Monday, January 23, 2006

a cup of criticism please...

How do you handle heavy criticism among your peers? I found myself in such a place last week. I was sharing ideas about an exciting project that was being developed for our business with a group of managers. When I was finished laying out the basics concepts, I was bombarded with what I perceived as the “let’s figure out all the faults of the project before it even gets started” session. A flash of lava hot anger flared in my gut, I wanted to stand up and shout “you are all a bunch of flippin’ idiots!” and the storm out the door.

For some reason I kept mouth shut and forced myself to listen to their criticism of the project. I responded by saying, “I really appreciate all of your comments and feedback, I hope that as this project rolls out, you will have the same level of intensity to see it succeed.” The meeting moved on to the next topic and I sat in my chair and just wrestled with what just happened. I felt as though on some subconscious level of theirs, they were celebrating the fact that they had completely knocked the wind out of my sails to prove they were superior to the ideal of the project.

As the meeting concluded, I began to internally scan their comments for any valid areas of concern and found two. I left the meeting and called a support team and discussed with them the two points of concern, together we came up with solutions which made very good structural sense. This week I will look to see how to implement them.

All in all, I learned a very valuable lesson, as a creative and passionate person who puts a little piece of me into every project I am in, when I am asked to give my creative energy to a project it is a gift and I can not be responsible for how that gift is criticized. My strength comes from the fact that I know the creative process is good no matter what others opinions might be about it and how I handle constructive criticism is part of that creative process.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

the matrix quiz

You are Neo
You are Neo, from "The Matrix." You
display a perfect fusion of heroism and

What Matrix Persona Are You?
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Saturday, January 21, 2006

agents of good in a wreck of evil

I have been thinking about why is it that we are sometimes over whelmed with the fear, stress, and pressure.

Can't you see I'm black and blue, beat up badly in bones and soul? GOD, how long will it take for you to let up? Break in, GOD, and break up this fight; if you love me at all, get me out of here. I'm no good to you dead, am I? I can't sing in your choir if I'm buried in some tomb! I'm tired of all this--so tired. My bed has been floating forty days and nights on the flood of my tears. My mattress is soaked, soggy with tears.

It seems as though evil lurks around every corner.

They hide behind ordinary people, then pounce on their victims. They mark the luckless,then wait like a hunter in a blind; When the poor wretch wanders too close, they stab him in the back. The hapless fool is kicked to the ground; the unlucky victim is brutally axed.

I wonder if God really knows how evil these days have become?

Look at that guy! He had sex with sin, he's pregnant with evil. Oh, look! He's having the baby--a Lie-Baby!

Does God even care? Because I think, if he did care why would he allow it to continue.

GOD, are you avoiding me? Where are you when I need you? Full of hot air, the wicked are hot on the trail of the poor. The wicked snub GOD, their noses stuck high in the air. Their graffiti are scrawled on the walls: "Catch us if you can!" "God is dead." They care nothing for what you think; if you get in their way, they blow you off.

As I lamented the prayers of the Psalms (in italics), I couldn’t help but to sense that I come from a long line of people who see the ramped evil running amuck in the world and are greatly disturbed and heavy hearted over it. As hopeless as it might seem, as a people of good, something from the center of our being calls us into the battle that rages on calling on the Source of all things to make things right in this time here and now. But what does that sound and look like?

Up, GOD! My God, help me! Slap their faces, First this cheek, then the other, Your fist hard in their teeth! Real help comes from GOD. Your blessing clothes your people! Listen, GOD! Please, pay attention! Can you make sense of these ramblings, my groans and cries?King-God, I need your help. Every morning you'll hear me at it again. Every morningI lay out the pieces of my life on your altar and watch for fire to descend.

Close the book on Evil, GOD, but publish your mandate for us. You get us ready for life: you probe for our soft spots, you knock off our rough edges. And I'm feeling so fit, so safe:made right, kept right. Nobody gets by with anything. God is already in action--Sword honed on his whetstone, bow strung, arrow on the string, Lethal weapons in hand,each arrow a flaming missile.

There is this work of the heart that takes place between me and God and that is where the lines of the Kingdom advance. Is it a tough and long road to walk? Yes, it is. Am I alone? No. What would it sound like to carry on?

