Monthly Archives: January 2012

generosity killed the…

nobody. generosity does not cause harm. it brings good and grows love.

i have a friend, (insert generous link here) tami heim, who talks about being “digitally generous”. this of course means being willing to tweet, post, comment and share things that are important to others. If you retweet the link to someone else’s blog… this is digitally generous. if you follow someone back, or you follow them first without expecting anything in return… digitally generous. you get the picture. you can read more in her book: Stickyjesus.

but this idea got me thinking. and really the phrase itself is what kept coming back to me, because it’s a different way to say something. “digitally generous” it’s not something you hear all the time, it’s a newer phrase, like digital immigrant (people who came into the digital age) or digital natives (kids growing up in the digital age). but i was challenged by the idea of generosity.

and then really started considering what it means. and i have a question. are you TALENT GENEROUS? because some people really are. and some people really are not.

if you are a painter, are you willing to share your methods and info about your favorite brushes, brands of paint and paper, are you willing to spend time with someone that is also interested, but not as accomplished… to share what you know?

if you sew, do you take the time to teach someone how to cut out a pattern without wasting material, or share with them the best place to get the best prices on fabric.

if you write scripts, are you willing to share the process and gently guide someone else through the steps? will you take the time to go through drafts of something so they can learn too, and multiply your influence? (like jason vaile)

if you are a song writer, are you willing to share a co-writing title? are you willing to teach the things you’ve learned in the process to others who are interested, but haven’t yet written a word?

if you are a singer, are you willing to share the stage with someone? are you willing to do a duet where you could’ve had a solo? are you willing to give up your solo so that someone has a chance to sing?

if you are a photographer, will you spend time training and mentoring other photographers? will you teach them your photoshop tricks and time saving methods. will you introduce them to your suppliers, so they can share in that relationship? (like david edmonson)

if you are a doctor, do you gladly give on the spot answers to medical questions when you encounter friends? do you kindly share your knowledge if the time and situation allow? (like Jason Kastner)

i have known both types of people in all of these categories. and i have been both types of people at different times. i’m realizing that the ones that i know that are generous with their talents… in  most cases happen to also be those that are most successful… and when i have been generous with my talents it has given me more than i gave.

when it comes to things. time. and even talents. hebrews 13:16: share what you have.

you bettah be nice to people

 my cousins had a grandmother (who is now in heaven) that had a run-in with a rude drive-thru server about some biscuits…she cautioned her “YOU BETTAH BE NICE TO PEOPLE” in the most precious southern drawl… undergirded with the indignation of a thoroughly southern woman.  We laughed about this for years, and often admonished each other “you bettah be nice to people!”

But lately… I have been thinking how very true this is. The world, friends, is very very small. with each app, website, social networking opportunity… it becomes more and more true, that you bettah be nice to people.

if you are not. people will know it. they will remember it. they will tweet about it. they have so many ways to let people know that you… are not nice to people.

everyday i encounter people that know people that i know… and people that know people that they know… our lives are so entwined in so many ways that we don’t even realize. i mean, how often have you added someone on facebook and noticed that you have mutual friends that you didn’t even know about? or gone to your linkedin page to find surprising shared connections? before social media we would play the “who do you know that i know” verbal game… and now, it’s like that but on steroids.

given that all of this is true… i’m just saying… (in my best grace spinks voice in my head) You Bettah Be Nice to People!

my uncle tommy (interestingly, the son of the aforementioned southern lady) used to repeat the adage “people wont remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel”. true, is it not?

So… let’s just love each other. OK?

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i wear my eternal-glasses at night… and day

i just wrote this in an email to deborah donaldson – my lead treehouse volunteer in the children’s ministry at our white house campus. “it is such a blessing to know that the details are being minded with someone that sees through “eternal-picture” lenses.”

that got me thinking. am i keeping on my eternal-picture glasses each day?

when i am writing a script – am i thinking eternally?

when i am choosing a song or figuring out how to get slides up or projectors to work – am i thinking eternally?

when i am talking to anyone… at anytime… about anything… am i wearing the right lenses? am i thinking about the eternal impact, or lack thereof, that i am making, or not making?

you see… the coolest thing about doing things for a church, or a ministry is that there is an automatic default in place that should gear everything toward eternal value… however, when i take off the “treehouse” hat – when i’m just hanging out with my kids, or meeting new people, or shopping at target… do i have an eternal focus? am i aware that everything i do or say has the potential to turn people to or turn people away from the one true God.

i will contend that God will do his will. He will do what he so desires. the real question is whether or not I will be part of it, allow myself to be used for his glory. am i making choices that are worthy of the one who Saved me from myself?

what about you? do you have an eternal-focused lens in place which guides your steps and choices? do you consider what you are doing and whether you are turning people to Him or away from Him? please do. please allow yourself to look through eternal lenses so that you are available to be part of the story to Christ for those you encounter.

