Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Not of this World

 13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth." ~John 17:13-19

What an amazing scripture.  What an amazing prayer.  Jesus is in the garden... it’s the night before his eventual death and demise... and he’s recounting to God the Father all that he has said and done and taught the faithful disciples.

“I have told them many things so they may be filled with joy."
“I have given them your word.”
“Protect them from the evil one.”
“Make them holy.” 

 I love it when Jesus says “They (the disciples) do not belong to the world any more than I do.”

 Jesus, in essence, calls the disciples, the faithful ones, aliens. Foreigners. Outsiders. Something was different about them now. But Jesus didn’t ask them to be taken away from this world - to be taken away from the challenges that come to those who follow. Jesus knew their potential. He knew what had to happen next. He’d go to the cross - sacrifice Himself - so the faithful few could be made holy. Sanctified. Set apart. By doing so, He set in motion a path for transformation and the world would never be the same.

What an amazing prayer, a prayer for any follower of Jesus - a hopeful inspiration to us all. What’s the least we could do for the One who gave his all for us to live? What if we all truly claimed that prayer and accepted being ‘made holy’ and set apart? What if we lived as aliens, foreigners and outsiders? Maybe the world would take notice. Maybe others would say ‘there’s something different about you. I want what you’ve got.’

Accept the words of the Father. They have been given to us by His son, Jesus. Accept God’s truth. Change the world, just as the disciples did. Jesus believed in their ability. He believes in your ability, also.

Monday, June 04, 2012

the 3 Muscles of Visual Life

In this Intel Visual Life short documentary, Michael Wolff, co-founder of Wolff Olins Agency and considered one of the preeminent visionaries and perhaps the father of 20th century brand expression and identity, talks about his approach to looking at the world, including the muscles of curiosity, appreciation, and imagination.

i value this mini- documentary (thank you to my wife for finding it) because of its fresh perspective on life... what we see... how others see us... how do we bring about inspiration?  how are we branded? 

While watching i thought of many parallels to faith and the church.  There are so many elements of value found in this short 6 minute film.  I'd like to focus on a few.

How Am I Known?

as Christians - we may think we know how we see ourselves - but we certainly don't know how others perceive us.  the same could be said for the church.  (but that's for another blog post)

"I don't know what I look like to other people therefore I must package myself in a way that reveals who I am."

What Do We See?
From a faith standpoint, do we, the church (or we, as Christians),  have a holistic view of our design? 
Michael Wolff talks about the 3 Muscles:
Curiosity (being willing to ask why?) + Appreciation (noticing) = Imagination.

Part of appreciation is brand identity.  What is the purpose, the vision?  what does it do?  what does it bring?  we need a brand that makes it so people can take it, receive it, value it, treasure it & choose it.
This is the whole process of branding.

This is a message for the church.  This is a message of discipleship.
We (the church/the body of Christ) need to brand our process of discipleship... we need to present to others an identity that compels others to take it, receive it, value it, treasure it & choose it.

Think of the impact we might have, for the glory of God, to brand our identity in Christ in a way that would entice others to follow Jesus.  In a real, honest and humble way.  That's Kingdom work.  That's the Gospel in action.  People are drawn to authenticity.  How might we brand that, so to speak?

This is something that each church needs to investigate and digest.

Curiosity matters.
Appreciation matters.
Imagination matters.

Utilizing our imagination is an outward expression of who we are in Christ - created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27) - to do great and mighty things (John 14:12).  Our process of discipleship can naturally derive from that.  Nothing more, nothing less.  In the simplicity of curiosity and appreciation - there God can be found, because God is in vastness that our imagination

Open Your Eyes.
"If you walk around with a head full of preoccupation you're not going to notice anything."

We need open eyes.  We need to see new things.  May God gives us the vision to see the new thing in front of us (Isaiah 43:19).  May our preoccupations wane so that Christ may abound (Phil. 1:9).

Just think what God might do through us...
How will you now visualize life?