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Archive for the ‘humanity’ Category

Blew Me Away

Based on Proverbs 7:10-23 from NewSpring Media on Vimeo.

This blew me away. (ht)  It’s based on Proverbs 7:10-23

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laugh

“I’m objective about myself.”

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contemplate

Tracy wrote a great blog post over at Thrive on engaging reconciliation through the Thrive process of clearings.  Read it here.

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Overheard In A Coffee Shop

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“Maturity is growing into the awareness of our ignorance.”

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Restoration Observations

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At first glance this is likely going to seem like a really strange post but I promise you it’s actually an observation on restoration of the human soul.

Recently my son was playing some games on the web.  I decided to join him and found this game called Death Row.  The name immediately intrigued me and so I clicked on it to play.  The purpose of the game is to “reform” the prisoner, discover clues to his innocence and get him pardoned before he is executed, all within fourteen game days.  To successfully accomplish the mission you have to reform the prisoner by increasing his health, mood, respect, and worth ethic, which is no small feat.  Accomplish the mission quickly and your score goes up.

The prisoner begins the game very angry.  He’s been hardened to the point of rage and lets you know it immediately.  He is no one’s friend. In order to find the hidden clues you have to purchase items (rug, desk, linen, computer, etc) that fill out the cell.  To make money, you send him to work, trying different jobs in order to find the one he likes.  When you do he makes works harder.  To make money faster, you have to increase his work ethic.

What I found interesting in playing the game several times was the pattern that emerged in reforming the prisoner.  First I had to increase his health by feeding him well.  As silly as this seems it made a big difference.  Then I had to buy a toilet, sink for hot water and then a mirror.  Once this is accomplished, I could have him look at his image in the mirror and his work ethic and mood went up incrementally.  Once his work ethic was at a sufficient level, he worked harder.  And this allowed him to make money faster, which then allowed me to buy more stuff faster and win the game.

It was really interesting to me that the makers of the game understood the basic role that our dignity and self-image plays in our own restoration.  When the prisoner looked at his own image in the mirror and his health was low he hated himself and his mood and his respect for me went down.  During one game, I irritated him mercilessly, dropping his respect for me to zero.  He hung himself in despair and the game was over.  But when I helped him take care of his basic human dignity he improved dramatically.

What was also surprising to me was outside of food, the other functional objects in the room made little difference in improving his work ethic.  Items like a blanket or television set did little other than affect his mood.  In other words, stuff didn’t really matter in his restoration.

Once I had accumulated enough money I could purchase a computer for his cell.  Again the makers of the game seemed to understand the basic role of dignity in our humanity.  The computer allowed the prisoner to take an online course in law, economics and computer design.  Each of these skills dramatically increased his work ethic at exponential levels.  In other words, when he could participate in his own restoration he reformed at unprecedented levels.

My total score was how reformed he was based on the four categories.  In other words, I to score really well I had to affect the whole person.  I couldn’t just focus on one category and leave the rest.  I had to restore all of him.

I say all of this because in Thrive, understanding the role of dignity and the whole person was huge for us.  It was central to understanding the love was the restoring or holding of the person’s dignity, which was established by God in the act of creation. It wasn’t something ooey-gooey or codepently sticky sweet.  It was in fact deeply courageous and restorative. And as human beings we aren’t just a body, or mind, or a soul.  We’re all three.  We can’t just fill people up with information and assume we had done our job.  We had to create a space that allowed people to work through stuff and deal with not just what they thought but how they felt.

How often do we assume that following Jesus is simply about memorizing the right verses or serving on the right committees?  Jesus came to heal, not to create some religious program that led to boredom, yet how much of what we do leads to the latter?

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The Human Heart

I’ve now found an interesting graphical representation of how the journey of following Jesus feels sometimes.  But in the end my heart always feels like its coming back to wholeness. (ht)

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Group Think

I was talking with a friend of mine about how much of our thinking is internal and how much is give or even inflicted (for lack of a better word) on us from outside of us, the community, our tribe, etc.  In business we called this group think.  Others call this the collective conscience or consciousness. It’s this idea of a thought pattern the emerges that we succumb to.  We see it in mobs, or cliques, or any space where peer pressure can be high.  We can also see it in our churches and our approaches to doctrine.  We believe because that’s what the group thinks.

How much of our influence do you think comes from this group think or the world around us?  Interested in your thoughts.

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