I forgot to say thank you.

recently i was involved in a string of comments on a facebook picture from my first youth group. as i’ve been reveling in the memories that are coming to the surface, and my heart is remembering the joy and love of God that I experience when i reflect on this time… i realized i forgot to say thank you.

i realized that i have never truly, adequately, accurately thanked my first youth minister for the tremendous impact he had on my life. in so many ways i never really thought of before. (EVEN IF YOU DON’T KNOW HIM… STICK WITH ME, I THINK YOU MIGHT LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES … )

Bill Cole. He had wild hair, a ready laugh and a truly jesus-spirit. he welcomed people into his family, into his heart and into his home. He started a ministry called S.A.L.T. (Sharing Abundant Life with Teens). The wednesday nights of my early youth years are ones i will never forget. from the totally disgusting peanut butter/armpit game… to the laughter inducing If You Love me Honey, Smile…. co-ed disciple now… (ha, i cant believe that happened… i have a teenager and there is no freaking way)…

but here is the thing. the main thing that i remember is the family that we became. so many people, so many lives were set on course. Many have gone into ministry, built families, continue to be connected in local churches. Even more have remembered the love they felt from Bill Cole… at S.A.L.T. and with other friends from FBC Pompano. This was a special time, with friendships that have stood the test of time, and require one remembered inside joke to take you right back there to that paneled room with the shag carpet.

bill cole… you poured into us and accepted us. you expected us to love Jesus. you expected more of us… and we loved Jesus. we loved being at church. we loved each other. and we loved you. how odd that i dont think i’ve ever told you that…  (friends… who has impacted you eternally that you have never said ‘i love you’ too?)

and for that matter… those friends from that time of life, from that youth group… you still matter to me, you still have an impact with the memories that your names conjure up. i remember alot of laughing. and crying. i love that chatting about our memories has spurred us on to want more of each other. to reunite because of our great love for each other.

(friends… who do you need to organize a reunion with? time is short… people need to know they matter to you).

Bill Cole. in conclusion… though this doesnt even completely touch it all… i want to thank you for creating an environment for me and my beloved friends where we could learn the truth and love of Christ and it could bind us together because we learned it together. Your mark is everywhere… and for eternity.

i love you. and thank you.

read what he has to say:

follow his tweets:!/bcole39bill cole and family.

love languages… translated… and delivered

aimee brown

most of anyone that would read this blog, probably

kristen galuppi sisk

has heard of the 5 love languages. if you haven’t… it’s high time, friends.

my main love language (thing that makes me feel loved, so the thing i’m also most likely to give naturally) is quality time.

i have had several friends in the past year to understand this about me … and show me that they have translated this into actions.

today was a perfect example. i was going to meet my friend aimee brown for lunch. i had sent a message that said if we met at church i would have more time because we would have “in the car travel time”. but she had errands to run… so we were going to meet at the restaurant @saxdeli – the best!!.

that was the plan, until she called and said she would be picking me up and we would go from there. once we hit lunch she was telling a story about how she told someone about her birthday and that it meant so much to her that kristen (sisk) and i spent her birthday with pedicures and lunch… it was the time that meant so much. i said… is that why you picked me up today? (of course, she said yes, that was why)… it’s all about time – because that happens to be each of our love language. i reminded her of a time that she and kristen rode with me to another event instead of driving seperate cars to save time… for the same reason.

see… when i feel like someone is just trying to hurry up and get what they need or want from me, but ready to bolt as soon as they get it… it registers with me. it’s understandable, but it’s just how i interpret things internally. i value time. often, when i need to send a request type email i will sign off with “thank you for any time you spent on this, robyn” because i appreciate people’s time. alot.

i’m blessed today… by people that have taken time. there are so many, and i’m grateful. today i’m celebrating aimee and kristen… my accountability partners… and reveling in their willingness to speak to me in my love language.

you see… with love languages, its interesting because we tend to give the one we need, we don’t always give the one the other person needs. take some time today to evaluate the ones you love and figure out what they need from you … to make them feel loved. it’s not enough to just do the thing that means love to you. make sense?