Long enough, GOD- you've ignored me long enough. I've looked at the back of your head long enough. Long enough I've carried this ton of trouble, lived with a stomach full of pain.Long enough my arrogant enemies have looked down their noses at me. Take a good look at me, GOD, my God; I want to look life in the eye, So no enemy can get the best of meor laugh when I fall on my face. I've thrown myself headlong into your arms-- I'm celebrating your rescue. I'm singing at the top of my lungs, I'm so full of answered prayers.

May we find ourselves agents of making-things-right in this world…Hope is not lost. May we be the handiwork-of-God right around the corner, emerging from the unexpected.

All quotes are from Psalms 1-13 The Message

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

could this be the promised land?

From a very young age I have drawn mountain scenes from memories in my heart. I traveled through the Rockies and across the Grand Canyon. Today I began to sketch in my journal and this is what emerged. I have been thinking on the sacred journey of Joshua and the people of God. Their period of wondering was one of discovery and cleansing.

I can't help but find our story in their story. Maybe the images in my sketch are mirrors on the door of introspection of one's life. I also can't help to think about the "face to face" passage that has also been lingering in my heart these last few days. Maybe they are reflective of the relationships that we have endured along this trek.

I guess today I found some solace in the fact that after the period of cleansing and discovery they did finally entered into the land that the LORD their God had promised them. Somewhere deep within me I am hopeful that we are stumbling onto what they came to know as holy ground, If only I can stop long enough to realize where I am. Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 13, 2006

a slice of humble pie

Sometimes eating a piece of humble pie is hard to do. Why does it feel like being asked to play second string when all you want to do is just get out there and play your heart out? Maybe it has to do with swallowing my pride and doing what I was called to do given the situation.

Darla was talking about wisdom yesterday. In the past, I have thought of wisdom as knowing how to make the right decision the first time around. And maybe it does partially, but I am coming to understand wisdom to also mean acknowledging when I have strayed off course 2 degrees and then making the necessary amends with whom ever so that I might get back on track. Humility must be a component of wisdom. Arrogance is surely not.

I wish I could explain to you how incredibly rich a life Darla and I have been given. Maybe the best way to do that is not to try and hold on to it, but to give it away every chance we get.

May you find the scent of generosity lingering through you and in you today.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

blue flame of old

"the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with a friend." Exodus 33:11

Thank you Lord that you are the One who forgives and grants mercy to your children, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. It is by your works that we are given our daily bread.

What is a friendship?

In Numbers 12 the sacred text tells of a story that involves Moses, Miriam, and Aaron. There was something not right between the three of them. The Living God called them to come together to talk. He called them to the Tent of Meeting, which back then must have been like his living room. In this space, these brothers and sister spoke to one another face to face.

As I have been wrestling with this story on a personal level, this image emereged in my journal. On January 8

What would this meeting look like today? Where would the Tent of Meeting be located? One thing is for sure, where ever it is grace, forgiveness, and healing would be present. What happens when we get together to say I am sorry? What happens when our hearts are humbled? What happens when I desire connection and fellowship greater than my own pride? What happens when we speak face to face? I think we began to stumble upon holy ground and our hearts begin to become whole.

As the people of God following the path of Jesus, we are compelled to live in harmony with each other and with the One who holds it all together. He has been reconciling people since before Mesopotamia and he still is reconciling all people. Maybe the story of Moses, Miriam, and Aaron happened long ago, and yet it is happening today all around us.

Are you in the story? Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

guilty of murder?

"You're familiar with the command to the ancients, "Do not murder.' I'm telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother "idiot!' and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell "stupid!' at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill. "This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God. "Or say you're out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don't lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him. After all, if you leave the first move to him, knowing his track record, you're likely to end up in court, maybe even jail. If that happens, you won't get out without a stiff fine. Adultery and Divorce.

Matthew 5:21-26

I am so restless. I know what I have done. I have sentenced myself to this prision. Where is my humility? Why can’t I just say I am sorry? Pride is so stupid, yet so powerful. I love my brother and sister; they mean the world to me. If only I could “diallasso.” This division kills me. It is like the vine from War of the Worlds, decay has set it. I am slowly deteriorating from with in.

May the LORD of Restoration rescue me and grant me grace and humility. Amen