, 2012

Christ as a Leadership Crisis

I don't really fall into the UMC's "Good News" camp, but in this month's Good News Magazine there is a great article from Will Willimon on "Christ as Leadership Crisis" (I'll try to link to the electronic version of the article when it becomes available. Here's a couple highlights:
"As bishop I am frequently reminded by the Holy Spirit that Jesus was crucified through the leadership of people like me, persons in positions of spiritual authority over others. As bishop, I'm closer to Caiaphas thank to Saint Paul. Therefore I have found it a salubrious practice to have close by me King's 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail,' written by King to someone just like me."

"According to Matthew 25, there will be surprises for all of us at the Great Assize. (In my worst nightmare it's me before the throne of Judgement asking, 'Lord, when did I see you?' and the King looking down at me saying, 'Surprise. Inasmuch as you smart-mouthed, castigated and ridiculed the Institute on Religion and Democracy, you did it unto me.')"

March 28, 2012

On the blogs and in my brain...

Love this - map of Detroit via watercolor filter, from - I'd love to get this (or something similar) made into a print. (via Ryan-boy).

Lifehacker: The More Facebook Friends You Have, The Less Happy You Probably Are. I've been thinking about cutting back on my Facebook "friends"... don't know what that might say about my mental health. And, What Do I Do When My Employer Wants to Become Too Social? (as in how to handle work related "friend" requests); always a tricky one for clergy.

Also from Lifehacker: Make DIY Prescription Swim Goggles with Sugru. Interesting idea, of course it looks like a lot of work with little reward, when you can just buy something like this that can provide a "close enough" prescription for under $25. (affiliate link)

Seth Godin: Extending the Narrative:
We dismiss the mid-life crisis as an aberration to be avoided or ridiculed, as a dangerous blip in a consistent narrative. But what if we had them all the time? What if we took the resources and trust and momentum that helps us but decided to let the other stuff go?
It's painful to even consider giving up the narrative we use to navigate our life. We vividly remember the last time we made an investment that didn't match our self-story, or the last time we went to the 'wrong' restaurant or acted the 'wrong' way in a sales call. No, that's too risky, especially now, in this economy.
So we play it safe and go back to our story.
Fred Clark on the National Organization for Marriage strategy memo leaks. Regardless of a person's stand on these types of issues, it makes me sad when there is a deliberate strategy to divide groups for political gain. I know this is naive but shouldn't your cause be so captivating in itself that people are drawn to it? Why do groups have to resort to such deliberate "divide and conquer" strategies to advance their agenda if it really is worthwhile? (And I know people on "the left" can be just as guilty of these same behaviors).

Jonny Baker: Be Who You Are - I'd love to try and make something like this.

Donald Miller: Why Conflict is Terrific. I like what Miller has to say, but conflict still terrifies me.

How an Etch-A-Sketch Works - I'd always wondered what those little bead things were.

This made the rounds on Facebook this week, but it's worth sharing in case you missed it: How To Get Rid of Your Crappy Pastor.

JoCo is coming to Ann Arbor, here's the song that got me hooked on his work (the easily offended or those who despise the back catalog of Sir Mix-a-Lot might want to skip this one...)

March 23, 2012

On the blogs and in my brain...

Seth Godin: We say we want a revolution... how often do our daily actions betray our spoken "values"? Timely reminder for a church who says they want to rethink and answer a call to action; are we really, or do we just like talking about it? Also from Godin: Demolishing the Argument that Abundance Causes Scarcity.

7 Deadly Sins of Easter Outreach.

The Art of Non-Conformity: There's a Letter You Need to Write.

Donald Miller: What to do When You Put Your Foot in Your Mouth. (Not "kiss your toes" as one of my friends suggested). Also from Miller, Do You Have an Undiscovered Genius?... I need to check out Robinson's book The Element (Amazon affiliate link).

Don Miller's book Blue Like Jazz is now a movie, soon to be released. Here's some info on the push back it has received which highlights some of the fundamental problems of different conceptions around the labels "Christian" and "art".

Kem Meyer: Would Money Make it Better? I've read something recently (not sure where) about how creativity needs "positive constraints" - situations where there are no deadlines, no financial limits, and no defined boundaries; basically the greatest possible measure of "creative freedom" tend to yield poor results. A good challenge to accomplishing a project makes us think more clearly and function more creatively.

Fred Clark: Trayvon Martin - The Killing on an American Child.

Michael Hyatt: 7 Steps to Becoming a Happier Person and Leadership at Home Affects the Rest of Your Life.

My friend Anna has been doing medical work in Africa, check out her blog documenting her time there.

Andrew Cohen: Voter ID Laws and their impact on the poor and minority populations.

The story of "Keep Calm and Carry On":

Here's the variations I enjoy: Keep Calm and Time Travel and Get Excited and Make Things.

Rachel Held Evans: 15 Reasons Why I Left the Church.

Awesome TED Talk by Susan Cain on The Power of Introverts:

Sorry no music this week.

March 14, 2012

On the blogs and in my brain...

National economic hardship? Let social media come to the rescue: The Official Kickstarter Page for Greece. (No, it's not really).

Seth Godin: Ashamed to Not Know and the Mathematical Impossibility of Universal Delight.

Libby Anne: Who are the Real Babies? House-Proofing and Modesty. Awesome article on the expectation that children can control their urges but adult men can't. (via Fred Clark)

Fred Clark: Daughter, Go In Peace. Simple, straightforward take on the whole contraceptive/religious freedom debate.

Libraries morphing into bookstores. This move makes a lot of sense to me.

The Commuters Odyssey.

John Van De Laar: Learning to Belong.

Larae Quy: How Leaders Can Create Self-Worth.

My friend, Leilani has started blogging - writing some amazing stuff, for example - Change.

Jeremy Smith: Lamenting an Open-Source Call to Action.

Becca Clark: Vital Signs and Flat Lines.

Productivity Porn: Reinventing the Office.

Tracy Simmons: Pastor Says Hospitality Staff Can't Live by Bread Alone. Love this ministry idea.

Wil Wheaton: Things Every Person Should Have.

Dunbar's Number vs. Facebook. An attempt to challenge the notion that the human brain can only maintain about 150 relationships (and how it might be time to clear our your friend feed).

100 Mac Apps to Consider.

Drink More Tea.

The more Americans go on food stamps, the more money JP Morgan makes.

Music Andrew Bird - from last night's Colbert Report; still haven't grabbed his new album, but I need to (fortunately I still have some $$ left on an iTunes gift card)...