Here they are:

physical touch, quality time, gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation.

think about the one you crave and one you give… and you will know what yours is…. then consider the people around you… what do they give? that’s probably theirs.

forgive the stupidity… ahead of time.

today i went to the visitation… after a very tragic death.

i said several things to try to comfort my friend, who is mourning the loss of her beloved friend. then i said, “people are going to say stupid things. it’s a fact. decide ahead of time to forgive them …”

which got me thinking… why don’t we do that all of the time? why don’t we walk into each day with the plan to forgive everything. if we set our hearts on forgiveness and kindness, we don’t waste time with insecurity and defensiveness. we just celebrate and share love.

i want to plan to forgive stupidity ahead of time.

what’s so freaking great about the new youth building?!

 this weekend we opened a new building at long hollow… actually it opened wednesday. but this was the big weekend. as such, we took turns praying throughout the 24 hours following the opening this morning. i had a shift at 10am yesterday. as i was walking around praying, journaling, writing… i started taking pictures and realized a theme. God revealed something to me, clear as day…

It’s not the two 1.000 person worship centers (one for high schoolers, one for middle schoolers. it’s not the slushie machines. it’s not the games, the “PIT”, the hangout rooms… all of this is spectacular, but what struck me was the design of the building and the choices made all over the place.

one thing that you may or may not notice is that that all of the furnishings, decorations, elements, are made using raw materials, lots of sustainables, lots of leather, metal and wood.

all natural materials. these words came to me – AUTHENTIC. RAW. GENUINE. – and kinda wrecked me… because THAT is what our student ministry is about.

AUTHENTICITY – loving kids as they are. showing them an authentic faith. exposing them to God in real ways RAW ways. getting down to the bare facts of their lives. helping them through loving them in their original state. taking something rustic and real and making it beautiful through the love of Christ, by GENUINEly loving their socks off.

The metal on the tables is rusted and imperfect – like us, yet it serves a perfect function… giving students a place to come together, read, study, share, fellowship. the metal is like the nails that crucified our Christ.

the wood in the spool tables and some chairs, benches are rough hewn, showing the creativity of our Creator, as no piece is exactly alike. the unfabricated wood is God’s design, at it’s core and without man’s alteration. the wood is like the cross.

the leather is straight from God’s creatures. It is different in design, on every piece. The strength coupled with the flexibility of this natural material is perfect to withstand the inevitable beating of the natural lives of teenagers. it will be sat on, slept on, wept on, jumped on… and as leather always does, it will get more beautiful with age-as it does it’s job and absorbs the stories of those who experience it’s resilience. leather sandals would have shod our Lord’s feet as he spread the good news of the gospel.

FYI: Kudos to designers Holly Bieber and Kim Flatt. This is one highly pinnable place!

just freaking pand-tastic.

just need to celebrate another wonderful piece of art from quint.

it’s clearly, just pand-tastic. i love it.

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pinterest gave me something that twitter and facebook didn’t

i have a friendship that has been dormant, hibernating if you will, for quite a while.

though we’ve had each others numbers, connected on facebook and i tweet openly and often, in an effort to be highly accessible to anyone that might be wanting to connect.

it wasnt until the magic of a website that celebrates art, creation, and ultimately the Creator that we reconnected. i dont mean to beat a dead horse – but i’m talking again about pinterest. not because i’m trying to pimp it or get you to participate… but because that’s where it happened.

my friend and i tiptoed back toward each other… through comments on each others pins. while meandering through her virtual collection i was reminded of all of the ways i used to love her for her mind, ideas, perceptions, style and sense of awe in the creator. so i told her so. after several back and forth photo comments… i sent her a text.

we spent a good hour texting back and forth and in the meantime realized why we think it was pinterest that allowed this to happen. pinterest is about joy, and celebrating the Creator with all of the endless things he has put in this world for us to marvel over.

this is another thing i missed about her. spiritual revelations uncovered in unintentional conversation… pointing to, leading to, ending with, the God of the Universe.

art is healing and precious and speaks louder than words at times. as a writer that can frustrate me, at times, but this time it was the combination of art and words that caused a healing to begin… so grateful.

what do you need to see or experience to remind you of someone you have let time take away? go find it. it’s lovely to be reconnected.

notice that it took an action on our part. commenting. making an effort. reaching out. don’t cheat yourself out of something wonderful because of your unwillingness to say something you need to say.