Hearing, Seeing and Speaking

101712_2206_DreamDiscov1.pngOutsiders bring fresh perspective and new insights into our world. Inviting someone in to hear and see our lives, to reflect prayerfully and then to speak faithfully, this is a great challenge and opportunity. We risk hearing uncomfortable truths with the hope and expectation that we will be renewed and transformed as a result. The Kingdom of God is found where our internal needs and resources intersect with those of the community around us.

TBSP LOGOThe Missional Church finds its fullest expression at this intersection. The next week will be spent pouring over data, stories and collections of interviews as we prepare a Comprehensive Report. In June The Best Start Project began working with our first congregation. This is a congregation with great strengths and competencies already on board. They have a strong history over their 20 years, and are positioned now to be transformed and grow into the mature Body of Christ that they are called to be.

This work begins with the congregation centering itself in prayer and bible study. On this foundation it builds by bringing together information gathered from Market Research, customized Congregational and Community Surveys, Listening Conversations, Leadership Style Assessments, Ethnographic Interviewing, and Congregational Analysis. The Comprehensive report synthesizes all of this information into a digestible format with the addition of Observations and Opportunities. The congregation then has a path forward and the increased capacity to use these tools for continued renewal and transformation.

Expanding the dream for The Grove Dallas

The Grove, Dallas is a new kind of social space, dedicated to promoting human flourishing through entrepreneurial innovation and collaboration in the heart of the city. Because of the immense need and opportunity, we are expanding, and we are inviting you to join with us. Click on the image below to learn more about the Grove Expansion campaign. The Grove Expansion Campaign

I’d love to share more with you about The Grove, and what socially conscious coworking can do to enhance your work and remake your community.

SPRH – Appolo 13

Square Peg in a Round Hole

How often are we trying to get things to “fit”, to work together, when they were never designed to do that? Sometimes we just have to make it work, re-engineer on the fly, and that’s fine, particularly in emergency situations. But do you remember how exhausting that movie is? Emotionally wrenching (Hanks does it again in Gravity, IMHO!) Who wants to live that way all the time?

Isn’t it preferable to engineer your life in such a way that things fit, comfortably, organically? And how great to have a community, a team of folks like in this clip, helping us to problem solve our way toward better living.

Plug into the community now.

Wake up and dream

These aren’t day dreams. These are life dreams.
These are kingdom dreams, God-sized dreams.

Sleeping dreams are weird – like a trip with Alice down the rabbit hole or through the looking glass. They are the result of a swirling mix of your subconscious mind, your anxieties, and whatever you had for dinner. Like I said, WEIRD. They may be scary, or fun, sad, heartwarming or erotic. More often than not, they seem completely detached from reality.

And yet how often do we let them control our reality? How often do we shy away from a challenge because of some nightmare of the danger or risks involved? How often do we pursue a path of unhealthy self-gratification or self-glorification that originated in a dream state? We consume stories in prose and poetry, songs, TV and movies – some of which create a very literal interpretation of these dreamlike experiences – I’m thinking of The Matrix series and Inception. You may know of others that like an MC Escher print fold dimensions inside each other as though each of us were a series of interlocking Mobius strips.

The 2013 holiday release of the new Kristen Wiig and Ben Stiller movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” – a remake of the 1947 film starring Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo – is based on the James Grover Thurber (1894-1961) story from The New Yorker magazine. Mitty is a character who lives in his imagination, with his real life bearing no resemblance to his dreams. Eventually he awakes to this situation, and makes a conscious decision to go and do something else, to Wake up and dream.

Thurber is reported to have said, “Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.” So many of our dreams have us looking in anger or fear.

God’s dreams for us begin with our waking to what is real, right here and now, in our very midst. God with us, Emmanuel. God here in the sorrow and struggle, the laughter and love. The prophet Jeremiah tells us that God’s thoughts toward God’s people are of blessing, and a future with hope. (Jer 29:11) God’s dream is to restore that which has been lost, or that which we only glimpse “as through a veil dimly.”  (1Cor 13:12)

The first and last scenes of the Bible are of a beautiful garden in which human beings are in harmony with one another, they undertake meaningful creative work caring for the world as a central feature of their blessed state, and they are in communion with God who dwells and walks among them. Their home is God’s home. This is the vision, the dream which God is continually dreaming for us and working with us to unfold in and through us.

“And they called him Emmanuel, God with us.”

Most often the Bible uses the word wake with reference to calling people to pay attention to what is happening around them, to shake off the stupor of their sinful and slothful ways. Shake off the haze of the culture which invites you to deny the reality of God and the spiritual world, and even your own spirit. Shake off the sleep that lulls you into believing either that you are the only thing that matters, or that you do not matter at all.

The sojourners from the east came, wise and wealthy – and thereby powerful – yet they humbled themselves before the child Jesus. Shepherds, the least and lowest, the most despised among Jewish society, found themselves with personal engraved invitations to the party of the ages. The “reality” in both situations would have told them to stay away – one because they were too good, and the other because they were not good enough. Yet through dreams and visions they all came to realize that the invitation was for them, and for everyone – “Peace on earth, good will to all.”

What will your dreams reveal, when you begin to let yourself dream them? What is God longing to show you? What is being prepared for you to be and do in the world so that others might experience Emmanuel? Whether you’re a shepherd, a wiseman, an innkeeper, a carpenter, or a young and innocent woman, you have a role to play in the unfolding drama of God’s dream. Will you open to it?

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These reflections were written in preparation for a sermon on 12/29/2013, first Sunday after Christmas. The sermon scriptures were:
Isaiah 52:7-10  ~  Psalm 98  ~  Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12)  ~  John 1:1-14

MindTools Resource Page

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My go to site for quizzes, assessments and resources for personal and professional development is MindTools.com.

This site has 1000+ pages of resources conveniently divided into an array of categories:

Access the main page here: MindTools.

From their “The Toolkit” Page


Use links below, in the menu on the left or on the Toolkit menu above to access the Mind Tools toolkit.

Leadership Tools
Whether you’re in a leadership position now, or you’re working towards this, you can become an exceptional leader!

Team Tools
Learn the full range of skills you need to manage a team successfully.

Strategy Tools
We’ll show you the strategy tools taught on MBA courses, and how you can apply them to your situation right now.

Problem Solving Techniques
Devise better solutions to the problems you face by using the skills set out in these articles.

Decision Making Tools
Add some rigor to your decision making with these tried-and-tested approaches and processes.

Project Management Skills
Find out about the formal disciples of project and program management and change management.

Time Management Tools
Beat work overload, increase your effectiveness, and achieve more.

Stress Management Techniques
Learn a range of techniques with our holistic approach to reducing stress.

Communication Skills
From listening to writing emails, running meetings and giving presentations, these tools are vital to your career success!

Creativity Techniques
Learn some powerful and reliable ways of generating the fresh, new ideas you need.

Learning Skills
These articles help you handle information better, learn more effectively and remember things better.

Career Skills
Don’t leave your career progression to chance! Find out how to develop the career you want.

They also have memberships for individuals, organizations and businesses to use in their HR / People Development strategies. Find out more here: MindTools Corporate.If you know of other great sights, or have observations/critiques on this one, I’d love to hear your thoughts.